Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This Piece of Ground

We drove down the wide mowed track, making our way onto the ranch built by Molly and Troy.  This is where Cabbage sowed his childhood memories. 

He fell in love with ranching and agriculture here, and in these fields he made choices as a child that would shape the man he became.  I remembered his stories about life as a boy on the ranch, and little things illustrating his childhood...  Like how he learned to fall asleep riding on the floor of a tractor as it trundled back and forth.  He just wanted to be part of it all, even when he was too small to help and too sleepy to stay awake.

We drove to his part of the ranch.  This is a literally a piece of family history, green fields bordered by trees with the endless blue sky stretching above. 

He wasn't always here, but he moved onto the ranch when he retired from his crazy, road tripping, thrill-seeking career as a professional bullrider.

On this piece of ground, he made a home with his first wife and his first little girl.  She's the one Beep calls "Sissah."  Cabbage has always called her Hammer.  Although he loves many things about her, the nickname came from his pure admiration for her toughness and grit.

I have never been to this ranch or his piece of it, so until now this place has been just a series of stories and a few photos.  I'm so glad to see this tract of family land, to bring our baby here for the first time and to experience it all for the first time alongside Hammer and Cabbage. 

(Yes, we all have real names... and no, we don't go by them at home.  We do actually call each other the nicknames on this blog.)

For years I've heard about this tree.  Cabbage planted it many years ago, and its growth has measured the progress of his life.  When he moved off the ranch years ago to move to Hawaii, it was still a sapling.  On the day we visited with the girls, it stood taller than he expected.  It was large enough to drive under, and it shielded the car while Beep slept in its shade. 

There's not much here now.  A couple of outbuildings, lines of fencing, and ranching artifacts.

Hammer remembers her time here as a little girl.  Now, she's nearly grown and looking at colleges.  She is taller than me, blonde and beautiful, focused on school and a long-dreamed of career.  Cabbage is so proud of her and the person she's becoming. 

As I looked at all the open fields, I wished Sam was there.  He'd love it.  Plus, it's only a few miles to HITS.  Hooray for SHOW TIME!!!

I watched Cabbage wander a short distance, and I wondered what memories flooded his mind.  Was it thoughts of working alongside his grandad or his uncle?  Drinking beers with his friend Wayne?  Picking up the pieces after closing the chapter on a failed marriage... and desperately missing Hammer?

Or, since Cabbage is nothing if not a man's man...  Maybe he wasn't flooded with emotion.  Maybe he just enjoyed being there, surveying a landscape as familiar to him as his own hands, and feeling the warm fall sun.  He's good at living in the moment.

Hi yourself.

Eventually, it was time to go.  We drove back down the drive, and Cabbage got out to close the gate.

Until next time.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely heart touching. Beautiful photos, Katie. And what a beautiful, loving tribute to your husband and his history. I had no idea he has an almost grown daughter but can feel the love you both have for her. I know how it feels to miss your children because of divorce, to see them grow up more quickly than you thought possible. But to still feel so overwhelmed with pride, joy, and hope for their futures. Best wishes to Hammer and to your whole family!!


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