I have written. Just not on this blog. Because when one has a job and another job and a spouse and friends, it is hard to sit still long enough to formulate a thought worth sharing. And so this post is a little random, but some of what is in it has been a long time coming. And I share it because I want to share life with you, my friends. I end with a brief timeline and try to share at the beginning what is significant, the blogs that have begged to be written for months - now presented in condensed form.
As I approach my first anniversary and think through the year, it is songs that come to mind. Music has always been part of my thought processing, and this year, long-forgotten Chris Ledoux songs have come to the forefront Maybe because my husband adores me in the most romantic way, and only Wyoming girls have green eyes in songs. Or perhaps it is because on our honeymoon,
*We went a roamin’ all over Wyomin’
There’s plenty of work, but there ain’t too much pay…”
The honeymoon was really a 10 day, 5000 (?) mile trip up north this summer, very different from our post-wedding overnight in Carlsbad. We spent the first night with friends in Cheyenne, worked our way up through Montana, to the Idaho border, stayed a night in Washington state, stopped again in Idaho, and came home to see family in Utah and Colorado. I started a blog to describe our adventures, but school started and I never finished. I certainly would have included the highlight of stopping in Kaycee, Wyoming, where we ate at a tiny restaurant that served fried chicken just like my grandma’s… And thinking of Grandma always triggers the nostalgia.
In fact, this post started out months ago, a bit wistful, nostalgic, yet thankful, as I entered the wonder of fall after a wet NM summer. Tall, cured grasses, yellowing stems with black tops waving in the wind. Buck grass and wheat grass and grama — above all, the contrasting heads of blue and black grama grass. The aroma is fresh and cured, with a sweet flavor when it is wet. All of that on a crisp fall morning awakened in my philosophic soul a longing. It was a longing to return to the lifestyle of the ranch where I live, but do not work… And I silently sang, changing a few words and images to fit my memories in the midst of my life as married schoolteacher.
Most of the time, I do just fine
‘Cause I’m right where I want to be
But I’ll never get over the way the sweet clover*
Still works its magic on me
And the feelin’ comes back
On a bright [fall]* mornin’
It strikes without warnin’
And it takes me away…
In my memory’s haze, I think of the days when I was crazy
Now I’m slowin’ down, quit runnin’ around, gettin’ lazy
But deep down inside, in the back of my mind
There’s a wild buckaroo running free
Guess I’ll never get over the sweet clover*
Still works its magic on me/
And the feelin’ comes back…
I am blessed, for my husband loves my parents’ ranch as much as I, and we spent most of our fall there. Or at least, most of our fall that we had time to spend. I went to school and he to a shop 5 days of the week and sometimes a 6th, but we seized our weekends. Those working days bring to mind another song, as we’ve learned that marriage is so much more than romance and companionship. Life’s problems can loom larger when you realize another person fares into your fate, yet life’s joys are so much greater.
We had our fill
Of old junk trucks* and unpaid bills
But our love was clear
In the struggling year.
Up against the world
*A shop and a room of boys and girls*
We fought life’s fears
In the struggling year
Hard times came easy
And so did the tears
Strong are the ties
That bind you and I
From the struggling year.
The fill of old junk trucks was really Seth’s. He likes to fix things, but sometimes working on broken things for a living, as he does, gets old. And the real struggle is being the business owner, as in March we rented a shop and became entrepreneurs. Business owners deal with books and computers and lack of customers and overwhelming amounts of customers and all those other things. We are learning to see “His mercies are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness, Oh God.”
And the hard times aren’t all business. I continue to work teaching and each day holds new challenges, but…For me the biggest struggle of the year was the loss of my baby. I have more hope of heaven than ever, for on September 20, 2017 a little life went to Jesus. My ability to think on what is “true and just and pure and lovely and of good report” (Phil. 4:8) was tested. I had to ask if I believed that the God of Abraham and Isaac could be trusted with my dreams. Now, believing her little life is as real as any other, I cling to a hope never found in a Chris Ledoux song as I rest in the goodness of God.
When it’s dark and it’s cold/ And I can’t feel my soul
You are good, so good.
When the world has gone gray/And the rain’s here to stay,
You are good, so good.
With every breath I take in/I’ll tell You I’m grateful again.
Though the storm it may swell/Even then it is well
And You are good.
So how can I thank You? And what can I bring?
What can these poor hands/ Lay at the feet of a King?
I’ll sing You a love song/
It’s all that I have/ To tell You I’m grateful
For holding my life in Your hands.
You are holding my life in Your hands.
(You are Good; Point of Grace)
And so is the philosophical of my first year of marriage. That God is working a new thing in my life, a new face in struggle, an new sense of my own sin and need for Jesus - yet also a new blessing in marriage, in family, in the joys of daily life from the Good Father. With anticipation, I enter year 2. Or year 2018, depending on how you look at it!
TIMELINE of our year in short:
December 30, 2016 - A wedding, in which we were blessed by the best friends ever. An overnight trip to Carlsbad, where (not very bravely) toured the caverns and stayed in a historic hotel with homemade baked goods for breakfast. We returned to the Fuchs Ranch near Santa Rosa, where we have the privilege of renting a house… and yard… and barn cats.
January 3, 2017 - Back to work, Rebecca teaching 3rd grade in Santa Rosa, Seth killing juniper trees and fixing broken things for our German neighbors with a guest ranch and farm.
March 20, 2017 - The official opening day of “Lazy SR Diesel Repair,” Seth’s own shop in Santa Rosa, NM. The first few weeks included some 10:00 pm nights, but normal business hours prevailed.
June 6, 2017 - Seth took a Tuesday off because he was caught up on work. We went to help brand at the Wells’, and Seth got more calls for the business than the entire spring put together. It was a turning point for the business.
Moral: If your business is faltering, take a day off. ????????
July 7, 2017 - We left on our grand tour of the northwestern United States and had a grand time. Rebecca got to meet Seth’s dad’s side of the family and see what it means to have roots in Idaho… which reminds her slightly of her own Arkansas roots.
August 14, 2017 - School started again for Rebecca, who learned to love her sweet little class. Seth felt he lost his wife. (So-far we’ve survived in our part-time relationship ;-) We did enjoy our evenings together reading the Little Britches book series and wondering if we could ever work that hard.
And in the midst of all these days are countless mornings, afternoons, and weekends helping work cows wherever we found a chance, working in a garden with abundant green and red chile, adventures helping barn cats survive by shooting varmints in the yard, trips to Taos with unexpected camping arrangements, and lots of friends, family, and projects.
December 21, 2017 - Rebecca’s Christmas break started. Seth went to work on a Ford and Dodge and Chevy and Case. Variety is good. Today, we greet you, wishing we could see you and praying that you know Jesus more and more as 2018 comes!