Yellowstone, Belt Buckles and Ownership

Has everyone had their turn with winter’s vicious stomach bug? It seems to be a gift that will make its way through the entire family one person at a time, generously and thoughtfully missing no one! It is spreading through our house faster than we can say Christmas!

We had a blissfully long fall! We enjoyed beautiful light-jacket weather for some time and my favorite walking trail remained walk-able far longer than usual.

While enjoying my walking trail one day last week, I found myself turning off the podcasts and switching on my mind. Cue my husband bristling! He does NOT like it when I start a conversation with “I’ve been thinking…” He actually and visibly braces when I start with that! On this beautiful December day though, I was thinking about our dear neighbor who is in the hospital fighting for his life. For some reason, I remembered about five years ago when our son was just getting his feet wet in the horse competition world. He went shopping with my parents, who would very generously buy him the world if he asked. Yet, on this shopping trip his desire was simple: a belt buckle.

For some crazy reason, they asked my opinion on the belt buckle purchase. I don’t know why they involved me…typically their conversations are their own and my participation is as unwelcome as ants at a picnic!! As my Dad likes to remind me “grandchildren and grandparents have one common enemy…the parents!” I didn’t want my son to purchase a belt buckle nor did I want someone to purchase one for him, no matter how sincerely generous and wonderful. I wanted him to work for and eventually earn one. I can report I was the only one happy with this decision…and no one went quietly into the night with their opinions on my decision…

Eventually, our son earned a belt buckle and then another and then another…each time he earns one, the old one is lovingly placed in a special spot as the new one takes its rightful place on his belt. There is pride, there is ownership, there is responsibility, there is something that earning a belt buckle does for a kid that buying one never could. Something very important for that kid!

Winter, like the stomach flu, hit this area with a vengeance last week. The temperatures turned bitter cold! Taking care of cattle in these conditions is not exactly fun! Yet, Friday morning as I was on my way to an appointment I noticed the electric fence around our neighbor’s cows was sagging just a bit with the weight of the gloriously wet snow from the night before. I was already quite late to my appointment (no surprise here…) so I reached for my phone to let my husband know about the fence because I knew he would drop everything in an instant to come help our dear neighbor.

Before I could get my husband on the phone, I met the neighbor’s youngest son. He was almost to the area. I knew all would be taken care of and taken care of right. No matter how bitter cold, no matter the personal discomfort and effort required, everything would be handled correctly and efficiently. And, on my way home later I noticed that everything was indeed perfection.

This is the lesson I hope my son learns from things like earning his buckles. Ownership and intense responsibility. These are qualities we all desperately need to reach our own heights!! I pray we are instilling them in our children and ourselves!

Meanwhile, Trent Loos says China is taking over…check out his report on their ties to Yellowstone TV and some of their interesting real estate exploits at the link below. Thank you, Dad, for sharing this with me! A great read!!

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