Her boots….

Its a snow day today and we are home… so this means I can catch up on some blog posts that have been sitting in my partially completed file. You know the ones… you start and stop and start again and stop. This one was started this summer and never completed so my goal today is to get it DONE. (Don’t judge… but how embarassing is that?? How many months sitting in my draft folder? ouch.)

The duck taped boots held together by the end of the county fair 2015

Β My daughter… she had these cowboy boots we bought at the Cheyenne Wyoming Frontier days celebration something like 2 years ago. They were her FAVORITE boots. Pink, just the right size (for a period of time) and she wore them every time she could. We finally had to retire them this past summer after she showed her grandparents dog at fair. They were taped up, held together from the sole on up and were wayyyy too small. They had literally travelled miles. I am sure… for her at least… it was hard to finally retire them.

Sitting on the fence at fair …..

Β Addie wore these boots when she showed a sheep her first year at fair for Clover Kids and again at her 2nd pet show this past summer when she showed her grandparents dog at fair. (Side note- she did not show our dog, Cowboy due to his immense size, power, and inability to listen- not safe!) She wore them in Cheyenne, at her uncles farm, and with shorts, jeans and everything in between.

Nate and Addie in the ring, senior 4H’er and Clover Kid sibling

Β I think after fair this summer we finally decided to leave them in the dumpster at the fairgrounds before we pulled out. She had worn them enough and she was ready to let go. There is nothing like a great pair of boots is there?! Amazing how much she loved those things. ALMOST as much as the pink pair her grandparents bought her with bright pink chaps two years before. Those are still here… I can’t let go of them they are just so darn cute.

So goodbye pink boots! Thanks for a couple great years…. now it’s time to go shopping.

~Laura

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It must be fair time…Β 

It’s one of the best weeks of the year. The week our kids work toward all.year.long. Fair week. It is that week which all the bittersweet emotions of saying goodbye to a partner and friend in the ring can get the best of you. The week a FFA or 4H exhibitor can reach the highest high of winning the grand champion trophy and then hit the lowest low of saying goodbye to a pet they have worked with daily in 2 consecutive back to back days. Admittedly, it can be tough.

I am guilty too. Β The night before sale day this year I sat in the barn next to “Phil”, Nate’s reserve grand champion FFA market steer and cried as I petted him that one last time. How to do you say goodbye to the partner that helped yourΒ child achieve his dream? The friend who occupied the majority of his time those early mornings and those late evenings when he was washing and clipping and missing supper. How do you thank that friend? How do you say good-bye to that friend?

Did Phil lead a privileged life? He did. He led a life that surpassed those many a cow lead. He was housed under fans, fed show feed, blown dry and shampooed on a daily basis. He was talked to, petted and confided in as most never will dream to be. He.was.a.pet.

He is not the first FFA or 4H animal I have said goodbye to. He is not the first one I sat next to and cried. Trust me… I remember watching “Junior” ride away in the trailer behind our truck. Call me sentimental. Call me crazy. But I believe in giving credit where credit is due and Nate could not have accomplished reserve champion in showmanship, reserve grand champion FFA market steer and first in his class without the help of his partner in the ring. And for THAT I am thankful.

So for those who think that raising and showing an animal as my son has done is not work, and for those who think the kids are unattached… I beg you watch on sale day as the kids say goodbye. It is gut wrenching. But it is a valuable life lesson being taught. Respect the animal, appreciate what it has given you, work hard, take care of animals, learn the value of a dollar and be proud of the hard work you put into your project. Even though it is hard to say goodbye, it is also a moment that makes parents proud of their kids for what they have accomplished.

I am proud of what my son did this year. Fair week was bittersweet. We have not forgotten Junior, or Phil, or Daisy, or Buddy or any of the other friends Nate has had along the way. He has learned some valuable lessons that remind me of how mature he has become and how hard he can work.

Now…. lets get started on Fair 2016.

Phil, winner of FFA grand champion market steer, first in class and reserve grand champion in showmanship 2015

Trophies in our camper after the beef show. The next day, we said goodbye to a friend

Judge, Nate, Cass County Beef Queen and Phil’s owner and Nate’s coach together for photo

Check out this post on the March Country Fair blog party! Click here:Β March Country Fair blog party