A Cowboy’s Faith: More years than roses

buchmanhead“We don’t have that many roses.”

After asking the food-counter lady for “we can’t tell how many” twice, and sending the produce-man to the cooler thrice, we disgustedly shook our head, and walked out the have-it-all-super-store, deciding we’d call the hometown place, feeling guilty we hadn’t done that first.

It was a bit after evident-closing-time, but being the eve-of, and desiring not to break recent tradition, while in public of the one involved, we sent an e-mail, again, again morning of, and finally called near noon.

Repeat: “We don’t have that many.”

Ugh: “Deliver what you can.”

Semblance to the beginning, and decades since: “Life isn’t always a bed of roses.”

Repeated story to various, we still like to tell the beginning: first day on campus, 4-H dance, tall, good looking, apparent farm girl with stiff-stacked black hair, as we reflect, didn’t mind clumsy cowboy stepping on toes. Days later, night out invitation accepted, despite escaping first attempt with “dentist’s appointment,” which turned out true story.

Certain escapades intermittent; coaxed to ride ugly albino mare; practice tying stinky Billie goat; and cutting big toe mowing “our” weeds; hitchin’ day came, significantly her Dad’s birthday.

Little did a grocery store-cowboy know about such things, but was “drawn-out” rigmarole, until we finally dashed through “wheat-throwing” into the buggy, “friends” had chalk-marked and attached clanging-cans, as Trigger and Pat trotted down Main to her family farm.

Quick unharnessing, into “Dynamite,” and away we went, no plans. Dark upon arrival, somehow we had enough to get a room, yet naivetés clued the clerk: “Just got married, huh?”

Lazy Sunday, late to church, start-of-habit. Tight budget meant scant nourishment; watermelon made two meals, “just living on love.” Cowboy Hall of Fame tour, another night, and “home” bound.

Excitement mounted as “Dynamite” pulled into the ranch yard, but no furniture, except table, chairs, stove, others had left. Somebody thoughtfully strew an old mattress on the floor, “just fine” for tired pair.

Judging team workouts started Tuesday, had to be on campus before light, new bride got us there.

When was that? More roses than anybody had. Daddy-in-law would have celebrated century; he was 56, giving his farmhand to a cowboy.

(Redemption: florist delivered four roses, rest other flowers.)

Reminds us of Hosea 2:15: “I’ll give her roses. She’ll feel like a young girl.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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