It was a magnificent, warm summer day filled with laughter and stories of grand adventures. I didn’t have a care in the world as the day ahead was beckoning me into all it’s alluring glory.
We trotted along on our horses off to “pull bulls” as we call it in my line of work. (For those unfamiliar with our lingo, we were sorting the bulls out of the cows and taking them to their own holding pasture as their job was done for the year.)
The rustling of the summer leaves could barely be heard over of our horses breathing not to mention all of our carrying on!
Right then the laughter was broken as I let out a gasp when my horse jumped straight in the air like he’d been shot! I may or may not have come out of my seat just a little!
Thankfully my horse was paying better attention than me as right below where we had been headed was a coiled up mass of angry rattlesnake. Yikes, so grateful to have good horses!!
Without a word, my then boyfriend of only a few months, calmly stepped off his horse. He quickly slid his honda on his rope down to the end and in one quick swing hit and killed that rattlesnake. Did you hear me on that? One swing!! Hit it smack on top of the head with only one swing. Seriously, he went from boyfriend to superhero in one fell swoop!
Then he topped it all off as he swaggered (that part may just be in mind) on over to the snake, cut the rattles off and handed them to me as gift.
Now maybe some of you who haven’t grown up the same was I have don’t quite understand this gesture. It’s hard to explain but let me tell you as he handed them to me I knew right then and there I was going to marry that man!!
Those of you have followed me on this blog know my past wasn’t always easy. Even then I was still living in an immensely volatile household.
So this whole idea of someone looking out for me was a breath of fresh air in my life.
I was only 16 at the time and people ask me all the time how could I possibly know at such a young age this was the man I was going to marry. I was mocked and scoffed at when I shared it with others. It didn’t deter me though. I’d finally found someone who got me and there was no way I was letting go!
Looking back it’s easier to understand where all these people were coming from with their doubts. Yet to this day I’ve never wavered on that moment. I knew it then and I still know it now!
Mike and I just celebrated 25 years of marriage. Were they all easy? Heck no! We both brought so much baggage into the our life together and like a couple of onions God has been peeling layers off of us over the years.
We both know marriage isn’t easy. To put it bluntly marriage isn’t for weenies!
We simply need to decide to invest in and be willing to grow together.
On the day of my wedding, just shy of 19 years old, my dad wrote me the following note. I have it carefully tucked away in a scrapbook. When I’m struggling on a bad day or just need a reminder I pull it out and read his wise words again.
To Laura on your wedding,
As you know, there are two methods of roping. One is to dally, the other is to tie on hard and fast.
With a dally, you can easily slip some slack if needed, or turn loose altogether if you really get into a storm. When tied on hard and fast you are committed, and must put a lot of faith in your horse.
In the early days of the cattle industry, cowboys developed a saying for their most trusted horses, “He’ll do to tie on hard and fast with”.
As time went on, the saying was expanded over the range cow country to include cowboys you could really depend on.
Over the years, I have dealt with thousands of men in my work, many of whom one wanted only to have a dally that could be slipped quickly if necessary. These experiences have made me somewhat a judge of character in men, and I just want to affirm what you already know.
Mike will do to tie on hard and fast with!
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