I realized something new this fall. Outside from all of the awesomeness that comes with the riding and gathering on such beautiful fall days there is an incredible bond between the ranching men in this valley. On one particular morning it was evident what kind of men we are privileged to work with.
All of our cows are run with other ranches, several ranches which means that there is plenty of man power when it is time to work them. But one large bunch (all the bunches are large when you run nearly 800 cows!) we have only runs with one other ranch. Most years we have plenty of extra help but this year we felt pretty lucky to not have a disaster with as few guys as we had. Kids grow up and go to school and others really grow up and go on missions. Some get other jobs. Before we know it we are spread far and thin between, but still getting the job done.
When we got to the corrals where we were sorting I noticed that there were a lot more trucks and trailers and cowboys than what we had left. Cool. Some help. But really, I was sure that they were only there to get their few calves that end up in our group. Strays happen because that saying of the grass being greener on the other side is really true! So we sort out the strays. And no one really leaves. We start weaning the big group of cows and everyone jumps in. Even as a big storm came in and soaked everyone that didn't bring a rain coat (me... plus a few others) they all stuck around.
After a while I decided that their time and effort was really a demonstration of their character. They work until the work is done. They help their neighbor simply because they know they need help. They don't expect to be paid and would never hold it over our head. And because of their willingness to help we turn around and help them whenever we can. When they say they are coming we know it will happen because these men stay true to their word.
What incredible character, right? I aspire to keep that kind of legacy alive in the ranch we run, in the family I raise and in the person I strive to become.