We had a great time in Fort Worth after the meeting. Dinner at a fancy place in downtown. Eight of us laughing and eating and discussing concerns in a relaxed setting. The meetings of the day were long and tense making the release in laughter among friends even better.
Some of these people we only see a few times a year. Yet, we have a bond through our shared interest in Texas longhorn cattle. One of us has been raising them over half a century, one about five years. Rock and I have been at it 28 years or so.
There are a lot of memories attached to the part of our lives concerning the cows. Some of the craziest are episodes of chasing the ones who got on the wrong side of the fence. That may be why I am so sensitive concerning the condition of fences.
Fences containing livestock should be tight and strong. Fences between people’s hearts should be delicate and tender.
Certainly, each of us should maintain boundaries that protect ourselves from being consumed or abused by others. Even someone who loves one dearly can cross over to lack of consideration or taking advantage or failing to return affection and attention. Paying attention to the boundary between me and the ones I love is crucial. I find myself getting too far out in the middle of the field and then feeling alone in the vastness.
I have been blessed in recent years with a few ladies in my life that wave to me from the fence and bring me back over to reengage with their companionship. I think to most acquaintances, I appear to have it all together. I am like the duck gliding smoothly across the lake while paddling madly beneath the surface. And I know there are monsters lurking beneath the surface of the lake. Monsters of depression, anxiety, grief.
They haven’t caught up with me much lately. And when they have, I was able to escape fairly quickly. Rock can attest to the positive impact of my having allowed myself to sit on the fence rail and visit with my golden friends.
And he can attest to the fact that I am a pretty good cow catcher when called upon to do so. Not much good at cutting and penning, but I can get them called back in through the gate when they cut loose. Patience and taking my time are needed for that task.
It’s the same with cultivating friends; patience and taking our time are needed to chase all the squirrels out of our heads and into our running conversations. Got some more of that on the schedule for later this week. Having someone who will listen, not judge, ask searching questions, accept and really understand, probe further if things are not clear, challenge self-assessments, is such a treasure. A blessing from the Lord. I praise Him I have a few of those and that I have him supporting my time with them.
This past weekend was a whirlwind! We got up and went to my brother’s to have a short visit for his birthday. Then on to the party place to give the older Duchess a birthday present and get hugs. The younger Duchess was at both parties. Double blessings. Next, we rode out to Montgomery to a spectacular venue for a fairy tale wedding. Our life long friends’ son wed his beloved. Everything was lovely. The men all looked handsome in their suits. My girlfriend looked spectacular in her navy evening gown and made a wonderful showing dancing with her son. We all teared up watching. It was more touching than the bride and her father dancing.
Rock and I had an adventure riding home. Following the google map in the dark along unfamiliar back roads. We stopped to eat at Whataburger in Livingston in our evening attire. He had shed his coat and tie, but was still gorgeous in his red shirt. We enjoyed our time to visit with each other while riding all over the place capturing moments with very important people.
Sunday, I cooked turkey and dressing, dumplings and all for a belated Thanksgiving meal. We ended up only having all the girls. The Duchesses and their mothers. Their daddies couldn’t attend. The girls play well together for the most part. They are very loud when they get going at times. Running and screaming through the house.
I have a set of china that was a gift to my parents from my maternal grandmother. I don’t know how she afforded it, but there are twelve place settings and some side pieces. I always use it for Thanksgiving. I want the children to have memories of it when I am gone and they are old.
We serve ourselves buffet style. I’ve never really tried boarding house style. Think the Walton’s or the Picket House. All the food in serving bowls on the table being passed around. I think I would like it and I certainly have the bowls for it. Maybe we can give it a trial run in the spring.
Christmas is usually a casual arrangement of hors d’oeuvres and sandwich trays. Platters of cookies and a few pies make dessert. Throwaway plates are the usual for that day. Shooting and opening gifts are the main events for Christmas Eve. Though I would be in serious trouble if I didn’t serve Cheese Torte and Ham Rolls.
I have waited till this week to start on Christmas decorating. I got the tree out of the closet. It’s still in the box. I should have everything done up by Friday. I hope I have enough working lights to go around. I want to have it done by then because I should have a Duchess over to spend some time with me. One this weekend and one another. I like the private times I have with each of them. Time to give each my undivided attention. And to get some undivided attention. Grannies need to feel loved by their grands. So do Paw Paws.
In this season of festivities, I will make time to be quiet with as many of the ones I hold dearest as possible. Yes, we will play and feast and have a ball. But we will connect more deeply, too. If we make it a point to do so. Intention is the word currently in fashion. It is an idea that should never be out of fashion.