Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hey everybody! Hope everything is going as good for you as it is for Melody and me. I forgot to share one incident from Friday night, so thought I'd start with that now. On our way to the motel on Friday we saw what appeared to be a rodeo taking place. We checked into the motel, donned our boots, and went exploring. It turned out to be a high school rodeo. Interesting to watch. I'm glad Rocky doesn't buck like those bulls were! The rest of the story? On our way to the car we had to take the long way, which still ended us at a gate. A locked gate about six or seven feet tall. On our way to becoming regular cowgirls, we did the only logical thing. We climbed over!
Now, let's get back with the really good stuff. Wow! Can you believe June 7th finally arrived? I thought it would never get here. The Crossroads Ranch reunion. It was such an incredible day! I know I will temporarily forget to include some things in this entry. Don't worry. I'll remember as we go along. I wish I had a photographic memory so I can remember all the names, towns, who's who, etc.
First thing this morning we headed out to the Walkers. They were generous enough to board the horses for Marla and Steve. As it turned out, they also boarded the horses for the mule team and the Cosby boys. The horses were going to get a bath for the big day when we arrived. We met the mule drivers from Palo Pinto, Texas. I got to sit in the wagon. All this time hearing about them and I was envisioning wooden seats and a very uncomfortable ride. Instead, I saw they had used some newer technology also. The driver's setas were actually seats out of cars. Pretty clever if you ask me! Still, it would have been a pretty rugged journey. Rex and Jean were great to visit with. Rex looked like he belonged on the set of Bonanza. I also got to meet Wendell and Evelyn Brown. Wendell is a great nephew of Jack Abernathy. By the end of the day I was thinking a copy of the family tree would have come in handy.
Marla said I needed to start coming to the ropings and keep riding. She said I have a natural balance on a horse, or something to that effect. I asked her if it was really a natural sense of self-preservation. She said it was probably some of that, too. At lunch I was it was most likely a weird thing, but when I looked down at my dirt and horse slobber shirt and dirt up my jeans appearance, all it did was add an extra bounch to my step and put a big grin on my face. She said it was another sign I wasn't really a greenhorn anymore since it made me happy to have horse poop on my boots!
Many people have made the comment that Bud and Temple would not have been able to take the same journeys had they tried in the year 2008. The times have changed, as well s the fact they didn't have a mother to say "no". I looked around at some of the smaller kids that would have been about Temple's age. If I had a son that age who approached me with a request to ride, unsupervised, on the trail Bud and Temple took, I would have said no in no uncertain terms and pointed him in a less dangerous direction. Of course, I have to admit those little friends rode their horses much better that I do. In an article in the Lawton Constitution, Mr. Bear wrote an article that described reasons why it could not be done in this day and age. A really nice angle for an article. It was well written. Humorous and, unfortunately, so true. Also, the way it was written, I had to wonder if he had met Marilyn, Temple's granddaughter. While reading the article, I could almost hear the words coming straight from Marilyn. I got to meet Marilyn and her daughter, Lyn. More people I am so happy to have met. I asked Lyn about any adventures other Abernathys might have had. I know there must be some, because I had already met her mother. In all respect, I do have to say she is quite a character. Lyn wholeheartedly agreed. She said she had heard a lot of stories from her mother, and she is sure there are plenty her mother hasn't shared. Also, it seems Marilyn has done some writing. Unfortunately she hasn't tried to get any of it published. I hope she gets around to it some day. I'm sure the reading would be a great experience.
We tried to make both dedications. We missed both. We did make the ranch in time. I have to stop and applaud Ray and Virginia Walker and their family. They own the land where the Abernathys once had their ranch. It was very generous of them to open their home to so many people. If you ever meet them, I don't think you would be surprised. They're great people.
We met so many people. A lot more knew of us than we did them. Everybody in Frederick made us feel very welcome. Melody made the comment one time that so many people want a one word answer to the question, "What are you doing?" So it's a little difficult to answer when we have a whole story to tell. It was super today, though, because everybody got to talk to their heart's content about those adventurous Abernathy boys.
We got to ride with many others today to move some cattle. Rocky was being a little toot from the moment I prepared to mount. Steve took him aside and "gave him a little talkin' to." I wondered if he was acting like he was (Rocky...hee hee) because there were so many horses around. Then again, that didn't really make sense because he's such a little socialite. Remember, in the beginning he got the nickname "Gabby" because he talked to every horse we met. We decided perhaps he was just showing off. Melody and I agreed that, as inexperienced cattle drivers, we would lag behind. Every once in a while we could yell "Get along little dogies" in the hope that people would think we were actually helping. So now we get back to Rocky wanting to be a little toot. It was only moments before we were at the very front. This would seem okay for a while, at least until cattle appeared. Then my plan was to backpeddle the best I could. Brad, Marla and Steve's son, came running up behind us on Cherokee one time. It got Rocky to dancing around pretty good. Steve yelled out to me to just kick him. I kicked and pulled on the reins at the same time. Rocky, bless his heart, would probably become mentally deranged if he had to put up with me much longer. At this point, he just kind of stomped his feet and shook his head. Then we sort of got back on track for a while. We didn't have another "major" event until closer to the end of the drive. I actually got some of the cattle to move along. And I'm sure it had nothing to do with the zillion horses coming in behind me! Konner rode beside me most of the time. Grandma tried to stay nearby. Konner was pretty enthusiastic about rounding up the herd. He did a great job! It was close to the end when some of the cattle took a detour through some brush. It was exciting watching the real cowboys race after them. Man, were they fast! Next thing you know, the entire herd decided to go the same way. Guess who stood between the cattle and the shortcut. You guessed it. Me and Rocky. Did he appreciate this experience? Absolutely not. I tried to turn him in another direction, but he didn't want those critters behind him either. That was the second time I had to try to keep up with Rocky's fancy footwork. We did arrive in one piece. After relating the drive to Marla, she put it into perspective with a grin on her face, "You didn't want it to be boring, did you?"

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