Shelli Mader
Granbury, Texas

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August 4, 2014
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Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 8-2-14

I nearly cried when we pulled into the entrance of our new gated community in Granbury, Texas. Maybe it was the 10-1/2 hour drive from Scott City or the stress of weeks of packing and saying goodbye to friends, but something in me snapped. In the moment, driving through that gate felt like burying my dream of living on a ranch forever. The security guard in the booth may as well have been the grim reaper announcing that I was bound to a life of living in the city for eternity.

I seriously considered refusing to go through the gate and instead sitting down on the curb with my dog and having a pity party. Thankfully though, my husband and kids were in the pickup ahead of me and the last shred of good judgment I had at the time told me that they would have probably been scarred for life if I caused a scene. So, I did drove through the gate and the half mile to our new rental.

The neighborhood is hilly with lots of trees. The roads are narrow and they don’t have sidewalks or curbs. The speed limit is 25 mph — a fact that I wished I would have remembered a few weeks later.

Our new rental sits at the bottom of a hill. It had a long, narrow driveway that will provide me with lots of backing practice. The house is a three bedroom ranch with 1,800 square feet — a big step up from the two bedroom 1,100 square foot duplex we were living in.

The kids were excited to see the house — especially the bedrooms. They had been looking forward to having their own rooms for months.

It was after 6 p.m. when we pulled into the driveway, but my husband and I were both determined to get the borrowed stock trailer unloaded. About 20 minutes after we started bringing in boxes we were surprised to see Jeremiah’s aunt. She drove over from her place in Stephenville (about 45 minutes) to help. She had a big “welcome to Texas” sign and had been sitting at the gate waiting for us to pull in. Unfortunately though, she had waited at the wrong gate and missed us coming into the neighborhood.

But when she did get to the house she immediately jumped in and helped us unpack and, as a bonus, brought all kinds of Texas-themed snacks for us — watermelon, homemade bread, chips and guacamole, and several other good treats. We were all thankful for the snacks. There’s nothing like some good guacamole to improve your outlook on life.

With his aunt’s help, we quickly got the trailer unloaded. Now all we had to do was mop and dust every room and unpack, but it was getting late and we had promised the kids a trip to Chick-fil-A — one of their favorite restaurants. The nearest Chick-Fil-A to us in Kansas was over 300 miles. We got to the local restaurant at about 9 p.m., but we were nearly too tired to eat. It was after 10 when we got into home and into bed.

Thankfully, the morning brought with it a new perspective for me. I felt thankful that we found a house to live in, eager to make the most of life in the moment, and unwilling to give up on the ranching dream just yet. ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Jul 29, 2014 11:23AM Published Aug 25, 2014 01:39PM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.