Shelli Mader
Granbury, Texas

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July 21, 2014
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Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 7-19-14

The night before we left Scott City was full of tearful goodbyes and supper at our favorite local restaurant (and one of the few non-fast food restaurants in town) — El Dos. Though it was hard for us to move from Hays to Scott City two years ago, the move away from Scott City was even harder.

Though there are definitely drawbacks to living in a small town — things like gossip and clichés are common — it is also so much easier to make close friendships and feel integrated into the community in a small town. The people my kids went to school with were many of the same ones we went to church with, did 4-H with and just generally lived life with. I know that we will always stay in touch with people in Scott City, but it is never the same once you move away. I was not ready to go back to a large town and feel anonymous again.

Those thoughts, plus the fact that my mattress was laying on the floor in the middle of our bare living room, made it hard to fall asleep that night. Five o’clock in the morning seemed to come way too early. I was thankful for the adrenaline and the fact that we had a lot of last minute preparations to do, or I wouldn’t have gotten a thing done that morning.

After we all took quick showers and ate some leftover coffee cake, we loaded the last of our belongings into the stock trailer. I went through two canisters of cleaning wipes in an effort to make sure the house was spotless. I rechecked every drawer and closet and vacuumed all of our 1,000 foot duplex one last time. Moving tip: never feed children coffee cake, or anything with crumbs, the morning that you are moving.

I left the house keys in the mail box, and as I pulled out of the driveway, I felt my first bit of excitement. Unexpectedly, both of my kids decided to ride with their dad, so I was going to be on the 10 hour drive alone. If you aren’t a mom, you wouldn’t understand the simple joy of going on a drive by yourself. I love my kids, but I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone somewhere by myself . I couldn’t help my smile — and nearly scream with joy — at the thought of traveling 10 hours without breaking up sibling fights, listening to critique on radio stations, or playing round after round of I spy or in grandma’s purse.

The first half of the drive was uneventful, and wonderfully quiet for me. We arrived at the half way point of the trip around lunchtime. We had been to Childress before and stopped at a great restaurant, Maxey’s, that my sister had recommended. We had an excellent lunch there again. The kids were restless and ready for some exercise after they ate, so my husband promised we would stop at a playground he had seen about half an hour from there.

When we got to the rest area near Chillicothe, Texas, I was amazed at the awesome play area — that is until I saw all the “Watch for Rattlesnakes” signs. I had never seen anything like that before and I was a little leery about letting my children play there. Snakes are not my friends. My kids weren’t afraid though, and didn’t want to leave after they had played for nearly an hour.

Thankfully, we made it out of Chillicothe without seeing any snakes. The rest of the trip went quickly. We drove down through Wichita Falls and Weatherford to get to Granbury. As we got closer to our new home, the trees got thicker and the grass got greener. It was definitely a reminder that I wasn’t in western Kansas anymore. I couldn’t wait to get the first look at our new rental house. ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Jul 16, 2014 02:00PM Published Aug 4, 2014 02:04PM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.