Roger Thompson: Horsin’ Around 2-21-11
Fort Collins, Colo.
The more I think about what I wrote last time it really takes me back. All I ever wanted to be was a cowboy, since my father died when I was 7 years old. Dad worked in town but loved to hunt and fish, but hated camping out since he had spent so many cold, wet nights sleeping on the ground while in the army. First, chasing Poncho Villa down on the Mexican/United States border and then with General Pershing in France.
Therefore, he and some other men he worked with, leased a ranch in West Texas where they could hunt and fish on long weekends. What I remember about it was sleeping in the bunk house and riding the pinto pony that belonged to the foreman’s daughter, and moving cattle with the ranch hands. Of course, I was madly in love with the foreman’s daughter; I was all of 6 years old but all I could ever think about was being a cowboy and rancher.
As I consider the bit of wisdom from Dr. Phil I understand where I am in this life and why, at an age when I should be kicking back and taking it easy, I have to work. Like so many other folks in this nation I did not find the nest egg sufficient to carry me though the retirement age. But as I contemplate this I also realize that getting up every morning when easier to roll over and snuggle down keeps me active and competing with those half my age. Is that a trade off? Would the accumulation of money make me happier? Or would my children be spending what I had accumulated?
All I can remember from my childhood is wanting to be a cowboy and spend time with my horses. I remember leaving the ranch and living in town, tying my make-believe horse to the fence to come in for dinner.
I still have horses today and try to stay active with them and sometimes helping my neighbors work their cattle. I gave up trying to team rope because it got so expensive. I now have a new horse that I am trying to compete in the cow sort contest with friends. Sometimes I just walk out to the corral or pasture to be with my horses because I am frustrated with folks.
I think I have figured out who I am and why I am in this lifestyle at my age, Dr. Phil, even though I have had trouble hanging on to a mate with the same dreams and desires. I finished the book “Self Matters” and found I should be satisfied with my self and it is too late to change any glitches. I’ll just go on being who I am and so much for any New Year’s Resolutions.
But there is one thing I am proud of – I did raise a passel of wonderful kids who are grown now and I love them and think they love me. When you get right down to it, love is the strongest thing in the world.
Prior to his retirement, Roger Thompson was a CHA certified instructor of advanced Western horsemanship and beginning English riding.
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It’s time for Colorado meat producers to throw down the gauntlet.