The good times |

The good times

Time and again I have heard generations older than me talk about the good old days. Days long since past when times were better, or at least in their eyes they were. Some folks even argue that the good times are over for good. Nothing will ever be as good as it once was and this new generation just doesn’t know what a hard day’s work is. I am sure that those of you reading this have heard almost those exact same words from someone in your life. It begs the question, what are the good times? Are they really over?

What are the good times? I think the definition varies from person to person. For me no matter how tough the economy is, how many days have gone by since the last good rain, or how many dollars I have in the bank, there will always be good times. The good times come from the memories that are made doing the things that you enjoy with the people that mean the most to you. I have branded calves in a dusty dry corral in May wondering why I was doing it when there wasn’t any green grass to turn out on, and I have branded in belly deep grass where guys have had to mow the corral. While the dry times created hardship, it didn’t signal the end of the good times.

We as parents always want our children to be better off than we are. This doesn’t mean that we spoil them, it means that we raise them right so that they can enter the world with a strong foundation to build the rest of their life on. It is necessary to teach our kids that even though there are hard and trying times in life, from grief and loss to financial struggle, there will always be a silver lining. In this country that we live in, we teach our children to dream big. They can be anything they want to be so long as they are willing to work hard and not take no for an answer. So long as they find the good times in the middle of hardship, they will succeed.

There is no doubt that this year has been a real struggle for farmers and ranchers. Input costs have all but doubled, rain has been more than short in large parts of the Great Plains, and many wonder how much longer they will be able to keep going on. Most of us think that our leaders in Washington have lost touch with the rest of us and believe that if they had to live on a monthly budget like we do, things would change in a hurry. Despite all of that there are still smiles. Neighbors still come together to help one another work cows or get the harvest in. Grace is still said before the harvest meal and fishermen still lie about the fish, they “caught” at their secret fishing hole. In the small-town café, the locals still gather to share the latest news and local gossip.

Hard times are necessary for us to grow as a nation, to make us stronger so that we can face the next hardship easier. I challenge all of you out there reading this to find the good times. We all face challenges, in fact life downright stinks sometimes. Remember that you cannot do everything on your own. Turn to your family, friends and neighbors for help, and don’t forget that the best strength comes from God above. The good times aren’t over, they’re just a little harder to find these days. That’s all for this time. Take care of your side of the Barbed Wire and God Bless.

Jade Meinzer

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