Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting for the cows to come home

Our town has a rich agricultural heritage; farming and ranching are big here, and have been since the town's beginnings.

We're surrounded by cattle ranches; cattle graze on the hillsides year-round, and once a year, a few of them get to come into town for a symbolic cattle drive from the highway to the fairgrounds. We live along their route; it's a short walk down the street, and how could I be this close and not go take a look?

The cattle drive was scheduled to start at 10:00 am, so I set out a few minutes early to make sure I wouldn't miss it. It's not a very big cattle drive, I knew it would go by quickly; it's symbolic, remember?

There were lots of people walking down the street; most of them had kids with them. Thre were a few school-age kids, but mostly, they were toddlers. My kids are fully grown now, so I was kidless; at moments like these, I can't help thinking that I need grandkids. Not to rush my own kids, I had fun chatting with other peoples' kids, but it would have been fun to have a cute little grand baby or two in tow.

The cows were late; around 11:30 they finally came into view. Bored, whiny kids who were missing their naps suddenly snapped to attention: Cows! Horses! Cowboys! Cowgirls! 

It was big excitement for about 10 minutes, and then it was over. But it was worth it. I had a great time, and the looks on the kid's faces were priceless. 

I figure a new generation of cowboys and cowgirls were created this morning; I fully expect to see some of the toddlers in attendance driving cattle in 15-20 years.

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