I had to pick my 5 year old nephew up from school today. We went for an ice cream cone and had a nice little chat while we hung out. Out of the blue my nephew asked this...
Why do you love cowboys so much? (He is smart and knows me very well.)
After I got home I got to thinking about it...and reminiscing a little bit.
I know what your thinking this Iowa gal that mostly grew up around my grandparents farms where your chances of seeing "real cowboys" were slim to none is crazy. My extent of seeing cowboys were watching John Wayne movies and westerns with my parents. Some would say I have no business loving cowboys. But the thing is I do.
So my answer to my 5 year old nephews question of why I love cowboys so much is this...
When I was young we got to take our summer vacation to Colorado to visit my aunt who was married to a real cowboy. Yes we took many vacations but these specific trips would be seared into my memory of some of the best times that ever existed. We would spend part of our time in Escalante Canyon...a gorgeous place with lots of history and part of our time would be spent up on the mountain with the cowboys. It was straight out of a western. These would be the moments that would make me love cowboys.
1. We would stay in a small cabin with no electricity or indoor plumbing.
2. To go to the bathroom we had to go outside and use an actual outhouse.
3. Sleeping arrangements were one big room upstairs with a curtain down the middle. My family would be on one side and all the cowboys on the other.
4. There were horses to ride.
5. We got to watch the cowboys practice roping in the yard and hear the sound of a guitar being played while being in the yard. (see pics)
6. Hearing spurs jingle was common. (to this day it is one of my favorite sounds)
7. My dad got to be a cowboy...he is well rounded and talented fella...so they let him cowboy right along side them.
8. We would watch them all ride out for the day and sometimes meet them with lunch at other places on the mountain.
9. Seeing all the horses in these old wooden corrals.
10. Stories of bears coming into the camp.
11. The old stove that you had to cook on for the cowboys.
12. Pretty much everything.
There are so many things I could share or stories I could tell...
So when my nephew asks why I love cowboys so much its because of this...it is because at a young age I got the privilege of experiencing and seeing their way of life. It wasn't just movies anymore. I love cowboys and the lifestyle...the hard work...the code they live by. It really is something to be respected...it is something I genuinely love.
I got the chance to revisit Escalante Canyon a few years back and all those memories flooded back. I could see why I loved it so much when I was young. It makes me happy that all of that helped shape me into part of who I am today and the things I am passionate about. Who knew that those trips would end up being part of the reason why I love the things I do today. It has for sure spurred me into many adventures over the years.
So that is why I love cowboys.