Tonight, we went to the SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo. (“We” being a girlfriend and myself, since ThatManILove is working...’cause baby needs a new pair of shoes, ya know!)
It was fun. We were given front row seat tickets by a friend of mine, and sat with them during the performance (perf in rodeo talk). It brought back lots of memories. The smell of the dirt in the arena, the sweat on a passing horse, the schtick of the rodeo announcer and the rodeo clown - all things that will be imprinted on my mind and in my heart forever.
I was one of the directors of that rodeo many years ago, and served on the Promotions Committee. I helped start the Youth Promotions committee, which is called the Sidewinders. It was for kids age 14-21, to teach them how to interact with the community and help promote the sport of rodeo. Elder Son was one of the first members of that committee, and he was 14...so, gosh, almost 16 years ago?
The Sidewinders put on a Kids Rodeo. All the little ones 10 and under participate in barrel racing (on a stick horse), bull riding (on a stick bull), and they even have a clown contest. This is the halftime entertainment for the rodeo, and it is so much fun to watch! All the teeny tiny bullriders, in their blinged out chaps, hats, riding those stick bulls...they are soooo cute. Though that was many years ago, the kiddos still participate in the Kids Rodeo, and they are just precious to watch.
I can remember all of us trying to keep all these kids corralled while they waited on their turn in the arena...and Elder Son, who was a long tall drink of water, even then - teaching all of them the macarena just to waste time. I turned around, looking for him, and couldn't find him. When I did find him, he was on his knees, so he would be eye level with the kiddos in his circle, and dancing as hard as they were! Ay, Macarena!
Tonight, my friend and I were invited to another friend's surprise 50th birthday party in an adjacent barn, and we went for a couple of minutes. I was blessed to see lots of people from that era of my life, and all of them had a smile and hug for me.
When people ask me, “Do you miss the rodeo life?”, my answer is always, “Not really. But I do miss the people. And..the horses!”
It was good to hook up with my friends from the horse/rodeo world tonight. Friends are friends...and neither distance nor time changes that.