I’m not really a rancher. Sure, I raise cattle for a living, I brand the calves and ship them away to become hamburgers, steaks, stews, and all of the other myriad of tasty things that beef can become. I fix fence, round-up herds, and spend much of each day “on the range.” But I’m not really a rancher. Please don’t misunderstand I do love my job, most of the time (which is a dam sight better than many people can say). I love spending most of my work-hours outside in nature (such as it is on the plains), and the cattle are pets more than anything, including eating out of my hands and liking the occasional back rub.

Then why do I say that I’m not a rancher? Although I do love my job; I think there are a number of other things that I could do with my time in order to earn a living, and many of them by themselves would likely make me just as happy (happier possibly) as the ranch. The thing is, it was muddy this morning, which is a hassle if you need to feed the cows, so I skipped most of them (there’s plenty of green grass coming up, they aren’t going to starve). So, with a shortened work-day, I got home at about nine-fifteen a.m. Right about the time Sophia gets up. I went into her room with Ruth and help dress her and get her ready for the day, something I’m almost always out working for. Sophia, at least at this point in her life, is a rather chipper little thing in the morning, and this morning was no exception. All three of us had a great time getting her dressed--all because it was too muddy to work this morning.

I ranch, but don’t really feel like a rancher. Yet I can’t think of any place better for me and my family right now. No desk, sales, or any other regular job (at least within my skill set) gives you the freedom to come home and get your daughter up for the morning, or take your family out with you to work, just because you want company that day. My workday can vary from one to twelve hours, I work for six months out of the year without a single full day off (no kidding) and, although there is plenty of crap (both figuratively and literally) to put up with, I don’t know of any job with as good of perks.