I was struggling with ideas for starting this blog, until I received a copy of an August 2000 article my late grandfather wrote for his local agricultural newspaper. As a proud, self-identifying fifth generation rancher it is important to me to remain connected and aware of my family’s rich history. I do not desire to live in the past, rather I wish to live my life in a manner that honors those that have come before me.
My grandfather wrote about his first saddle, a Connolly Brother’s #20. Flower carved with square skirts, the saddle was purchased used in 1934. My grandfather was five-years-old and rode the saddle for another seven years, before passing it on to his siblings. The saddle made its way through several generations of children and cousins, before it found its way back to my grandfather who passed it on to my brother’s and I.
The sign-off of my grandfather’s article states, “It is a good saddle with good leather and a good tree, and it will probably outlast me.” Sadly, it was a prophetic statement. Less than a year after writing these words my grandfather was gone from this world.
Some time passed, I finished college, returned home, and met the man who has become my husband. Whether it is coincidence or kismet, I do not know, but my cowboy-guy shares my late grandfather’s birthday.
The earth went around the sun a few more times and we were blessed with a bouncing baby boy. As a gesture of respect to my grandfather and Sam Elliot (Oh, I am serious) our son’s name is derived from this family artifact. It seems nearly impossible, but our bouncing baby boy is now a bouncing brave six-year-old.
I am filled with pride, when I see my son horseback. He’s taken to cowboying like a duck takes to water. The best part of it all is seeing him ride my grandfather’s saddle. A saddle which has allowed me to acknowledge that being authentic to myself, means respecting family history and embracing an agricultural lifestyle.