Back at the Ranch

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This morning, I was suppose to go to my boss’ house to work. Typically, the boys wake me up around 7am. I’ve come to enjoy them waking me up, so I rarely get out of bed before I hear the patter of their feet coming to my bedside. And, this was the case this morning, even though I needed to shower before heading out for the morning.

The boys greeted me, and my oldest quickly requested I turn on Curious George. As he sat down to watch the show, he asked me to sit and snuggle with him. My oldest is five, and I am aware that the snuggle time with my boys is limited, especially with my 5yr old. He rarely asks  me to snuggle with him. As I sat with my oldest, I knew I had things to do before I took them to daycare and myself to work. I needed a shower. I really needed a shower. Still, I was enjoying the time with my boys. The youngest asked to join us, so the three of us sat in a chair, snuggled and watched Curious George. And, I began to think of ways to skip the shower and enjoy the snuggle time. Thankfully, my boss was OK with me staying home today, we rescheduled for tomorrow and I continued snuggling.

On the way to daycare, we were talking about pancakes and maple syrup. Dad made pancakes for supper last night, and the boys loved it. My oldest remembered the time the three of us went to the Seventy-Four Ranch, in Jasper, GA. We ate pancakes at the ranch, too. He was reflecting about the trip to the Ranch and how Larry, the owner, was a good pancake maker. The boys loved playing with Larry, and the ranch hand, Junior. They also had fun hanging out with Menny, the foreman.

I loved listening to the boys talk about our trip to the ranch. The oldest has a better memory of the trip, because he was age three. My youngest doesn’t remember the trip all that well, as he was only 2 yrs old. The irony to my son’s happy memories comes from the fact that I took myself and the boys to the ranch to get away from my husband. I did not kidnap the boys. It was a planned week long getaway, with my husband’s permission (so to speak). While staying at the ranch, my family was going to help move my things out of the house and into a rental house I found. However, long story short (too late), my husband and I agreed to work it out while under the same roof. Still, the trip was booked, I had the time off work, and I took the boys to the ranch.

Back in August 2008 there were many hurricanes. Though the State of Georgia doesn’t get the full brunt of hurricanes, it does get wind and rain from recently demoted hurricanes. And, in the Summer of 2008, specifically the week of August 19th, it rained for two days straight. I was stuck at the ranch with two boys under the age of three, while it rained those two days. Actually, it rained for three or four days, I think, but I called my husband after the second day. Yeah, I was ready to leave the guy, and I called him and asked him to come save me. Apparently, I like eating crow.

So, my husband drove up immediately after work, spent the night with us and left for home later the following day. I can’t say we got along swimmingly when he came to help me, but we made it work. And, I could tell he liked seeing the boys enjoy their surroundings. In addition, I could see the boys liked sharing this experience with their Dad. Before he left for home, I asked if he would come back and stay with us on Friday, after work. He agreed, and the last couple of days were spent as a family of four enjoying our time on the ranch.

The purpose of this post was to express my gratefulness. For so many years, I have been living (barely) in a bad marriage. And, as I said earlier, I originally planned the trip so my family could relocate me and the boys while we were gone. But, rather than taking the boys to live in a new place, we returned home. Though the time at the ranch didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped, my son has such fond memories of it. Truth be told, I have wonderful memories, too. I can still see the boys wearing their boots and nothing else, running around and laughing loudly outside, as the rain came down in buckets. I am grateful my son looks back at the ranch with smiles and giggles. I am grateful my son remembers Larry and his pancakes, the two jack russell terriers jumping up, pulling a string and ringing the bell and Junior taking the boys for a ride in the truck to see the many horses, cows and bulls.

Though I have fond memories of the trip to the ranch, I also remember the main reason I booked the trip. And, I remember the struggles I had in my marriage prior to the trip, as well as the struggles after the trip. Now, nearly 2yrs later, my husband and I have a better relationship and a stronger marriage. The boys are older, becoming more independent with each passing day and we continue to have adventures, as a family. I am pleased my son had so much fun at the ranch, and I am thrilled he asks (often) if we can go back. The purpose of the trip was to start the process of ending my marriage; thank goodness, things didn’t work out as I had planned. I’ll take another helping of crow, please, while I sit next to my son and listen to his happy memories back at the ranch.

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