If you told me 25 years ago a livestock barn would be where I found my joy, faced my fears, and built my strength, I would have laughed at your vision.
For the last four years, I have struggled in 100 degree weather with flies, mice, skunks and rattlesnakes.
My daughter and I have cried having failed over and over and not understanding completely what we are doing. We have fought exhaustion and gotten blisters on our hands from cleaning out pens and working sheep.
We have smiled too with sweat on our brow at the accomplishments of a job well done. Or the job we thought we did well.
We have won and lost at sheep shows and county fairs. We have been given enough wins to push us forward and enough losses to make us fight to learn and understand more.
Yes the barn holds family memories, splinters, a little blood and a lot of character building.
I am amazed at the peace I find in the solitude there. We have watched many brilliant sunsets there, battled ourselves in the ring, and found a deeper sense of God and self there.
A barn you say?
Yes, I smile.
The sheep barn where we grow every year. As my daughter is able to do more on her own there I am proud and sad. I love the strength and the joy she finds caring for her animals. And I am sad that I am not needed as much. But the laughter and the tears still come. And I am grateful.
Sometimes I look back with sadness that another show mom could have taught her more, faster. That she often failed more because of me than her. But no one else has gone through this journey besides us. And I am continually reminded God put us together for a reason.
My husband who has a ton on his own plate with farming and little sheep knowledge since he raised pigs growing up, still manages to carve out time to build family memories and help us. We would be nowhere without him.
Last Saturday after a long fun cold day at a livestock show, my daughter said thanks mom for helping me. It meant a lot.
Well my dear that meant everything to me.
To the many out there who have done it longer and better, thank you. You push us and teach us and we are grateful!
And to those who wonder why a barn? Well, that’s where we come together as a family to fail, learn and build memories.
And we have failed more than we have won but we keep coming back.
Many times we drag ourselves to the barn because we are tired or weary. But we spend more times outdoors, sun on our faces, laughing, walking, working and always come away happier.
Jessica Scott is quoted as saying, “You only get 18 delicious summers with your kids. This is one of your 18. If that’s not perspective I don’t know what is.”
Now, I love a great beach vacation or exploring an art museum, or traveling to learn history and see new sites. But the day to day skills, the determination, the character and the memories? For us, those are built in the barn.
As the news pours in about Uvalde, Tx and the children who lost their lives, these memories become even more precious and I am praying for each and every one of those families.
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Joy Bezona has handed over the reins and leashes to Ra Vernon for the Animal Control Officer position for the City of Syracuse.
Bezona said, “I loved every minute of it, but it is time to start a new chapter.”
Ra Vernon began last month and is enjoying it. She said, “Joy did an excellent job, and I don’t know anyone who could have done it better.”
Vernon, mom to seven kids, grandmother to ten, is a busy woman. She does bookkeeping from her home, serves as lay leader at her church, and is on the Hamilton County Food Pantry Board as well as the Hamilton County Research and Extension Executive Board.
“I chose the job because it has flexibile hours and that suits my life. I like dealing with dogs.”
Right now there are seven animals at the shelter, five blue healer mix puppies that are four months old. They were surrendered to the shelter and don’t have much time left. They are great farm and ranch dogs, and great at working cattle.
If anyone is interested, call Ra at 620-384-4841.
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Carol Lenore Dikeman, 86, of Topeka, passed away Tuesday, November 15, 2022. She was born January 8, 1936, in Chappell, Nebraska, the daughter of Daniel Edward and Lenore (Gilbert) O’Connor. She graduated from Syracuse (KS) High School in 1953. Carol married Larry... [More]
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