My father introduced me to the land in Island Park. I must have been around eighteen. That day has left its mark.
He said, “That’s where we’ll build a barn. It’ll have a loft for hay. And next to it a set of corrals-they’ll be for work and play.”
“We’ll build new fences all around. And some we will restore. The grass should hold a dozen horses, maybe even more.”
I spent the whole next summer digging post holes in the dirt. I must have dug three hundred. I’m a dang post hole expert.
The closest neighbor, that we had, was half a mile away. We could even drink the water from the creek. Try that today!
Our place has been headquarters for the yearly hunting camps. And a secret place to get away for older teenage scamps.
This place is where our grandkids saddle up to take a ride. It’s where I asked my gal if she’d give in and be my bride.
Each year our family meets as one, a few from every branch. And every single person knows we’re staying at “The Ranch.”
A family member tells a tale while sitting round the fire. And some of them embellish it. I wouldn’t say a “liar.”
They’ll talk about when they were young and with their Uncle Jon. He taught them how to spin a yarn. Those days are never gone.
And when the week is over and we’re gone for one more year. Each one agrees, “Next summertime, we’ll all be sitting here.”
Now some of us are getting old. My father’s ninety-three. And I’ll be turning sixty-five. The time crept up on me.
The ranch has seen four generations of our family tree. I hope there’ll be at least four more. Wish I’d be there to see.