This is a journal entry from the ranch days last summer. I came across it a couple of weeks ago and thought it was interesting, at least interesting enough to read a few times without getting bored. Maybe I like it because it’s about me. Maybe I like it because it represents some of the relationships I had with people that I may never see again. It’s strange to think your life goes by and you never think about all the people you've known. Without realizing it, we forget some of the little events that influence our lives so much.
I left it as close to the original journal entry as I could while only changing a few grammatical elements. Here it is:
I awoke at 4:46 PM with one of those headaches you get in the aftermath of a long, hard cry. The rain was pouring down outside and I got up to look out at the mud-bath that had been formed in the driveway of the farmyard. There wasn’t a sound in the house. Bob must have gone to pick Sharon up for their date. His truck was missing from the mud-bath.
I looked around for Gracie, the dog. Bob must have put her in the kennel. She was locked up when I found her. I released her to keep me company while I rummaged through the fridge to find the lasagna that Sharon had told me about. I guess the head ache was partially due to the fact that I hadn’t eaten since 10 o’clock that morning.
That morning. It all came back to me. After eating a bowl of cereal, I went down to the corral to ask Jordan if I could borrow his car for the day. As I approached the corral, I saw the door slam shut. Assuming it was one of the guys, goofing off, I banged on it obnoxiously. It opened and Jay stood there, with that grin that little boys get when they’re doing something naughty.
“Oh, I didn’t see you coming,” he said.
We both laughed.
“Whatcha need?” he asked.
“I’m looking for Jordan,” I answered.
“You’re always looking for Jordan.”
“No I’m not.”
“Yes you are.”
We had this argument as I walked further into the barn. As I walked, Josh stuck his saddle blanket out in front of me to block my way. I playfully whacked him.
I saw Brady. He smiled and looked me right in the eyes. Brady always looked you right in the eyes.
“I heard you had fun last night,” I said, referring to his date with Katie Faber, one of my friends on the ranch.
His smile got even bigger. “Yeah, it was fun,” said the man of few words.
Jay had followed me out onto the corral deck. “Jordan’s over there,” he said, pointing to the mountains.
I sighed, slightly distressed. “Will he be back soon?” I asked.
“He’s 9 minutes out, 51 minutes back.” Jay left. My plans were momentarily delayed.
I hung out at the corral and talked to Laura and Ashley, the children’s leaders. Then I headed back up to the lodge. On the way, I was roped into a few different conversations with staff and guest. I observed sullenly that by this time I could have waited for Jordan to get back.
I decided to stop by the office and call Sharon to see if I could stop by her house for a visit that afternoon. Sharon was in the office She informed me that she would be working all day but told me that I could hang out at her house if I wanted to. I could even take her car. This eliminated the need for Jordan since Sharon had internet and cell phone service. I loaded up an hour later than planned, hoping I’d be done with my mission and back in time for lunch.
My mission was to get things worked out with the school I planned to take classes with that fall. After a stressful two hours, I drove back to the ranch with the knowledge that the class was already full. I was already not feeling well, a rough summer of long hours and little sleep catching up with me. This made me feel worse.
On the way back, I decided to cancel the ride I had signed up for at 1:45, since low energy would not be helpful on a one-hour ride. I went back to the office to ask Sharon if I could go back to her house and stay all afternoon. She graciously changed her plans so I could stay at her house until I had to be back for western party that night.
I packed up a few more things and drove down to the corral. By this time I had already cried buckets of disappointed, tired tears and was wiping them away as I entered the barn.
Zach saw me. “Watcha need?” he asked.
“Who’s in charge of the afternoon rides today?” I tried to use as few words as possible lest I break down in tears again.
“You okay?” he asked.
Brady walked by, saw me, and stopped before Zach could say, “Brady, she needs to talk to you.”
“What’s up?” asked Brady. He was one of those guys that could be easily read. He was obviously concerned.
“I signed up for a ride at 1:45, but I’m not feeling well so I’m not going to make it,” I said.
“Not a problem,” he said, as I tried to apologize for the inconvenience of canceling half an hour before the ride.
Andy--ATD--was entering during out conversation. He must have seen my distress, too. People have a way of looking at you when they know you’re upset. “Not a problem, home fry,” Andy said.
“Thanks,” I said to both the guys and a gush of tears came as turned away. Somehow, when people are sweet to you, it makes you want to cry more.
So there I was, at Bob and Sharon’s. I crashed on the couch and slept for 3 good, sweet hours and awoke to a silent house and the storm outside. I felt better. Much better.
Coffee had been made, so after dinner I made myself a cup and sat down to write this journal entry.
It feels good to be in a real home. And to be alone. I only have 2 more weeks left but it seems like it’s so far away. I know God has a plan for these next 2 weeks, as well as a plan for this next semester of my life.
Here's an observation I made after reading this entry for the 15th time: That semester, I volunteered on a congressional campaign. I ended up being hired on as staff for the last few weeks leading up to the election. I met some people that I will never forget. I made two very good friends that will probably be my friends for a lifetime. It was an experience that I will never forget. And it would never have happened if I had been able to register for that class. It sounds so cliché to say that God knew what He was doing. But that's all there is to it. Maybe I learned to trust Him a little more.