Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bridge Building

We've been building a lot of bridges lately.  I was glad Zeke could take time away from his business to help Mike make repairs to our bridge across the Imnaha river. We will have to replace the entire bridge deck before long, but the new treads will get us through for now. 
Zeke planking on the new planks

Some of our bridge building has been social. Mike was able to spend a few days helping Marcy and Dennis trail cattle while their kids were on vacation. A few friends pitched in to make up for the 2 adults and 4 grandkids who were off looking at castles in Ireland and learning family history. Dennis and Mike have worked together in Mongolia and Dennis has helped us on the ranch many times over the years, so it was nice to reciprocate.
End of the day at Dennis & Marcy's

I'm still pinching myself that my Mom and her sister, Vera, now in their 90s, were able to come stay with us again in April. Last year we had a great visit and this year was even better!
First night's walk on the bar

Race for the bathroom, Vera wins!

We played a lot of Scrabble, Aunt Vera read about a book a day, and Mom went rock hunting and admired the fauna and flora. Since having her cataracts removed, Mom loves seeing everything clearly again.

Mom writes in the ranch journal

The two of them also had a fine time with the grandboys.
Weston calls them Great Grandma and Great 

Dawson and Wes in the ash bank

Vera, Prairie, Mom

Prairie was able to come home for a short visit. She ferried the 'oldsters' on the next leg of their journey. It was wonderful for all of us to get to spend time together.

After the oldsters, our next guests were the lucky winners of a Magpie Ranch stay from the Zenger Farm fundraising auctionZenger is the educational farm where Prairie works in outer SE Portland. 
Matt, Kerry, Sara & Mike

It was fun to team up with guests, Matt and Kerry, to support construction of Zenger's new classroom and commercial kitchen. Before they arrived I warned them that rain was in the forecast. I also said that after a horribly dry spring, we were looking forward to some precipitation. 

A hike downriver with ranch-stay guests

Matt and Kerry did indeed bring the rain from Portland. We celebrated the moisture together, enjoying the downpours and sun breaks over several days of hiking, cooking, storytelling, and admiring our healthy longhorn cattle. 

It was another kind of bridge building, so necessary to understanding our differences and recognizing our similarities. 
Multi-aged herd, two year old steer, calf and mama cow

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef