BY KATELYN KOHLBECK, Storey Hereford Ranch
As the old year closes, and the new year opens I would like to wish “Happy Holidays” from Storey Hereford Ranch to you and your family! Holidays are a time to rejoice with family and friends, a time to reflect on the past year, a time to realize what you have, and also a time to anticipate the upcoming year. There is nothing more amazing than the holidays around the house of the Storey’s. As the fall comes to a close, awaiting the first snow and freeze is a pretty big deal around here as the timing of this is a great predicament of the outcome of the holidays. For some reason, it seems like the sooner the snow comes in the winter season, the more prepared people are for Christmas, especially my family.
As the snow falls for the first time, the first big rush of work begins around here. Cows need to be fed, vehicles need to be washed, fences need to be fixed, snow needs to be plowed, salt needs to be added, and bedding needs to be put out for our cows, all before the big freeze. It always seems like the harder and quicker the snow falls, the faster things need to get done and the faster things happen. Do your cows think about calving early? Most likely, this will happen at the most random, busy time of the snow season, with the worst weather.
Being farmers and ranchers, I know most of you are familiar with this, and I would hate to waste your time preaching about something you already know about preparing for snow season and the holidays. Like I said earlier, it is now time to reflect on what has happened in the past year, and nothing more pops in my head like the word “family”, and “togetherness”. I know I don’t say this frequently enough, but I really am completely blessed for the life I live, and I owe it all to the two people who put this all together.
As the old year ends, I want to make a toast to the man who is out there early in the morning, plowing snow, and throwing salt, so I don’t bust my butt on the ice in the driveway. To the man who is starting the tractor as soon as he wakes up so he can bed down my show heifers because it is snowing, to the man who is pounding posts into the freezing ground, so that the show steers can be separated into their own pens. This man would do anything and everything to keep the holidays running smoothly within the household, and within the ranch. This man is my dad, and I know for a fact and appreciate it more and more every year how much he means to this place.
As this New Year begins, I want to make a toast to the other person in this duet that I look back and want to thank for being the “glue” of this household and the ranch. My Mother. The most hardworking and strong person I know. She seems to be the woman who’s “got it all”. And I know for a fact that Christmas wouldn’t exist without her as the beautiful tree that stands tall in our conference room would have about 1 million less ornaments if it was up to just my dad and I. There would be no garland, no holiday cookies, no antique train that my mom displays on our buffet and not many holiday traditions could be kept without my mom.
The holidays around the ranch are actually the most beautiful time of year anyone can ask for. They are the one part of the year we actually get to say “Thanks” to one another. This is the time of year we can reach out from our hearts and really show each other how much we each mean to one another. This is the time of year we can all gather around our huge wooden dinner table with all sorts of food and just reflect on the year behind us and honestly thank the good lord above us for everything we are blessed with. I couldn’t ever ask for a better family, who has always been there for me; through the ups and downs and when I needed them or not, I have never met two people as supportive, loving and caring as the duet that raised me and make the holidays an absolute blessing and joyous time.
I feel as if I can connect on so many levels to any ranch or farm kid, as their parents are most likely 100 percent the exact same way as my family. The farmer and the rancher get no vacation around the holidays, no paid vacation, and no sick days. Nothing! They do this all out of their heart and soul and for their love of agriculture.
Mom, Dad, I raise my glasses to you. May your 2013 be as amazing as your 2012! Everyone else, may your 2013 be merry and bright, and please never forget to thank a farmer or a rancher, as they do whatever is in their power to make the holidays enjoyable for everyone and anyone around them!!! Cheers!