Where's the song ~~ "Don't let your daughters grow up to marry a Cowboy" ?

​​​​​​​Life is tough! Requires hard physical work, long, long days of pain, dirt, and broken fingernails.​
​Days of frigid cold & scorching heat; through the dust & mud; daybreak into the darkness of nite~~​
​the heart & body becomes toughened & weathered replicating leather!​
​A forever constant factor for a real Cowboy's Wife is tons of sweat, oceans of tears and a constant 'drought' in the wallet!​
​​​​​​​​​IF​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ she wants to spend anytime at all with her Cowboy, she must do as he does, you become partners!​
​​​​​​Kick off your boots, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and envision yourself in my life!​
​... It really isn't that bad! There are many rewards to be had to make it a great lifestyle! ...​ ​​​​​​​

Monday, October 20, 2008

Surviving Life...

... by whatever means it takes.
(this isn't the continuation of the Oprah post I'd planned on..
life changed....)

Let me tell you a story first...
… the story of a penniless young man who became the Northwest’s Cattle King. ~Ben Snipes~

Ben Snipes headed west from Iowa in 1852 with a covered wagon train at the age of 17. The gold rush enticed him. He earned his keep as the right-hand man and was entrusted with the stock. which came through to Oregon in fine condition with little or no loss as compared to losses suffered by other trains making no better time.
Soon after, he headed south to the California gold rush where he prospected and gained financially. He later opened a butcher shop after learning the trade. Winter came and the mines stopped operating. He had extended credit to customers who overlooked the favor and left the country.
In the end, Ben lost everything.
There was news about the Fraser River’s big strike, in British Columbia. Ben acquired a horse and headed north but he had arrived too late. Every prospect spot was taken. Food was scarce, especially beef.
Being the young enthusiastic entrepreneur that he was, he thought why not supply the Fraser area with beef? His mind and his heart, told him that being a Cowboy was his destiny. Ben went back to Oregon, hitched up with a cattleman to drive cattle through the Columbia River, to the Fraser mines. While passing through Yakima country he realized it was a cattleman’s paradise, just “awaiting him to exploit and thereby realize upon his recently experienced dream" of living the life of a Cowboy and becoming a cattleman.
The grasses were plentiful he noticed on his return to sustain huge numbers of cattle and horses.
He is credited for giving the area the name “Horse Heaven”.

At the age of 19, Ben had found a market, found the lands to produce the almost limitless supply of cattle. With the help of an Oregon cattleman, and because of his reliability & earned respect, he set off on his venture of acquiring the stock and headed to the lands of “Horse Heaven”. His cattle thrived and fattened and in 1856, at age 21, he headed north through the Okanogan country into Kamloops to the Fraser camps. He and an Indian friend drove this herd through dangerous ice filled rivers and over mosquito infested terrain around Oysoyoos Lake, which drove the cattle crazy. Through the miles of hardship, Ben only lost a few cattle before arriving at the Cariboo Mines in Canada. He earned enough money from this trip to pay off his debt to the cattleman Jefferies who helped launch Ben’s dream.
In the following years, Ben acquired massive numbers of cattle and even horses. There was the brutally cruel winters 1861 - 1863 that wiped out tens of thousands of cattle. The smaller cattlemen collapsed and sold their remaining numbers to Ben Snipes.

But soon, Ben had to seek other ventures as "progress" was changing the ways of the cattlemen.
He endured and thrived.
He had dreams.
Ben acquired land in Seattle and built the first bank in Ellensburg. After a holocaust fire raged through the streets, leaving only rubble of where the bank had been standing, Ben set out to rebuild it
[i] of stone, the first stone building there. Soon afterwards, Ben built another bank in Roslyn[ii] for the coal miners.
This bank was robbed in 1892 and Ben lost all of his holdings.
[i] (it still stands in Ellensburg)
[ii] (filming town of TV’s “Northern Exposure”)

Ben was a successful pioneer, who overcame the trials of life in danger's untold, hardships without number and heavy financial losses. With good judgment and persistency of his dreams, he had an unsullied reputation and enjoyed the respect and confidence of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Ben prospered and gave back to the people, being mindful of the past when he needed help. He knew he had been blessed by having earned trust and respect to allow for the path his future took him.
Ben and his family lived a quiet, simple lifestyle, despite their finacial gains.
They too, had
Trials, Tribulations and Tears.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Why did I tell you this story?

Years ago, having read the book about Ben Snipes life, we felt a very strong connection to each and every word. It was not only the fact that we knew and lived in all those parts of that country, but the pioneer spirit, the dreams, the lifestyle of the pioneers was who we were! Only now, the times, the opportunities are different, and we are not afforded the same. We've felt lost in the modern world, as if we missed "our calling". The driving force that has been inbedded in our hearts and souls, always being derailed by modern times, has been heartbreaking, back breaking and worrisome.
But we managed to make the best of everything that came our way.

We moved through our lives accomodating to the times as we must, yet keeping a fast grip on the heartstrings that tug at our souls. Our lifestyle has been simple. We never sought to have more than we needed. We asked for nothing, we respected our environment and abused nothing. We conserved on everything in life! From the water we used, our minimal homes & furnishings, to the clothes on our backs. We never had new cars, never took vacations, never had frivolous possessions....
we never wanted for anything or felt deprived.

Our lives have been good. We have been happy with our choices and each other.
We worked hard, physically hard, as a team, to build and maintain what we had.
We took great pride in our accomplishments, in our life.

People were always amazed that we were able to live, to thrive, to be content with our chosen lifestyle.

One and a half weeks ago, our lives were turned upside down.
Yes, Oprah...we HAD been living within our means!
(the only luxury we have is Satelite TV & Internet!...for the moment)
We lived BELOW our means!
And today? We wish more than ever, that we had been born of the 1800's!
We regret THAT more than we regret the life choices we've made!
We know we could live, sustain, and even prosper in those times.
We cannot do the same~in these times. The world as it is in this century, does not allow for the same pioneering spirit, such as it did over a century ago....as is in our hearts.
Sadly, for us.
The plug was pulled on of our years of choices, our dreams, our joys, our hopes and our gains....
The economy crash has hit us hard.
A Cowboy in these times cannot survive.
Not my kind of Cowboy.
(there are different 'breeds' of Cowboy, which is a post all in itself...).

Somehow...we will survive, as we always have.
It probably means having to start all over...in a totally different world to us.
At our age, after all our years of sweat, tears and struggles, it was not something we thought we would ever have to do.
Our end of the agricultural world may not rebound fast enough....

Not fast enough for this Cowboy & his Wife....


Amanda said...

I hope things change for you and fast. We are all struggling and we will all make it.

Freak Magnet said...

I am the Granddaughter of a rancher - a true cowboy too! I feel your plight and I pray for better times for you and your cowboy along with all of us! You are providing an extremely important and respectable service to all of us, and you have my undying respect.

Sage said...

Barb {{hugs}} I read your news with trepidation, and sorrow. I hope better times are not too far ahead for you both.


Renie Burghardt said...

Oh, Barb, I hope fervently that things turn around for the better, for you and your cowboy. I pray that they do. Hang in there!

Hugs and prayers,


wordmama said...

Oh Barb - no! Not your ranch, your home, your lifestyle...Is there anything we can do from up North to help? I'll say some prayers for you that you and cowboy can find a way to make it work through these hard times. Maybe you need to move to Calgary for a while and wait out the financial storm in the states...

Linda said...

Oh Barb this just makes me feel sick inside. I too hope things turn around for you too. Maybe north is an option.

Janice Thomson said...

Gosh Barb - what awful news.
Perhaps you could think of it as a new journey - accepting circumstances is better and way less painful than fighting them. Isn't that what life is all about - taking new little journeys every now and then? My thoughts are with you and your cowboy. I pray a new door opens quickly.

LL said...

Best of fortune to you WOWie. Most people have no idea what the life entails and how difficult it really is. Unfortunately... the nature of HOWs work makes it fickle at best.

You'll get through it, you always have. So have you started on your book yet? ;)

Sarah said...

Never knew all of that about Ben Snipes and here we have one his cabins in our town! I can also see the Horse Heaven hills from here and didn't know about those either!

I'm sorry for what's going on in your lives. If there's anything we can do to help, please holler. Heck, we have an upstairs, come on over! :) Seriously. Love and prayers for you and HOW.

RazorFamilyFarms.com said...

Please know that you always have a home with us. I mean it. Always.

It's amazing how the actions of others who live beyond their means ends up hurting those who live within their means.

I blogged about that today, actually.

Please know that I am just a phone call/email away.

Blessings and love,

DesertHen said...

These are tough times for all of us in the Ag industry. It scares me to think something could happen to the place we work on and then we have to start all over again someplace else. W.O.W, I do hope all will be okay for your and your Cowboy. Hang in there and please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Hubby has always said that we were born years to late....he too would have much rather lived in the
1800's.......thank you for the history lesson too.......

Train Wreck said...

How Ironic, I popped over from my page, and Don Williams Song, "Lord I hope this Day is Good" Is playing! My heart to breaks for you.Truly. LL maybe right, I thought it to, maybe this is the time you need to start your book. True, raw, heartfelt, emotion, is what would come out. My prayers are with your my dearest friend!

The Blonde Duck said...

What the hell happened? E-mail me at mirkoerner@gmail.com. I hope ya'll didn't lose the ranch. I loved the story about Ben Snipes!

DesertHen said...

Just wanted to let you know that I have given you an award over at my blog.....just wanted you to know that I LOVE your blog and you are one special lady!!

earth heart said...

I'm not sure what to say but I'm sending thoughts of light and peace your way for the best possible outcome.

Rue said...

Oh Barb.... I am so sorry. Is it as bad as I think it is?
I knew something was wrong, I just didn't know what and I don't know why I knew.

(((hugs and love)))

Alex said...

Hello Hello! I hope you're doing well. I think of you often. :)


JennyLu said...

Ahh my dearest blogger friend Barb, I do hope you also remember the words of Robert Frost (poet) and "I chose the road less traveled" and enrich yourself. The path is not easy and you and cowboy will find your way. Relocate... perhaps not... learn a new trade... I don't know if that will be necissary... hang in there and tough this one out... like the night of the rampaging fillies... I bet!
You and your husband are warriors. You will get through this... oh and how does that go... "God will not give you more hurdles then you can jump but give you a few more then you thought you could"
Hugs sweet lady, find your wall and walk through it.

Cactus Jack Splash said...

I am here to ask you to help bunches and bunches of us blog for peace. It is an important part of my campaign for President.


I do so hope you have time it's a wonderful project.


Christina said...

Barb, I am soooo sorry... As I tell myself, "Self, This is just a test. This too shall pass. Self, pull yourself together... you have friends and family, they will be there for you. They are only a phone call or an email away. So just make some lemonade!" Let us know what we can do! Love, Christina

Glenda, saved by grace said...

Barb, I'm with Christina, This too shall pass!
I'm praying for you and your family!

Linda said...

I left our farm as a girl of 14. It is sad to have to do that.

We are facing the possibility of moving too. I hope things go well for you.

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.