The finches and meadowlarks are singing a welcome song from the oak tree that drapes along the fence line behind the ranch house. The horses share their alfalfa hay breakfast behind the stock pens. The sun brings light to the shadows of the creek bed while we reflect on the hospitality we have been shown since moving to the ranch.
We can’t thank Ridge Taylor enough for his help in locating this piece of Heaven we now call home. My first encounter with our neighbor who hosts a bird sanctuary on their 200 acres across the gravel road was an open arm hug filled with the joy of having us here. Jo (a Viet Nam veteran) and Cheryl are not only kind, but quick to help with a smile. Jo is extremely knowledgeable about all of the wildlife in the area and eager to teach my girls. Seeing his Polaris side by side pulling into the gate for a chat is a sight we’ll continue to look forward to. Paul is a third generation owner of the local feed store. He shared with us not only the brands of feed that he carries and what variety of fruit trees grow well here, but lessons he learned from his father about having passion for the work you do and a heart for those you serve. Many farmers and ranchers in this community cross the threshold with the name Bradbury formed in the foundation to feed their livestock. We’ll be thankful to do business with this good Christian man, too. By now, Betty (our sweet mail carrier) has started her route. She and the postmaster, Susan have helped with the logistics to make sure that though we are so remote, we can now receive communication (and Amazon deliveries). Speaking of communication, I’ve had the same bank account since I was 14, but now feel like we are seeing friends each time we walk into our new bank. Amy and her team at Farmers and Merchants in Stephenville greet us with the most genuine conversations on every visit. We’ve visited Stephenville almost every day since moving in since it’s the closest town with many necessities and restaurants. The Cotton Patch is easily our favorite as they have the best chicken and dumplings aside from Nana’s. Soon we’ll be using our kitchen to cook at home most days as Billy’s crew has started on the house the girls and I will call our forever home. It will sit on what is now only firm clay soil east of the pond within steps from my parents’ ranch house.
Together we will sit on one of our front porches watching this glorious sun rise before we get to work and thank God for the opportunity to be in this place.