Farmer Bill. He was a family friend who had a little farm on the backside of Mt. Diablo. My Mom took me there when I was a kid. He was cool. Kinda’ old timey, but still open minded and curious like a kid himself. He checked out one of my toys once and said.. “..it’s amazing what they can do with plastic now.”
He’d let me and Mom ride around on a couple of horses he had there. He had worked ranches when he was younger and knew horses and cattle pretty well. Like I said, he was cool.
As I got a bit older he shared with me why he was happy most of the time, even though he had lost his wife some years earlier and his kids had moved off to make a life for themselves. I think he felt I would one day understand, and need this tid bit of advice.
He said, someday I’d need to “…cut myself out a life.” He said that cowboys would cut out cattle from the herd that they needed on any given day. That a person could “cut out a life”. You don’t need everything life has to offer. You don’t need some other’s life. It will never be the perfect life. But it will be the life you need, and if you’re lucky, the life you want.
Not long after, Farmer Bill went to be with his wife. I suppose his kids sold the farm, and went back to their own lives. I meanwhile, spent quite a few years trying to “cut myself out a life”. Took me a few decades to figure it out, but I’d have to say, Farmer Bill would be proud.
A beautiful little daughter, a loving wife, a decent job, clothing on our backs and a roof over our heads. Food in the fridge. Thank God. A simple, and relatively happy life.
So in 2018, if you haven’t already, “cut yourself out a life”. It doesn’t need to be some other’s life. It will never be the perfect life. But it will be the life you need, and if you’re lucky, the life you want. Miss you Mom. Happy New Year.
~ Chad (the kid) and Farmer Bill