Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mutton Busted

Hello, all.  I thought I’d take a few minutes today to tell you about our exciting rodeo weekend. 

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of ours informed us of a local rodeo in which children were invited to try riding sheep.  Mutton busting they call it.  Years ago the Tool Man was a part-time cowboy, so he jumped at the opportunity to sign Lucy up for a wild ride.  Even though Lucy is 99% princess, she willingly accepted the challenge.  So last weekend our family, along with my mom and dad, headed out in the triple digit heat to watch our little cowgirl in action.

Here’s a breakdown of how the evening progressed.

We arrived at the rodeo grounds an hour before show time to get Lucy signed up.  While Lucy busied herself sucking down a grape slush, Dad pinned the number on her back.

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Is this not the cutest little cowgirl you’ve ever seen?!  She was so anxious to ride, but we still had an hour to kill before the rodeo began.  I felt bad for Lucy having to wait so long in those dark, hot jeans, but such is the life of a cowgirl I guess.

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Did I mention that it was 100 degrees?  And not a cloud nor shade in sight!  At the ticket booth there was a sign that said there would be no refunds in the event of a rain-out.  We joked that we should be so lucky.

Then we waited and waited.

And we sweat, and we waited.

For an hour we melted and waited.

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Finally the time drew near for the rodeo to start, but just before show time something strange happened.  The wind started to blow, and the sky started to darken.  Here and there, we saw flashes of lightning.  It was at that point that I hopped off the metal bleachers and ushered the monkeys to the car.

Then the bottom fell out.

It rained and rained and rained.  A good old fashioned toad strangler.

It rained so much and so long that we decided to leave the rodeo grounds and go to dinner with my mom and dad.

About the time we finished our meal the rain let up.  It was nearly 8:30 at this point, so my mom and dad decided to call it a night, but we rode back over to the rodeo area to give it one more shot.

We made it back to the arena about five minutes before the rodeo got kicked off.  We tiptoed to the stands through the wet, squishy grass, carefully avoiding puddles that were deeper than the soles of our tennis shoes.  Luckily, we managed to find some plastic grocery sacks in my car, so we could sit on the bleachers without getting our bums wet.

After all the waiting, it was finally it was time for the show to start!  The rodeo drill team (who knew there was such a thing) opened things up by parading American flags around the arena on horseback.  Lucy and Tacy watched with wide eyes as the horses marched around in figure eights.

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First on the program were the boys riding the young horses.  The muddy ground made for quite an interesting show.

After a good half hour of horse bucking, we heard the long-awaited call for the sheep riders to get in line.  Yay!  For an instant Lucy hesitated and flung her arms tightly around my neck, but she was easily convinced to go line up with Dad.

Lucy was about 12th in line for mutton busting.  Ty, Tacy, and I waited in the stands watching as children, one by one, fell off their sheep to their muddy demise. 

Moments before it was Lucy’s turn, I snuck behind the fence and snapped a picture of the happy cowgirl…

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In retrospect, I think it was the mud that got to her.

Like I said earlier, she’s 99% princess, and about 30 seconds before her number was called, Lucy’s princess nature took over.  Wild horses couldn’t have drug Lucy onto one of those wet sheep.  She’s one of the most stubborn people I’ve ever known, and there was nothing the Tool Man or I could have said to convince Lucy to mount that sheep.

Trust me.

We tried.

It was a long, quiet ride home.  We pulled into our garage at 10:00 that night, wet, tired, and aggravated.  Nobody dared mention mutton busting.  In fact, it’s been two weeks since the rodeo, and we still don’t talk about it.  I’m sure this will be one of those tales that we will laugh about in the future, but we are not there yet.  Right now all we remember is how we paid good money to wait nearly 5 hours in the heat, humidity, lightning, and rain for a sheep ride that wasn’t.  Talk about anti-climatic!


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