We’ve put on a ranch rodeo in nearby Custer every June since 2007. And, true to the yearly rhythm we’ve become accustomed to, it’s past time to be preparing for this year’s event… if there will even be an event this year. I’m assuming that the world, or at least the U.S., or at least Montana, will be done with Coronavirus by June. That by then, after weeks of being cooped up, everyone will be good and ready for a social get-together. But there’s a little voice in the back of my head that reminds me we can’t know for sure how deep the tentacles of this virus will go. Whether the virus will infect people in our area. How long we will be advised to maintain social distancing. And what shape the economy will be in when everything’s over.
Already we’ve been hearing of graduations and weddings and other rodeos that likely will be canceled or at any rate will look a lot different than originally planned for this summer. Realistically, a ranch rodeo is no big deal: it’s non-essential, it’s an annual event, it can happen any old time. But a graduation, or a wedding… those are once-in-a-lifetime events, and my heart goes out to the folks who are straddling the line between calling off all plans and proceeding with a whole lotta hope.
For now, for us, we’ve decided to proceed like everything will be fine come June. That’s why we asked my folks to keep the kids for a few hours tonight, so Beau and I could sit down and hammer out ranch rodeo plans. We looked at last year’s financial report, and compared it to this year’s projected budget, and then reviewed the draft of a letter to potential sponsors that eludes to the unsure footing we’re finding ourselves on here. (Not a great time to be asking businesses for sponsorships probably.) Of course, our unsure footing should come as no big news, because it seems like pretty much the whole world is on unsure footing right now.
Again, in the big scheme of things, rescheduling a ranch rodeo is a pretty small thing. Ranch rodeo or no, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for: we’ve got our health, and we’ve got a safe place to be, and when you get right down to the basics — like our entire country is learning to do right now — that’s all that really matters.
© Tami Blake