***** 8/11/21 Note: I’ve taken a long hiatus from blogging. It’s been almost a year since I last posted here, and life has moved fast for our family since then. There has been little to no spare time during which I might be writing. However: in the tiny crannies of quiet that exist between the chaos that is ranch life with four kids, I’ve made myself reconsider my approach to storytelling in the last twelve months. What I’ve concluded is this: Writing may not be my best vehicle right now. First of all, when I’m writing I tend to get wordy and over-tell — which can get, and has gotten, me into trouble! And second, I really don’t have the time to write well on the average day these days… the average day during which I feed bum calves and cowboys, run to the vet clinic and run down the escaped 4-H pig, and teach kids to ride and to read.
Two things remain unchanged. One, I still take a lot of pictures. And two, I still believe our brand of agriculture is a story worth telling. So the realistic (I hope!) solution I’ve come up with is me sharing ONE photo at a time here, a photo that tells best about our life for today, with a SHORT caption, on the days I get a chance to sit at my computer for a minute. This plan will stymie my weird desire to “be thorough” and tell the whole story all at once — which, as I have proven, doesn’t work anyway. Instead, if this approach comes together the way I envision it, the story will be told slowly, over time, by a photo collection.
Folks say that ranching is a next year business, and I like to say ranch rodeo is a next year business too. It’s all about hope, right? Hoping next year will be better than this year. Even believing it, because why else would you keep going? Hope is central to agriculture. It’s about starting over, over and over again, and being thankful you even have the chance to make a fresh start. Maybe the longer you keep on restarting with hope, the more you realize the whole point is keeping going… not actually arriving.
So here’s to another try at storytelling… which as it turns out is a next year business.
— Tam Blake