He was a cowboy. He sang songs around the campfire, made a bridle of old scraps of leather and a pitch fork, and traded spurs over the fence.
Oh, the stories he could tell of his 99 years. But amongst his favorites was the day she walked into his life. Dressed to the nines, she entered the soda shop like a cool breeze. There was something in the way she carried herself with grace, her flawless skin, and, of course, her long, shapely ‘gams.’ It was love at first sight.
Lucky for him, the feeling was mutual.
They married in the autumn.
For seventy-one years they carved out a life together. Four children, a myriad of grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, and any number of neighbors, friends, and relatives traveled in and out their doors. You could count on political conversation, laughter, and maybe a strange dish or two. You rarely left empty handed–a flower start, Jafra samples, and a parting word of wisdom (don’t step in anything soft).
She died, last November; he followed shortly after.
Saturday we gathered to celebrate their lives. The passing of time allowed for more smiles than tears. Friends and family met in the park once frequented with their loved ones. We shared stories, sandwiches, and flower starts. Later in the day, we continued where we left off in one of their sons’ back forty. We made new memories, laughed, and toasted with beer in Dixie cups (in honor of the first time they offered a beer to their daughter and her friend–one beer, split four ways).
It was the perfect tribute to the cowboy and his lady . . .
True to form, we didn’t leave empty handed. We left with the gift of legacy–to continue learning, everyday, to give our dreams a shot, to love deeply, without reservation, to work hard, to shared what you have, and to always, always have a good story to tell.
So to my great Uncle Del and Aunt Viola, happy trails to you . . . until we meet again!