My Horseman and Me Part 9 – Where? When? How?

My Horseman and Me in the Colorado Winter

We were on the downhill slope of winter and so was our living arrangement.

The ranch owners had graciously allowed us to stay in the trailer by the river until April of that year. After that, they would need it for ranch employees coming in for the summer season.

No pressure.

Nope, none at all.

It was late January and the clock was tick, tick, ticking down on our future.

Clint was working part time at a ranch about 40 minutes away where a friend was the ranch manager – in between his grooming shifts at the ski area. The ranch needed another full time guy, but the owners weren’t willing to fork out another full-time salary. And there was no housing available. (That can make or break a ranch job. Housing is usually part of the deal.)

So, in between our ski area jobs, Clint’s part time ranch gig and keeping that fire going so we didn’t freeze to death, we occupied our minds and our time by running through our options. It didn’t take long because there weren’t many to run through. It morphed into a new hobby – talking about “what the heck are we going to do in a couple of months?”

One of our options, really our only actual option where we could stay in Colorado, not starve, and have a roof over our heads was for both of us to go full time at the ski area.

** I must insert a sidebar here** Full time, i.e. Year Round Employees.  (insert wah-wah-waaaahhhh sound here) It’s rare in the mountains to have just one, year round job. You dream of year round when it’s October or April (the in-between-seasons season) and you’re eating beans. However, when you’re in the middle of a good seasonal job, you feel free; the master of your domain, making it in the mountains.

Clint would be the “lift op” (lift operator) manager / summer mountain maintenance and I would stay on in the shop office full time. Full. Time.

We started cruising around Granby, CO, looking for houses. We found a little subdivision with a great view and a couple of homes for sale. If we lived there, we’d only be 15 minutes from the mountain. We started talking about it. Trying to make it sink in, I think. Or get okay with it. Or talk ourselves into it.

We approached the mountain manager about moving from seasonal to full time employees. My papers were signed and the deal was done. Clint held out for the time being.

So we plodded along for the next month.

Clint, grooming and working at the ranch. Me, working in the shop office, trying to wrap my head around the fact that this was it. We’d buy a little house and I’d be working in the shop office, indefinitely. Now, friends, please don’t misunderstand; I don’t want to sound ungrateful – It was a good job. I liked everyone I worked with and the mountain manager bent over backwards to accommodate whatever I needed. **Perks of being the only girl working in a shop full of guys.** 🙂

But even so. Eeeeven soooo…

Have I mentioned I’m a commitment phobe? Yep, I am. Except to my hubby horseman, of course.

I had a heck of a time picking out wedding china (how can you possibly know what pattern you’ll like for the rest of your life?).

So, for me, seasonal work was right up my alley. Sure, the “no work, no income” season was wearing a little old. But still, I was free. So free that soon, we’d have no place to live.

It’s funny how God works sometimes. Especially in our lives, it seems. Down to the wire. The last minute.

Just when we were coming to terms with no more ranching jobs and living in town; wondering what we were going to do with our own horses…Clint got a phone call one night.

That phone call was from our friend, the ranch manager where Clint was working part time. That phone call put the brakes on all our plans. Our plans that we were allllll too happy to toss out the trailer window.



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