After returning home from living in Thailand and graduating with idy MBA, I was working on landing my first job in NYC while spending some time living at home in Texas with my parents. Every day I cherished what was most likely the last time I would be able to live at home without a care in the world, and took the opportunity to share conversations, dinners and adventures with them. The previous year one of my parents neighbors and good friends had purchased a 3,000 acre ranch South of Abilene in Texas and he invited us to visit during this time to spend a few days at his lodge and roam the land. We piled in our Tahoe with cowboy boots and blue jeans to drive nearly 7 hours from our home outside of Houston across the great state. Of course the drive ranged from a lot of sights – to no sights that overlooked vast empty lands on the drive, and we soaked in every variety of Texan at truck stops along the way. The town of the ranch was so small that if you were to blink you might as well drive on by it, but luckily we were wide eyed with excitement and made it in time for dinner.
As far as ranches go, the lodges were absolutely gorgeous and the land went as far as your eye could see. We spent the days four wheeling around the property, on a safari if you will looking out for imported animals such as zebras and antelope a long with practicing our shot at his gun range (for a first time shooter I handled the big guns quite well!). The evenings we spent around a large outdoor grill watching the perfect steak from his herd cook over an open wood fire, and telling stories on the back porch while the sky turned into murals of blue and orange as the sun set over the countryside. The ranch goes without saying as being a show for a hard mans work, and this man could not be more humble and giving to those associated in his life. There was little to no cell or internet service leaving only each others company for entertainment … but those moments were pure and beautiful. Sometimes all you need is those you love and those who are caring around you to make an experience. I love reflecting to this photo, sitting in the back of the four wheeler enjoying a beer with my mom (who took the picture) while my dad and his friend navigated around the bush in the front. We took in the scenery as dust flew in our hair, and had conversations of what the future held as I prepared to move to New York City the next month. The world from where I was to where I was going could not have been more opposite. These are truly special moments, and I reflect back on them with a smile on my face and a longing to be roaming across Abilene with the best company by my side.
*This is the first post in my series of “Snapshots,” which will be short stories associated with a picture and the memory that photo brings. I believe it’s important to reflect on times that make you happy, so I will begin sharing these moments with you.