The rodeo is HUGE. Huge as in there were 74,900 people there, watching bull riding, barrel racing, and mutton busting. Have you ever seen this? Five-year-old kids rode on sheep. The kids were clinging to the sheep, faces buried in them. The sheep were ambling across the arena. Slowly, the kids would fall off. I laughed so hard. Then they had indoor fireworks, a concert ... and everyone was dressed like cowboys! The boots! The hats! The rhinestones! It was so fun and so different than what I normally see.
We went to a country dancing bar that weekend. We were waiting in line. A woman working there was trying to move the line along quicker and said, "Do y'all have your ids?" Yes, we did. "Are any of y'all wearing spurs?"
Spurs?! Spurs! I've never been asked that in my life, that's for sure. We were not.
Inside, everyone was also in costume. (I realize it's not, but when you're not from cowboy country ...) Often a song would start and everyone would stop two-stepping and start THE SAME line dance. They all knew which songs went with which dances. It was like stumbling into a musical!
When we go to Farm Bureau events, the ranchers often wear cowboy boots. Kris' grandma (who is incredibly stylish) left some boots at Kris' parents' house that didn't fit her. I wore them out one night, pretending I was a rancher instead of a farmer.
On the plane I talked to the guy sitting next to me, also from Michigan. When I said I was a dairy farmer, he said, "Well, now I have to ask THE question. ... Which cow gives the chocolate milk?" We laughed together, and then he said, "Really. Where do they put it in? How does that work?" I was happy to explain it. You never know unless you ask!
Everything was different when I returned. It's the first day of spring! It's been in the 80s all week, today too. The barn roof was recoated. It's a little different color and looks fresh. The road commission cut down the dead tree. And the daffodils are all in bloom.
Goodbye, Texas. Hello, Michigan! I left my boots there for next time. Here, I go barefoot.