As part of my 101 in 1001 I have made it a goal of mine to give gratitude on my blog at least once a month. Tonight someone indirectly reminded me that it was time that I did that.
A lot of people wonder how I ended up south of the border. Livestock Judging is the a huge part of the equation, but what I think a lot of people don't realize is that it was the trips I made to the American National Junior Simmental Show that helped influence my decision.
I attended my first NJSA in 2001, in Fort Collins, Colorado. I had won an award trip through the Canadian Junior Simmental Association, and was really excited to make my first trip across the border. The purebred cattle industry is really close knit, and through cattle my family had gotten to know Doug Parke of DP Sales Management and Parke Livestock very well. I remember the first time I met Douge, I was probably only 10 or 11. He was a short, round guy, that swore he was taller than my dad. (That's probably a toss up.) My mom told me Doug was from Kentucky. Doug quickly asked me if I knew where that was, I shook my head no. Doug responded, "Well it's God country, and that's all you need to know." I learned many years later, once I started college, that every American considers their state God's country.
During that Junior Nationals I got to know Doug even better, as well as his daughter Holli. Although, Holli was a little younger than me, we quickly became friends. Holli knew cattle, knew how to stick one better than most, and had a style to go with it. I can't remeber if it was that first Junior Nationals or the next one I attended, but Holli and I snuck away to do a little shopping. We went to the Buckle where she bought a pair of Lucky jeans, and they were $80 or something like that. (Today they are much higer priced.) This little Canadina girl had never seen jeans like that before, and Holli made me promise I wouldn't tell her dad how much they cost!
I don't know if Holli remembers but she taught me how to brush a tailhead back then, and later in life the importance of pearls. I am really grateful for the friendship that the Parke's and the Simmental family have given me. It's a little odd when people call me the Angus gal, because forever I was the Canadian Simmental gal, and still am to many.
So thanks Holli, and don't forget to tell the people that have impacted your life thank-you. And you'll have to check out Holli's blog, cause she is the one that got me thinking about things today. She is getting married this summer, and I am sure it'll be fabulous.