We tossed the sheets in the wash, locked the doors and headed eight hours south to Booker, Texas. One of our good friends from college worked as the head cattle buyer at the plant and had told the owners about Wrex. With the drought hitting so hard in Texas, they knew cow numbers would soon be short and that they’d need to expand their buying circle. They wanted to get a northern buyer trained and in place, but weren’t in just a huge hurry to do so; they wanted it to be the right kind of person. Unfortunately, the cow buying business has it’s fair share of crooks and traders and this company had worked been working for a few years on cleaning up their buyer staff.
There are several owners and shareholders and only a few of them live around the Booker area. As the Lord would have it, Wrex got to meet several out of staters, including a fellow Nebraskan. That pretty much sealed the deal! HA! Kidding…but I’m sure it didn’t hurt. Those Huskers gotta stick together… It wasn’t a formal interview, but he was there most of the morning; a good four hours or so. We ate lunch, said our goodbyes and then continued on to visit my side of the family.
For years, we’d talked about the possibility of him buying cows for an outfit; it’s a job that he’d been groomed for his entire life. We didn’t have any doubts that he’d enjoy the work and he felt like things went well, but we left not knowing exactly what they were thinking.
We had a good time seeing my parents and brother and then traveled further south to see my mom’s extended family. We don’t get down there often enough just because of time, money and distance, so it was nice to be able to have a few extra days with them. It’s hard to have “time off” when you help run a farming/ranching operation so this was, by far, the longest visit we’d had with them since we’d been married.
They were all so sweet and were scurrying around trying to find Wrex a job down there, which would’ve been a-ok with me, bearing I could hack that heat and humidity. I have gobs of incredible memories tied to their little area of Texas. At the time, my grandma had already been moved into an assisted living facility and her house was on the market, as she wouldn’t be going back. We got to stay there for what would be the last time – an incredibly bittersweet thing for me. Talk about memories being bound to a place…we spent every Christmas and summer there since I was born and Wrex and I were married on their acreage. It was hard to leave and at the time, every fiber of my being was just screaming for a job there so we could buy the house and keep the place alive, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’ll always cherish that piece of our trip and I most definitely view it as a sweet little gift that the Lord gave me in the midst of an erratic time in our lives.
Once in Oklahoma, the Lord was so faithful! We were really beginning to wonder what our next move was. We knew we had to go back to Colorado for a few days, but then what? He just showed us time and time again that He wasn’t absent from the process. From people calling with words (rhemas) for us or the message at church we felt led to attend one Sunday morning that was titled, “What to do in the time of transition.” Yeah. That was us…and He was with us.
That Monday, Wrex got a phone call that ended in a job offer from the packing plant in Booker; they wanted him to come on as their northern cattle buyer. He’d train in Texas for three months and then move up north and establish himself…somewhere. They would give him a set of barns he was to buy in on a weekly basis, but he would be able to determine the specific community in which to settle.
After a day’s worth of prayer, we felt full release for him to take the job! It felt so right and like a huge, heavy weight had been lifted off of our shoulders. They settled on a start date, we hit the road back to Colorado to tie up a few more loose ends and grabbed a few little necessities out of storage – like a crib and a bed and a kitchen table – so that we could make ourselves at home in Texas….again.
****Part 3 is my favorite – stay tuned!****