Hello again everyone and welcome to the View from the Driver’s Seat. Here it is April 26th and I am in Clovis, CA. We have been on the Road for only 20 days but it truly seems like an eternity since I have slept in my own bed back in Decatur. Although as it stand right now I am thinking we will be back in Texas around the 5th of May. Only to turn around on the 14th and head back to CA for the Champions Challenge and Redding rodeo. This rodeo life and living on the rode has become a bitter sweet ride. Every day that I spend on the road and away from my wife and kids is heartbreaking and yet being at home and leaving my friends and loved ones out here is less than appealing. It is truly a difficult and hard yet rewarding life style. There are many days when family is the single desire of your heart and you wonder if the sacrifice of time and relationship will yield the the results in the future that you are working toward!! As the days move on and the hours invested increase I have become more and more comforted by my christian friends and faith. We all know Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares The Lord plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Those words are the catalyst to move forward and to keep your eyes focused on the future when it seems like you have not made any head way.
Being that today is just two days before my wife’s (Jen Schley) birthday I will take a second here to wish he a happy birthday and Gods blessings. I don’t talk much about my kids and wife in my ramblings and so many of you may not know their story so I will take a bit of time this week to acquaint you with them. As I mentioned Jen has a birthday on April 28th and I will not disclose her age I will tell you that she and I have spent 15 of her birthdays associated to one another in some shape or form weather it be married or dating. So effectively as of tuesday I will have been a part of her for half her life. In the time that we have been married (10 yrs) she has given to me non-stop starting with her heart and her love. We have three children Colby 9 Cadence 7 and Channing 3 all of whom, as any parent would be, make me so very proud of them day in and day out that it is hard to put into words what they make me feel. A little bit about each one of my three blessings: Colby he is an athlete he has passion for football and baseball and even though he is all boy he has a servants heart and is truly his mothers child on the inside. Everyday I wish that I could be more like him he his compassion for others and willingness to give of himself are attributes that we all need. Cadence what can I say she is, as far as I understand a “Free Spirt” she is truly gifted in art and challenged in anything that requires much physical output. Not to say that she is not capable of doing the physical stuff I honestly believe that she cannot logically convince herself that the benefit of exertion is truly worth the effort. She is at times a little overly focused on social relationship than I would want a 7yr old girl to be but at the end of the day I think she knows no person that she doesn’t have love for. Last but I assure you not the least is Channing (aka The Precious) she is so many things in our family that they are hard to sort out. She is the tiny boss the trouble maker and the clown. She keeps everyone in check at all times and just like her dad if it comes to her mind it will come out her mouth. And if words cannot accomplish her task physically she will get it done. She makes me smile everyday because every parent who reads this knows that at some point you “pay for your raising” and as I am sure I gave my parents as much grief as joy she will do the same to me. These three children are all blessings given to Jen and I by a loving and awesome God one who gives you charge over a little to prepare you for much.
There is not enough room in this blog to tell all the many wonderful things the Jen has brought to my life. I will say that everyday weather she believes it or feels it or knows it she makes me want to be better. There have been so many times that she is my hero that I cannot recount them all. Although graduating from college in the top %10 of her class as a wife,mother and employee is one of the times that I saw the awesome strength inside of her and knew that our children and myself were truly blessed to have her. She has supported me for 3yrs. of chasing this dream of being around rodeo and team roping and learning what it takes to be successful out here so that if and when the time comes I have prepared myself for success. She has stood strong spending 213 days without a husband last year and so far this year we are on track to spend more like 275 apart. She is truly a gift and without her I would not be who I am or be able to do what I do. So to hear and in front of all of you I say Thank You Jen Schley for Loving me and lifting me up I am sure that some day i will be able to repay you.
Now then back to the rodeo road. Clovis rodeo this week and Jackpotting. A week ago I headed to Clovis to set up shop for the rodeo to come. When I arrived at the home of Steve Simonson in Sanger,CA where all the TR and some of the TD ropers stay, there was a local jackpot roping going on. Like any roper you know I found a horse and put my money down. I am going to be honest and say I entered on the heel side which is not my strong suit and I suffered a discouraging defeat. It was fun though and sometimes having a bit of fun to relieve the stress of the road is worth whatever it cost you. One thing I neglected to mention was that saturday the 19th was my 34th birthday and spending it roping was pretty awesome. Then I capped off the night with a movie so all in all it was a great day filled with fun stuff. Easter Sunday came and went was pretty uneventful I listened to church on the live stream from Victory Family Church in Decatur,TX. More movies and some decent dinning out. Monday I helped Steve break in some fresh cattle for the jackpot that he would have at his place wednesday and monday night the TR and TD guys started to file into the place in preperation for the Wednesday morning kickoff of the Clovis rodeo.
All of this time that i have just been on a mini vacation out here Trevor has been at home. He was able to spend Easter with his family and then come monday it was back to work practicing for the Tuesday steer roping in Corpus Christi,TX. The life of the rodeo man never settles into routine he is always pushing forward and working toward his next accomplishment. After the Corpus SR he would have to catch a charter flight to Fresno so he could be ready for slack wednesday morning. That flight arrived at 1am wednesday morning. Slack started at 8 and we were there ready to roll with bells on. Our team ended up splitting 5/6 in the first go and were 4th in the second go so going into the progressive round we were second high team. Friday during that round it decided to rain and it came down hard. The arena took it well and the TR was actually a good round and we maintained our position headed into Sundays final go. After Friday night the guys flew out Saturday morning to Corpus for the TR and TD that afternoon. Then Sunday morning they fly back to Clovis for the Finals.
During all of this jet setting and rodeo here and there my daily routine is to feed clean stalls check for any health and wellness issues with the horses and exercise on their days off. So day to day I am not just hustling but I stay pretty busy. Although when there is slack time rodeo cowboys and cowgirls all enjoy a movie and lately I have seen some great ones. I realize that this is not a religious platform but many of you know I am a christian and so with that I suggest everyone see God’s Not Dead. That movie will bring you to the basic value of your belief and show you that standing up for those beliefs can change the world around you.
Sunday after the Finals in Clovis the drivers seat will become my domain again. Trevor was successful in winning the All Around saddle for the 100yr anniversary and he and Travis ended up 2nd in the TR average so it was a good day. After we roped I took Trevor to the airport where he would board a flight to Guymon for Monday morning 8am SR slack and I would head out with intentions of being in Guymon Monday evening around 6pm. As I sit here and bring this view to a close I am at the airport in Amarillo catching a flight to Dallas to get another rig and horses and head back to Guymon for Wednesday morning. I made the all night iron man drive from Clovis to Amarillo by 4pm monday after noon and had a few minor delays. I had my first blown tire of the rodeo season at 3:45 am and watched Tuf Cooper drive by and honk as I was preparing to change it out. That task was meet with a couple minor inconveniences but 45 min later I was back on the road and rolling. Then I stopped in Gallup to give the new rig a wash before we rolled it into Guymon looking like we had been mudding. And lastly I stopped in Amarillo to meet the Boss and so here I sit catching a flight home because as a resource I am flexible and i hope Valuable.
That is all for this weeks View from the Drivers Seat I want to thank everyone who reads this and now as well as email [email protected] I have Twitter @joshschley80 so you can follow my escapades that way. As always until next time I wish you good roping and Gods Blessings!!