|Clyde, back row second from right, and Tom, front row right
I stopped by the Pavilion to check on “the new guys,” who aren't new yet but are doing their trial week.
Trial week is a chance for prospective residents and the Ranch to find out if we're a match for each other. Most have come to camp, and not a few have declined to move in once they learned that residency involves more time on work teams and not so much toasting s'mores over the campfire.
So Tommy, Jason, Clyde, and Nick are staying in Hickory Lodge, not exactly the same as a residence home (more like a bunkhouse), but close enough.
All four looked pleased as punch when I saw them, and our gang seemed happy, too. We've put them on work teams, and Jason was really going at the dining room floor with an industrial mop and bucket. “Hi, Judy,” he said. “I'm working hard!”
I get the feeling Jason really wants to live here!
Later, in the barn, I overheard Rebekah, an old hand, saying to Jason, “You want me show you how do this?”
|Jason surveys the barn with satisfaction
“Sure!” Clyde said, and he couldn't have a better instructor. But right then Lori drew every one aside to give a basic safety orientation on working around horses, all to the twangy background music of KVET's morning show.
Exciting times for Down Home Ranch, and perhaps a much longed-for beginning to a dream come true for four delightful men and their families, if, as I said, it turns out to be a match.
We'll continue to check each other out over the next week, and they'll get a much better picture of life at the Ranch. I try to imagine what they're feeling now. They seem happy and confident, but we are a swirl of unfamiliar faces, rules, and traditions. I would be feeling a bit alone and tentative about the whole prospect at this point, I am sure.
Meanwhile, this weekend they're gearing up to go to the Farmers' Market in Elgin tomorrow morning, and then in the evening to Elgin's own Franco-American Vocal Academy's production of Offenbach's School for Husbands. (Who says we don't have culture out here in the boonies!?)
Sunday they'll head for home and think about their time here with the gang. Maybe they'll decide not yet, or maybe not at all.
But somehow, if I were a betting woman…