I pulled on my boots, checked my image in the mirror—White peasant blouse and skinny jeans. Lookin’ good, girl. Reached for my camera and was ready to Rodeo!
We arrived at the Rockdale Rodeo Arena, and I scanned the arena for a place to perch and shoot some great action shots of the TRA Championship Rodeo. Now these rodeos aren’t like the rodeos held in huge sports facilities. No, these rodeos allow a person to get up close and personal with the participants. And the stock.
No concrete walls, iron bars, or cushioned seats. Nope. It’s exciting. Tension thick enough to slice, and the aroma of everything fried saturates the air.
The cowboys and girls are stunning in their rhinestone-and-fringe-rodeo-finest while the music blares western.
On the other side of the arena, I spied an old field judge’s platform and seat on top of a chain link fence, next to an empty cow pen. My husband, Richard, walked over and helped me up into the ringside seat and I’m thrilled giddy with this unobstructed view of the action.
I pulled my camera out and tossed the case down to my husband, who patiently waited below me in the vacant pen. Now if Dick had to choose, Friday night rodeo would not be on his short list. Especially since cricket season was in full swing and they crawled and flew in and out of everything like a plague of locusts.
The grand entry paraded all the contestants and horses around the inside of the arena for cheers and pictures. Then we moved onto the serious stuff. With my camera focused and ready, I captured action shots of team roping and barrel racing.
“Just one more event, honey. Please?”
The P.A. system crackled and the voice announced, “Next up—bull ridin’.”
“Sure honey, but I’ll be fine up here. There’s a big puddle of water down in front of me and the bull can’t run through the chain link. Right?”
“Like it wasn’t even there.” He reached up to give me a hand down.
But I brushed off his request. “I’ll just get one or two shots, then I’ll come down. Okay?”
The announcer drowned Dick’s comment as he called the cowboy’s name, but the only name I remember to this day is Booger Daddy.
I focused on the chute where the cowboys had the rope taunt and ready to pull the gate open. The chute where all the clanging and banging racket originated. Booger Daddy obviously didn’t have the personality of his distant cousin, Ferdinand.
The gate swung open. Booger Daddy charged out, bucked and went into a full body spin. The cowboy left the bull’s back and the clowns went into action. And I snapped the shutter fast as my finger would click.
‘Til I blinked and realized as I looked through my lens, Booger Daddy was glaring right back at me. He pawed the ground with first one hoof, then the other. Snot poured from his nose like a busted fire hydrant. A ton of hamburger-on-the-hoof and a half-mile-wide.
Booger Daddy lowered his head and went from zero to sixty with me in his bulls-eye. The sound of his hooves pounding the ground echoed in my ears.
I jumped up and my mouth opened to scream. Nothing came out, but a zillion crickets flew in as a pick-up man wheeled his Paint into action and galloped to save this foolish photographer whose feet were planted like cement on this not-too-sturdy wooden platform just above the bulls’ horns.
And yes, your life does flash in front of you.
Booger Daddy and my cowboy prince arrived in orchestrated unison from opposite directions—the cowboy next to the fence galloping one way through the mud puddle, and the bull charging the other way, also through the puddle of liquid nasty.
And my pretty, white, peasant blouse, my magnificent camera, boots, and jeans were splatted, splattered, and coated with yucky Texas muck.
When reality struck I was still alive, unharmed, and standing, I heard Dick’s voice, “Are you ready to come down now?” Though the pitch of his tone said something entirely different.
Climbing down off an eight foot chain link fence with noodles for legs, feeling like a disobedient child was nothing short of a miracle.
Dick offered his hand to steady me and took my camera with his other one. “Well, did ya get a shot of Booger Daddy up close and personal?”
I looked at his face for any sign of snarky, but found nothing but concern. “I’m done for the night,” I whispered and headed for the car.
Now what do you suppose I learned from this sour pickle moment?
I should have listened to my husband? Right.
From the beginning God gave the line of authority to Adam. You see, Eve was deceived. But Adam disobeyed.
Contrary to those ‘60’s songs, I am woman hear me roar, roaring is not God’s plan for our lives, ladies. But we’ve been deceived and bought the lie. God’s plan is order in the home, in the church, and in our nation. And it’s take-to-the-bank-certain there will be order in heaven.
God set husbands as head of the home. No, it’s not the I am king you are nothing mantra, it’s a line of accountability. The chain of command. God is the head of the home. When He’s not—look around you to see what happens.
Our Lord God appointed our husbands to protect us, to shield us, to love us. When we refuse to listen, we remove ourselves from the protection of his care. And divorce courts are full of the wreckage of these chaotic families.
It’s been a hard lesson for me to learn, being that ‘60’s girl who knew God’s way is always best, but pride in me wanted control. And this was one of those p.j. moments, staring down the horns of a charging bull, knowing I was not in control of anything. Especially myself.
So yep, now when my husband tells me to do something, I do it!
Has your husband ever asked, demanded or suggested you abandon an activity and you refused? What was the outcome of your failure to heed his wisdom?
Well, I’ve learned the hard way—never, never, never sit on top of a chain link fence when Booger Daddy’s the first bull out the chute.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17 NKJV).
Photos of Texas Youth Rodeos by Nelda Blassingame