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Paul Marchant

Paul Marchant is an active rancher who tells stories as though we're all "sittin' horseback and ridin' drag" together. His Irons in the Fire articles both entertain and spur thought about personal values and goals.

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It was a rarity, but I was actually on schedule – not ahead of schedule but on schedule nonetheless. Somehow, I wasn’t running late. The morning feeding was done, the weather was cooperating, and there was a chance I’d make it to the sale yard in time for lunch before the bull sale.

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 At sunrise, just a couple of days after Groundhog Day, I heard a comfortably familiar yet startling sound. Just outside the back door, 20 feet up in the bare poplar tree, two or three dozen blackbirds were chirping away as if they were welcoming May Day to the first week of February.

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Several years ago, my younger brother, who is 15 years my junior, was getting mouthy with me about something. I think he was home for the summer between semesters at college. He could run circles around me academically – and I’m pretty sure, as the baby of the family, he’s Mama’s favorite.

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Jerry is as good as they come. He seems to always be happy and friendly. He makes toys. Jerry is a happy toymaker. As a matter of fact, his business is called The Happy Toymaker. His toys aren’t just any toys, mind you.

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

—Robert Frost

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Colleen is my neighbor. She and her husband, Rick, live on a little 9- or 10-acre piece about 5 miles down the road from my place. Colleen rescues things.

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