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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.

LATEST

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been surrounded by critters – and for this discussion, by critters I mean horses and dogs. As a matter of fact, it’s somehow been ingrained in my psyche that it’s an absolute necessity to have at least two dogs and two horses around at all times. And by two, I really mean too – as in too many.

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It was the first week of December, which for me can be perhaps the most exasperating time of the entire year. While I love the feeling of the Christmas season as it begins to take over our consciousness, the short days and the long chores associated with that time of year tend to sometimes leave me a little surly.

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What a peculiar lot we are. It’s true I generally agree with our boast that the people who are the brains and guts and muscle of modern North American agriculture are quite possibly the most creative, efficient, industrious, hard-working people God has placed on this earth.

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There’s a funny thing about raising and chasing kids in farm and ranch country. Well, actually there’s a whole pile of peculiar things about growing a crop of rural humans, but for now, I’ll narrow my focus for the sake of a good story.

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We were never much of a vacationing family. For some reason or other, most likely revolving around time and finances, my kids were never really treated to the classic Disneyland or East Coast family vacation.

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It wasn’t really the best of situations. My wife had volunteered to drive her Arizona snowbird parents from our place in southern Idaho back to their home in the far-northern extreme of the Idaho Panhandle, a tedious 10-hour drive under ideal conditions made even more taxing and time-consuming by the demands and requirements of her octogenarian passengers.

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