It was the early 1970’s when I was bouncing in the back seat of my parent’s white Chevelle, as a toddler, singing songs like “Rhinestone Cowboy”, “Top of the World”, & even (gasp!) “Afternoon Delight”. Yep, no seat belts back then so I had a blast jumping up and down on the back seat, hanging over the front seat, and giggling out loud, letting my voice jiggle, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh,” as we drove over the washboard dirt roads.
I was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming – yes, the always windy city – and I have lived in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains most of my life (with a layover in Northwest Arkansas in the 90’s). I can’t say that I dreamed of being a cowgirl, ever. However, the traditional western lifestyle has always secretly captivated my heart. The strength, mystery and awesomeness of the mountains. Rustic ranches with lush grasses, tiny creeks trickling along the meadows, horses & livestock quietly grazing, & the lone cowboy on the horse. The sweeping meadows nestled in the valleys of those mountains were the backdrop of my dreams. I have long highly regarded the hard work, solid values, & inner strength of the people that built the West and continue to live that way of life. They are not afraid of the storms, don’t give up easily, are grateful for every little thing, and are not afraid of really hard work because at the end of the day they know they have done their best, made the most of every opportunity, and even though they may not have riches – they sleep well knowing every day they give their all.
I had the ideals and fortitude of the western spirit, but I’ve lived in the suburbs my whole life. No horses, no cowboys, no ranches to even visit. I didn’t even know any cowboys. However, here I am 40 years later and I am actually pursuing my long-forgotten dream. Back up a couple of years to 2009 – the very idea of those dreams was buried so deep I forgot they ever existed. At 39 I was starting over in my life and I had no idea where I was going but I felt the stirring to start moving forward with what little I had.
So what did I have?
1) A strong desire to own a business. 2) $500. 3) A vision to make a difference in our local community and help the struggling economy, even if just $1 at a time. 4) A stubborn determination to always be home for my son.
Armed with these four things, a strong faith in God directing my each step and a jar of chocolate, I embarked on a journey that has unexpectedly put me back on the path toward realizing some of my childhood daydreams, which I now realize was truly a desire of my heart.
This is my journey…..