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“It was another long day working as a wedding photographer, it was 101 degrees and my feet hurt, but they say it is a dry heat, so no need to complain. This was already my fourth wedding of the day and I had reached that point of concentrating more on what I would have for dinner rather then connecting with my next bride.
As I stood there gazing down the isle capturing every moment, I was smiling ear to ear like I do at every wedding. Something about the raw romance of being thrown into a couples most intimate moment and they know nothing about me and I know nothing about them. This couple was so cute in love and crying tears of happiness. These are the moments in my life that touch me. The moments I will remember. After the hugs from their moms and dads my couple and I headed off for some more pictures.
I was posing my bride on a bench and as I went to fluff out her dress, that is when I saw them, shiny bright red cowboy boots hidden under her long dress. It seemed as if right then a huge gust of wind swept thru my hair and I had flash backs to all the times I had slipped on my red cowboys boots. I remember when I got them, I was going to church camp where they had horses and mom knew how important it was for me to have proper boots even though I was only 6 years old. Back then I was so allergic to horses then just touching them made my hands swell up in a rash. I was equipped with my boots and thick winter gloves so I could touch the horses. Despite being so allergic I loved them so much and as my family says I was bit with the horse bug and then there was no turning back.
My bride and groom did not seem to notice I was daydreaming, they where to busy looking at each other. I smiled as I remembered the first time I rode a horse and then the first time I fell off a horse. The first time I bought my own saddle with all the money I saved up pulling weeds and the first time I won a class at my local 4-H show.
My parents did not let me buy a horse just because I wanted one, they made me lease, borrow, and rent other people’s horses for a long time until I knew what I was doing. Later on in life I realized what a blessing this actually was because I could ride just about anything. I would dream about horses all night and then I would spend my days looking cute at school just to hurry to the barn and mess all that up. It was the life!
I eventually got to that point in my life where I didn’t care what people thought and I wore my cowboy hat and boots everywhere, to dinner, to church, to school. I knew I looked good and that was all that mattered!
As we continued to walk around the grounds of the casino I had this permanate smile on my face thinking about my cowgirl boots and my cowgirl roots. I felt pretty far from them those days. It’s pretty rare to see anyone in tight jeans and cowboy boots out there in Sin City, but as soon as I did I got a lil kick in my step because I know I had something in common with that person.
They say you don’t know where your going until you know where you came from. Well I come from an amazing place with rolling hills, lush green pastures and mountains that stretch as far as the eye can see. A place where your neighbors wave at you and the gas station clerk knows your name and asks you how your dog is doing. A place where being a cowgirl is normal and red boots are common. I grew up on the back of a horse, fell asleep to the sound of crickets chirping and coyotes howling.
I know where I come from, so now this leaves me to wonder where I am going. Yes I moved away from that place just for a little while, but I kept that cowgirl spirit alive in me everyday. I waved at people and most of they time they did not wave back, I always said hello to my neighbors and they would just nod at me and hurry off into their apartments.
I think cowgirl can describe a woman who grew up a certain way by working with cattle or riding horses, but I think it can also describe a feeling in your bones. Regardless of where you come from or how you grew up or what you do for a living.
As a little boy ran by screaming at his sister I was suddenly snapped out of my rambling thoughts. As we continued walking and talking, it turns out my bride was the daughter of a cattle rancher and grew up on a horse too. I instantly felt bonded with this stranger. I told her how much I loved her boots and got excited to go home and put mine on. My boots have made the journey of thousands of miles with me and they are just as excited for my future as I am.
So here is to the cowgirls who live the dream weather they be in a saddle or walking down the isle in cowboy boots.”
Miss NFPB 2010 Contestant