Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wow, What a year!

What a year 2016 has been!
As a nation we have witnessed massive amounts of drama ... extraordinary high highs along with heart wrenching lows and still, we keep plugging along. 
Here at Shadow Ranch we have had some of those same highs and lows, but keep plugging along doing what we were meant to do ... help others.
2016 has seen changes at Shadow Ranch which in the grand scheme of things may not be big to some, but to us were huge. All the while, if you step back, you can almost see God smiling, laughing, crying and coaxing us with every step we take.
As always, classes come first and foremost and kept their regular schedules throughout the year.
The changes I'm talking about were "behind the scenes".
Some of the highlights in no particular order:
Low: Jim, our beloved instructor, trashed his already hurt knee and ended up having to have a full replacement. That procedure may have thrown him straight into retirement. Only time and rehab will tell.
High: We meet Taylor Sandoval. She is a certified PATH instructor and the founder of a new center opening in Paris. Like a lot of young centers (ours included), there is very little to no money in the bank. She agrees to come be our instructor here, earn a few bucks and teach classes. At the same time, we agree to help her and her new center (Tailored Rides) as much as possible.  
Big High: 5 different churches within our community came together to help a college organization called Students Today, Leaders Forever. This group of 40+ young people came through Sulphur Springs on their way to Austin from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Shadow Ranch and some of our local churches provided a roof over their head, dinner, breakfast, a bunch of projects for them to "work for their keep" and lunch to send them on their way. It was AWESOME!!!
High: Brooke had her baby. Woohoo! A happy healthy little boy.
Kinda low: Means that Brooke is now a stay-at-home Mom instead of our Ranch Hand and Instructor-in-Training.
High: Enter Corey and Ranch Hands.
High: Our yearly Fundraiser goes off without a hitch!
High: We try another fundraiser. A 5K Obstacle Ranch run. It's a hit! We raised a little money and had a blast at the same time. (Runners who love us set your calendars for next Sept! Will be great training for the Spartan races, too!)
High: Ag in the Classroom again.  playing with about 900 4th graders. Whew!
Huge High: Our local Lowes comes in and spends 2 days building a shelter in our playground, a well house for a water spigot, puts new siding, doors and a workstation in our shop and builds a new deck on the back of the residence. Holy Cow!!! Thank you so much!
Low: Corey and Todd both quit within a month of each other for better paying jobs.
Lower still: Corey is killed in an Auto accident.
Lowest low of all: My Niece is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Glioblastoma: Multiform.
We keep plugging along. New faces and smiles. Hard challenges.
One cannot know Joy without having known pain.
The measure of courage is not the absence of fear, but rather what one does with that fear.
Through everything we keep stepping, changing lives and following our mission: To increase the quality of life of kids and adults with disabilities and/or disabling situations in their lives and to make a positive difference in the lives of our volunteers, staff and community. and to do it with some of the most loving, giving, gentle horses you will ever meet.
Shadow Ranch wishes everyone a loving, compassionate, healthy and joyous 2017.
Blessings to all, M

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