Oh, the joys of packing for a cattle show. Bags, tubs and more bags. And many panic moments, with the fear of forgetting an essential. As I type, our little family is loaded into the family truck and trailer, with our Hereford heifer, Velma, and steer, Lightning, in tow. Destination: the 2014 Illinois Junior Hereford Preview Show in Minden, Ill.
I won’t lie. The moment I sunk into the passenger seat, I breathed a sigh of relief.
We. Were. Packed. And. Loaded.
Of course, the stress of show preparations will hit soon. But, oh, how I’m relish the few hours of satisfaction of knowing one obstacle was achieved.
Just last night, our house was a ridiculous disaster.
Piles were scattered throughout the house – no one was to touch them. And the family heeded the warnings, because they know not to mess with mommy in her show-packing mode.
Show clothes… show boots… wash rack clothes… speech attire… oh, yes! The speech poster. We can’t forget the speech poster. Allergy medicines, children’s Tylenol®, wet wipes. All the gadgets and gizmos our boys require.
What am I forgetting? Oh, goodness. I’m surely forgetting something.
As I struggled through this haze, I sought out affirmation from show-mom friends I respect across the country. I’m not really the only crazy one, am I? And got a bit of advice for how they prepare for events, too. Goodness, they’re smart. And they’ve got their act together.
Susan Rhode, Gower, Mo.
Wife of Jeff; and mom of Isaac, 11, and Gavin, 8.
Susan and Jeff were extremely involved in the National Junior Polled Hereford Association and the National Junior Angus Association, respectively, as youth. Now, they’ve begun to pass the tradition on to their boys.
“Before every show, I make sure that there is a package of wet wipes, a bottle of ibuprofen, a black Sharpie® marker and a pair of scissors in the show box before we leave for every show, and I almost always end up using them.
My boys are hungry all the time, so we need a good supply of snacks on hand that they can have at any time of day. Pringles, Rice Krispie treats and Little Debbie cakes top the list of our show box snacks, and I hate to admit that they serve as breakfast on many early show mornings.
When it comes to packing suitcases, I couldn't do it without a list and a schedule of activities going on at the show. This process is quick and easy for smaller one-day shows, and longer and more complex for the 11-day trip we'll take to the Junior National Hereford Expo later this summer.
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