I grew up on a farm right outside the grand town of Hope, Indiana. You learn many things growing up on a farm. You learn about crops and animals. You learn about cooking from scratch (like momma use to do), canning and butchering. You learn how to figure out how to do things differently when needed.

You learn to adapt. And for that I am grateful. It has helped me on many adventures in life.

One of those adventures took me to Japan many years ago. Some of you may not know that I lived in Japan for two and a half years. I was married to an Air Force man, and life took us to this incredible place.

When I was told that we had orders to head to Japan, I have to admit I was a bit devastated about leaving everything I knew. We were in Jacksonville, Arkansas when we got our orders, and my life consisted of my three children and barrel racing horses every weekend. I knew I was going to miss the horses terribly. Fortunately, the military allows you to take your children with you!

Off to Japan we went! But how was I going to get my horse fix?

The "learning how to cope with change" I was taught growing up on the farm kicked in, so I started the search. Lo and behold I found a horse stable not to far from the base in Japan!

I applied for a job as a trail guide. There were a lot of mountains surrounding the area and "George," my new boss, told me that I would have to pass a riding test first. No problem. At least I thought.

He took me up on the mountain and said, "Now we test your riding. We go on roller coaster."

We took off running through the trail. Up and down and around... a roller coaster!  George was shorter than I am, and he was on a smaller horse. And he didn't tell me about the sign that was hanging over the trail. Those coping instincts kicked in -- as well as my years of practicing to be a stunt rider (my mother would have had a stroke had she known). I was able to hang off the side of the horse and not lose my head going under that sign at a full gallop.

We stopped shortly after and George said that I was a good rider and I was hired. I also said a few things to George that I am pretty sure he didn't understand. I was thankful for that because I'm pretty sure it would have gotten me fired!

So I led horse trails in Japan up through the mountains and along the river. We worked horses in the arena. This was where I learned you should never allow anyone else to saddle and bridle your horse for you! It was ugly, but I stayed on! In the evenings, we would sit in the tent and eat some of the best curry you could imagine, and George would talk about his time in the states riding bulls.

Life on the farm teaches so many things. Adapting to different things life gives you is one of the best lessons the farm can teach. Not in a million years did I ever dream that my skills I got from growing up on that little farm outside of Hope, Indiana would have me doing what I loved on the other side of the world.

I consider myself so very blessed to have been brought up on a farm and for the many skills and opportunities it has provided throughout my life. 

We are almost done with kidding season and I look forward to telling you about all the fun we have had with the babies and the sleepless nights being on baby watch! (Note: that statement was loaded with sarcasm!)