“I knew I never liked you, you toad!” she said to him with smiling eyes as they played their 4th game of wagonwheel, their morning ritual. 4 game limit though. Wouldn’t want to get out of control. “Well Dorothy, I can’t help if I’m just that good and always beating you. You’re just having trouble accepting defeat,” he said with an ornery gleam in his eye that can only be attributed to my Papa. You know, the kind that includes a sly smirk as he is waiting to get a rise out of you. This teasing flirtatious banter continued as they played the card game that has become a staple in the Powell family. It’s mindless but its strangely fun…in a mindless way. Yep, this is a typical scene at my grandparents house. As I sat there, watching them flirt with each other after 58 years of marriage, I was proud. Proud, because they set an amazing example for me.
You see, every herd needs a herd bull. Every herd bull needs a herd bullette. It’s proverbial. In fact, it’s found in Proverbs 31:32…ok ok. I lied and I’m about to be struck dead for adding to God’s Word. It’s not a proverb but it should be 🙂 It’s true though, the nature of the herd is that there is always a head. Well, the Powell family is very much a herd in my mind. We are a family, a flock, a gathering. We rely on each other. We need each other. We support one another and we definitely need our Herd Bull and Bullette, my Papa and Granny.
For every large family gathering, we usually join around a long table and have a feast. It’s getting longer as of late. Anyway, my grandfather always sits at the head of the table and refers to himself as the Herd Bull. He is the patriarch you might say of what is becoming a long lineage. After sitting at the head of the table for a meal recently, I joked that I had become the ‘Herd Bullette’ (self- appointed of course but clever nontheless). Despite the chagrin of my sisters, I thought I was pretty clever. While I have no intention of letting this self-appointed position die out, I do have to admit that it is purely in fun. The true Herd Bullette is the Herd Bull’s most complimentary companion, my Granny.
As I spent this past weekend with my dear loving grandparents, I was struck by the gratitude I had in the way they have led this herd. They are a model picture of godliness, both individually and in marriage. After 58 years of marriage, they still love each other like they did when they were 20, but with even greater wisdom and respect for one another. They are the most giving people I know. They are hospitable, always making every person that comes into their ‘bed and breakfast’ type home feel comfortable. They are worshippers and ministers. They make me laugh, cry and everything in between. They have made a stand for the value of family and protected it at all cost. They lead their herd with humilty, patience and prayer. They are my heroes. Our family wouldn’t be who we are without their courage and leadership. Their lives are a testament to the way the family unit can give foundation. Solid foundation. They are the Herd Bull and Bullette.
(For their birthday this past summer we celebrated with some ‘fun’ gifts. One was a a statuette couple of a bull and a ‘bullette’ in honor of my Papa’s longtime claim. These pictures aren’t the best in quality (note my Papa’s scarface after surgery :-)) but they are the best because they capture two people who are pictures of what I want to be 53 years from now. Enjoy!)