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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The idea

It all started in a cardiologist’s waiting room. My fiance’, Page, was paying a visit to Karen, the lively physicians assistant who knew just how to talk to a southern-born man. It had already been determined through an angiogram that Page’s arteries were clear, but we were here to find out the results of further testing, to figure out why he sometimes still had trouble breathing.

I picked up a magazine, the name of which I no longer remember, but it was oversized and had lots of beautiful photography. Page was also reading and discovered, to his delight, that his weight gain over the past two years was simply because he was happily living with me -- a recent study had said so. Of course, this is Page’s interpretation, which he was thrilled to share with me.

After a few laughs over that one, I thumbed through the magazine, skimming articles until I came across one written by a man who had converted his cattle ranch to buffalo. The bison are native to North America and he soon discovered that raising them was easier and more natural than raising cattle. They had evolved to live in the Prairie, where his ranch was located, and removing the cattle and adding the buffalo had brought new life to his ranch. The native grasses and flowers were returning, along with wildlife that hadn’t been seen for a long time.

By the time we were called to Karen’s exam room, the few paragraphs I had read had captured my imagination, and were still lingering in my thoughts while I focused on Page’s breathing problems (he had asthma), medications, and Karen’s admonitions about diet and exercise.

On the ride home in the car, I mentioned the article to Page. Page and I had, over the few years we’d been together, casually discussed moving to the country, even having a very small farm, but never in great detail or with any actual plan to do so. Money was tight, since Page was no longer working full time. But something about the idea of owning and raising buffalo had lit a tiny seed of desire within me. I’ve wanted to live in the country for a long time. I was raised in a small town, but I am not a country girl by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve never experienced the hard work needed to keep a farm running, and I know next to nothing about it. But, the idea has always felt right to me. Now, my thoughts kept returning to the buffalo. I knew enough about them to know that their meat is much healthier than beef. And I knew enough about Page to know that he might like the idea of raising buffalo. He grew up on a farm in Florida and knew about animals, farms, and hard work. Page has always been a nonconformist, and I had a hunch that raising buffalo, instead of something more ordinary like cows or pigs, would appeal to his adventurous side. I was right; he kind of liked the idea. But, for now, that’s all it was: a crazy idea.

Buffalo Dream Catcher - Home

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