In case you aren't aware of this.....I am so PROUD of Chet. I love being his Mom and feel more than blessed that God chose us to be his parents. Parents, did I say parents? Many days I don't know how this happened...but I just take a deep breath, smile real big and say Thank You God! This video was taken yesterday at the Craig County Youth Rodeo Association Playday. Chet has worked real hard learning to ride and competes in Barrels, Poles and Flags. Please note, I hold my breath until he has safely came to a stop at the finish. Also, note the bright orange OSU Shirt he's wearing....his cousin Levy just transferred to OSU to play football in the fall, Chet saw him the day before and yesterday he just had to wear this shirt....for Yevy....I mean Levy.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Wow, what started out as a way to keep our far away family and friends updated on Chet has to make them wonder what is going on. We've been horrible on updating this and I promise that we will try harder.
So many things have happened in the last few months, Chet turned 5, Coy and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary, Chet sang a solo in the school talent show - the only Pre-K kid to perform...imagine that. Chet flew on a plane and saw the beach....but, the one thing that remains consistent is how fast he's growing up, yet reminding us daily that he loves life. I can't explain how it feels when out of nowhere Chet comes up and says, "Mom, can I tell you something?" And, of course, I say yes, (not that I haven't attempted to say no just to get a reaction out of him) but after I say yes, he says, "I surrrrrre do love you!" At that moment, NOTHING else matters!
Coy and I try to remind ourselves often how lucky we are to have Chet and each other as well. The bottom line is, we definitely have the same stresses that everyone else has, but we have them together and you know what, "Life is Fun!" More on the simple things that make my life fun in another post....soon to follow....I promise! marti
Monday, March 3, 2008
In 1974, while attending the University of Oklahoma, I pledged a fraternity. Now, this was not a scholastic fraternity, in which participation is generally designed to enhance the educational process. No, on the contrary; mine was a "social" fraternity. And, while there truly was a lot of "motivation" by the older members of the "Frat House," to study and achieve great academic achievement, much of our time was spent learning how to "socialize." And, I dare say that we were as good at socializing, as the University's football team was at winning National Championships.
So, when it came to learning the socialization process, I competed extra hard in order to out perform the other members of my Pledge Class. The days I spent within the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity House, were some of the finest times of my life. I have plenty of "Party Pics" (photographs used to blackmail aspiring politicians) to prove it, too. These include a wide variety of unusual costumes, outrageous antics, and extraordinary personal skills. Even today, as I study some of my old fraternity snapshots, I am led to believe that much of the activity occurred as the result of 'out-of-body' experiences.
There are some opponents who would argue that the ATO House would have been better described as the "Animal House," than a residence where young men would learn to aspire to greatness. Hey, I am not about to argue with them. Maybe it had something to do with the number of kegs being propelled off of the second story roof, or perhaps it was due to the repeated violations of the City's Fire Code. Better yet, it may have had a lot to do with our repeated run-ins with the University's (and the City of Norman's) "Finest." Hint: the Finest wore guns and badges and their cars were louder and went much faster than ours.......
Well, through it all, I was somehow able to graduate with a four year degree. And, besides managing to dodge the bullet for at least a dozen times or more, I was pleased with my ability to differentiate between foreign and domestic beer. So, I was ready to begin the employment phase. Interestingly enough, I became a police officer. I felt like I owed it to society, since I had caused the law enforcement profession so much grief during my tenure at the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.
It's hard to believe, but 32 years have passed since I stepped across the stage, shook hands with the University President, toasted my frat brothers, and bid the Sooner Nation good-bye. So, when I received a recent letter from the ATO Alumni Association, requesting alumni presence at a current ATO Fraternity event, I felt obliged to respond to Norman, Oklahoma. My wife kissed me good luck, I hugged my four-year old, and drove from my residence, realizing that I might never see my family again. After all, just as the official correspondence indicated, this was an Alpha Tau Omega event, and it said something about 50 current active members, a bar-b-que and poker. "God," I thought, "please don't make me drink again."
When I pulled into the ATO parking lot, I observed signs that things hadn't changed much in the past 32 years. There were guys sitting in chairs, on top of the fraternity house roof, and practically everyone was celebrating the Sooner's basketball win over Texas A&M; and that wasn't cans of pop or cups filled with coffee that were being consumed. It was like stepping back into the Twilight Zone. No, it was actually better!
As I stepped into the house, several "Actives," as they are called, approached me and didn't even require the sacred handshake. Thank goodness, because I barely remembered one of the ATO Founding Fathers and forget ever recalling the secret squirrel password that is intended to be whispered from one member's ear to another. Instead, I said "Bud", and they replied, "Light", and things couldn't have contained more ritual.
The "Active" Officers crowded around me and wanted to know what traditions they could bring back from the 70's (20Th Century) and I know they were disappointed, because much of our former traditions had to do with physical hazing, which is frowned upon these days. Truthfully, they don't need to worry about updating traditions. They are still upholding some of the more prevalent ones, which involve studying the chemical reaction during the fermentation process, meeting plenty of sorority members, and sharing a passion for hanging out at the fraternity house.
I quickly found that a few of the older guys from my dinosaur period, had dropped by the house, expressed respects, and headed back home. Not me, I had some catching up to do. Because, even though most of these guys were about 36 years younger than me, they were still my fraternity brothers, and I shared with them a certain bond that some people will never understand. And, that was apparent when they immediately made me feel at home, acquired a drink for me, called me "Bro" instead of "Pops" and demanded that I join them in a friendly game of "dice". And from there, we proceeded over to two different apartment complexes, and "closed" a popular bar along Campus Corner. All along the way, I had a tremendous time. Besides teaching me how to play "beer pong" and an assortment of other strategically challenging drinking games, the guys were all very accommodating and I was pleased that I had decided to join them, after so many years of being away from the University. Besides, everyone that knows me, realizes that I am still pretty young at heart, and it was good for me to reflect upon where I began my lifelong journey.
There is a saying I have heard, in which people insist, "You can never go back," making reference to the fact that things are never the same as when you did them before. I don't necessarily buy into that. I often go back. If, for no other reason, than to remind myself how important things were to me then, and why they need to remain important to me now. And, check this out. The morning after returning home to my wife and little boy, I discovered a voice mail message on my cell phone. It was from one of the "Active" ATO Members, Johnathon H., and he informed me that the "Actives" had held a Fraternity Chapter House Meeting and during a vote determined I was the "ATO Brother of the Week." While I am extremely honored by the gesture of their thoughtfulness, I am still a little annoyed that I lost at "beer pong". Sometime in the not so distant future, I am going back, a-gin. Get ready boys, this time your older brother will have his game face on; and I expect everyone to know the identity of my "Big" and my "Little" or it's "toes and elbows time, Gentlemen!"
Sunday, February 24, 2008
This story begins way back when I was barely seven years old. For it was at that time that my Grandfather brought home my first horse, a Shetland Pony named, "Pete". He had named him after a Tulsa bail bondsman named, Pete King, who was frequently used by our family to bail certain members out of the Tulsa County Jail. (That's another story, and I will gladly write about it when I get the time and the energy to provide all of the background. It's rather complicated, but entirely true and entertaining.)
Well, "Pete the Pony" took me through the formative stages of my cowboy youth, and if you have ever been around Shetland Ponies, then you know why it is today that I am pretty capable of handling most horses. So, now that I have a little boy of my own, I wanted him to have the same opportunities of experiencing the joys of owning his own horse, just as I did, growing up on a small ranch in northeast Oklahoma.
During this last summer Chet was riding his horse, "TEE," when something unusual occurred. "TEE is a little large for Chet and when I bought her, I thought he would be able to handle her without any problems. Well, I was wrong.
Chet was participating in a rodeo "Playday" for little buckaroos, when his horse, "TEE", for no logical reason, began to "crow hop." For you "green horns" that don't spend much time riding horses, a "crow hop" is a slight bucking of the horse, which sometimes ends up with the cowboy on the ground. Thus was the situation with Chet Jenkins, for he not only ended up on the ground, he bounced backwards off the saddle, was propelled through the air, and struck the arena dirt with a loud and provoking, "thud." While this little experience did not waver our little cowpoke, Daddy and Mommy decided that we needed a smaller horse for the Chet man.
Although my Grandfather, Clifford Jenkins, passed away several years ago, I am convinced that he continues to take care of me in the most peculiar ways. It doesn't bother me if you don't believe it or not, but he truly provides for my family and I. And, just as he provided me with "Pete," I know that he was the inspiration in locating a new pony for little Chet. And this is how it all happened.
I got up one morning, a few weeks before Christmas, and told Marti that we needed to begin an all out search for just the right horse for Chet. We didn't especially desire a Shetland, and we knew that the horse needed to be about 12 or 13 hands high, at least eight years old, and most of all, "dead broke." We knew that just locating such a horse would be a huge undertaking, much like finding a needle in a haystack, and I expected it to take several months and a whole bunch of money.
Well, believe it or not, on that very day I happened to drop by "Drysdale's Western Store," in preparation for Christmas holiday shopping. As I walked into the store I casually glanced at the bulletin board that maintains all types of classified and personal ads. There, among all of the advertisements for puppy dogs, stock trailers, baby sitters, and upcoming rodeo events, was a picture of a pony. I took a closer look and noticed that a couple was selling a small horse that was considered a part of their family. The advertisement had been placed on the Internet, so I suspected the little guy was long gone. He was 13 hands high, barely twelve years old, had been rodeoed on for several years, and was originally used as a part of a summer youth camp program. "Whatever," I thought, "that horse was probably sold a year ago and the lousy Drysdale's staff isn't sharp enough to clean up their outdated advertisements." But, just in case, I decided to telephone the number. Yeah, you're not going to believe this either. The ad had barely been posted, the pony was still for sale, and as it turned out, the owner and I were somewhat acquainted because of our jobs!
Long story short, "Colonel" the horse was purchased and he remained on the owner's property until Christmas Eve, when I snuck him home and placed him in our barn. We didn't give Chet any idea that Santa Clause was preparing to bring him a new horse; one that was quite a bit smaller than his "TEE" horse, who sort of bucked him off, which had left him somewhat annoyed.
On Christmas morning, after Chet had opened all of his presents, I stepped outside and found a sleigh bell laying on the front lawn. I yelled for Chet to come outside and together we began to find more and more of these sleigh bells scattered across the lawn. Chet raced along and methodically retrieved each and every one. All of a sudden the bells led directly to the barn, where he immediately noticed "TEE" comfortably inside her stall eating holiday oats and hay. But, Chet noticed something else, which was rather peculiar. There, in the stall next to "TEE's," was a new horse, one that Chet had never seen before. Let's just say for time's sake, that all of us were overcome with emotion. I have never witnessed such a surprised look on my little boy's face. It was worth everything we did to prepare for this special Christmas present.
These days "Colonel" has become known as "RIO" and practically runs the entire Jenkins household. He is very easy with Chet, loves to play with me at feeding time, and simply annoys the heck out of Marti. "RIO" is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible horses I have ever known. As far as holidays I have known, this will have been one of my most memorable Christmas' ever. And, I owe it all to my Grandfather, who brought home "Pete" when I was seven and made it all possible for me to bring home, "Colonel," when his great grandson was just four years old. I love you and know you were there on Christmas morning.