To the Editor,

We sometimes get so focused on finding and removing the weeds, we miss discovering the beautiful abundance of flowers that add to our lives here in Waxahachie and Ellis County.

This past week exemplified the latter part of the previous statement. There were many activities that added their color to our civic landscape and illustrated the unity part of our community well beyond just living here.

My wife and I donned our western wear and headed out to the Rodeo over at the Ellis County Youth Expo. She wearing the uniform of having growing up on a small farm off Howard Road and myself more of a townie celebrating a part of life that was once dominated in most of Texas but is now becoming more scarce, especially around these parts.

We arrived early and spent some time looking around at the booths and the new massive pickup trucks, making sure there was enough room in the extended cab part to set up a place to live, which we would have to do in being able to afford one of them. Being a semi driver in my past, I could make it work, but she gave me the wife look which meant a firm no way. So after grabbing some overpriced food and drinks, which is to be expected at such things, we found our seats on the top row where we could lean back and have some support and be close to the steps for a easy in and out, both requisites of us being in the full bloom of our maturity, so to say.

The place was filling up fast and the line of cars waiting to get in out on the service road was getting longer by the minute. The young bulls all wearing crisp jeans and trendy blocked hats strode by in unison trying to get the attention of the packs of similarly dressed girls walking around for the same purpose. Young families with little buckaroos and buckerettes all dressed appropriately carrying the gear needed just in case it was needed with the kids carrying cups of french fries tried to find seats with enough room. And there were older couples whose days of hard work on the farms and ranches were nothing but just what they do, where what is now sport was just part of daily life, carefully and gently glided to convenient seats, holding each other's hands in effortless duty to one another.

The rodeo began and cowboys and cowgirls tried their best to hone their skills and win some prize money. The crowd cheered when the gates opened and groaned when the rides ended quickly or the barrels hit the ground. Yet beyond all of this was the real reason we were there. And that was to support the youth of Ellis county who live in the more rural parts of our county. Beyond the city limits where life continues the traditions of generations past. And where the reality of being relatively close to an ever burgeoning metro area, part of a way of life slowly being lost. In spite of that, the youth continue to raise and show their livestock. The results of learning responsibility and how through hard work that they could be proud of what they have done. All participants should be applauded for exemplifying what makes that part of life here in Ellis County so good.

For us that don't live that life, we must respect those who do. When we look out for our communities, we must take in mind by how we garner growth, by how we plan for the future just what will be the effects on those who wish to live their lives in conditions different from ours. Those who have the same freedom to live their lives as they see fit as we do our own.

For we all are neighbors. We all are part of the community, albeit separated by yards or acres or miles. And we all add something to each other simply by being such. One of the great benefits of living in this area.

Just in time for the bluebonnets.

Alan Fox, Waxahachie