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evenin' sir..... (fwd)

thought y'all might like a glimpse of west Texas life.....

Marge Wood   woodm@nicanor.acu.edu   (915) 674 2341  
what I did this morning...

Let's put on our hiking boots and wear our swim suits and carry 
some food  and go wandering. 
This morning I made myself get up even though I'd not had enough sleep 
and went on out to the ranch for awhile to watch Jim and Glenn and their 
friends work cattle. All I actually saw (they had all the cows and calves 
in the lot) was them separating the calves from their mamas. There were 
everything from little bitty calves to huge ones that surely were nearly 
ready to eat--they sure were trying to do other grownup things. I wanted 
to grab one of those teeny calves and bring it home with me and might 
have asked if I'd had a pickup and a bigger back yard. And going up I 
finally noticed the names of the roads. Long about when you think you've 
for sure gone too far west on the caliche road alongside the railroad, 
you finally come to Nolan County Road 121, and then you see that you've 
been driving on Nolan County Road 170.  Road 121 goes north across a 
narrow bridge with no side rails, across Sweetwater Creek and winds 
around through a tunnel of cottonwoods and mesquites and sunflowers and 
other lovely vines, forbs and trees. Finally, after passing a couple of 
gates and cattle guards, you come to a big gate that's been kind of 
knocked a bit off balance and you have to wrestle it a bit to get the 
catch open to drive through. After you drive through and close it back 
up, wrestling and lifting it so's it will catch properly, you drive very 
carefully so's not to knock the bottom out of the car and lift over a 
rise that looks from here to yonder, miles and miles of slight ups and 
downs of farm and ranch land, bounded on the southern edge of vision by 
the Callahan Divide. Swallows and various hawks are swooping and rolling 
in the air, grabbing the grasshoppers and other bugs. There, over the 
rise, is a hobbled horse, nibbling at grass and ignoring the saddle and 
lariat on his back. Nearby is a pen full of bawling cows and calves and 
cowboys, one of whom is actually wearing those leather pants things that 
I forget what they're called but if I did much roping I'd sure want some 
myself, and with long-sleeved white shirts and white straw hats to keep 
off the sun. EAch of the men in the lot has a quirt--looked like one was 
an electric prod--moving the cattle from one pen to another. After they 
all got the cows away from their babies, they set to getting the 
yearlings out from the babies. I wish I could have stayed all day but I 
couldn't. Working cattle, as you likely recall, means running them 
through the narrow place that I forget what you call it--see what happens 
when you move to town? you forget all the useful stuff--and squeezing 
them up tight in a contraption so's they can brand, castrate, medicate 
and goodness knows what else to the calves who are wary of any human by 
now. The calves have really long eyelashes and freckles on their big 
rubbery looking noses. I want one. But I'd get over it quickly enough.

Well, I'm at work now, and the swallows and flowers are still waving in 
my brain. Charlie, at lunch, was grumping about having to work outside, 
and I said well, even if you DON'T like it, it's still good for you, the 
best mental health activity you can have. I hope he comes around. I also 
hope he does what I asked him to do.

Here, have a jug of iced tea.....

Marge Wood   woodm@nicanor.acu.edu   (915) 674 2341