Posted 4/10/19 (Wed)
This past week was a harbinger of spring. Big word I know, but needed here. We had warm, breezy days. We had a night thundershower that woke me in the night and freshened the air up. And I swear it made the grass start to green up in a matter of hours. As I write this, they are talking of rain or snow, beginning in a day or two. It’s springtime in the Dakotas. Nearly everyone is in the middle of calving, so I’m hoping it’s a warm, gentle rain.
I know most of you that have followed my columns over the years, don’t realize that I am really a romantic kind of guy. Oh, I prefer a woman wearing coveralls, muck boots, and carrying two buckets of feed over a Playboy bunny, but I guess that could be age too.
But dang, the other day I was attracted to another woman. I shouldn’t admit that publicly, but I was. I’ll explain it.
I, believe it or not, was in a bar in the afternoon. Just for one, mind you. I was visiting with a rancher friend. And it was St. Patrick’s Day. There was a guy tending bar, and his sister, who also worked at the bar, was stocking things. Now this is an old bar with the ice maker in the basement. That woman came up those steep stairs carrying two five gallon buckets in each hand! Four buckets up steep stairs in one trip! I would bet she could carry more if it was level ground and not muddy! My heart nearly leapt out of my chest!
Back to my being romantic.
I really am. Especially in the spring. For most of our nearly 50 years of marriage, I would keep an eye out for the first crocuses of the year. Even if I was riding a colt that I was scared of, I would stop, pick a handful of the biggest, brightest crocuses I could find and gently place them in my jacket pocket.
Like a child, I would beam with pride as I took them into the house and presented them to Shirley. She would place them in a vase and we would marvel at how, after a long tough winter, spring was finally here.
The last few years, I’ve missed those crocuses. It could be that I’ve picked them all. I hope not. It could be that my eyesight is failing, but I can still read the small print on a beer can. It could be that I’m on a four-wheeler more than a horse and am not looking for them as hard as I once did.
But today, I am saddling up, and going to ride slowly along the ridge and keep an eye out for a handful. I’d like to get them before that snow gets here.