October 7, 2009



Woke up this morning to a cold, wet rain. I always wondered why you would say “wet” rain. Seems kind of redundant. Anyway, it is cold and wet out there.
I keep telling Shirley, “You had better put on an extra layer when you go to do chores. I don’t want you to catch a cold.” And she just glares at me.
“Well, I can’t do them. I have to write an article. Oh, and give the horses an extra bait of grain.” More glare.
Now, they are forecasting five inches of snow for this afternoon and evening in the southwest part of the state. They say it will be heavy, wet snow. I don’t have to remind many of you, but the last time they forecast five inches of heavy, wet snow, we received three feet of heavy, wet snow and it broke nearly all of the tree branches in Dickinson off.
“Shirley, don’t forget to put on a neckerchief. I don’t want you catching the flu!”
Every year, winter kind of sneaks up on us. I’m not sure why that would happen. I mean I am sixty years old. I should know by now that the snow is going to come in the fall and winter. I should not have to dig through the snow to put away garden hoses, lawn tools, and the toolbox with the sections and guards for the mower. I should not have to dig through the snow to find the hoof nippers and the rasp. My overshoes should be somewhere other than where I took them off last spring when the corral dried out. My winter cap should be in the entryway, rather that under the seat in one of the pickups.
“Oh, yeah, Shirley! Put a little straw in the doghouse for Shadow when you go by. I’m working on my article for the paper!”
I was thinking about the time the deer hunters got snowed in at the ranch. First day of deer season. I imagine in the mid-eighties. Started out nice as could be. We had a house full of deer hunters. The morning was nice, but by afternoon, the wind had risen, and we had a full-fledged blizzard roaring. By the next morning, we were snowed in.
Now, these deer hunters had plenty of refreshments. Not a lot of food, mind you, but they darn sure weren’t going to get very thirsty. And I ask you, have you ever been locked up with a bunch of deer hunters that had nothing to do but drink and play cards?
“Shirley, lock that skinny colt up in the barn before you come in, will ya?”
Anyway, these city deer hunters were listening to “the tirty point buck” over and over on a tape player and slopping down beer like there was no tomorrow. Every once in awhile one of them would go over and look out the door and report back that the hunt was off for another day. The card game went on and on and on. Pinochle, poker, and three-card guts. Five card stud and draw poker. You name it. We played it.
By the time the sun broke through the third day, I hated deer hunters. I had lost all of my cash and a good part of Shirley’s jewelry.
I was going to tell you…..
But  I can’t. Cause Shirley is outside hollering like a Comanche. I think one of the bulls has her cornered!