June 15, 2011



Another couple of inches of rain last night! Another day of putting on rubber boots, watching the grass grow, and thinking about all the hay there is to cut. We have a little seeding to do, but it looks like it might be planted to sudan grass in July. I’ve always maintained that I would much rather wait for it to dry up than wait for it to rain. I’ve been through enough droughts. Don’t like them. Never have. But then, I don’t live on the banks of the Missouri, Mouse, Red, or Mississippi. Even the Indians from a thousand years ago knew better than to build on the banks of the river. But that is another story.
So, as I was looking through some old articles this morning, trying to find something to do with flooding, I came across an old drought story that brought a smile to my face. I hope it does yours.
One thing about a drought. It sure cuts down on what you have to do at home. I mean, you just seed your crop in the spring, and then you’re pretty well done till next year. You don’t have to cut your hay more than once, and many do not get to do that. You don’t have to combine. You worry about fires and hay supplies and livestock and grain prices. But, worry is not work. It is harder.
Because we are so dry, it gave us an opportunity to go down to Crook to dry watch the ranch while Carm and Matt went to Cheyenne. Now, our job was to feed the steers, saddle horses, watch for fires, and take care of the grandkids. Beats the heck out of sitting home waiting for a rain cloud.
But, you know how grandmas are. Shirley says if our grandkids grow up to stutter it is my fault. My fault! Just cause I scared the kids a little.
We went fishing on the Little Missouri. Fishing is using the term loosely. We had three rods. A “Barbie Doll” pink, a “Tigger” orange, and a wore-out blue one. Between the three rods, we had one hook.
Since Gage was doing the casting, we soon decided that one hook was too many and removed it. It was more of a rock-skipping, moss-gathering, peanut butter sandwich kind of day than actual fishing.
Now you have to remember that Gage is less than two, and Gracy is five. Brave little ranch kids. But after a couple hours, I went off into the willows. While I was there, I was attacked by a bear! Shirley and the kids could hear me screaming, and see the willows thrashing around. Oh, it was an epic struggle. Finally, the bear got the best of me and there was complete silence.
The kids kept hollering for their grandpa. Meantime, I had escaped from the bear, and began to crawl around behind them on my belly. Now trust me, even on my belly I still stick up a fair bit. But I did get around them.
As I peeked out of the tall grass, Gracy was carrying a five-foot-long piece of driftwood. Gage was carrying a big rock. They were edging closer and closer to the willows where the bear had devoured their grandpa.
Suddenly, I let out a roar and charged from the willows. Gracy dropped her club, and with eyes larger than her head, raced for Grandma. Gage tried to move, but was stuck between gears and could only scream. His rock proved a worthless weapon against a bear attack as he dropped it on his foot.
I was rolling on the ground with laughter. Until Grandma picked up that five-foot-piece of driftwood, and whacked that bear across the back.
Note to self: Grandma is not scared of bears.
Reminds me of a story Grandpa Jack used to tell. This guy came across this old mountain man sitting outside his cabin. Inside a heck of a ruckus was going on. He asked what was happening. The mountain man said a bear was in the cabin fighting his wife. And he had never seen a fight that he cared less about the outcome!