December 30, 2013


Happy New Year!

I know you are not supposed to air your dirty laundry in public. At least that’s what my mother used to tell me. But I just have to get this off my chest. Shirley says I am starting to act like Grandpa Jack and Uncle Hugh, two of my favorite people of all time. You see, they always found work for us to do on holidays.
They would decide to preg check cows on New Year’s Eve. And it would be done up on the rez in the A. I. Pasture. The pasture was on a hill overlooking Moccasin Creek. In the winter it was always cold and windy. In the summer it was hot and windy. I guess it was built to keep the flies away. The only thing I could figure out.
Or they would decide to trail cows home from Charlie’s on St. Patrick’s Day. Or start a roundup on Thanksgiving. Or brand the first week in July.
And she accused me because I was looking at the forecast for the next week or so and trying to pick a day to preg check our cows. While nieces and nephews and kids are around to do a major part of the work. Christmas week was out because of family dinners and family travels. I’m not just talking Christmas Day or Eve. I’m talking the week. There is sledding and skiing and ice-skating and snow boarding and dinner at every relative and some people I don’t even know.
So I looked at next week. Can’t. New Year’s. What? Why not New Year’s Eve? We will be done mid-afternoon. I mean how many Tom and Jerry’s can you drink? Someone might invite us over. Oh.
I guess she is right. She usually is. And it won’t hurt to feed those old cows up a little after that cold snap last week. And by then, I might find someone to nail shoes on a horse anyway.
As usual, you just start getting over Christmas and New Year’s pops up. Now, if I were in charge, I would space them out a little better. You should have like a month in-between major holidays. I would celebrate New Year’s in August. We don’t have any good holidays in August. You could go to the lake. Go golfing. Rope steers. Have a family picnic. I mean, the whole world is waiting for a good August holiday. Instead, we celibate, I mean celebrate, but that too, in the winter when it is 10 below and snowing! You have to sit around in the dark for hours waiting for the stroke of midnight so you can hug and kiss people you don’t really like and wish them well. Spreading H1N1 and drinking sticky drinks! Give me August and a drink with ice in it.
I guess I’m not the only one that sometimes gets a little testy over the holidays. Had a friend telling me about his shopping the other day. It was the same friend whose wife was looking through the kitchen window in that storm.
He said he never liked shopping. I mean if you can’t get it at the House of Booze or the feed store, it most likely isn’t needed. I’m a lot like this friend.
Anyway, he and his wife had gone to Billings to Christmas shop. They were in that big mall and she separated from him to do some serious shopping and he sat down next to that pretzel machine in the middle. But, as men sometimes do after a couple of hours of watching crazy people walk by, he wandered off.
Thanks to the miracle of cell phones, his wife called him quite a bit later.
“Where are you?” she asked.
He quickly replied, “Remember that jewelry store we shopped at before our tenth anniversary? The one that had that beautiful Black Hills necklace with our brand on the pendant? The one you said you wanted more than anything in your life? Remember?”
His wife was breathless! She was taken aback that he would remember! “Oh God,” she squealed! “I do remember! I love you so much!”
“Well” my cowboy friend replied, “I’m in the bar next to that store.”

Happy New Year’s,