November 25, 2015


As usual, it is Monday morning and I have no idea what to write about. And I have very little time to do it, because I have hungry cows and calves waiting for that early morning feed.
And, per usual, I rely on Shirley to tell me what to write about. She suggested, that beings Thanksgiving is coming up in a couple days, write something thankful! So I was going to. And then I found this old article. Enjoy…
And a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! I usually write about how many relatives came to Thanksgiving dinner and try to do a summary of what it cost. It is kind of like the deal where they talk about “killing the fatted calf.” Only we do it with a 30-pound turkey, a nice big prime rib, and a delicious ham. Now, I know the turkey gets all the credit, but I tell you what, that prime rib goes pretty darn fast around our table.
I was at a cattle meeting the other night and it gave me a lot of food for thought. Reasons why we raise cows and kids and wheat and corn and horses and dogs and cats.
As you looked around the room, you saw a wide variety of people. Young. Old. Couples with small children. Oldsters that have been to meetings for 50 years trying to help rural America survive. I had a great speech in my head for ending the meeting. But one rancher spoke up before I had a chance. His voice was choked as he simply said, “I have a 10-year-old son that talks about wanting to be a cowboy and a rancher. If I don’t work to make this industry survive, he won’t have that opportunity. That’s why I go to meetings.”
I thought about it on the way home that night. Is there any better sound than a horse munching oats, after you’ve put in a long day in the saddle and are just sitting down in the barn? Is there anything better than helping your kids pull their first calf? Or take them on their first ride through the cows?
Is there anything better for a kid than knowing if they are going to go to the dance on Friday night, there are chores that need done first, and there will be chores that need done at daylight on Saturday?        
I know there are millions of people out there that don’t have that opportunity. But it always seems to me, that as a rural parent, we have a little advantage that makes our job a little easier. I think most in people in the Dakotas have that advantage.
Shirley was at a meeting with one of the commanders of a unit from North Dakota that had been in Iraq. This was some time ago. The question was asked “if the troops had the supplies and armament that they needed.” The soldier thought a minute and replied that they didn’t, but he had a bunch of boys from North Dakota that could pull a truck into the motor pool and with a welder and some scrap iron improvise. I’m glad they can help. But I wish they were home.
We have a lot to be thankful for. Oh, there are always problems. There is drought and war and sickness. There will be loss of loved ones and those that can’t make it to dinner.
But, when you get up in the morning, and watch that sun coming up in the east. And you know that next year is going to be a good crop year. And you are surrounded by kids and grandkids, take the time to be thankful. And say a prayer for those that can’t be at the table this week.