Posted 8/19/14 (Tue)
It’s been a different kind of August. At least in our corner of the pasture. Normally, August is hot and dry. You hope for a cool night, but they don’t come often enough. But when they do, you crack the window open, turn on a fan, and let that night air in. This year, nights have been in the 50s. Rain has been setting records. We’ve had just nice rains, but have friends and neighbors flooded out. I hope this finds you safe and dry.
Yesterday, I was going to get a calf in to the doctor. Now, I’ve spent $250 on medicine and darts on this lame calf, and he’s not improving. Still packing a leg. But he is getting so he can damn sure run on three legs. The range on my dart gun is limited, as is Shirley’s ability to hit a running target at 25 mph while bouncing across badger holes and mole hills on a 4-wheeler. They could have created a TV series that would equal some of the reality shows that are now on TV by filming us doctoring that calf. But, then again, it would have a lot of things bleeped out.
So, I saddled up and gave Shirley the plan. I’ll bring the calf up the tree row. You stay on the west side of the trees and keep him headed south. I drew it out on a bar napkin I happened to have in my pocket. Looked easy on paper.
That calf saw us coming, stuck that big foot in the air, and sold out! I loped along behind him. He busted for the trees and Shirley the Cow Woman was right there. He tried again. Again, Shirley the Cow Bender, was in the right spot. One last try and Shirley the Wonder Woman bent him into the corral.
As I rode up, she smiled and said (for the millionth time), “It’s an easy life if you have a good wife!” And I had to agree.
Then last night, I saw that ad (for the millionth time). “You don’t have to be lonely (hum along) at farmersonly.com.” Sick. Then there was another ad for christianmingles or something. Then a harmony deal.
And that reminded me of Pete and Edith. They were our neighbors. The best you could have. We shared coffee, kids, grandkids, machinery, blizzards and drought. We shared joy and tears. And I still miss them.
But one time, back before the internet and all of these dating sites, people used to post these ads. It was always a guy that “Likes romantic walks, love stories, dancing, sitting by the fireplace, enjoys a fine wine, spending time with his soul mate, neat, clean, shaves daily, wealthy...” Yeah, you know, he’s making this stuff up or he wouldn’t need to run an ad in the county paper.
So, one morning, I’m having coffee with Edith and I tell her I am going to run an honest ad just to see what happens. I was going to put “married man, loves alcohol and pinochle, occasionally team ropes, hates walking anywhere, overweight, unshaven, plays golf very poorly, doesn’t care for wine, hates romantic evenings by the fireplace, dirt poor and the future doesn’t look good. Looking for someone with similar interests and looking for a good time!”
I asked Edith if she thought anyone would reply. She didn’t even hesitate. “Alvin Gravos.”