Posted 1/19/16 (Tue)
The first thing I usually do in the morning is check the temperature and wind. And this winter, for most days, that has been a pleasurable experience. Only a few days of minus degrees and most mornings the wind hasn’t been too bad. This morning the winds are very light and the temperature only a -14! As Bud Grant showed a week ago, shirt-sleeve weather!
I have a foggy memory. Maybe it’s the age. Or like that song, “Coulda been the whiskey, might have been the gin.” Not really, but I did like that song. I don’t remember a winter with this nice of weather. Looking at the forecast for the rest of the month, we stay above zero and only a slight chance of snow. No minus wind chills. No blizzards. High in the 20s and 30s and lows above zero! Makes you wonder why everyone loaded up and headed for Arizona and Florida!
I’ve a u-joint out on the feed pickup. It’s the front one so I figure until it snows more, or thaws more; I can get by with two-wheel drive. It makes it a little hard for Shirley to shovel because I can’t use low range. And bouncing over the frozen feed ground where the cows have been bedding down is pretty dang rough. She used to be able to handle it better. But with age, and having a desk job five days a week has taken its toll on her sense of balance. Thank God once in awhile we have a three-day weekend so she can have a few days to shake the cobwebs off and get to ranching again!
Back in the day, when we would go to the river to cake cows, she was pretty dang good at it. I could holler at her to, “Hang on! I’m going to take a run at that drift!” And she would grab onto that cab or the box and could ride that baby through anything. She could shovel off a ton of cake in a half hour without breaking a sweat.
Now, she kind of whines…Well, actually, she screams because she is going to fall off if I don’t slow down. Which I can’t do. I’m in first gear. And low range is out.
So she thinks she should drive! Really! She thinks she should drive! Now, how in the heck is a 300-pound fat guy going to shovel cake over that rough ground? I mean that is the definition of mission impossible.
I guess it is like the guy that was going across Montana on 94. He’s enjoying the scenery, listening to country music, and thinking about cows. That’s what ranchers think about when they are driving.
All of a sudden he looks in his mirror and there is a highway patrolman right behind him with the flashing lights on. The rancher quickly pulls over on the shoulder and the hp comes up.
“You forgot your wife in Miles City,” he explains.
“Thank God,” the rancher exclaimed! “I thought I had lost my hearing!”