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Posted 12/09/09 (Wed)


Well, it happened! I was afraid it would. Winter is here! It seems kind of hard to believe, after the beautiful month of November, that December could roll in with such a change. Twelve below and a little windy this morning. I hope Shirley doesn’t freeze her face! Sure glad I bought her new coveralls this winter. Maybe not as romantic, but they last longer than roses!
We were moving cows over the weekend. Actually, Will, Jen, Daryl, and Colleen were moving cows. I was following with the boys in the pickup. Don’t really know who had the best of this deal. But Evan and RJ are cowboys. Although they are only one and three, they know the cow deal pretty well. After two days, as the cows made it the last couple miles, I took the boys up to the ranch house. Evan was mad. He wanted to watch the cows. I told him we had watched the cows for two days.
“I know,” he said, “but I didn’t get to see them go through the gate!”
We were laughing how it used to be. Grandpa Jack and Grandma would wrap kids up to trail cows in the winter. Uncle Hugh would make sure the girls each put a couple of leftover pancakes in their pockets, because he knew they would get cold and hungry before the gather, or drive, would be over. This was before they had little plastic bags to carry your lunch in. You would just pull that pancake out about noon, dust it off a little, and it tasted better than it did five hours before. I think this is where Shirley developed her aversion to cooking breakfast!
I was thinking about a friend that lives about 800 miles north of here. Up north and west of Edmonton, Alberta. It’s kind of where the world ends, and the arctic begins, I guess. He raises bucking horses in the brush around Bonnyville.
A year or so ago, Shirley and I visited him at their ranch. Winter hadn’t set in yet, but you could see they were expecting a long and tough one.
I guess that’s like that old story about the Indian guy who, when asked about the upcoming winter replied, “Going to be a long, cold winter”.
The questioning gentleman asked, “Do you go by the berries on the plants? Do you go by the fur on the coyotes? Are you able to tell by the whiteness of the rabbits?”
The old Indian shook his head. “No. White man put up lots of hay.”
Anyway, I called this cowboy up in Alberta later in the winter. I was watching the news and it was around forty below up in his area. I asked about the snow.
“It’s belly deep on a tall horse,” he replied.
“I tell you what,” he continued, “That will get the yahoo out of your saddle horse!”
Yahoo! I’m pushing Shirley out the door. Time for chores.