Friday, April 24, 2009

Sunshine Wash & Dry

Early on we lived in the old bunkhouse at the home ranch. I had small children, a very old washing machine, and a defunct hot walker for a clothes line.  The Cowman announced that he was going to sell some of his dry cows at the local livestock auction yard, and would be getting us a new washer & dryer. (The aftereffects of his washing a load of horse blankets in my washer instead of taking them to the laundromat in town might have influenced his decision.) 
Upon his return, I hear his pickup flying over the last cattle guard, goose neck trailer swaying, & dogs barking. Yes, my hero has returned home with a new washer & dryer. He steps out of the pickup, walks to the back of the stock trailer, and, Wait a darn Minute, that is not a washer & dryer in the back. It is one of the ugliest, tallest, nastiest looking horses I've ever seen. 
"Now honey, I was going to buy the washer & dryer, but, I can really cover some ground on this guy."
There are rules we live by: One, never under any circumstances buy a horse from a sale barn. Two, if you do suddenly become the owner of such a horse, do not bring it to the headquarters, tuck it away at the other end of the ranch. Three, if your really thinking, return it to the sale barn asap. The Cowman, having forgotten the rules, did none of them.
All he did was say, "the auctioneer said a 10 year old girl has been riding him, so he must be gentle, look how tall & long he is, he will be able to cover the ground, and he even has a little cow sense." 
After the dust settled on the discussion that followed, "Sunshine Wash & Dry" was given a bath, a grooming and installed in the horse barn. Where he was promptly nipped to the bottom of the pecking order in the horse herd. They weren't any fonder of him than I was.
A week later the Cowman decides it's time to move some yearlings to another pasture on Sunshine Wash & Dry. Around lunchtime I'm starting to get a bit worried as he should have been back sometime ago. Just then the Cowman walks in the back door, a little worse for wear: scratches, cuts, bruises, mashed hat, torn chinks, & shirt. He proceeds to walk thru to the gun case, unlocks it, pulls out the 348, and starts hunting shells. "That damn horse just bucked me off into the barbwire & railroad tie cross braces at the second cattle guard, and I'm going to put him out of his misery." 
"Wow, he must be really crippled up for you to have to put him down?" 
"No, he's fine, down at the horse barn, he ran off and left me to walk the two miles home." Ol Sunshine Wash & Dry was forgiven for his lack of cowboy etiquette and allowed to stay on, but the end was in the making. 
A while later the Cowman was down at the horse barn putting that horse thru his paces for the viewing pleasure of a friend. Here comes the friend trotting up to the bunkhouse, "You better come quick, when the Cowman comes to, if nothing of his is broken, he's going to be damn lucky." As we are hot footing it down to the horse barn the Cowman's friend relays the turn of events. All was going good: nice figure eight patterns, nice straight runs, fair sliding stops, fair quarter turns, then the Cowman had ol Sunshine Wash & Dry do another pattern and for some reason all hell broke loose. 
"I've never seen a horse buck so high," said the friend, "and I've never ever seen a cowboy go so high, straight up, and come straight back down, head first with his arms tucked neatly at his sides. It was something to see."
A few days later "Sunshine Wash & Dry" was gone, and not spoken of again. That spring we saw him at the BIG RODEO in the saddle bronc string, he'd changed his name, but we will always think of him as "Sunshine Wash & Dry".

Friday, April 10, 2009

Eggs Away

One Easter we decided to fore go the usual Easter egg hunt. My son-in-law had completed his pilot's training not long before the big day. The idea was to drop the eggs from his small plane into the alfalfa field beside their house. Everyone gathered in the field to await the grand arrival. All that is except my Dad, who having been a fighter pilot as a young man, stayed under cover of the porch. Not the rest of us. As we watched the little plane made a dry run. YeeHaw, this is going to be fun. He starts at the end of the long field and comes right at us, wags his wings, and starts dropping eggs. Even Elders can sure run thru the alfalfa when walloped by a brightly colored Easter egg from on high. The next pass it was only the grand-kids, myself, and the dogs out there laughing our heads off as we dodged egg bombs. Oh, did I tell you he was flying that little puddle jumper in a Easter Bunny outfit. C, your the best flying Easter Bunny ever.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Survival Bookmobile

I have been on the road a lot of late what with all of Himself's various doc & therapy appts. That said, it's a darn good thing that I have a small library of books in my ol SUV. Just drop Himself at the entrance, pull into a nice out of the way space, roll down the windows, and read.
At the moment it's: The Best New British Mysteries, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Stormy Weather, Opera 101, Letters of a Woman Homesteader, & the Lilac Bus. Oh, and one on chicken wrangling, and one on ornamental and useful plants from around the world. There is an emergency kit box in there as well, with a book or two in it. I had to toss the tire chains to fit them in. I wouldn't think of trying to survive without books.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Close to the Heart of the Matter

What fun to see the grands, if only part of them, and only for a few hours. That tall handsome young corpsman will be returning to duty in a few days. He has continued being a kind caring adult. He was the first of many grandbabies, as was his mother before him, so there is a very special place in his granny's heart for him. I was there at his birth, and a thousand other events over the years. I've Loved watching his life story unfold. Be proud Marymine, be very proud!