Working Cows

Working Cows

The popularity of the recent My Cow-Hating Man post made clear that numerous readers wouldn’t sleep at night until the final chapter in Hiram’s working-cows-with Donnie saga has been told.

And we can’t have that, now can we?

First of all, Hiram chose to not document his day on a horse with a cell phone photo, so my quick pic of the horse trailer galloping into the distance is the only pictorial record available. That and Hiram’s rather sunburned neck. But the reluctant cowboy wasn’t too keen on having that exhibit on record either.

All in all, Hiram survived the day very well, even enjoyed part of it, he says. The sky was a clear blue, the breeze mild, the temperatures in the 70s, and the scenery spectacular. A perfect day for riding a horse and working cows, even for a man who’s not real hep on either prospect.

Also, the horse was well-trained and responsive. Donnie’s horses always are. And the cowboys and cowgirls watched out for Hiram, giving him jobs like opening the gate and guarding an escape hole in a cattle chute.

Kinda cowboy-in-training jobs, as opposed to Donnie’s job of heading contrary cows in the right direction by grabbing and twisting their tails. “They don’t like that,” Donnie explained. “They turn the right direction in a hurry.”

“I did not grab a cow’s tail,” Hiram clarified. “Those tails are covered with cow poop.”

No wonder we’ve stayed married for almost 35 years.
He’s a cow-hating man with a whole lot of horse sense.
Who could ask for anything more?

My Golden Day – Recycled

My Golden Day – Recycled

Hiram and I have been living the west central Nebraska cowboy life since Sunday afternoon.  Limited internet availability is as common to the out west experience as beyond-our-comfort-zone proximity to cattle. Hence no blog post yesterday, though I promise to tell you more about my cow-hating man’s  day spent gettin’ along with those little doggies later this week. But for today, you’ll have to make do with this recycled post from two years ago about a golden fall day and the blessings to be savored in autumn.

My Golden Fall Day – Recycled

Fall is not my most favorite season, mostly because I’m the kind of person who’s always looking ahead and planning for the future rather than enjoying the present. So instead of relishing cool nights and pleasant days, the beautiful colors and signs of God’s faithfulness in another bountiful harvest, I view fall as the precursor of winter, my least favorite season.

But a goodly number of people who I love and respect think fall is the best thing since sliced bread. And last week, as I drove through the Iowa countryside on my way to some speaking engagements, I found myself agreeing with them. The corn was firing in the fields. The leaves on the trees displayed the faintest hints of yellow and orange when they waved from the roadsides. The cloudless, brilliant blue sky glimmered from one horizon to the other.

But most eye catching of all were the golden soybeans, halfway through their swift turning from green to brown. Field after field shimmered in the sunlight, a vast pirate’s treasure of glittering doubloons, piled acre upon acre, field upon field. mile upon mile.

Finally, on my way home, I pulled onto a gravel side road and photographed the scene. How could I not recored this annual flash of beauty which would soon tarnish and fade away? For once, I ignored the approach of winter, shoved aside the tasks waiting in my office, and relished the moment.

Then, I climbed into the car slowly and drove onto the highway. Winter grew closer, my tasks multiplied in my head, but nothing could steal the treasure stored in my heart. The dry smell of autumn, the crackle of leaves, the soft breeze and warm sun, the haze in the distance. My golden, fall day.