Mixed-up times

Laugh Tracks in the Dust


These are mixed-up times for me. I’m writing this column in advance of our anticipated move to our new home. So, that means, if all goes according to plan, that I’m writing this column before we move, but you will read it after our move.
This week we got most of our packing up ready for the move. The walls in our home are bare, as are most of the cupboards.
A lot of the furniture of the new owners is already sitting in our basement, and a pet aquarium snail belonging to the teenage daughter of the new owners is also living in our basement.
My latest encounter with wildlife at Damphewmore Acres is another hungry prairie falcon — most likely a fall migrator. Yesterday, it killed and ate a large portion of one of the hens that was going to the new owner. Between the foxes and the falcons, the new owner will be lucky to have any chickens left. So, for the next week, I guess I’ll have to keep “their” hens in the henhouse for protection.
I’ve been involved on the periphery of farming and ranching for decades — long enuf to have sorted through a bunch of agricultural truisms. The list of truisms, as it stands today, follows:
• It never wise to make square bales of hay heavier than your wife can lift.
• Just for orneriness, it’s fun to always keep enough open cows in your herd to aggravate your veterinarian.
• It’s never wise to ever insist that your wife back up a gooseneck trailer to anything.
• It’s presumptuous to ever assume your dog will learn more than you can teach it.
• The smart move is to always let your wife drive the rig that is being pulled.
• Experience proves its never wise to expect much help from a cattle truck driver wearing new coveralls and ostrich boots.
• It’s a mistake to ever put anything you need on the north side of the shed in the winter.
• Be prepared: Always insist, if your check bounces, it’s your bank’s error.
• It’s wise to never build a wire gate tighter than your wife can open and close.
• Experience proves it’s never wise to expect a borrowed tool to return to its proper place promptly and in the same condition.
• It’s wise to always expect a machinery breakdown of some sort if a storm is approaching.
• It’s a given for your best bull to come down with trich or anaplasmosis.
• If it’s never rained for months, always expect a toad-strangling, water-gap-breaking rain when you’re on your long-put-off out-of-state vacation.
• It’s unwise to expect a cheery welcome home when you’re late for supper and the food is cold.
• The Law of Livestock dictates that the smallest heifer in the herd will have the largest calf and need expensive vet assistance.
• It’s unwise to expect to re-find the profit-assuring article in your favorite farm or ranch publication that you stashed away for future reading.
• You can be assured you will rip a hole in your new insulated denim jacket the first time you wear it.
• It’s the Law of Succession at work: Rest assured your teenage son will “know” more about farm management than his archaic dad and be plenty ready to explain it.
• When a windshield gets cracked on the gravel road, be assured it will always be on the family SUV, not on your ancient and battered beater of a feed truck.
• If you have two cats, one a house cat, the other a feral refugee, it’s a certainty that they both will efficiently kill song birds at your wife’s bird feeder.
I’m certain there are other aggie “truisms,” but those are the ones I could conjure up this week.
Two ranchers were confabbing in the middle of the road about happenings in their community. One rancher said, “Did you hear about old Billy. He got remarried at the age of 90. And his new wife is only 30 years old.”
The second ranchers replied, “We have a name for that kind of thing in my family. We call it a football wedding.”
The first rancher queries, “Just what is a football wedding?”
The second rancher replied, “She’s just waiting for him to kick off.”
My words of wisdom for the week relate to the above story: “Anyone who marries for money eventually earns every cent of it.”
Enjoy the fall weather. Hope your harvest is better than you expected.
And, last but not least, “Have a good ‘un.”


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