My wife, Debbie, loves her animals. She takes better care of them than most politicians do the folks who voted them in office.
Just before Christmas, Debbie went with her brother to watch our middle nephew play in a basketball tournament. It was an all-day affair.
I opted to stay home to pick up a sack of cat food at the local farm store, watch the OU vs. ISU football game, work on my newspaper news and do a little “on-line” Christmas shopping.
Sometime after 3 p.m., I sent Debbie a text and asked if she wanted me to feed her animals. I’m sure she about fell off the bleachers.
To put this in context, I don’t feed her animals. I sometimes help, if she can drag me outdoors, but I rarely feed her horses, the puppy and the kitty cats.
It’s my job to haul the hay and pick up dog, cat and horse food and take care of other animal-related duties. If one of our nephews is with us, they use their muscles to help us load and unload feed and hay and that is a big help.
As I mentioned earlier, Debbie is particular about how things are done. And it’s detailed, too! Everything from how to shut gate on the horse pen to the order she feeds our puppy his treats. He’s not a puppy, he’s 10 years old, but we still call him a puppy.
So, after feeding the horses their daily regimen of feed, I opened the horse pen and tippy toed through the piles of poop to fill the hay rack. We have a nice hay rack we bought a few years back. Debbie places the hay in the rack and goes through it to makes sure it is hay. She wants to make sure there is no loose string or other foreign objects. I remember once when she found a paper plate and empty soda pop can in a bale of hay. It must have been the road ditch variety of hay.
Afterwards, I latched the gate, fed the outdoor cat, checked on the indoor cats in the garage and then feed and petted our puppy.
When Debbie arrived home that evening it was some time before she came inside. I thought maybe she was visiting with her brother or was on the telephone with one of the other nephews. No, she was out checking the horse gate. Apparently, I had the gate chain too loose and the extra wire she uses not even wrapped around the gate. I just wrapped it around the fence post.
Debbie chuckled at it all and was thankful that I helped. Feeding the animals in the dark is never fun.
Well, I am a city boy. Growing up I had a cat, but not horses, cattle or even a dog. Most of my cats were indoor/outdoor cats. I don’t even remember having a litter box in the house.
My uncle and grandpa on my mom’s side of the family raised a few cattle. My mom loved to take a trip to her parent’s house, who at the time lived in Coweta, Okla., and milk the Jersey cow. She loved fresh cow milk. I didn’t care for it. I liked the store bought kind.
Later, after my parents moved to their acreage south of Tulsa, my mom got her own Jersey cow and milked it for years. My dad raised a few cattle and the neighbor to the west let him graze his cattle on his land.
When others asked how many cattle he had, my dad would say, “Under 100.”
He would sell his calves every December at the Tulsa Stockyards and use the money to buy the family Christmas gifts. He also saved pop cans at work and he’d load his truck full of them and cash them. Oklahoma didn’t, and may not to this day, have a bottle bill. So, cans sold at the price of scrape aluminum. He raised about $50 and would take us all out to eat at Bob’s Fish and Fowl, a fried food delicacy in southeast Tulsa.
Anytime we stopped for lunch or supper at Bob’s, my dad would always tell me to pass the salad and bread and get to the meat. “You will fill up on bread and salad and won’t have any room for the fish and chicken,” he’d tell me.
Life is all about learning and trying new adventures and we all know that 2020 has been an adventure.
Well, a new year is upon us, so go out and make the best of it. Follow your dreams and keeping on moving forward one step at time. Just don’t forget to latch the gate.
Happy New Year, all!
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.
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