Opinion

Hat Tips: After Christmas

Hello, I hope you had a Merry Christmas!  And I hope you will have a Happy New Year!  And as long as I’m hoping, I hope we have warm, gentle rains next spring.  And I hope the winter is mild, there are very few storms, and cattle prices go up.  You can always hope.  Hope is good.

I am glad the Christmas season is over.  You know that I am somewhat of a Scrooge when it comes to the Christmas season.  I’m hoping to be better.  There’s that word again.  Hope is good.

Shopping frustrates me.  Shirley does it for the kids and grandkids.  We give more gifts than Santa does.  I never have any idea what are in the packages until they are opened.  But she does put my name on them so the kids all think I’m a pretty good guy.

So the only gift I have to buy, like I said last week, is for Shirley.  And she never really wants me to get her anything.  But she is somewhat demanding.  This year she wanted me to straighten up the windbreak that blew over in the mares pasture.  Now that is asking a lot.  I would have to borrow a skidder from the neighbors.  And I would have to get out and open and close the gate twice!  Have you ever watched an old, fat man get in and out of a skidder?  It is not a pretty picture.

She asked me to weld up the panels in the calf pen.  I’ve had them tied up with the lead ropes from her colt halters for a couple years now.  I’m not a good welder.  And the halters seem to be working quite well.

Then she suggested that I build a gate, or buy her a gate, to put on the end of the alley.  So we don’t have to start the loader tractor and park it there when we sort calves.  Sorting calves with your spouse is not good.  You can only hope.  That word again.

Then she said it would be good if I stretched the fence up in the bull pasture.  So number 86 would quit getting out and rubbing on the trees that she planted 17 years ago and has faithfully hoed and watered for all those years.  Replanting many each year.  Because the bulls get out and wreck them.

It was a big list of Christmas wishes.  Too many for one husband to fulfill.  Looking at the list of her wishes, I was envious of men who can go out and buy their wife a necklace, ring, or coat.

So I bought her something we could share.  A bottle of Jack Daniels.

All this Christmas talk made me think of our neighbor girl years ago.  Karlee.  Her mother said she could see that Shirley had spent as much time with Karlee as she herself had.  Karlee said all she wanted for Christmas was “diamond spurs”!

Later, Dean

Dean Meyer is an area rancher and former North Dakota State Senator. His ‘Hat Tips’ column can be found in papers all across the state.

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