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Soul of the Desert

Waking Hours

Dad called the other day. We chatted about this and that (yes, cows came into the conversation.) Dad mentioned that he was worried about his health because he accidentally slept all the way to six two nights ago. *headdesk* You see, Dad usually gets up at four (and this is a concession to getting up at 3, which he did in the summertime for years to beat the heat.) He gets up at four, makes breakfast and then reads his prayers. He used to be out of the house feeding animals by five, but these days, he putters and snoozes until six. Well, of all things, he didn’t wake up at four the other morning. To hear him tell it, he had one foot in the grave and the other was sure to follow shortly (as in, any minute.)

I think we had this same conversation a few years ago when he decided not to get up at 3 anymore. (He still gets up at 3 or 3:30 when he has to go up to brand, so don’t panic and start dialing 911.)

It is true that he has slowed down. He’s 79! He used to get up at 3 and be out of the house by 4, up at the far ranch by 5 or 5:30 (depending on what had to be fed at the house) and then cut wood for six hours. Well, he can’t take that kind of schedule anymore. Strangely (according to him) he can’t stay out splitting wood past nine o’clock anymore.

I’ve pointed out numerous times that he doesn’t have to split wood anymore. They do have central heat now. But he does it anyway and sells the wood to the neighbors who don’t have such heating. He says the neighbors are old and who is going to cut wood for them if he doesn’t help the one or two old widows who have always bought wood? He also claims it gives him something to do. Because yanno, a garden, feeding three cows at the house, fifteen cows at the near ranch that require watering in two locations, twenty-five cows at the far ranch, branding, keeping up with truck maintenance and yard maintenance really isn’t enough to keep a man busy…

Don’t worry. I reassured him that it was okay if he slept until six. He disagreed with me, but I told him so long as it didn’t happen more than once or twice a year, it was okay. He just grunted.

Gotta love him. What else can you do???

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Posted: June 23, 2017
Filed in New Mexico, Walks in Life
Tags:, ,


  1. Sent that to my parents. I’m sure they will NOT be amused!

    Comment by Karen — June 23, 2017 @ 12:49 pm

  2. Oh sure, now I’ll get the blame!

    Comment by Maria — June 23, 2017 @ 1:05 pm

  3. There are many nights when I would kill to sleep until six. See, I think NOT sleeping is a sign of old age.

    Comment by Margaret Lake — June 23, 2017 @ 8:31 pm

  4. Don’t forget taking care of Mr. Ed too. 🙂

    Comment by Leo — June 24, 2017 @ 10:51 am

  5. Mr. Ed has been gifted to the neighbor that helps Dad out. As soon as branding season hit, Dad couldn’t handle training a high-energy horse and doing all the chores. The neighbor is thrilled and Dad has time to take care of the cows. Personally, I’d have gotten rid of cows and kept Mr. Snuggles, but no one asked me. I didn’t get to visit Mr. Snuggles on my trip, but I did email and he’s doing great.

    Comment by Maria — June 24, 2017 @ 10:53 am

  6. Loved this story, Maria! Well, I liked all of the stories you recently posted, but this one tickled me because it is such a great example of each individual having to eventually accept the fact he is getting Older. It’s a hard thing. I’m glad you are there to help him adjust, because it is an especially rough thing to slide down the hill a notch when the person is as active as your dad was, and is. He’s still got some of that pioneer spirit for sure. Sleep later in the morning? gasp. how humiliating. But I bet he will secretly start to enjoy it, at least sometimes.

    Comment by MaryJo Dawson — July 1, 2017 @ 4:32 pm

  7. Well, we’ll see just how often he sleeps in. 🙂 It’s very hot now so he has incentive to get up early and get things done, but you never know!

    Comment by Maria — July 1, 2017 @ 6:05 pm

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