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Dad stories

Bull-oney

I was just finishing up watering the cow this morning when Dad drove up. “Want to come and check the water at the Noonday with me? I need to see if the bull is there.”

“Sure.” I had my shit kicker boots on because to water the cow you have to enter the pen. I did have my nicer sweat pants on because I was only planning on watering the cow and the garden. I hadn’t had breakfast either.

Off we went. The bull was not at the tanks. Why would it be so helpful? That meant we counted cows and headed over to the other side of the mountain pass to check the other side. There are really two sets of mountains here (this is the nearby range, not the far ranch). The bull wasn’t at the water tank on the other side of the mountains, either. This side is fairly steep, but don’t despair. What follows are Dad’s comments as we searched.

“I made a half-ass road to get up this hill.”

IS THERE ANY OTHER KIND?

“I’m not sure if the road goes to the right or left of this tree.”

DOES IT MATTER??? If you can’t see it, what is the point???

“I’m going to build out this road on the end to go all the way down to the arroyo. I won’t be able to drive back up it, but I can get the truck down it.”

That should give you an idea of just how steep some of these hills are. One way–because sliding down is always easier if you can see what you’re going to hit.

Up on the next ridge:

“I’ll drive as close to the edge as possible so you can see down into the canyon better.”

Gosh, Dad. Favors like that simply aren’t necessary. I’ll just walk.

“I don’t know where that bull is. I’ve never gone over the top of this hill with the truck. I wonder if we can make it. It looks clear.”

Not that we could see OVER the top. Noooo, that doesn’t happen until we actually top it and the truck points DOWN. I thought it didn’t go too badly, though. Not until we had to go back UP the downside. Going down the truck didn’t slip. Going up was all about grinding rocks and slipping sideways. Even Dad said, ‘Shit” twice. That was followed by:

“I used to enjoy riding up here in the truck. Now that I’m old I feel every bump and every rock.”

That’s not because you’re old, Dad. I can feel them too because there is nothing but bumps, rocks and banging into the door and window as you try to hold on.

“Oh Shit,” Dad said again. “I just went over fresh cow shit with the back wheel. Now the bumper and tire is going to be full of cow shit. I’m going to have to wash the truck.”

Whatever, Dad.

We did not find the bull. So we’ll have to go back out again when it cools off. Cows and bulls sit under trees in the midday heat, which makes them impossible to see. They are merely dark shadows in the shadows off in the distance. Sometimes you get lucky and they are along the dry riverbeds where we take the truck, but it’s not worth driving out there much past 11. We looked for over two hours. We counted cows three times because we overcounted at one spot and had to go back to verify the actual number at the first tank after double checking the ones in the sandy riverbed.

When we got home, since I’d already showered first thing in the morning (fool) and then hiked about looking for a bull, I gave El Paso his bath. Then I took another shower. If we go out again tonight, I’ll be taking a third. It’s not that I have to be pristine all the time, but I was hot, sticky and smelled like cows and dog. It’s also impossible to get a comb through your hair after driving around for two hours looking for a sneaky bull.

Posted: September 13, 2017
Filed in New Mexico, Walks in Life
Tags:, , ,

Down the Rabbit Hole

So, I’m visiting the parents on the ranch again. Dad and I went to look for cows on the far ranch. You know the place. Fifty miles past the middle of nowhere, no good roads. Dad decided I needed to learn to drive out there (again. You will recall the last time he decided this, he let me drive for about five minutes before declaring I was trying to kill him.) It rained recently, so many of the main dirt “roads” were full of ditches where the water had carved out a rocky path. Just remember, ladies, when you’re asking for equality, it isn’t always a boardroom job. No, we have to be equal when it comes to cows and roads too.

I was doing pretty well, bouncing us along about five miles an hour or so. I switched into high-gear 4 wheel drive when we reached the ranch part. I know the general route and know where the gates are. Hint: If you are on gate duty, the way to tell which way the gate opens is to note where the truck stops. If the truck stops with enough room to open towards the truck, it’s going to open that way. If the truck goes all the way up to the gate, it opens the other direction. There is no other obvious way to tell. If I am driving said truck, I just GUESS.) Dad didn’t complain much about the extra walks to the gates and on the bright side, I didn’t run over Dad or a gate!

When we came to the spot where the earth tank had run across the road, I asked about putting the truck into low-gear 4 wheel drive. “You don’t need it,” Dad said. “But I don’t know why you’re in drive instead of 1st gear. You drive like the neighbor. I think it’s easier in first gear.”

Well, if he’d MENTIONED that, I guess I’d have been in first gear. FINE.

We made it through the running mud puddle. I was pretty pleased.

On the other side, up an incline, we found a set of cows. “STOP!” Dad yelled.

“GAH!” No, we weren’t under attack, but apparently he had determined we were as close as we’d get before they ran off so he wanted to stop to note the ear tag numbers. It hardly seemed like an EMERGENCY stop order to me. We were only piddling along anyway. SHEESH.

We counted cows. Then the cows wandered into the road in front of us. Mind you, some of these cows stand taller than the front hood. Sometimes they stop. In the dirt road track. See, I don’t appreciate this because I like a tiny bit of momentum for the hills. “Just push them with the truck,” was Dad’s advice.

I honked the horn. The cow didn’t like that. She skittered forward three or four steps before glancing back and…stopping. I moved forward and honked. This time she decided to stand her ground and invite her calf to hang out as well. OH FOR THE LOVE OF. I tapped her with the truck grill. So far as I know, the only purpose of a truck grill is to tap cattle to get them moving. But I see a lot of these truck grills in Austin. I know all those trucks don’t have to worry about cows. Yet they all have grills. Why???

Anyway, Cow 19 decided she’d move. She took her calf along with her.

“Stay close, or she’ll stop again,” Dad advised.

BOTHER.

That worked until we came to the bull. The bull was facing us and is larger than the cow. Less pleasant looking too. Big black face. Giant face, in fact. “Get out of the way,” Dad called out the window.

The bull looked at him and gave this kind of nod and a snort and moved aside.

We all know that if I had politely asked that bull to move, he’d still be there blocking the road into next week. Dad is the cow whisperer in this family and I can pretty much guarantee that bull would have just stood there looking at me for a week, maybe two.

This sort of searching for cows and jotting down their tag numbers continued until we arrived at the water tank an hour or so later. There, we checked the water levels and took a short break before Dad said, “You better let me drive. It gets rough from here.”

WHAT??? And those roads were what? Freeways???

If it had been anyone other than Dad, I’d have rolled my eyes and made a smart remark. I also wouldn’t have believed whoever came up with such a ridiculous sounding lie. I kept my mouth shut and got in the passenger side.

The first part wasn’t too bad if you don’t count the spinning wheels, the rocks sliding out from under the wheels and the fact that the road by the river had grass so long, we couldn’t see the actual road. When we had to cross the running creek, boulders had rolled down and there were potholes the size of the tires.

“I’m not sure I’m on the road anymore,” Dad said. “This isn’t in very good shape.”

“I guess it’s the road now,” I said.

“Yeah,” he agreed happily. “If we aren’t stuck, it’s a road.”

That pretty much sums up Dad’s definition of “road.”

We went by the cabin, still looking for more cows. There were none to be found. Past the cabin, there is a fork in the road. You can take the low road or the high road.

“With the rain, I wonder if we can make it up the high road,” Dad said. “We should be okay, but I guess we’ll slide back down if not.”

Ah, words of reassurance. Dad is such a comfort.

We started up the first rock, some sort of gate into the road from hell. The truck was working pretty hard at this road, but we weren’t moving very often. It got steeper and rockier. “I guess I should have let you drive this part so you’d learn.”

“I know how to drive up this road,” I replied through clenched teeth. “You take the low road.”

He snorted at my lack of enthusiasm.

The first time the rocks went out from under the wheels, we didn’t actually slide back. We just pedaled in place and at least one of us prayed. The rocks rolled under the wheels as if we were on some kind of churning balls. They moved, we didn’t. The tires were grinding, but they held.

The second time it happened, the truck slid sideways and then refused to continue climbing. Dad said, “You let it roll back a tiny bit until the tires grip and then you go again.” He demonstrated by easing up on the gas, letting the truck roll backwards as he worked the brakes with the other foot. It would have been more impressive if I’d heard the rest of the instructions, but I was praying too hard to actually catch whatever it was he was yelling against the sound of sliding rocks, grinding tires and revving engine.

Dad kept up this type of survival driving the rest of the way up the cliff. He had the GALL to start WHISTLING. There I was in the middle of the fourth Hail Mary and he seemed to think this was some kind of fun! Whatever, Dad.

We weren’t having much luck finding the cows. We went over a hill, across a valley, back around and to a lower road. I think it’s the other end of the low road that we should have taken instead of the high cliff road, but I’m not positive. “I guess we should take that and see if we can find the rest of the cows,” he said. “We need to brand the last four tomorrow.”

So we started on the low road, only then there was another fork in the road. Yes, of COURSE he took the high road! HMPH.

It wasn’t actually bad though, not compared to the other one. Not until he asked, ‘Is that a road there?”

“No,” I responded without bothering to look. My road philosophy differs from his. Mine is: “If you can’t see it, it isn’t a road.”

“Oh, you’re right. Here it is.”

No, it wasn’t. We just veered off into a bunch of brush that didn’t have an actual tree in the way.

“I haven’t driven down here in a long time so the road is hard to find.”

He meandered along a completely unmarked tiny rabbit trail. I just kept my mouth shut and looked for cows.

“I don’t think they’ll be down here. I don’t see any fresh tracks or cow dung.”

Well, so what? I hadn’t seen a road and that hadn’t stopped him either!!!

We went round and about and then came to a spot that seemed impassable. “I’ll turn around here. Did you see any fresh tracks on that ant mound back there?”

“No, there were no fresh tracks.” This was a true statement. I’d seen the ant mound because it was the only sandy area visible. The rest was covered in grass, weeds, trees and cacti.

“We should probably drive closer and check.”

Well, since roads weren’t a requirement, why not????

He backed up, made a circle, did this and that and we were on our way. We got over to the ant mound by driving over two small oak trees, and taking a tree branch on both windows/mirrors at the same time. Note: While watching for cows, you must also watch for trees that jab inside the window.

There were no fresh tracks and no cows and no cow dung. He drove a bit past the mound so that we could get better visibility up the side of a nearby hill, but no luck. He turned around.

We drove out a few yards and found the ant mound. Dad stopped. “Where did the road go? Is that it?”

“No.” There was a huge rock just past where he was pointing. We hadn’t gone over anything that large because we wouldn’t have made it.

He drove some more.

“Is that it?” I pointed to a small tree. “We went over a small tree or two.”

“I don’t remember that tree.” He drove up to the tree. “Yeah, this could be it, but I don’t remember that tree. Maybe this is it.”

Another few yards and suddenly a huge tree loomed. Rocks jutted out like some kind of wild graveyard. “I don’t think this is it,” Dad said.

“Look there,” I yelled. “It’s a rabbit.”

Dad gave me a surprised glance. “That’s just a jackrabbit. So what?”

“So you took a rabbit track down here. Ask the rabbit. It knows this track.”

Dad snorted. The rabbit hopped away. Dad drove to the right until we hit more trees. “This isn’t it either. There are no truck tracks from us coming down this way. Now we’re lost.”

Technically, we weren’t lost. We knew right where we were. We even knew where we wanted to be: The top of the hill. What we didn’t know was HOW TO GET THERE.

He got the truck turned around and we headed in the general direction of the ant mound. The rabbit appeared again. “Follow that rabbit,” I said. “I’m telling you this is a rabbit track!”

Since the rabbit was in front of us, Dad followed the rabbit. When it veered left into the brush, Dad stopped and looked that way. “Yup, this is right. I see the tracks.” He meant the truck tracks, not the rabbit ones, but really, what’s the difference???

Saved by a rabbit. Unbelievable.

The adventure continued as we hunted cows. At one point, Dad had to back up a very long way because we went down a road that he decided wasn’t going to lead to cows and there was no place to turn around. This didn’t even faze him. CRAP. I can barely drive half those “roads” while looking straight ahead. He backed that truck up like he was still going forward. I’d have ended down the side of the hill even on the best of the “roads.”

Yeah. I learned something all right. FOLLOW THE RABBIT!!!

Posted: September 8, 2017
Filed in New Mexico, Walks in Life
Tags:, , ,

Nutrition

As y’all know from reading One Good Eclair, I’m very into nutrition. So when I am at the ranch, I cook my parents all kinds of…interesting dishes to make sure they are getting proper nutrition. Today as we were doing the dishes, Mom asked Dad, “Can you tell how much healthier you are with your daughter here cooking for you?”

Dad grunted.

I said, “It must be working because he’s definitely better looking than he was on Sunday.”

Dad dried the plate in his hand, looked over at me and said, “That’s only because I haven’t shaved since Sunday.”

Hmph.

Best Soap

All righty then. I went down to take Mr. Snuggles an apple this afternoon. Mind you, I know he planned on chewing on ME rather than the apple, but I’m on to his wily ways. I gave him the apple BEFORE entering the pen. Then when he turned to nip me, I grabbed his halter. I told him VERY clearly, “There will be no biting and no drooling.” He understood.

I washed his eyes (he has allergies) and kept hold of his halter. He didn’t fuss. I swear he’s easier to handle than Leo the Cat. There is no handling Junior the Cat so I know he’s easier than Junior. Eventually, he wanted to finish his apple pieces, so I released his head while I gave him a bit of a brushing. He ate his apple and instead of grabbing my arm, he went for the bottom of my pants, smearing in a good bit of apple juice. “MR. SNUGGLES.”

His teeth firmly on my sweatpants, his eyes rolled back to watch me. I am surprised he did not laugh out loud. I retrieved his head/halter. When I went to his other side, that horse tried to kiss me! YES, HE DID. RIGHT IN THE FACE. I am a horse lover, but that is SERIOUSLY taking things too far. “NO!!!!!” GAH. ICK. GAH.

We had another discussion about his bad habits. He understood me quite well, I assure you. Horses are very smart. I could also tell by the look in his eyes that he was biding his time.

I finished all his checks and brushing and slid out of the pen. He had dropped his apple on the ground when he went for my pant leg so I slithered one arm in to put it in his tray. GAH. With a huge slurping noise, he left horse drool ALL OVER MY SLEEVE. It is utterly disgusting. Some sort of mix of hay, apple and horse drool. DISGUSTING. When I asked my mother what was the best laundry soap to clean horse drool, she laughed. Couldn’t even speak. Yeah, just you wait. Mr. Snuggles will get you.

I told Dad about the horse trying to kiss me. Do you know what he said? Can you even imagine? “Oh yeah. I’ve been teaching him that. I make horse blowing noises at him and lean in like I’m going to let him kiss me. But I’m too fast. I get out of the way.” ARE YOU CRAZY?? Of course he is. Who teaches a baby horse that kind of disgusting trick???? UGH.

So now I have a perfectly good shirt with horse drool all over one arm. I don’t know how to get the stain out. Gross.

Posted: February 22, 2017
Filed in New Mexico, Walks in Life
Tags:, , ,

Will There Be Pie?

It’s a mystery…I’m visiting the ranch again and we decided to make blueberry pie. Mom started the crust but forgot she had already put the water in…so then there was too much water. She started over, but the crust wouldn’t hold together. Then she realized she was out of flour for the top crust. I took over doing the bottom (I’m not afraid to dump it in the bottom of the pie plate and just smash it all the way around. No one sees the bottom. And in this case, there was barely enough so I’m not even sure there was a bottom crust all the way around!) We sent Dad to the store because he was going to town to church.

Apparently Dad has never shopped for flour. First he called to ask which aisle it was in. We told him to look for the sugar/flour aisle. He found it. We told him to look for the five pound bags. He found the bags, but insisted those little bags couldn’t be five pounds. I guess when you lift hay bales all the time, those little bags don’t seem to weigh much. He finally read the label and agreed they might be five pounds, but, “It isn’t very much flour.” I agree, Dad. You don’t get much in a five pound bag, especially given the cost.

Next we sent him to find sweet potatoes. Now, mind you, the man gardens every year. He has grown sweet potatoes. So he found them readily enough, but he had to call back to find out if we wanted red sweet potatoes, yams or regular sweet potatoes. Now, had he dug them up out of the garden, he would have brought them up and said, “These are sweet potatoes or yams or something. Fix them and we’ll eat them.” But in the store, he can’t decide which ones we might want. I told him to get one of each. Mom told him to get the regular ones or the red ones. He then informed us the red ones looked the best of the lot. WELL THEN GET THOSE!

If he already knew which ones looked good, he could have saved all the questions!

When he got home, it turned out he had purchased Organic flour. Mom was speechless over the price. I thought she might swoon. Dad wanted to know what “Organic” flour was and why it was a big deal. I opened the flour before Mom could recover because sure enough, she sputtered, “But wait! I can take it back.” Too late. I want pie. Sometime today.

Mr. Snuggles is doing well. He tried to mow me over, chewed on my sleeve, drooled broccoli goop in my hair and ran around kicking up a storm. I guess that means he was glad to see me.

Posted: February 20, 2017
Filed in New Mexico, Walks in Life
Tags:,

Grab Bars

Okay, we’re all getting older here, so let’s talk about a few handy conveniences. When I was home last, I noticed that Mom needed a grab bar or two near the toilets, sink and definitely the shower. When I mentioned my idea to Dad, he informed me that he hasn’t washed his one foot in a year because he can’t balance on that side!!! Now, y’all know that Dad is pretty handy with tools, even at 79. Why he hasn’t put in grab bars is beyond me, but believe me, we are shopping for just the right thing now!

One of the first products I bought them are these handy little suction cup bars for the shower. Because they have suction cups, they are not permanent and you have to be very careful to ensure they are attached to the wall before using them. I bought these so that Mom and Dad can move the bars around and test where they want a permanent bar installed (BEFORE I start drilling holes…)

Note they have little lights to indicate when the suction is working. Mom said that she has to re-suction them before each shower, but they are very easy to use. She has almost decided where she wants a permanent bar (and she may end up wanting two bars.) She is using them and appreciates having them there. Dad has not chimed in just yet, but that is the way of men. They are very stoic stubborn!

There are a plethora of choices when it comes to grab bars. I love the look of this one and it has a shelf! I’m afraid Mom might fill it so full of stuff she’d never be able to use it as a grab bar, but it’s a handy idea. I’m actually thinking of getting this one for the sink area because she wouldn’t use a grab bar very often, but she would definitely use the shelf!

I haven’t found any grab bars that have 16 inch mounts for the toilet paper (Sixteen inches is the distance between studs, and I want any grab bar firmly attached to studs). The toilet holders are cute and functional, but only one side would be in a stud and I don’t think that will work very well. So the jury is still out on that bar.

If you’re remodeling–think about adding grab bars. If you’re building a house, definitely have them put in. They come in many colors and sizes to match any decor. They will come in handy, probably sooner rather than later!

Cold

I hab a cold. By head ib draining about 50 gallons a minute. Who invented these things anyway???

Two days ago, the dogs ran off. All day. We had to go searching for them. Dad yelled about how inconvenient it is to have dogs. Dad said we shouldn’t have dogs. The miscreants finally came back at dinner time. Isn’t that just like a dog? They didn’t get to go on their run yesterday due to their naughtiness, so El Paso caught a squirrel. Being a dog, he refused to give up his “prize.” Mom really is too old to be trying to outsmart the dog, and she certainly can’t outrun him to get the squirrel and dispose of it. Dad’s comment: “Well, I can’t get those squirrels. Too small to shoot and I don’t like them because they eat the tomatoes in the garden. At least that dog is doing something to earn his keep.” You will note the contrast to the earlier, “We shouldn’t have dogs.”

I am telling you, if it isn’t lost cows, it’s lost dogs. What with all these events I somehow caught the nastiest cold on earth. My head has swelled at least three times normal. I hope it’s not the flu. I hope it is gone by noon.

Posted: September 11, 2016
Tags:, ,

Engineering with Dad

I was recently home in New Mexico again visiting my parents on the ranch. There’s always odds and ends to take care of when I’m there. This time it was the sliding door over the tub. Yup, one of the doors had not only come off the rails, the little wheel had fallen off. Of course, there is no room to get the wheel back up under there where it belongs, but Mom and I spent an hour finangling the thing into place. Half that time was spent getting the screw into the wheel to hold it in place and the other half was lifting the door back onto the rail. Yes, I screwed the thing in backwards the first try. But we finally got it on there. The problem was that the screw needed tightening. Dad wasn’t home, and I didn’t know where his angled screwdriver might be located. So I took a shower with the thing hand tightened. As soon as I got out, the wheel fell off again.

Crap.

So later that evening, Dad brought his newly made phillips screwdriver to the bathroom. (Dad is a machinist in addition to rancher–he took a straight phillips and angled it). Neither of us has small hands. Shoot, you’d have to have fingers the size of matchsticks to get up in there. Neither of us is terribly patient either. But we were determined. We used a kitchen knife, tweezers, a flashlight, a stool, a flat-head screwdriver, the phillips screwdriver…we dropped every item at least twice. We nearly lost the screw down the drain. BUT WE GOT THAT WHEEL ON TIGHT. Of course, then, the door refused to go on the rails. The entire time we worked on this lovely project Dad peppered me with his opinion on the door, the parts and the engineer who designed the door. “This door may look nice, but it sure doesn’t work very well. I wonder who invented this door.”

“I don’t know. An idiot,” I said.

“I think he wanted to make a lot of money, because if the wheel falls off, he figures you will just give up and buy a whole new door.”

“That could be it,” I said. “But I’d rather just put up a shower curtain.”

“It’s a very poor design,” Dad proclaimed. “I don’t know how they expect anyone to get this to work. That wheel doesn’t turn. It should be a ball bearing up there, not a plastic wheel.”

After we finally got the wheel on and the door on the rails, it didn’t slide smoothly.

“I’ll clean it and maybe put w-d40 on it tomorrow,” I said.

“It doesn’t look right.” He stood back. He stood close. He shined the flashlight high and low. He pushed it. He pulled it. “It’s not level.”

“It’s on the rails,” I pointed out hopefully.

“It’s not adjusted right.” He shone the flashlight around some more. “This other side needs to be higher.”

“We can’t adjust that side,” I replied. “We don’t have an angled screwdriver for it.”

“What do you think we just used?” he said, holding up the phillips.

“That’s a phillips. Whoever put this door together used a flat blade screw in this side.”

“That is just ridiculous. Who would do that?” But he looked. And, I was right. It needed a flat blade.

(The shop with all the tools is down the hill. It was already dark out. Not that dark is really an impediment, but it’s an additional annoyance. And if he had to bend another screwdriver, that takes time and the torch has to heat up and so on and so forth.)

But Dad was determined. So he hacked away with a flat blade screwdriver even though it didn’t really fit in there. He finally pushed that thing up where it needed to be, and I held it there while he tightened it. When he was done, the door did, indeed, slide perfectly.

He packed up his tools and said, “Well, I don’t know who designed these doors, but I don’t like him.”

Me either, Dad, me either.

Cowboys Don’t Sunburn

You know those nice cover shots on romance books where the cowboy isn’t wearing a shirt? Or those shots where he’s standing in his boots on the porch with nice clean jeans? Fiction. TOTALLY FICTION.

If you ever wondered how cowboys avoided sunburn back before sunblock I can tell you the answer. When you’re out ranching, whether by truck or horse, the first thing you encounter is gates. You have to dismount or get out of the truck to open and close gates. If you’re on a horse, the horse tends to stir up dust. If you’re in the truck, the truck wheels let loose a powder dusting as it eases through the gate. The person opening the gate gets a fine covering of delicate sand across every spare inch of her person. Nature’s sunscreen.

When you throw hay out the back of a truck so that you can entice the cattle to the corral, you get large bits of hay, dust and dirt showered across your person. More natural sunscreen. By the time you leave the ranch for home, you are actually wearing the equivalent of sunblock 152. Trust me, I calculated it on the last trip. There was enough dirt on my person to start a garden. And at the end of the day, if I’d had the energy to prop my boots on the porch railing for a picture, I guarantee you neither the boots nor my jeans were pristine. Those cowboys on the covers are TOTALLY fiction.

Posted: March 1, 2014
Filed in New Mexico, Walks in Life
Tags:, , ,

Heels

We don’t get a lot of snow in NM where my parents live, but we always feel lucky when winter drops some much needed moisture in the desert. I was visiting recently and, as you can see, just such a snow arrived. While it was much welcomed, we had to attend a funeral the next day. New Mexico is rocky. It is mountainous in many spots, including the rather large hill/mountain where the cemetery is located. We weren’t certain we’d be able to make it up the graded road to the top even with four wheel drive because of the snow. The snow usually freezes overnight and forms a layer of ice which can make four-wheel driving dangerous and unpredictable on steep inclines. The road to the cemetery is a steep incline. It’s lengthy too, especially if you’re contemplating walking it.

Not to worry, we can certainly all walk. Well, yeah, it’s quite a hike. We called everyone and mentioned they’d need good shoes because even if we made it to the top, it would be muddy and rocky on the way to the gravesite. It was a private funeral so a very small crowd was expected, but…two of the ladies showed up in heels and at least two of the men wore dress shoes. For the love of Mike (as Dad would say and I have no idea who Mike is) why in the world would you wear heels out to any cemetery? But especially one where “path” equates to “forge your own, watch out for other graves and there will be boulders?”

This was a family affair and I think everyone had been up there before…one person in heels had to stay back at the camp, but that was okay because someone had to set out the food and keep an eye on preparations. Well, okay two of them stayed, although one was my Mom and I know she has appropriate boots.

We all made it, although I suspect a couple of shoes, maybe more, are permanently ruined from the damp and mud. Dad didn’t have to use his winch to pull anyone out of any bad spots (but he did have it ready to go, but he’s that kind of guy.)

Me, I wore bedroom slippers. JUST KIDDING. Wanted to see if y’all were paying attention. I wore my seasoned hiking boots.

From a head stone:

Rest in Peace

Wayward wanderer, as you pass by
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, you soon will be.
Prepare yourself to follow me.

One Day you’ll be just
a memory for some people.
Do your best
to be a good one.

Posted: December 4, 2011
Filed in New Mexico, Walks in Life
Tags:, ,
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