Search Results for: A Cowboy's Faith

A Cowboy’s Faith: Finally came around again

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“He has his own office.”

“Again, finally,” one might say. History has repeated itself in nearly 46 years.

“Wet behind the ears,” repeating the familiar cliché, sheepskin in hand, walked into the big block-square highfalutin brick building headquarters.

As the first full-time editor there, very own office was right inside the front door to the right. Big walnut desk, leather rocking chair, personal phone, right up with the big folks, or thought so.

Still for several weeks, then off and on for a very longtime after, always concerned about being fired. Subsided over decades, but came to actuality in 36 1/2 years.

Through that time, locations in the office did change though, at least a handful. When an intern came in, then hired as a news coworker, too, the fancy personal office was shared for a spell. It wasn’t private then, rather cohabited, creating a definite ugh.

From there, several different places in the large main office area became “work station,” with desk, phone and files. There was no privacy for an always loud-talking cowboy, everybody heard every word, and that sure wasn’t good.

Nothing stays the same, fortunately in many situations, and again the powers-that-be assigned another personal office. There were actually quite a few perks with it. Privacy such could close the door, although typically didn’t, yet ample storage space, uptown again. A nice retired woman was even hired to come sometimes to help with filing and organization.

That transitioned again in 10 years or so, back to a desk in makeshift cubicle. Not everything obvious, but loud talker still audible to all others.

Then, the young boss who’d been handed keys to the business was prodded by the bookkeeper, and likely a teenybopper. “All he does is talk horses, kick him out.” And, they did.

A Cowboy’s Faith: No control over weather

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“After every dry spell, there’s a wet spell.”

“A drought has never lasted forever.”

“It’s always rained sometime when it got good and ready.”

“Every drought is followed by rain.”

Those old-timers’ familiar philosophies have sure been proven true again.

Now like it’s continually been throughout time, comments have made a complete turnaround.

A few weeks ago most questioned: “Is it ever going to rain?”

In the past several days none too few have evaluated: “I sure wish it would quit raining.” Others posed it: “Is this rain ever going to stop?”

Then, more than one commented: “All of these cloudy, wet, dreary days make everyone so grumpy. It’s depressing. People are getting stressed out.”

Solution, “We need some bright blue-skied sunny days again.”

Honest evaluation is, “Rain is always better than no rain.”

For the most part, ranchers can’t get too much moisture. It makes the grass grow while keeping fresh water in the ponds, creeks and springs. Dry ponds again have water, some to overflowing.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Go fast then slow

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s a whole lot easier to speed them up than slow one down.”

Real cowboys have insisted that forever about horses seeming lazy until they learn to move out.

Not true of all, but for many once they’ve found out they can run, it’s really fun.

Now, that’s probably not true for the majority of human populations, as most prefer a relaxed attitude.

Again, there are exceptions. A co-op manager friend used to get up at 4 o’clock and run 10 miles before work. As he matured, getup times the same, but Bobby “only” walks seven-and-a-half miles.

That takes about an hour-and-a-half, and he heads for the office to get a head start on staff. The fellow only gets six hours of sleep a night. “Can’t sleep any more than that,” he claims.

Obviously, the ambitious guy is fit, ordering and eating half what everybody else had for dinner when we got together. Yep, he’s hard to get slowed down like many horses once given liberty to go for it.

Some all-around performance horses will gas up, run their heart out and then come back down calm and collected. Percentage-wise that’s not a great number.

Many riders of pleasure horses, those competing walk, jog, lope in the arena, would never let their mounts run. They’re afraid the horses will like it better than the easy going life. It extends so far as not entering classes with any extensive maneuvers where advance speed is expected.

Most trail riders, those going out for leisure Sunday afternoon walks in the park, are the same way.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Demise for those varmints

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The rain must have brought out the ’possums.”

That’s sure the way it seemed after catching another cat food stealer in the live trap.

Just after the rains finally started, an opossum started showing up to eat out of the cat food pan.

Inquisitiveness or greed got that one after he finished off the pan and walked into the cage snare for more.

Uncertain exactly what Mr. Opossum’s demise was, but the foreman took care of getting him out of the steel cage.

Then another one of those pointed nosed ugly varmints figured out where the cheap easy tasty food was, too.

Obviously Garfield and Lioness, the two cats who’ve decided to stay around and work for a while, are on full feed. They’d have to be, or there wouldn’t be food left over in their barn pan after suppers over.

Well, sometime during the night, that second ’possum also walked right into the baited cage and the gate snapped shut.

His cousin, maybe a sibling who would know, sure didn’t give any warning about the hazards of snooping around free food. Both were surely sorry for being such gluttonous freeloaders. Leftovers in the cats’ pan would have been enough for one meal, likely better than they’d find in the wild.

It’s not just at the ranch those varmints are showing up. There’ve been more scampering in the roadside ditches, and several others weren’t “playing ‘possum” in the middle of the highways.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Errors must be admitted

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Making mistakes can have very serious consequences.”

Nobody wants to make a mistake, but there isn’t anybody who hasn’t made a mistake.

Certain errors in judgment carry lifetime penalties. That doesn’t necessarily mean going to jail or even public rebuttal, but rather personal unforgiving regret. Sometimes, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done after the fact, other than have to live with oneself.

It’s contended to just “let it go, forget it.” Easy to say that, but such is definitely not possible in some situations.

“Oh, there’s never any need to cry over spilled milk,” reminders are freely given. So very true many times, likely of most wrongdoings, but some things are just different.

Not the most serious error made in a lifetime of many mistakes, a horse killed itself when tied to pout. Similar training techniques worked well previously, and since, but not that specific time. Forever that sad day is reflected, despite trying to forget and go on.

To make advancements, mistakes must be made. Often it’s a trial and error effort, if one way doesn’t work, pitch it, and try something else. Mistakes might even be as essential as doing everything right.

The most important part of blunders is not making the same slipup again. Again, that’s much easier said than done. Sadly, there are some missteps that are made repeatedly. “Will he ever learn?” others have asked.

Perhaps it’s not learning, or even forgetting, maybe force of habit that is incurable. Yet doing what’s right should still be the objective every time.

Another issue comes to forefront at this point, what is right and what is wrong? Opinions can vary widely, one considers an action correct, and it is viewed the opposite by another.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cure don’t cover it

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Just take a pill, that’ll fix whatever the problem is.”

That advice is prevalent today from whomever or wherever it’s being heard. Be it television commercials, print ads, true friends, family, somebody on the street corner. Even sadly as well from medical professionals, doctors, nurses, and assistants.

Half a century ago for those who had a TV, reflections are that most advertising centered on cigarettes and beer. Some of those were outlawed, even though specific liquors and fake smokes of some sort are being promoted again.

Now, on certain stations, all kinds of medications, mostly what might even be considered miracle pills, are advertised.

For naiveties, it’s difficult to figure out what the drugs are supposed to remedy. Still, almost without exception, there are warnings of seemingly worst consequences from taking the pills.

Well, actually, it’s not even always pills recommended, sometimes there are other methods of getting the advertised healing results. Warnings caution the drugs can cause heart attacks, swelling, headaches, fever, more different hurt, pain someplace else.

Guilty of following directions this time, two handfuls of pills are swallowed every day. Have no idea what most of them are for or called, unlike some who rattle off all the names.

However, there are certain ones that really do work. Legs ache and shoulder hurts take two pills, then sure enough the wrenching throb goes away in just a short time. Can’t help but think it’s imagination, but somehow, someway there’s sure relief for a while.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Service is helping others

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s always best to help others in every way possible.”

That’s regardless whether they seek it, want it, realize they’re being helped or even think it’s unneeded.

Worst of all is when a service offering help, a reminder or a suggestion becomes offensive.

One is reminded: “It’s wrong if you don’t, it’s wrong if you do.”

In the sales profession that’s hit home numerous times through the decades.

Selling is helping. Whether that’s guiding one in the correct selection, finding exactly what is desired or giving advice to increase sales.

Service is the most important ingredient of selling anything. When all is said and done, that’s way more important than the price or the profit.

Many, sadly maybe most, don’t understand it and are out strictly out for the almighty buck. Apparently, that’s why when heartfelt service is given a buyer doesn’t understand the true meaning.

More than a quarter of a century ago, one customer became the best of friends. Every Friday morning, several hours were spent jointly developing advertising campaigns.

It was a work of enjoyment for both and increased that major business’ sales. There was always congeniality attempting to find better, more efficient methods to promote for higher returns.

Then, their management changed and all of the close service work with the previous most professional advertising coordinator went out the door.

Service on this end never altered, likely even expanded if possible, but the new people in charge became offended.

Evidently, they thought somebody was telling them how to do their job rather than helping, serving to expand their patronage.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Laws intended for following

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Rules are meant to be broken.”

Whether that’s a completely accurate statement, it sure is a fact. There might be an exception in some cases, but most rules are broken at some time.

This has been a frequent topic of conversations in recent weeks at horse shows and county fairs. Too many rules interpretation sessions have been called.

Every time, there’s even controversy among those committee members meeting, and decision always makes somebody glad and another mad.

Rules are set as guidelines, instructions, directions, laws, regulations and policy for all concerned with the subject at hand. Hopefully, there would be increased honesty and fairness for everyone, yet that’s not always the case.

Think of what are likely the two most often broken rules, laws, or group thereof?

It’d be nearly impossible to find someone who hasn’t broken the speed limit, at least a little bit. Speculating, most people drive faster than the posted speed limit all the time. That’s a broken rule certainly by definition.

Many people, perhaps most, intend to live by the Ten Commandments, laws for a moral life. Still, most have broken these “rules,” and some on a very regular basis.

Despite frequent broken rules, in reality, usually people just don’t understand exactly what is expected. Or, many times, they have not studied, or even scanned rules.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Consoling lost love’s grievers

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“What can one do when a best friend’s spouse passes away?”

Nobody wants to think about that because nobody wants it to happen.

While serious sickness severity was made known, shock overcomes everyone when actuality befalls. Stresses were heavy on all of the family, of course heaviest to the lovely, always most congenial ailing wife.

Most caring husband, son and daughter bore the torment as their own, perhaps even more painful, certainly heartfelt. Treatments early on showed promise despite side effects maybe not so physically unbearable yet highly toxic for all. Reminded once more anything that is meant to destroy another in whatever form is always extremely hazardous from every aspect.

Remission was even confirmed for a short period, but then overriding detrimental powers returned. Additional medical endeavors were deemed possible, but already proven medications had been exhausted. What would be ahead was strictly experimental, with certain most undesirable physical consequences for the sick and caregivers.

Toughest decision ever was made to forego those seemingly horrible repercussions putting the future entirely into God’s hands.

Knowing the suffering all were bearing, contact was minimized as to not expand their burdens, yet always with most concerned thoughts. A saddest Monday morning call from the family advised of her passing a couple of days earlier. Knowing very few details, specific particulars were answered when the best friend responded to a phone message.

A Cowboy’s Faith: His plan works again

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Just set the GPS, and it’ll give easy to follow directions.”

That was the advice, and there is one of those thingamajigs somewhere, but it has to be programmed to work. That takes a computer guru of sorts to do, and nobody’s done it. There’ve been agitated scowls from family giving the gadget, yet it’s still unused.

For naiveties like certain older cowboys, GPS means Global Positioning System. When working, it gives verbal instructions: “Stop here, turn there,” and so forth.

This is known from riding with others who have such gizmos. Those following orders still often end up far from intended destination.

So back to the old fashioned way: road map. Shyly admit computer advice was also sought, despite it generally being wrong, too.

That printout was complemented with the on-ranch professional truck driver’s advice.  Adding in tad reflection of city driving days gone-by, there was a large black ink handwritten plan of pursuit.

It worked until Exit 16 was Road 77, instead of 235, but realizing that, a turnaround sent back on course. Yep, the next Exit 16B was the one to make a right turn on.

Central Exit was followed by a right hand turn which went back to the ranch instead of where planned. Intuition informed “that’s wrong,” and returned to the main thorough-way soon finding the West Exit.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Safe water to drink

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“That blue green stuff in the pond can be deadly to livestock when they drink the water.”

As if there aren’t more than enough concerns with water supplies during this year’s drought, now another issue has arisen.

Evidently, the problem is nothing new, frequently occurring in certain locales during calm, sunny, dry, hot summer days. Still, there hadn’t been that noticeable predicament for about five years in the couple dozen ranch ponds.

Testing back then indicated what the college hotshots identified as algae blooms weren’t making poison water. But, who would know about this year? Cattle were supposed to be rotated into the pasture with the “contaminated” pond several weeks ago.

Now, they couldn’t be moved until water quality was checked. Contact was made with the microscope officials to see if hand delivering a water sample would speed up test results. Assurance was given that would be helpful. Yet, upon arrival at the laboratory, there was a different person in charge.

This paid government employee informed that their testing mechanism was out of whack. The water would have to be sent to another facility and it would take at least a week to hear back.

Grass was gone in the pasture where the cows were grazing, and they needed to be moved to more feed. That couldn’t be done if the pond water was harmful to drink. So, grub the pasture and ship the samples to another tester hoping results return faster than expected.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Highway repairs cause aggravation

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Road construction ahead. Detour now. Watch for flagman. Be prepared to stop. Follow pilot car.”

Those have been the dreaded orange sign alerts that slowed work commute there and back more than 35 minutes daily.

Highway repair and construction are essential, but it can be very aggravating too.

Well, perhaps not as upsetting as big potholes causing flat tires, damage to springs and motor mount weakening.

For nine years, road to the office has been in terrible shape. Up in the morning and down in the evening, it became a daily dread. Certainly, a complaining conversation piece among coworkers.

After years of patching, re-patching and promises of redoing the whole road, new construction is finally underway.

Of course, that requires a detour. In this situation, complete building of an asphalt entrance to the four offices on top of the hill. Give credit where due. That roadway seems high quality considering it’ll be bulldozed away when the main road’s fixed.

So, instead of coming within just a half mile of work on the highway, entrance is a three-mile crooked back road. It seemed lots further, but odometer shows exact same mileage, although slower driving and stop signs take longer.

Main highway from the ranch to interstate is being all redone too. That’s where there’s been major time loss, waiting until two dozen cars go by on the now one-lane road.

Uncertain if the work really needs done, because the highway hasn’t seemed that bad. Moreover, the state department just recently did a nice job of cover-up on a handful of half-mile stretches. Wasting more taxpayer money seemingly.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Hurting tummy serious concern

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“A bellyache can really be painful making it such nothing can be done but groan.”

Maybe kick the stall until somebody comes to see what in the world is going on.

It was Monday morning after two days at horseshows away from the ranch, and now back home Maggie started kicking. Beating her hind legs against the steel stall, loud banging was heard inside the kitchen 100 yards from the barn.

Maggie was obviously hurting very badly, begging for some relieving help, making it known the best way she could.

Her neck was wet with sweat when turned out into the indoor arena where she immediately started rolling. There seemed some relief when Maggie stood back up with head hanging low, sad look in her eyes.

Checking on the buckskin mare just a few minutes later, she came right to the fence for pacification. Her stomach was still hurting for sure. Now, that is a serious situation dealt with in other horses through the decades. It can be different problems, maybe just stomachache or colic.

While they’re bad even sometimes with serious consequences, other problems like compaction and twisted intestine are generally worse. Treatment for these ailments is complex, frequently ineffective with higher mortality.

Worry and concern for the very sick still beautiful show horse were rapidly increasing.

Walking a horse is generally advised to help indigestion, relieving pressure and discomfort. Maggie went both Number 1 and Number 2, which seemed positive signs. But there was still lots of heartburn soreness as Maggie aggressively bit at her own sides. She started kicking into the air and wouldn’t lead despite coaxed tugging.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Rainfall short, complexity high

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“When it doesn’t rain, all sorts of problems arise.”

How long has it been since there’s was a true pond filling downpour?

Oh, certain locales have received major rainfall with not a single water issue at the present. Yet, just a few miles away, sometimes just across the section, farmers and ranchers alike are in a dire situation.

One cattleman a short stretch over in the county to the west said it right: “We’re in real trouble.”

His concerns outnumbered some others. Crops were planted, trying to grow, but far insufficient moisture such with the heat leaves were curled and deteriorating. Add to that, the spring was dry; every mud hole that had remained in the creek was gone. There hadn’t been water in the pond for a week.

Short sprigs of grass showed here and there, keeping the yearlings on the prowl, weight gains going backwards. What’s a producer to do? Nothing one can do about the growing crops, barring a new irrigation system, except pray for rain.

Cattlemen do have some alternatives. Sell now, stop the losses. Haul feed and water hoping for some profit; feeling assured “it’ll rain tonight.”

Small showers on the ranch though far and few between have kept most hardy native pastures with some green regrowth. There is limited feedstuff, not yet requiring supplement for the cows and calves if they graze diligently.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cost for water insignificant

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The water quit running all of a sudden.”

That loud exclamation always sends alarm around the ranch house and barnyard.

While it’s happened a number of times in nearly five decades, fortunately there haven’t been many recent issues.

Of course, personal concerns come to mind first. The toilet won’t flush, there’s no faucet water to drink or shave with, and no way to take a bath.

In reality, those are minor problems compared to the livestock being without water. Right now, there are only a handful of horses in the lots. But, days gone by, sometimes cattle and hog numbers have been a hundred or more. Livestock must have water.

Fixing anything to do with the water system is obviously a plumber’s job. Yet, sometimes an electricity blink causes breakdown requiring simple switch shut off and on. It was more complicated this time.

What made the problem even worse, it was Saturday morning. Getting somebody to come to a ranch is often complex in itself, but on a weekend can become a nightmare.

“Let’s see, who put the water pump in?” Obviously, that’s the first one to be called. His machine answered, and message was left.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Go slow then fast

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s hard for those ‘peanut rollers’ to understand they’re being asked to run.”

Actually, a number of horses ridden only in show pleasure classes haven’t ever run with a rider aboard.

Of course, all know how to run in the pasture. Yet, sadly certain horses are so intimidated they don’t seem to remember how to run when being ridden.

For clarification, “peanut roller,” again unfortunately, is now a fairly common term in horseshow circles. It describes a horse being ridden at a very slow gait carrying the head unnaturally low.

At a glance to a lay onlooker, it actually could appear that the nose is pushing something on the ground.

Horses being trained, ridden and shown in this manner have become a highly controversial issue. It has even been considered inhumane to make a horse ride in such an artificial form.

Rulebooks and judges training have for years prohibited officials from placing entries ridden in this manner. That’s not stopped the “problem” as horses are still being shown that way.

Maggie’s is not a “peanut roller” by any means. However, it’s always been a continuous effort to keep her riding slow with level neck and pleasant natural head carriage.

Sometimes she works nearly as desired and other times not. Maggie can easily get excited picking up her head and going faster, but not running.

Such speedup gets a reprimand, which generally hurts her feelings, even if not slowing down to desired rate.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Remembering lost loved ones

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“What a terribly sad day, yet such a most beautiful reflection of memories all at the same time.”

That is quite a conflicting statement, yet there’s no question about the truth of it.

Every year as far back as the brain will remember, Memorial Day has been a very special time.

In the beginning only one grave was visited. There wasn’t even a tombstone for namesake Grandpa Frank. Only Grandma Buchman, Nannie, knew exactly where he was buried in Calvary Cemetery.

Dad (Clarence) was only 11 years old when Grandpa passed, uncle Elmer was 14, and Aunt Luvella was quite young. Of course, there was no money to buy any kind of marker.

Upkeep of graveyards wasn’t important for many years either. So, in the mid-‘50s and perhaps later, Dad, usually with Grandma accompanying, would mow Grandpa’s grave lot. It wasn’t regular care with the push wheel-powered mower, but always done the week before “Decoration Day.”

Finally, sometime in the late ’50s, a nice gray granite grave marker was purchased. It was engraved with pertinent now-most-interesting information about the Frank Buchman and placed where Grandma said to.

When Grandma passed, nearly half a century after Grandpa, she was buried beside him with matching stone. Elmer is next to her, and Dad and Mom are buried behind them.

Nowadays, at least four cemeteries are visited in the important day’s trek. Flowers, sometimes artificial and occasionally real ones, are placed on lost loved one’s graves.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Doors open for new opportunities

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman. “Promise for new beginnings down life’s many highways and varied directions.”

That the message from commencement speakers in recent days. Not any different than every year for decades, likely centuries.

Sure enough truth and soundest advice for those so very excited about successfully completing another educational objective.

When special gradations recognitions and scholarships are bestowed, it wouldn’t be that hard for some to get a big head. “I’m famous. Look at all I’ve done.”

Certainly it’s amazing the accomplishments of those who’ve walked across the stage shaking hands this month.

That sheepskin is truly a valuable piece of paper and will help open countless doors throughout a lifetime. They’re opportunities which wouldn’t have ever come without hours, days, months, years, midnight crams studying, rewarded with honorable report cards.

School days are truly some of the very best times ever. It’s incomprehensible those who contend: “I hate school.”

Perhaps one might heavily dislike the book learning, testing, demand to study what is being taught. Yet, education is really only a small part of school.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Always dream then work

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Cowboys have always been the biggest heroes.

That continues, yet in maturity those even much older who are still working very hard have also become mentors.

Too many classmates have already passed to the great beyond, while being among those continuing forward on earth has challenges.

Just keeping up with what there is can be a fulltime job, yet those many decades older plunge fast forward.

Often television stories feature those celebrating their century birthdays and even years beyond. Those recognized are generally able to physically get around, of sound mind, and excited for every day they have.

Each situation is different of course, and none ever really have secrets to longevity. Yet they all get up and at it every morning, remaining active all day with an occasional nap. Each one eats three nourishing meals daily with maybe an extra snack and keeps up with what’s going on around. Many read regularly, have numerous friends and are strong in faith.

One friend at 98 was forced into assisted living away from home for a time. Not yet mowing his lawn or driving to town, he’s back on the farm feeling happier and healthier.

Every morning on the way to work at 6:30, another farmer friend’s kitchen light is on and he’ll be outside before 7 o’clock. Despite serious health issues, at 94 nothing stops him, always still going when returning from work 11 hours later.

At 89, a former teacher with more than one’s share of hardship started his ranch upon official retirement. Non-relenting entrepreneurship coupled with opportunities, the operation surpasses others built through generations. Not unique perhaps, but notable, covenants and dreams backed by hard work must be credited.

A Cowboy’s Faith: All those important mothers

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.There’s nothing more important than a mother.

Of course, everybody has a mother. They come in all sizes, shapes, forms, dispositions, peculiarities, each a unique distinct mother.

Everyone is the very best in their own way. None better possible regardless who wants to debate or argue.

There are always plenty of justifiable personal prejudices, and they’re all correct.

Many times personal reflections have been made about Mom who passed long ago at just 62 years old. Never a day goes by without thinking about her.

Mom always had a toothy grin for whoever it was because of her true happiness, with sweetness overflowing. Talkative to the extent of frequently being loud, she was. One can’t be too honest, and Mom was the most trustworthy ever known.

Not views through rose-colored-glasses, but readily verified by those who really knew her. She was authentic with the biggest heart possible. Nobody was a stranger to Mom, and she helped everyone in every way possible. That’s a fact.

While there is only one true flesh-and-blood mother, many others throughout a lifetime step in to provide motherly instincts. Think about it, what could really get done without so many in their vastly generous, motherly ways?

It’d be countless when reflecting all those who’ve stepped in to guide, help, been a “substitute mother,” when Mom wasn’t there.

Growing up, of course grandmas took on the role, equaled and often surpassed by aunts. On occasion perhaps even misidentified as “Mom.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Replacements for poor service

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“That bull is bad.”

Such comment might be said defining a rodeo bull. It could be the bull is a bad bucker almost impossible to score on. Other times it might mean a bull is anxious to “hook the ‘W’ right off a cowboy’s Wranglers.”

Such dispositions of bulls used for breeding purposes on farms and ranches have not been uncommon in days gone by. However, with conscientious seed stock producers most are now producing bulls that are typically not fighters or troublemakers.

Still most ranchers with a dozen or more breeding bulls will often have one to “keep an eye on.” Now, that’s not to say they’re really mean, but not the friendliest things either.

One bull might have an ornery twinkle in his eyes, or sometimes snort when the herdsman or another bull walks by. Maybe shake his big head just a little to get first and extra at hay time.

Certainly a bull deserves caution when in his whereabouts. One push, even if considered friendly, by a ton-plus bovine can certainly be hazardous to one’s health.

Nope, it’s wasn’t an attitude problem with this particular “bad bull.” During the annual spring bull check, he came up “unsound for breeding,” the veterinarian said. Uncertain exactly what the problem was, but the bull wasn’t likely to get cows bred to have calves next spring.

Well now, the writing was already on the wall. Those cows he was supposedly serving last summer started “cycling” during the winter. They wouldn’t be gaunt, flat sided, tail in the air, riding each other if going to have a calf.

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