Search Results for: A Cowboy's Faith

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboy never slept in

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“I’ve always liked to get up early, there was always lots of work that I needed and wanted to do.”

Generally the day started way before daylight, horse waiting at the gate to be saddled and off to pasture work.

Cowboy has always been his first profession, although Kenny Muller certainly has been successful in many agriculture endeavors.

Slowed down a bit the cowboy still rises at dawn anxious to pursue plans in his sharp forever active mind.

Family was joined by friends of a lifetime for Kenneth Muller’s 90th birthday celebration. Most know him as Kenny.

Moved from the ranch to town residence, it’s been awhile since horseback, but the pickup gets daily use. Conversation always centers on heartfelt cowboy life in the Flint Hills.

Kenny was a grocery store carryout boy’s first and always hero-idol-mentor; wanted to be a cowboy just like him.

Perfect image always properly shaped hat, clean cut, sharp dressed, friendly, outgoing with saddled horse in the trailer.

In high demand for day work, Kenny assisted cattle owners over a wide area with roundup, branding, whatever needed.

Horsepower is essential for top cowboys and Kenny always rode the best. Whether cutting a stray from the herd or roping a sick one for doctoring, his horse knew the job. They were ranch raised result of Kenny’s horse breeding program headed by top stallion power.

Proof of quality came first with local winnings followed by recognition nationwide. Kenny’s horses claimed halter championships then as pleasure riders soon earning reining and cow work awards. Collecting trophy saddles, Kenny put them to good use in his life’s trade.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Jake dedicated to rodeo

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Roll ’em. Come on. Get down on that bull. Put your legs down.”

Jake must have said that a jillion times in his lifelong loving career as a rodeo stock contractor.

The show must go on, no wannabe cowboy wimping around. Chutegate could just open ready or not.

“The Rodeo and Sale Barn World has lost a great man. John B. “Jake” Jacobsen, 89, rural Delia, passed away Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at his home.”

Obituary opening is the most accurate description one could ever make.

Many have wanted to be rodeo contractors, but none had the business closer to their heart than Jake.

He lived, literally, to produce rodeos with the best livestock for a quality family show.

It’s been more than four decades, but like right now. Rodeo announcer Max Stowell introducing, Jake always rode in the grand entry.

When the national anthem concluded, Jake headed to the bucking chutes, unmounted, bareback riders better be ready.

Jake always opened the chutegate for the rough stock events, no cowboy piddling, rodeo spectators wanted action.

A family business, Jacobsen Rodeo Company contracted rodeos in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Their small trailer house was home as they’d arrive with livestock two days ahead of rodeo time.

Welcome smile drooling lip of snuff, always a bit round, Jake with Pearl, Dale and Sis were friends of everybody.

Nothing makes a rodeo producer grin wider than his livestock bettering cowboys.

Jake beamed to one champion bronc rider, “I don’t know how many you’ve ridden. But, I can tell you every one that bucked you off.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Kindness is most important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Life’s changes for betterment ahead are the optimistic blueprint many consider at year’s end.

Annual resolutions are being developed and revised so they won’t be short lived as always before.

Listed for majority are make more money, diet, increase exercise, lose weight and live healthier.

Frequent others include manage debt improving finances, enhance family relations, become higher educated, get a better job, and reduce stress.

Without exception, New Year’s resolutions will be broken, but if only one is partially fulfilled it’s better than before.

Regardless of personal philosophies about all of the vast annual hype of the season, let’s help somebody now.

What else is there in life other than health, happiness and eternity than doing for each other, sincerely?

This is actually very easy, quite simple, yet more uncommon all of the time.

Why not try to make life better for another? Talk to more and different people, even strangers on the street. With few exceptions people like to talk and for others to know about themselves.

Ask how their life truly is? Then listen, look them square in the eye, be interested, and be concerned if there’s that need.

Then, comment, offer thoughts, even suggestions, perhaps points for guidance if sought in the least form.

Make a telephone call to an acquaintance of long ago, or a neighbor living alone, perhaps in an assisted care facility.

Everybody just loves to get mail in the box, write a note, and send a card. It’ll make a day and a memory never ceasing. Go ahead send a text, an email, or other social media to make contact.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Youth tell real story

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Children’s Christmas programs rightly bring out the true meaning of the season.”

With all of the commercialization towards shopping and buying gifts starting before Halloween, reason for Christmas is often completely forgotten.

Likewise, elaborate decorating seems to have gotten out of hand, for lack of a more appropriate description of all the vast lightings. It sure makes the electrical companies happy undoubtedly.

Through all of this Christmas “hype,” there is NO factual recognition of what Christmas is really all about.

In viewing literally hundreds of community and public Christmas decorating, there has been only one notable exception.

A display with a few strings of lights had a small nativity scene. That’s Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, savior of the world, life eternal for all believers.

Used to be, a number of churches would have at least some nativity scene.  That’s a simple manger with Christ child, Mary, Joseph, sheep, donkey, shepherds, and wise men.

Sadly, this year, none have been seen as of yet. Live nativities became popular for a time, but have dropped out of fad as well.

Notable, Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first live nativity scene in 1223 to cultivate the worship of Christ. He was inspired by his visit to the Holy Land seeing Jesus’ birthplace. The idea motivated communities to stage such portrayals.

Although, Christmas programs are still part of the season’s celebrations, most do not have any inclination of the true reasoning. Modern songs often leave a seemingly waning feeling.

Reflecting, grade school pageants of decades gone by never reflected the true celebration either. Yet, singing brought swinging joy to performers and audience with nostalgic appreciation and familiarity.

Fortunately, a few churches, hopefully more than realized, still host children’s Christmas plays highlighting Jesus’ birth and purpose.

Six decades ago, it was a special heartfelt inspiration portraying a shepherd, wearing night robe, turban and carrying a cane.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cards express season’s sentiments

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Has the mailman come yet?

That’s a common question around most ranch homes year around. Depending on weather, time of year, flat tires, unforeseeable conditions, it’s not always the same time.

Exclamation of question becomes more emphatic during this season. When the answer is “Yes,” there’s a dash outside regardless of temperature to see if there are any Christmas cards.

Earlier in the month a couple of times returnee’s lower lip drooped. Just a newspaper and another statement were in hand.

Fortunately, it’s picked up from a card or two, maybe a half dozen in recent days. Excitement continues to mount seeing where the envelopes are from and deciding which to open first.

“Don’t rip ’em, be careful, use the letter opener,” scowling orders more than once.

Those from afar with personal addresses get preference of the computerized even sometimes commercialized cards.

A store bought card with just a signature gets a quick once over. When the card is a photograph of the sender, even their family, makes it certainly special. Homemade cards are almost nonexistent nowadays.

The cards with a letter are always read carefully, usually then again. Many are duplicated the same to all on their list, yet informative catchup of the year gone by.

There are still a few with handwritten notes. Maybe just a sentence or two, but sometimes newsy paragraphs. That dairymaid across the section goes all out with several pages of handwriting happenings.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Changing trees remain spiritual

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Christmas trees have gone through a lot of fads in the past six decades.

All of the specially decorated Christmas tree shows so popular nowadays makes one reflect what has come and gone.

Origin and history of Christmas trees varies widely according to the source, country and time. Generally, Germany is credited with starting today’s Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century, while other reports go back much earlier.

Devout Christians symbolically brought decorated evergreen trees into their homes. A green, thriving tree in the winter reminded people of hope, new and everlasting life promised by Christ’s birth

For a number of years, fir trees served the tradition for many families. Right before Thanksgiving, the produce distributor unloaded an alley full of various sized fir trees at the family grocery store.

They were priced by height, three-footers about a buck. Taller ones went up to $3 for those reaching the ceiling.

A dozen fir trees were displayed for sale at the storefront with persnickety customers carefully evaluating each one. A number of buyers wanted theirs delivered, making a mess in the delivery wagon, or blowing off the top carrier.

Quite differently shaped, most would consider more attractive, pine trees, both long and short needle varieties, increased in popularity. Higher priced, harder to handle, they soon replaced fir trees.

Somebody decided the pine trees ought to be painted, often white, decorated with colored balls enhanced by revolving light.

Aluminum trees came shortly after, displayed semblance to the painted trees.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Ronnie was always there

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“If anything needed to be done, Ronnie would make certain it was completed.”

Just as sure, whatever the task there would be smiles for everybody involved.

Recent passing of Ron Shivers, often referred to as Ronnie, although in his eighth decade, was a very sad loss.

Oh, before going any further, pronunciation of Shivers is identical to spelling, like shivering cold, no long “I.”

Actually impossible to comprehend how diversified Ronnie was and how many different people and functions he assisted.

A hometown newspaper feature most appropriately, accurately, complimentarily identified him: “Mr. Volunteer.”

Among his many diverse talents, Ron was a horseman, active in leadership of several horse show groups He was demanded as a judge at a lot of horseshows for a number of years.

Often, Ronnie would adjudicate the same entries two days in a row; sometimes the same ones the next two-day weekend. That’s a difficult task for the best horsemen, and Ron was always credited as unbiased, completely fair to every participant.

For the first part of his career, starting at an early age, he was a trucker for several companies. Ronnie always pulled the air horn and kept it down whenever passing the ranch no matter the time of day.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Free delivery twice daily

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.A grocery store delivery boy knows every house and every street in the rural town to get there.

Oh, don’t ever ask what the name of the street is, that’s really insignificant. But, those back alleys with the gravel are usually the best and easiest to get to most homes.

Front doors are visitor’s entrance, but the back door generally leads onto the porch right into the kitchen. That’s the best route to deliver groceries.

When parents run a grocery store, the son is expected to do everything there is to be done. From the time could walk would always go with Dad delivering groceries.

Morning delivery was at 10:30, so customers had what they needed for dinner. Afternoon delivery, at 5 o’clock, arrived before supper.

At least three deliveries were made on Saturday, because the store was always closed Sunday. Another run was often made during holiday weekends, or just if somebody called and wanted groceries.

Most days the delivery wagon was packed full with orders. Sometimes there just wasn’t enough room for everything with several filled boxes going to one home.

So those on the west side of town went first, and then back for deliveries east of the Neosho River bridge. Wednesday deliveries sometimes only had half dozen orders twice a day.

First delivery wagon remembered was a cream-colored Kaiser. It was replaced by a specially ordered 1957 Chevrolet panel wagon complete with rear wings. Turquoise in color, broad side panels had big bright red lettering advertising: “Buchman’s Grocery, Free Delivery Twice Daily, Call 410.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Warm days will come

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s cold outside, inside, everywhere.”

Always very thin blooded and chilly when others are comfortable, the past week has seen even those folks complaining.

“Turn up the heat, Rick,” was the serious comment to the office engineer.

“It’s on high. Nothing else we can do,” he responded.

Sweaters and coats too were common attire throughout the building with conversations centering on low room temperature.

Purple hands made slower moving fingers that a couple of women countered with thin gloves enabling business to get done.

“Get a desk heater,” somebody advised. A couple of cubbyhole sales ladies took the advice to heart creating the warmest spot in the building.

Then the email came, “Parts are in, and the furnace repairmen are coming in the morning.”

They did, and the room thermostat was turned down from 85 to 70. It was sure a whole heck of a lot more comfortable.

Actually, workers didn’t even know there was a heater problem, just blaming the inside cool on the outside record cold.

When those inside are shivering, what about the poor farmers and ranchers outside all day? Don’t forget the livestock, too.

Long johns, sweaters, insulated coveralls; heavy coats with hoods, extra gloves sometimes with mittens on top became common barnyard attire.

Admittedly, combine operators going fast forward completing soybean harvest shed a layer in the cab. Right back on when the door opens.

Poor critters didn’t realize winter was coming so early with hair coats not grown to extent of official winter weather. They hovered behind the windbreak, low down in the pasture draw and into the timber as possible.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Speaking softer always better

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Don’t holler.”

That order, actually meant as a special request, takes on special significance for those who have booming-voiced acquaintances.

Fact is some people just naturally come across in a more piercing manner. They really don’t intend to seem bossy, obnoxious or an abusive authority.

Sometimes despite diligent efforts to pipe down, changing the instinctive form of communication is nearly impossible. Oh, if one really concentrates on being softer spoken, there can be noticeable change for a time.

Yet, when pressure comes suddenly, excitement arises, adrenalin flows fast, there’s always that instinctive brash call.

Mom was in personal bias one of the most generous, kind hearted human beings ever created. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for somebody in need or seeking assistance in every special way.

Still, Mom was always somewhat high-pitched in most normal conversation. That itself offended certain ones, while vast numbers of friends and customers appreciated her unique, yet actually quite sweet mannerism.

But, be a grocery employee, especially a carryout boy, not necessarily a son, too, “that scream” sure wasn’t pleasing.

There are many things expected of workers in a small hometown family grocery. Doing everything there is to help all departments, sweep, wash windows, stock shelves, wait on customers, sack and carryout.

While the store was small compared to most of today’s supermarkets, two two-story, buildings were combined for the business. Mom was always at the front greeting, helping customers and tallying the purchases.

When groceries were ready to carry out, assistance was needed right now, not a second later. The deafening shout from the cash register operator was aired.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Fun neighbors on Halloween

“Trick or treat give me something good to eat.”

That’s the threat of ghosts, goblins and every other imaginable getup on Halloween. But it sends them for a whirl with the response: “Sorry no treats it’ll have to be tricks.”

Living in the country, little Halloween visitors are usually few and this year there weren’t any.

The highlight several years though now is when the dairy farm couple from across the section rings the doorbell. It’s usually past bedtime when Keith and Donna come after visiting friends in a 25-mile radius of the farm. All lights were on so they’d know ranchers were waiting.

About 10:20, buzzer sounded, door opened and in came Uncle Sam and his appropriately patriotically attired lady. Big smiles shining through elaborate costume assured it was the dairy farmers who’d hired milkers to get their night off.

Impossible to repeat words of the Uncle Sam song they harmoniously presented. Then the milkmaid asked, “Why did Yankee Doodle Dandy come riding in on a pony?” With no certain answer, just assuming it was sure better than walking.

More than two dozen stops already made, with several more lights awaiting their arrival. Minimal visiting reflected how the elaborate silk red, white and blue outfits came to be.

Donna picked up pieces here, there, yawn, and with scissors, needle, thread expertise put together great semblance to ones pictured. Red stripes on Keith’s white pants were “just painted there.”

Memory’s shy who all they’ve portrayed years gone by: cheerleaders, Roy and Dale, Popeye and Olive, more. A couple other neighbor ladies helped one year for Wizard of Oz. Always with singing accompaniment.

Last year, before dark call informed ice was stopping them, but fortunately back this time.

The jovial neighbors hadn’t made trick or treat warning, but came with their own treats. Costuming, entertaining, visiting were special delight enough, but Donna again handed four big popcorn balls out of her satchel.

That would have been a good day’s work making enough of the evening snacks. Then they had to pack the goodies in the back of their station wagon to be given out.

Oh yes, uptown morning after there were no main street tricks, hay, tires, outhouses like of decades ago.

Reminded of Luke 15:9: “Call together friends and neighbors for a time of rejoicing.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


A Cowboy’s Faith: Always ready to help

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“How are the calves doing this summer?”

“Did the kids go to the judging contest?”

“What livestock is the family showing at the fair?”

Forever congenially interested in livestock and those who cared for them was Albert Morgan.

His recent passing left a void in heartfelt conscientious livestock production dating to depression times.

Equal to Albert’s dedication to livestock husbandry was belief in youth and programs where they could develop. Learn about the industry, but as importantly leadership and social skills.

There were always fond memories of Albert’s 4-H days, showing livestock, earning nationwide leadership recognition.

Soon, Albert’s Hilltop Hereford Farm also with Poland China hogs was producing seed stock demanded over a wide area.

While Albert was classmate to Uncle Ted, personal first knowledge of Albert was when he married grocery co-worker Gayla.

Albert was a middle-age bachelor-stockman called one Sunday to serve as lay minister where Gayla was pianist.

Accompanying Albert’s hymn singing, Gayla admitted, “I set the trap for him.”

Widowed mother of three, Gayla was soon to be Albert’s bride as he became stepdad to Cheryl, Sharon and Mike.

“It was the best day of my life,” Albert always contended.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Safety always comes first

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There’s just nothing to ride.”

How can that be with two dozen horses always anxious to get their noses in the feed bucket?

Of course, excitement adrenalin flowed when the nice lady asked for another outrider in the community historical pageant. Initial smiling consensual agreement then turned into concerned caution. Maybe that wouldn’t really be such a good idea all things considered.

Magnified voices, background sounds, extensive props, live bonfires, other animals, and costumed people create an atypical environment. Especially when dark and chill of the night are added to the equation.

An outsider looking in wouldn’t give second thoughts of what all actually could happen. Especially when seeing other participating horses very relaxed nonchalant to the unique circumstances.

Yet, easily there could be a real catastrophe if a horse decided those were the bogeyman out to get him. Even if a horse just sashayed a little bit with the tight scene layout unthinkable damage could occur.

Yes, the whole play would be caput with serious destruction to the extensively coordinated staging area.

That’s bad, but the horse, other horses and animals, could be readily hurt, too. Much worse is high possibility of injury to so many people, those in the cast and the spectators.

Several of the horses are considered well broke, while some have collected innumerable championships in a wide array of competitions.

Yet, none were considered safe to be a part of the program. Horsemanship abilities of handler can come into play, but that just doesn’t matter with certain horses.

Based on experience, perhaps horse sense, it just wouldn’t be sensible to take the high risks involved.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Only remembering those days

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Sure glad didn’t have to get horses ready and the place cleaned up for a sale and field day.”

For three decades, the second Saturday of October was that annual ranch affair, but thankfully not any more.

Oh, it was an undeniable success and heartfelt romance creating year around excitement, planning and anticipation.

Although there hasn’t been such a special ranch event since 2009, people still wonder: “When’s the sale?”

They even call, email and write for sale catalogs. “Sorry no sale,” but sure happy there wasn’t one this year, and none planned ever again.

Best part about it however is all of the most congenial remembrances so many others have.

Frequently, now a middle-age adult will comment: “I came to your judging contest every year. It was so much fun. I placed first one year.”

Perhaps more significant are the appreciative and fond memories of the sale horses. Last week, a buyer from years ago related, “I bought a gray colt by that Zane stallion. He sure made a good all-around horse. He’s retired now, but will always have a home with us; we call him Zane, too.”

Likewise, questions often are, “Do you still have your mares? Do you have that Hackberry Star mare? I’d sure like to have another colt out of her.”

In reality, it all began as a livestock judging field day following format of the one neighbor-friend Albert Morgan had.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Statement settlement is essential

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Nobody likes to pay their bills.”

That’s not completely true, because the majority of people who buy something expect to remunerate for it.

Sadly there are exceptions when there is never intention to reimburse for what is purchased. In those cases, the buyer still ends up having to compensate. Even if it goes into drawn out proceedings, ultimately lockup.

Quite the opposite realm is those who eagerly pay whatever debt is claimed. Mom was that way; the second a bill arrived, she made payment. There were certain grocery store customers who were slow paying charge accounts, and she didn’t want to be like that.

Immediate reimbursement for statements is commendable, but it may not always be the smartest thing either. One must make certain what has been invoiced was actually ordered.

It’s of more concern now than earlier times with unlawful shenanigans increasingly prevalent in today’s mobile social communications.

Still, bills must be paid or somebody is stealing and another is losing. Plain and simple economics whatever the right definition that’s definitely the way it is.

A Cowboy’s Faith: School days good times

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Some contend no use lingering, yet remiss not to reflect more lifetime happenings. Those following earlier writing about Gordon Morrison have their memories.

Several shared recollections at his 90th birthday party, but personal times keep coming to mind.

First remember delivering groceries to Mr. Morrison’s home and to his in-laws Glen and Clara Maude by Elm Creek.

Then think about him wearing felt stockman’s hat slipping into the grocery store backdoor borrowing eggs. He’d get a 30-dozen crate for vo-ag students to practice candling for poultry competitions.

Of course, FFA entry in the homecoming parade made heartbeat skip. It was a horse built from a barrel that bucked with hydraulic lift power of an Allis tractor. An FFA member, once Dennis Taylor with yellow shirt, blue scarf, mounted waving above the “FFA Bucks To Victory” sign.

Mr. Morrison taught Sunday school for decades but not all seventh and eighth graders learned their required Bible verses.

Old Army barracks shop and classroom didn’t meet safety codes, yet with right instructor served purpose well.

Freshman class totaled a dozen; all farm kids, except one grocery store carryout wannabe cowboy. Everything agriculture was such taught that farming almost got into the genes.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Teacher’s immeasurable influence recognized

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, Gordie. Happy birthday to you.”

Nearly 100 friends and family from throughout the country gathered in the front yard at the Morrison Ranch.

It was the 90th birthday party for Gordon Morrison. Gordie, to those knowing him from original stomping ground. He’s Gordon to acquaintances, since calling Cloud County home 49 years. But still Mr. Morrison to many students from a 40-year teaching career.

Smiles abounded from not only the honoree fit, vim, ornery like always, but everyone there. First and foremost his wife Janet, ramrod of the fling.

Unquestionably a big ordeal getting the ranch in tiptop shape and planning the country meal. Toughest challenge was spreading the word local to afar.

Not only immediate family, but distant relatives including nephews and nieces nationwide came to Gordie’s celebration. There were nowadays neighbors with decades’ gone-by faculty and chums chiding Gordon.

Former students from the early ’60s at Council Grove through Concordia college classes came to honor Mr. Morrison.

It was certain verification positive influence one growing up a Morris County country boy had on so many. And, deepest appreciation for that.

Covenant made in Korean wartime, Mr. Morrison was to be a teacher. Yet, farming implored his being attempting combined teaching and agriculture professions.

Classroom won out educating students about farming, accompanied by wisdom developing wholesome worthwhile lives.

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.

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