Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Deja Vu

  Gingerly relaxing in my "retired" morning mode, I was sitting at  my computer going through my emails.  The home phone rang, which is rather odd, seeing that seldom does someone use a land line nowadays!  When I answered, I was greeted with, "Hello Pal," a greeting which only a couple of people still use these days!  It was a life-time friend, Kim Simpson, who kindly reported that someone had stopped at the gatehouse to Wolf Creek Ranch and told them there was a whole herd of cows on the loose just about ready to cross the River bridge.  Kim knew they were Earl's and called to let me know.
   I jumped up from the computer, ran to the bottom of Rob's stairs and frantically yelled at him to hurry and jump on his four-wheeler and head to the Church Farm to get the cows in!  On a chance, I grabbed my cell phone and called Earl, hoping he might be on his prep period at school. As I was grabbing a jacket, I hit Olivia's picture on my cell phone and ran to the car, waiting for the call to connect.  It never did, so I left a needless message for help. I pulled in her driveway, ran in her house and found her styling "performance" hair on Liv.  When I told her I needed her help, she said she was taking Liv to the dance studio to practice her trio with Emmie and Noelle.  I ran out and jumped back in the car, driving up Lower River Road 55-60 MPH.  With almost a stop at the sign, I continued my pursuit to the wandering cows and turned on to Bench Creek Road.  I could see ahead that Rob had found the cows and was taking them back to the pasture.  I sped up the road, only to notice that there were more cows in Dr. Winn's yard eating and pooping as they chomped away, than were trailing up the road with Rob.  I drove past the contented cows in Winnie's yard and went to help Rob.  Richard Staples fence is down across the road from the Church Farm, so of course, they all headed in to the River bottoms, with me running on my gimp leg as fast as I could to try to get ahead of them.
   About this time, here came Earl's car whizzing down the road in search of his gold, and yelled at me as me passed, "Is this all?"  I yelled back, reporting on the girls and their new babies that had found what they wanted in Winnie's neatly manicured yard.  He flipped his car around in the middle of the road and headed back across the bridge.  About the time I was able to get the 6 or 7 cows out of Richard's place, I see the whole herd trotting down the road with Earl behind them, urging them forward with the use of his car horn and yelling from the driver's seat.
   Luckily, the cows turned in to the field, Rob shut the gate, Earl headed up the hill to make sure there were none who had gone the opposite direction.  Meanwhile, a while van pulled up and stopped.  I couldn't see who was in it, as the windows were tinted, but I went forward with a smile on my face.  The window came down and I saw two older people, perhaps around my own age, in the car.  The man driving wasn't as pleasant looking as the woman, who was holding a real estate ad in her hand.  I smiled and said, "I thought we would see how skilled you were at avoiding cow poop on the road this morning."  He didn't smile!  The woman was sitting on the edge of her seat and had a huge, excited grin on her face.  I again tried my hand at humor and asked if they were enjoying the brisk country air.  The man replied, "Where's the rancher that these cows belong to?"  By this time, Earl had turned around and was right behind the van.  I said, "Well, he's right there behind you!  Have a great day!" and walked away.
   Being the "farmer's daughter" I am, I walked to Earl and leaned down to his window (he is handsome and it is difficult not to smile when I see him).  I suggested he either 1) move the cows up on the hill to fresh pasture and then bring them back down in two weeks for shots, ear tags, and elastration; 2) feed the cows early morning before leaving for school so they were content or 3) hire an all-day herder.  (I'm sure he appreciates my advice!) He calmly stated he'd better get back to school, and drove off.
   Now comes the deja a child, I recall many times, leaving our home and starting down the road to find the cows were out.  We would ALWAYS stop what we were doing and go to retrieve the cows.  Mom always told us it was our living and our first priority.  It was never a bad chore -- it was our life!  While the older sisters milked the cows, it was my sister Georgia and my job to take the cows to pasture on summer mornings.  We usually rode our horses, Dixie and Star, bareback and we were barefoot (Dad would have gotten after us if he knew that) to take the cows down the road to Priscilla's.  As soon as we had the cows in the pasture and had gotten off our horses to shut the gate, we would bring the horses up next to a rock we could stand on, and then climb back on the horses.  The horses knew just what they wanted to do and just what we got a thrill out of doing....once we were sort of on the back of each of our horses, they would spin and take off as fast as they could up the road.  Georgia and I would literally just lay our upper bodies down on the horses' necks and hang on to their manes for dear life, as ole' Dixie and Star raced each other as fast as their legs would carry them, back up the road to home!  Back then, there were pine trees along side the road by the church and by the old Betts' place.  We really did have to lay down to avoid getting brushed off because the horses were on a mission!  The horses would then turn and run in the driveway and take us right inside the shed, where they knew we would have to get off!
   Just the smell of the air this morning, and the sight of the cows and the new spring grass allowed the deja vu to wash over me, returning me to my childhood days of freedom/chores, life/duty, commitment/obedience and love of life!  My Heavenly Father loves me and has abundantly blessed me with the richness of life that I cherish!

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