I’m a great-grandfather
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.
The world will never be quite the same after an event that happened yesterday. Why? Well, because one-eighth of my genes are now percolating in the third generation. Which is a complicated way to say I became a great-grandfather for the first time.
I doubt that the arrival of our first great-granddaughter will change the world all that much, but it sure changed the little personal world that I orbit in. The birth of that precious little girl added new monikers for a lot of people. First, ol’ Nevah and I got the new names of great-grandmother and great-grandfather. Our daughter and son-in-law became grandma and grandpa for the first time. There are also new aunts and uncles and second cousins. And, that’s just on the Yield side of the new family tree that took root.
Nevah and I can hardly wait to travel to Oklahoma City in the next few days to make our acquaintance with the newest addition to our family. Certainly, a new great-grandchild is a big payoff for getting old and decrepit.
Last week, my New Mexico buddy, ol’ Albie Kirky, came to the Flint Hills for his annual spring fishing trip. Accompanying him were his son, JoJo, and grandson, “The Nathanator.”
“The Nathanator” is 10 years old and a big city boy who’s never spent much time on a farm, or fishing. But, that changed in three days with me spent learning a lot about the farm, chickens, bird dogs, gardens, grasses, the Flint Hills and fishing. And, driving my utility vehicle as fast as I’d let him go became a favorite activity.
The fishing was fair to good for their trip. We caught some fillet-able fish every day and one day was topped off by 20 really nice crappie.
It was great to host three generations of Kirkys and I’m already looking forward to their fall fishing trip.
Last week, I raked the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad over the coals for the callous way they treat civilians along their route by blocking roads and rights-of-way. I figgered I might be the only person bent out of shape by the railroad, but it turns out that a faithful column reader — about 75 miles southwest down the rail line — shares my feelings and wrote to me about them.
Ol’ “Dub” L. Dee wrote this: “Hey, Milo, I hear you about the trains. I honest to God think that all train engineers are taught at their engineering school how to irritate the public. How many times have I sat at a crossing and the train may roll by real slow and you think just one more car to go and you’re home free. But, when they get to the crossing, they stop? They won’t go 70 more feet or so and clear the road.
“Or the other way, all the cars pass by, but when the rear engine gets to you, it stops — like forever. Thanks for an interesting story. I thought maybe it was just me. Waiting for trains might be how new cuss words come into common use.”
Well, it’s good to know that I have company as a “train-wait sufferer.”
I witnessed something new in nature this week — at least it was new for me. I wuz sitting on my deck drinking coffee one morning when I spied two Tom turkeys vieing over a nonchalant hen on the far side of my four-acre pond. Both were in full strut with tail fans as big as they could make them. When I first saw them, they were about 20 feet apart and the hen was feeding in a food plot of wheat between them.
When the hen moved up the bank, the two Toms immediately quickly took about 10 steps forward until they were literally bill-to-bill, not 6 inches apart. I expected a fight, but it didn’t happen. A “stare-down” is what happened. Those two Toms stood like statues for more than 10 minutes and moved nary a muscle or feather.
Then, suddenly, for no apparent reason, one folded his fan, turned and walked away. By then, the hen was not to be seen and the stare-down winner was standing stupidly in full display for himself.
I know several owners of Beagle hounds who swear their eager little rabbit hunters have the best tracking nose in the canine world. I don’t know about that, but I did see a news item that seems to prove that Beagles do have the best noses for tracking — are you ready for this — lung cancer.
Researchers from the American Osteopathic Association say that Beagle hounds are capable of successfully detecting lung cancer with a 97% accuracy. The docs say using Beagles could lead to a safe, affordable, and effective way to mass screen large populations for early lung cancer.
Beagles proved better than any other dog breed tested for their ability to sniff blood serum samples and identify those patients suffering from malignant lung cancer.
The researchers are also working on a study that will involve Beagles sniffing out breast and colorectal cancer from patients’ breath samples.
In short, in the future you may sit in the “kennel waiting room” waiting for the nurse to say to you — “your Beagle will see you now.” If it comes to happen, I bet the Beagles won’t charge as much as the regular doctors.
Words of wisdom for the week: The media won’t believe our attorney general, but it eagerly believes Jussie Smollett. Go figure! Have a good ‘un. ❖