Tales from the O-NO Ranch 11-22-10 | TheFencePost.com

Tales from the O-NO Ranch 11-22-10

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

It’s that time again, gentle readers. That time of the year when we begin to think about others instead of ourselves. With Thanksgiving just around the corner we have to make plans.

We either are going to family or we have family coming to our house. If it’s the latter, man there is a lot to get done. Meals have to be prepared, fresh linens on the beds if you have overnight guests and, of course, you need to have your castle decorated.

I can’t bring to mind a special holiday that stands out above the others unless it was Little Miss Martha’s last Christmas three weeks before she passed away. In some ways it was dreadful and in other ways it was super special to see how she was adored by all of us and to watch her interact with her grandchildren in such a wonderful and meaningful way. She didn’t know that she was going to die in a few weeks but I did, according to what I had been told by one of her special nurses. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that this would more than likely be her last Christmas. I had informed the kids and I know that we all put on as “happy” a face as we could and pretended that our hearts were joyful. Our hearts were broken that we would no longer have her with us on these special occasions. As I have said before, she was the centerpiece of our family and there was this overriding dread at what lay ahead. We did our best and she had a wonderful Christmas although she did not feel well at all. She was the tough little trooper that she always was when times were not the best.

There was a few years that I could not muster up the Christmas spirit that most folks had. I didn’t even put up a tree for the grandkids when they came. There were always a few decorations around so one would know that it was indeed Christmas. Now I look forward to Thanksgiving and to Christmas because I know that I will be spending time with those that I love the most. A good part of the time these holidays are spent at the O-NO and it is a good ol’ holiday time in the country. The horses get a little extra feed and attention as well as Clancy the wonder dog. When everyone begins to arrive there is a warmth that comes over me as I observe the love that we all have for one another.

That’s what it’s about, isn’t it? Christmas is an observation of Christ’s gift to us as Christians. Thanksgiving is a time for us to reflect how we have been blessed and that we should share those blessings with others. This is a tough time in our nation this holiday season and there will be many of you feeling desperate and depressed because of your current situation. Have faith, be strong and know that there are many others in your same situation. This too shall pass! There will be better times in the future for you. I can remember times when I didn’t have two quarters for a cup of coffee and I was a family man. There are many of us that will be thinking of you and yours this holiday season.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours a joyful and meaningful holiday season. Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. ya.

As an afterthought, for those of you who are having a really tough time this year, I will mail you one of my “Hoots” cowboy calendars for 2011 at no cost to you as long as I feel I can afford to do so. Please, only one per family. Write to O-NO Ranch, P.O. Box 825, Wellington, Colo., 80549.

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