Tales from the O-NO Ranch 12-21-09 | TheFencePost.com
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Tales from the O-NO Ranch 12-21-09

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Gentle readers, after breakfast this morning I cleaned off the kitchen table as I do after every meal. I was made aware of the dents, scratches and little marks made by being used so often in my family for more than 30 years. Actually, it’s not a kitchen table at all, it would be more appropriate to call it a dining table because, in fact, that is what it is. It’s a big sturdy table and can accommodate an extension at each end. This table that has been in my home for so many years carries a lot of pleasant memories and a few not so pleasant.

The chairs that came with it are solid and really heavy. They too are scarred. Many times I sat down for a quick meal with spurs on my boots only to get up and catch the bottom of the chair and either tip it over or leave a spur mark somewhere on the bottom rail. That was our life back then. Cows, cowboys, kids, toys, card games and an occasional cat that got slipped into the house. That old table needs to be replaced I suppose, but why? Only to make my eating area more attractive to folks that I don’t know all that well? Ain’t gonna happen! Nope, that table is special and has a special place in my home the same way my family albums and the kids and grandkids pictures cover the walls and the refrigerator. I’m comfortable when I sit down to eat or draw a cartoon as that is my drawing table also.

I remember Little Miss Martha sitting there this time seven years ago looking ashen, just a wisp of hair left where there once was a beautiful head of hair that she kept so attractive. She was fumbling through her pills that morning, the ones she thought would keep her alive for a longer period of time and maybe, just maybe that miracle would occur that would give her back her life for years to come. I remember she couldn’t remember if she had taken them or not. She was so confused and I was dying a thousand deaths inside knowing that her time was so very short. We did all manage to gather around that big ole stout table that Christmas, the kids, grandkids and Martha and I for her last Christmas.

In a few days we will all gather around Grandpa’s kitchen table for our meals, chit chat and coffee and pie. It will be special as it always is except for the empty chair and I will remind the grandkids how much their Grandma loved them and wanted to live for a long time so she could watch them grow and love them to death in the process. We will have a Merry Christmas as I hope all of you do regardless of your particular religion or lack of.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. ya.


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