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From too wet to too dry

Well, the predictably unpredictable Flint Hills of Kansas weather has done it again. The Weather Gods with a sly smile flipped the switch from cool and wet to hot and dry. Within a week, some of my garden plants started wilting, all the mud holes dried up, and I can see little cracks in the soil. Didn’t expect anything different. Weather extremes here are the norm.

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From all appearances and reports, the Flint Hills Rodeo in Strong City was a complete success this year. The weather was perfect, the attendance was very good, and the participants up to snuff as usual.



The rodeo folks deserved a good year after having to cancel the event last year.

Ol’ Nevah and I worked the contestant gate one evening and got an anticipated visit from an old Colorado friend, Tex Junkman. We had a nice visit and Tex said he got to visit with some of his old friends from way back when in his youth — when he worked in this area.



***

I’ve mentioned several times that my friend, ol’ Avery Ware, has a litter of nine Beagle hound puppies. The pups just turned seven weeks and I’ve never seen a cuter batch of puppies in my life.

Since the mother of the pups is named Patsy — a namesake of country music legend Patsy Cline — I decided to give all the puppies temporary “Milo” names after other country music stars. The old-timer names I gave the five male puppies were Garth, Travis, Merle, Faron and Waylon. The four female pups got the names Dolly, Loretta, Reba and Emmylou.

Sadly, the pups are old enuf to start going to new homes — which I’m sure will happen and make a lot of kids and older folks happy.

***

I never hesitate to tell a funny story about someone else’s unfortunate mishaps as long as it’s not too serious and they live to tell about it.

So, I won’t let myself “off the hook” and will relate what happened to me last week. I hurt myself falling INTO my Tracker jon boat. That’s right. You read correctly. I fell into my boat and hurt both an extremity and my self-esteem.

Here’s what happened: Last Sunday afternoon I invited my young neighbor, Huntal N. Fischal, to go fishing in a nearby watershed lake. So, we loaded up and when we got there, the water had been up and made launching the boat more iffy than usual.

I had to back the boat and trailer through 6 inches of water before we got to a place where we could tip the trailer and get the boat into the water. I put my gum boots on to wade out to the trailer. Then I carefully climbed over the trailer rail — becuz my sense of balance is about shot — and wuz carefully trying to lean in grab the boat seat for stability as I climbed aboard.

At precisely the wrong moment my balance wuz most precarious is when my water-slick right boot slid on the trailer floor and I did an unceremonious header right into the front boat compartment. I hit my ear and head on the seat, but it wuz my left thumb that hurt — a quick glance told me it wuz bleeding profusely.

There I wuz — upended on my back like an undignified upside-down turtle in a boat that wuz tilted abut 45-degrees. Luckily, Huntal came immediately to the rescue. He finally with difficulty got me uprighted. While I wrapped my bleeding and throbbing thumb with my handkerchief, he retrieved my ancient first-aid kit from the pickup and we found some bandages and old tape that we could use.

It wuz at that point that we tried to decipher how — and with what — I gashed my left thumb. There was no sharp edge to be seen. But then I noticed that I’d fallen into the two fishing rods I had stowed in the boat and both had lures with hooks on them. What must have happened is that I fell headfirst into the rods and tried to catch myself with my left hand and one of the hooks sliced deeply into my thumb joint and then instantaniously tore free from my momentum. It could easily been my eye or an ear, so I wuz lucky there.

I should have gone to a sawbones to get stitches, but I wuz mad, wanted to fish, and knew the emergency room 20 miles away on a Sunday would not be a good place to visit. Plus, I figgered the gash on my thumb joint wuz a long ways from my heart. So, we continued on fishing and caught a nice mess of filleting-size bass.

It will take awhile, but the thumb is mending normally. Looking back on the incident, I can see the humor. Someone should have had a video going.

***

I wuz so traumatized from my boating fall that I scheduled a visit to my therapist, ol’ Doc Picure Brane, and he said he needed to know my state of mind. So, he set half glass of bourbon in front of me. Then, he asked if I was an optimist or a pessimist. So, without hesitation, I chugged the bourbon and told him I was a problem solver.” His fee wuz high, but my satisfaction wuz higher.

***

My words of wisdom for the week come from none other than the cowboy philosopher Will Rogers. He said, “We could certainly slow down the aging process if it had to work its way through Congress.”

So true. Look at our Congress today — just not for results. Have a good ‘un.


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