Pricey cell phone |

Pricey cell phone

Laught Tracks in the Dust
Milo Yield
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.

Last week I talked about the arrival of our first great-granddaughter. Well, this week I can add that she’s just as precious as I figgered she’d be. Ol’ Nevah and I made a hasty trip down to Oklahoma City to see the newest addition to the Yield family tree. She’s a mighty fine “twig.”

I guess there ain’t much in this world to make your heart soar higher than to hold a newborn of your own flesh and blood. Holding her, I could not but marvel at the gazzilions of new cells that had to be created in nine months to produce a perfect — at least in my eyes — little great-granddaughter.

It’s a miracle with which our family has been richly blessed.


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Looking out the windows during our drive down Interstate 35 into the heart of Okie Land made it perfectly clear that most of the agriculture between Emporia and Oklahoma City is a far-flung shambles. From home to near the Oklahoma state line the dry fields were few and far between. There were signs of erosion and flood damage everywhere I looked.

Mature wheat fields showed clear evidence of standing flood waters. The corn fields showed poor stands of uneven stalks. The soybeans that were planted were the same way. Now, in Sumner County in Kansas and Kay County in Oklahoma there were combines grinding away through the mostly water damaged wheat. The fields with bright yellow straw were rare. Many wheat fields had been patch harvested — leaving standing wheat in the wet spots.

Along about 10 miles in Kay County for some happy reason the upland, early corn fields looked great from the road — thick, green and tasseling. The lucky owners must have planted during a March planting window. It wuz good to see a few crops thriving.

Now, the hay crops will be heavy if owners can get lucky with the curing and baling. Both alfalfa and grass hay fields will have heavy yields. Probably the only other “crop” doing excellently will be the crop of mosquitoes arising from all the stagnant waters.


Oh, I forgot to remind you. Winter is on its way. The days are getting shorter now and it won’t be too long and you’ll need your long-handles again.


It’s been a long dry spell since my ol’ Iowa buddy, the famous sheep-shearing Nick deHyde, has done anything funny or dumb enuf to warrant a prominent mention is this column. However, during about a week’s worth of “retirement farming” — which means working longer and harder than before he retired — ol’ Nick must have set some kind of dubious record — three to zero on cell phones. Let me mention that Nick keeps his cell phone in a holster that snaps over his belt, but which also has a loop through which his belt could hold the holster tight.

First, he wuz baling hay when some mechanical failing on the tractor about dusk required multiple ups and downs from the tractor seat to the ground. When he drove his pickup home, he discovered his smart phone wuz missing. So, during a drive back to the field after dark, he hoped against hope that the wayward phone wuz laying around the tractor seat or close by on the ground.

Well, a quick look on the ground with flashlight in hand revealed his smart phone holster laying amidst the hay stubble. His heart soared. But, then, after unsnapping the holster, a closer look at his smart phone revealed a really dumb phone in multiple electronic jigsaw puzzle parts — the result of the tractor tire crunching over it. Shucks! Or something close to that.

So, next day, off to the smart phone dealer Nick goes. Buys another one. Gets it programmed as best he could and commences using it again. Just a couple of days later, after another regular Iowa drenching rain, he’s helping his daughter with some yard fencing when he needs to drive his golf cart/ATV back to his home for something.

He’s riding fast down his bumpy, puddly driveway when he hits a big chug hole and instantaneously feels his cell phone holster bounce loose from his belt and he looks back just in time to see it unceremoniously splash into a deep puddle. Nick rushes to the cell phone, quickly dries it off with his shirt tail and “voile” — it comes on and works. Sadly, just minutes later the water does it’s work, shorts out the phone and it melts amid sparks and smoke into a tiny pile of worthless electronic rubble. Shucks! Or something a bit worse than that.

The next day, in a surly mood, he retraces his steps to the cell phone dealer and takes his third new phone with him on a sheep-shearing job. After hours of that backbreaking work, he arrives home, sheds his lanolin-soaked jeans and sweat-stained shirt and tosses the smelly bundle into the washing machine. It wuz only later that he realized his third new cell phone had gotten a nice soapy cleaning.

Shucks! Or something a lot worse than that. Nick tells me — after close to $300 of new cell phones — he’s going to revert to an old flip phone he kept from long ago.

When I reminded him that he might start using the belt loop in his cell phone holster, Nick replied to me, “Shucks!” Or, something a whole lot worse.

It’s wonderful and heart-warming to me to be a helpful friend.


Words of wisdom for the week: Refrigerators, not clothes driers, are responsible for making clothing shrink. Have a good ‘un. ❖

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