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WIld week

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

What a wild, wild week! Who could’ve ever foreseen the changes we’ve seen in America in the past week. Schools and businesses closed except for emergencies, self-isolation/quarantined in our homes, hoarding of essentials like toilet paper and flour, hand washing and hand wringing everywhere.

I guess we could say that things are black. And, that would be true for the Flint Hills and Damphewmore Acres because the annual spring rite and ritual of pasture burning is nearing completion. Our very ground is black.

Yep, last week I participated in the easiest and safest burning ever of all the pastures in the section that I live in. The ground wuz moist. The grass wuz dry. The wind wuz almost still. Perfect for burning without moments of consternation like in most years when the flames threaten to get out of hand.

I’ve been waiting for the new green shoots of prairie grass to start emerging from the blackened soil. That’s a sure sign of new life and it is comfort for troubled souls.


•••

I put my purple martin houses up last week, and still no purple martins have arrived. They’re late. And, I guess the robin migration came through early while we were in Arizona because I have not seen a single robin here and there’s always a couple pairs that nest in the front yard trees. I guess, sadly, they decided to bypass Damphewmore Acres this year.

However, I did see a buzzard and my regular resident spring mockingbirds this week. Still waiting on the Baltimore orioles and the killdeers. My summer resident non-chicken-killing hawk hasn’t arrived either.

My apricot tree is blooming, but a freeze is expected tomorrow night, so that probably will end my apricot crop before it starts. My neighbor’s forsythia bushes are blooming their beautiful yellow right now.

This week, I did get a couple of my garden plots tilled and my garden seed and seed spuds bought. But, nuthin’ planted yet.

I did get our yard mowed for the first time. Now all the henbit and dandelions are the same height.

•••

Added to the sad news of the CV pandemic was the announcement of the deaths of two of my favorite country music singers. “The Gambler” Kenny Rogers folded his last hand at the age of 83.

And, the coronavirus claimed the life of Joe Diffie at the early age of 62. I hope this doesn’t sound irreverent to Joe but the first thing I thought of upon hearing of his demise wuz these lyrics of one of his biggest hits: “Stand me up beside the jukebox when I die. I wanna go to Heaven. I just don’t wanna go tonight. So, fill my boots up with sand, put a still drink in my hand, and stand me up beside the jukebox when I die.”

RIP, both Kenny and Joe.

•••

An agricultural side effect from the CV crisis that I’ve heard nuthin’ about is the sad plight of all the ranchers who had production sales of bulls and heifers scheduled in March and April. Plus, the regular farm estate or dispersion sales during that time.

I’d bet that “social distancing” probably hurt the turnout of bidders and the quality of the sales in general. That’s a big pay day gone and went.

•••

With most of the television talking heads making their broadcasts from their homes without the help of professional make-up persons, we now know that most of celebrity news media folks look different from their appearances in their studios. It’s pretty clear that these folks miss their pros to apply makeup and do hair. I’d say most of them look a lot plainer than expected.

•••

I wuz talking on the phone to a buddy of mine a couple of days ago about how hard it is to remember to wash your hands regularly and keep your hands off your face during this CV crisis.

My buddy said, “Milo, through sheer willpower, I’ve kept my hands off my face since I wuz instructed by the experts to do so. So, now after two weeks, I’ve got boogers in my nose a quarter-inch thick and no expert has told me what to do about that.”

I told him, “Ya’ gotta do what’cha gotta do!”

•••

Another friend of mine, after more than a week of quarantine at home with his wife, saw her at the kitchen sink and approached her and whispered in her ear, “I’m thankful I have someone like you that I enjoy being quarantined with.”

His wife replied, “Must be nice.”

•••

Here’s the difference between the bird flue and the swine flu. One required a “tweetment” and the other an “oinkment.” OK, you can “pun” groan now.

•••

A cartoonist attempted to make our president look a fool by shooting himself in the foot. Trouble is the prez is holding a revolver and the cartoon shows empty casings being ejected from the gun. Now that’s what’s really funny and clearly illustrates who the fool really is.

Have a good ‘un. ❖




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