There’s work to be done |

There’s work to be done

Tales from the O-No Ranch
Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Yep, there is work to be done after this big winter blow. I know all of us have our own story to tell about this awful blizzard.

Here’s mine. Yesterday in the midst of the big blow I went down to take care of my ponies as the snow was drifting with the help of wind gusts of 70 mph, maybe more. I was dressed for the occasion with my carharts and high rubber boots. I refer to them, gentle readers, as my car wash “wish I didn’t need them” boots. I had to shovel my way into the corral and then again into the feed room as the snow had drifted from 2 to 4 1/2 feet deep. I have to tell ya that I was exhausted when I finally got back to the house. I did have to stop and catch my breath on occasion. I also was having double vision from my recent eye operation and still am this morning when I went out to feed. If I look up or down or left or right, I see double. I was supposed to go in to see the doc at the eye repair shop yesterday but the weather didn’t allow it. Soooo, I’ll just do the best I can until it clears up or until I get to see the doc again in another week.

I am drifted in for sure as I surveyed my surroundings this morning while I was out. By the way, I was hopin’ the wind would let up and sure “nuff”, it did. It’s only blowing 30-40 mph this morning. Now I have one drift approaching 6 feet in height and of course it has to be over my wood pile! My neighbor lost two cows and a calf during this storm and they were up close to the house. Makes we wonder about the number of cattle out on the eastern plains in peril. A few years back I had to go to Lamar, Colo., to speak at a banquet and it was right after a big blow like this one. There were dead cattle laying all along the roads for the “dead wagon” to pick up. They were drug out of the pasture to the road to make it easier. There were, if I remember correctly, thousands of cattle that died not only in the pasture but some in the feed yards as well.

I sit here with my hot cup of coffee lookin’ out the window over my computer trying to decide when I want to “cowboy up” and get back into the wind and drifts and try to make an escape route in case I need one. I am relieved that I have a nice shop with a cute little four-wheel-drive tractor with a warm cab and radio waiting for me to “get with it.” My back yard is badly drifted in as well and there are 3 foot drifts all across the drive way out to the road. Lots of work to be done for sure. I’m thinkin’ another cup of coffee, and maybe the sun will pop out again. I tried a little earlier but a cloud snatched it up and smothered it right away. Ya know what? It will get better. My eyes will straighten out, the sun will come out, there will be lots of spring grass in a few weeks and the creek is running full and has been for weeks now. See, there ain’t nothing to it, I just have to get busy and “git’er done!” I hope you didn’t suffer any great losses during this storm. It is Colorado and it should be expected every few years.

“Now I have one drift approaching 6 feet in height, and of course it has to be over my wood pile!”

Well, on second thought I think I will do the biscuits and gravy thing before I do anything else.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and by the way, gentle readers, if you see an old cowboy driving on both sides of the road, it’s most likely me. I’ll c. y’all, all y’all! ❖

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