Just rambling thoughts about anything that happens to be on my mind and that usually isn't much!
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

35 years today

Last week in my excursions around the country, I was talking to a young cowboy who mentioned he and his wife were going to celebrate their second anniversary this coming Sunday.  When I mentioned that Sunday was also my anniversary, he asked what the secret was to a long marriage.  Well I didn't have an answer for him right off, so I gave him the address to this blog and said check it Sunday night.  So this post is primarily for him.  The rest of you who read this must understand it is similar to a "Dear Abby" column and a specific question.

First of all there must be agreements between you.  The Warden and I came to agreement long ago that whoever left first had to take the kids.  (I mean what good is the single life if you are toting around three kids?  You're still broke!)  So that worked for about the first 25 years and then we made a second agreement that whoever left first had to take the house mortgage and that's been working for the last ten.
Secondly you have to learn to say those three little words. "I was wrong" or "You were right".  These two phrases are interchangeable and should be used often.  Best results are received if you use the two phrases together, "I was wrong and you were right!"  However, never under any circumstances should you get the pronouns mixed up and say "you were wrong and I was right!"  The resulting mayhem is much worse than global warming .... actually might have some bearing on global warming because things are gonna get pretty hot!
Thirdly you have to learn to treat the wife as an equal.  You do this by learning to cook, clean house and do the dishes.  Now my expertise is breakfast but I have learned a few extras by watching Rachael Ray on the cooking channel and I got a few good cleaning tips from Hints to Heloise.
Also having a pet name for your spouse helps show affection and endearment.  As you have noticed I affectionately call my wife "the Warden". 
Last and not least, don't let the spark go out.
Remember why you married her and think of it often.
May 20, 1972

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mother's Day

At the Stockman's Cafe this past winter a discussion arose that stuck in my mind.  It was during a particularly cold time when calving season and bitter cold collided.  The discussion was about cows that are either "good mothers" or "bad mothers".  This of course played a tremendous role on the survival of the new born calf in the very bitter conditions.  Some cows will find a good sheltered draw out of the wind, have her calf with temperatures well below zero and save the calf.  She'll nuzzle, lick and moo at him until he gets up and nurses.  Some cows won't.
That got me thinking (which might scare some of you) about nature and mothers.  I once seen a hen take on a coyote to protect her chicks while the other hens scattered;  watched as some cats brought food back to the kittens while other cats stood at the bowl and meowed to be fed;  seen some sows build "nest" when they were getting ready to farrow while others laid in the mud to stay cool.  Some just have a natural "mothering" ability.
Now I know women don't like to be compared to hens or cats (and especially not cows and sows), but it's true, there are good mothers and bad mothers in the human race too.  All one needs to do is sit at a mall somewhere and watch for a few minutes, you'll see the difference quickly.  I was fortunate enough to be blessed with a good mom.
Mom taught me to laugh.  I can still see her start snickering when she would see or hear something funny.  And if the "funny" kept going she would break out in a full blown "ha ha".  Then she'd get red-faced and embarrassed and go to fanning her self.
Mom taught me to squirrel hunt.  We'd walk the woods after the leaves were off the trees and she'd point them out for me.  Then she'd tell me how to sight him and would give all sorts of encouragement especially if I missed.
Mom wasn't afraid of spanking us kids either.  As a matter of fact she gave me my last spanking when I was in junior high.  I still remember it quite well, don't remember exactly what I done, but do remember I KNEW I had it coming!!  A few times I remember Mom sending me to bed without any supper.  Then a couple hours later my older brother would show up with a piece of cake or a couple of cookies (Mom would never bring it herself because that would have been going against the punishment!)
Mom taught me hospitality.  Never was she inhospitable to anyone.  No matter who us kids or Dad would come dragging home, she'd make them feel like family.  And if they left hungry, it was their own fault cause she could cook.   Whether it was a picnic at Bolin Bridge or a family dinner with all the trimin's there was always room for one more.
Mom also taught me to sing.  She had a wonderful alto voice and us kids grew up on four part southern gospel music.  Some of her favorite hymns were written by Albert E Brumley who was sort of a shirt-tail relation.  His songs included I'll Fly Away, Did You Ever Go Sailing, If We Never Meet Again and many more.  There are a few songs I have trouble singing today because it opens the floodgates of memories.
Mom has gone home now, but the lessons she taught us will forever live within each of us kids and all that she met.  I truly was a blessed man to have a mother with natural "mothering" ability.
Addendum: Not only was I blessed with a great mother, but I was blessed with a wife who also had that natural mothering ability. And her daughters are following closely in her footsteps.