This morning I was running behind.....I detest being late! What do I do when I'm late.....I hurry.....and do dumb things.....not on purpose, mind you, but things tend to happen. Anyway, I got my son loaded up to head to town (our lovely 30+ mile trek to Chadron on our lovely 10 miles of gumbo road....trail.....atrocity that it is. In a word, it's awful! Our road is usually bad enough on its own....without the interference of gates. However, this winter my folks decided to run heifers and they keep them between our two houses....along the road that runs between us. It's the "best" (and I use the term loosely) road we have to get to town. With the heifers along the road, the use of gates is a must. So, between our two houses, we have 4, yes FOUR, gates in a mile!!! One to keep our horses off the road....another to keep the horses from walking across our cattle guard.....one separating the heifers from our cake bin and hay yard....and other to keep mom and dad's horses from crossing their cattle guard.
I've mentioned the word gumbo before....if you don't know what that is....say a little prayer and realize how luck you are! If you know what it is.....then you know where my misery lies. Gumbo is a type of dirt, soil, whatever......it was surely spawned by the devil....it's that lovely. It's light and powdery when dry, but add the spit of a grasshopper and slippery, gooey, clingy, ugly, nasty, and goopy doesn't cover it. When we first moved here I ruined several nice pair of shoes and boots due to the stuff. I also learned how to leap out of a pickup to try to keep it off the backs of my legs. I have since learned that I have as many muck boots as I do good boots.....and that's a lot! I keep a pair in each "going to town" pickup and 2 on the porch. Some go to my knees....because come calving season I will need them that high....others are mid-calf length. I could actually kiss the inventor of muck boots. And if you don't know what MUCK boots are.....say another prayer and realize that you must not know what gumbo is either! :)
Anyway, back to the gates.....along with gumbo being a ruiner of looking nice, barbed wire is surely the kiss of death to down-filled jackets and denim. As I was on my way to work this morning, I got through 3 of the gates. However, closing gate #3 is the most challenging of all. My dad has a granny stick attached to it so that it makes it supposedly easier to shut....yeah, maybe if you are Hulk Hogan. So, instead of closing it on the tougher side I close it on the easier side then step over the gate to go on about my way. I did just that this morning except that when I stepped over the gate the wind (about a 40 mph gust) caught me off balance and caused me to let go of the barbed wire. If I was Shane, I might have been talking in a higher tone the rest of the day, but luckily my anatomy didn't hinder me. However, I was now "caught"......"caught" by a nasty barb on the barbed wire of the gate. I danced around and tried to unhitch my jeans from the steel's grasp, but all of a sudden I heard a "rip" and I was suddenly free. For a split moment, I was happy.....then I realized what had happened. With my hands, I felt down "there".....no hole!!! WooHoo!! I had survived unscathed.......the wind was really blowing and for some reason I could definitely feel the breeze in the rear end of my pants.....oh no!!! I felt "back there" and sure enough....there was a hold big enough to fit 3 fingers in.......Crap!!!! My favorite jeans have been claimed by a barbed wire gate. UGH!!! I can't tell you how many crotches of jeans I have had to repair from Shane stepping over gates.....I finally quit.....maybe if I stopped fixing them he would quit climbing over them? Nope...guess again! I guess he likes permanent air conditioning in the nether regions of his jeans...haha, just kidding.....well, am I? Not sure.....:)
My morning took a downward turn from there.....since I realized that a hole of that size would surely catch attention.....I simply had to return home and change jeans. Great......so back we went through 3 gates.....I left the one I tried to climb over open since the heifers weren't nearby......and rushed home. I hurriedly changed and made it back to gate #3 just as the heifers were reaching it.....dirty little buggers! I was so mad at this point that I closed the gate on the "bad/hard" side without even trying and was on my way......no worse for wear! After I got through gate #4, I even spun out a little bit in my Chevy pickup as to say "kiss the hole in my jeans....I'm outta here"! :) I did manage to get a smile on my face thinking about how I was going to talk my dad into buying me another pair of jeans.....because his gate ruined mine.....I'd better gather my strength for that argument! ~Cheyenne