Saturday, December 4, 2010

Photo study of grandson Ethan visiting Grandma: He requests stories about the 'old days'

And now after eating pizza his mom and dad bought we are going to play Yahtzee!

P.S. Ethan and I played Yahtzee. He requested some stories about the 'old days'; I told him some of my adventures punching cattle. He was curious about the term "punching cattle,' so I explained that you pushed the cattle up the trails on your cow horse by crowding them, various ways, that came to be called 'punching cattle'.
I told him one story about the time my horse got away from me down in the bottom of Big Holler while I was driving a herd of 50 cows and their calves, 5 dry cows, and a bull. No male cow puncher I ever knew somehow lost his horse while driving a whole herd of cattle by himself. I think Ethan was having a hard time imagining this scenario since it has not been portrayed in western movies , but it was the sort of thing that could cause an amateur cow girl to have a nervous breakdown right on the spot, or at least after she had chased the horse 5 miles back to the ranch on foot, where her irate father could not believe his ears.
He and I rode back with him saying in a loud voice we would not know any more than 'a pig' where those cattle I was driving had gone. Literally the cowboy angels intervened that day I will always believe and caused the 50 cows and calves to lay down to rest in the bottom of Big Holler, and there they were. The 5 dry cows and bull who caused me to get off my horse to chase them up a side hill so steep I did not dare risk it on horse back were the only ones gone. Of course my cowboy father would have gone up a side hill practically perpendicular which he did and brought back 4 cows and a bull and said with great disgust the 5th cow was long gone to the mountain and would without a doubt be trespassed. He sounded like she and I would cost him half of his year's income paying the fine.
Then on top of this he pulled up his horse and to my shock and horror said he was leaving and I damn well better stay on my horse and run him up every canyon those dry calves and bull turned up and not lose them again! Why in the hell did I think he put me on his prize cattle horse. That horse knew what to do with runaway cattle if I just stayed on him!
What other father would ever have done that to a thirteen year old girl amateur cow puncher? But those were the old days where a great deal was expected of a cattle rancher's kids whose dad had no sons and was hard put to get all the work done.
Now I think I was quite lucky to have been born in such a time and such a place to a dad with no sons! He and I broke barriers even back then that kept women and girls always in the house slaving over a hot stove, while the boys and men had all the fun on horses.
Telling Ethan this story took me back to another time, another way of parenting. I thought of Ethan's father now managing a company, flying all over the world, and knew this was the kind of job Ethan was being programmed to do, just as Chad had been programmed by his father who managed a large can company. Chad's company specializes in supplying parts for airplanes. Ethan and I talked about how many text messages his dad has to do a day, on the phone a lot of the time, and then there is his mother in her job she loves which a nurse's degree qualified her to do. His mother who just passed a test that cost $550 just to take that qualified her to be an 'International Consultant' on breast feeding.
Yes, life is a lot different in modern times, living in a big city. I gave up riding horses in adulthood which were not required in the kind of career I envisioned for myself, as a writer, but those stories of a colorful past in a place I thought of as the 'last frontier' would surely stand me in good stead as material for stories, novels, plays, poems, and memoirs!
My grandson Ethan was trying to take them in. So we had a good time. His parents apologized for being away longer than they anticipated. These are two who are trained to arrive where they said they would exactly when they said they would. I assured them it was okay to pick him up at 10:00 pm instead of 9 pm having dropped him off at precisely 5:30 pm. In their worlds timing is all important.


salemslot9 said...

have fun!

salemslot9 said...

I don't think
you'll ever run
out of interesting
stories to tell
your grandson said...

Great photo shoot of Ethan. No wonder he is curious. It's beyond comprehension. You do have great stories. How many grandkids are really curious?

Amrita said...

Such a sweet boy


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