Drive Time

sunset picture#mwisdthankful

I was thankful today for Delmar Day.  I remember he was in charge of Human Resources when I was hired. He knew I lived in Weatherford and told me during my interview, “You’ll have the sun at your back when you drive to work and the sun at your back when you drive home.” I also remember something else about Delmar. He never forgot your name once he met you. What a gift. It made me feel pretty special when he called me by name whenever I saw him.

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Bones and Blades

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I was driving in to my teaching job last week when I came upon a dinosaur bone. Well not a real dinosaur bone, but to me it was as startling as unexpectedly having the ribcage of a brontosaurus appear on the road in front of you. It was a single blade of an industrial wind turbine making it’s way through the morning traffic in Mineral Wells, Texas. It was the scale of the thing that was almost frightening. I had never been that close to a wind turbine blade before, although I had a vague knowledge that there are multitudes of wind farms in West Texas. It was huge and an eerie bone-white. Sleek and almost unearthly in that pedestrian setting, being accompanied by trucks before and after with flashing lights as if to say, pay attention, this thing may get away from us.

windrader-474574_1920So how big was it? According to the NationalWindWatch  the blades of a G.E. 1.5 megawatt model are 116 feet long and have the vertical wind sweep of just under an acre. An acre.  My Brontosaurus comes in a sad second place with an estimated length of only 75 feet total from nose to tail.

The Quiet Time

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For a moment the earth’s breath is soft,
Warm on my cheek, scented with apple wood and hay.

Grass tops touch nodding heads together in autumn prayer.

Ash Leaves

Vanishing moments of gold whisper soft, brown feathers open. Sunning

 

 

The quiet time flows across the valley.

Blood red weeps against the gold and green of fall.

The Valley

Feeding Routine

 

This soft October day was about our feeding routine. How is it that the animals always seem to eat before we do? Guess that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

First Poco anticipates the arrival of his hay……

Expectation

Finally….

Finally

Then, the girls, Perdita and Holly…..

 

Feeding the girls

Express FeedThen K.J. and Ferdinand the cat……

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K.J. gets his feed first while Ferdinand assists.

Finally Indy gets his munchies…….

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It’s been a great day and a gorgeous sunset is accented by a moonflower display….

Moonflower sky

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October

I look forward to the migration of the butterflies through Texas towards Mexico each year. There always seems to be one day when clouds of butterflies descend on the sunflower-like flowers that consume our front pasture. I compete with the photobombing donkey Poco to get some shots of this beauty every year.

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Poco stops to smell the flowers.

 

 

 

Little Kitten

 

My husband. George. We’ve been married thirty-nine years and he still surprises me, astonishes me. We have history, we went to the same high school, started dating right out of high school, went to TCU together, got married right after I graduated in 1978. We know each other.

So last weekend, Labor Day weekend, we are sitting at the kitchen table drinking our morning tea and George says ” I have something to tell you.” “Okay”, says I, not expecting anything earth shattering, but we do have a project pending (the sale of my mother-in-law’s house for her). I was expecting a problem with that.

“Do you remember the story of Ferdinand the Bull?”, he asks. “Yes.”….I said slowly. “Did he have a friend?” “No”, I said, “He was rather solitary, he just like sitting and smelling the flowers.” “Well,  I need you to see something down at K.J.’s pasture.” Now, I’m slightly alarmed. K.J. is our thirty-year-old horse. He had been really ill last year but has recovered and is fat as a pig and doing great. Then it hit me. “You’ve adopted a cow?” I asked, thinking I’m in a scene from City Slickers. Our neighbor’s cows have broken through the fence before. “No.” he said, looking down.

“What?” I looked at him. “K.J. has a friend.” ” WHAT IS IT?”, I ask. “A cat.” he says. ” A black cat.”

I laughed. I laughed until I cried. You see my husband is really allergic to cats. We live in a country house that we bought from my dear Aunt, who had thirty-five cats. She was the cat lady you read about. Thirty-five. Twelve in the house, seventeen in the garage and six in a pen in a corral. She loved them to a fault. Enough said. George took a year off from work when we bought this house, completely gutted, repainted and refurbished it before we could live in it. He’s really allergic to cats. We can’t have a house cat.

We’ve been through this scenario before, by the way. The twenty acres where K.J. is pastured is separated from the acreage our house is on. It’s a short drive down the county road from our home, but isolated enough that people dump things on the road. Like cats. There is a particular brand of cretin that thinks it is ok to dump defenseless kittens or old dogs in the country and that somehow they will survive. Or they just don’t give a damn and they think starving defenseless animals is a thing that people do. There is a hell waiting for folks like that. My husband is not one of those people. The last time it was a box of four kittens that someone left in the drive to K.J.’s corral. They were weaned, but just barely. They stayed in our garage until we could get them built up enough to stay around the yard. We vetted them, neutered and spayed them and kept each one as safe as we could. Our population of coyotes and owls got them one by one. It is heartbreaking, but they had a happy, well-fed cat life while they were here as loved country cats, catching field mice and our pond frogs and the occasional lizard. I started feeding another stray cat that presented us with two kittens and years of love, so I’m guilty too.

But at the moment we were a cat-free family. Until now.

“How long has he been down there?” “Three months.” This what I mean about my husband surprising me. He has been feeding this kitten on the sly for three months because he didn’t want to tell me. After I could catch my breath from laughing again I asked, “What’s his name?” “Little Kitten.” he says.

We’re going to have to work on that. I think Ferdinand. Welcome Ferdinand.