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Posts Tagged ‘Cowboy’

It was his eightieth year to heaven and we all gathered in the Moose Hall in the small Central Valley town where Wayne ran a Rodeo every summer for years. He is known all over the area as “Cowboy”. A steady stream of grizzled men in cowboy hats came thru the bar, obtained a drink, and stood in irregular circles congratulating Wayne on making it to eighty. Barbecued beef, macaroni salad, potato salad, and more delicious eats stood on a table but the guys preferred their drinks while we women and children gladly filled our plates.

A lively young couple began an intricate description of the acreage they had just bought to better house their 20 dogs, 13 cats and a few various other animals. Leanne told me she had found a horse tied to Wayne’s fence, abandoned by someone, and so they needed more room for all the animals she had rescued. Her husband, a handsome, genteel man looked askance at this. Wayne interrupted and waved his glass around saying “No one ever tied a horse on my fence!” He looked significantly at Leanne. ¬†She colored and said to me “Oh. I lied to my husband. Actually the horse had been abandoned and was at the pound. I couldn’t bear to leave that poor horse in the pound.”

Giving Don an apology hug, which he accepted graciously, she then dragged out her phone and showed me trays and trays of blueberries on her dinning room table which they were selling and which were grown on their new purchase near Lake Comanche. She and her hubby are now in the blueberry business. “Wow! How much land is devoted to blueberries?” I ask, astonished that they grow in this valley. “I thought they were grown in wet marshes.” She dimpled up and glanced at Don. ” We have one acre and they are bush blueberries, four feet high, and we had no idea we were getting into the blueberry business when we bought this place. It is a steep learning curve and people call all the time and ask us for “our blueberries” as if we knew who they were. Being new owners we don’t know them but they come over and buy 50 lbs and take them home and freeze them. We never intended to be sellers of blueberries, just to have room for all our rescued animals.”

Pebbles, by Mary P. Williams

Pebbles, a drawing by Mary P Williams

I thought of all the horses pastured at Wayne’s ranch and of the one I had drawn a year earlier. He would whistle and Pebbles would gallop over to be fed while I drew. This year, with the drought and no water for pasture, the number of horses had to be reduced since $15 for a bale of hay prevented any profit from boarding horses. Don and Leanne have boarded 4 horses with Wayne and now must move them. Wayne and the guys drifted into a commiseration about the lack of water and the price of hay. All conversation halted as a stunning chocolate cake was brought forth. Singing, laughter, and another round of drinks accompanied servings of this four-layer sugar castle. Happy Birthday to YOU, Mr. Wayne Cummings!!

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