The difference between a good meal and a great one…

is about four hours!

That’s what ol’ Verg always says as he’s sidling, bow-legged and spurs a-jinglin’, through my door for a late-afternoon “lunch.”

The cowboys around here don’t adhere to much of a meal schedule.  My dad has always fit quick meals wherever he could into a schedule otherwise packed with work, and now my husband follows in his footsteps.  (I’ve heard there are places where the cook is in charge; let me assure you that the PV is not one of them.)

On Tuesday the crew left here at 10 a.m. with 350 heifers and trailed them 12 miles to an overnight pasture.  Dad picked the crew up in the pickup and trailer and drove them here for lunch.

We sat down to eat at 4:30 p.m.

The first funny thing is that I kept looking at the spread after everyone had sat down to eat — sloppy joes, pickles and other fixings, chips, corn, cottage cheese, and ice cream for dessert — and thinking it looked a little on the slim side.

Only after the fellas left did I find the macaroni salad, stowed safely in the frig, which I had fixed about 5 hours earlier and fully intended to serve with the sloppy joes.

Guess I’ll save the salad to serve at a branding later this week.  Look at me, being efficient, having that salad already done and ready to go!

The second funny thing is that my dad had arranged for our extended family to eat out in nearby Forsyth, which is a half hour away, with a family friend at 6 p.m. that evening.  It was the sort of date which we’d already put off several times, as our schedule is so hectic this time of year, and the sort of thing which, if Dad gets it in his head that it’s going to happen, by golly it’s going to happen.  The whole time the crew was eating in my dining room, he kept reminding us family members not to eat too much, because we would soon be eating again.

So we ate “lunch” at 4:30 that day and “supper,” because we were late, of course, at about 6:30.

The crew just rode out of the yard this morning — today they will repeat the trail they made on Tuesday, this time with the last batch of replacement heifers to leave the feedlot this spring.  I expect them to be here for lunch anytime between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. — and they’ll expect to eat immediately when they get here.

Sigh.  Cowboys.  For some reason I can’t help but like ’em.

© Tami Blake

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