the good, the bad, the ugly

the good:  Today we got all the calves branded at Schueth, so that’s one thing to check off the list.  Also good:  It was hot this afternoon and 14-year-old Niece Tay (as she always does) insisted that she had no choice but to float the irrigation canal to cool down.  Never mind that snowmelt is flooding the Yellowstone right now, which means the irrigation water is about 40 degrees and the color of an iced mocha.  Oblivious to it all, Tay, along with 9-year-old Asher and 7-year-old Emi — oh, and the old dog Swoog — jumped in for the long dip… and I took satisfaction in driving alongside the ditch and lifeguarding from behind the steering wheel.

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the bad:  At the end of the day we said goodbye and good luck to Nathan, the high school kid who’s been working with us since Coronavirus shut his school down earlier this spring.  He’s off to boot camp for a couple months, and as I’ve said before, we’ll sure miss his hard work and good attitude.  Considering it’s branding season, we’re most immediately going to miss his calf-wrestling skills…

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the ugly:  Our coworker Nate the Great — not to be confused with Nathan, or with our Nephew Nate who is also working with us this summer — is in the hospital tonight with broken ribs, a cracked shoulder, and a punctured lung.  His horse stepped in a prairie dog hole this morning at the branding and turned a somersault with Nate on top.  Also on the bottom.  I was entrusted with the job of driving a hurting Nate over the first and very bumpy leg of his route to the hospital; Nate’s wife Becky met us in Custer and took him from there.  So our friend Nate Great is in our prayers tonight.

And I bet there won’t be any prairie dogs in heaven.

© Tami Blake

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