Friday, March 12, 2010

I miss you Dad

Today is the second anniversary of Dad leaving this world to take his new job as a cow boss on the big ranch in the sky. I got up early hoping to watch the sunrise with him but it is cloudy so it really was not very exciting. I am encouraged because we are within 16 minutes of having equal day and night as of today. Today I have a few friends helping me gather the rest of the cows in Basin City. Once they are home I plan on spending the rest of the day on the ranch walking, talking and probably sharing a drink with Dad.

I really did not know what I was going to post about Dad today and as I sit here the pain is already evident. Back in January on the 19th I had a blog post “Edgar Allen NO”. I talked about how bad I was at writing poetry and how amazing Dad was at it. Whenever a family event was coming Dad was working on some prose. I remember watching him build fence and mumbling to himself as he put together his poems. You knew he had hit upon something when he would smile and snicker under his breath.

As I worked on Dads eulogy for his celebration of life I fretted about what to say. It was important to me to not miss anything that encompassed Dads life. I also knew I needed to put together a poem to honor him. For those that were at his services this will be a repeat but I did add one new verse at the end. This is one poem that I was satisfied with and felt it really captured who Dad was and what was important to him. I hope that this gives you an idea of who he was for those who did not know him. I hope it gives comfort to those who did know him in that Dads life was simple but fulfilling to him. I worked on the last verse yesterday on the way home from the auction. I call this poem “Cowboy when I die”.

Property taxes, regulations and the Endangered Species Act

Kicked shins, smashed fingers and ribs that sometimes crack

Expensive grain, moldy hay and pastures short and dry

But this seems a fair trade, to be a cowboy when I die.

Crashed markets, mad cow and ice storms

Environmentalists, vegetarians and government forms

Sometimes wanting to quit, short on money, nothing left but “try”

That’s not so much to face, to be a cowboy when I die.

First calf heifers, breech births and oversize teats

Broken gates, a loader that won’t start and frostbitten feet

Late trucks, rocky ground and persistent horn flies

None of that will bother me, if I can be a cowboy when I die.

Shipping fever, footrot and scours

Worn out boots, low pay and ridiculous hours

Diphtheria, prolapses and pinkeye

I will shrug it all off to be a cowboy when I die

No more sit downs, laughs or tears

No more fishing trips, cattle auctions or cold beers

You left us too soon and I keep asking God Why?

I guess he needed a rough and tough cowboy, to tend his herd up in the sky.

I sold some calves today and the grass market was strong

But the trip just is not the same without you riding along.

On the way home I thought about you and for awhile I cried

But I take comfort that my Dad was a cowboy when he died.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Northern Shrike aka Lanius excubitor.

Today’s picture is Dad with Dakota and a steer named Piglet at the Adams County fair.