A view from under the pew: amos gets mailed

 Editor’s note: Amos is a churchmouse, who types by hopping on the computer keyboard, but he can’t operate the capital shift keys, and he shuns punctuation marks – except dashes and hyphens. boss i suppose you re already chuckling by now i guess you heard that i fell into a mail drop the other day  […]

Badgering prey makes little sense

My brother and I came upon a badger out in the pasture one summer afternoon. He looked at us. We looked at him. He glared at us and looked mean, so we thought we should return his angry stare. His body was muscular, and his mottled brownish gray fur was highlighted by a white streak […]

Animals safe with country kids

Our family always has made pets out of all kinds of living things. We had a dogie goat named Penco, which isn’t terribly original since Penco means dogie in Spanish. Penco learned that when the back door slammed either food or fun were on the way, and he always came running. Our pet squirrel named […]

Animals contain surprises

The high-powered quarter horse mare had been to the breeding barn, and was bred to an outstanding stallion. Everything seemed fine. Maybe not. She colicked, and they ended up taking her to the veterinarian. He got that problem solved, and while he was at it he checked, and pronounced her “open,” no baby in there. […]

Finding humor shows resilience

We attended a Chautauqua program recently. The performers — a lady named Jane and a guy named Hoyle — presented a “Brief Historical Timeline of the Great Depression” covering the 10-year period from 1929 to 1939 in the United States. Jane sang and played guitar while Hoyle also sang and played piano, mandolin and guitar. […]

Old-timers should be consulted

I recently came across the following in a U.S. government publication: “Realistically, livestock are the primary practical tools for altering vegetation on rangelands because of environmental concerns about herbicides and the high costs of treating vast acreages of rangeland.” The story described a “recent development” called “conservation grazing,” and said it had “resulted in a […]

Daylight Saving Time disruptive

Rhythm rules the world. Years, months and seasons (where appropriate) are directed by a rhythm or cadence. Animal migration, hibernation, reproduction all follow the directive in Ecclesiastes: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Plants grow, bloom and die on cue. Even inanimate objects expand or crumble according […]

Cowboys aren’t afraid of honesty

My father left his parents’ Texas home at age 14 with thirty-six cents in his pocket. He became a cowboy, one of the best in the business, and he never moved back in with his parents and eight siblings. Actually, he never went back for a visit, either, until he was 32 years old. My […]

Forecasting requires short memory

We humans wonder about the future — ours and everyone else’s. The hunger for a glimpse of what might/possibly/probably happen sends people to all kinds of prognosticators. Those eager to attempt answers to questions about the future have been around for a gazillion years. Fortune tellers with crystal balls, palm readers and numerous other “advisers” […]

Balance freedom with responsibility

My mother was a homemaker. She made every old ranch house we lived in a comfortable home, which usually was not easy. She also was a neatness freak. Dishes were washed immediately after each meal — no waiting till later allowed. This was before automatic dishwashers, understand. Also, all beds were made first thing after […]

Grace in winning important lesson

Glenda Price We humans feel we need ceremonies and symbols, some more elaborate than others. When we marry, we have a ceremony during which words are spoken, and among Christians they invariably involve the three main Christian directives: Faith, hope and charity (love), the greatest being love. Symbols of the love are exchanged — before […]

Mason jars more secure than banks

I got to know Amos several years ago. He had a fairly fancy house in town, but spent most of his time at what he called his homestead. I drove to his homestead expecting to see a crusty, bedraggled old fellow, but an urbane gentleman with wavy white hair and a twinkly grin greeted me […]

Windmills headed for history

When we see a windmill we think “ranch.” This iconic equipment, without doubt, has made ranching possible in the arid Southwest as well as other parts of our nation. I’m one of those ranch kids who tied my horse to the metal windmill frame and piled into the drinking tub’s water for a little fun. […]

Snakes still receiving bad rap

What were your mother’s parting words every time you left the house? Right. “Watch for snakes.” In August, we were told to be extra careful because the rattlers would be shedding their skins, their eyes would be covered for a few days, and since they couldn’t see they would strike at the sounds we made […]

Pinon behind tough life lesson

Autumn in northern New Mexico is pi

Game warden got dose of humility

Glenda Price One summer we managed a guest ranch in the New Mexico mountains. Besides taking reservations, cleaning cabins and doing laundry, we had a string of dude horses. We took care of the horses and accompanied guests on trail rides in the nearby forest. We had one other duty —trash. The cabins were built […]

Struggle gives way to innovation

Glenda Price The bossman bid on a fence building job along the right-of-way of a newly paved road in the northern New Mexico mountains. He didn’t tell the ranch hands about it until he actually got the contract in hand. All chores having to do with fencing — building, repairing, riding in search of problems […]

Volunteering has biggest payoff

I visit the local hospital on a regular basis to receive a special medication. Each time, I’m greeted by volunteers. They wear pink along with a friendly smile, and are willing to provide any assistance I might need. One of my daughters is a March of Dimes director, and many volunteers help her in the […]

Music can be soothing to soul

There’s a famous story that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. I looked it up, and it turns out Nero supposedly played an instrument called a cithara. There is another problem with that story. He couldn’t have fiddled, because fiddles weren’t invented until much later. There’s even disagreement over whether he played any musical instrument at […]

Wasn’t crime to deliver retribution

Glenda Price Times were hard. In desperation, George decided to gather a herd of cattle and head west with them — to California. This was in the 1850s, and folks in Texas had heard talk that gold miners in California (the 49ers) were a great market for beef. George and his wife, Inez, had been […]