AMY KIRK: Recognizing contributors of generosityBefore we get any further into the new year, I think it’s a good idea to remind everyone that now is an ideal time to acknowledge those who have helped us in the past to get where we are today: just your average rural American grinding his or her butt off in hopes of succeeding at our work.
By: Amy Kirk, The Daily Republic
Before we get any further into the new year, I think it’s a good idea to remind everyone that now is an ideal time to acknowledge those who have helped us in the past to get where we are today: just your average rural American grinding his or her butt off in hopes of succeeding at our work.
For starters my column-writing pal deserves recognition. My best hair-graying moments are credited to Mondays. Without Monday’s unsuspecting pranks I wouldn’t be near as fun to pity.
Mother Nature. Now there’s a gal who never fails to give me what I wished for — something interesting for readers to sympathize with me about, like calving season snowstorm mayhem. The mini dramas that result from snowstorms have allowed me to score a decent column topic.
The vehicles and equipment problems around here have given me experiences that the common operator or innocent bystander doesn’t get to experience. I’m not talking about your average strandings or mechanical breakdowns but special stuff that only I seem to be a part of and especially those fiascos that create hammer mechanizing opportunities worthy of sharing with readers.
And where would I be without the gender gap, marriage or parenting bumpkins? In a bone-dry think tank of ideas, that’s where. Thank goodness my husband speaks with brevity to complicate decoding his thoughts. The baffling mysteries regarding the way men and women think has always been a reliable fallback in looming deadline situations. I hope the gap never gets completely closed because I’ve come to depend heavily on misinterpreting my spouse’s hand signals and being misunderstood in order to entertain others. And whenever my spouse leaves the ranch, big complicated problems stand a chance at messing with me.
My kids have a rural way of spicing up life with their youthful ranchy perspective when interacting with society. The insights we’ve all gained have contributed to a column or two.
Baby calves get special recognition. Without them there wouldn’t be the interesting predicaments their mommas put my spouse and I in, which have saved many a lame column. Mother cows that reveal their moody disposition have come through for me when conjuring up a topic seemed hopeless. My husband and I may be onto our cows’ calving shenanigans but they always manage to put a twist on a standard calving challenge, many of which have been worthy of capitalizing on for a column.
At this point it wouldn’t be fair to leave out the bulls. They deserve recognition for the times in years past that they’ve pulled stunts to catapult my column to the needed word count.
What about the little guys? I’m talking about the small things that quietly come forward to share with me their greatness of being a part of my day-to-day observations.
You know, cow cleanin’, restrooms of the great outdoors, barbed wire, junk yard discoveries, calf scours, baling wire, stuff like that.
You didn’t think I’d get all the way to the end and forget to credit manure did you? Cattle have provided me with so many things: food, chores, exercise, headaches, but especially manure. Regardless of what form the stuff comes in, I know that the manure I encounter each day has the fertilizing potential for a crop of entertainment.
Amy Kirk and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth-generation cow/calf operation near Pringle. She blogs at ranchwifeslant.areavoices.com.