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THE OLD COWBOY Part Fifteen
"OK. I rode off thinking about Grandma, Grandpa, mules, and broken glass. Boy, they didn't just jump in a car and go to the market downtown. Hitch up a team of mules? Stop along the way so they can get a drink? Load up a wagon? Canning food for winter? Chopping wood, now I've done that, and mom still does some canning. Come to think of it, she keeps the pantry full, but it's not like we can't just go buy some more food any day we want.
We can go to the corner drugstore now and get an ice cream cone. I can ride Ol' Tanner number two to school most days, and visit Grandpa without hitching up a team. We just don't know how easy we have it.
Mom and I talked a little before supper, and I helped with the dishes after. The next day I mounted up Ol' Tanner number two and galloped off to see Grandpa. Yesterday was cool and rainy, today the clouds kept the sun covered.
"Grandpa, you feeling alright?"
"Grandboy, rainy days do me in. I just slept a bit more is all."
"Well OK then, I was just tyin' ol' Tanner to the hitchin' post." Grandpa was yawning and stretching as he walked through the door. He is usually setting is his rocking chair drinking coffee when I get here. He sent me in for a cup of java which I gladly did.
"I tried farmin' a little ya know Grandboy, but the winter was to long and rain to short, and puttin' up hay..." He stopped, he spat, he sat and started rocking. He rubbed his stubbly chin.
"Grandboy, we had to cut the hay with a scythe and put it up with a pitchfork. Now-a-days ya got the good bailin' machines and all that's left is storin' it in a barn to keep it dry.
After I knew what it took to be the good farmer, I sold the place and took your pregnant grandmother and headed back toward Oklahoma where I could get work, but it suited my hands and my nature a whole lot better."
"Isn't Oklahoma where uncle Jeb was born?"
"Yes sir, then we had the twins, Joey and Joni, down in Texas. The railroads had come along and cut the cattle drives down to a couple of weeks 'stead of a couple three months. We had to move on to find work. Your Grandma knew I had to do what I was good at and movin' was part of it.
Why I remember this ol' geezor. . ."
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