The Two Books

For me it seems as if the summer is ending today. They’re talking about a day or two of warmer temps yet, and then the much needed cool down that I look forward to when I’m chopping silage for a week or two. The corn crop is down right beautiful and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and doing my thing! Its a very good feeling to have more than enough feed for the cow herd, for the steers, for the young stock and bulls too. Thank you Lord! I’ve gone through a couple of bad drought cycles in the past and am just about recovered from the last one. The rebuilding here has been going on for the last couple of years, replacing the badly hit cow herd, the dropped numbers from the multi year devastating droughts that we had. In fact, for the first time since the droughts I have mustered up the courage to re-read the novel by Elmer Kelton, “The Time It Never Rained”. If I had to only choose two books to carry me through life they’d be the Bible and that novel. Re-reading last evening the first two chapters in that novel almost had me shaking. How perfectly written, it totally amazes me! Its all about ranching and farming and a fella can tell that it was written by someone who knew what they were talking about. Unlike most books I’ve come across.

Probably what I love the most about the book is that “never give up attitude” which society is really getting away from nowadays. Never give up! What a concept in a day when folks are encouraged to walk away from their problem, or let the government supposedly solve the problems that we create ourselves. Now, The Time It Never Rained is not what a person would call Christian fiction, its way better than that, its almost real life. Something Christian fiction doesn’t seem to get close to. At least in this life style that I live. Most Christian fiction I take a gander at and toss it to the side, mostly a bunch of bull is all written by folks that don’t have the slightest understanding of the work, the heartbreak, the hopes and losses that someone in this lifestyle endure.

One of my favorite parts in the whole book is about the appearance of the real ranchers. I love it! Because I see it all the time. You take someone in cowboy boots and clothes, all spiffed up with a big shiny new pickup and the odds are that this person isn’t a real rancher. More than likely, but not always, deeply in debt and also with a side job, or should I say a main job other than trying to make a living on cattle. The real ranchers probably look a little ragged. Their pick up trucks are dirty and beat up, full of tools, fencing supplies, maybe a rifle or pistol behind or under the seat. Bullets on the seat or on the floor with the assortment of tools scattered about every where. Their clothing is much more ragged. In summer instead of a fancy cowboy hat, there’s a worn out and dirty or dusty straw cowboy hat, tattered and worn from doing its job. The boots are wore down and scuffed to heck, barb wire cuts all over them. They come to town in these working trucks and their money is good.Many times they don’t even bring a billfold or a checkbook to town because the business establishments know that they have the real money and the monthly bill will be paid, no matter what. Their lands and cattle are paid for and there is more than likely some money in the bank. Put them along side of the weekend cowboys, they almost don’t look like the image city slicks have of cattlemen and cowboys.

But they are the “real” thing. Not some imitation. Many have started with barely anything and slowly worked and grew their herds, year after year growing the size of their herd, expanding pastures, buying as they go with everything needed for the operation. A very tough breed as in the book The Time It Never Rained. I’ve been thinking a lot about this, a lot. The endurance required. The years, or basically a lifetime commitment. Its no different with faith in God. We start at the beginning, accepting Christ as our Saviour. But that’s the the end, its only the very beginning. Now there’s that race to run, that goal to pursue. One that requires endurance and faith! Like the stubborn rancher, one doesn’t look right nor left, but keeps on going towards the goal. It doesn’t matter what the weekend cowboys do, the rancher is focused, building a dream.

This is my life. That’s why I say that those two books are all I need. Folks say,”Tom, you should take a weekend off, or take a vacation, you should be like us”. To this I just snort, “Naw, I’m busy”. But in reality I’m focused. The world says a person like that is a workaholic, but it ain’t really. Its someone who knows who they are, they know their dream, and they know when they are on their deathbed they won’t have regrets. They ran the race to the finish.

Published in: on August 29, 2010 at 7:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Writers should stick to what they really know about. Otherwise, they should spend some years in research before starting the writing. And they should not rush in to writing when they are still very young. You need some maturity and perspective

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