Under the Wire
February 2, 2022
Today’s column deals with the fun-packed, exciting life of living on a ranch. Other ranchers reading this are at this moment thinking, “This is going to be a very short story.” Fact of the matter is, they are right. Busy? Yes. Free Time? None. Fun-packed and exciting? Not so much.
Don’t get me wrong. We and most other of those folks who dedicate their lives to a cow’s welfare wouldn’t trade places with hardly anyone. Fun and exciting? Very little time for that. The lifestyle keeps us tired, occasionally a bit short of extra cash and always way short of free time for much fun. Here on the Hodgson ranch, to be perfectly honest, our biggest entertainment is the often maligned television set. Sue and I watch it almost every evening. Fits our needs perfectly. We can sit in our recliners, have our evening meal off a TV tray and doze off when the mood strikes us. I get struck much more than her.
We have a few friends who brag of never watching the boob tube. Sounds very intellectual and sophisticated. Spend the evening reading Shakespeare, I suppose. Maybe engage in a rousing game of chess or a deep discussion of Transcendentalism. To be honest, I nearly fell asleep writing that last sentence. Had to look up the spelling of the long word, too. While I admire those who spend their evenings this way, it just wouldn’t work for me.
I’ll be the first to admit, TV entertainment leaves a lot to be desired. After a day of feeding cows, fixing broken fences, machinery and anything else that may complicate life if it breaks, my standards are not that high. I will admit, there are some pretty shocking things on television. The worst? Those cooking contest shows. Here they take three or four people and challenge them to cook something for the panel of judges. It will begin with something that sounds great to eat. Lobster, for example. Even I can do this one. Boil the clawed critter, melt some butter and it is meal time. Not on these shows. Contestants are told to make a desert using lobster, along with sawdust, two Orio cookies and Drano. To make matters worse, these shows are on back to back, hour after hour, day after day. Even a devoted TV watcher like me can only take so much. This is way too violent for me.
The good thing is, I usually fall to sleep in my chair about 7 p.m., wake up in time to check cows during calving season or change irrigation water the rest of the year.
I don’t have to root for the winner or feel bad for the losers. Just feel bad because I forgot to read what that transcendentalism word meant. Might be missing something. Maybe tomorrow night I will have the energy to look it up again. Too tired for a good time, anyway.