Friday, January 3, 2014

Hangin' Out in Grandpa's Pick Up Truck, A Nostalgic Moment

Happy New Year! We've said welcome 2014! The first day of the new year was not a glamorous one here on "Patch-A-Heaven." But it was fun nonetheless! We needed hay for the horses so the kids and I loaded up in the truck and trailer and headed out for the farm.
We arrived and got the hay loaded (I wonder if J Brand jeans have ever seen farm dirt before today??) That's as glamorous as it got folks! I really shouldn't wear them to the farm, but they are just so darn comfortable...I can't help it!
When our hay chore was done, Grandpa said "hop in the truck and we'll go feed the cows. The mother cows were grazing in the hills above the farm, but still need hay this time of year. So we drove up, Dad put the old truck in 4 Lo, hopped in the bed and started throwing hay while I kept 'er straight. I had done this duty so many times before, since I was about 5 years old and couldn't even touch the pedals. But I could steer it straight! (It used to make me feel so grown up and so cool to "drive" the truck and that Dad would trust me to do so!)
Hello Mama cows! Come and get it!!
As I watched the cows coming toward the feed wagon, my kids were sitting on the seat next to me, waving out the window to Grandpa as he tossed the alfalfa and taking it all in, it got me thinking about how many great memories of my own childhood involve my dad and my grandpa's old pick up trucks. (And there were many!)  Much of your time as a rancher is spent in the ole truck. Whether you're feeding, transporting livestock, hauling water, wool, hay, or just driving into town for a hamburger, a lot of time is spent in these babies! As well as transportation, they double as a veterinary office (I mean have you ever seen the dash board of a real rancher's truck?!) There are syringes and needles of various sizes, bottles of pills and medicinal liquids, pill poppers and milk bottles as far as the eye can see! (Don't ever try to floor it going over a bump or through a ditch or it could get western in a hurry with all that stuff jumping and bouncing off the dash!)
The truck must also be equipped with any possible tool, wrench, gasket, clamp or any other mechanical apparatus...just in never know what you might need out there on the range! Every door pocket, middle tray, under the seats, in the cubby of the arm rest holds useful thingamajigs.
Here's my youngest, checking out all the little trinkets in the floor tray!
 As my kids fumbled through Grandpa's collection of lock washers, tire wrenches, screws, nails, sheep bells, Chapstick, sunblock, coins and springs, I had flashbacks of doing the same thing in my Grandpa's old truck. He was a sheep rancher too and I used to love to go with him. He'd always have interesting stuff to curiously examine and ask "what does this do?" or "what's this for?" and a big bag of Hey Day Bars on the bench seat! (Why don't they make those candy bars anymore, anyway?!)

 Then the kids found my dad's giant set of keys, I had to take a picture because the kids were so enthralled with how many there were! I asked him if he knew what they all went to....He said "most of them!" (Made me think of Toy Story when Mrs. Potato Head is packing Mr. Potato Head and she says "And here's a key, I don't know what it goes to... but you never know!") When you are a farmer/rancher you have many trucks, trailers, tractors, sheds, sheep camps, commissary wagons, barns, gates and other things that require locks so you need a big key ring!!
They found brass sheep bells, bullets and pens. Rags, pocket knives and bottle of Tums. Binoculars...those were a favorite! There's a chain on the floor board and a gun on the backseat. So many useful things! (Don't worry...I didn't let them play with guns or knives!)
When our feeding job was complete, we sat in the truck and talked while the kids examined and played. It's amazing how long kids can be entertained with farm gadgets!
And my oldest playing with the collection of keys, her face says it all!

A rancher spends so much time in his pick up, it could be considered his second home! So naturally when you come from a ranch family many memories are made in those old trucks. Whether it was a ride on the top rack grabbing leaves as you went up the canyon, throwing hay off the back, playing "chutes" in the back sheep rack, or just having a good visit as you drive to your next duty, I had many great memories in those old trucks! Even though I'm not a full time rancher, I really enjoy being able to visit and help my dad and share these kinds of memories and experiences with my kids! Next time I'll let my 8 year old have a go at the wheel!
The sun is bright, but it makes for a beautiful, warm Winter Day!

Happy New Year from "Patch-A-Heaven!" Hope this year brings you many blessings and much prosperity!!

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