Monday Memories: Jesus Will Be With Us

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An early winter blizzard covers the immense ranching country.  The harshness of the storm threatens everyone’s safety, both people and cattle.

Phone lines are disconnected, with most on the ground.  Electricity is off except where well-prepared ranchers turn on generators to provide for their needs.  All roads into each ranch are drifted shut with the heavy, dense snow.

One rancher is overly concerned for the welfare of his family and his cattle herd.  The family is warm and safe inside their home, and they have enough groceries to last for several more days. 

However, the cattle stand in harm’s way.  Their water supply and feeding schedule have been disrupted, and the rancher worries about the length of the storm and the consequences for his 300 plus head of Black Angus cows.

At suppertime on the third night of the storm, the atmosphere is tense.  The rancher’s son sees the worry painted on his father’s face.  This faithful, little soul of a five-year old reminds his father with words filled with hope, “Jesus will be with us.”

Overnight the storm begins to abate and move on.  In the morning, crews begin to slowly and carefully clear the roads.  In a matter of hours, they will reach the isolated ranch. 

Using his powerful four-wheel tractor with its giant dozer blade, the rancher clears a path to where his precious cattle are nestled against the wall of a massive shelter.  While he makes sure the water is running, and the cattle receive their hay with a helping of rolled oats, he smiles and remembers the faithful words of his young son, “Jesus will be with us.”

Midnight’s Constellation

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Eastern Montana’s McCone County settles in for another anxious night.  Possible dry thunderstorms with lightning threaten to ignite the prairie’s parched grass.

Once again playing lookout for any possible lightning-caused wildfires, Randy sits perched on top of the highest hill on his ranch.    Watching from his pickup truck with a full 500-gallon water tank resting in the back, he’s on patrol until dawn on this stormy night. 

Around midnight, the storm seems to be moving to the south and east, and Randy’s eyes leave the prairie for a quick moment.  An opening in the dark clouds allows him to view the midnight’s constellation, which brings a welcome break in his concentration.  He still has several hours to go until the early morning light will signal the end of his nightly chore. 

Sitting alone, Randy’s thoughts speak to the Lord in the heaven’s cosmos.  Opening up to his Father in prayer, he offers praise and thanks for the quiet night.  He also prays for his neighbors and their continued faith and perseverance. 

Suddenly realizing the time, Randy brings his eyes back to the darkened landscape.  To the east, the beginning of a new day is peeking just over the horizon.  Rubbing his eyes, he looks forward to a short morning nap when he arrives back at the family home.

For the first time in many nights, he feels a different kind of peace covering the land.  The latest forecast for the coming night calls for a bit of rain with cooler temperatures and little wind.  Amen!

 

Haunting Storm

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Pleasant, mid-winter day

Warm winds decide to stay

 

Touch of spring thaws the air

Ideal life, not a care

 

Hidden, in frigid North

Cold destined to call forth

 

Prairie living unaware

Grass uncovered, and bare

 

Few cowboys work the range

Life will soon see big change

 

Barren land, overgrazed

Cattle wander, unfazed

 

Calmness warns of trouble

Winter’s wrath comes double

 

Arctic-fed winds stir up

Wet snow creates pileup

 

Haunting storm now arrives

Few cattle will survive

 

Blizzard smothers this land

Conditions, out of hand

 

Cowboys wait out fierce storm

Snow and cold, nasty swarm

 

Waiting, hours become days

Prairie, now winter’s maze

 

Cattle’s cries go unheard

Snow-blinded, vision blurred

 

Storm’s cruel hand, plays its cards

Life stops, prairie graveyards 

 

Montana artist Charles M. Russell captures the shattered blow of winter’s fury in “Waiting for a Chinook” (“Last of Five Thousand”) as depicted in this watercolor. (Courtesy of Pinterest)

This poem attempts to capture the daunting winter of 1886-1887 on the prairies in the Montana Territory when the Open Range’s cattle industry collapsed from its near annihilation.  Russell’s artwork says even more than words can describe.

Sunrise to Sunset

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Summer sunrise lights up the vast Montana prairie

Fields of grain smelling like sweetest confectionery

 

Farmers and ranchers always start up their days early

Full and hearty breakfast, making any man feel burly

 

This morning’s itinerary calls for baling hay

Alfalfa windrows cannot wait around all day

 

With tractor pulling an old baler, creating perfect bales

Gentle morning breeze fills out the air like a ship’s sails

 

Midday arrives, there’s time for a quick, tasty bite

Wife packs dinner with her usual special delights

 

Afternoon heat and wind suspend all baling for now

Starting up the swather, cutting hay as time allows

 

Thinking about next week, wheat looking to ripen by then

Combine stands ready and dependable, just like Big Ben

 

About an hour before sundown, pick-up truck returns home

Just enough daylight to check a few cows where they roam

 

Supper bell will be ringing soon, so need to finish now

Washing up, sitting down with wife, enjoy hearty chow

 

Praying together, evening transcends with the setting sun

Thankful for the Lord’s help with another day’s work done

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Jesus Will Be With Us

snow nature sky trees

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

An early winter blizzard covers the immense ranching country.  The harshness of the storm threatens everyone’s safety, both people and cattle.

Phone lines are disconnected, with most on the ground.  Electricity is off except where well-prepared ranchers turn on generators to provide for their needs.  All roads into each ranch are drifted shut with the heavy, dense snow.

One rancher is overly concerned for the welfare of his family and his cattle herd.  The family is warm and safe inside their home, and they have enough groceries to last for several more days.

However, the cattle stand in harm’s way.  Their water supply and feeding schedule have been disrupted, and the rancher worries about the length of the storm and the consequences for his 300 plus head of Black Angus cows.

At suppertime on the third night of the storm, the atmosphere is tense.  The rancher’s son sees the worry painted on his father’s face.  This faithful, little soul of a five-year old reminds his father with words filled with hope, “Jesus will be with us.”

Overnight the storm begins to abate and move on.  In the morning, crews begin to slowly and carefully clear the roads.  In a matter of hours, they will reach the isolated ranch.

Using his powerful four-wheel tractor with its giant dozer blade, the rancher clears a path to where his precious cattle are nestled against the wall of a massive shelter.  While he makes sure the water is running, and the cattle receive their hay with a helping of rolled oats, he smiles and remembers the faithful words of his young son, “Jesus will be with us.”

Monday Memories: Guardian of the Range

Welcome to another edition of Monday Memories.  This poem was originally written in January, 2019.  This version has been updated and edited, but it still tells the same story through poetry.

img_20190110_074130272 (2)

Photo credit:  Jack Sorenson Fine Art, Inc.

A tardy, spring snowstorm assaults the grassy range

It provides a local rancher with extra work and pain

 

A newborn calf has lost her way in the heavy snow

She needs to be found soon before the wind blows

 

A solitary cowboy proceeds into the storm on his horse

He prepares to track down the stray calf in due course

 

An oversized winter coat protects him from the bitter cold

He pulls down a worn, black hat and looks ready and bold

 

The horse stands majestic and obeys each command

He and the cowboy will tackle the work hand in hand

 

The courageous pair rides together into the nasty storm

Both will be tested to rescue the lonely calf before morn

 

The snowflakes thankfully hesitate for a moment or two

Now the cowboy follows the calf’s tracks, totally in view

 

The stout horse plows through the snow so white

The lost calf may soon be discovered in their sight

 

The frightened calf huddles near a sheltering Ponderosa pine

She appears weak, cold, exhausted, and running out of time

 

The cowboy gathers the bawling calf in his brawny arms

He places her on the front of his saddle, away from harm

 

The threesome struggle to reach a much warmer place

Everyone looks forward to warm nourishment to taste

 

They journey to the ranch as quickly as possible

The loss of a vigorous calf is no longer probable

 

The cowboy dismounts and allows the calf to sprint free

She hurries to her waiting mother who is pleased to see

 

Mother and daughter stand together, united at long last

The calf nurses and sucks nourishment amazingly fast

 

The trusty and faithful horse is now saddle free

He devours extra oats with tasty hay with glee

 

The range’s guardian has returned home safe and sound

He finds his anxious wife and son, who no longer frown

 

The family of three feel graciously loved and blessed

The faithful shepherd has returned from a stern test

 

Dang Jack Rabbit

automobile automotive car classic

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Bill runs into his neighbor Fred at the local feed store.  In conversation, Bill tells Fred, “I noticed that there back tire on yer truck is a mite bit low on tread.”

Fred replies back, “Ah, dat there tire has quite a few miles left da go.”

The men depart and finish up their business in town before heading back home.  As Bill drives down the road, he comes upon Fred’s truck, rolled over on its side, off of the road.

Bills stops and surveys the situation.  Fred appears okay, much of his cattle feed is scattered on the ground, and the suspected tire has blown nearly clean off of the rim.

Bill calmly asks Fred what has happened.  With eyes growing bigger by the second, Fred excitedly tells him, “A vig jack rabbit nearly ran me self off this here road.  Look vat he did to ma perfectly good tire.”

I appreciate you stopping to read another of these very short stories.  If you missed my previous micro short stories, you can find them from the links below.  Enjoy!

Guardian of the Range

 

img_20190110_074130272-2.jpg

Jack Sorenson Fine Art, Inc.

A tardy, spring snowstorm assaults the grassy range

It provides a local rancher with extra work and pain

 

A newborn calf has lost her way in the heavy snow

She needs to be found soon before the wind blows

 

A solitary cowboy proceeds into the storm on his horse

He prepares to track down the stray calf in due course

 

An oversized winter coat protects him from the bitter cold

He pulls down a worn, black hat and looks ready and bold

 

The horse stands majestic and obeys each command

He and the cowboy will tackle the work hand in hand

 

The courageous pair rides together into the nasty storm

Both will be tested to rescue the lonely calf before morn

 

The snowflakes thankfully hesitate for a moment or two

Now the cowboy follows the calf’s tracks, totally in view

 

The stout horse plows through the snow so white

The lost calf may soon be discovered in their sight

 

The frightened calf huddles near a sheltering Ponderosa pine

She appears weak, cold, exhausted, and running out of time

 

The cowboy gathers the bawling calf in his brawny arms

He places her on the front of his saddle, away from harm

 

The threesome struggle to reach a much warmer place

Everyone looks forward to warm nourishment to taste

 

They journey to the ranch as quickly as possible

The loss of a vigorous calf is no longer probable

 

The cowboy dismounts and allows the calf to sprint free

She hurries to her waiting mother who is pleased to see

 

Mother and daughter stand together, united at long last

The calf nurses and sucks nourishment amazingly fast

 

The trusty and faithful horse is now saddle free

He devours extra oats with tasty hay with glee

 

The range’s guardian has returned home safe and sound

He finds his anxious wife and son, who no longer frown

 

The family of three feel graciously loved and blessed

The faithful shepherd has returned from a stern test