A Christmas Anecdote From the Tipi Wind Ranch

“Burn some of those for me,” I said to Robin as she pushed another sheet of Neiman Marcus cookies into the oven.

“I know how you like them, so this next batch is for you.”

Three minutes after the cooking timer sounded she brought forth a batch of, slightly burnt around the edge, cookies. I promptly burnt my tongue on a smoldering chocolate chip, then proceeded to eat sixteen more before they had a chance to cool.

Today she made peanut butter bon bons and sugar cookies (you know the ones with the green and red Christmas sprinkles on them). Contrary to what you may believe; I refrained from eating any. One has to show great restraint at this time of year because death by gluttony is always two bites away.

Winter arrived yesterday with an arctic air blast that froze my frost free hydrant out at the horse barn. I hadn’t anticipated this, since I had installed one of those high-tech-multi-special-no-freeze jobs several years ago. This is troublesome; the next outdoor faucet is 200 feet from the barn, or in labor terms: two one hundred foot hoses, which just happen to be frozen solid. So I struggle to coil them, (joy joy joy) it’s like trying to coil a pile of green oak branches. When finished, I haul the imperfect bundles along with two large dogs and two cats into the sunroom to thaw overnight, hopefully, those animals will generate enough body heat to keep the temp above freezing, or come morning I will be (six letter expletive here).

By mid-morning the temp had risen to a sweltering -1 Fahrenheit. Determined to deliver water for horses, I bundled up and make my move. Dashing outside I swiftly assemble the hoses while the north wind lashes my face. Running swiftly from the faucet to the water tank I stretch out the hose and promptly discover . . . I’m thirty feet short.

After recoiling the two hundred feet of hose, I drag it back into the sunroom, then precede to the shed to retrieve another fifty feet of gnarled frozen hose, which I heaped beside the rest.

The sunroom is like a sauna come afternoon, so I bolt from the house to join the three sections of hose and finally deliver the precious water. I stand by the tank and pet the horses as they drink with greedy enthusiasm. While the tank fills I watch the winter sun blaze out in the western sky and wonder what else hadn’t I anticipated . . . ?

It’s Christmas!  If only I had anticipated; my shopping (along with this letter) would have been done weeks ago. I would be cavorting in Christmas spirit by now, ready for mirth, merriment, and death by gluttony.

From our ranch to yours: Merry Christmas

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