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From the Kitchen Table: Christmas past and 2023 future

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Yes, Christmas has passed, but I can still share a little bit of Christmas, can’t I?

I had the most beautiful Christmas tree. Remember the nice, long November we enjoyed? I treated myself to several short horseback rides – the kind I like these days – looking for the perfect tree. Down across the ditch and on a shady hillside covered with cedar trees I spotted it. A juniper with lots of berries – already decorated. 

The day after Thanksgiving, Kate graciously went and cut it down for me. It was the quickest Christmas tree hunt ever. Then my son Jim hammered the stand onto it, and Bob tied it to the ceiling with baling wire. Voilá! It was so pretty, I just put white lights on it and called it good. 

Of course, I still drug out all of the Christmas decorations. I’ve been collecting sheep ornaments for over 20 years now and have quite a flock. I decided I needed to display them year-round instead of just at Christmas time on the tree. So, they’re up on my wall in two rustic, glassed-in cabinets.  

Back in the closet went the tubs of decorations, maybe to be retrieved next year or not. This Christmas tree takedown is going to be the easiest ever. 

My Christmas shopping this year happened mostly via delivery. We did go to town a few times to shop locally – one day to pick up a couple of big appliance boxes they saved for us. We cut doors and windows in them, and the grandkids had a big time. 

Bob got a special gift – a real shepherd’s crook. Not one to beat over a sheep’s head in the loading chute, but a handcrafted ram’s horn on a burnished walking stick. After all, what else do you get a lifelong sheepman besides grass, water, cheap feed and good lamb and wool prices?  Those things are out of Santa’s control. Maybe next year, Bob.

The year 2022 is in the books. We did have a good grass summer, mostly thanks to a very wet, snowy Memorial Day weekend. Not enough moisture to fill any reservoirs though. Officially, we were still in a drought. The trail to the mountain was enhanced by gorgeous waves of grass, which unfortunately withered by the time we got to our camp. 

Our four-year-old grandson went on trail with us. He slept in for the early morning move, and after a big day would fall asleep on the four-wheeler with Bob during the evening march. We made wonderful memories. 

Good memories for me included hosting my brother and brother-in-law for a week in the Big Horns at West Tensleep Lake. We rode, fished, kayaked and had campfire meals. I did another ride in South Dakota, a trail close to Mount Rushmore with some good friends. 

Bob buys lambs in the fall, and many of his clients held him personally responsible for the drastic dip in prices. He really wasn’t! A New Year’s wish is to get this marvelous product figured out before we’re all out of the business.

We had some great trips in 2022. One was to the national sheep meeting in San Diego in January, another to the West Coast of Oregon in July, a fun wedding in Colorado in September and birthdays with the grandkids. Any day with the grandkids is always fun!

Yes, another year has sped by, and we’re fortunate to be mostly healthy, wealthy in family and friendships, but none the wiser in the state of most things.  Maybe 2023 will improve – positive thinking!

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