Getting Close to Christmas
As expected, the cold, white stuff piles in even deeper drifts at the ranch. My wonderful wife bought me higher boots. It didn’t help.
Winter is the time when there is little more to do than chores, and occasionally stare at the southern sky, wishing for more light and sunshine. I start a tired tractor and pack bales of hay to ravenous bovines. Other days, I scab together old round bale feeders. Between inflation and rising steel prices, additional new ones are not in the budget, so I try to make the twisted, broken relics last another year. As I weld, I try to resign myself to the fact that there may be no research and writing trip to Mexico or Central America this year. The thought is devastating. Covid? Drug cartels? Minor details. After one of the wettest summers on record, we need sun.
Most days, I try mightily to avoid dwelling on the politics of the plague. Every facet of the C-subject is depressing, often confusing, and always maddening. Despite the official line, reiterated ad nauseum by the media moguls, there seems to be little believable or established science one can brand as authentic truth. Nevertheless, politicians have picked their dog in the fight and saddled us with travel injunctions, dictates, and lockdowns. Are they right? Struggling mom and pop business owners, and thousands of unemployed workers are justifiably skeptical—and broke. And even though government has risen to new heights of larceny with bailouts, boondoggles, and giveaways, people are angry and scared.
My beat is more than the rodeo arena and ranch country. It’s Mexico, and Central America, those on the other side of the wall that divides our North American elite from the rest of the western hemisphere. By most reports, the Covid issues there are worse, and with minimal government help, conditions will rapidly degenerate into famine.
However, our race has now been saved from annihilation. Life-saving vaccines are all but here. Nevertheless, we skeptics cringe at the thought of becoming a victim of the never-before-used, and lightning-fast mRNA vaccine rollout. Is it far-fetched to wonder if we will be forced to line up and partake of their chosen elixir? Uhh . . . and what about those horrific side effects? “Man up and take it,” they say. “You want to fly to where there’s some sun? Or how about just buy some groceries? Bare your arm!”
Hmm, undoubtedly I’ve spent too much time talking to cows, with less than adequate masked interaction with others of the biped species. What to do? Drink the kool-aid? Take the jab? I keep hoping the “top-doctor” orders will wither away. As the months pass, that seems less likely.
My newest book, The Fugitive, is in stores and online at Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and other outlets. I promise, there’s not one word of Covid in it. The initial reviews are fantastic, which means that in the emotion-charged days ahead it may be a good option to take your mind off the insanity around you.
Soon, we start our preparations for Christmas. Do any of us know what that will look like in this new world of ours? I certainly don’t, but here at the ranch we feed cows and soldier on, confident that whatever happens, there is a God in heaven who knows our difficulties, and cares about our anxieties.