Monday, December 3, 2007

Life in Wyoming

I was just settling into a new project yesterday when the pager went off. An 11 year old boy was missing south of Cody. I used to get upset that the pager always seems to interrupt me in the middle of something until one day I realized...duh...unless I am sitting around waiting for it to go off, it is always going to come when I am doing something else. We loaded up our gear and headed to town but the boy was found by a Sheriff's Deputy before we arrived so back home we went. It is our slow time of year right now but we have still had a few calls in the last week: a missing Alzheimer's patient in the middle of a snow storm, a call to the airport for a private jet that couldn't get its landing gear to engage, and now this one. All have ended happily and with little fanfare.
As we headed down the road yesterday afternoon we had to flag down our neighbor, Buster, who was about to deliver us a load of hay. He was very understanding and agreed to wait until we called him later in the day. By the time we got home and he arrived with the load, it was getting dark and the wind was picking up. We couldn't risk leaving the stack the way it was so Ken and I re-stacked the bales (4 ton of them) in the dark. It is a good job we did because the wind arrived on schedule last night and we registered 70mph on our gauge. That hay would have been spread for miles!
When Buster came in to get paid I showed him our copy of this month's National Geographic magazine that just arrived. It has a big story in it about modern day cowboys and his two nephews are featured as part of the story. One of the boys is the one that was accidentally shot in the back last month and he is still in the hospital in Denver. Buster says he is doing much better but is pretty depressed at the slowness of healing.
I am running again. I probably shouldn't be as my foot is far from better, but I am wearing a night brace and new supportive running shoes and I at least don't seem to be making it any worse. We had a thin dusting of snow on the ground yesterday morning and I noted the following footprints, by size:
* mouse
* pack rat
* chukar
* cottontail
* jack rabbit
* fox
* bobcat
* coyote
* deer
That means at least one of each of the above has been in the vicinity within the last 24 hours. I saw chukars, cottontails, coyote and mule deer in the flesh so can verify their presence.
Today I start wrapping Christmas gifts so they can be put in the mail to Canada and actually get there before the big day. I hope to also keep working on a variety of projects. This is when they are most compelling to me - when they are just getting started and the promise of what they might be is still fresh. Life is good!


Christine Thresh said...

Ian Lidster had a piece call a "Toast to Our Volunteers" on his blog December 1. I thought of you when I read it.

Tomme said...

I wouldn't be able to move this morning if I had moved 4 tons of hay! 4 bales, is more like it.

I had to go look up "chukar" to see what it was. Your life is like a living natural history course. :-)