Grand River Roundup

Last week it felt like winter had returned and this week felt like it was already summer, so you know it’s spring in the Dakotas.

The temperatures this week ranged from the lower 80s to 91 degrees. We didn’t get any rain this week, but, unbelievably, we did have several days that the wind didn’t blow at all. Unfortunately, as I write this on Monday the wind is blowing so hard again that I was late hanging out our flag for fear it would get ripped off the pole.

With the nice weather, Reub was able to get some oats and hay barley planted and I got carrots, beets, radishes, and lettuce seeded down in my little raised garden. I had hoped to get the garden spot Reub tilled for me in front of the chicken coop planted this week, but every time I get it raked smooth and ready to plant the chickens would dig it full of holes again. It will be interesting to see how this works.

I let my new chicks out of the coop up by the barn for the first time this week. The first night I had to herd them back into the coop, but now they have figured out how to get in and out by themselves. The pullets are half-grown already, so it shouldn’t be too long before they start laying eggs.

The Great Western Cattle Trail Association met Wednesday in Spearfish at the High Plains Western Heritage Center. I stopped to visit Pete and Nubby Larson before the meeting and Pete and Keith Larson came to the meeting that evening. A few other members had conflicts that prevented them from coming, but we had a good crowd anyway.

Gary and Linda (VanSlooten) Edwards brought a real treasure to the GWCTA meeting to show us. They had bought a diamond willow cane at an auction sale that was carved by Boomer Glover, one of the old 1902 cowboys. Down through the years Boomer had carved hundreds of beautiful diamond willow canes, but this was one of a kind because he had carefully carved over a hundred historical brands into the sides of the cane. Gary and Linda hoped we could help them identify some of the brands. We were able to give them information about several of the old brands and told them where they should be able to find information on the others. What a fascinating piece of western history!

There are a couple of deaths to report with connections to this area. Keith Larson’s daughter Kathleen Shelton, 55, lost her 20-year battle with cancer last week. Kathleen’s funeral will be May 13 in Montana. Kathleen is survived by her son Jed and daughter Carley.

Karen Wilkinson let us know that her aunt, Juanita (Gullickson) Norton, 97, also passed away this week. Juanita’s burial service will be at the National Cemetery east of Sturgis at noon on June 16. Juanita was Cliff Gullickson’s sister and they grew up south of our ranch. Her best friends growing up were her neighbors Virginia (Lenerville) Olson and Margie (Larson) Tivis. Virginia’s brother Ken Lenerville worked for their father.

Our sympathy goes out to the families of Kathleen and Juanita.

The AFLC Emmanuel Lutheran women hosted the regional WMF rally in Eagle Butte this Saturday with the help of the ladies from the Eagle Butte Baptist church. Pastor Henry and Linda Mohagen, Mary Lu Holt, Patsy Wilkinson, Norma Tenold, Teddi Carlson, and I attended from Slim Buttes Lutheran. Several ladies from Bethel Lutheran in Faith and from Shiloh Lutheran in Rapid City also participated. We had a very enjoyable day with great music, good food, and wonderful fellowship. Thanks ladies!

Willie Tenold, Keith Hanson, and Gert Kooiman were all in the Hettinger hospital this week. Willie has been there for quite a while, Keith was just admitted this weekend, and Gert got to come home again Sunday afternoon. Please keep all three of them in your prayers.

A big crowd came to the baby shower for little Lucille Besler at Slim Buttes Lutheran Sunday afternoon. NaTasha and Brock’s little sweetie got so many things that she is going to have to change clothes several times a day just to get them all worn!

Lots of little kids came to Lucille’s shower with their mothers and we all got to take turns holding several of the new babies while the older kids played outside. Kids of all sizes are so much fun and after dealing with the chickens this week, I was reminded of this joke my cousin Bonnie Root sent me several years ago:

Our teacher asked what my favorite animal was, and I said, “Fried chicken.”

She said I wasn’t funny, but she couldn’t have been right, because everyone else laughed.

I told her that my parents told me to always tell the truth and I did. Fried chicken is my favorite animal.

Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal’s office. I told him what happened, and he laughed, too. Then he told me not to do it again.

I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA. He said they love animals very much. I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef.

The next day in class my teacher asked me again what my favorite live animal was. I told her it was chicken.

She asked me why, so I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken. She sent me back to the principal’s office.

I told him that I didn’t understand, because my parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn’t like it when I am. He laughed, and told me not to do it again.

Today, my teacher asked us to tell her what famous person we admire most. I told her, “Colonel Sanders.”

Guess where I am now…