Lesley Fry Photo

Spectacular weather yesterday on the Paregien ranch. Above 2,000 feet in elevation and twenty 4 x 4 minutes from the asphalt, it is a magic place rich with native and anecdotal history.  Currently, the feed is short but still greening since the 1.45” we got on the 6th, 7th and 8th of this month. The cattle have left the flats for the slopes and ridges where the new grass is growing faster, protected from frost by the remnants of old feed. Early last week the prognosticators canceled today’s rain, but have now forecast a significant amount for Thursday into the weekend.  (We’ll see.)


While pumping water, looking for the neighbor’s errant bull and measuring the corrals for a much-needed makeover, Robbin and I spent the morning with the Fry/Fox family cutting Manzanita and Live Oak deadfall for our woodstove because of my tendonitis. With our many hands, what fun we had!


It’s been several months since I carelessly cut a tree in the road that knocked me down, damaging the rotator cuff of my right shoulder. And about a month since compensating for it to pop a tendon, sounding like a gun shot, in my left forearm.  Enlisted now in medical protocol and procedures, it’s taken a couple of weeks to confirm the damage with an MRI.  Apparently surgery and long recovery is my best option. I see the Dr. again in 4 weeks, meanwhile I’m supposed to do nothing.


I am amused that only children and seniors measure their age in half-years, kids because they want to be older, and seniors, I suppose, eager to numerically reassure themselves of their existence. I’m 74 ½ and need to act my age.  My life, our life, on this ranch has always been physical and it’s been too easy for me to forget I’m no longer fifty or sixty building fence or bucking hay.  But to have our good friends and neighbors volunteer to help us get some firewood in was truly a wonderful gift on a beautiful day.  Thank you Chuck and Lesley Fry, Katy and Cody Hanson, and Allie and Shawn Fox.  You guys are the best!


7 responses to “SIDE BY SIDE

  1. John , Bruce and I have not been to THE GATHERING in Elko for a few years now . We met you folks there . Bruce passed away in Aug. He was 96 ( and a third ) when he reached the end of his circle of life . You still have a long way to go , so take care and repair . Listen to those experts , and keep us informed as to your progress . Lois Caldwell Canada

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey John,
    At 73 1/2, I’m right behind you. I’ve finally started to answer, “Yes, thanks,” when the check-out clerk at the hardware store asks, “Would you like some help loading those sacks into your car?”
    As they say, it beats the alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they’ve been asking me too or the last couple of years, but silly me, I got insulted. When you have a lifetime of doing for yourself, it’s difficult to let someone else help. I’ve had my comeuppance, now it’s time to heal.


  3. “Protect your back”, is often preached by stooped over old men, but always ignored by the young, the strong, the invincible. Protecting your shoulders and cups needs to be mentioned too. Half year olders can only look back for a “do over” and agree.

    Liked by 1 person

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