James Cathey On the Back Porch

On The Back Porch

A Cowboy’s Poem

Most of us wait until Thanksgiving is finished before we start our Christmas decorations. But, then we find ourselves in the same pickle that S. Omar Barker found himself in when he was trying to rope a bear! The words in his poem say, “I pert near didn’t catch ‘em, for a bear can flat split the breeze. An’ yore pony has to wiggle if you beat him to the trees!” …Well, I am here to tell you that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is short and you’d best wiggle if you are going to get your decorations up before it is time to take them down! We were in Sattler on the Walker Ranch for a visit and decorating for Christmas was underway. The lane from Cannan Road to the house meanders between the Longhorn pasture and the horse trap and tree trunks were wrapped in shining lights and large ornaments hang from the upper branches that form a leafy tunnel over the lane. Then you find randomly placed mechanical deer, festooned with lights to greet you along the side of the lane, sometime sharing space with the local white tails that pick their way through the cedar and other undergrowth. You find the big house, as you exit the lane that eases between two giant Century Plants. There, you find an array of lights and decorations adding to the festivity, while the refrains of Christmas music, bringing holiday cheer, add to the festive atmosphere. A large nativity scene portrays the first Christmas, as a menagerie of animals wander by. The donkeys bray and you hear the whiney of a horse and a distant lowing of the Longhorns, while peacocks direct the coming and going of a variety of poultry from emus to chickens. Tommy the turtle, who may be a tortoise, quietly waggles his head, the size of a large man’s fist, but he makes nary a sound. The cats with their aloofness go about their business of effectively ignoring everyone. While in the dark sky above you see bright stars just twinkling their message of holiday cheer. And the intermingled smells of wood smoke and cooking food help folk ponder and marvel at the wonders that God provides and thoughts of the Christ Child at that first Christmas gives them pause as they are thankful for their blessings. My Ol’ Daddy would often allow, “Say what you will, but I ‘spect Christmas time comes more than once a year!”

 

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