Wednesday, January 7, 2015
I had saved Mom, Dad, and Sis' presents and we brought them with us, so after dinner, we had a lot of fun as they opened presents. In a last minute flash of inspiration, I had taken 3 of the photos of the many throughout the past couple of years that I have taken of Rio and put them in a studio mount. The one to the left in the photo as we look at it was taken during Thanksgiving when we had just buried Jenny--Dad's little donkey and Rio's pal--and to me, Rio was crying.
Dad was moved, and throughout the evening, I would see him looking at the pictures. He misses going to see Rio, and it was like having a little piece of Rio here in the house. I think he was also moved because he knows the affection I have for Rio.
I went out as soon as it was light enough to see, and Rio was at the gate, waiting. I think he knows when I am here. I said hey to him and that I had missed him and was happy to see him. He nodded his head up and down and nickered, as he does when I have said something with which he agrees. It is his way of saying he is happy to see me, too. I petted him for a second, and went into the shop to get his feed. There was not quite enough in the food bin to fill his feed can, so I had to open and dump a new bag. Maybe because it was cold (we are talking 26 degrees, and the wind blowing and gusting up to 40), but I could not get the string tape to give. I couldn't find a knife or scissors (even though I just reorganized the tool bench last summer and know they were there) so I found a screwdriver to finally pry the tape loose and dump feed. When I went out with his can of food and first handful he always eats from my hand--because dad always did that--I asked him if he was wondering what was taking me so long. His answer was to head over to his food bin.
I had to break the ice in the water trough and then head to the hay barn. By then, I realized I had made a mistake when I dressed for the chore, so I stepped back inside the shop and flipped my hood up and tied my scarf around the outside of the hood. Someone had "cleaned out" the barn where he sleeps and eats his hay, but it was raked out and sort of piled right next to the barn door. It is supposed to be cold (and windy) all week, so at some point, I just have to suck it up, dress as warmly as I can, and shovel it all down to the compost pile by the back fence.
Meanwhile, now I am listening to the wind blow, whipping around the corners of the house as it can only in Northwest Texas, one foot from the plains--or as the saying went, "nothing between here and the North Pole but a barbed wire fence."