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OPINION: All folks are entitled to a dread or two

November 23, 2021 at 10:33 a.m.

You fellers remember times in your childhood that make you shake even today -- not necessarily shaking with fear but with plenty of dread? I was not the only kid in our thousand-mile neighborhood that had things to dread and I'd bet, if I was a betting man, you fellers growing up in other places had your dreads too!

I dreaded the start of school worse than any dread in the world! My world in the open plains was all I could ever imagine wanting. Being young and not responsible for the grocery or the feed bill, I suspect I never thought how close winter was on the heels of that first day back in the hallowed halls of education.

I dreaded winter, deep snow and cold wind, hungry cattle and a team of mules to pull the feed wagon. The worst part was having to go to feed directly after school, mostly in the dark! My sister and mother milked the cow and gathered eggs while my pappy started feeding early.

I dreaded cutting ice and maybe a glancing blow to a water tank! I was always careful; knew a guy whose father made him wish he had never seen an ax! That kid never even talked about the punishment to any of us, which really did make me nervous!

Childish dreads and ones that still make me cringe to think of at certain times, like the cold wind whipping leaves off the sugar maple just before winter. I still dread school; it is bad for taking all the grands away from us for so long.

Nowadays dreads are dealt with a little better than way back then. Now, as an adult, you and I aren't allowed to dread. We are allowed one grimace of the face and then handle it! So what if you are to feed after dark, you have a truck and hay racks instead of a pair of mules and throwing it off by hand into the unknown.

That is a tiny example of the pure and righteous way of treating adult dread. So just suck it up and do not whine, even to your dog. My dog could not care less. Load him into the cab with a good heater and he has no dread!

All the cattle on the place are doing fine -- no great incidents of coughing, bloody diarrhea or pinkeye! I am a thankful beef producer right now and glad to be up early and go to the house pretty darn early in the evenings. Yep, it is pretty dark at 5:30 and I need to stop working when it gets dark! So why am I stuck on dread right now?

It is my opinion, and everyone has one, all folks are entitled to a dread or two and yet, as an adult, it better be a very small, almost invisible and definitely unspoken dread! Yes, a pain in the neck but you who are man enough will keep it to yourself and just handle it again! By now, you may have figured it all out.

Hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving week with all your company, inlaws and outlaws who have been invited to your homestead to eat, sleep, spill and mess up the sink in all the bathrooms. Enjoy some of the interruptions of the grace being said before stuffing their mouths with a whole homemade roll. They just can't help being a little different, or so I have been told!

Pray and be thankful for your blessings and remember we are all different -- some more so than others!

Good luck deer hunting, hope you found your long johns and "Remember the Alamo!"

Bill is the pen name used by the Gravette-area author of this weekly column. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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