Old Dogs and New Tricks

A New Trick for an Old Dog



Now as my old uncle Newt liked to say, “I have been to two goat ropins and the county fair; aint nothing I haven’s seen, done or heard.” That made good sense to me. When I was a kid they had already quit having goat roping, and county fairs were about gone. My worldly education had to come in a different way. The Army helped me some. I was stationed at Ft. Bliss at El Paso during the war. They told me the New Mexico state line was just over the next hill. I took their word for it; I could see there was not much difference than where I stood. And someone pointed out that old Mexico was just a short swim across the Rio Grande, but I decided to just accept that as fact also. Oklahoma lay just north of where I found Alice, and I didn’t need to see that state after finding such a lovely little girl. I had heard rumors of a land far to east, but decided that was just what it was…a rumor.

You are probably asking yourself how I got so smart with out having ever gone to goat ropings, county fairs, or seeing the lands that lay just across the state line. Well, that is easy; I have just paid close attention to what Alice said, and followed her advice.

After working this life’s field for more than 80 years I felt I had just about experienced almost anything that may come along. Last week I was brought up short with something totally new…we needed to prepare to evacuate our home… now. The wind was gusting out of the north, the sky was filled with a strange color, and we could smell smoke. A few phone calls confirmed our fears…wild fires were in the area. What a strange feeling gripped me and Alice. These decisions were of a new kind.
What do you take? What do you leave? Years of accumulating things make for difficult choices. But Alice knew just what to do. “Get me a suit case, now,” she said. I found one, took it to her as she dumped an arm full of papers into it. “Insurance papers, house and land deeds, bank books, our will,” she said more to herself than me. “Get your medicines and a change of clothes and put in the suit case,” she commanded. This meek and mild little lady just became a big, burly first sergeant. She was getting things done we all need to have ready at a moments notice. She tossed the suit case into the trunk of the car and slammed the lid shut. “Now, we are ready to go if we need to,” Alice said.

The emergency passed; we did not have to run, but we are ready should the need arise. We hope you or any of your family or friends will not need to make a quick dash for safety. However should the time come you must go, I hope you are prepared.

See there, old dogs can learn a few things besides laying in the shade, on the porch, scratching fleas.

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