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Every rancher needs a fully-stocked first aid kit.

You can take ‘em out of the country, but…

Country folks think like, well, country folks. That doesn’t stop when they move to the suburbs.

In yesterday’s BEEF Daily blog, Amanda Radke made some excellent points about why it’s important to always think safety when we’re working and to take care of even minor cuts and scrapes before they become major problems.

Unfortunately for me, her advice came a few days too late. However, this blog is more about the fact that you can take country people out of the country, but they still think like country people. The bleeding just set the stage for the story.

First, some background. Last summer, my wife and I moved from our long-time home northwest of Amarillo, Texas, to the suburbs on the west side of Denver. This to be closer to our grandchildren.

Adjusting to suburban living has been a challenge for me and the dogs, but Nana seems to think things are just fine. I kept many of the tools that one needs for rural living but are generally useless in the suburbs. Among them is a fairly extensive collection of shovels, picks, a T-post driver and similar methods of torture, all of which were new a very long time ago.

Now, the situation. We had a good snow a couple of weeks ago, then enough warm weather to melt the snow in the exposed areas and turn it to ice in the spots where sunshine doesn’t hit. One such spot is in the dog kennel. Now you know why the dogs are having a hard time adjusting.

I grab a shovel and a digging bar from the shed and, being in too much of a hurry to go into the house to fetch gloves, proceed to whack away at the ice. In short order, I ran one sliver crossways along a finger, opening a gash. Another sliver went straight into the next finger, creating a deep puncture wound.

Now, I’ll explain the headline. After pulling both chunks of shovel handle out of my hand, I wandered into the house to clean up. The conversation went thus-wise:

Nana—“You’re bleeding.”


Nana—“Put a bandage on it.”

Me—“Nah. It’ll be alright.”

Nana—“No, please put a bandage on it.”


Nana—“Because I just mopped the floor and I don’t want you dripping blood all over.”

Having been reminded of where I stand in the hierarchy of things domestic, I reflected on that little slice of married life as I ran water over the wounds and two things struck me. One, had I married a city girl, the reaction would probably have been much different.

Next, up to this point at least, all my bleeding has been too far from my heart to kill me. I have bled before. I shall bleed again. She knows this. Being the practical-minded type she is, it’s clearly more important to address the immediate situation than to have the umpteenth discussion about why slowing down and taking my time might be a good idea. So it also struck me that since she was more worried about her floor than my welfare, perhaps the number of times where my grand entrance was accompanied by bleeding have become a bit too common.

As the sergeant on the old cop show Hill Street Blues would admonish, let’s be careful out there. And wear your gloves. The lady of the house will appreciate a clean floor.


TAGS: Ranching
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