Agriculture & Livestock: Memories like books in a library

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Diane Prather

A few weeks ago, our family went to watch our granddaughter, Jessica, perform in Moffat County High School’s musical production of “Footloose.”

After the performance, as everyone was congratulating the cast, one of the parents talked about memories made that night. I’ve thought about memories since then.

To me, it seems memories are stored in the brain much like books are shelved in a library.

Some memories are “pushed back in the stacks” because they’re painful. Others seem to be stored right where we can get them.

We learn from memories, we keep a connection with family and friends through memories, and we draw on memories to make us feel good.

Memories are made all the time.

Take ranchers and farmers, for example.

Besides building memories through family, there is also a close connection to animals and the environment.

One of this author’s most powerful memories came one fall when one of our grandson’s yearling heifers became gravely ill.

One stormy morning when I was on my way to the corral to check on her, I was amazed to see a rainbow that seemed to be positioned over her pen.

Powerful memory, indeed.

Consider some of these other memories from my “library”:

• The sounds of a robin chirping away on an early November morning.

• A black cow chewing her cud on a cold morning, despite frosty hairs around her nose and icicles hanging from her mouth.

• The funny sight of a skunk and cat fighting over a pan of cat food (viewed from a safe distance).

• The sight of a bull elk playing with a stick, tossing it back and forth with his antlers.

• The sounds of a bull (“m-m-m-m-m”) at early morning feed time, perhaps meaning “Chow’s on the way.”

• A full moon on a clear night.

• The pride that comes with watching a pen of weaned calves, the result of a year’s hard work.

• Wading deep snow and having to dig out over-a-foot drifts that block gates, all so cattle can be fed.

• The sight of late fall kittens peering from their snug home, a hole formed when bales were stacked.

• The awe that comes from watching a cow that has had her calf, cleaned it off, and now the calf is nursing, and the miracle happens over and over.

• The aroma of cookies baking in the oven.

• The warmth of a wood fire on a cold winter night.

• The sights and sounds as grandchildren show livestock and participate in sports, concerts, and other extracurricular activities — in fact, as they participate in any activities.

This time of year we all try to find “just the right gifts” for others. Perhaps the best gifts of all are reminders of memories that make us feel good.

Consider a framed photo or newspaper clipping, an original poem or story based on a memorable event, a drawing, or a scrapbook.

It’s a great way to get kids involved, too, and a way to build more memories.

Happy getting-ready-for-the-holidays.

Copyright Diane Prather, 2011

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