The mornings are getting cooler, and the crisp smells of fall are slowly creeping over us. Some leaves are starting to change colors down by the river already. Change is in the air.
This reminds me of the fall gathering of cattle and shipping. Oh the fun times we kids had trailing the cows back home. Uncle Billy would ride up ahead, and when I was little, I never understood why. I would think in my young mind that we were really doing all the work pushing the cows, and he was just getting to have fun riding in front. Truly, it wasn’t that much work for us. We were just following them home.
I remember the sounds of the cows mooing and their feet making noise on the pavement of the highway. Our horse’s hooves were pounding the pavement in the Lone Ranger rhythm — the laughter my brother and I shared making jokes while we rode. The smell of the horses, the cows, the crisp air, it all comes rushing in my mind with the memories.
My favorite memories of my brother were moving cattle. My brother and I were very close growing up even though he was 10 years older than me. I was his riding buddy. We really enjoyed our times together horseback. We talked about everything under the sun. A lot of the world’s problems were solved as we talked and rode.
My scariest memories of my brother were moving cattle. He had a pretty bad accident. We were going down the highway, and a cow turned up a county road. My brother tried to get it turned, and it went the wrong way. As he came back on the highway from the dirt, the horse lost his footing on the slick paved road. His horse tumbled, and they looked entwined as they rolled across the highway. The horse finally came to a stop and tried to stand up. It took a couple of tries, but he did, and my brother was laying in the highway bleeding.
My dad yelled for me to ride ahead where my mom was driving the truck. I remember my brother crying in pain rocking back and forth holding his ribs and saying “my knee, my knee.” I rode as fast as I could and told mom, and we made it back to my brother.
His horse seemed OK. My mom rode the horse awhile, but he kept looking for my brother. The horse seemed worried about him.
My brother refused to go to the doctor and was lying in the truck while we finished moving cows. The horse kept getting away from my mom and running to the truck to see him. My brother ended up getting back on the horse and riding home. My brother broke a few ribs that day and tore his knee up pretty bad, but the bond between him and his horse was stronger than ever.
It’s amazing the memories the smells of fall bring to mind. Yes, fall change is in the air.