From Pipi’s Pasture: Doing battle with the hoses
This was a week of mishaps with the garden hoses we use to fill the stock tanks. More than once, I was left with wet pants, coat, shoes, and hair — more water on me, perhaps, than in the tanks.
Garden hoses get a lot of use around Pipi’s Pasture, and none of those uses are more important than keeping the cattle stock tanks full. In summer, it’s not much of a problem. We lay the hoses out when the danger of frost has passed, and all we have to do is hook them to the faucets, pull up the faucet handles, and let the water fill the tanks.
So, filling the tanks was easy all summer, but then, fall rolled around. The main problem was with the hose that had been in place along the corral fence all summer. It supplies the tanks in the pen at the farthest end of the corral. It’s a heavy-duty hose that somehow got a kink in it over the summer. The hose is so tough it was sometimes hard to straighten it out so water would run through it. However, as long as the days remained warm, the hose was somewhat pliable, and the water ran through it.
But, when it started turning cold at night, the hose became almost impossible to “unkink.” I had to wait until the sun came out and the hose warmed up. Even then, the hose was hard to manage. Finally, the hose got so kinked it was pretty much flat where the water should run through it. I held the hose up in just the right position so the tanks would fill.
Finally one day, the water started running out all sides of the kink and in the tank, as well. I put up with it one afternoon, but the next day, water shot out in streams in all directions. There it was, propped up on one of the gate bars, with water wetting down some calves being weaned in the corral. Water ran on the ground around the tank. When I tried to stop the water, my clothes got drenched, and I got a shot of water in my face and on one side of my head, ruining my hairdo.
I didn’t want to do it (because I wanted to finish filling the tank), but I was forced to shut off the water. I took out the knife I use to cut bale twine and started to cut the hose in two at the kink. I broke the knife. I found another, sharper knife and eventually cut the hose. I was surprised, because the hose was still closed off where the kink had been.
I turned the water on again. Water ran in all directions. With a sigh, I shut off the water, rolled up the hose, and came to the house to get my Pocket Hose, the retractable hose that I carry back and forth to the corral in a bucket during the winter. I was wet, I was chilled, and I had to get into my winter routine already. Getting used to the new hose wasn’t without mishaps, either, but that’s another story.
It’s all in a day’s chores.
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Awhile back my sister Darlene Blackford (of Rocky Ford) had an idea for “Pipi’s Pasture.” She suggested that I write about memories of mail day when we were growing up on the ranch. The mail…