In a recent Tale I talked about taking my Grandkids and Daughter out to see a new batch of heifers on our Home Place. That story caused me to think back a VERY LONG time ago to my first recollections of cattle ownership.
My Mom, Verna Dell Walker Rosenauer, contracted Polio as did many others in south Texas in 1952, when I had just turned one year old. Through that terrible experience, she ended up paralyzed from the neck down and spent some time in rehabilitation. I stayed much of the next two years out on the Home Place, and it has always been a very special part of what makes me who I am. As a kid whenever the opportunity allowed, I would try to stay out there. And to this day it is still a place of contentment and peace for me on most of the days I spend at that place.
Of course, “helping” my Grannie and Grand Dad probably had a different look to them than it did to me. I took a real liking to feeding the cattle and not so much to the garden tending that was a seasonal part of daily chores. I remember Charlie Rosenauer telling me something on the order of “you best learn to do something else in life, cause you ain’t cut out to be a Farmer”!
Of course, he was right, but I did like messing with the cattle and later with horses. At some point in time, probably about age 4 or 5, I asked Grand Dad if I could have a cow. We discussed the different ones in the herd, and I selected a Black Baldy and named her Apache.
Objectively there was nothing much special about that middle age cross bred grade bovine, but she sure was special to me. That year she brought a still born calf and I think me and Apache suffered about the same feelings of loss. But, like most bad periods in Life, we both kinda/sorta got over it. She had several more babies over the next few years and there was always some extra time spent pondering on what to name them.
Honestly, I cannot recall if Apache died on the place or Grand Dad sold her off. But I tell you something about that time in my life. It started a trend where the naming of colts and calves have become a BIG Deal for at least the 2 generations after me. Our Daughter especially liked to spend time as a youngster making lists with me discussing and documenting name possibility based on gender and color.
Now we spend time on what to call the “Hiffers” on our place with the Grand Kids. A couple of years ago, the names were all about the movie Frozen. I am sure glad that song “Let It Go” has moved on from their focus. Last year the names centered on ice cream colors. Stawberry, Vanilla, Fudge, and Chocolate and other names I cannot recall are likely first time Mommas this Spring.
Who can tell what names will be given this time around. But one thing for sure, it will be fun listening to the bargaining and discussion among the kids. And to think, that practice started a real long time ago on the same red sandy loam property. I sure do hope it can continue for a few more generations.