I heard a person recently refer to their opinion as being “ambivalent” on a certain topic related to current events. The statement reminded me of a term not heard nearly as often as it was a few decades ago. Straddling The Fence means about the same thing to many of us old timers. Just not sure which “side” to be on.
I can truthfully say that term brings back a very vivid Tale from La Brasada for me. I was between 8 &10 years of age and had helped my Grand Dad build a new fence that summer along the county road boundary of a small pasture he leased that joined our Home Place. I ultimately bought those acres, and it has been included in our operations for many years.
School had just started and dove season was beginning. That tract of land had and still has some big old Bull Mesquite trees and Live Oaks along a drainage that runs through it and continues to flow across the county road, ultimately joining into San Miguel Creek.
Charlie Rosenauer and I went “sneaking” along that creek bottom in hopes of seeing some doves sitting in those big trees. He was never one to “waste shells” on flying doves. That aspect of dove hunting was left to his family and guests out in the fields or by the Big Stock Tank. I don’t recall if he harvested any birds or not, but we finally came to the road where that new barbed wire fence was stretched tight.
I was gingerly trying to get between those wires, hoping to not get cut with those razor spikes, still shiny and sharp. With one foot on each side, I looked down to discover a BIG Rattler coiled up right there under that fence. I cannot tell you which side I ended up on, but I do recall “yelling loud and moving fast”! Grand Dad sent Mr. Rattler into the Great Beyond courtesy of a 12 gauge with # 7 ½ shot. Fired from about 15 feet away there was a pretty big and bloody mess left to confirm the story.
After a quick check that there were no fang bites or other permanent injuries, we walked back along that red sandy road up to the Farm House which had been built in 1866. Grand Dad relayed the events to Granny who had 2 questions and 1 statement. Are you hurt? No Ma’am. Did you tear your clothes anywhere? No Ma’am. Good. Now take better care to watch where you are going and STOP straddling them fences!
Good practical words still all these years later.
Where did that come from?
I am not too sure that all who are reading this rambling will relate to the content. But I feel pretty sure a good number of you will. And just FYI, if you don’t already comprehend the experience, hold on to your hat…it’s coming to many of the rest of you. And just maybe faster than you want it to arrive!
I find myself routinely “stumbling” across things that seem significantly “out of place”. Or maybe discovering something that has no business being where it’s found.
There were times in the past when I could put the blame on my children, and more recently on my 3 young grandchildren. But truth be told, I find stuff way too often in the “wrong place” when no person, save yours truly, could be the culprit. Now I guess I could blame Aliens or Ghosts, but in my rational moments, few and far between as they sometimes can be, I think it is has to do with my “Some Timers” stage of life.
My reactions upon these finds run quite a gambit. From happiness to know where a certain lost item is found, to bewilderment of how it got there. And then there is those moments of frustration at having no ideas the steps that lead to the placement in that spot.
But the thought just occurred to me. Why not just accept that it is part of the aging process and enjoy having the opportunity to live long enough to experience this stage. Seems like the best solution.
But on second thought…I wonder where THAT idea came from????