I have all but given up on my cowboy hat. I made it until the November winds came and when my stampede strap gave up, I gave up too. It now hangs on a dusty hook in the garage waiting for spring...or summer. My husband on the other hand has tried much harder than I. His hat tells his story, curled at the edges, worn and dusty from hard work, it has seen a lot of hard miles. I have always been fascinated by his ability to keep the thing on his head under all types of conditions, but even he has had to resort to strapping it down since moving here.
Everything was fine until the other day. My husband was hauling hay down 81 from West Virginia, his friend was also pulling a load when suddenly there was no friend. Turns out he had a flat so my husband pulled off at the next exit with his load, turned around and went back to help change the tire. As he got out of his truck a huge wind gust grabbed his hat, all my husband could do was watch, helpless as his prized possession took flight. High up into the air it went like a blackbird, until the downdraft sucked it down, crashing back to earth just in time to get pulverized by several semi-trucks barreling down the road. From there only God knows where it ended up. Gone in sixty seconds. A sad day but life goes on, a storm is coming, there is work to be done.
My husband and I work feverishly to get our animals ready for the bitter cold and wind gusts tonight. There are many ways to help animals brave the bitter cold. We are taking every precaution today because we have so many newborn calves that will need hay to nestle in to keep warm and a place out of the raging wind. Our horses look on as we hustle about. They notice our heads aren't shaped the same because horses do notice these things. Their owners with the funny shaped heads have been replaced with people with smooth, round heads.
The long day has finally ended. We are in the garage shaking out our clothes, taking off our boots and gear. A brand new shiny hat hangs on a peg next to my old, worn one. No stories to tell yet, the hat is gonna have to wait a few months before it starts it's ranch life. My husband isn't going to lose another hat, a stocking cap will just have to do till spring. Right now it's time to cuddle up and ride out the storm.