If you raise cattle for a living you deal with gates all day long. In and out, open, shut, open, shut. The task of manning the gates usually falls to the women, at least in my circle of friends. We are the gatekeepers in more ways than one.
There are times when gate keeping is easy, opening to let a tractor in to feed, a truck to deliver fencing materials or a four wheeler. It is not easy however when we are separating cattle, this is when the job gets stressful, no one wants to be the gatekeeper during these times. My girlfriends and I, my fellow gatekeepers, have a joke about the dreaded gate job during roundup season. God forbid we should make a mistake at the gate. Endless tirades usually follow if we mess up and let cattle through the opening that should have stayed in the pen. Things happen quickly during working sessions so the gatekeeper has to pay attention. I have a tendency to daydream at the gate. This is not a good practice when things are happening quickly and there is a job to be done. Needless to say, I have taken a lot of heat at times due to my lack of attention.
Last spring my husband and I were separating some unruly bull calves. The bull calves were being moved into one pen and the heifers into another. I was working the gate and my husband was directing calves on foot in either direction. I misjudged the situation, not completely paying attention and didn't close the gate in time. At the worst possible moment an unruly bull calf came crashing through the gate, ran right over my husband hurling him backwards into the dirt. It was not a pretty sight. Luckily he was not hurt but boy was he mad! You can imagine the aftermath. That was the day I learned the hard way how important a gatekeeper's job really is.
The future may be the past recycled but daydreaming at the gate is something I have chosen to leave in the past, you might say I have entered a new gate....