Sunday, September 4, 2011

Flashlights in the Night

On my FB page, I wrote about spending yesterday, preparing food for the family of a dear neighbor. Gordon was truly a member of the "greatest generation" he was 88 when he passed away late last week, and a one of the happiest, most content people I have ever met. Here is one great story about Gordon.

One winter night, Mike and I noticed flashlights on the hill across from the had been dark for hours. and our we wondered who on earth would be on the hill, muddy and slick from recent rains, at this time of the night...esp with just a flashlight.

We watched the flashlight's beam...all over the hill it seemed to go, searching perhaps? a lost hunter perhaps? or .......wait a is Gordon! Yes, Gordon was on the hill, walking the area looking for a lost calf, in the late night, in the mud, on the steep hillside that is so slick when muddy, most of us don't ever attempt such a feat....But...Gordon was out, looking, searching for one of his precious calves...we found out later, he did indeed find the calf.

This was one of the first experiences we would have watching Gordon on the hills around our home. The man could walk...that is a simple statement, but there was nothing simple about this man's ability to walk.

When Gordon was 79 years old, he was convinced by family members to quit his bi annual trek of cattle driving his cows to summer was well over 30 miles, and Gordon did not ride a horse, Gordon walked...every speck of the way ;-) I don't know many people that can walk 30+ miles in a few days, Gordon never seemed to be bothered by the task at all...It was great fun for the Grandkids, but Gordon was finally gave in to family members, perhaps the cows should be trucked to summer pasture.

Cattle drives are a common thing on our country road. Gordon, his son Clark and his 2 Grandsons move their cows often. From here to there, there to beyond there and back....many afternoons were spent watching as the "guys" moved their cows....always done by foot, never by horse or other "machines."

In the last few years, Gordon had taken the role of "lookout" instead of actually walking, but he was very fit, never the less. If you saw Gordon on the top of our place, coming from pasture they have above our pasture, he would beat you to the back to the house, and that is if we were using the 4 wheeler!

The day before Gordon passed away, we saw him in his garden..he no longer planted the garden, the kids did it for him, but he love to tend the garden, we honked, and he waved and smiled....he died during the night.

That smile will always remain in my in peace Gordon, and keep moving those cows!

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