Things had smoothed out and were going real good at my Telephone job. We were spending more weekends in San Antonio and at the ranch. My greatest joy was going out to the ranch with my two boys. The boys and I would go out every weekend that we could and spend Saturday and Sunday out there enjoying the open air and the solitude.
Words cannot explain the joy and peace I would get by going to the farm. After a week of hectic negotiations and problem solving I could go out there and work or plow and enjoy the serene feeling of release from all stress. We had a hill at the back of the place, and sometimes I would go up there and just sit and enjoy the view. Several times as I sat quietly, I would see a deer grazing or an armadillo rooting along. Red birds, mocking birds and a few blue jays would always be flitting around, each singing their special song. One time as I sat real still, I felt like someone was watching me. I slowly looked all around and finally up. There lying on a limb of the red oak tree was a civet cat, with his long tail hanging down. They are scarce and nocturnal, so it was the first time I had ever seen one. He and I watched each other for some time and when I finally moved he was out of there.
In this picture you see the boys with me when I was harrowing the field. Tom dearly loved his hat and always wore it every chance he got. The harrow in the background was a series of disks that cut up the soil and pulverized the dirt. When the boys were riding with me I made them stand on either side of me slightly to my rear. As we were going round and round the field, Tom kept chattering until I told him to be quiet for a while. Later, when I was making a turn I turned around and looked into Tom's little dirty tear stained face; I exclaimed, “What in the world is the matter?” He pointed to his empty head with no hat. As we went on around the next time there it was. It had blown off, and since I had told him to be quiet he had said nothing. The hat had been sliced to pieces under the harrow blades. I stopped for the day, cleaned the boys up and immediately went in to the farm store and let Tom pick up a new hat. He had a big smile on his face with his new hat, but I really felt so bad about telling him to be quiet.