" Family Time"


   “It’s a danged shame ‘bout Thanksgivin’,” Windy Wilson said. The others stopped stirring things into their coffee cups and looked at the aging cowboy and camp cook.

   Windy glanced at the semi-circle of puzzled faces there in the Mule Barn coffee shop. “You know what I mean … ‘stead of people we achully know, we gotta spend it with folks we haven’t seen since the end of Dubya-Dubya Two.”

   “You mean family?”

    “Shore do, Doc. Now jest think for a minute and 15 seconds here, okay? Now with Halloween, which is my favorite holiday, you get to say hi to a mess-a little kids and give ‘em a candy and then they’re gone. You get tired of it or the candy bowl gits on down where you can see the bottom of ‘er … you jest turn out the porch light.”

  “But Windy,” said Doc, “Thanksgiving is a family time. Aunts and uncles and grandparents and brothers and sisters and lots of little ones running around. It’s a time when we see where we belong.”

   “It’s the dang things we don’t say that really cripple the pig on this ‘un, you know.” Windy grinned. “Stuff like ‘Aunt Marge, you don’t sweat near as much as other fat women.’ And ‘Uncle Bill, did them dang cops ever give you your driving license back?’

   “And ‘Susan, I hear tell you done okay in that there queenie contest. Did you have to talk or anything like that?”

  There probably is something to be said for Halloween.


Brought to you by Windy’s Words of Wisdom, a vital part of Home Country with Slim Randles, on a classic country music radio station near you.


Newspaper columnist Slim Randles, who writes the weekly Home Country column, took home two New Mexico Book Awards in 2011. His advice book for young people, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right,” took first place in the self-help category, and “Sweetgrass Mornings” won in the biography/memoirs category. Randles lives and works in Albuquerque. Home Country reaches 3 million hometown newspaper readers each week

Slim Randles learned mule packing from Gene Burkhart and Slim Nivens. He learned mustanging and wild burro catching from Hap Pierce. He learned horse shoeing from Rocky Earick. He learned horse training from Dick Johnson and Joe Cabral. He learned humility from the mules of the eastern High Sierra. Randles lives in Albuquerque.

Randles has written newspaper stories, magazine articles and book, both fiction and nonfiction. His column appeared in New Mexico Magazine for many years and was a popular columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and the Albuquerque Journal, and now writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country,” which appears in several hundred newspapers across the country.


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