“It’s begun to get a little bit summertime,” exclaimed one Reilly Springs resident this week. “But we continue to enjoy the cool nights.”
Like everyone in Hopkins County, the warmer daytime temperatures remind us that summer is fast approaching, but the very pleasant nights have been quite enjoyable.
And hay baling is in full swing in our community. Almost everyone is cutting and baling hay in an attempt to get it baled in between the rains we continue to receive. “I hesitate to complain about any of the rain, because I can still remember how desperately we needed it a couple of years ago,” stated Vera Harrington while in the hay field this week. “You have to have rain to make hay.”
Vera also voiced why so many of us enjoy living in the Reilly Springs community: “In the last couple of weeks I’ve depended on nearly all my ‘great’ neighbors,” explained Vera. “While trying to get hay baled and all the other chores done on the farm, David Stribling, Trey Hinton, Junior Hinton and Kerry Bailey have all come to my aid. Then, Josh Boatman pulled a calf for me when a cow got in trouble. I can truthfully say that this cutting has been a community effort to get baled.”
And as all of us in the Reilly Springs community know, it’s just payback for all the many kind deeds that Vera does for everyone else. Vera is always among the first to lend a hand to anyone that needs help. But it’s always special when neighbors join forces to help each other get the task completed. Many times two heads are better than one, especially when farm equipment is involved.
Meanwhile, it’s been a roundup on the Fisher’s farm this past week. They’ve moved their dairy cattle to two neighboring dairy farms as they get ready to remodel their dairy barn. Construction will begin next week, and they hope to have it completed by September 1. “You don’t realize how long it takes to haul cattle,” exclaimed Blake. “We’ve done it in shifts and it has still taken us nearly all week to move the cattle.”
And as it always seems, the minute you start a project, there are 10 other ones needing doing at the same time. The green beans at Fisher Farms were in full production this week, too. They’ve got loads of them for sale and have been hand-picking them. Starting today, however, they planned to use a mechanical picker that J.R. purchased last year.
Bryant and Marilee Fisher have been in Abilene at a dairy meeting and had plans to return home today. “It never fails that when there are loads of projects going on, that’s when someone is gone,” said J.R. “It just always happens that way.”
Word has been received that Randy and Sheila Koon have been chosen as the parade marshals for the 50th Anniversary Dairy Festival Parade. There couldn’t have been a more natural selection, as Randy and Sheila both have participated in almost every phase of the Hopkins County dairy industry. Both of them have been reared on dairy farms, with their parents and grandparents being dairy farmers ahead of them. They’ve reared four sons in the dairy industry and continue to milk registered Jersey cows, and it won’t be long before grandchildren will be old enough to show the cattle.
Congratulations to Randy and Sheila and their family for this great honor. We’ll all be looking for them in the parade.
I also talked to Mary Koon this week, and she allowed that her niece, Jorene from Canada, is planning a visit to Hopkins County to see all of her relatives. She will be here for Dairy Festival and to attend some family events while spending time with Mary and Brody. Jorene is the daughter of Mary’s brother, Joe McDonald, and there will be time spent going to Reilly Springs and seeing sights that she remembered as a child.
I spent the weekend in Muleshoe attending the birthday party of Landri Lawrence and Kobi Kirby. The girls had a big time and were most impressed by a “cow train” that their grandparents got them to ride in. The train has Hopkins County connections as Kory and Koyt Koon had constructed the train out of metal barrels and it is pulled with a four-wheeler.
Joyce McDonald and Jana Dewitt were also in attendance at the party.
I managed to sneak away for one day while in Muleshoe and travel to Kenna, New Mexico, located west of Portales. This was the area where former Reilly Springs resident Daniel Hendricks homesteaded property in the early 1900s. He and his family left Reilly Springs in the 1890s. When Daniel reached adulthood, he homesteaded four sections of land near Kenna. There isn’t much left in Kenna except the cattle pens that were used for shipping cattle on the railroad, one of the last places that cattle were driven to the railroad. However, there is still a country store and a church today, along with several homes, in the ranching country.
Daniel and his family left Kenna and moved to Truth or Consequences, N.M., where they later owned and operated one of the mineral springs and resorts in that part of the state. It’s interesting to trace these individuals and learn about their lives and the things they encountered after leaving Reilly Springs.
I heard from Rhandi Stribling Fails this week, and she related that Debra Stribling is in training all this week for her new job in Mineola. She’s putting in long hours but is excited about her new job.
Mentioning homesteading and hardships, I was told a story this week about a young couple in Reilly Springs who, during the Great Depression, had just about gone to the end of their rope. Finally, they decided that they were going to get a divorce, so they began dividing up their meager belongings. All they had to show for five years of married life were two milk cows, six hens and a rooster. Each agreed to take one of the cows and three hens, but they couldn’t agree on what to do with the rooster. Well, they decided to just kill the old rooster and make a batch of chicken and dumplings to use up the last of the flour and lard in the house.
Along about noon, the young farmer came in and the aroma of chicken and dumplings had encircled the old clapboard house. The couple sat down and ate them, and they were so good, that they decided to stay married. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary some 55 years later.
It makes you kind of put hard times in perspective, doesn’t it?
Until next week, continue to enjoy the nice weather before the heat of the summer season begins to make things uncomfortable. Remember our troops who defend our freedoms around the world, and ask for them an extra measure of safety and protection. Pray for love in our hearts, harmony in our community and peace in our land. God bless Reilly Springs, Hopkins County and America.
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