I wander through my days pretty much like everybody else. Making a living, taking care of the day-to-day and each week, finding inspiration to share something with you here.
Usually I’m as surprised as you are at what might finally hit the page and it’s not uncommon to come to the keyboard with a hodgepodge of ideas—or none at all.
A writer’s prompt showed up in my email box that asked, “What is the best advice you ever received?” I queried a few friends with the same question and each answered true to their personalities.
• Marry you a good man. In 20 years, their looks will be gone but if you marry a good man, he will still be a good man in 20 years.
• Stand straight. Tall girls don’t have to be beautiful. The boys see them first.
• I get so much advice from my husband and he assures me it is all wonderful.
• No matter who says what, don’t believe it if it doesn’t make sense.
• When someone shows you what they are, don’t ask them to show you again.
One cowboy, who is clever with his short, direct answers simply said, “Never saddle a horse named Bucky. I fell for that once, thinking that the horse’s name, Buck, was for his color.” The bad advice that follows is always, “Just turn your toes out. There ain’t nothing to him.” It sometimes works out, but it isn’t always pretty.
Along those same lines, there are some classics among cowboys that are worth repeating. I credit most of these to Texas Bix Bender’s book, Don’t Squat with your Spurs On! – A Cowboy’s Guide to Life.
• Don’t believe all that you hear, spend all that you have, or sleep all that you want.
• Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
• There are three kinds of men. Some learn by reading, some by observation, and the rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
• If you get to thinking you are a person of influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.
• It’s best to keep your troubles to yourself because half the people you tell them to won’t give a darn and the other half will be glad to hear you’ve got them.
• Most folks are like a barbed wire fence. They have their good points.
• The best way to keep your word is not to give it foolishly.
• The easiest way to eat crow is while it’s still warm. The colder it gets, the harder it is to swallow.
• Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
• If it doesn’t seem like it’s worth the effort, it probably isn’t.
I add to it:
• Don’t trespass and always close the gate.
• No matter the look of the weather, never give away your slicker.
• Saddle early and ride out without a concern of when you’ll be back.
• Always help the cook with wood and water and don’t ever get into his grub unless he asks. Always put your plate and silverware in the roundup pan (dishpan) after you eat.
• Don’t ever take a dog when you go to help another outfit and never yell at another man’s dog.
The best advice my mentors offered me was to always be respectful, dependable and do your best at whatever it was you were asked to do. Still good advice today.
Julie can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.