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· In God We Trust
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We've had Ike come and go, possessions taken by one of Gods greatest forces. Friends and family have been working these days trying to get back to a feeling of normalcy. Well sometimes it just time to grab a bucket. Enjoy one of Ms. Julie Carters stories and take a load off everyone.

Grab a bucket


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Everybody everywhere has owned a bucket, used a bucket or needed a bucket. Buckets through the ages have played a part in the very fiber of our lives.

We have the water, milk, mop, slop, coal, ash, grease, feed, lunch and paint bucket and the ever-popular, old oaken bucket. The ancestral poor-boy stories always include the lard bucket that became the lunch bucket. Lunch pail stories often include a long walk to school -- uphill both ways.

The bucket on the end of an old hemp rope strikes memories of a hand-dug well providing the only water on the place.

The smallest kid, because he fit the best, got the summer job of climbing down the ladder to clean the silt from the bottom of the well. The mud would slop from the bucket on top of him as his grandfather pulled it out of the well.

My recall is that it was important that your horse was "bucket" broke, so that you could carry a bucket of something while riding.

Naturally, the feed bucket was his favorite and he preferred it in front of him -- full of oats.

The milk bucket was the starting point of basic education for many youngsters. Every summer, based on the high nutritional value of milk, one lad was assigned to milk the cow to provide a never-ending supply of fresh milk while visiting his uncle's ranch.

The chore didn't have obvious "cowboy" value to the lessons he wanted to learn about riding, roping and punching cattle. Yet his uncle convinced him it was necessary to drink all this milk to maintain his strength and stamina to do the other work like fencing, pushing brush and breaking colts.

At the end of the summer, his last assignment was to turn the milk cow out to pasture. It seems the uncle didn't require as much good nutrition during the winter.

Buckets are good for many things that don't have anything to do with their intended use.

Upside-down to sit or stand on is the most popular. Kin to the bucket for functional "sittin' on" is the milk can.

At a recent down-home team roping that holds appeal to the "usta-be" cowboy set, a couple of portly cowboys were at the back of the chutes waiting their turn.

Good friends, the pair have found different challenges in reaching the stage of their lives where the spirit is willing but the knees are stiff.

One continues to ride a 16-hand rope horse because he always did, but now getting on him represents a mission impossible. In remedy, he totes a milk can wherever he goes to use as a step.

His aging buddy finds the frequent need to sit down on something, anything, whatever is near. The milk can provides nicely for that as well.

The roping announcer called a name, putting one of them into action.

"Rusty, get up. I need my can."

"I just got set down here. I can't get up that quick," Rusty replied.

Call two from the announcer.

"Rusty! Get up. I've got to go rope! They'll turn my steer out."

"I'm trying," Rusty said. "Give me a hand here. My knees aren't working too good. This can is pretty comfortable."

During an understanding pause from the announcer, who had been clued in to the situation, the milk can was vacated and then used by its owner to climb aboard his horse.

As he backed in the box, they gave call three and Rusty ... well, Rusty had already settled back into his sittin' position on the milk can.

There comes a time in life when just about everything looks like it needs set on.
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