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Hixson Diaries

January 18, 1998

Today was Jon's birthday, 27 years ago. I would like to wish him happy birthday. He is in California attending a friend's wedding.

Larry & I drove to St. John to pick up my mom and then on to Wichita to pick up my brother who flew in from Fargo, North Dakota. We spent the night in Wichita.

Winter gives us some time to repair tractors and combines as well as build a few items. Today was spent repairing our loader tractor. We also hauled some wheat to our local elevator.

January 19, 1998

We left Wichita early and arrived in Broken Arrow around 11:30 a.m. It was a bittersweet day. I enjoyed seeing cousins I hadn't seen for several years, but the memorial celebration for my uncle brought to a close the life of a wonderful man who will be missed by many. We drove back to Wichita, left my brother with a friend and drove on to Mom's house for the night. It was a long day. We who live on the high plains spend a lot of time driving. Three to four hour trips are often necessary for machinery parts, meetings and just getting together with family and friends.

January 20, 1998

Larry and I drove back to WaKeeney in the morning. We stopped in Hays for some electrical repairs on our way home. We both had jobs to do when we arrived home. Larry had the church books to work on and I had several things to do for the Hospital Endowment Board meeting that took place this evening.

Milo and Joe kept the farm going today. We sold 28 cows and 1 bull. These are the old cows that have very few or no teeth. The cattleman's terms for these cows are, " smooth mouth or broken mouth''. When they can't eat, they can't produce enough milk to raise a calf without special feed.

January 21, 1998

Today I started out early. I left home at 6 a.m. to attend a meeting of the Kansas Hospital Association Board in Topeka. I am a new member of that board. I didn't realize how long I would be driving in the dark. It was 7:30 before the sun came up. I found the meeting interesting, health care is a big issue in our community as in the lives of all Americans. Keeping health care in rural America is one of my interests. Without health care our small towns would become much smaller and harder to live in.

On the way home I picked up Krista, Emma & Chloe in Junction City. They had been visiting Darrin's mother and family since last Friday. Chloe was a little confused coming home--she wanted to go to her home in Texas. Emma slept all the way home. Chloe was surprised we arrived at our house. She said "Mommy we have been here before." She was glad to be back in familiar surroundings.

The men are busy all day feeding cows and moving bales. With last year's extra rainfall, our fields are wet and when it thaws the ruts are awful. We need to get the bales on hard ground so we can get to them in mud or heavy snow.

January 22, 1998

Today was a beautiful day. Krista and I took the girls to one of our parks today. It was still cool but the sun was shining. Our calf count is now at 9.

January 23, 1998

Another beautiful day and even warmer than yesterday. The ground is still frozen so Larry was able to move some more bales today. The forecast is for warmer weather next week and the ground will be too muddy to move bales. We will feed the cows the bales that are close to the barnyard.

Tonight Krista, Larry and I are going to Hays to eat & see a show. Emma and Chloe are very excited about having a babysitter. Guess they would like a break from Mom and Grandparents. I think we can all benefit from a few hours apart.

January 24, 1998

Today we went to St.John, KS to visit my mother, sister, niece and her little boy. Emma, Chloe and Braydon are 2nd cousins. The kids had a good time. It is a 2 1/2 hour trip from our house to theirs. It was a sunny day, but not very warm. Everyone had a good time.

Larry tried to feed cows, but the tie-rod broke on his pickup. He had to go to Hays to get parts and hopes to have everything fixed by Monday. The cattle all have feed but will be out by Monday. Repairs are a constant part of a farmer's life. The mud and frozen ruts we have this winter is especially hard on machinery.

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