Hollenbeck: Watch what you pray for
February 23, 2018
Several columns past, I wrote about my plans to go to Elko, Nevada to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the mother ship of gatherings, and presumed I would get the usual comment about living in South Dakota where we get snow and cold weather. Well, I have been there and back and I never heard one snide remark about where I reside. In fact, quite to the contrary, I was asked on occasion if we have had snow and when I replied that we indeed have snow cover almost all winter, the reply was, "Oh, I wish we could get some snow or rain or any kind of moisture."
Leaving North Platte, Nebraska, and traveling West on I-80, winter weather conditions appeared to have been normal until entering into Wyoming. Usually Laramie Pass, West of Cheyenne, is snow covered and difficult to travel, even in the springtime, but not so this year. There was little or no snow from Laramie on West and it actually looked unusual to see miles and miles of mountains with little or no snow cover.
After arriving in Elko and spending several days there, the conversations were mainly about how dry it is out that way, and folks from all areas of the West and Southwest were joining in with the same sentiments. Returning home, we were faced with the same scene and a snow storm in the Sidney, Nebraska area was almost a welcome sight, and did give our driver a chance to get off the road and spend a little time browsing at Cabela's.
I certainly hope those folks in such a large drought-stricken area get some much needed moisture and also hope the drought does not spread to this area. I was reminded of the following poem I penned several years ago:
WATCH WHAT YOU PRAY FOR
I believe in God above and know he answers prayers.
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I'm sure he knows it's dry down here, and of course, our Savior cares.
Don't think that He's forgot us; He's not trying to be mean
just 'cause it never seems to rain…He's testing us, it seems.
Remember Ninety-seven and the winter that we had?
We hadn't had no weather in a coon's age near that bad.
The feed and tanks and fences were all buried deep in snow
and temperatures for many days stayed twenty-some below.
I prayed that it would warm up, and sure enough it did.
That summer it was hotter than a boiling kettle lid.
But shoot, we got good rainfall and the grass was lush and green;
the dams were running over as were creeks and ponds and streams.
But apparently some farmer couldn't plant his crops on time,
and you know when things aren't perfect, how they always seem to whine
I can just about imagine that he went to God in prayer
and asked Him if he'd help by drying up the weather there.
Now, please don't find me critical or one to be complaining,
but I'd like to find that so-and-so that prayed that it'd quit raining!