The North Windmill

When I was a kid, one of my Gran’s favorite things was to take my brother and me to go check windmills. We learned a lot about ranching and life on those trips. Like how you never put land up for collateral. Or how snakes like to curl up next to the H-brace post by the gates. And her theory that around here more sheep have paid for cattle than cattle have paid for sheep on ranches.

She had cups at every windmill on the ranch and we would always taste the water at every stop.

The North windmill was her favorite. It has a big cottonwood tree for some shade and she always thought it had the sweetest water.

This weekend, I took the kids to check cows and thought it would be fun for them to try that sweet North windmill water. So, we grabbed some cups and off we went.

When we pulled up, there was no wind and the windmill was still. I thought it was a wasted trip.

I was wrong, because the minute the kids put their cups under the pipe, a gust of wind came up and the water started flowing!

You could logically assume it was coincidence. Or rightly point out that this is New Mexico and the wind blows basically all the time. But I will never believe you. I know my Gran wanted to be a part of me making that memory with my kids. I also know she was pretty persuasive and usually got her way. I doubt that’s changed.

I guess maybe that’s the thing about a family farm. Memories are everywhere. Generations of them. And maybe that’s something that lends itself well to a little wink from Heaven every now and again.

And if I am right about that, my own great grandchildren better be on the lookout for a well-timed wind gust on their first trip too.

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