The holidays are here,
the year is almost gone.
Sunset’s coming sooner.
Long nights, they linger on.
Christmas on the Ladder Ranch
Brings us gifts galore.
Family gathers ‘round us
While Yuletide fires roar.
Deep within the meadows—
Summer’s rush to green has passed.
Round bales stacked like coins,
Winter’s wealth, its shadows cast.
Fair weather birds have fled,
but winter sounds abound,
brave trills of chirping chorus
echo bird-song all around.
Coyotes add their yips and howls
and wail their eerie cries
which echo through the hills
making hackles rise
on man and beast alike.
Battle Creek glows with icy sheen.
The stream murmurs, cracks, groans—
add to winter’s subtle keen.
But here beside the fire,
with its crackle and its roar,
we’re warm and well and happy,
with all we need and more.
There’s children’s cheery laughter–
they cry and yell and shout,
like to scare the coyotes
as they run and tear about.
There’s cows and sheep and horses.
There’s canines large and small
dreaming Border collie dreams
and guard dogs watching all.
The cows must fill their bellies
with grass hay long since cut,
and raked and baled and scattered
‘long the tractor’s snowy rut.
They’ve calves to grow within them—
Throughout the winter’s cold
and await the season’s turning.
Winter Solstice comes and goes.
And ewes upon the desert
munching daily corn,
awaiting warmth in springtime
when their babies will be born.
In Battle Mountain’s folds
deer and elk have bedded down
in hollows under oak brush
there’s shelter that they’ve found.
We thank the Lord for blessings
for His creatures great and small
for all of those we care for–
Please Lord, bless us all!
We are grateful for our friends
and kin, found both far and near,
from Ladder Ranch to you and yours–
Merry Christmas! Yuletide Cheer!