James: Self-raised and it shows

Thursday, June 7, 2018 4:10 PM
Tom James

Anyone who knows me very well will tell you that I’m not the most fastidious man that ever lived.

My second wife – I’ve been encouraged not to refer to them as ex-wife No. 1 or No. 2 – told me once that I’d raised myself and done a really lousy job of it.

Now, I didn’t take offense at her remark because I figured that if I was still livin’, I hadn’t done that bad a job and she was certainly welcome to her own opinion.

As time has passed and my hair has gone from brown to lots of white with a growing bald spot, I’m beginning to see that she may well have been closer to the mark than I thought.

I live with a 12-year-old blue heeler named Grace, and our relationship is as close to perfect as I can imagine one being. I love her and she loves me. Just like that.

Now, I am responsible for providing for her, and we are both aware of that, on those occasions when I come up short, there are no arguments or passive aggressive days of “silent treatment.” She just informs me immediately about my error and I correct it.

My housekeeping skills are few, and seein’ as how I don’t mind much, I don’t mind much. Everything that I own is used hard and I’m prone to wearing clothes way, way past their expiration date.

Doin’ laundry today I had to say goodbye to a shirt that I’d been patching since last summer and it was a lot like having to put one of my horses down.

I reckon I’ll live and I don’t think they’ve stopped making denim Western shirts, so I can get another to wear way, way past its expiration date.

It’s the livin’ with a dog, not bein’ a great housekeeper, wearing clothes that are worn out and a willingness to sleep on the couch in a sleepin’ bag that make me think that Debby may have been right.

But hell, other than that, I’m a regular “Spiritual Portal.”

Tom James was riding horses before he could walk. He currently hangs his hat in Ignacio. Reach him at The topknot, by the way, is the last knot tied on a pack saddle.