Through the years, we have noted various status symbols among our farming and ranching citizens. The best horses, the heaviest cattle, the biggest tractor, the fanciest truck, and the list goes on. At the moment, the main symbol seems to be having the muddiest vehicle.
Just watching the people as they compare their vehicles is a major form of entertainment for the natives. Many of those who usually have the shiny vehicles are now proud to show off a lot of red mud from the top of the cab to the trailer hitch. I've had fun checking parking lots and seeing the pride people are showing because they have had moisture on their land.
If you haven't endured a major drought, you may not understand the meaning of his particular status symbol or even think it should be a status symbol. When we've seen nothing but a lot of dust for several years, it’s a delight to see the mud instead. The drivers are enjoying showing just how much snow and rain has fallen, and they don't want to lose that muddy look just yet. Besides, if they spend time washing off that mud, they might just have to start over in the next day or two.
In a short time, we will begin to see the shiny vehicles again because the drivers will want to show off their colors and will also be hoping the shines won't last very long because more moisture will be needed if we are to begin to come out of this long drought. We'll be aware of the change as we see the bright colors and will also know the thoughts are on wanting to see that mud again soon.
As we watch those changes in appearance, we'll also begin to watch the changes that appear on the land. We'll be watching for the "comin'of the green" and will celebrate that first appearance even if it should be only a dandelion. We may not consider those to be status symbols, but we do look at their beauty as they announce spring.
Let's just hope we can see the cleaning of the vehicles so they can become just as muddy again. We surely need the moisture as we begin this year and surely need something to give us reason to have status symbols. Let's hope we can make a lot of crooked tracks during the next few months.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 461-1952.