Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


Cook Stove Compact

The trophy wife and I celebrated this Thanksgiving with our daughter, Meagan, and her mini-Kimmel clan in Great Falls. Around nine o’clock Thursday morning, Meagan’s subdivision lost power and with no cook stove in sight, we stuffed the turkey into an electric roaster and hauled it to our motel which happened to have electricity. Nearly a decade ago, a similar mishap struck my middle daughter, Chelsie; her story prompts today’s column.

Chelsie, her good friend Katie, and their gang of 10 to 15 college buddies celebrated Thanksgiving in a log house outside of Bozeman, Montana. With the back of Chelsie’s Escort loaded with two, 20-pound turkeys, all the fixings and sufficient adult beverages for a college style Thanksgiving, they pulled up to the house and hauled everything into the kitchen. No sooner had feast preparations begun, when somewhere out in the winter wonderland a car skidded off the icy mountain road and sheared off a power pole. The Bridger Bowl area went dark. “Now what,” Chelsie’s friends moaned thinking their holiday dinner plans were toast—untoasted toast.

Chelsie pointed to the old cook stove in the corner of the kitchen and said “Split some wood and I’ll cook dinner with that.” Chelsie had grown up with antique cook stoves; a not-so-modern appliance I purposely installed in both our houses. Because I have many wonderful memories of family meals cooked on the Monarchs in our high mountain, cow camps, I felt it important for my children to learn the cooking techniques of our heritage. Like it was second nature, Chelsie and Katie went straight to work. Soon everyone was peeling potatoes or packing wood and with the fire roaring and the chimney damper nearly closed, the turkeys began slowly roasting in the oven. Time and wood are the two commodities you must have in abundance when preparing a Thanksgiving feast over a cook stove. These Montana Pilgrims had both.

Since I am writing about Thanksgiving in a political op-ed column, deviating to the “Mayflower Compact” is a reasonable jump. William Bradford’s compact was drafted and signed by Pilgrims enroute to Plymouth Rock. Signers acknowledged God’s grace and created a simple framework upon which to base a new civilization. It was America’s earliest document where the citizenry granted their consent to be governed; a novel idea later solidified in our “Declaration of Independence.” This leads me to a second and more recent compact, the “Cook Stove Compact;” one with an enormous impact on my life.

Marcus Warner, one of Chelsie’s college buddies, was impressed how she whipped up the Thanksgiving feast with the old cook stove. After dinner, their conversation rambled along before concluding with their verbal signing of their “Cook Stove Compact” which states: “If neither of us is married by the age of 26, then we will marry each other.” (Apparently, they had been drinking.) Over his next six years, Marcus joined the Navy and served on the USS Kitty Hawk, a carrier based in Japan. Chelsie finished her undergraduate degree before spending three years at the University of Montana Law School. Ironically, the International Date Line made their dates very infrequent.

On January 3rd, 2009, while both were on leave from their respective obligations, Chelsie at the age of 26 and Marcus age 25 ratified their “Cook Stove Compact” in holy matrimony. Today, Marcus is an avionics technician with the Navy’s Blue Angels, so they are based in Pensacola, Florida. Chelsie practices law in the pan handle and they have given me two grandchildren with a third due in February. An entire branch of my family tree may not have had leaves had I not taught Chelsie how to use a wood cook stove and this brings me to my point.

Progressives are strangling our great republic. Election results on November 6th show just how deeply their Marxist philosophy has infected the American soul. Like all Marxist states, ours too will collapse once the ruling class exhausts the freebies produced from a government controlled economy. Misery and starvation will run rampant for those indoctrinated to live on food stamps, but out in the hinterlands will be small bands of God fearing families who can fend for themselves—the self-reliant ones who can raise food and use a cook stove. These groups will give birth to a new America; re- founded on the self-evident truth our Creator endowed us with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Reread our founding documents and teach your descendants what it once meant to call yourself an American patriot.

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