The labor itself wasn't too bad, even though it had been several years since he'd done hard manual work like this. He'd half forgotten how much work there was to be done around the ranch. The forecasts were suggesting heavy rain, so they started by moving the herd up to the higher pastures - then swept the fence line for damage, made a few minor repairs. Then it was back to the barn again to load the feed and drive it back out to the cattle.
Red finally made his way back to the house shortly after noon. His mother was only just starting to putz about the kitchen to get lunch started as he kicked his boots off on the porch and came inside.
"Maybe," he smiled.
Red finished off the last of his coffee and pushed his chair back to stand, "Alright, I'd better get out there," he said, leaning down to press a kiss against her cheek, "I'll try to get back up here before lunch so we can talk," he promised. On one hand he would have preferred to carve out a little more time, but Red suspected his mother in law would bring up their return to L.A. over the meal, and Red wanted to be on the same page as his wife if that were the case.