Sunday, August 22, 2010

Looking Around

A couple of years ago we visited a dear friend who was working in a children's home, for abused and neglected kids in Gallup, New Mexico. We loaded up our car and traveled almost 23 hours to show love to little brown faces. These children have left tiny fingerprints on my heart.

 Today when I was sorting through one of my drawers I came across a note from one of the sweet girls we met. Where is she today? Is she with her mama?

We often think we need to travel the world to make a difference in some child's life that is hurting, but right smack in the middle of the powerful and wealthy U.S. we saw poverty. When I helped in our own community's little school, there were kids who would show up without lunch-day after day.

My friend Jenn and a couple of the children, hiking through the rocks behind the home.
 Look out your own back window, there is probably a child who could use a smile and a word of encouragement spoken into their little lives. A grin and a "good job" goes a long way!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Remembering Big

Around 100 miles west of our home, across the prairies, into the foothills, and finally in the mountains is where  family history runs deep and my heart lies. Our cows are taken out there in June and pushed up high in the hills to grow fat and sassy. They'll wander down in the fall when it starts to get cool, ready to come home.
The range has been in the family for years. My heart grins that my daughter will make her own memories there, and hear about the memories of her family's past.
Stories that are vividly remembered and told over and over because history is so important to us. Stories about when her great, great Uncle was riding along with his five year old Bobby, in the bush, they came across a creek and the little guy said, "Dad, what's the name of this creek?" A reply came, "Well, son, don't   you know this is Bobby Creek!"

The same Uncle was guiding a televised moose hunt, when they came around a bend, onto a creek bed, and stumbled across a grizzly bear. Faster than you could spit, he was off his horse, rifle in hand, and a bear on the ground. When this hunt was shown on TV, it's the one time mom's family was allowed to stay home from church on Sunday and watch the hunt. To this day, these creeks are still named Bobby Creek and Grizzly Creek.
One creek crossing, that's referred to in the family as Wet Socks was aptly named after my Grandpa's  mishap. A hired man found him sitting by the creek, drying out his socks over a little fire, where he'd obviously fallen in while he was out checking cows.
One of the best stories of a trick to pull my Dad has passed along to my husband. After a good, heavy wet snow, give a tree a good boot while you're riding by, and the next guy get's covered in snow.
My mom grew up riding through the range at a very young age. While her love for these parts grew strong, so did her ability to ride a horse. I heard on a few occasions from my Grandpa how good at riding Mom was.

Mom tells stories of my Grandma, bringing five children out in the summer to play and make memories. She cooked huge meals in a little cabin, with no running water or electricity. She would bring her typewriter and sit and clunk away in the beauty of the wild, as there were no extra house chores to do, or people phoning or popping in. 

Grandma had an ability to tell stories about  life. She wrote for most national farm magazines,published several books, had stories that were heard over CBC and Drumheller radio, and many recall her hilarious weekly columns for the Red Deer advocate that would include stories about being 'Out West.' Grandma's stories were never exaggerated, our family simply remember's big! I'm blessed beyond belief to continue to pass down these stories, and am  fiercely proud to be a part of this family.
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