December 27, 2017
I am spending the Christmas holiday in Durango, CO at my daughters. I rode up with my son and his family. As usual we have had a wonderful holiday. The children received gifts beyond their imaginations and have behaved beautifully. Amidst all the hoopla and celebrations I have managed to get some writing done. A sentence here, a paragraph there, sometimes a whole page at one sitting, but pleased to be moving forward.
Today, my daughter had to go back to work, my son took his family on various outings and adventures and I stayed at the house and wrote. They came and went throughout the day. The words flowed through my fingers and the current chapter grew and grew.
Naptime came for the girls and I stopped long enough to give hugs and kisses. Then back to flowing words. An argument between two characters developed. Then a fight.Then an explosion of emotions. Then a traumatic turn of events and the chapter was finished.
I WROTE A FIGHT SCENE! I NAVIGATED A TURNING POINT IN THE STORY!!
I FINISHED THE CHAPTER!!!
I put my computer down with a satisfied happy sigh, turned to share my great news, and no one was around. The house was completely silent. Where was everyone? Had they left me? I sent my daughter-in-law a text asking, “Where are you?”
“I’m outside cleaning out the truck.” I went to her to find out why I had been left behind only to discover (much to her laughter) that my son had told me he was going upstairs to get the girls to nap. I didn’t respond. Just kept writing. My son-in-law was upstairs on his computer. I didn’t respond. Just kept writing. She had told me she was going outside to clean out the truck. I didn’t respond. Just kept writing.
I was completely oblivious. Never heard a word. I found out the family had been laughing about my oblivion the whole time we had been here. They would speak to me and I’d not respond, but my fingers kept up their tap taptapping.
So tonight we are going out to eat at my treat! I have the best family ever.
December 13, 2017
My favorite memory of Christmas in Oklahoma when I was a little girl was the fact that Santa Clause came to our house while we were awake. We didn’t get to see him, but we heard him. When it was about time for Santa to arrive the adults and older kids would send all the children (and there were always a bunch) to the far back room where we would wait in extreme anticipation. One of the teenagers would escort us and stay with us cautioning us to be quiet and listen for the bells on Santa’s sleigh. We’d hear them tingle from far away and they would come closer and closer and get louder and louder. Then his big booming voice, “Ho, HO, HO, Merry Christmas” would ring out from outside the window and, if it had snowed, we’d hear the crunch, crunch, crunch of his and his reindeer’s feet in the snow. I would get so excited I’d think my heart would burst. Then we’d hear him in the house talking to the adults and hoping Mom or Dad wouldn’t tell him of any bad things we had done. After the “Good-bye Santa. See you next year” had died down the door would open and the stampede would begin. When we got to the living room Santa’s cookie plate held only crumbs and his milk was gone. Our stockings were full of apples, oranges, nuts, and bright colorful ribbon candy. Under the tree were delights beyond the imagination. For me, I would often find a beautiful new doll.
My children experienced the more traditional Santa that came while they were sleeping. We always left cookies and milk and sometimes a carrot for Rudolph. The one thing my kids insisted on was that we had a gift for Bandit, our dog. He always got a new chew bone. No matter how old the kids became Santa always came. As they got older, for several years we would go as a family to the movies on Christmas afternoon. A few years ago we went to Colorado for Christmas and that started a tradition of going to my daughter’s house in Durango for a white Christmas.
April 23, 2017
Spring is my favorite time of year, especially this year. I had a tough winter. Everything in my life halted. Actually, my life came to a screeching halt. But, by the time I pulled myself back upright spring arrived. A time of beauty that lifted my spirits. A time of freshness that pulled me out of darkness. A time of new beginnings that once again opened my eyes to new opportunities.
So, I blew the dust off my computer, cleared the cobwebs from my head (or most of them), wiped the tears from my eyes (or most of them), and put my fingers back on the keyboard. There is, however, an old saying that says, ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it.’ I’m finding this to be true. My words are stuck. The stream is clogged with old enemies. Self-doubt. Fear. Frustration. Large boulders block my progress. ‘I can’t do this.’ I don’t know where I’m going.’ ‘I can’t think.’
I want to hear the beauty of my words rippling over my enemies making them smooth pebbles and sliding like silk ribbons of water around the boulders that threaten to block the song my words sing to me.
Then spring’s beauty settled over me like a warm blanket. A road I travel often greeted me with beauty and freshness as I went about my business. My heart whispered a little tune and smiled again.
I looked for things to reset my filters. To provide me the mindset I needed in order settle back in the time and place where Will and Buck live. I realized how much I had missed them. I had shut the door to their space.
So, I looked out the back door and there was the key. My space! And Will’s and Buck’s space, patiently waiting for me.
The elements I needed were all around me. All I had to do was look. The elements of Will’s and Buck’s lives are everywhere, even today, long after their time has past. The soft lowing of a momma cow for her calf, the little fellow’s tail swishing like a flag as he downs his supper, the curious bunch of heifers that come to the fence to see what I’m doing as I hang clothes on the line, a neighbor’s herd of Longhorns grazing among the wildflowers, all these things speak to me of a long ago time when boys like Will and Two Feathers lived on this land.
Now, it is up to me to listen for their words, to listen for the song they sing to me. I hope I’m worthy.
December 1, 2016
I stepped out the front door to get a picture of the vibrant sunset that spread its deep blood red and dark rusty burnt orange over the treetops across the road. While I stood there admiring the fading colors in the sky there must have been a train approaching because all of a sudden coyotes in the woods south of me set up a wild chorus of yipping, barking, and howling. Each voice was different and there were several in the pack because the chorus rose in a swell as the volume and pitch increased. Then I heard the train blow its long deep whistle and the coyote song faded with the color in the sky. Only the sound of the train whistle remained as the train rattled and clacked past the house.
November 7, 2016
All my life I’ve heard tell of how women would greet friends and spend time visiting and enjoying a little gossip over their backyard fence as they hung out their wash. Surprisingly, hanging out my wash on the clothesline is something I truly enjoy. I like to hear the birds singing and I really like to watch the buzzards circling overhead. It is amazing to me how long they can go without any wing beats.
Anyway, I seem to be drifting, like those big birds, from my topic of the ladies and their clotheslines. This afternoon I went to the backyard with my wash and the “ladies” of the “four-foot” variety, being the curious creatures they are, came to see what juicy tidbit of gossip I had. I informed them that the wayward few that had managed to wander into the next pasture would soon be back in their midst. They just stared at me with their doe-like eyes and switched their tales and soon ambled off to the water trough. I guess my gossip isn’t very interesting.