Foggy Winter Days Descend On Juniper Canyon!

Foggy winter days descend on Juniper Canyon…ranging between gloomy gray days and more gloomy gray days!

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Between freezing fog, icy roads…cold temps and snow…winter has arrived in the North Country!

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This year I decided to fight the gloom instead of succumbing to the dreariness at hand. Thanksgiving week reminded me to make my yearly list of gratitude and blessings to share at dinner on turkey day.  The day after Thanksgiving, I thought why not keep my gratitude list going…remembering good stuff and good times while adding them to my “Christmas Cheer and Twinkle List.”

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 “And I’m making my list to see who was naughty or nice..and I’m checking it twice!” Ok I’m snickering and I hope you are too. It’s more fun to remember the silly times, the good times…and the heart of your memories that only you can share…I love it! Makes me laugh and cry at the same time while keeping a heart full of country cowgirl gratitude.

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I’m thankful for my life and the many blessings in my life…ten years on 2-9-2016…get your mammogram!

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My first blessing of gratitude is my hubby….I love “Wild Bill” and appreciate him everyday. I am blessed to be his and to call him my soul mate, husband and best friend:) He always makes me smile:)

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“I’m coming Melody…hang on”…as I am slip sliding down the hill to feed her breakfast. I love each of my horses forever, once they come to live with me, they are my forever horse…and I love my Melody. I am thankful for all my horses and having the privilege of riding horses all my life while growing up on a cattle ranch.

Dad and I Herding Cattle

I thought everyone had a cattle ranch as a kid…eventually, I came to realize how lucky and blessed I was to experience life on a remote cattle ranch. Without radio, television or any kind of civilization, ranch life taught me a lot of life skills of survival. You learn to think outside the box…when its you and often you alone…you learn how to problem solve as you have to figure it out.

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During the summer and fall months, I grabbed on to each day to ride for cows with my Dad…and almost everyday we did just that…25,000 mountainous acres and 800 head mama cows with babies and several head of bulls…kept us busy all summer and fall.

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Each day that I look out our windows, I love our log fence…yup it’s a keeper…its great for capturing interesting views year round! I love the look and it fits this old ranch house!

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I love my 60′ round corral with nice sand footing…and our barn cats give it a four paws up on their 60′ litter box!

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And then there is our “Tucker Watch Girl”…she can be very serious! She is such a blessing to us as she is always waiting for us and follows us where ever we go!

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Tucker is in the back of the Aussie pack and bashful…then Kiah as she is in front of Tucker…then Dasher who is in front of Kiah…and in the lead is Mr. Auzzie….all four of our dogs in this photo are rescue Aussies…we love them each individually and as a pack…they are amazing dogs, super smart and so loved:) By the way, Kiah is half-sister to Ellie, our sweet two year old girl!

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And then, there are horse’s soft noses:) Nothing like their breath mingling with yours…and their smell is truly heavenly…sounds silly unless you know this horse owner fact too that, cleaning a horse stall does not smell bad at all! Horses are blessings to the heart and soul…and they give me peace with lots of happy smiles. When I get on my horse, WB says I get this little girl smile on my face of pure joy:)

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And my Minnie Mouse…she was beautiful in heart and spirit…she knew when you were sad and she knew when it was time to celebrate…she was with me for almost 20 years. She crossed the rainbow bridge a bit over a year ago…it was incredibly hard. I am thankful for every year of her sweet life and for everyday that she was with me, she was my kitty girl and wherever I went she was with me. She was an incredible kitty girl…I was blessed beyond imagination:)

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Back to my round corral…I seriously love it! I appreciate the hard work WB and our cowboy son Curt put into building it for me. I will do a post on that someday soon!

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I am thankful for the blessing of Ellie…she makes me laugh every day and is full of love with lots of heart. She walked with me through sad times and grief when I lost Minnie…she was gentle and loving during our hard days. I’m sure Minnie asked God for a helper knowing how hard it would be for us when she crossed the rainbow bridge and Ellie Belle is my helper and so much more…she is my buddy, my joy and my heart:)

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The gloomy gray days of fog can only be gloomy, if we choose them to be. Instead I smile, bundle up in my Carhart’s grab my camera and head out to find something to photograph. Whether I am inside the house or outside, I seek to do things that make my heart sing! Inside the house I often crank up my tunes and dance…wood floors make it super fun too:)

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Smile…click click click…gotcha!

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We are blessed to call this spec of earth our home…especially with shots like this:)

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Being grateful is one of the best gifts we can give to ourselves…loving what we have instead of what we don’t have…if we can focus on the positive instead of the bad…the good more than the bad…we’ll find peace and smiles…

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Wishing you all a warm week and weekend ahead…we have snow, freezing rain, winds are blowing and its cold! I need some tea or eggnog to warm up:)

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It’s time to decorate the Christmas tree…Ho Ho Ho…HRCG Over And Out For Now…But Never For Long:)

A Quiet Reverence Of Snow…

A quiet reverence of snow falls softly on the land…as life holds its breath.

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There is something about snow falling out here in the middle of nowhere that brings a silence of holiness…as time seems to stands still.

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Silence fills your heart with purity as the small white flakes fall quietly around you.

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The silence brings sad memories too of loosing my sweet kitty girl, Minnie Mouse a year ago yesterday…

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While I know she is safe and someday I will see her again,

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I miss her presence and her sweet spirit…

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Her beautiful green eyes and her kind kitty girl heart.

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Tonight as I write it is super cold, with icy roads and fog that drifts in and out of our canyon.

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Old memories come back each holiday season as I miss the loss of relationship with family and miss those who are no longer with us. I miss the old days…and the old ways.

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I hope that you all have a wonderful turkey day tomorrow, with lots of good stuff…new memories, good food and always lots of laughter. The second turkey we cooked on our Traeger….oh my, it is darn good! Whoo-Hoo and so easy too! If you don’t have a Traeger yet, get one as they are worth it!!! Everything you cook on them is absolutely delicious!!!

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“Happy Thanksgiving” From “Wild Bill and HRCG”…

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“And Our Gang!”

Skies Of Glory…God Of Light!

Skies of glory was incredible to capture…I hope you enjoy the photos!

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It all began Friday morning about 7:30 when the sky colors and odd clouds caught my eye…

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I looked out while grabbing my camera!

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No time for shoes…thankfully it was already 58 degrees!

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The colors and clouds kept changing…it was calm here but there was turbulence above in the clouds…

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The majestic light of Heaven was shining through the clouds with iridescent amber colors…

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And the word “Glory” was on my mind…”Shekinah Glory.”

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As the sun slowly climbed out of his bed…

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He peeked out at my camera and beamed his bright golden rays of light, for a beautiful day!

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May you have a “Glorious” Weekend Wherever You May Be!

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“I miss you much my sweet kitty angel girl!”

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Psalms: 19:1

Remembering My Dad…

Remembering my Dad!

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I’m a bit late in posting this, as I was nursing WB last September with his recovery from surgery a few days before the article below was in our local paper…read the 50 Years Ago in the Days Gone By below.

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50 years ago may seem like a long time ago but, vivid memories rush back to me of Round Up and my Dad!

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Dad was the President of the Round Up when he turned 50 on September 17, 1964 during the second day of the rodeo…and he was pleasantly surprised with a birthday cake in the picture above.

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He loved Round Up week as it was the one week a year he took for his vacation from the cattle ranch…

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Dad was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 1990…he was known by the cowboys as the “Cowboy President”…

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Dad lived with a fused knee or stiff leg from a football injury during his senior year of high school…they didn’t have penicillin back then. Instead he was in a body/leg cast for a year in a hospital in Portland, OR. Without penicillin, they operated on his leg several times that year to literally scrape the infection off his leg bone.

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He lived his entire life with sepsis knowing it could flare up unexpectedly anytime. Mom gave him penicillin shots to stop the infection…but often he ended up in the hospital, where he fought it like a pro football player that was MAD! Dad wanted to live his life fully with Mom and I, he fought hard for that!

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Dad on my mare Lottie in 1986, he was Grand Marshall of the Westward Ho parade. I spent the summer riding Lottie every night out into the hills around the ranch with the serape you see on Lottie’s hind end. We ran and loped with that serape flapping on her flanks for months…didn’t want any spooks on parade day!

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Dad never ever complained to me about his life…I never realized he was handicapped with his leg until I was in my 30’s…he did everything in life…riding for cows in mountainous country…roping calves, swinging down off his horse and moving as fast as he could in local rodeos…he was my hero…Mom was my second hero!

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I grew up riding behind Dad in the mountains…I can still see his right elbow on his hip riding along with me behind him…

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He was focused on the cows but he always kept an eye on me to be sure I was safe. In time I was trusted with going off and gathering on my own. But Dad knew where and what and how long it should take me. Our summer cattle range was 25,000 mountainous acres.

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Dad, in his element…on his mare Gypsy in the Pendleton Round Up arena.

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And me in my element with the life I grew up in and still love today!

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Dad was the real deal…I thought of him as John Wayne, he did things with honor and with truth…he worked hard in his life, not allowing his leg to get in the way…he taught me to be tough, by never giving up!

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Family honor and family respect…being honest, no lies was the only way to live life in Dad’s book…and forever seeking the best for others and not yourself.

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When Dad stepped into heaven on October 9, 1997…I saddled up in “Dad’s” saddle a few days later…

And rode out into Dad’s homeland…

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I am thankful for all that my Dad taught me…

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With life and wisdom…

 I miss you forever and love you for always Dad…and I will always be your cowgirl daughter:)

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Let ‘er Buck Pendleton!

In The Golden Light Of Life…I Fall Forward Into Fall!

In the golden light of life,

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I fall forward into fall!

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Each year I go through a time of transition between the glorious long days of summer…

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Into the golden surreal days of autumn.

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Memories wash over me…as time passes on…

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We do what we ought of instead of doing what we want…

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Time passes by and people pass on at the drop of a tear…

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And as a warm fall breeze washes over me, it stirs,

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My heart with sentimental memories…tears flow easily as I ponder the whys, whats and woulds…

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Quietly my wind chimes call me back to the present…

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As I fall forward into the season of fall…with a heart full of both grief and gratitude.

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Wishing You A Beautiful Fall, Full Of Autumn Colors Wherever You May Be!

Remembering Our Loved Ones….

As the golden river of life gently flows on…

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Family history is a living breathing life that is passed on one generation to another…often filled with colorful memories and traditions of family heritage.

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Memorial Weekend is a time of gratitude for those who fought to protect our freedom and to protect our American life.

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It’s a time of reflection…a time to honor those who went before us, who made our life better with hard work and sacrifice.

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The last few years I began sorting boxes and memories of almost a hundred years stored in our home…each box took me back, like a historical time machine.

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When I was 34, Mom gave me a big box of letters written by her parents when they were courting in the late 1890’s. Writing was the only way they had to stay in touch and that is what they did. Their letters and love notes are full of young love, sweet tender words that speak to your heart…priceless. I hope to put them into a book someday, as they tell of a time in America we could not imagine…and they share a sweet story of love.

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Our house was built by my Norwegian Grandfather for his mother, my Great Grandmother Anne Marie, who was still living in Norway. The house is what I call a typical craftsman farm house built in 1920 and a mansion then,  as it has about 3800′.

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I have always loved living here…the old house to me is a peaceful sanctuary…it speaks deeply to my heart of family honor and love. I have been asked many times what is it like to live in the house you grew up in?

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For one thing, after WB and I were married and living here, I knew exactly where to put things:) I can predict the weather and tell you what the sky means…I know the neighbors by their exhaust…and I cherish every memory that I carry from growing up here with my parents…and moving here with my husband WB…and we are yet making “our” memories:)

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When we pulled the carpet up off the old wood floors, there was worn stenciling on the floors…the foot paths were very evident and I could see and feel where my ancestors walked!

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 I spent a few weeks on my hind end scooting along the floors, pulling the carpet nails out before we refinished it, with a box of kleenex and lots of tears. It was profound to know that your family, walked right there!

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This is home to me…a small place on this vast earth where I walk in the footprints of those who went before me…this is home.

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I give thanks to God for my family and especially my Great Grandmother, my Grandparents and my parents…my family and my heritage.

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May you be blessed with good memories and good stuff this Memorial Day!

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HRCG is over and out with Ellie and WB!

Time Has Come Today

“Time Has Come Today” drifts in and out of my mind as I fall into a time warp…I’m listening to music that wrapped itself around my life and my heart during my high school years…Gloria…The Rapper…Wild Thing…Time Has Come Today…tunes that take me back to old times…and old memories.

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I’m not sure why I am writing about the 1960’s and 1970’s…the words tumble out as I write and the memories come back fresh as new. I was an impressionable cowgirl at heart, who loved her parents, loved her horses, loved her family and loved her country, during a time in life when our world was in turmoil.

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America was at war in a foreign land called Vietnam and yet also with itself in many ways. It was a time of fear, rage, war, confusion and changes that had never occurred on American soil in our lifetime…it was a crazy time in American History to grow up in, as the world was upside down…life was precarious and America was changed forever.

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American youth did not know what to make of going to war, let alone a draft number. If your draft number was chosen, it was ultimately scary as you had no choice but to go…we could not vote but we were sent to fight a war in a foreign land that we did not understand. We could shoot and kill the enemy…only to be shot down ourselves with enemy fire…coming home…dead in a box…none of us understood what war hell was and we did not know what to do.

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Many of us, like myself, supported my parents generation and World War II, I had heard the stories and seen the reels of American war history play out in US history classes. I had uncles who fought in Normandy as well as D Day and Pearl Harbor…and I knew friends and cousins who either enlisted to go to Vietnam or had their number called in the draft to go to war.

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Growing up in a very small community…I went to a small school that included all 12 grades with the same 8-12 kids in my class…we were close as our small classes felt more like family, and some were as I had cousins in every grade when I was in school, all the way through! My class it seemed had the luck of the draw, as we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the 1960’s.

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We began High School in 1967…we had hopes, dreams and plans for our future. Our biggest fear was Freshman Initiation…and that was a very scary deal! Our initiation lasted for a week…my Junior initiator, (eventually became my boyfriend, he was lucky as we did not have many boys to choose from), chose for me to be King Kong (did I say real lucky) on the first day which entailed having brown grease paint smeared on my face and on every part of my skin that showed…I had to wear a dark brown sweatshirt with dark brown tights…and they put gunk in my long red hair! It was a crazy week as each day was different…one of the days we had to roll a jelly bean across the floor during noon hour blind folded so the entire high school could watch us! The last night, which was Friday night, we were blind folded and one at a time we had a dozen eggs cracked over our heads in front of the entire student body and faculty…as the night wore on after the eggs, we had to crawl around outside on the grass and be blasted with cold water…it was part of tradition…it was part of the deal!

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Life was intense back then, but we stood together as a nation, one nation under God, indivisible with justice and liberty for all. We had Vietnam and rebelling against society…I was a rebel without a clue, and I was not very good at that thing called rebelling. I did not know anything, except that life was changing. I knew there was a horrible war overseas that we had never heard of called “Vietnam”…and we could not vote in an American election until we were 21 years old. Many young men and women went to “Nam”and did not come home…and I wondered, “Why can’t we vote?”

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As I walked in the door after school each day, I heard David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite reporting how many casualties we had in Vietnam today…how many young American men and women died…showing graphic images of war that was very real…and terrorizing! Our American youth were dying in a foreign country and we could not vote in America until we were 21 years old…yet we could be drafted to fight in a war we had never heard of. It scared me as I knew some of those who enlisted or were drafted…it was incomprehensible in my mind that so many young Americans were being killed. As the daily TV news reported and played the photo journalists video with their daily shots of the life and war…we saw deeply traumatizing photos of people, children and old people fleeing the war while being shot down…nightly news was war hell and it gripped your heart deeply.

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I was safely locked up on a cattle ranch….(thankfully) for my own good! I listened to Wolfman Jack if I could pick him up at night…we did not have electricity or running water…we had one portable AM  transistor radio that could pick up stuff at night sometimes…(we did not have FM back then or satellite)…I can still hear it crackling, fading in and out. And if I couldn’t get Wolfman that night, then Dad had Ira Blue coming in and out all night…and Mom lived between her 16-year-old daughter who now fashioned herself as a cowgirl hippie and her husband who was John Wayne and keeping an eye on his only daughter with a grrrrrr!

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I did not turn against my country and I never turned against my parents or my family. Mom and Dad and I could always talk even if we were all a bit perturbed…we did not yell at each other…we would not talk until we cooled down and then we would talk and seek to resolve the problem. I am sure that the late 1960’s and 1970’s put my parents to the test at times with all my questions. I am a seeker as I want to know everything, the facts and the why, what, when and where or explore the hows and whys in order to find a solution…and ultimately understand the reasons.

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America had subtle signs back in the 1960’s and early 1970’s…but no one thought America would turn on itself

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We lived through President John Fitzgerald Kennedy being assassinated, I was in grade school and his public death was the first time I saw death. I worried why this happened…as America is safe right? But our President was shot in cold blood so how could America be safe? Our nation grieved deeply…we were a nation in deep mourning and shock.

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We cried when we saw a young first lady with her young children mourn the loss of their husband and father…we as a nation could not make much sense of how it all happened…but we as a nation stood tightly together…we knew we were now on a new road.

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Vice President Lyndon Johnson took President Kennedy’s place, as our nation was thrown into turmoil…he became our President during one of the most confusing times in history…riots, war hell, American lives taken and America itself was at war with it itself…nothing was sacred anymore!

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Five years later, the shocking assassination of Martin Luther King on April 4th, 1968…I was with my boyfriend at the time and we both heard it at school as we walked to the library after school…I was working on a historical debate! We were shocked…another assassination…and why? During my debate the next week, I spoke out as we grieved another loss of life…and two months later Robert Francis Kennedy was shot dead June 6th, 1968…he had visited our small town a month earlier and enjoyed breakfast with locals that I knew. I had followed him in my government class  and I was supporting him.

On June 6th I was spending the night with girl friends, school was out and we were celebrating…my freshman year was behind me, and I was about to ditch my glasses as I was getting contact lens…whoo-hoo!

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It was close to midnight when we heard their Mom let out a sound that was not right…we ran to see what was wrong and stood speechless as we watched RFK being shot down and the life and hope go out of him. He was a family man with kids…this cannot be happening again…no way…is nothing sacred anymore? And Vietnam raged on as now America was at war with itself!

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President Johnson tried to do right, but gave up after 5 years in office in 1968…and we elected a new president.

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President Richard Nixon took office as Johnson headed home to Texas. Nixon was a family man who was respectful…he wanted to end the Vietnam war, bringing home our troops…and from the get go, he sought to do just that.

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Nixon began withdrawing troops out of North and South Vietnam. America had a glimmer of hope and then…Kent State riots and shootings happened on May 4th, 1970…it was the end of my Junior year in high school. Mr. Keller who taught our government class, found a small black and white television for us to watch the riots and history, live, unfolding before our eyes. Four students lost their lives that day at Kent State, two of which were not involved in the riots…when the shooting stopped, many more students lay injured.

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 In 1973 Nixon signed the Paris Peace Accords, which basically ended US involvement in the Vietnam war and the protests in America came to a formal end. However, the memories of Vietnam and Kent State echo in American culture and U.S. society…and they yet echo in my mind and my heart.

As peace was slowly restored to our nation, something called Watergate was in the news for months…wire tapping and spying…what is that and what is happening…it sounds like a Mission Impossible episode! “What did you say? Nixon is in on it too, as well as his cabinet and top aides? Water what?” Sounds bad…and yes it was.

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President Richard Nixon resigned August 8th, 1974…I was nine months pregnant at cow camp in the mountains, with Dad’s black and white TV hooked up to antennas on top of trees and up on top of mountains so we could watch the world news.

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I remember holding my bulging belly watching as Nixon resigned and I thought “WHAT?!” A month later on September 8th, 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon…and I delivered a son.

Life was not rosy in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but America still had dignity and respect…morals and values…with civility…honor and regard for our fellow-man. We grew up being taught to value and respect our parents and elders…even if you had to go scream in a pillow! And, yes I did that too, all of us did back then! We were taught to honor the lives of our elders and parents with value and respect for the sacrifices they made for us…and that is why young people who “could not vote” went to Vietnam to fight for our country…to fight with dignity and honor for America…to fight for us!

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America as I knew it, evolved into our present America…which is nothing like it was when I grew up in the 1950’s – 1970’s. It saddens my heart as I know we can never go back to the good old days. Life has changed and the world we once knew is now American History…and those of us who are still here…well, we try to remember the good times and the bad times…with dignity and respect for the price our fellow Americans paid for us to live…and to be free…and we move on.

I hope that the United States brings back American History and American Government to our schools…we have had several young employees who have never heard of Pearl Harbor. It makes me ill and sickened that our youth today are not being taught the old ways…the ways that bring gratitude, respect and appreciation for those who went before us…those that paid the price for our lives, giving us freedom and respect. My parents taught me, if you choose it, it is your choice and you will suffer the good or the bad…you made your choice, go lie in your bed. Yep…that was how I was taught and learned from my parents and from my aunts and uncles…that is an honorable life…and we honor our history and our heritage with respect, honor, love, civility and love….

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Do I support our troops….you bet….Amen! I respect those who fight for our freedom and stand firmly for America!

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I will forever stand with our troops and with God for America. I am a 100% born in America American and I will fight for our lives…I will stand firmly!

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