Days Of Summer…Old Time Memories And Country Life

Days of summer…old time memories and country life…summertime is one of my favorite seasons here in Juniper Canyon. In early June the fields of wheat are lush green…we hope for a few June showers to water the crops and before we know it July takes over…usually with hot temps, today it’s 95 degrees, with a hot breeze blowing that dries the crops out as they go from green to an amber golden color. This is exactly where we are right now with harvest coming up soon.

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Tonight, as the golden twilight falls, long ago memories drift gently through my heart…I can hear the sounds of little girl giggles and make believe imagination as I rode my white horse Prince around the ranch…or ran through the sprinklers…and if I was lucky a couple of cousins would be visiting!

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The air is warm and ever so still…our canyon breeze seems to have settled for the night and in its place…country silence. I can hear a hawk occasionally making his twilight hunting sounds along with the owls up on the hill behind us…as coyotes howl across the horse pasture while in the near distance their relatives answer back…setting off our dogs. A typical warm summer night in Juniper Canyon…and life as I know it.

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Harvest is in the air and on everyone’s mind…old memories of growing up here, takes me back to the sounds of harvest and also the sounds of the cattle ranch in the mountains. My cousins experienced more of harvest than I did, as my uncles did the farming here while my Dad managed the cattle in the mountains…however Dad kept me busy riding for cows and helping him on the cattle ranch through the summers…

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Until I was old enough to join my cousins in harvest and drive wheat truck. Harvest was a family effort…one that made you proud and glad that you were a part of bringing the crops in. We made lots of great family memories along with many hysterically funny stories to tell on each other at lunch!

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Harvest will always be about the common bond of family that stretches over a 100 years…in my heart I can see and feel the sacrifices my Norwegian Grandparents made to give us a future and a hope. They worked hard for every kernel of wheat to support their families well into the future with a legacy of hard work and family honor. Family heritage is who we are today and where we came from.

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It is fitting that old memories are flooding my heart as this weekend we had a large family wedding to attend. It was a beautiful ceremony full of love, friendship and a forever and ever love. My cousin’s daughter was the beautiful bride…she married into a family full of heritage and family honor, much like our large family. They will have a lifetime of happiness!

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The thing about good family memories, family history and family heritage, is that those heartfelt memories are the foundation, we as a large family have built our lives on…both in good times and bad times. Our Norwegian grandparents built the good stuff into their children who became our parents and in turn they built the family honor and heritage into us.

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I was blessed to grow up with my cousins by the dozens, and my aunts and uncles who always welcomed me into their homes if my parents were going to be out of town etc.

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Family meant the world to all of us…as we were old-fashioned close…celebrating family birthdays and holidays together…both young and old enjoyed the connection and the relationship.

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I’m not sure how my uncles and my Dad put up with us, but when we worked for them in harvest or on the cattle ranch, we knew it was serious business and we better pay attention! We would try hard to do that but we were kids…and we would laugh out loud about how so and so got their truck stuck or how so and so got in trouble for spilling a bit of wheat but the uncles were not laughing…nor was my Dad when I managed to loose my herd of cows some where up Chimney Creek! Oh the good old days…we still believed in fairy tales and happy endings.

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And this last weekend…we were part of a beautiful love story filled with fairy tales and a beautiful happy ending. Dreams do come true!

28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tina Gregoire
    Oct 26, 2015 @ 17:48:43

    Hot Rod Cowgirl (aka Hippie Cowgirl),

    Love your blog. You rock.

    I recently moved from Seattle to Bend, Oregon. I’m about a year or two-ish older than you. And, I love your blog. I know nothing about the things you talk about, like ranches and horses, but it’s very cool to read your posts. I found your site by looking for photos of horses in Eastern Oregon… don’t remember exactly how I got here but I’m glad I did. I’ve just read (and skimmed) several years of your posts and I love your life. I want to be you.

    I’m a blogger, too. I’m also a painter (just starting up again after 10 years).

    Anyway, I want to use one of your horse photos for a watercolor and maybe for an oil painting… someday. I hope that’s okay with you. It’s just for my own little house in Bend. Somehow, the paintings I made when I lived in Seattle don’t look right… all those tall Doug Firs and sailboats on Puget Sound look weird in a house surrounded by Ponderosa Pines.

    …Well, my house is surrounded by other houses, but I hope you know what I mean. (And, these houses in this part of Bend are really close together. Just the opposite of your abode.)

    It would be amazing if you could let me know if I can use your photo. I’m super careful about copyright. Someday when I become a famous painter… haha… I don’t want you to see my painting and give me H%&*%$ for using your image. If I ever enter the painting in a contest, I’ll give you credit. (I know how to reference your site… I’m a blogger.)

    Fortunately, I’m not that good of a painter, so I probably will never become famous. And, if I do become famous, my paintings never look like any photo I’ve ever used for inspiration… so you might not recognize the inspiration picture. (I’ve tried taking photos of the amazing clouds that float by Central Oregon, but I haven’t taken anything as good as your pics…. just awesome!)

    I will put a link to your site on my FB page and pin a photo from your blog to my Pinterest page… somewhere. Maybe the Baby Boomer pinboard. Maybe somewhere else.

    Tina Boomerina (Gregoire)
    Boomerinas.com

    p.s. You would not be safe and warm if you were in LA. (song reference)… You would just be warm. It’s a scary place to live… I have tried it.

    **** You can take the following part out.

    Please leave a comment to let me know if I have permission to use your photo for a painting. Go to the bottom of this page and leave a comment:

    http://www.boomerinas.com/2015/09/18/27-fashion-tips-we-can-learn-from-twiggy-now/

    Alternately, you can use the email I leave in the form. A comment on Boomerinas.com would be better for me, because I share my email account with a cranky old man (my husband). Joke. I will only use your horse photo for painting reference if you give me permission. Thanks, love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Oct 27, 2015 @ 14:40:31

      Hello there Hippie Cowgirl:) I am honored you would want to use one of my photos…I appreciate your asking me first:) Thank you. Can you tell me what horse photo it is that you would like to paint? Once I know which one then I will release you to do it. We are about 240 miles give or take a few from Bend…I love the beautiful Bend area and capturing photos in Central Oregon is always a huge treat! There is something about the high desert that draws you in….I have to say though that the area is becoming so huge with so many people…sounds funny but neither my hubby or I like to drive in any kind of traffic. We got lost in Portland, Oregon one time pulling a horse trailer with a couple of wide eyed horses in it…of course we two country kids had wide eyes too! Like you I love photography:) Keep working at it as you will capture those incredible storms and weather that Bend has…and hug those mountains for me too:)
      Thanks Much,
      Hot Rod Cowgirl

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  2. Nylabluesmum
    Aug 13, 2014 @ 19:03:08

    Holding on as best I can HRCG!!!
    Please kiss Minnie & Ellie & Melody for me/
    Nylablue had a ruff day today. Cartrophen always tires her out mow…I see it more & more.
    Every day is a precious blessing having her with me…
    Sherri-ellen & Nylablue x0x0

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Aug 19, 2014 @ 20:09:43

      Every day with Minnie is precious to me too…I am hoping Nylablue is better this week….prayers and hugs and lots of kitty loves for Nylablue and hugs and prayers always:) God Bless You Both!

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  3. Nylabluesmum
    Aug 06, 2014 @ 17:35:04

    I agree. I prefer to be a g;ass half full sort of person.
    Some day I hope I can ride again….some day….
    Nylablue sends her love & purrs to you & Minnie….
    Sherri-ellen x0x0

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Aug 08, 2014 @ 21:20:18

      I do believe that when we hold fast to our dreams that they will come to pass:) Minnie, Ellie and me send you lots of love and hugs and purrrs to you and Ms. Nylablue and Suzy Q….know we care lots and think of you:) You and Nylablue are awesome!!!

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  4. Nylabluesmum
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 09:41:51

    LOL HRCG…in my case not sure if I have wisdom or just persistent akak stubborn.
    My fave saying is “Within every seed of Adversity lies the seed of a Greater Benefit”. It is appropos to all things in our lives….Acceptance is really the best way to handle most things.
    I would love to go riding again….**sighs**
    Sherri-Ellen x0

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Aug 05, 2014 @ 12:30:05

      🙂 I think we often have both:) Keeping the glass half full and not half empty helps a lot too:) I hope you do get to ride a nice gently fun horses again too:) Hugs and prayers always for my friend and for Nylablue:)

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  5. Nylabluesmum
    Jul 13, 2014 @ 18:23:45

    🙂 Oh yes so many lovely memories of seeing my first horse & touching him…then riding my first horse…an Appaloosa named Sparky….I rode many horses over the years…my last horse I rode was an Appaloosa named Blue….he was 19 years old & trotted like a young stallion…..
    It has been a very long time since I have ridden & I am thinking about phoning the Disabled riding Academy & seeing what it would cost to go for a ride…..Iit costs alot for cab fare tho’ so I would hope I could find a friend to take me there & back…I would hate to think I will never ride again!!!
    Thank you for the compliment too HRCG. As I grow older I am ralizing just how tough I am!!! I believe that adversity builds character….or either breaks a person….I am one of the blessed ones to turn adversity into something positive.
    Sherri-Ellen x0

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 28, 2014 @ 21:34:43

      I totally agree with you as we are tougher as we age as we have found wisdom:) Turning adversity into a blessing is huge…you are right on with your outlook and with pushing onward:) I wish we lived closer as I would help you ride a horse again:) I know how important that is and how our heart feels when we ride…praying that doors will open for you to ride a horse again:) Yee-Ha GF:)

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  6. Nylabluesmum
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 14:22:09

    Hi HRCG you are a wonderfufl writer…all your blogs have been lovely; this one seemed to just touch my soul on a deeper level..,,maybe I am a cowgirl deep down somewhere, lol.
    You are truly gifted my friend….
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue x0x0

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 13, 2014 @ 18:00:40

      Thank you much my friend:) I am glad this blog touched your heart…and hoping it brought some good memories:) Yep I do believe you have some cowgirl in you as you are one tough lady:)

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  7. philosophermouseofthehedge
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 17:37:20

    Time may pass, but on ranches and farms it seems to stretch forward and backwards endlessly and eternally. A luxury as well as responsibility (even if only felt)
    We didn’t really have harvest – but we did have to work fences and the cattle – get them in shelter before winter storms, find the calves, mules actually can get stuck in the mud during rainy years so you have to find them and convince them to go to the barn even if it’s raining and your shoe keep coming off.
    I know what you mean about picking up the soil and letting it run through fingers.
    Great post

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 08, 2014 @ 22:01:32

      That is so very true:) I do feel the connection to the past behind me and also forward before me stretching to bring that connection to every new generation. I did not do that much harvest either…I got to drive wheat truck for three years and back in those days harvest began the last week of June and we were lucky if we finished by mid August…things have changed with how I experienced harvest. I feel older now when I mention we had pull-combines…we actually used 4 and sometimes 6 of them and we had what we called 2 pusher combines that went faster….but we are talking 1967-1970 for me.

      I have always felt blessed to also know the cattle ranch with my parents each summer. I learned a lot up there and still use it…it gave me a strength and a tough cowgirl attitude that has served me well over the years…when you grow up country you learn to dig down deep in your heart and soul and you forge the way without looking back! I am so much of a ding dong the last few months, I know you told me but where did you grow up again? I think it was Canada? I’m prob way off…but yes I learned to pack fence and to help put it up…and I was always with Dad moving cattle to new pastures for grazing etc. and also good water etc. And in the fall we gathered 1500+ head on a mountainous 25,000 acre ranch…we usually began the end of August and then the Pendleton Round Up in mid-September delayed us as my Dad was very involved in the rodeo from the time he was 2 years old….we would try to have an idea of where the various herds of cattle were during that time and as soon as Round Up was over we were full on into gathering…the cattle drive to winter pastures would begin in less than a month on October 15…and I loved that part! The soil is so alive with our history and heritage….we grew up learning to respect it and to honor those who went before us!

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      • philosophermouseofthehedge
        Jul 09, 2014 @ 08:48:39

        We grew up in east TX. Lived in town as parents taught school, but anytime school not in session we were at the farm – and it was primitive with a bucket and water well. All dad’s brothers (who grew up on a farm) went together to buy land and an old 4 room house which we all (4 families) shared…slept on porches in summer. Eventually each brother saved up and bought their own place. We had the smallest at 62 acres – but we ended up planting pine trees and harvesting those, having a huge garden(with plenty to share) and leasing it out for grazing. My mom, a city gal, had had enough of feeding and doctoring cows at the original place. One of the neatest parts of our place was the old old man down the road who had been born our place – and whose family had been there since civil war times – he would walk with us kids and tell stories – and the stories he had been told as a child. The land was lost during the depression, but he once told my dad, it ended up in good hands which made him happy. Rural life has a lot to offer..so many can’t see past the hard work and dirt, but there’s real there. Enjoy the summer!

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      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Jul 28, 2014 @ 21:46:40

        Hi there:) I did not see your message until now…long story….anyway, I love hearing about the old man down the road….and the stories he told you…that is precious and such a good memory…plus learning the history from someone who knew:) That is so cool too that your Dad’s brothers all pitched in to buy some land and a place to call hoe…you sound like me…as my Mom was a city girl too..and it is so true about rural life…many do not see the past with hard work and dirt…but those who went before us did so for our benefit and also for our life…I do appreciate that as it is so very true! Summer has been good this year…but it seems like it is going so fast…I want it to slow down! Wishing you the same and it is so good to hear from you:) I missed you and everyone who usually drops in:) Hugs and Prayers, HRCG

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  8. Nylabluesmum
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 08:41:57

    🙂 This is one of the MOST eloquent blogs you have written HRCG!!! I felt like I was right there with you on the porch drinking Iced Tea & reminicising…youa re a wonderful orator & I so totally enjoy your blogs!
    The photos always compliment what you’ve written…
    That last photo is breathaking….
    Thank you again for sharing your world with us.
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue ❤ ❤

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 08, 2014 @ 21:22:24

      Thank you so much Sherri-Ellen:) I hope to learn to write that way always to include the reader into the emotions of the story…life:) I love grabbing the pictures to share with everyone as I feel very blessed to live here…and I do not take it for granted:) I was way blessed on that last picture…we were up in the CRP behind the house….so we were above the house…and the light was perfect! That picture is one I have seen many times during summer months…when we were home for a few days from the cattle ranch I would ride my horses out into the fields to exercise them and give them a new experience…and if the light was right and if the atmosphere was good….we would stop and look at Mt. Hood 200 miles away…we often would see Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood…all over 200 hundred miles away! Beautiful to see!

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  9. Marilyn Armstrong
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 08:55:21

    Doesn’t it seem as if the moment you realize it’s summer, that the long winter is finally past, you immediately start thinking about fall? We’re in mid summer and because we (finally) got some rain, everything is blooming, green, and lush … yet in about 8 weeks, the colors will change and fall will be here. Those cycles come faster each year!

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 07, 2014 @ 19:56:10

      Yes…I am seeing that in all of life whether it is a holiday or the seasons or a friendship or or or…time passes by so quickly and things change quickly…so we need to grab the moment now and enjoy each beautiful day of summer, hot or not and we need to enjoy the season…we always sit out on the patio during the summer, just about every night…it is so incredibly beautiful to experience the changing light and the solitude….quiet…and the night comes alive with Elk, Deer, Coyotes, Various Birds, Horsees, Dogs and us country people talking and laughing….I love summer:) I hope you are well and recovering, back to normal hopefully soon….and Gary is doing well too:) Have missed the blog….life this time of year gets crazy for me…to get everything done I need to stay up 24/7 but….but I need my sleep:)

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      • Marilyn Armstrong
        Jul 07, 2014 @ 20:32:51

        It has been a beautiful summer so far. Garry is well. I’m doing okay. I’ll know more at the end of the week after I see the cardiologist. Thanks for asking 🙂

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      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Jul 07, 2014 @ 20:52:06

        Our summer here has beautiful too…much different than the last few years…nice warm days and beauty all around the landscapes. I am so happy to hear you are doing well Marilyn and that you are healing….do please take it slow and easy but you sound great…tell Gary Hello:) Our health is so important…we are learning more on that subject too…I have had bad blood test results…low WBC and low Sodium…and just not good…still trying to get healthy and for me to feel better…and Bill has had back pains…getting older kind of stinks a bit…but like you and Gary we are survivors and will fight for our health care! Please let me know how your check up goes! Prayers and Hugs from Minnie on my lap and Ellie on my feet and Bill watching Antiques Roadshow…and Melody is munching grass outside the window:)

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  10. onespoiledcat
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 03:16:51

    Another beautiful post about a beautiful life in the country…..and the love that permeates every corner of it!!! Hope the happy couple in the wedding have a “happily ever after” – I know that you certainly have found yours……

    Hugs, Pam (and Sam)

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 07, 2014 @ 19:50:16

      Thank you much Pam and Sam:) I hope they have a happily ever after too…they have known each other first as friends and seeing them together, they are a natural fit:) Minnie sends her kitty loves to Sam and Ellie sends her sweetness too….hope your summer is going well:)

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  11. Playamart - Zeebra Designs
    Jul 06, 2014 @ 18:53:35

    your love for your family and the pastoral beauty of the countryside always burns through your posts. one becomes deeply attached to the earth when raised via/a good wholesome life on the farm!

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 06, 2014 @ 19:56:24

      You are so right on:) I know part of my love for my family is that I was an only child…my cousins were everything to me growing up and now too. We are all part of a family quilt…with both good stuff and painful stuff…and seeing so many of my cousins at the wedding was truly awesome to me as some I had not seen for many years…only a few of us stayed here on the farm/ranch…we are realizing that life does go on and we are all getting older…those old connections we all had when growing up are once again very important. And you are correct in seeing the attachment to the earth…the soil means a lot to me…when I go out in the fields and grab a handful of dirt, letting it run through my fingers…I can feel and hear the hard work that was given in order to settle the ground and then farm it…and here we are a 100 years later loving the soil and all the history, the hard work and our family. Sorry to be wordy but you made me think and dig down a bit more:) I always appreciate your comments:)

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  12. Nin Ashmore
    Jul 06, 2014 @ 17:48:41

    Beautiful nostalgic post. What a blessed heritage!

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