Every Once In A While….

You hear a song or a sound that takes you back in time…maybe its a visual image that takes you back to the memories you hold dear in your heart…

Not long ago, I was looking out my kitchen window…

doing lunch dishes and I saw a pick up and stock trailer go by…

Wondered who it was and if they were moving cows…

And then I saw something big come around what we call the big corner, about a half of mile from our house, and another something big followed it around the corner and another and another and another…five semi cattle trucks!

Oh be still my heart…

I was immediately transported back in time…old memories of cattle trucks on their way here, either delivering cows or picking them up…and I so miss it!

I have not seen five cattle trucks come rumbling around that corner since the old Juniper T days when my dad and his brothers ran 800 head of Black Angus mama cows…and it took my mind back to old sounds and good memories…

When I lived on the winter cattle ranch…as June 1st dawned, the first truck came over the first hill with full lights on and dip down into the next hill while the second truck bobbed into sight on the first hill and so on until they all lined up in front of my house.

Lined up and ready to load in the early morning dawn, as one by one they left loaded full of cows, heading for the summer range in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon…

I grew up in those mountains gathering cattle with my dad and also on the winter ranch. We had around 25,000 acres on each ranch…the last summer we were on the big ranch was 1979. In 1980 we began raising 200 head of steers on mountain pasture that we kept until 1992.

That’s when Wild Bill and I hired out to manage cattle ranches with many an adventure on the two large cattle ranches we managed…going from Central Oregon, 35 miles out of Prineville, on the Crooked River. close to Post, Oregon. Draw an X through Oregon and the middle of it is Post, Oregon….post office, store and bar.

And then on to Pinedale, Wyoming where we ran cattle on the high desert close to South Pass during spring months and then moved them to the summer range up behind Yellowstone.

I was one lucky cowgirl that I was an only child as Dad took me everywhere with him to work cows, gather cows, salt cows, fence and develop mountain springs…we often traveled 20 to 30 miles horseback gathering cattle and moving them to new pastures all summer long…we would leave at first light, with frosty dew still on the ground, riding out a few crow hops to wake us up and return home at dusk…horses were tired and we were tired…mom was waiting with a hot meal and a hug…it was a life not many know.

We lived on the outside of civilization…no electricity, no telephone, no people, no TV or radio, no newspapers or mail delivered, no running water…our life was simple. During the busy times, we had lots of help with dad’s family, my uncles and cousins would come to help gather cows or in the early years help fence those 25,000 acres as it was not fenced…the first ten years dad had a fencing crew busy fencing, while we rode for cows…I think we had the better deal:)

I miss riding and gathering cows with my dad and our dogs, the one in the picture is Blue…Dad’s on Bucky, she was one of my high school horses and she loved to crow hop first thing…then she settled and all was fine. Every day we had a new adventure riding out early to check cows and babies, making sure the springs were all working and moving cattle to new areas with better grass…we both loved the cattle and the horses…our hearts beat the same with the cowboy life, loving what we were doing!

Seeing those cattle trucks brought tears to my heart as I remembered the old days…where time stands still.

I watched each truck drive by the ranch…disappearing down the canyon…as those old memories flashed in my mind.

I wanted to walk down to the barn and see the brand inspector, the cattle buyer, if we were selling and most importantly my dad…waiting on me to grab my horse, to help him sort cows.

By the time we had kids, the big cattle ranch I grew up on was gone…unfortunately, our kids did not learn to ride horseback or to gather cattle on the mountain or winter ranch.

Funny how those trucks took me back to old times…back to good memories…how I remember and how I miss it…be still my heart!

Now where is my kleenex! Darn It!

In A Nano Second, A Blink Of Life Evaporates…

In a nano second, a blink of life evaporates…

as it trickles through the hourglass of time.

Sunday dawned a typical day for us..

Wild Bill and I had a list of stuff we wanted to do around the ranch…weekends are our only time to catch up on ranch stuff since we run the shop Monday through Friday…

Summers here are my time to shine outdoors….I love working in the yard, watering, spraying weeds and planting more and more flowers…as well as messing with my horses and of course my camera:)

I love being outdoors every chance I get, carrying my camera along to grab photos during magic time light…

Early Sunday afternoon we were formulating our plan of attack, when I noted I felt light headed…and I noticed life around me was spinning out of control…

I told WB that something was wrong and I needed to sit down…aa I sat, I grabbed pictures of our very loved dogs:) From the far left Dasher, the only boy…then Dottie, Fly Bear and Ellie Belle. Fly and Ellie are full sisters…a year a part. We love our dogs, they are protective, ferocious and loyal…and lots of fun…so full of love for us, as we are their family..and they are ours too!

As much as I tried to shrug it off, I felt sick to my stomach…breaking into a clammy sweat, WB called for help as he thought I was having a heart attack or a stroke.

The paramedics arrived shortly and each one of them took extremely good care of me and also took good care of WB. Once Life Flight landed down at the end of our horse arena, I was loaded into the helicopter, WB was already on the road to the hospital to meet us when we landed. My biggest grief was that the dogs did not know what happened and were scared…I tried to get them in the helicopter with me but…that was not gonna fly so to speak!

The rest is history…lots of tests and luckily for me it was not a heart attack or stroke…instead I was diagnosed with severe vertigo. I saw my Dr. Monday morning, she noted how severe the vertigo was and again she thought I was having a cerebral stroke. She sent me back to the ER for another MRI and more tests, it was vertigo but an intense vertigo…it began Sunday afternoon and as of today it is still going…life continues to spin and I am hanging on tight.

I am very thankful it was not a heart attack or stroke…and very thankful for my Dr., our paramedics, the doctors and nurses who took care of us. And all of our sweet dogs are fine too…just glad to have us home. Ellie is glued to my side:)

As life slowly trickles through the hands of time…

it trickles with prayers of thanksgiving for my life!

“Gwen Shoemaker captured the professional photos of us and Ellie…

 With Lola, our red 1955 Ford T-Bird for our article in the Oregon magazine “1859.”

May you be blessed with a wonderful weekend! As always…Ellie and I will be back…so hang on!

 

 

God Bless Small Town America…God Bless Their Native Son!

Last weekend, we traveled to a small community to attend the funeral of a young man who died too young.

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The graveside service was packed with all ages of the community where he was born and raised…

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They came to pay their respects and to remember this bright young man, who touched their lives with his can do spirit, his fight and determination to live and his heart of gold.

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He was an intense part of their lives, as he belonged to the community and they claimed him as theirs, with open hearts of love and compassion for his family and for those of us who knew him.

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In a time when America is struggling with civility, honor and respect for their fellow-man, we stood together as a community, remembering and sharing our thoughts while we celebrated his young life.

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America whispered hope to me that somber day…there’s still places in America where people are united with honor, truth, civility and respect with Almighty God involved in their lives!

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We are one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

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I saw it first hand in the heart of a small community burying its young and I saw it in the eyes of my fellow Americans, as we struggled to understand why his young life was cut short.

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As we came together that day, no one said anything about republicans or democrats or Obama or Trump or war or retaliation. Instead we stood together, like Americans do, when we’re faced with something we do not understand.

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I pray and hope this young man’s family knows how much they’re loved and their son, grandson, brother, uncle, brother in-law, best friend and friend was very much loved…as we grieve with them.

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God Bless Small Town America…God Bless Their Native Son!

Moments Of Sometimes…

Moments of sometimes…moments of life slipping by…moments where time stands still…moments of life…(written almost four weeks ago)

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The last few days my mother in law has been fighting for her life…

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We wait and hope….pray and know that God is watching over her.

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We don’t know what tomorrow may bring…but we know that today, life is precious and Mom’s life means the world to our family…

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Mom Holton not only became my mom in-law, she became my friend. She taught me how to make spaghetti sauce and how to cook calf fries! She was a special lady with a heart of gold…she was a walking life-book to me and I loved that!

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We celebrated our 25th anniversary in Hawaii with my sister in law’s family and my in-laws. The last time Dad Holton was in Hawaii was a few days after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

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We made special memories with Dad (he is on the right) on that trip, seeing Pearl Harbor through his eyes was bittersweet, as we listened to his recollections of what he saw and what he experienced…

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Mom joined Dad Holton in heaven October 23, 2016 with a big celebration to welcome her home. God gave me an image of Dad reaching for Mom’s hand as she stepped into heaven and they began to dance to 40’s music! They loved to dance and I was told they knew how to cut a rug!

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I have learned that time is fleeting…life is in the moment and if you miss that moment…I am sorry for you.

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Time is much shorter than any of us realize whether you are young or old.

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Death knows no age limits…life is precious as every second of time and every memory is eternal…don’t miss it!

To Everything…Turn Turn Turn!

There is a season, turn, turn, turn…

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And a time to every purpose under heaven!

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A time to be born,

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A time to die…

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A time to plant,

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A time to reap…

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A time to kill,

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A time to heal…

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A time to laugh,

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A time to weep…

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To everything, turn, turn, turn…

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Stay tuned…much more to come…

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Three more verses with photos synced to “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by “The Byrd’s.”

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 “Pat the cat also likes the Byrd’s…I mean the Bird’s!”

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HRCG is over and out with a swish of a very well known tail…my sweet Melody:)

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Along with my Aussie’s sweet picture! I love my girl!

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Have a wonderful “Fall” wherever you may be!

Let ‘er Buck!

Let ‘er Buck 2016!

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The Pendleton Round Up Rodeo is off and running!

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Once again its time to Boot Scoot BOOGIE!

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Its time to Rock…

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And Roll!

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Gotta love those pick up guys who get you off your Wild Ride:)

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Yup…rodeo week is here…its that time of year when you can join in and see people you only see once a year…its a time to celebrate the end of harvest and its time for a rodeo that is rich in heritage…steeped in tradition and full of history…in this small town they call Pendleton.

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Son Greg is following in the footsteps of those who went before him…

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His dad, WB, and my dad, his grandfather, by working in the arena during the rodeo…

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A big job to fill as our arena guys are in charge of fences, unexpected wrecks, livestock with lots of unforeseen issues…

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They work hard to keep the livestock safe and everyone else safe as well as themselves. Photo above is of son Greg going airborne last year…he was banged up but ok!

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Round Up is an amazing week…we all volunteer one way or another…we all grumble that it is too crowded and well grumble grumble grumble…we should leave town for the week…

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Round Up becomes a part of who you are when you grow up here…its in your heart…its in your blood and each year you swear this is the last year but…it calls your heart back home and thats what it’s all about…along with amazing cowboys and cowgirls who get out there and live it by working hard and playing tough!

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And thats it…I’ve lived here forever and like a moth drawn to the flame…I’m home!

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Rock on Pendleton with the Rhythm of Round Up…and Let ‘er Buck!

Golden Dreams Call….

Golden dreams call to me, as the old clock with its steady tick tick tick lulls me to sleep….

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I smile as I remember visiting my Grandma each summer with Mom…

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I loved hearing Grandma’s clock chime on the hour and on the half…ticking its tock, counting the precious seconds in our families lives, for well over a 100 years now. Just think if that clock could talk!

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Mom used to set the time ahead when she had to practice piano as a little girl growing up, in a much different world than today.

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I rest in God’s grace and His quiet peace…as the old memories wash over me.

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The crickets came back early this year with their nightly serenade singing me to sleep…drifting off to la la land:)

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Life is ever changing…we all seem to live our lives dancing as fast as we can…

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And I love the dance but, I do remember a simpler time. How about you?

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Wishing you a “Blessed Easter” week!

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 “May you feel His Presence…and know His Peace…For He Has Risen!”

HRCG over and out for now….

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