Dad's Place on the HillPosted Saturday, December 10, 2011, at 6:10 PM
Dad's place as the sun was setting after the dedication
Our brother, Buddy began an ambitious project to create a place for Dad's covered wagon complete with a gathering place for us all. Many members of the family; siblings, grandchildren and cousins labored at different times to complete this memorial
Mom is able to see Dad's Place each morning as she wakes up. A path has been cleared for her to walk up and sit on a park bench on the sunny days.
Visitors are able to view Dad's Place long before they stop their car in the driveway. To me, it is Dad's way of welcoming us home each time we visit.
The great-grand kids can clamber into the wagon and pretend that they are pioneers, just as my sister Bev and I used to do. They will play "hide and go seek" amongst the metal memories of rusted vehicles and Dad's "Auction Finds".
We siblings can reminiscence about our walks up the hill with bare feet on the scorching ground. We had great adventures in the pastures that surround our newly special place. Bessie and Abby, two of our milk cows meeting us at the top of the hill and walking companionably to the barn to be milked. The times that we dared each other to walk down into the creepy darkness of Old Ben Raymond's basement. Or riding our horses to the abandoned orchard on the Kast property to get wormy apples.
Honoring our loved ones does not have to be a big event or building a fancy structure. It is the simple act of sharing a legacy of memories and examples of those who have passed through this life.
A transformation has come over our family since the loss of our dad. We have grown closer as siblings and each of us has found a way to honor his memory.
Buddy honored our father by creating a place to be enjoyed by everyone.
Jody honored him by building a cross to comfort my mother.
Rick was able to honor him at the memorial service by memorizing his poem, "Growing Up Poor".
Our sister, Bev honors him by being there for Mom when we are not able to do so ourselves.
And hopefully, I am able to honor him by sharing these memories in the form of a blog.
This year, we will each have a stocking hung on the chimney with care. A pocket from one of Dad's shirt adorns each stocking to remind us of the "treasures" that he would bring home from his horse rides.
Dad will always occupy a special place in our hearts. All of us remember the twinkle in his eye as he prepared to tell a "story". We hear his counsel when we are making decisions in our daily lives.
And best of all, when the world gets a little too noisy or combative; we have "Dad's Place on the Hill to spend a quiet moment or two.
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Walking the Fence Line
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.