The Year that Was 2011Posted Friday, December 30, 2011, at 11:13 PM
The setting of the sun just over the horizon on Thanksgiving. It seemed like a good picture for the close of a year.
As the year comes to a close, I can hear the sound of my friend Susan's laughter. I smile when I remember my cousin Brett telling a story on his mother in his raspy voice. I can see Tom Hall in his pristine pink shirt and cowboy hat bowing to my sister and asking her for a dance at the Decades party in 2009.
I think about Mrs. Walker, my 3rd grade teacher who took me under her wing. She never changed but I sure did. I know that at my parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary Party, she was still visualizing me as a 3rd grader. "Is that my little Bonnie?". She will always have a special place in my heart. Her warm smile and welcoming voice still echoes in my mind.
Some of the highlights of my year concern my grandchildren. KaeLynn has lost her baby face this year, and her legs are nearly as long as mine. I see more freckles on her little nose than I did last year. That always makes me smile and think of her mother's nose with the same freckles and mine too.
I think of Nathaniel and his progress with almost everything he sets his mind to. He can make a stick seem like a $100.00 toy or build fantastic buildings with a few "gears" and blocks. The confidential tone that he takes when he needs to go to the bathroom. "I am waiting for the poop to come out." Or "you might want to leave, it is going to get stinky in here". Or how he lights up a room with his smile and enthusiasm for life.
My little Gavin, whose parents won't cut his hair. The happy little laugh that he has when the dogs lick him. His love for music and animals. His daring to tickle his "Papa's" bare feet while he is napping.
Sigh! Children are so precious. I used to go into my kids rooms at night and kneel down to pray for their welfare. I loved watching their peaceful little faces while they slept.
And then there is the state of the world. It can close in on you with frightening speed and intensity. My friend, Susan used to say, "if you can stand in the eye of the storm and choose Jesus, you will have peace in your heart no matter how dark the hour is."
Oh Susan, how I miss you terribly! I miss your stories and your hugs. Life certainly came to a standstill in July for your friends and family. Now you are in the very place that we would hope for you to be. Having you as a friend made my life richer.
Walking The Fence Line doesn't have to mean that you have barbed-wire between you and your neighbor. It is a simple boundary that both of you can respect. Your cows stay in your pasture and their cows stay in theirs. But if you do recall, there are gates that can be opened, if a person chooses to do so.
A barbed-wire gate can be very difficult to open. It takes some shoulder work and arm strength to make the two posts come together in order that a person can slip the wire loop free. This coming year will be a challenge for all of us. Will we be willing to open our gates and invite our neighbors in?
A barbed wire fence can keep the cows in the pasture but constantly needs repair and maintenance. The barbs are sharp and the wire is stiff and hard to stretch at times. Fortunately, there are tools at our disposal to make the job a little easier---and/if you have a good neighbor; they are more than willing to work along side of you to keep both of your properties well-maintained.
Happy New Year Everyone! The coming year will mean something different to each one of us. A garden cannot grow without tilling the soil, spreading manure and planting the seeds. Weeds must be plucked and each plant will need to be carefully tended and watered. Everyone has a job to do in making the garden productive. When harvest time comes, there will be enough food for all.
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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.