Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cold Cold Cold

Drifting aimlessly
Over the land
Through the trees
And settles
Out on the prairie
As a soft white blanket.
Dark-eyed Junco

Female Purple Finch
Tufted Titmouse


Follow me
So that we can see
Something old
Something new
Best of all
First footprints in the snow.

He blew on the frost on the pane of glass, making a molten pool and a peek hole to see outside. The day was so cold it was coming through all the walls of his cabin. Even throwing another log in the stove didn’t seem to heat up his home. He had layers of clothing over layers and still felt the chill. When he had went outside even the birds were moving slow, digging through the snow looking for food. His breath seemed to freeze as soon as it left his body and just hang in the arctic air.

This was the weather one often welcomed a visitor, just to bide time away and share a few stories. He thought of when he was trapping out west, and all the trappers would follow the warmth of spring, coming out of their mountain lairs. They sat for days telling tall tales and sharing stories of just staying alive. Winter could be harsh, but also gave many time to gather thoughts and provoke memories of time gone by. What had once been a frontier was now full of men seeking wealth and a new land. Many came and a few never left, perishing in the harsh country they had barely heard about.

He was returning to these tall mountains when he fell in love with this prairie he lived in now. He had heard of times when it was so barren of people that one could go months without seeing anyone. Now he could be in a small town in just a short ride. This town was at one time an outpost to protect the People from the invading settlers. Now it was a thriving city, full of settlers who had pushed the original inhabitants away. He felt the spirit of these lost peoples and wished he could have seen some of their settlements that had been there for decades. A few returned to see the ruin of their lands, shocked at how all had changed so fast.

He heard a scratching sound in his eves and felt a sting of cold air come down from up above the rafters. He climbed up into the loft and saw snow on the outside. A sound in one corner alarmed him, being alone for many days. When his eyes grew accustomed to the dim, he could see a tiny squirrel crouched in the corner. He thought about catching it for dinner, but it ran back through the hole. Going down below he grabbed a hammer and nails and went outside to repair this break in his privacy. He felt bad banning this woodland creature from the warmth of his home, but knew it would be more trouble if he didn’t. The squirrel chattered a goodbye as he climbed his ladder. He bid dinner goodbye and decided to go into town for a bit. Laughter filled the air when he told his tale of dinner running away, and filled his heart with joy sharing with others. He relived the story a few times, being carried home on a cold prairie breeze.
Halting our life
To sense all around
Takes only a moment
To share and astound.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Brenda Photo Challenge-Frozen

Walking that little dog

Hold out your hands
And ask for health and happiness
For all those you have met and love
Letting the message be carried away
On a gentle prairie breeze.

Has anyone ever talked you into
Sticking your tongue on cold metal
And then after you tried it
You thought to yourself
Thath not Thunnny.

Yes here in the Midwest it wasn't hard to find things frozen. In fact we are grateful we aren't frozen ourselves. Yesterday I did see some new growth on a gooseberry bush, so spring is around the corner. Unfortunately it could be a rather large corner.If you haven't tried it, try out The Brenda Photo Challenge at :
Sign up as a follower and if the monthly theme appeals to you join in. We all post on the same day so it is fun to see how each of us interpret it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cardinal Rule

This should be done he said
Let us know she said
If you have any problems
What me with problems
Let me tell you
I am still having
A few with you
Perhaps it will end
Someday soon
But until this happens
I will stay calm.
That was my daughter
Speaking Italian to you
I hope you didn't understand
But perhaps got the meaning
That all of us
Don't have that simple thing
That Cardinal Rule
Of loving all we encounter
In our activities and lives
When problems aren't solved.

Yes on Friday will be the fourth repair toward fixing phone and Internet service.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A New Day

Working at getting back to rural living was hard. Often they forgot something while in town and had forgotten how easy it had been to do some shopping. His brother stopped out for a week, just to relive some old memories, and remember the hard work they had put into building their mine. Many were gone, the labor took its toll on their bodies. A few had stayed in contact with him and it was fun to get together with some of their extended family.

Their wives stayed out of what was called shoptalk, for they had only heard a few tales each day, if their husbands had enough energy to stay up and talk. Automation was taking over a number of jobs, but horses and mules that all had their separate personalities had done one big job. One fellow had taken a few of these animals when age made it too hard to keep them working. He had never married so spoke as if these were his children and a big part of his life. Putting them under his wing they ate the best of grains and hay. Two had a particular sweet tooth and enjoyed bread with a little sweet butter spread on it. Many said he had shared his lunch with them many times.

Driving out in a wagon one day, they recognized very few faces that had worked for them. One man had followed in his father’s footsteps and was now a foreman. He told of remembering the huge picnics they enjoyed on the hillside covered in flowers next to the mine. Very little of that was left with expansion and need for space. It hurt to see most of it gone, when that was a memory to relive for all that had came out on this day. Everyone had came from another country to settle in this new land. Many had started out farming, but found a steady income working at the mine worked better to support large families. Some had even left that work to pursue other professions as the towns around steadily grew.

Looking over the area only offered a glimpse at the lives they had lived. Many of the homes were gone or had new families living in them. Railroad expansion claimed quite a few families that had started in the area, never to return to where they started out, forgetting the expanses of the wonderful prairie. Riding back to his home, the conversation slowed to almost a halt as the somber party thought about times past, and friends lost. We should not live in the past he thought, but look into the future. You never could tell what would happen next to this lovely land, but he was sure he would do his best to preserve it. His sister had started a series of stories she was collecting to expand people’s thoughts and ideas of what all looked like before, and the many lives that built this land. A smile went across his face again as he saw his lovely home, an echo of laughter rolling through the meadow from days gone by. Many families had shared the beautiful trails and paths. His hopes that many more would do the same soared through the air, on a gentle prairie breeze.
A moment comes
Just as before
To remind us
Of now and then.