A good buy and The Visit!
First, the good buy!
After many years in business, my son Hat Dude is closing his online store, Pale Rider Hat Company. He has marked his remaining merchandise way, way down...like wholesale and below. Check it out. You might end up sending me a thank you note for this tip!
And now, The Visit!
I have a hope chest full of photos and memorabilia. No scrapbooks for me. Not that I don't like scrapbooks. I do. It's just that I'm confused on how to organize them. Chronologically? By child? By husband? You see my problem.
I was looking for a piece of artwork in the photo chest this morning and ran across this story of mine which was published many years ago. It's based on a trip over a little-traveled pass in Colorado that my mother and I took when I was a kid. Thought you might like to read it.
I sneezed again as dust sifted up from the wagon floor. My face was so tightly pressed against the rough-hewn boards that I banged my forehead every time I sneezed. But to lift my head meant I might accidentally see over the side of the buckboard the sheer cliffs that dropped off on both sides of the slash of rock used seldom for a road.
My mother and I were going visiting.
We had never gone visiting before. I was born at Lonely Ranch and had never been off it. Father had, but not often; Mother, not in my memory, although I supposed those two people had to come from somewhere. I had never asked and knew I shouldn’t.
I was off those flat, dry, windy acres that made up our ranch now and into the high mountains. Perhaps if Father had been driving, I would be feeling braver. But it was Mother reining the team of horses, driven by loneliness and the rumor of a new neighbor lady with children living a day’s ride from us.
I sneezed again and lifted my head slightly to avoid bumping my nose. The thought entered my head that perhaps it was not the precarious road that made me hide my face but the thought of other children waiting at the end of that road. The thought of visiting.
A buck scampered up the slope and onto the dirt ribbon of road in front of the horses. With one eye over the wagon’s edge and one eye shut tight in fright, I watched the deer prong along, white tail in the air. He showed no fear of us. Perhaps had never seen our like.
We followed the deer a mile more before he leaped off into the trees. More miles passed and I got braver and higher in my seat. I was bolt upright when far down in the valley below, someone waved frantically up to us.
One – no, two tiny figures were running through the pasture towards a house. I knew they were shouting but I could not hear their sound.
“Come here!” their waving arms said. “Come see us!”
The children rushed into the shack and burst out again, followed closely by a woman, apron waving. My mother’s fine foot in a man’s heavy boot stood itself firmly on the brake lever, slowing our descent down the mountain and into their valley.
“We’re coming to visit!” I yelled , standing on the wagon’s seat and holding onto Mother. “We’re visiting!” I yelled again, knowing they could not hear me.
The woman ran into the sod house, then out again, patting her hair into place, apron gone now. The children were hopping up and down, first on one foot, then the other, then both at once.
Myself, I pounded on my mother’s shoulder in excitement.
“We’re visiting! We’re visiting!”
But it wasn’t me yelling this time. It was my mother calling out, her face laughing, her hands blistered from the reins.
Lonely Ranch was almost a full day’s ride behind us.