The empty, old house sat silent through the night, content with its current inhabitants.

The sunrise brought the wind, waking up the windmill. It started out slowly, a crooked paddle clicked on the frame.

“I love to move,” the wheel sang, clicking with rhythm, pleasantly at first.

“I can see so much farther than you.” It sang to the house. “Do you want to know what I see?” It didn’t wait for an answer. “They are building a new house on the hill to the east of us. The grass is getting green so I know the cows and the people will come back soon. It’s too bad they don’t fix you up, too. They could at least block your door so the cows don’t go in!”

The wind picked up and mill spun merrily in a building breeze, humming.

A bird lighted on one of the old house’s upper window sills, dribbling white down its side, making it look even more faded.

“At least birds don’t poop on me. If it weren’t for me, there would be no water around here. You never would have been built … our family never would have been able to live here. You know that, right?”

The windmill prattled on about its valuable contributions, most of them from the past. The house tuned it out, enjoying the warming sunshine.

“… and what about that time the bull chased Momma up my ladder? Whew, that was exciting! That mean old critter hit one of my legs so hard, he bent it. Pa built a fence around the house, after that. Remember how Momma built a short fence around my legs and called it the playpen, so she could have her babies outside with her. I loved watching those little ones play in the dirt.”

The old house sighed, windless days were few and far between. Mice and birds may be messy, but they were quiet. The wind hit a lull and it was silent for a while, but it never lasted long enough. Sometimes the days seemed endless with the old mill’s reminiscing. The sun was only midmorning.

“Do you remember the big ones’ names? When they first came, they had different names, but after the babies came, they were always just Momma and Pa, even to each other.”

“I’ve always envied you, you know. You got to be there for their meals, for the births … and the deaths. I could hear some things through the windows and the walls, but you got to see everything, even to watch them sleep. I loved that year they decorated me as their Christmas tree. They held hands and sang Christmas carols to me. It was wonderful.”

The wind died and silence settled back over the yard, everyone basked in the noon sunlight and good memories. Even the inhabitants, sheltered within the house, were content to be still. The house remembered, but did not comment on what a lean Christmas that particular one had been for the family. Yet, the folks had seemed happy enough.

“Remember when Billy climbed my ladder … and fell? There was nothing I could do.” The wind blasted and the wheel clacked crazily for a few minutes. The house wondered why that loose paddle didn’t fly off. Finally the wind let up and the mill became legible again.

“He died.”

The house groaned, as though the memory were weighted. A tiny creak cried from within. The afternoon sun calmed the wind to a gentle, quiet breeze. Again, silence spread over the small plot that had once been a place where children played.

There was to be one last draft that moved the old mill to speak. “Even though Billy died, those were the good old days. I never thought they would end.”

The sun began to set. The wind was dying and the windmill uttered its last thought for the day. “I wonder why they left ….”

The wind died to a whisper. The wheel slowed until even the occasional click stopped.

A remnant of white fluttered in the old house’s window for a moment; waving farewell to the sun, the day’s chattering reminiscence, and welcoming the quiet  return of now.






The Wonder of Water



Bubbling fountains, growing gardens,
Washed-out roads.
Stringy dog drool, solidified litter boxes,
The gifts of power and light.

Liquid diamonds tumble down desert ditches.
Complex Crystals powder-sugar the pines,
Spring rains whisper lullabies by which we sleep.

Lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans
safe within their boundaries.
Deluges, floods, and avalanches
endanger us when they’re not.

Wet and gentle, dripping from a deer’s lips.
Wild and wicked: tearing the Edmund Fitzgerald in half.

Hard enough to walk on,
Deep enough to drown in.

The Windows in My House.


I love a house with many windows. The light flows in. The framed view expands my inner sanctum. The pictures change with the seasons. At times, I want to stay in and observe the bluster from a warm, dry spot. Other times the living picture bids me, “Enter. Live. Experience.”

Every window in my house has a different view. The east portrays the San Isabel Mountain Range and breath-taking, pink and blue sunrises. To the west, I watch deer drink from a blue tub in the pines. The north side shows me the barn and my white horses against the dry, brown dirt. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, to the south, close my days with amazing, purple sunsets.

Friends are like windows. I love the perspectives they bring into my life. I rearrange my paradigms based on their insights, and expand my own thinking through theirs. They see a beauty I had not noticed, or experienced a pain so severe it makes me bleed – and I want to hide in my inner sanctum – but the trust in their sharing is real, touching my soul with the beauty wrought by their personal agony.

We are all windows for others. Our realities are ours alone. Even in our sharing, personalization by the listener changes the reality as it is aired. It is the gift of humans to relate our experiences and perspectives, to share, to grow, and to become … more.

May your house be blessed with many windows.

That First Valentine


That First Valentine

Was there ever a love so deep and so true,
as the one you gave your first Valentine to?
Was there ever a love so kind and so sweet,
as the one who kissed you as you fell sleep?

Remember the one who wiped away tears,
the one you thought would stay through the years?
Remember the warmth that lived in your heart,
that was healing and kind, right from the start?

First loves are the best.

Thanks, Mom, I’ll love you forever.  XOXO

First Pony Encounter


It was a November full moon. The snow was shin deep. I talked two of my little brothers into going outside to play with me after supper. They happily bundled up, thinking snowball fights, or moon shadow-tag, or some such little kid game. I was thinking … there are ponies in the pasture ….

We played in the snow for a while, but it was too cold to pack and too deep to run in. Finally, we ducked under the single strand, electric wire into the horse pasture.

There was a big horse, a black momma pony, and a white baby pony. The adults evaded me like professionals. The baby was curious, happy to be social but petting her was small consolation for the ride I had hoped to get on that beautiful night. (Though I’d never ridden, I watched plenty of westerns in my nine years. I was pretty confident I knew what I was doing.)

Since I couldn’t ride, I thought one of my brothers might as well.  “Hey, Lee. want to ride her?” He was the older of the two, so he had first dibs.
“No. I just want to pet her. She’s nice.” Typical first grader.
“Come on. It’ll be fun.” One of us was going to enjoy a ride on this sparkly night. I don’t know how long it took me to talk him into it. After I did, I didn’t realize what a chunk he’d be to hoist up onto that hairy little back.

In hindsight, it’s amazing the filly let us wallow around on her like she did. As soon as his legs clamped around her little sides, however, she took off like a shot; bucking and running.

Lance and I watched in amazement. Huh. Who’d’a thunk?

Lee stuck on for a couple of bucks and jumps before neatly sliding off, poofing in the snow. The filly kept on going, bucking and running. When she reached her herd, all three disappeared into the woods in a cloud of white dust.

I picked Lee up out of the snow, brushing him off. I had to get him to quit crying before we got back to the house.

Winter Doldrums


The holiday hype and the excitement of New Year’s Resolutions have worn off.  This is where the rubber meets the road. By now, I’ve spent weeks reading on how to re-write my stories so they are marketable (aka: reader friendly).

I know what to do next, but I’m not doing it!  I’m stuck.

Are you stuck? What do you do, to get started back up?


Company’s Coming!

Some of Nina’s and Poppy’s horse friends from Missouri are coming to visit next week. Grandfather has been riding Smokey Joe, getting him into shape and reminding him what it means to let his rider be the boss.

Right now, we are keeping our rides short, to let everyone get into shape a little bit! We have all been enjoying our little outings.

As you can see in this picture, Grandfather and Smokey Joe seem to be getting along just fine.

Heading out

Nina and RaeRae enjoy their rides, no matter how long or how short they are.

As you can see, she and RaeRae are buds.  They both like the riding, but they like to interact by just spending time together, too.

Thank you

Nina and Poppy are looking very forward to their company. It has been many years since we’ve all gone riding together!

It will be great.

What is something that you haven’t done for awhile, but are looking forward to doing?