Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Memory

Thinking about my last post, I thought of so many other things that we loved to do when visiting our grandparents. Others have commented about a horse my grandfather used to own. We called him "Old Tony". He had been born to one of grandpa's other horses, and he was what grandpa called a "jughead". In horseman's terms that means the horse won't amount to much, and won't learn well. Grandpa wanted to put him down, but according to Lonehawk, our uncle, he talked his dad out of doing this.

That horse was trained, and turned out to be one of the best horses grandpa ever owned. He used to amaze people with the things he could do on voice command. He was part quarter horse, and part Morgan (I think), which meant that he was a very big horse. He stood over 17 hands (well over 6 feet), and would often be seen carrying 3 or 4 kids at once. He could climb into, and out of, a pickup without any loading ramp. When loaded with a deer, he could be told to go home, and he would take the deer back to the house without any rider.

We would often go to the field where grandpa grazed him, and call him to us for an impromptu bareback ride. He was in many parades, and even raced a couple of times in the holiday horse races.

He wasn't the only horse that I loved to ride though. My uncle Karl owned what was probably my favorite horse. It was a cream colored palamino looking horse called Flint. The summer I rode him the most, I was 16. I was tanned as brown as any Indian, and my hair was sun-bleached to almost blond. I would put on my moccasins, and a bandanna headband, and would ride all over town. I thought I was very cool. Probably not. Please let me keep my delusions though. :o)

Make some memories. Stick.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Walking the Fence

Growing up, we used to love to go visit family in Southern Utah. There were people to see, horses to ride, rivers to swim and fish in, mountains and hills to walk and climb on, and many other things to do. Today, our children (nieces, nephews, etc.) will complain sometimes about nothing to do when we visit there. Have they lost the ability and imagination that we had, or is there really less to do than when we visited as youth.

One of my favorite things to do was walking Uncle Karl’s fence. It was like a right-of-passage to walk the entire length of his fence-line. You started with the white, log fence up near the house. It was the widest, but some of the logs could be loose and roll when you walked them. Then came the slat fence. It had board nailed flat on the inside that you walked on. This was easier to walk, but it swayed a little, so you still had to be careful. Then came the tall board fence where you had to walk the skinny side of the 2x4 nailed to the back. Finally came the barbed wire fence. This had a smaller log that ran on the inside that you walked on. I learned the hard way what could happen if you fell forward across the barbed wire on this fence. In spite of that, I remember the sense of accomplishment in walking the entire length.

We spent hours hiking in the hills, looking for arrowheads (before it was illegal), pine nuts, animals, or whatever we happened across. We hiked just to explore. We built forts and hide-aways, climbed mountains, and in general enjoyed being kids. If it was hot, we invariably ended up either in the irrigation ditch, or the river, and it didn’t matter if we had swimsuits, or not, usually we just went in clothes and all. The boys tended to fish more as we got older, but even that sometimes took a back seat to other activities.

Granted, today when we all gather, we like to sit and talk--probably not the most entertaining activity for younger kids. Maybe if we were more exciting, the kids wouldn’t complain as much. Tough. Make your own fun. We did.

Walk your own fence. Stick.