Missing This Life

U3 Ranch Wells, NV

My husband and I were both raised on ranches. We were lucky enough to have raised our children on ranches as well.

I remember when looking at this scene was a normal everyday occurrence. How I miss this life. Being out in nature made me feel at one with it. Breathing air so clean and pure. Hearing cows bawling for their babies . Watching newborn calves bouncing around the field. I miss it all.

There are people who love the big cities. They love the night life, the bright lights, the art museums, the shopping. and multitude of interesting things to do.

Not me. This is who I am. This is where my heart longs to be again. This is my art museum. No one can paint a picture like this but God himself.

Peace and perfection.

Hear My Heart O Lord

Hear my heart O Lord. Be with those who I hold dear in my heart tonight, who are suffering. You know who they are. Heal them if that is your will. Be with them, give them comfort and strength,

And Lord, please give them, and me also, Your Peace that surpasses all understanding.

Thank you.

Philippians 4: 7

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The Day Before

Harriett Wells…The day before she became Mrs. Craig

I found this cool picture of my Mom, and asked Dad if he knew when this was taken.

He said, “I know exactly when that was taken. I took that picture of your Mom the day before we were married!”

Now I know why she looked so happy! But then, she always had a smile.

What a precious picture of my Mother’s last day as a single woman! And knowing my Dad took this picture of her makes it even more special. I would bet she is wearing my Dad’s hat also!

Love this one so much!

Eighty Years

I wrote this poem for my Dad on his 80th birthday. I wanted to share it in remembrance of him.

I have shared many posts about my Dad over the years. I have shared several poems I have written for him as well. This will be my last post in memory of my Dad for awhile. Thank you for letting me share my memories with you honoring his life. It has been therapeutic for me.

There are a few other poems I’ve shared on my blog about Dad, if you would like to look back at them in my archives in “Family/Ranch life.”

1-25-2023 The Hat

1-16-2023 That Old Willow Pole

9-28-2022 Grandpa Cowboy Jim

7-7-2018 The Appy & The Cowboy

Thank you and have a blessed day!

The Greatest Generation

The Legion Hall in Bruneau, Idaho, has always been a special place in my heart and memories. When I was a child we used have the best times there at community dances.

It is also the place where we held the Celebration of Life for Granddad, my dad’s father, Ed Craig on Memorial Day weekend several years ago.

This last weekend, Memorial Day weekend 2023, we held the Celebration of Life for Jim Craig, my father, in this same hall.

Bruneau Legion Hall

Dad was born and raised in this little ranching community that he loved so much. Dad was 96 years old when he left us. The majority of his family (Aunts, Uncles, Cousins) and old friends had already passed before him.

We knew my Uncle Bob, Dad’s brother, and Aunt Leona would make it, if at all possible. And he did, in spite of dealing with his own health issues, as well as most of his kids. Most of my and my sister’s kids also made it. We were pretty sure there would be a few Bruneau people there also, but we weren’t expecting the crowd that showed up. Dad touched so many lives. A lot of the children of his lifelong friends were there. This little community Legion Hall was full to overflowing with love and respect for our father. We love you all!

I had a few other cousins, who traveled many miles, that made it also. I learned afterwards that two of Dad’s cousins, Cleo and Leroy, were also there. I regret not being able to visit with them and tell them how much they meant to Dad. But I know they already knew that.

It’s hard to tell all the stories of a man’s 96 years on this earth. There is just no way. People told us stories of our Dad this day that we had never heard… and some that we had.

Dad served our country in World War II. He was stationed in Hawaii after the attack. He was given wonderful Military Honors by Bruneau American Legion, Post # 83. Fireman 2nd Class James Edward “Jim” Craig served on USS YMS 307 which was a minesweeping ship.

Military Gun Salute, and my sister Pat receiving Dad’s flag.

In closing, I would like to share a portion of the service program from the Bruneau Legion.

” We have all heard that ‘Old Soldiers never die; they just fade away.’ However, this fading away is never easy, regardless of age or circumstance. That saying, ‘Old Soldiers Never Die, they just fade away,’ comes from the General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur’s farewell speech to Congress in 1953. We include it in our Honor’s Ceremony simply because it just seems to be appropriate.

On a local note, Jim was one of the 93 men and women from Bruneau that served in WWII, and he was the last one to pass on. His passing is a milestone in Bruneau history because he was a member of the Greatest Generation who fought, and won, World War II, and then came home and made the United States of America the greatest nation the world has ever known. This is a sad day for two reasons. First, because of Jim’s passing and second, because this will be the last Military Honors, we the Bruneau American Legion, will perform for a member of the Greatest Generation. We are eternally grateful and forever thankful to all who earned that fitting distinction….THE GREATEST GENERATION! Jim was one of them”


The Cowboy

This is one of the first poems I ever wrote for Dad, many years ago. I think it was his favorite. I know it is mine. My son-in-law, Brian Young, was gracious enough to help officiate with Dad’s Celebration of life. He read my poems for me. I knew I could not get through them.

Someday I will hear that voice of his again. And never again will I have to say “Adios Padre, Hasta La Vista!” Until then I will continue to give thanks to the Lord for giving me this man to be my father and my friend who has loved and guided me my entire life.

A Man Of The Land

I wrote this poem for Father’s Day for my Dad several years ago. This was on the program for his Celebration of Life.

Jim Craig, Bruneau, ID with chaps made by his father Ed Craig

A Man Of The Land

He was born the son of a rancher, like his father before him. His soul is one with the land, his heart, one with the creatures who live upon it.

He is a cowboy. Not the drug store variety, but the kind with the spirit that settled the West. His resolve is firm and steady. His hand, always there to help. His compassion never ending, and his love….unconditional.

He has worked cattle for a living. Raised, trained, and showed horses as well. The dogs he raised and trained were more than just pets; they were his working companions, and his friends. So were his horses.

He has ranched in the deserts, and valleys, and mountains, and worked a few jobs in the cities to boot.

He has taught me the art of adaptation and the ability to see the beauty in whatever setting we happen to be.

The love of the land is in him, and he handed it down to me. He is a man from the Bruneau Valley. He is a cowboy forever at heart. He is a man with integrity and honor….And the man that I call Dad.

Sheryl Craig Russell

Father Time

The next few days I will be sharing some of the poetry I wrote for my Dad over the years. A few of them were read for my Dad, Jim Craig’s Celebration of Life that was held over Memorial Day weekend, 2023.

This was one of them.

Father Time

I feel the breeze of carefree days

blowing through my mind.

I take the hands of the clock of time,

and carefully rewind;

back to a time when I wore braids,

and glasses framed my face.

Our home was warm and special,

and it’s still my favorite place.

For it’s there where I felt love each day,

no matter what I did.

I see dads of friends of mine,

and I’m glad that I’m your kid!

All the things you did for me

are not forgotten Dad.

I carry them with me always,

what special times we had.

You eased my fear of horses

when you brought home old Tom Cat.

How many dads teach their little girls games

snatching treasures from under a hat?

The cattle drives to Cherry Creek,

fishing in the evening breeze,

feeding cows and tromping through 3 foot of snow,

’till both pair of jeans would freeze.

There were times, but not very many,

’cause I was a good little daughter,

I learned for a fact, there’s more than one use

for that old fly swatter!

The years we lived at Nobles

on the Double J Bar N,

the memories we shared there,

I relive again and again.

Fishing in that old pond,

catching Perch and Blue Gil.

you and Curly and the paddle boat,

wasn’t that a thrill?

And the time I had that tree frog,

and I made poor Mom holler?

Grandma hit me with her purse;

and you still owe me a dollar!

The dances in the front room,

rug rolled, furniture moved,

I’ve got to say I loved it,

I thought our family grooved!

I treasure horseback rides with you

under the big oak trees,

acorns falling on our heads

as you shared your thoughts with me.

And other rides were just plain fun,

Dad, you were so silly,

Singing songs of ‘Knot’s in the Devil’s tail,

and stories of the Side-Hill-Gilly!

The picnics at the ocean,

our porch lined with smelly Starfish,

riding steers and getting bucked off,

for what more could one girl wish?

I guess just to let you know

how much it means to me,

to have the greatest father

from the mountains to the sea.

And when the winds of strife

begin to muddle up my mind,

I take the hands of the clock of time,

and carefully rewind;

Back to a time when I wore braids,

and glasses framed my face.

Our home was warm and special,

and it’s still my favorite place.

Sheryl Craig Russell