Grandpa Cowboy Jim

Dad, family ranchGrandpa tells me stories of long, long, ago, about the ranch where he grew up in Bruneau, Idaho.

Dad and Clara Bell

When he was just a little kid, way, way, back when, he would hold and talk to Clara Bell; his very own pet hen.

Jim Craig, Rosalie, & Shirley Hawes

Grandpa had a little cart pulled by a goat named Billy. He shared his fun with his good friends, Rosalie and Shirley.

I like to sit with Grandpa Jim on his front porch step. That’s where he told me his best friends were Buster, and old Shep.

Dad and nick on block

I like all of Grandpa’s stories, but the favorite I would pick, is about his little pony. Grandpa Jim called him Nick.

Dad on pony 4-2

They rode together many miles, Nick and Grandpa Jim. Grandpa wore his hat and fancy chaps his daddy made for him.

Dad, cowboy Jim

He got a brand new lariat the day that he turned ten. Grandpa Jim was a cowboy…even way back then.

 

Some day when I’m a Grandpa I’ll sit upon the step. I’ll tell my little grandson about Buster and old Shep.

Dad, family ranch

All the stories of long ago, I will tell to him; stories of the ranch in Bruneau, Idaho,

Dad, cowboy Jim man

And my Grandpa….Cowboy Jim.

My dad, Jim Craig, passed away September 9, 2022, from a long battle with ALS. He was born and raised a cowboy on the family ranch in Bruneau, ID. This is a children’s book I wrote for, and about him a few years ago. I am hoping to someday publish it in his memory.

RIP Dad

Our Love Has Turned Golden, Fifty Years

,Today we celebrate Fifty years of marriage. They call this the Golden Anniversary, which symbolizes prosperity, strength, wisdom, and lifelong love.

It takes Fifty years to turn a marriage into gold. While holding hands and standing together we have suffered, cried, laughed, and prayed.

Life has not always been easy, but I can say it has always been good. I am not saying there have not been bad times, there have been. But even the bad times were good because we have shared them together.

Prosperity: We have that. We have never had the kind of riches that would put us on Forbes list of the worlds’ most wealthy, but we are rich beyond measure in the things that really count. We love each other, our three children, and the nine grandchildren they have blesssed us with, our country roots, and our God. The blessings these have given us, have made us two of the richest people on earth.

Strength: I have found that strength is something that usually comes from going through trials when we most often feel the weakest and most vulnerable. We have been there a time or two and only by knowing Christ will “Never leave us nor forsake us”, have we made it through.

Wisdom: They say that comes with age. I think that is because when you are getting closer to the end of the road, the material things of this world don’t seem so important, and you begin looking upward for true wisdom.

Lifelong love: Fifty years of loving life and each other have given us a pretty solid claim at this one!

I can’t thank God enough for the life partner he has given me, the ranch life we were able to share and raise our kids in, all the joy, laughter, and even the pain and tears we’ve gone through.

It is called life, and ours has definitely become as precious as gold. Let’s make a few more memories!

Happy Trails to us !

Family

This means more today than it did when I originally wrote it. Watching elderly parents and other loved ones struggling with health issues has shown me more than ever how much I am blessed by their love.

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It’s just a simple word, family, but it means so very much.  The dictionary says it is the succession of persons connected by blood or name.  That sounds very mater of fact, and a little cold.  There is such a feeling of warmth that comes over me when I hear the word…I know it means so much more than that!

It means traditions handed down from one generation to another.  Traditions like making Christmas cookies and candy together, hanging your socks on the mantle, going to church on Christmas Eve, reading the Christmas Story from the Bible, or The Night Before Christmas.  It’s traditions like giving plates of goodies to the neighbors, or writing letters to Santa.  It means many different things to different people.

But more than traditions, family means to me I have people who love me no matter what.  It doesn’t matter if I deserve it or not…

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Patsy and her Rolly Doll

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320-1 Sister “Patsy” and her Rolly Doll

I don’t remember this Christmas.  I don’t remember my sister, Patsy, getting this doll as a present.

What I do remember as a kid growing up, is that doll always on a shelf in her room.  I also remember the stories of our longtime family friend from Bruneau, ID who gave her that doll.  His name was Rolly Hawes.

Ok….I’ll admit it.  I was jealous and I guess I still am!  I loved that cute little cowboy doll!  He was never played with that I can remember.  He just sat on that shelf gathering admiration from those who would look his way.

But really, all you Bruneau people who knew Rolly Hawes, doesn’t that doll look like him?  I think that is why I wanted it so bad.  It reminded me of Rolly, who always gave us Idaho Spud candy Bars when he came to visit.  He was always a…

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Old Glory

Independence Day was yesterday. Because of Covid-19 many city sponsored fireworks celebrations were cancelled. Our country is at an unrest like I have never witnessed in my 69 years of life. There are violent protests across our nation and people burning our flag to supposedly make their point of view bring awareness to their cause.
But in my opinion they are making that divide wider, and stirring up anger in many hearts that were never there before. Our flag stands for sacrifice, courage, and bravery of all those who fought to bring our nation to what it is today; the home of the brave, land of the free..United States of America ! Although many public firework shows were canceled, our little town was aglow with every other house setting off their pride and respect for our Nation’s Independence Day Celebration! That is why I am resharing this blog post from a couple of years ago. There is love, respect, and meaning behind and for our flag. Don’t trample on, spit on, and burn Old Glory!

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The United States of America.  Land of the free, home of the brave.  This is where I am blessed to live. I was born and raised on cattle and horse ranches.  I lived a simple country life.  It was a life learning to admire the beauty, grandeur, and awesome peacefulness of God’s creative hand.

We didn’t grow up admiring beautiful skyscrapers built by the hand of man.  We grew up admiring majestic mountains created by the hand of God himself.  We weren’t privileged to visit neighborhood museums where we could be awed by paintings of world renown artists.  We were awed by the beauty of creeks, and rivers rushing over rocks, soothing us with stress relieving sounds more beautiful than any orchestra.  We didn’t admire paintings of flowers, we were awed by wildflowers growing on a mountainside or prairie. We had the real thing.  God said of flowers in the…

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Somebody Did Something

Somebody did something. Yes they did! Eighteen years and this day still overwhelms me. We as a nation vowed we would never forget. I for one never will. Facebook is flooded with posts honoring those who died, and also those who survived that terrible day.  So I know I’m not the only one who has not forgotten.

There are some I fear however who have, or at least have become so sensitive to “political correctness” that they can’t call a spade a spade.  The fear of offending someone has resulted in efforts to change our National Anthem, remove “In God we trust” from our National monuments, buildings, and our money, and on and on.

Our government is allowing elected people to take their oaths on the Koran instead of the Bible, and erase Israel from the map in their office.  Don’t think they don’t plan to “erase” America as we know it also.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not against all middle eastern peoples who happen to belong to the Islam religion.  It is not the people with good hearts I’m talking about. It is the religion itself and the radicals who follow it and its commands to kill all infidels who  won’t submit to their Allah. This is who attacked on Sept. 11.  This is the Somebody who did something! This is what we are Never to forget!

 

Some People Did Something

“Some people did something.”

That was said for all to hear.

Four little words

Which I heard very clear.

I saw and heard the aftermath.

We’ll never be the same,

People jumping from the towers,

To escape a death by flame.

Their screams, and ours too,

Who watched in disbelief,

Haunt me and always will..

Let our souls have no relief.

For if we forget the evil,

We can’t recognize the good,

Of the bravery and sacrifice

On which 3000 stood.

Heroes arose that day,

And more than just a few.

There were firefighters, medics,

And New York’s finest dressed in Blue

Doctors, nurses, equipment operators,

Pastors, and strangers on the street;

So many doing what they could

So many needs to meet.

Some people did something

Eighteen years ago.

And others answered back

Are you ready guys? LET’S ROLL!

Yes Somebody Did Something…

NEVER FORGET!

Sheryl Craig Russell

if you don’t like it…

I am sharing this from a fellow blogger..couldn’t agree with her more.

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Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.
Napoleon Bonaparte


(a mud dusty turtle/ Julie Cook / 2019)

In the news recently, I’ve read where our President has responded to the
Speaker of House’s fab four darling freshmen members…

It seems that they have been not shy about spouting their disdain for the handling
of the illegal immigration issue, the border crisis, the impending ICE raids,
and even a disdain for the office of Homeland Security…

Their disdain is coming via twitter.

In a counter tweet, the President responded with something along the lines of
“if you don’t like it, go back from where you came form”
Of which for a couple of them means they’d just be going back here to the US,
but not so for a couple of the others as he later added
“if you don’t like it, you can just leave”

Now…

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Old Shep

Shep by ditchJust about everyone has a pet that was a best friend.  I know  I did. Old Shep was my Dad’s. They grew up together on the family ranch in Bruneau, Idaho.  They worked and played together, and shared all of life’s little lessons along the way.

Through the years Dad talked often of Old Shep with much affection.  A couple of years ago I was visiting Dad. He came out of the bedroom with a book of old cowboy songs. His eyes were full of tears as he handed me the book opened to the song, “Old Shep.”  I knew this song from my childhood. What I didn’t know is how closely it mirrored the story of my father, Jim Craig, and his Old Shep. By the time I finished reading the lyrics, we were both in tears.

Happy 93rd birthday Dad!   I love you..

Old Shep

When I was a lad

And Old Shep was a pup,

Over hills and meadows we’d stray.

Just a boy and his dog

We were both full of fun.

We grew up together that way.

I remember the time at the old swimmin’ hole

When I would have drowned beyond doubt.

But old Shep was right there

To the rescue he came

He jumped in and then pulled me out.

As the years fast did roll,

Old Shep, he grew old.

His eyes were fast growing dim.

And one day the doctor looked at me and said,

“I can do no more for him, Jim.”

With hands that were trembling,

I picked up my gun,

And aimed it at Shep’s faithful head.

I just couldn’t do it. I wanted to run.

I wished they would shoot me instead.

So I threw down that old gun,

Ran right up to his side.

He laid his faithful old head right on my knee.

And friends, I stroked the best pal

A man ever found.

I cried so I scarcely could see.

Now Old Shep knew he was going to go,

‘cause he reached out and licked at my hand,

Then he looked up at me

Just as much to say, I hate to

But you understand.

Old Shep, he has gone where the good doggies go,

And no more with Old Shep will I roam.

But if dogs have a heaven there’s one thing I know,

Old Shep has a wonderful home.

Songwiriters: Arthur Willis/Clyde J. Foley

White Lace and Promises

I want to tell you about a walk of promises…white lace and promises.  It started forty seven years ago.

Mike and Sherry dad walking me down aisle

It started with my arm in my Dad’s. Both of us with mixed feelings of joy and anxious anticipation. We both knew that at the end of that aisle, our relationship would forever be changed. He would always be my Dad, and I would forever be his little girl, but it would be different from here on out.

Mike and Sherry dad giving me away

As we neared the end of that aisle, all I could see was the face that would become my partner in the walk of the rest of my life.  My heart was overflowing with happiness!

Mike and Sherry wedding Mr. & Mrs

And just like that we were married!

Mike and Sherry Yay!

Not yet knowing what all that meant, but we were just excited to start the journey.

Mike and Sherry weddin rings

Rings on our fingers, my hand upon his, we had no idea that this would be the picture that would define us.  Hand in hand, in good times and bad, in sickness and in health..we have hung onto each others hands through it all.  And through it all God who joined us together has never left us nor forsaken us.

Mike and Sherry wedding. rice

So we left that church, hand in hand, rice in our hair and good wishes from friends and family.

White Lace and Promises was one of the songs sang at our wedding.  The other was He. We started a new walk that day. A walk that would rely on promises made in a white tuxedo and white lace. And it has been He who sustains us to this day.

This was the best walk I’ve ever taken.  The years between then and now have somehow flown so quickly. We have three beautiful children who have blessed us with nine wonderful grandchildren.

Our life has been a good one. I am so thankful for the man that walked me down that aisle, and so in love with the man who walked me back.

I love you Michael Russell and so glad for God and White Lace and Promises!