He's never sat in front of a computer, never watches the news, likes Patsy Cline's music, and has never read a book on parenting.
His boys aren't even really his, and yet, somehow, he taught me more about parenting than anyone besides my own parents.
His oldest son called home and made his mama cry, so daddy took the phone and said, "Sam, what have you done now?"
Sam explained how he got his tongued pierced and how he understood that this might distress his… Continue
Added by Cita on September 30, 2009 at 12:30am —
His sweet tea is like syrup over ice, and he doesn't eat breakfast, just smokes with old hands, older even than his eyes, hard hands, rough hands, kind hands.
He always has chickens, and guineas, and peacocks, and turkeys, and even, once, a miniature horse that left miniature hoof prints on the shins of the big horses until they picked him up and tossed him over the fence.
They say he never drinks whiskey because it makes him mean, makes him want to fight, but I've never… Continue
Added by Cita on September 29, 2009 at 8:17pm —
His savings account doesn't look like your's, and nor is it counted or accounted for like your's is.
Every weekend, cowboys come from miles around with "plunder" in the beds of their pickups, sometimes just one bit, one pair of spurs, one ornate hand crafted silver mounted buckle, sometimes a whole pile of "stuff" because they want one of the saddles on the "For Trade" wall of RB's saddle house.
Beer coolers open and close, horses are jumped out of trailers, plunder… Continue
Added by Cita on September 29, 2009 at 1:40am —
We only drink iced sweet tea while the horse trader has a beer, but then, the trader thinks I am here by accident, just "dropped by."
Horse papers are spread out over the table, shifted carefully, casually, so that I can see them clearly, make sure they match the animals tied out by the barn, that the transfers on them are neat and complete.
RB can't read the horse papers like he can the animals, the people, the hidden signs that say a person isn't quite telling the… Continue
Added by Cita on September 29, 2009 at 1:17am —
He keeps popscicles in the freezer part of the beer fridge, and a bucket of toys slid up under the saddle rack in the barn.
His voice is gruff and he scolds harshly if a kid throws a popscicle paper on the ground or doesn't pick the toys up, and they'd better mind their manners or next time their dad visits here, they won't get a popscicle and the toy bucket will stay hidden.
All of the kids love him, and they climb all over him and play wrestle and think he is one of… Continue
Added by Cita on September 29, 2009 at 12:36am —
He left home when he was 13, not yet out of the 8th grade, but it didn't really matter because he couldn't read anyhow and had missed enough school that not even the teachers seemed to care what his records said.
He left home with his saddle tied to the side boards of a bobtailed truckload of horses his daddy sold some guy in Mississippi with the promise that he would go along with 'em and ride 'em once they got there even though he'd never been out of Texas.
Once in… Continue
Added by Cita on September 28, 2009 at 11:45pm —
Traditional and cliched autumn calls for oranges, browns, maroons, and golds, but here where the P&J meets the upper Sonoran desert, autumn has a different look entirely.
Puddles of blue so blue that they mirror the sky fan out from the base of the juniper trees making for dangerous walking, a skiing adventure.
The juniper berries are ripe and the bears and squirrels and birds and dogs and even horses feast on them until I put one in my mouth and crunch down to find a… Continue
Added by Cita on September 25, 2009 at 10:21pm —
The first person to ever say anything about the Marfa Lights to me was the most unacceptable kid in school, the one who rode the bus from way out in the country, whose shaggy hair badly needed cutting, whose shoes had big holes in them sometimes revealing disgracefully dirty socks but sometimes filthy bare feet, the boy who often wore the same clothes two days in a row and didn't always smell that good, who got called out of class by the counselor or the jr. high boys coach, whose hands were… Continue
Added by Cita on September 16, 2009 at 2:05am —
I got fat when I started taking birth control pills right after our wedding, and they made my skin break out, too, which was unfortunate since I was in graduate school and drinking too much coffee and eating too much junk food.
I had too many babies too fast, which is ironic, really, since the birth control pills made me fat and then when I stopped taking them and had babies, the babies made me fat, too, and no graduate degree in the world keeps you from crying at… Continue
Added by Cita on September 14, 2009 at 4:33pm —
My animal guides are usually bats, lizards, jellyfish, snakes, hummingbirds, roadrunners, horses, or spiders, but this past week I dreamed of dogs, stray dogs, pet dogs, dogs eating out of pans of scraps and leftovers.
A friend mentioned to me that she likes it when dogs show up in her dreams for they represent her wild instinctual nature, so I promised to pay attention.
Today I saw a huge German Shepherd on my way to a horse training session and he gave me confidence,… Continue
Added by Cita on September 12, 2009 at 9:45pm —
I'm not scared of thunderstorms, dogs, guns, rattlesnakes, spiders, flying, blood, swine flu, bats, or being alone.
I'm not scared of heights anymore because I hiked Angels Landing, of falling in love anymore because it brought me to you, of making my home somewhere new anymore because I am good at it.
I'm not scared of losing, or falling, of being trapped, of the past, mainly because I wrote down the monsters and threw them into the fire.
I'm not scared of… Continue
Added by Cita on September 11, 2009 at 9:04pm —
It is Mandy’s fault that I have a weakness for songwriters and musicians, a tie-died gene in my blood, because she collected them onto the back patio when I was growing up, swaying with her eyes closed until the melodies were too slow and languid to sway with anymore.
Then we’d just cover my mother with a blanket and let the sun wake her up.
Randy doesn’t play hippie music or blow smoke rings, but he is just as seductive when he sings.
Cowboy poetry and music… Continue
Added by Cita on September 10, 2009 at 2:30pm —
Charlie made a big ol' mess of fried potatoes, the only thing in the pantry, 40 miles from the nearest Pizza Hut, and the girls sat in a pool of light in the kitchen, dark windows all around, eating the hot potatoes with cold ketchup and too much salt, right out of the pan, licking their fingers, elbows on the table.
Julia grabbed an old envelope and began making a list of "girl food" to be bought in town the next day with Charlie laughing uncomfortably at what surely was a fantasy… Continue
Added by Cita on September 9, 2009 at 1:51pm —
This morning, early, I walked to the barn to feed the horses in the rain.
The wet desert smelled strong and real.
I can feel a change in the air, a subtle slide away from growth and into entropy, a leave-taking, almost.
The creatures who faced north in the spring, are turning and looking back over their shoulders, wondering if its time to turn and retreat.
The bats and the hummingbirds sleep a little longer, store up their energies, tell me good-bye… Continue
Added by Cita on September 9, 2009 at 12:22pm —
And I yelled at her, my voice bouncing around Slide Canyon like bullets, yelled at her about the times we slept in each other’s arms, about the times we said “I love you.”
And she just sat there, on that rock, cradling that hurt arm and cried and said, “I do love you, Charlie. I love to sleep with your arms around me, but not like I love Randy! Not like I can love a man!”
And I realized how stupid I was, how completely a fool I was, but it was my foolishness… mine and mine… Continue
Added by Cita on September 4, 2009 at 8:56pm —
The day she left him, she came to me, and I thought maybe he had hit her or something, but he hadn’t.
They’d just thrown words at each other.
I tried to tell her that that wasn’t so bad, but, you know, Julia was like a child in some ways.
She’d never seen a real fight, one with broken dishes, black eyes, holes in the sheetrock, people threatening things too bad to actually say aloud the next morning.
She’d never seen the jagged edge of a broken beer… Continue
Added by Cita on September 2, 2009 at 9:48pm —
I’ll never forget the day Julia left Harold.
Harold isn’t a bad guy-not at all--he is just so serious and so dedicated to his job and to the Lord.
Julia is like glitter and fireworks and whipped cream.
Harold is like oatmeal and Bermuda grass and taking vitamins in the morning.
I told this to Bill, one night down in Slide Canyon, after Julia fell asleep.
He looked at me, the way he does… or did... right in my eyes, and said, “And you,… Continue
Added by Cita on September 2, 2009 at 8:35pm —
Right in that moment, I knew I missed Uncle Bill more than I missed my own daddy, and right in that moment I knew that he had loved me, really truly loved me.
Right in that moment, I knew that I had loved him back and wished with all of my heart that he had not been fifty something years older than me.
Right in that moment, I knew that I was going to be ok, that Julia loves me even if it isn’t the same as I love her.
You know you are all grown up when you… Continue
Added by Cita on September 2, 2009 at 7:41pm —
After Uncle Bill died, I needed to get away, get away from all that had happened, away from all that had not gone the way I had thought it would.
I went back to Slide Canyon, but it wasn't the same without Julia, or Bill for that matter, so I packed up after one night and went all the way up Slide to where Cottonwood joined it, all the way up Cottonwood until I could climb out at Uncle Bill's camp.
I lay on his front porch and cried… just cried the afternoon away, cried… Continue
Added by Cita on September 2, 2009 at 7:35pm —
Snatches of old familiar hymns go through my head when I come to the page... "I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses."
It does feel awfully alone, to come to a blank page with a story to tell and only have words to tell it with..."What a friend we have in Jesus."
Though I feel so alone, I am hoping the muse visits and brings ease and clarity and some sort of magic that will sweep me up in its folds and lead me down the paths of genius... "And, He… Continue
Added by Cita on September 2, 2009 at 12:18am —