The small bowls are there, filled with arrowheads, unfinished stone tools, rocks that caught her eye for color or shape, square nails, and other artifacts one finds on a ranch. Bird nests sit on the shelves by the worn books so old their leather is cracked. The books have been her passports to travel the world, enabling her to smell jasmine, taste the salt of an ocean she’ll never see, and hear the rumble of elephants on an African plain.
85 years she’s lived in what is termed as America’s Outback, a rancher’s daughter, a rancher’s wife, and a rancher’s widow for the last 30 years, helping her sons on what she knows will be her last ranch. She has tried to instill into her grandchildren to treasure the world and all of its precious moments. Perhaps she’s not the last of her kind, - a granddaughter with tiny cupped hands holding a praying mantis hurries to show her grandmother.