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Wild Horses in Black & White

Thoughts on farming, education and Indigenous cultures in America.  

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  • Writer's picturejstanion1890

Don't believe all you have to do is vote!!!

I've never missed voting in an election...not since I reached the magical age of 18. Fifty years. That's a lot of votes.

And in the next couple of years, this is what my neighborhood may look like. That pasture where my horses graze? The sunsets over the terraces where cows watch over their calves?

Of course, they won't be paved over. But with such as this surrounding us, how long can we pay the taxes? How will we move equipment from field to field? Will it be safe for our grand-boys to drive a 4-wheeler across the road to the barn to feed their show calves? I've even heard that federal easements we placed on our land to protect it can be removed or condemned. For the good of the people........

What about fresh local food? Beef that you know where it grazed and where it was processed? What about that gorgeous sunset you watched over our hay field last summer? Or the fact that we mow the grass on the right-away and pick up all the trash instead of waiting on the county crew to come by? The roses, day lillies, and iris I planted along the fence line to beautify your view as you drive past our home?

Sometimes I get tired of what it takes. The birdie fingers because we were going slow in the tractor. The horn-honking because we were moving cows across the road to fresh grass and somebody was in a hurry to get to town. The meetings where someone from the local university asks, " What can we do to help you market your product?"

I can do that myself. Been doing it for over forty years. Can you please stop the developers from being so greedy? Can you find a way to make our cities more pleasant so people will want to live there? Can you build bigger parks where children can climb in trees and roll in the grass? Can you please tell people that agriculture is an industry? An industry that we may soon learn we can't live without!!!

#horselover #reading #booklover

  • Writer's picturejstanion1890

Since Covid, I've spent countless hours studying the culture of the indigenous people of America, the Indians, as my great-grandfather referred to them. Over the years, I also studied the Irish culture, especially a delicate little dance referred to as the jig and, of course, a certain powerful pale drink that stops one's heart briefly before soothing a hacking cough from years of chronic bronchitis. What do the two have in common?

Art by Quinton Maldonado and Barry Maguire.

The horse, of course. Many Irish fled an emerald island with a history that echoed from the Druids and came here as virtual slaves during the potato famine. An entire continent of red men derived their sustenance from the rich resources of the America's until colonists from Europe set out to take those resources for themselves. Despite what both groups suffered as a people, there's a common strand that links their hearts to mine. Their horses.

Horse people know it. The feeling of being drawn to horses is innate, alive within us from our first breath. There's no rhyme nor reason to who becomes a "horse person" although the ability to own horses sometimes abounds in families of abundance, It also beats in the heart of the poorest child who merely dreams of riding, the young boy who mounts his broomstick and canters on urban streets, the toddler who extends her fingers to the velvet nose of a police horse standing on the curb of a crowded downtown corner.

There would be no warriors riding into battle without horses, no chariots pounding the dusty floor of the coliseum. There would be no swirling skirts and tinkling bells around a blazing fire beneath the stars, no stirring images of vast herds of buffalo, painted men riding amongst them armed with nothing more than a handmade lance or bow. There would be no vaqueros with their big horned saddles and whirling ropes and no cowboys without the horse. What a boring world it would be. Around the world, horses, like music and sports, unite us and make "horse people" who we are.

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  • Writer's picturejstanion1890

I've always heard about the daddy/daughter connection. I love my mom, no doubt. Though physically diminutive, she is a tower in spirit, a strong woman who supported and loved her family and husband humbly, but ceaselessly. Meals were colorful, healthy, nutritious, and always on time. Our house was beautifully but simply decorated, clean, organized and welcoming, a haven we were proud to call home. She and dad carved out an acre of domestication from a wilderness of scrubby pines, saw briars and honeysuckle to build a house, plant and tend a garden and establish flowing beds of azaleas and camillias that exploded with color every spring.

Although not my favorite activity, dusting was my duty and Dad made sure it was done, and done right every Saturday morning before I made other plans. Afterwards, it was my favorite to follow in his footsteps, whether to saw down a gnarly old pine or re-wire the lights in the garage. He instilled a can-do attitude in everyone around him, supporting my mom in projects that weren't always the ideal feminine standard of the day. Things like squashing dead the spittle bugs that threatened her centipede lawn or ripping the top off a bluebird box after seeing the slithering shape of a blacksnake escaping down the post.

Mom gave me roots, but it was Dad who gave me wings.

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