family, Kids, photography, Uncategorized

First Loves

rocky-fish-final-drwMeet Rocky. He’s Wyokiddo’s fish, bought to replace the gold fish she won at a 4-H carnival that died approximately 15 hours after we brought it home. Rocky is much more hearty, and photogenic. Thankfully.

Someday, we’ll tell Wyokiddo stories about her first pet. Stories like how for the first three weeks after his arrival, she’d wake up in the morning, run to his bowl and breathlessly exclaim “Oh thank goodness! Mama, Mama, Rocky didn’t die last night!”

Her enthusiasm for Rocky has waned a little bit with the arrival of Ziggy the puppy.  But I will still catch Wyokiddo standing at Rocky’s bowl, her finger tracing a path for Rocky to follow.  She chatters at him, telling the fish stories of her day, her friends and her life.

It warms my heart.  Somewhere in the heavens, there’s a chestnut mare with spots and an attitude that has all my childhood secrets woven through her thin, black mane.

Now Rocky will have Wyokiddo’s secrets, and she’ll always have a photo of this beautiful little guy.

Teresa

country life, Uncategorized, writing

Soul Food

Life can be so complicated, so crazy, that we often get caught up in the elaborate.  But there is joy in the simple things.

Tonight, our family opted for a simple dinner of ham-and-cheese omelettes, potatoes from our garden, peppers and peaches with cream.  While I prepared the omelettes, Outdoor Guy joined me in the kitchen to slice and fry the potatoes.  I could hear Wyokiddo happily playing in the living room as we worked and chatted.  We couldn’t help but run into each other in the tiny kitchen, and each time, Outdoor Guy would take the opportunity to steal a kiss.

I enjoy the challenge of  cooking a complex meal, or dinner on the town with my handsome husband on my arm.  But nothing beats the quiet camaraderie of my beautiful family, homegrown food and a Wyoming sunset.  The preperation and the meal were both food for my soul.

Teresa

family, nature, Uncategorized, writing

First Fish

Emily First Fish (1)Yesterday was a big day for the curly-haired dynamo.  She hauled in her very first fish, a small large-mouth bass caught at a reservoir just south of our house.  She was all smiles and high-fives for the rest of the morning.  She wouldn’t even take her eyes off the fish for a photo.

We’ve been fishing several times this summer as a family.  It is one of my favorite ways to spend a morning together.  The three of us, a quiet spot by the lake and fishing poles is a recipe for pure bliss.

Of course, our spot doesn’t stay quiet for long when Wyokiddo is in tow.  Armed with her red Mickey Mouse fishing pole and 1,000 questions, she’ll fish and chat her way through an entire morning.

“What kind of bird is that?”

“Do seagulls eat bananas?”

“Mama, I’m going to tell you a story.  One time, I took Uncle Bill fishing.  He had a blue fishing pole and I had a pink fishing pole.  And we caught a WHALE!”

We don’t catch a lot of fish.  This summer our total haul that we’ve kept has been a handful of crappie and two walleye.  But I wouldn’t trade these moments by the water for a freezer of fish.  I love that we are teaching Wyokiddo a skill and sharing this piece of our souls with her.  I enjoy watching Outdoor Guy patiently helping our daughter cast or bait her hook.  My heart overflows with love and emotion as Wyokiddo sits in my lap, chattering non-stop as we watch the red-and-white bobber rise and fall with the swell of the waves.  It feels good to be outside, together, released from electronic tethers and expectations.

The fact that Wyokiddo finally caught her a fish…well that’s just gravy.

Teresa

nature, photography, Uncategorized, weather, writing

And Mother Nature Taketh Away

Goshen County Light Show CRThis summer, we’ve been enjoying the bounty from the garden we planted.  All that came to a crashing halt last night as our area was hit with a massive storm that included winds, hail, heavy rains, more hail and lightning.

Our garden is almost a total loss and my flowers I keep along the house are no more.   Our yard was littered with dead birds, toads and even some rabbits. Fortunately, we didn’t sustain any real property damage.  Our friends and neighbors weren’t so lucky.  Just a half-mile down the road, one neighbor had his corn destroyed.  Another lost all the north facing windows in his house.  The talk all over the county fair today was about crop loss, broken windows and praying today’s storms give us a break.

About 45 miles due south of here, weather completely devastated the town of Pine Bluffs with a massive hail storm.  Golf ball-sized hail destroyed almost every window in every house and car in town.  On the level, 36 inches of collected hail was recorded.  It looked like Christmas in July, the stuff was so thick.

After the storm rolled over us, I tried my hand at some lightning photography.  Even seeing the storm from a distance was awe-inspiring.  The raw, unrelenting power of nature left me gobsmacked.  Lightning popped and crackleded in the distance, thunder rumbled into the void and I was left feeling how truly very infinitesimally small I am in this amazing universe we call home.

Wyokiddo was pretty bummed today as we surveyed the damage to our garden.  “No more vegetables?  But we worked so hard!” she wailed as we picked up tree limbs.

I was heartsick about our garden, too.  But it is just a garden.  It was not us, or our home or our livelihood that was destroyed.  I tried to use the opportunity to teach my little girl about toughness and gratitude.  So we talked about how we can be sad we lost our lovely garden, but we should also be thankful that we are safe and so are our friends and neighbors.

“But why did the storm want to wreck our garden and flowers?  That’s not nice!” she told me, stomping her foot in frustration.  It was all I could do not to laugh at her outrage.

“That’s just how life works.  Bad things happen like storms.  And we can be sad when our things get wrecked.  But good things happen, too,” I told her.  “It makes the good times just that much more fun!”

“Like the carnival.  That’s fun!  I can’t wait to go tomorrow!”

And with that, she was all smiles and giggles thinking about our upcoming trip to the carnival tomorrow.

Mother Nature giveth, and she taketh away.  All we can really do is enjoy the former, weather the latter and remember better times at the carnival are just around the corner.

Teresa