Deafening silence

My friend sat on the tailgate of a pickup with me and held my hand in the wind. We’ve shared stories with the promise of confidence and have been generous in offering prayers and support to each other. We’ve swapped garden seeds and she texts me prayers occasionally with the utmost perfection in her timing.

This day I may as well have been in a heap. I try to hide my weakest days but there are always friends you can’t bluff.

She held my hand and we cried and she prayed. It was then that I realized that even on the most still of eastern Colorado days, I couldn’t hear her. I caught a few words but I couldn’t hear her over the movie in my head.
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I groaned. It was, you know, a deep groaning of the soul. The kind of groan that gives you a clear line of sight into the deepest cracks of a person’s heart.

Then I said, “She’s just…really religious.”

The look my friend gave me was not pretty. She spit back, “I didn’t think you were a non-believer.”

I had some ‘splaining to do. Continue reading

Dry Town

It’s dry. I’ve been lucky enough to show several news vans around the area and I’ve heard the grass crunch beneath their barely-worn tires and sensible dress shoes. Some have gained a better understanding of what drought means to us than others.

It’s beyond the dry dams and reduced stocking numbers and increased mileage on pickups to feed hay year round if you can find it.

It’s about women who have forsaken their gardens because it’s extra water and the tumbleweeds tear through their tomatoes daily and it’s just one more exercise in futility.
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At a recent statewide Cattlemen’s meeting, I began to introduce myself and found myself stumbling over the information. For the past five years, my name and identity has rolled right off my tongue but this day it did not.

Farm and ranch families are tough. They go through hardships dealt to them by the weather, the markets, the hard country they call home, and through pen strokes at the capitol. They rarely divide and when and if they do, it’s always big news at the cafe or the post office. Continue reading