Out West for Reals

Another Resident of the Real West

Another Resident of the Real West

Sometimes I forget where I live.

Like everyone else, I get busy with church and garden, meetings and work, and I forget that I live in the place my Midwestern parents always called “out West.”

And then something reminds me. The other day, for example, driving home to my ordinary neighborhood, I saw some folks standing out in their yard, talking with a friend who’d ridden up on his horse–cowboy hat, boots and all. He wasn’t acting like a cowboy–he actually was one.  Out West for reals.

This morning I went out in my yard for something, and there was our first daffodil of the season. On February 12. Dorothy, I thought, you are simply not in Kansas anymore!

About a week ago, Jeff and I drove out to see the Little Falls of the Colorado River. It isn’t normally very impressive, but this time, it was fantastic because we’d had a good bit of rain and water was plunging over the rocks, roaring like Niagara Falls. Oh, yeah. Seasonal rivers, from torrents to trickles depending on the time of year. Out West for reals.

Great Falls of the Little Colorado River, muddy brown as chocolate milk!

Great Falls of the Little Colorado River, muddy brown as chocolate milk!

And on our way home, we saw a little herd of sheep, grazing, which could of course happen anywhere in the country, except that these sheep were not fenced in. They happened to be on Navajo land, where free grazing is quite common (see steer, above). I didn’t envy them what they were eating, but they looked happy, healthy, and content.

Sheep with lambs, munching on desert plants.

Sheep with lambs, munching on desert plants.

And as we were leaving that area, we looked across the high desert to see the San Francisco Peaks in the distance, one of the sacred corners of Navajo lands. Out west for reals. How glad I felt to remember where I live once again!

San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, AZ

San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, AZ

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Diana on February 12, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Did you happen to see that sign about where you were? “THIS LAND FOR SALE TODAY.” I often wondered about that “TODAY” part until I realized it’s “Out West for Reals” truth-in-marketing. The wind blows so hard here, the spring haboobs make it impossible to sell that SAME land TOMORROW! We know to batten-down everything for 4 months.

    Every spring, I prepare to grab the Skipper and run to Albuquerque multiple times to retrieve our 8-pound silkie who went outside for “a 3-minute trip, a 3-minute trip!. . .the weather started getting rough, the tiny dog was tossed. . .”

    Reply

  2. Posted by Mary Johnson on February 12, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    In my gardening group, we talk about the “spring yard exchange” in Holbrook: my yard blows into my neighbor’s yard, hers blows further down the line, etc. I’m always trying to start tomatoes about half way along in the 4 months of wind. I have a pretty good system by now.

    An 8 lb dog would have some difficulty in our winds, that’s for sure!

    Reply

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