Star of Wanderers

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Pexels.com

Once a year my family would go on vacation for one week. Every year we would go camping and fishing. I have always loved looking at the stars, observing their brilliance in awesome wonder. Going camping meant time by the campfire looking at the stars, wandering trails, listening to birds and animals, watching butterflies and fish in the streams.

One night my dad sat down with me and started teaching me the stars and constellations. The first star he showed me was the North Star, and that sailors and pioneers used this star as a guide. The North Star does not move like the rest of the constellations. If you know where the North Star is he said you can always find your way home at night. He also taught me how to find my way in the woods and mountains at night.

My dad had me look up and then told me “The stars were the only thing bigger than you. You can climb the mountains, cross any river, be what you want to be, just do not be afraid to try.” Ever since, when I am confused on what path to take, or feeling overwhelmed, I go outside and look upward remember my dad’s words.

With reading and posting on bloganuary 2022, I saw where a part of ourselves wander within the written words, and those word wander through the reader.

This is the final post for bloganuary 2022. I am new to blogging. I keep a journal, wrote essays and thesis’ in college, but only started blogging. While reading others’ blogs in response to the daily prompts, I have learned a few things concerning writing. I have enjoyed the challenge, although it is time consuming on some days. I think I have found my “North Star” to keep me on the path with writing.

I thank everyone for taking the time to read my posts. Thank you to those who “liked” and left comments. I hope the best for you as you continue your life journey.

amtolle

A Tree with a Purpose

Photo by WARREN BLAKE on Pexels.com

There are various types of trees each with their own strengths and weakness.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

I have enjoyed willow trees as a child I played under them at my grandparents’ home. In the heat of summer they provided shade, coolness as you were embraced by their limbs and leaves. The willow is flexible but not very strong.

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Cherry trees have always been a favorite of mine. Their joyful, bright blossoms in the spring, marking the change of season. The juicy sweet fruit of summer. I have two cherry trees planted in my yard. It takes two cherry trees for there to be fruit.

Photo by Serge Baeyens on Pexels.com

The mighty oak tree strong and grand. The timber from these trees is used for furniture and other house hold items because of its strength and bueaty.

Photo by Burak Kebapci on Pexels.com

Tall pines reaching straight for the sky. The sweet aroma stimulates and relaxes. The wind whispers a lullaby using their small leaves on every branch. I have spent many a day and night in the presence of their beauty.

These trees are beautiful, yet, in their beauty and splendor are not me. I have been alone, fought to survive and flourish. No protection from the storms of life, I am crooked and gnarled, my bark shows many scars. My roots grow both deep and wide, seeking water and nutrients to keep my alive. I have overcome my adversity, thrived and blessed. I am not so different from others as all have faced storms, overcame and thrive.

amtolle

A Wish and Reality

“He who owns all the gold, controls the world”

Unknown

My last post was on a Bloganaury Challenge prompt “How are you Changing the World?”. I answered by the little things I do to encourage others and show kindness. Reality is no one person or country can change the world. The world is large with many people, beliefs and cultures.

Everyone would love to live where there is no crime, no wars, no prejudices, we want world peace. Reality is there will be crime, there will be wars and people are prejudice.

I believe the world is controlled by the love of power, greed and envy.

I strive to help others, encourage others to be better people, to lift the load of those burdened, even if for a moment of time. No, I can not change the world, but I will continue to show some light of kindness to those I meet. As an individual we can inspire others to love themselves, have peace and joy and fulfillment of their dreams.

My actions do affect those around me, and my community. I live in an awesome little town where people help each other. Our town has what we call the “Blessing Box”. When it was started three years ago, it was started in a newspaper distribution box. If you need food, you take, and you can give food at any time. It sits in the open with no locks. This “Blessing Box” has grown to be two bookcases and several boxes. Through facebook, their is even fresh meat available. We have the Clothes Closet, where people drop off clothing, it is sorted and hung up, and free to anyone needing clothing. It is a caring town we live near.

This was truly apparent in February 2021, when the whole town and surrounding area was without electricity for 4 days. The temperatures were well below freezing day and night. A rarity for where I live. Everyone heats with electricity.

We have a fireplace in our home, that is how we stayed warm, but the highest the inside temperature reached was 47*F. Those who had fireplaces and wood stoves, which is rare, opened their homes to strangers. Some people were able to heat their homes using portable generators as a source of electricity.

For us we dug out the old camping equipment we have to cook on, an antique cow camp stove. We made chili and always had a pot of hot coffee. I went through my whole supply of candles for lighting.

Others did the same, they cooked chili and stews, have hot coffee and tea. We met at the volunteer fire station once a day to share with those who were unable to cook would have one hot meal and drink during the day. People here do not cook from scratch, they buy premade frozen meals or something for a microwave. Grocery stores were closed, no electricity for the registers or lights.

People around us and ourselves have livestock. We get our water from a well, but the well pump does not run without electricity. One person had a well he used for a garden powered by solar. The water did not come out of the ground fast, but it was water. Someone gave him a tank to fit in the back of his pickup. He would fill the tank and deliver water for livestock.

When the electricity did return, and it was on and off for an additional 5 days. People had another problem, broken water pipes that froze, then when the house heated up, the water poured in and flooded. Once again our town people pulled together. Those that knew how to repair broken water lines, came together, formed teams and tackled one house at a time to repair the water lines. The hardware store in our town, sold the materials needed at cost, he made no money from the sales, in addition he kept his store open for longer hours.

This year along with the Blessing Box and Clothes Closet, the community started a garden. I helped a few times, most of the people coming to the community garden did not know how to start, grow or tend a garden. It was a big learning experience for them. There is talk of starting a farmer’s market next summer.

We have an involved and caring town and community. People helping people, but we still have crime. There is a theft ring trying to operate, but with watchful eyes they will be caught.

Perhaps we can change the world one person, one community, one country at a time.

Perhaps, one day, people will love themselves and others so there will not be envy, or the love of power over another, and not desire greed but to give a helping hand where needed.

I was told once when we help others, we help ourselves.

amtolle

One Day, One Step, One Smile

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Bloganaury 29 prompt is “How are you changing the world?”

Each person, each day is changing the world. Our actions, words or lack of affect those we are around or who see us. Is the effect a positive or a negative? I strive for a positive effect to shine a little light into someone’s dark day.

When I step out of my house or speak with someone on the phone, I work to be positive and friendly. Sometimes that is hard to do. Telemarketers irritate me, but the person on the other end is only trying to support their family. I am irritated because they have my number and I did not give it to them. I state I want to be removed, then tell the person to have a great day. Is it the person’s fault they called me, not really. That person was given a list of people to call.

I am not afraid to smile at a stranger or give them a compliment. Once I was at Wal-Mart for some paint brushes for the house. I am in my work clothes with paint spots for sure. I see this lady, her clothing really makes her stand out, modest, good colors for her, and perfect makeup and jewelry. I walked up and told her she looked very beautiful today. First reaction was shock and why are you speaking to me. I went to tell her I feel people should be complimented as we have enough negative in our lives. She smiled and thank me. People do hear negative things about the world events, work, family and others. People also have worries and pressures they carry with them that we do not see. A compliment gives them a moment of changed focus.

I try to mention a person’s name when I am talking with them. When you address someone by their name, you acknowledge them as an individual and with respect. Waitresses/Waiters and clerks light up when you use their name as you request something. Think about it, they wait on and assist people all day, hear complaints, but are not talked to by name.

I give a smile to those I pass going into or out of a store, while I am in the store and out and about. You never know if that smile is the only positive light in their day.

I want the people to feel better after they meet even if it is for a flickering moment.

amtolle

The Tool of Music

Today’s Bloganaury is what is on your music playlist.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Music moves us, refreshes the soul and retains memories. Couples have “their song” to remember when they first met. Music can pick us up out of an emotional slump. Babies go to sleep with lullabies’. Music is used for celebrations, prayers, and mostly just for fun.

I am old, I do not have a playlist on my cellphone or any other device. I have CDs. I have created music CD for what I am going to do that day. I have a special song for mopping floors, in some foreign language I do not know, by some group overseas, but it is great to swing a mop to. I was introduced to my “mopping song” as I call it by my daughter. I have a song for riding horses, ” I See You in a Different Light” sung by Doug Stone. The rhythm of the song matches the beat of the horse’s hooves. Horses are very musical, they will match their hoof beats to the rhythm of the music they hear. I have several CDs of Celtic songs for when I go on road trips. You can find a song for any occasion.

Couples have “their song” of when they first met or a special date. We remember moments in time better if music and smell are connected to the moment. My husband and I have two love songs; “The Keeper of the Stars” sung by Tracy Byrd and “I Cross My Heart” sung by George Strait. My son and daughter said the song sung by George Strait was the love shown when my husband and I met. And the song truly fits us.

I listen mostly to instrumental music, in various genre, classical, pop, Native American, and blues. I do not like the words of songs to distract me in what I am doing.

Music is a big part of every culture, a language that speaks to us all. Music holds memories, inspires us, refreshes us.

Who does not sing in the shower?

amtolle

My Favorite Part

Bloganuary #26 What is your favorite part about yourself?

Time marches onward. We are born. We grow. We age. We die. The process every living thing goes through.

When going through old photos of my much younger years, I was quite the beauty, although at the time I did not think so. My long black hair with highlights caused by the sun, now has speckling of silver well earned. Grey hair is a sign of wisdom I was taught, I know I have more wisdom than my hair shows…lol. I have small wrinkles, and age spots probably due to the sun. I have put on some weight after birthing four children.

Photo by Steve on Pexels.com

An old Native American proverb is we have two wolves inside us, a good wolf and an evil wolf. Each decision and word is feeding a wolf. The people around us see which wolf we feed.

But my most favorite part I have since I was young, a good heart. I look for the best in people. I like to help others learn and succeed. No matter what life has thrown at me, I will search and find the silver lining. I look for rainbows to enjoy the color. Indeed I do have a sense of humor, I may not get your jokes or sense of humor all the time, but I laugh when I do.

Our outward appearance changes daily, watch a baby grow up and you will see. But the inward person, the one without your appearance, is who you truly are.

I strive to feed the good wolf.

amotle

Strength Within

Bloganaury #25 is to write about something that makes us feel strong.

Grace of the ballerina seen in each and every movement. Striding over the ground in slow motion, muscles tense yet flowing, controlled power with pride and glory. A race with the wind is a challenge not denied, and often the victor. Gentle like the dove but upon defensive arousal can distinguish life in a footprint. A heart given is rarest jewel, once given will not retreat. Controlled by quiet voice and love the massive gladiator joyfully submits, a partnership complete.

Stolen Night, photo by Teri Cage, rights purchased

Stolen Night, my appaloosa stallion makes me feel strong. The photo above he is 3 years young and not his full statue. He is 16 hand tall or 64 inches and weighs 1,300 pounds. Words and pictures do not capture the majesty of Stolen Night. He is the most powerful horse I have ever been next to or ridden. I have ridden several hundreds of horses of various breeds, including draft.

Stallions are not the safest or most trustworthy of mounts, ask any horseman. A person who succeeds in winning the heart of a stallion is a true master. Stolen Night’s strength and power brings fear, but when I ride him we are a centaur, horse and human, perfect.

When I am feel weak, the world crashing around me, to him I go for comfort, to feel warmth, to dry my tears in his mane, to stand using his strength. He is patient, comforts with a soft muzzle, ever ready to listen.

Growing up, the only sanctuary I had was with the horse. The need to cry or share my fears, the loneliness at school, the crowded house, my dreams and hopes, the horse always had a listening ear. I could not go to my mother as she did not want to spend the time, and when she did her words were a lie. Horses never lie, ask anyone who has been around a horse. My father was often too busy working providing for his family and extended family living with us. My solace, my sanctuary was the horse.

There were many years we did not own a horse, but the horse was there in plastic form on my dresser or traveling with me in my mind. In my mind we would climb mountains, swim rivers and race the wind. During my teenage years, I would not have survived if it had not been for my horse. I could disappear for hours on their back, leaving the cares and bullying behind. We would find quiet places to tell my story and cry, hiding tears in his mane. Loneliness was not there when I was with the horse. We spoke the same language, felt the same heartbeats. Did you know a horse can hear your heart beat from ten feet away?

My wish became desire turned to passion then to life. I pondered why do I feel strong with the horse? The answer is simple, the horse was there to listen, not judge, not condemn, not call me silly or a fool, just to listen. Listen to the fears of a young girl, listen to the trials of a teenager, hear of the broken heart, the joys of good grade, the dreams and plans after graduation, and hopes for the future. The horse simply listened.

You feel strong when you know you are heard.

amtolle

A Quote for a Lifetime

My Grandson at 3 years saying “Hello” to Sis

There is nothing better for the inside of a man that the outside of a horse.

John Lubbock/Winston Churchill

I am a certified horse trainer and riding instructor, although I no longer train others horses or do lessons. I have spent years teaching youth to ride. I worked with different organizations introducing the horse and teaching youth who had never been around the majestic animal.

“Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride, friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity? Here where grace is laced with muscle and strength by gentleness confined” — from the Ode to the Horse by Ronald Duncan, created for Horse of the Year Show

My stallion and I together

The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable and grace unlike any other, still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back”

 Amber Senti

A horse is powerful, graceful and athletic and can hear your heart beat as you walk up to them. They can feel each and every muscle in your body as you sit in the saddle. There movement is silk beneath your legs.

Yet, can be gentle as a kitten.

My 3 year old grandson and a 6 month old colt.

Horses are used in physical rehabilitation or physical therapy called hippotherapy. The movement of the horse stimulates every muscle of the rider without strain on the rider’s muscles. Horses are being used in the United States to help service men and women with the emotional stresses due to combat.

My son-in-law on his first time ride and being around horses, coached by my daughter.

amtolle

Time Trap

Windmill in Maxwell, NM photo taken August 2009

I love taking pictures. I have hundreds of photos, mostly grandchildren, but very few I would call great. This old windmill is one of my great photos. My husband and I were on a drive, so its exact location I do not know, as we were not real sure where we were at the time. I asked him to stop, so I could take the photo. The old windmill is not in use for watering livestock or for the remnants of a home that stood near by. I do not know the name of the tree and I have not seen it during the time I lived and traveled in New Mexico.

A flower, name unknown, in our pasture the first spring we lived in Texas. 2010

I was walking in the pasture at the new home we purchased upon moving to Texas. I saw this heart shaped beauty. I looked this “weed” up and the flowers are supposed to be circular. I have not seen a heart shaped flower since.

The unique characteristic of photography is it captures what goes through the lens, freezing the moment of time. Does time stand still, only in a photograph.

amtolle

Mystery at the Farm

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

On a road trip with the window down enjoying the warmth of the sun, the smells of spring, exploring the countryside with my eyes as I travel. My eyes venture to some old wooden buildings accompanied by a few tall, worn out cottonwood trees, the remnants of a yard fence, a rose bush in bloom. No sign anyone has traveled to the house or barns in years. I stop the vehicle to respectfully look, staying outside the barbwire fence surrounding the area.

There was a time someone had taken great pride in this home and barns. The rose bush more dead thorny stems than green, yet manages to bring forth its bright red blooms. Where once stood a gate, white iris peak out from the mound of the irises of yesteryear. Someone appreciated beauty around them.

There is not much water in the area as it is semidesert terrain. Yet, the cottonwoods trees show life water flows under ground, but the trees are ancient shown by their monstrous trunks, bending limbs and peeling bark. The house is surrounded by these old gnarly guards, who have stood guard so long their trunks press against the worn sides of the home. The yard fence only stands in the corners, the spans have fallen from weak disrepair.

The home door is closed, remnants of fabric represent the curtains that once hung in the windows that are have been reduced to frames without glass. Do I smell apple pie? A rock chimney and fireplace stand strong, the way the home was heated from the bitter cold of winter. The strength of stone will outlast the wooden sides of the home. The roof is complete but dips like an old swaybacked horse. How many more rain storms or snow falls will the old roof hold?

The barn is not guarded by any cottonwood trees. It stands alone to face the wind, the storms and time. The sides have missing boards, one door has fallen in defeat, the other hangs by a hinge clinging to the barn for support. The roof is half gone. The barn has been lowered to the status of only providing meager protection and comfort for the wild animals who may find this worn out shelter.

Who were these people who chose to make a home hundreds of miles from the nearest town? What were their hopes, their dreams that would inspire them to this place to create a home? Were their children who played in the yard? I think I hear laughter on the wind. Why did they leave?

I love old buildings, any where and anytime. I enjoy visiting ghost towns and learning the history of the individuals who lived there.

Hope you enjoyed this short adventure.

amtolle