Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Wild, Wild, West,,,,My "Home Sweet Home"!

I love Windmills. We presently live on Windmill Lane near Custer, SD. My Father had over a dozen Windmills on the Ranch I was raised on in the Sandhills of Nebraska. We even put a Windmill on his Grave Stone.

One of my jobs as I grew up was to ride my horse and check out several of our Windmills and make sure they were working, pumping water and the tank was full. Many times it would take me all day of steady riding to get them all checked. But it was an important, long, lonely job....just me and my horse Angel. Angel was a beautiful horse and was truly an Angel. She would work hard and never let me down, a faithful companion. I used to talk to her, sing to her and even ask her questions. She didn't answer me much, but I could always tell she was on my side. Warm, Hot or Cold, she was always there to do her share. I will always remember Angel.

Patches was the horse I had before Angel. Patches and I grew up together. I rode him 4 miles to school and 4 miles home every day for several years....I was in the 3RD, 4TH and 5TH grade. I remember the snow would be so deep sometimes that he couldn't get through it and we would have to head for higher ground. We had a barn at school where several of us kept our horses all day. We had to haul lots of hay to the barn for them to eat. Patches was a little tricky....he liked to play tricks on me. He could always tell when I wasn't paying attention while I rode him and he would suddenly STOP very quickly. That would cause me to flip right over his head and land flat on my back. It would happen so quickly that I wouldn't know what hit me. I always rode him bareback and if I didn't keep hold of the reins he would take off for home after he dumped me.....and I would have to walk! I learned to keep hold of those reins for dear life. I sure didn't want to walk home!

I hope you can click on this photo and enlarge it so you can read this beautiful poem. It has a lot of truth and memories in it for me.

As we travel, I still always look for windmills. They will tell you which way the wind is blowing. There are lots of different styles and sizes, little ones and big ones, some metal and some wood. Their main purpose in life is the pump Water! It's getting harder and harder to find a windmill. They are becoming a thing of the past. It seems so many things are like that anymore....A thing of the PAST...... All gone but the Memories!!

And Memories we all have. Thanks for listening to my reminiscing of some of my past out here in the Good Ole' Wild, Wild West. God Love it!!!

God Bless you all!!!

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!


This Blog is published every Wednesday and Sunday..


Dennis M said...

Mike - a great story about your childhood. On the way from Denver to Chicago a few weeks ago we spent the day at the Nebraska State Fair. We watched the Team Calf Sorting (not sure if that is the name) and it was amazing to watch young men and girls on horse-back competing with the men. It looked like they live on those horses! Enjoy your blog, have a good trip south!

Rick and Paulette said...

Mike, great post about your childhood and how you rode a horse to school - I wonder if any kids still do?? I like windmills too although we don't really see too many(any?) here on Vancouver Island.

Margaret said...

Mike -- love your comments. My father, who grew up on a farm in NW Missouri, also loved windmills and actually kept a journal of where and when he saw the old wooden-bladed ones -- not many left! He also rode a horse to school but I don't think they had a barn -- just someplace to tie the horses up during the day! Great memories -- thanks!

Margaret Wright

Jerry and Suzy said...

Mike, we sure have enjoyed the Nebraska Sandhill country, not that we have spent a lot of time there. We stayed at Valentine a couple of times, saw the Niobrara Wildlife Preserve and the three beautiful waterfalls near Valentine. I can hear others saying "Waterfalls in Nebraska?"

There's a museum somewhere in western Oklahoma that has a big section featuring windmills. Never knew how many different types there were.

Thanks for sharing the poem about Where the West Begins.

Carol said...

Great blog, Mike. Thanks for sharing your memories with us. :)+


I took a picture of some windmills huddled to-gether while driving through Texas this past March. I'll see if I can find it & post it in our blog to-night. (Wednesday)


Forgot to post that windmill pic last night but will get er in Thursday night.....10-4

Nick Russell said...

Great post Mike. If you ever get into northeast Indiana, check out the Mid-America Windmill Museum in Kendalville.