Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Tears, talismans, trails

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You


Tough night again last night and a tough beginning to the morning. I'm finding that sometimes I can divert myself from grief and sometimes I cannot.

While feeding the dogs at my other house this morning I found myself wailing and crying bitter tears.

This was rather a surprise, for I have never cried like that before.

It was cleansing and let the bad out. I felt better afterwards.

Probably the way it's supposed to work.


I don't believe in talismans, I told myself. All I need or want from Allie already exists in my heart.

Yet I have an elastic "pony" on my wrist. I have a letter. I have other things too.

The stuff in my heart is more important. But the talismans are important too. They do indeed have magical power.


At the ranch I paused to let a fence-crawlin' cow back in and reflect on the most natural cowgirl I ever met.

The windmill spinning against blue sky and sunshine was beautiful.

The windmill makes water. Beautiful.


Wildflowers. They are part of the prairie ecosystem. An important part.

Allie understood, in a way many experts do not or cannot, that the prairie is a synergistic and homeostatic system. There must be a balance of grasses, sedges, forbs, shrubs. And fauna to balance the flora. The wildflowers are beautiful and she loved them all, even the weedy ones. She loved the grasses and the sedges and the shrubs. She loved the wild fauna and she loved the cattle. She loved the colorful lichens adorning former seabed rocks.


This morning it had been far, far too long since my last workout. Back injections on August 4, recovery from that, then the horror. Too long. This morning it was time.

My path took me along a path taken not so long ago.

Then it was time to pound the legs, heart, lungs, and mind.

I'm afraid I got crazy. Hope you don't mind too much. It's kind of cringy on video but it felt right in the moment.

Crazier still. Firetrucking dove eggs. She directed my steps to that place though, so, I mean, how can I not post it up?

A while back she commented on a post here. "Nature sure is fuckin beautiful isn't it Shaun... Can't wait to see more of it with you."

We're seeing it, aren't we?


Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

What to my wondering eyes should appear, but an old fat sailor and a mini Mule Deer!

With corrals set I took a glance at the cows.

This evening it rained.

And a little one practiced to be an orthopaedic surgeon. She'll be a good one!


I don't understand how this smart, witty, vivacious, courageous, powerful, strong, giving, caring, loving, extraordinarily beautiful woman fell in love with me. I was there when it happened, but I still don't get it. I'm so blessed.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. Grief sucks. God be with you and yours. Love on those kids.

    1. Loving on those kids is the most important job I have in my life.

      God is with us and He is making this impossible thing not only doable but filled with joy and love.

      Thanks so much for the kind thoughts, words, and prayers. They mean so very much to all of us.

  2. After your father passed, I suggested grief counselling. I'm fortunate we have a good situation in Greeley and it helped me a lot after my youngest son, the Medic, died. What is available in your area I can't seem to find. Maybe start asking at your local hospital?

    1. Thanks WSF. I have grief counselling and we're working to make it available for the rest of the family. There's no doubt at all that it helps a great deal.

  3. One day at a time, and looks like you know the drill. Don't have to like it, but you gotta work thru it. You got a good team on your side to help.
    You are probably in a good position to deal with the crap, based on the realities of the HM job, and losing your Dad not too long ago. Might want to keep an eye on the other family members who may be struggling more than you and need some support that they might not ask for. Ally's family, and of course the kids. They don't have blog families like you do, which hopefully helps share the load.
    Prayers up.

    1. I've certainly done the suck it up and drive on thing during awfully bleak times, so I do have experience. I'm able to use that to help the rest of the family and I think I'm being of good use in that fashion. I could use another set of eyeballs to giggle test some of my assessments and we're working on that. God is doing all the heavy lifting for me and that's the only thing making it possible. And Allie is here with me and helping in astonishing and happy, beautiful ways.

      The blog family is such a huge thing, such a loving and happy thing. I want to try to write about that too, the way you guys have supported us is so smashingly beautiful and so very helpful. What a blessing!

      Thanks so very much for your kind words, thoughts and prayers John. I can't begin to say how much they mean to all of us.

  4. Good to see you dealing with your loss, Shaun. All too often people let if get brushed under the rug, to "deal with it later".

    You have her eternal love, I'm sure, and as you retrace your paths and relive your memories, she lives on with you and in you.

    And we're here for you, too.

    1. I've learned the hard way that stuff needs to be handled, not put off. It's a bit of a jedi mind trick played upon myself, and it's hard but it works and it's the best way.

      She is right here with me, always. I didn't expect that, but of course being human I didn't expect to lose her. The physical separation sucks, but we're not really separated at all.

      The fact that you kind readers are here for us is such an indescribably beautiful blessing that I have no words to describe it. Thanks you so very much for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers drjim.

  5. This popped up in memories on fb:

    "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."

    It would've been here sooner but my iPad is challenged.

    1. I love that Skip.

      iPads... God has a brilliant sense of humor!

  6. I wish I had some wise counsel to give, some examples to guide you, but I don't. The tears were needed and probably cathartic. You will sense her in the things you do and see, you might hear her voice on the night wind, she will never leave you and you her. You have a hard job ahead, but the Lord wouldn't have put it on you if He didn't know you could bear it. Love you brother.

    Awfully dusty in here this morning.

    1. Love you too Chris.

      Hard, hard, hard, but not too hard. It's okay. God, Allie, Family, blog family. I am so blessed, we are all so blessed. My heart goes out to the countless others who this very minute are facing tragedy alone and know of nowhere to turn. May God love them and hold them close.

      It feels very much to me like my entire life has been training for this. It's game time now and I'm going to to the best things for the best reasons to the best of my ability. With lots and lots of support from an enormous and loving team. We'll leave it all on the field and we will triumph.

      Thanks so very much Brother.