Feeling Reminiscent, For Some Strange Reason

Cowboys branding a calf in fenced area. South ...
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I can not explain the reason, but I have been feeling reminiscent this weekend.  I have not accomplished much, and have not had a single seed of inspiration all weekend.  I wonder if it’s the change of the seasons or something else that is placing me in this strange and uncomfortable mood.  I refuse to say depressed, for that is far from the truth, just kind of stuck in a rut.  It’s funny, but when this happens, I have a tendency to reminisce back to those fond and familiar memories of the good times in my childhood.   I prefer these remembrances to those of my previous post, for obvious reasons. 

We lived not far from the county fair grounds, about two blocks.  Our house was on the corner of one main street into town, and the street leading down to the fair grounds.  During the summer time, every Sunday, the local ranchers would gather at the rodeo arena to practice roping.  My brother and I would run down to the arena as soon as we saw the pick up trucks  pulling horse trailers make the turn to the fair grounds. 

They always let us sit up on the cattle chute, and release the steers so they could chase them down and rope them.  In our minds, we were taking part in a rodeo, and thought ourselves something of a cowboy.  We would sit on the steers in the narrow fenced chute lead in, thinking we were really something.  We had more fun watching those old ranchers play at their chosen sport than just about any other thing I can remember.  Of course we had our cowboy hats and boots, and always wore blue jeans and pearl snap shirts.  We were the picture of young cowboys.

In those days it was not uncommon for the local ranchers to welcome us to their ranch.  We often helped during the hay season, bucking bales, and playing in the fields.  I don’t think we really helped much, for most of those bales weighed far more than I did.  It was fun for us to believe we helped, but I know it was mostly my father who helped, and we were always with him, just about anywhere he went. 

I can remember quite well riding out with dad in Shasta, an old 1970 yellow Chevy pick up truck, to get hay for our horses.  He had a method to loading the truck that allowed him to get the most on it in one trip.  I used to think it funny to see the hay stacked up above the cab and hanging off the sides.  He would take the hay to our little barn, in the horse pasture, and stack it neatly.  We of course would go play in the haystack, and eventually have it knocked down and scattered all around. 

All of us kids, Kel, Tinaliegh, Toad, and myself would have little fights in the summer.  Since there was no snow we used what was available to us, hence was born the horse shit fight.  I think possibly Kel was the instigator of this, but we all joined in.  There was never a lack of ammunition, and it really was not all that messy.  Although I don’t remember Mother ever having a fit about it, I’m sure she was not pleased either.  We spent much of our free time in the summer down in the horse pasture, it was our fantasy land.  We had to be there anyway to take care of the horses and feed them, so we thought we might as well make it fun.

It’s nice to remember back, and realize that which makes you, you.  I don’t think its a bad thing at all, but should be kept in its proper place.  So when I get in these moods, I will allow some reminiscing, and then force myself to move on to what’s important.  The here and now, no mater how disheartening, is what needs to be focused on.  Sometimes one has to extradite themselves out of the past, in order to save the present.  That is what I’m trying to do, so bear with me, I’ll find my way back.

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confused said...

sometimes a pause to look back helps to look at where you are and where you want to be..

June Saville said...

As you know Eric I also look back at childhood in my writings on Journeys in Creative Writing.
The reason is that I believe it is important to set down our experiences as otherwise they will be lost.
I found my kids (and others) are hugely interested, but also it puts things into context.
I also believe very much in the old adage: 'He who ignores history is doomed to repeat it'.
June in Oz

Lilly's Life said...

Oh Eric I really enjoyed your post. Great memories. I think its important to lookback and remember happy times. And you are right, it is what made you, you. Who knows, the way you feel maybe to do with the instability in the world right now. I think back to my childhood all the time but I thought that was due to middle age. I think its great to write your memories down - who knows Jordan may love to read about them one day too. I know I have. Childhood days were simple, safe (for most of us) and fun. Nothing wrong with reminiscing about those times at all. Take Care - and fantastic writing as usual!

SusieScrapper said...

It's always good to look back and remember how things were. It's great that you had a happy childhood and have such fond memories. Don't ever stop remembering and reminiscing about your life, it keeps us young at heart!! Always share your stories, especially with family and friends, that way they'll never die!!

Great writing, totally enjoyed it!

Lord Eyebee said...

I like to look back sometimes. Never have regrets though, you can't turn the clock back.

Eric S. said...

@ Confused, Yes it does help to center you at time. Thanks

@ June Saville, I agree, that old adage has some very serious potent. too many people forget that. My mother is writing her memoirs now, and I get to read bits pieces once in a while. I think it is very interesting and helps me to understand her more. It's hard to think of my past as being along those lines, but I suppose it will eventually be.

@ Lilly Thank you, It is fun even though the cause is not necessarily a good one. I suppose age could have something to do with it also. I probably will write down more of my remembrances, You never know when they could come in handy.

@ Susie, Welcome my plurk friend, Thank you. It does make me feel better, and I enjoy my memories more than I can explain. It's amazing how it makes a person feel young again, LOL coming from a youngster myself.

@ Lord Eyebee, Welcome sir Plurk friend, No never to have regrets, learning observations at times, but not regrets. Thanks for stopping by

maggie's mind said...

Eek, horse poop fights. ;) Also no harm in reminiscing sometimes.

the walking man said...

Eric...beginning with the second paragraph you have the start of a fine memoir here.

It is funny how when we feel least inspired and write anyway, what we write becomes something fine and fulfilling.

LceeL said...

Fine writing, Eric. I love the story of the horse shit fight. You make it clear it was great being a kid where you were.

The Grandpa said...

The past is always with us. Thanks for sharing, Eric.

tashabud said...

Great post, Eric. Truly enjoyed reading childhood experiences. It sure nice to reminisce the past. Even though some of the past are painful, in remembrance, they somehow become less painful, and at times, actually seem funny, too.

Every year, we have a big event in Cheyenne called The Frontier Days where cowboys all over come to compete. Actually, this event got a special mention in my novel--The Big Picture. I don't know if you remember reading it there. I can picture your description vividly about you being in the chute during rodeos.

Thanks for sharing.

Eric S. said...

@ Maggie, yep, horse poop. It's not nearly as bad as it sounds, It's dry and doesn't splatter. LOL I guess one uses what one has at their disposal.

@ The Walking Man, Thanks, You know how it is, I had to write something. I figured since I was in a reminiscent mood, why not.

@ Lou, Thank you, and yes we had all kinds of fun when we were kids. We had our secret places like all kids, and our imaginary fortresses. There is nothing better than a child's imagination.

@ Grandpa, Yes the past is always with us, and it's fun to visit once in a while.

@ Tasha, why thank you, I had fun writing it. I know about Frontier Days, have never been, but wanted to. We used to go to the Stock Show in Denver all the time. Of course there were all the local County Fairs also. I do believe I remember reading about Frontier days in your novel.

Liara Covert said...

To re-read your blog offers you insight into yourself and your true feelings. Why believe that you, "have not accomplished much" when you are as yet unaware of all you do in the physical world? I value all the childhood memories you choose to share. Why belittle the effort? Each one is part of you were, who you are becoming.

To believe you "have not had a single seed of inspiration all weekend" ignores the fact that you wrote this post and it was based on something meaningful. You also accomplished more things than you can count or even remember. I would bet you could expand on a list of tasks you completed, and discern reasons behind each one. The words you use to describe yourself are the ones you choose to remember. Reasons for any action are not "strange" unless some choice you make evokes discomfort. Zero in on the underlying reason for that and you will highlight a powerful, new source of inspiration. It awaits your latest self-discovery.

soulMerlin said...

Hi Eric ~ Don't rush back...I really loved joining you where you were in your childhood.

lovely post


Eric S. said...

@ Liara Covert, Thanks, I didn't intend to belittle my efforts, just explain the unusual mood I was in. Yes I'm sure I accomplished many things I don't even know about or realize. These moods are kind of funny, and have a strange effect on me.

I find it comforting to reminisce at these times. That allows me to recenter, and enjoy some personal history. Thank you for your suggestion, I'll work on them. Sometimes it's harder to zero in on my own feelings as to why I do anything.

@ Henry, Thanks, I might very well take you on another trip in the near future. I loved your latest on From Dusk Till Dawn.

Kelli-Jo said...

I'm with Henry, don't hurry away from these remembrances too fast wee bro! I had nice teary-eyed moment there, taking a wee walk back along memory's lane with you. Thanks!

I like also how Confused use the work "pause" in the lead in to his/her comment. I do think its useful to look back from time to time, as long as we don't hang on to things too long that are not helpful in managing what is going on in life today.

Actually, I loved the post and really enjoyed all of the comments. Of particular note in the commentaries are Liara (total thumbs up), June Saville (got my curiosity up), Tashabud (warm and lovely as always), Lilly (ditto), and Lou cracks me up.

But dude, I just half to correct ya on the name of the old yella chevy! It was She'asta. As in, "She'asta have an oil change, She'asta have new tires before winter, She'asta have a wash, etc." Dad would get that wicked grin of his and start in on the "She'astaes" until we kids were tied up in knots of giggles and groans and shouting out our own increasing silly variations of the "She'asta have . . .".

If I started the use of horse pucky for ammo I'm durn proud of the creativity. But, personally, I think it was Toddo *wink*. My own favorite, which I proudly claim discovery of, was those great big puff-ball mushrooms when they had gone completely to spores inside, and were perfectly brittle in the shells. Now THOSE were brilliant ammo! The warrior had to make a VERY close pass to the "invader" before throwing the puffball as hard as possible for optimum spore explosion. And the victim could not claim they were unhit because the spore dust made a very satisfying stain on our clothes (thankfully it would wash out). And do you remember the extensive "forts" we built in the great old grand-daddy Ponderosa Pine trees (or snow in winter)?

I remember the horses and pasture with deep fondness also. And am happy you remember so many good times with us other kids and Dad. I still struggle a bit with the horrors of the Clark years, but don't dwell on that when it surfaces.

Good job Rico. Bravo!

queenlint1 said...

LMAO about the horse shit fights! I used to pelt my husband with horse muffins when he'd get cheeky in the barn!

I think kids now days are missing terribly. We were always outside, just like you and your sibs!

I remember killing old chickens and scalding and plucking them in the big iron vat outside, putting up hams, taking turns with the cow and horse chores...I've even bucked hay!

It was a good read. Thanks honeylamb!

jena isle said...

Hi Eric,

this is a great post, this is how I feel a times too, going back to the days when, being barefooted was a pleasure and swimming in a real river was a "swim".

Playing by the rice paddies and catching butterflies. Those were the days, Now our kids have their own, ferris wheels and bump cars and toy horses.

Thanks for sharing.

Eric S. said...

@ Kel, Hey there girl, Memory Lane is such a pleasant, comfortably, and scenic drive isn't it. The hard part is not lingering too long, and never taking anything along for the ride, or back from the ride for that mater, if you know what I mean.

I love the comments too, and like you said there are some very good points. I do love my readers, they keep me going.

The old Yellow Chevy, I do remember now, I must have shortened the name for convenience. I remember the reason for the name quite clearly, and Dad's fun with the statements, most of all his grin and giggle.

Toad may very well have been the instigator, But I do remember your proclivity to locate the softest, slimiest and there for spatter prone ammunition. That pasture and the little barn was one of my favorite places as a child.

@ Qweenlint1, I am so glad I was able to give you a good laugh. These city folk around here, don't understand our love for all things natural he he he. I agree, kids these days are missing so much. Most would never consider picking up such an item. LOL.

@ Jena, Hi girl, I think our kids these days have their fun created for them instead of having to use their imagination to entertain themselves as we did. My youth contains some of my fondest memories of the times we spent out in the "wilds".


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