Pine’n The Notch… |
“Just stay on the switchbacks and logging roads, you cain’t get lost” my host had said. And, being this side of it all, I’ll agree with that. But there was a mornin’ and afternoon… and almost an evening, when I was strongly ’sidetracked’.
Tweren’t any trouble though. The sights-n-sounds-n-scents of the mountains were more than fair comp’ny. If that’s being ‘lost’, who needs a map?
My second day in the Bridgers had started in common-enough fashion. I’d left out from the cabin with bow in hand, and a bull in mind. But the folds and shadows and windsong’d drainages of these brooding sentinels were becoming a distraction. Like a feisty redhead to a man who swears he likes calm brunettes, these mountains were getting my attention. But, I had fifteen days, so I didn’t mind at all. Besides, there had to be an elk around here somewhere.
Only there wasn’t. Seems a fella who guided folk on ‘hunts’ down in the quakies of the flat had been on top the night before we arrived (two nights before season opened up) with a gun, a horn, and a plan… it worked. There were elk all over the valley, roaming in herds, like Herefords. Good for his business, a bit more of a challenge for me, here on the high side of things.
But that was alright. I had come here this particularly stormy September, as much for the challenge of this storied high ground as for the elk. And there was enough of the first, that the lack of the second never really felt like a ‘loss’. Now how’s that for fortunate livin’?!
And on this second day, after crossing three ridges, eight or nine startled range cows, more muley does than I thought God had made, and two sets of this season’s bear cubs… at close range… one set without a visible “Momma” (yep, that was interesting for a few minutes, to say the least), I came across a sight that brought this wind-suckin’ flatlander to a smiling stop. I had been working the logging road scratched between the bulk of two uplifts late in the day as yet another storm was growling and bulling its way over the western shoulders of the range. As I rounded the curve and topped a short rise on the southerly side, I hit the ‘notch’, that place where both giants give way enough for a man to see a bit of the glory beyond. I took a drink from my canteen, and then I just stood there, for almost twenty minutes, just drinking in the beauty and wonder and power of this oft-stepped dance between sky and sentinel.
When I finally made my way back to the cabin in the growing dark, my host was on the porch, pipe a’glowin… “You have a good day today?”
“Get lost?” he says with a chuckle.
“Nossir, just introduced.”
That answer seemed to suit us both.
___________________________________ CM Sackett
|Gjk7G6 Muchos Gracias for your article.Thanks Again. Will read on... -|
|5PC17l A big thank you for your post. Much obliged. -|
In a life otherwise replete with a goodly portion of those things that can make a man go, "Mmmm!"... this old homeplace is truly, a Grace from God. |
...and even in the midst of some of my more tacit conversations with Him, I remember to say "Well, at least THANKS for this place."
And like her caretaker, she has had her Storms, and goes through her 'moods'. Tomorrow, I'll post up just a few shots that show her beauty (to me) across a few... "Just Another Day"s
Here's one to keep you company till then, Lord willin'.
|KkN8Zc Enjoyed every bit of your blog post.Really thank you! Will read on... -|
|R0mAxw I loved your blog article.Really thank you! Really Great. -|
"Man-Things... Body Shops" |
Well, to the un-initiated perhaps... to most women, for sure. But to a man who grew up in the dust and noise and smells and Wonder of a body shop, whose great pleasure as a boy of six, seven, eight, nine... thirteen was to help his dad flux the brass rods, mix the plastic ~ the primer ~ the paint, and take in all the heady aromas of Repair... oh, this sight is a thing of BEAUTY (even if it is only in the eyes of this beholder)! You see, when the eyes of my frame look upon these old rigs, the eyes of my heart and Memory take over.
I see a 'Sandlewood' (light gold/silver) paint job topped with PPG 'Harlequin' flames (squirt-work was my specialty, as a young man). I see the flawless lines, Lexus-tight seams, the lowered stance. I can clearly hear the deep eclectic rhythm of the cam'd-up big block rumbling in the smoothed/stainless-steeled engine bay... see the chassis twitch in perfect time to the power in her lovingly renewed breast.
Everything ~ the leather and burl-wood of the interior, the 3-inch stainless rivers of Tone underneath, even the feel of the Boulevard and the tunes on the deck... all of it is as clear and real and complete to my senses as I stand here now as it would be if the key were in the ignition and my hand upon the wheel of the finished beast.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I know all about the rust and holes and wrinkled dents (and busted knuckles, frustrated deadlines, bone-deep soreness ~ all over ~ and budget constraints)... I grew up in the WORK of turning wrecks into Wonders (and yes, spent my fair share of time cussing points of the process). But I never tired of the satisfaction felt as the last bit of tape and paper came off in the paint booth. I never forgot the eagerness I felt as the buffer sang and searched out the real beauty of the finish.
And I never grew weary of the return on Investment ~ in Joy, Laughter, Exhilaration, Contented sighs, Pride... and Thankfulness for the time shared with each creation.
You know, I think I just came up with the perfect definition of "junk"... that for which nothing better, further, richer or worthy can be envisioned.
I think God runs one Hell of a body shop for souls.
Thank you Lord, for seeing more in me than the wreck I had made of myself... thank you, indeed.
|v6Zvaq I truly appreciate this article post.Much thanks again. Awesome. -|
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|- This post made my heart squeeze. Don't you just love the fact that your kdodis love books? And the fact that they are all enjoying the same book together it doesn't get much better than that. Hooray for books. And kids. Thanks for sharing this moment. -|
Tomorrow, we head SOUTH (I know, living in Arkansas is considered 'South'... but we're going 13 hours S O U T H). |
This was an absolutely gorgeous S. Texas "Brush-country" morning... and fairly uncommon. They had had heavy rains for nearly the entire week prior to my arrival at a good friend's ranch... and every stickly, prickly plant was showing off its FULL GLORY of renewal.
...and a few critters were stirring in the mist, as well.
The fog rolling in off the Gulf only added to the Wonder of this ~ SOUTH TEXAS SOFT... ~
Look for the entire collection TOMORROW!
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Well Good People, |
You have welcomed me warmly, and with humbling acknowledgment of my work.
First, THANK YOU.
Now, if there's anyone checking this blog tonight (1/05/11), here is a 'tease' of some of what's coming... TOMORROW!
NOTE: This was "ISHI", one of the most magnificent Cream Chows I've ever seen... and the best damn dog I've ever shared time and space with. We still have his sister, ISOBELLA (even lighter than he was).
|He was, honestly, what I call an "Innocent" (he was sharp as a tack, and a fiend of a hunter... yes, a CHOW CAN HUNT. He did! And when he would fight any other BIG dog, I always had to pull him off before they got bad hurt). But his manner and actions with us, and indeed any other person he knew I trusted (God help any man he sensed I had no use for...) was uniquely gentle and care-full (he had the softest, slowest 'take', i.e., a piece of food, etc. of any dog I've ever known). He was the consummate companion afield, or in the house. He maintained the Chow 'aloofness' fairly well (more like a cat than most dogs when it came to wanting attention). His way of letting us know was to simply amble over and... 'bump' into our leg with that massive, beautiful head of his... and then look up like, "Yup. I need a pat". His death was one of the harder things I've borne in many years. But I wouldn't trade even one minute of his 100% trust, love and respect for me... for all the promised 'safety' Time could offer. ISHI ~ a tip of the hat, and a warm Smile of remembrance, my friend. - CM Sackett|
|rsBqS6 I really enjoy the blog post.Much thanks again. Really Cool. -|
NOTE: I have spent years also attempting to 'paint vistas for the mind and heart'... with words. Sometimes, even integrating my photos/art with the story. |
Following is one such example ~
The Brothers Three…
They were there… just for an instant. Then that blasted Gulf-spawned fog rolled back over them (I mean, we were in the Brush Country of south Texas… not the Puget Sound!).
“Did you see that?” I whispered.
My friend Charlie lowered his glasses and peered into the mist. “See what?” he whispered back.
I stepped closer to keep our hushed tones from drifting into the thicket. “I swear I saw rams standing in that wash, right there.” I said, pointing with a nod of my head.
Charlie stared hard into the rolling blank greyness, then looked at me like I’d just given a dumb answer on Jeopardy, “There ain’t no rams on this ranch.”
All I could do was just shake my head… he was so encouraging sometimes. “Well, I know what I saw.” I hissed as quiet, yet ‘firm’ as I could. It was my best defense, with nothing but fog for proof. Yet, as Charlie was gathering himself to make some witty comeback, we heard the ‘click‘, like a hoof on stone. And it was coming from the direction of the wash. Charlie looked at me wide-eyed, like he’d just heard wind in church. As I returned his gaze, I proved to be the more mature and manly of the two of us… I stuck my tongue out at him.
Again, out of the shrouded beyond, that faint, but distinct ‘click‘… ‘click‘ ‘click‘ ‘click‘. And then, what sounded like a groan.
Now, for a couple of Tennessee hillbillies, me and Charlie was bold as the best of them around coons and possums and other bench crawlers-n-holler ‘haints. But this here was getting down right unnerving for both of us.
Then, as we strained to see through the soup, the fog melted right there, just enough for us to get a peek at several of what “ain’t” on that ranch.
“Man o’ man, would you look at that” Charlie said, a little louder than he meant to.
It got their attention, and three of them glanced over their shoulders and instantly saw us for what we were… a very small threat. But that didn’t stop ‘em from turning right around and leading the others into that thorn-crowned realm of safety.
Me and Charlie had come down here for hogs and javies. Well, and bobcats, coyotes, bunnies… you know, anything that a south Texas March had to offer. But from the instant we laid eyes on those curl horned ghosts, we were after RAMS! Charlie said it would be “…easy. They’re just domestic goats.” He could be so persuasive sometimes. And so wrong.
For the next two hours, we stood right where we were, making a grand plan of attack. Let’s just keep this between ourselves… alright? But truth be told, it wasn’t because of our years of vast experience or colossal wisdom or unfathomably deep propensity for patience. Nah, it’s just, that for most of that time, we couldn’t see past the Snuffers on the end of our arrows.
Once the sun finally climbed out of its bed, somewhere in Pennsylvania, and burned a path of daylight into the landscape, we headed out after our new favorite challenge. Spent the rest of that day~~and right into dark working our plan and walking the Lama’s right off our Tony’s (well, you do have to dress proper for Texas, you know!). We snuck down arroyos, crawled through pig tunnels in the mesquite (made by very small pigs, I might add), became instant experts in the Texas Two-Step trying to get clear of a rattler we disturbed, and actually wondered if drinking water would do us any good. I mean, we figured it’d just come pouring out of all those new holes in us, if we did. And once in a while, we even caught a glimpse of those beasts, generally standing in some clearing about 150-200 yards ahead of us. They were always standing right at the entrance to another hellish haven of escape… laughing. I swear, they were laughing.
We played the wind. We played our hunches. We played our luck… and we played plumb out. The only ones who enjoyed that day were the rams, and our host.
As we were having dinner at the LIBERTY Cafe that evening, our host, Mr. Smith, was fairly gentle with us. He waited until the chips-n-salsa were in place before he chuckled and said, “You boys look like you had a full day.”
We were too pooped and too hungry to argue the obvious.
“Saw them damn rams, didn’t you?”
That snapped us back to attention. Charlie ’bout spit chip chunks into my fresh bowl of cheese dip… he can be so uncouth sometimes! I covered up just in time, and then looked at Smitty. “Yessir, we sure did. Why didn’t you tell us you had rams on this place?”
“Because I don’t.”
“But we seen ‘em!” Charlie had cleared an airway and finally found his voice.
“Yeah, I know you saw them. But I’m not the reason they’re there. One of my neighbors came into more money back in the 80’s than he ever had brains for. He went out and bought a bunch of those beasts, and a herd of emu. Said they were the ‘beef of the future’ and going to make him ‘rich’. Well, it didn’t take them long to ‘migrate’ back and forth through the holes in the fence that the hogs make. The only thing they’ve been over the years is a smelly pain in the rump!”
“Well, why haven’t you just killed ‘em off?” I asked.
“Two reasons, my friend. One, them old smelly buggers ain’t that dumb-easy.” Then he leaned forward for effect. “You boys found that out today, didn’t you?” he chuckled.
I was too interested in reason number two to even let that one hit home. Charlie, on the other hand, was a little more inclined to catch it. Just as he was working up a rebuttal, I shoved the chips closer to him and asked, “Smitty, what’s reason number two?”
Smitty leaned back in his chair and smiled, like he’d just finished a fine meal~~and we hadn’t even started on our Mexican Plate #2’s yet.
Smitty cut right to th chase. “I’ll tell you what, boys. If either of you can stick one of the ‘Brothers 3', your hunt’s on me.”
He’d said Charlie’s favorite word… “free”. “We kill a ram, our whole hunt’s free?”
Smitty’s smile was faint, but ominous. “Not just any ram, gentlemen. It has to be one of the ‘Brothers 3'.”
“Who’s the ‘Brothers 3', sir?” I asked (I liked a little more detail to my deals of a lifetime).
Smitty smiled. “They’re the chink-bossed, full-curled old demons that bested you boys all day, down by the tanks… the three that looked back at you in the fog.”
Now it was my turn to be a tortilla geyser. I was a better shot, got Charlie and the queso. “How in the Sam Hill did you know that?!” Charlie bellowed as his eyes followed the debris trail from his shirt, all the way back to my silent, sheepish ‘SORRY!”.
“Well, I was quite impressed with the fact that you boys weren’t deterred by that gift from the Gulf this morning. And since I didn’t have anything else to do after you left, I figured I’d just see how you Tennessee mountain men liked our Brush Country flats. And I calculated it was about time for those bearded bandits to cross back over to my place.” He gave it all time to sink in, then added, “I figured they’d get your attention. So, I went up on Calichi Hill to watch the whole show… and you boys put on a good one!”
I was liking this man. Ornery as Hell! But not mean, just full of the zest of Life.
I wasn’t against anything ‘free’, but something about the way Smitty just sat there at the end of the table, munchin’ on a chip and watching us, I began to feel like we were nothing more than lab mice… in a maze. And that old hombre had just dropped the cheese at the other end. We could smell it. And he knew we were gonna go for it, the confident, satisfied look on his face bore that out. But the fire dancin’ in his eyes made me wonder if there was an exit.
more to come…
|lcHzvB wow, awesome blog. Great. -|
|When I originally neommcted I clicked the Notify me when new comments are added checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thank you! -|
|I'm glad the Q&A brought out some of the is this eigdsn? questions and framing. I was listening to the topics and project descriptions of the lecture thinking to myself how does this relate at all to the eigdsn training I had in the early 90 s at CMU?! I don't get it at all seems like a bunch of ethereal mumbo-jumbo. Interestingly, through the Q&A discussion it really started to gel that the process of social innovation eigdsn or eigdsning behavior rather than form , it's not that different from the eigdsn processes we studies for product eigdsn . market research or educating yourself on a topic area as a common language or reference framework, ideation of exploring that framework for what is possible, divergent thinking for exploring what are the possibilities of solutions, and convergent thinking of evaluating and putting value to those possibilities Taking it a step further, this eigdsn approach cycles through the process in iterations once the eigdsn' part is done and out in the world. I guess this relates to the point made that Transformation eigdsn is never completed. Society and behavior as a material is quite a mental stretch, but I guess there's something to it. It's hard to argue with the results. That's what I got from the lecture. -|
|niQvJE Muchos Gracias for your blog post.Much thanks again. Really Great. -|
'SILENT NIGHT'... a different Christmas Story |
You can go HERE to READ IT: http://doorwaybuck.com/theblog/?p=12
You can click HERE to LISTEN TO IT: http://www.therightscoop.com/silent-night-by-cm-sackett
Either way, hope you enjoy this 'late' Christmas present! CM Sackett
|M2qsOZ Thanks-a-mundo for the blog article.Much thanks again. Will read on... -|
|M1Te2d A round of applause for your blog.Much thanks again. Want more. -|