Climb on the Buckboard!

Joining the ranks of Wild West cowboys
we only knew from books, we moved from
Massachusetts to Colorado as three young sisters
with a fourth on the way. We donned
Cowboy boots, hats, square dance skirts,
and moccasins too. We spoke with a different accent.

A new, yellow Mercury station wagon provided
us views of our town – a modern version of the
buckboard. We were pioneers exploring the
Western territories. The gawky folks  asked about
our strange words: roof was ruff; creek was
crick. Teachers marveled our cursive handwriting.

Our Dad chuckled as he told Mom the story about
finishing the kitchen floor in our new abode. Some
strangers walked through the new house in Pueblo’s
Belmont. They mused aloud thinking our Dad was
a construction worker: who would put wallpaper
in a kitchen? Our parents created a

Yankee oasis complete with
antique furniture, built-in shelves for books
and china our mother had selected. Braided rugs
over hardwood floors. New England ladder-back chairs
at the dining room table with extra leaves if we needed to add
them when company came to visit.

We were, after all, explorers from the East.
Our Dad kept an envelope stuffed
with all the misspellings of our last name. It
seems people got stuck on the C in the middle. I
soon learned to tell them it was silent. Our
mother made us Western skirts with rickrack.

In gym class we learned to square dance. At
the State Fair, we attended rodeos and 4-H.
Gene Autry, and Little Annie Oakley came to the
fair. We emerged as butterflies from our cocoons.
We were the Western branches of the tree of
Life. Like Hank, Eleanor, and Ellen, we had

moved West from the East. We were the renegades,
the rebels as the Eastern branch of the family
called us. Maybe that is where my independent
spirit emerged. I was a risk-taker along with
other members of our families. A new branch
grew in Germany, where I moved and studied.

It seemed forever to my parents. Those three
years flew by. I returned to the Western branch
of the family to finish college in Colorado before
embarking on other travels and work to the South
and East. I reminisce all those years spent on
different branches of the same tree.

Now, forever changed, I settle awhile, but
soon a new branch will grow. This time,
one all the way to Prague. A singing branch
to add to the language branches. New growth
and adventures await. This mighty tree continues
forever now. Winding, changing, adding leaves.

Head spinning with memories and music these
days, I continue to smile at all the branches
of this tall tree. Roots running deep in the
Earth support all the new growth. I wonder in
awe at the tree’s transformation from young
Eastern branches to Western branches.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in buckboard, Colorado State Fair, pioneers, Prague, roots and tree branches, Yankee and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Climb on the Buckboard!

  1. Peter Klopp says:

    Wow! Mary Ann, your entire life in a single post, that is quite an achievement. Here is a German saying on avoiding long-windedness: In der Kürze liegt die Würze. There is much to be learned on my side of the blogging adventure.
    We once had a pastor from the States who used cricks and ruffs in his sermons a lot. I was quite puzzled at first, then I began to understand his language. Haha!
    Have a great weekend!
    Peter

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your lively and entertaining comment to my blog post. It was a capsule from my life. I had to research photo albums and dig through my stash of our Western items to get the photos. I love your cricks and ruffs in the sermon too. Languages are fascinating. My blogger friends from the UK use word and expressions I have to research sometimes. Since we were elementary school-ages when we arrived in CO, we still had our dolls and doll carriages from MA. The CO kids called them a baby buggy which I found odd. In the supermarket we received “sacks” and not brown paper bags. In the East, it was soda and in the West is was pop or soda pop. Regional differences are intriguing too. I don’t think I am ever “short and sweet and to the point” since I was used to explaining as a teacher. But my Haiku poems might fit your German saying. My husband interrupts me frequently to say “cut to the chase.”, Before I published articles for my language journals, I had him read through and edit. When he deleted entire paragraphs, I was annoyed at first. Sometimes it is best to simply sit down or open your word document and write down all your thoughts. Sleep on it and some back the next day and edit, edit, edit. Blogging is so much fun with the comments and meeting people in this manner. I enjoy our conversations. Enjoy the weekend. Yesterday’s snow disappeared but a cold wind blows outside. Old Man North is on the rampage this weekend. ^__^

      Liked by 1 person

      • Peter Klopp says:

        In response to your comment I must say that my wife and I are happy to have settled in the Western part of Canada. The contrast between the Eastern US and Colorado is somewhat similar to the one we experienced coming from Germany. We too were the renegades, rebels and deserters of our home turf. But the fresh air (and not just the physical one) has worked miracles on Biene and my family. I hope I make any sense with my Sunday morning ramblings. Have a great day! Peter

        Liked by 1 person

      • Peter, I love your Sunday morning ramblings. You should make that a title of a weekly report from the home front where you live. Fresh air! I know exactly what you are talking about. I search that in my life too and not just the physical one. Tell me again, where you lived in Germany, please. I found the air in Berlin stifling at times. I can’t imagine growing up in a large city. OK to visit but not to live there. I know some will not agree. The fresh air in Colorado with an average of 330 days of sun/year was just what the Dr. ordered.

        Like

  2. Arno Bode,Cologne,Germany says:

    Liebe Mary Ann,
    beeindruckend ist deine liebevoll zum Ausdruck gebrachte Schilderung deiner früheren Jahre.Die zur Ilustration gewählten Fotos dokumentieren Glück und Freude in deinem Familienleben.
    Für deinen Gesangsauftritt in Prag sage ich schon heute Toi,Toi,Toi….Die Spannung auf dieses Ereignis wächst sicherlich bei Dir mit jedem neuen Tag.Zunächst aber ,wünsche ich Dir liebe Mary Ann ,Deinem Mann Russell und deinen Kindern eine friedvolle Vorweihnachtszeit.
    Alles Liebe und Gute
    Dein Arno

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lieber Arno,
      Wie immer danke ich Dir für diese freundlichen und herzlichen Worte in Deinem Kommentar. Wir haben viel vor unserer Aufführung in Prag zu bereiten. Deine Wünsche werden sehr geschätzt.

      Manchmal habe ich eine Idee für meinen Blog, die mehr Arbeit schafft als normalerweise. Ich musste zahlreiche Alben durchsehen und in den Kartons westliche Artikel stöbern.

      Du bist ein überzeugter Unterstützer meiner musikalischen und schriftlichen Bemühungen. Es freut mich, dass Du auch in meinem Blog Freude hast.

      Alles Gute für Dich und Deine Advents- und Weihnachtszeit,
      Deine Mary Ann

      Dear Arno,

      as always, thank you for such kind and heartfelt words in your comment. We have much to prepare before our performance in Prague. Your wishes are much appreciated.

      Sometimes I have an idea for my blog which creates more work than they normally would. I had to look through numerous albums and rummage through boxes of Western items for the photos.

      You are a staunch supporter of my efforts both in music and in writing. It pleases me that you find pleasure in my blog too.

      All the best wishes to you and yours this Advent and Christmas season,

      Your Mary Ann

      Like

  3. balroop2013 says:

    May this tree grow wider and deepen its roots! Beautiful Mary Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeff Zablow says:

    A wonderful adventure. Would that more friends do the same, and share their proud, happy and rich family tales and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Clare Pooley says:

    How wonderful this post is, Mary Ann! There is so much gratitude, love and understanding in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your kind, insightful comment warmed my heart this cold morning with snow on the ground. I am grateful for family, friends and the love we all share. Have a lovely week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clare Pooley says:

        Snow! Keep cosy, Mary Ann!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Indoors rehearsing my Charpentier Messe de Minuit today. Light now out. Enjoy your warm home and cuppa. ^__^

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clare Pooley says:

        I love that piece of music! Have fun! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • We are having fun. Concerts on Dec. 7,8, & 9 include Rutter’s Gloria with the Charpentier. ^__^

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clare Pooley says:

        Oh! A wonderful programme! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Now I am curious – do you sing or play a musical instrument? Or do you just enjoy going to concerts to listen? The program takes weeks of rehearsals and more practice at home. We are all dedicated singers who make beautiful music together.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clare Pooley says:

        I have always loved all sorts of music and enjoy going to concerts. I don’t get much opportunity for concert-going these days, unfortunately.
        I learnt recorder, clarinet and piano when I was a girl and got in to the Guildhall School of Music (Junior School) when I was fourteen and studied clarinet and piano as well as being a member of the orchestra and choir. I studied singing privately. I wanted to be a professional musician and was offered a place at the Vienna Conservatoire when I left school but due to a number of circumstances, I was unable to take up the place. I was very disappointed but because I was still living at home and my parents weren’t well off, I went out to work in an office instead. I stopped playing my clarinet but kept up the piano and have been in a couple of choirs but not recently. I have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 26 which has made playing the piano difficult. I now have osteo-arthritis as well!
        Your choir sounds wonderful!

        Liked by 2 people

      • You sound like a wonderful musician. We all battle infirmities. Everyone 45+ has some form of osteo-arthritis, including me. I can still play piano though with no pain. We would welcome you with open arms, Clare. Hop on a plane and join us for our spring concert. Or better yet, sign up for the Berkshire Choral International and have a one week musical vacation. This year (2019) they will perform in CA, MA, VA and Prague. My husband and I plan to sing in Prague Aug. 4-11. The social aspect of choirs inspires me to sing in several groups. I really hate driving in the snow now bur force myself anyway to rehearsal. What joy it brings. But you know that! I am so happy we found one another too. What music groups might you recommend for a singing vacation in the UK? What part to you sing? I am a freelancer who can sing both soprano and alto, but these days, I enjoy soprano more even though I love harmonies. My husband is a tenor/baritone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clare Pooley says:

        Singing gives me great pleasure, but as I said before I haven’t sung in a choir for a long time; in fact I think it’s 22 years! I can’t recommend any groups, I’m afraid. I started by singing alto but then found I could sing the soprano parts and that’s where I stayed until I had to give up singing in the choir when my younger daughter was born.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You sang to your daughter, right? A lullaby? I used to sing in German to our two children until they told me to stop when they were teens. I was singing to wake them up, and they grumbled at my alarm clock method! The voice is so interesting to play with. Once I got the trick of my head voice, I remained there. Does your daughter sing? Well, enjoy listening to music. Do you have a favorite genre?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clare Pooley says:

        I had a giggle thinking about your children telling you to stop singing to them! Aren’t children wonderful! I used to love reading to mine and was very disappointed when they told me to stop. I had to stop singing in a choir while I was pregnant with my younger daughter because she loved music so much she used to bounce about in my womb! I was unable to sing in tune and it hurt too! I also had to stop listening to the radio while I ate because of the same problem! After she was born the only way to stop her crying when we were in the car was to sing non-stop nursery rhymes. She still loves to listen to music and finds it a real comfort when she gets stressed. She suffers from chronic anxiety and panic attacks and it was thought she might be autistic when she was little.
        I think classical music is probably the genre that I go to most often but I enjoy listening to most genres, depending on my mood.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Giggle away, Clare. I loved your comment. Never underestimate the power of music. It is food for the soul and heals. Our daughter has gone back to playing the piano to de-stress at the end of a work day. It is so calming. Both children studied classical piano, violin and our daughter added the flute later on. The teacher at school did not realize that she could read music and was quite accomplished. I laughed as I saw her in a lesson wondering if the flute was somehow different. Then she did well. Our son taught himself guitar before he went to college. Both studied about 12-14 years. I have told them over and over that it is with them for a lifetime just like their German language is. A little practice and it returns quickly. I loved to play tennis and never was told to stop. But when my stomach, 5 months pregnant, propelled me across the court, I knew it was time to stop. I spoke and sang to them while they were in my womb too. Is your daughter able to calm herself now with music? My two are adults and no longer live at home. When they visit, we play Scrabble. It’s a tradition.

        Like

    • Thank you for understanding the post.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Annika Perry says:

    Mary Ann, it’s been a delight reading about your life, your adventures from the East to the West. That must have been a huge change of lifestyle, education but you embraced it from the start and since nothing seems to have held you back. I love the picture of you in western gear … as young I loved anything to do with the West and I have a real cowboy hat from the US which I received as a young girl! It was rarely off my head for one summer. How wonderful that your family is now extending further east … the spirit of adventure and joy of life runs in your family. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Annika, as always, a huge thank you for such kind words. We are positive-thinking individuals in my family. Adventures abound in this country and in Europe. I knew we had another connection besides writing and blogging: Western gear and cowboy hats. When I sang country music with my sister in Washington state, I made Western purchases to play my part. We have one time to go around in life, so why not make it happy and joy-filled? Your comment is much appreciated. I think I’ll don my hat to the Dr.’s office today! Raise a few eyebrows! Haha.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s