Daily Archives: March 4, 2011

Country Living ~ The Endangered Species

The universe has provided us with the wonder of technology.  This very technology that surrounds us, is causing the country life to be on the endangered species list.

There is no greater sense of accomplishment than living the country life.  Working with your own hands to build something, call it your own and leave your mark in life, all by your own hands.  Every day is a gift filled with great appreciation for what you have received.  And you are thankful for having been able to share it. 

Of course, your children bring great satisfaction to this piece of heaven too.  When you see them living by the same values and morals that have been handed down from generation to generation and in turn, handing them down to theirs. 

Is our way of life on the endangered species list?  Will we someday be extinct? 

I fear, the answer is yes, to both those questions.  Yet, I remain hopeful.  We have done our part, just as our elders have, to keep the traditions going.  Carrying them forward and instilling them in our children and their children’s’ children.  I see the future in our children, and the children will be our future. 

The days of yesterday have brought us far in life.  You first have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.  Country life has given of itself the very core of it’s being.  Accomplishment, success and the hardships on the road to get there, family morals and values, a stronger sense of who you are and what part you play in the game of life and an unbreakable family bond.  The best part is being at peace and finding serenity in everything you do.

Here is an excerpt from Charlton Heston’s book.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Excerpted from The Courage to be Free, by Charlton Heston (Saudade Press, 2000). pp. 45-47

“I like what I see when I look at the rural enclaves of the North, South, East and West today.  The boys and girls are different there somehow.  More confident, maybe.  Less afraid of the conventional aspects of life.  And certainly less inclined to turn to drugs to relieve the reality that some youths misread as boredom.

Rural youth still reflect a richer time, when boys worked with their fathers and even emulated their walk and talk.  Through the years, country boys seemed to grow into men eagerly and early because we gave them the opportunity to do so.  They had to hunt and fish for the table, trap for the hides to sell for cash, fix their own brakes and adjust their own carburetors, plow a field when Dad had calves to pull, stretch barbed wire, toss a seventy-five pound square bale of hay on a truck with everything they had – essentially 150 pounds of sixteen-year-old bone, guts, sweat, and sinew — and learn animal husbandry by delivering a new lamb.

Their sisters grew to womanhood learning to manage, feed and heal the household.  Country girls at an early age could run things almost as well as their mothers could and nobody considered their work a shameful task. “Housewife,” “cooking” and “sewing” were noble words.  Women weren’t afraid to be strong in their femininity and reach out with unrestrained toughness to hold a family together, often functioning as a teacher, preacher and psychologist.  Country women were nearly always considered to be a full partner — separate but equal — and they were proud of their vital role in taming the land and creating a culture of freedom and strength.  They did not insist their men adopt feminine qualities, but jealously guarded those traits for themselves.”


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The CowGIRL Way?

To some the cowboy way is a way of life.  A code of ethics if you will.  But what about the Cowgirl Way?

Has anyone ever put their finger on what a “cowgirl” really is?  Let alone, what it really means?  I’ve read many an article, but none can really put their finger on what a “true” cowgirl is.  That is until today.  

It’s been said, “That behind every good man, there’s a good woman.”.  For the most part, I have found in life, this to be one of the truest statement I’ve ever come across!

Let’s rope and flank this mystery and put a brand on it before mama finds out shall we?

Through life you will encounter many people claiming to be something.  But in the end, they are generally seen for who or what they really are.  In the case of a cowboy, you just know one when you see one.  They’ve been around for as long as anyone can remember and their way of life is unique.  No other way of life holds a candle to it.

But what of the cowgirl? 

The Women of the West came about (gained notoriety) in the 1920’s, back when side saddles, corsets and wanting to do more, were taking an upswing and sadly, being looked down upon.  With the Wild West Shows in full swing, they were becoming highly publicized and getting a lot of notoriety along the way.  Annie Oakley, Cattle Kate and Calamity Jane, to name a few, helped put Women of the West on the map.  Even going so far as to changing the traditional corset and cumbersome filderah that women once wore to a more functional clothing still befitting a woman, yet versatile enough to function on horseback.  Now around the same time, the Eastern culture met Western culture somewhere along the way and brought “bling” into the picture.  With the hearts on the boots and inlays in spurs, belts and of course even batwing chaps. The very bling that we see today was not one of the latest brainstorms, but adaptions thereof, of something that started a very long time ago.

Now a cowgirl, is more of a rancher/farmer type.  The article, Making a Living & Building a Life:
Ranchwomen in Early Arizona History by Jessica Nierad
, best explains in detail how ranchwomen (cowgirls) made large contributions and helped improve this unique way of life.  Ranchwomen knew that all things (including themselves) played an important role in the day-to-day workings of the ranch or farm.  They could also rope (if they had to), brand, milk cows and even doctor the animals when necessary.

They carry an attitude with them that can be compared by no other than their counterpart, the cowboy.  A cowgirl can generally do as good a job (if not better) than the cowboy and as a rule, look good doing it too. 😉  They are more resourceful and stand by their morals and values and have integrity.  They are kind to others and kind to a fault.  They carry the load of the family on their shoulders and have incredible coolness under pressure.

As with the cowboy, a cowgirl has purpose.  They both work the land and the land works for them.  Each and everything in their life HAS a purpose and they aren’t afraid to dig in and get dirty either.  They appreciate life and the wonders that it holds.  From the fresh morning sun on their cheeks to the first snow of winter.  They will willingly give their jacket to that lost calf they found in the snow storm.  Or, stay up all night to nurse a sick one.  Knowing and prayin’ that if you can just make it ’til the morning sun, they’ll make it thru ok. 

A cowgirl is not one that simply takes the horse out on the town with the top down to look impressive.  Owning a horse is not a status symbol or the latest fad.  Nor do cowgirls go around sporting their finest duds in an attempt to appear to the world as a COWGIRL.  Is this simply a feable attempt to mask who or what they really are?

Cowgirls can wear bling, but it’s not necessary.  They know the country life is the life for them. 

I think Dale Evans said it best when she was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. 

 “Cowgirl is an attitude, really. A pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage. The cowgirl faces life head on, lives by her own lights, and makes no excuses. Cowgirls take stands, they speak up. They defend things they hold dear.”

Dale Evans, 1995 Hall of Fame Honoree

This article was written by a 5th generation ranchers’ daughter.  One that has great integrity and willing to stand for and live by the very morals and values that have been handed down from generation to generation.  She is a successful entrepeneur and manages the ranch she lives on.  She is doctor for the animals, nurse to the family and teacher to the children.


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