Lots and lots of joyful hours out on the fence. When my late husband was alive that was the first thing we did in the spring.  We’d leave the house as soon as the kids were on the bus and I got our lunches made.  In those days we didn’t have an ATV, we went horse back.  What a joy to remember those days!!  As soon as at least a portion of the fences were done and the grass was up to where it could be grazed we started putting together yearlings to run on the forest. That included buying them shipping them home branding and vaccinating them.  We usually had to have someone help load the chute.  Bob would catch their head I would brand, Bob would vaccinate and the helper would push them in. When we got them all settled in we would go back to the fence.  Still today I remember things that happened when we were on a certain stretch of fence.  Like places where I left early to go get the kids and start supper and he stayed to finish to a certain spot. 

I remember one year after Bob died I was real high on the ranch and could see a great big smoke boiling up, just as black as a chunk of coal.  I couldn’t see good enough to tell for sure where it was coming from but I knew it was bad and wanted to help. I just left my tools where they were on the fence and took off on my horse as fast as we could go through oak brush, over the hill and down the next until I got to the house.  I took off in the pickup then.  I found my son, picked him up and took off down the road.  When we got to where we could see, we saw it was the Chromo Mercantile, our Post Office, store, gas station, and small garage where we had sticker inspections etc. The fire was caused from someone setting tar paper on fire.  The owner didn’t want to pay the high price of insurance as well as the work was too much for them with the store, post office etc. So he was tearing it down.  Our post master was my age and she had spent all the time she had cleaning out the post office.  Because of that she inhaled so much smoke that she got lung disease and had to have oxygen.  She only lived about 5 years after the fire. My son and I were too late to help.  By the time we got there the rest of Chromo had gotten there and did all they could do, not much of anything but the post office was saved.

While Bob and I were fixing fence, buying the yearlings, even irrigating some times when it was a dry winter, being 4-H leaders, and taking our kids to roping practice in Ignacio, at the indoor arena, about a  2 hour trip one way.  It was always cold.  The kids had sweaty horses we had to cool before we could start home made for late nights.

 Bob’s parents were in the San Luis Valley with the cows waiting for the grass to get far enough along to bring them home.  On weekends Bob and I and our kids would go to the valley and help them tag and band the calves.  It was always such great enjoyment.  However when we got home we had a tired bunch. 

I remember one time there was a truckload, I mean a huge, semi load of range cubes coming in for the cows so we had to rush as soon as the bus was gone and go unload that.  It was tough but I made it.  Then I went back home as soon as we finished to pick the kids up at the bus.  Another time we had gone over to move the cows to another pasture and left the kids at home.  That time we didn’t make it home to pick them up.  Some part of the left front wheel came apart and scattered parts all over the pavement on Cumbres Pass and we had no flashlight!  I had on a white shirt so we turned on the head lights and I stood in front of the left one and sent the light back to Bob.  Praise God we had worked at it quite awhile when a nice angel came along and shined his lights on us and helped Bob.

 Fixing fence and just ranch work in general with God’s help has been my way of survival.  Lots of memories and lots to be thankful for…I could never have done all the things since Bob died without the help of our God.