Neither snow nor rain nor heat...

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Thus says the motto of the Pony Express riders!

The Chilcotin may be remote but not so isolated that mail is delivered by horse. For Big Creek folks, however, the motto holds true . . . with the exception of mode of transportation. Every Friday, for the past 50 years, 'snow, rain, heat or gloom of night', Brud Lee delivers mail to Big Creek.

Brud's wife, Anne, is the post mistress at Hanceville. She receives, sorts and mails out of a small room in the basement of her house. (When I first moved here five years ago, I thought it was pretty cool to drive the winding trail with cattle on each side to the "post office". I still do...) Mail is delivered to Anne three days a week; on Friday of each week, Brud delivers to Big Creek. He's been doing this for 50 years! And I don't believe he has missed one day. Once, since I was here, he could not make it up the icy hill after crossing the Chilcotin River. It bothered him so much thinking how much Big Creek people were counting on mail day that he tried again later in the day . . . and got there.

My great neighbours, Brud and Anne Lee (right) and Art and Dianne Joyce (left) on the occasion of Art's birthday.
Friday mail days in Big Creek are a big deal. Besides getting that long-awaited letter or parcel, there is plenty of visiting and catching up. Veera, the 90+ matriarch of Big Creek community, always bakes something fabulous and everyone gathers around for coffee talk in her charming little house at Fletcher Lake. I visited Veera once a few years ago with friends of mine and we each purchased a copy of her book, Chilcotin: Preserving Pioneer Memories.

Veera Bonner (center) chatting with my friend and I in her house at Fletcher Lake
 Brud's contribution to the community does not end with delivering mail. He has helped me out more times than I can count with everything from moving a piano to tractor repairs. Last Saturday, Canada Post and Big Creek recognized him for 50 years of service. I didn't hear anything about retiring...

Easy Day at 'Easy Go'

Posted by Sharon

In the spirit of the last post, I continue to live in the present and, since my present almost always includes horses, yesterday was no different in that respect. But yesterday was more than the usual feeding and caring for my horses. Yesterday I ventured out of the Chilcotin (but only as far as the Cariboo) to a gathering of horses and horse lovers in the indoor arena at Easy Go Ranch. I admit I needed a gentle push from a friend but I did go . . . Crystal and I arrived without horses and left itching to ride. Since neither of us has an indoor at home and our arenas look more like skating rinks, we had to be satisfied with soaking up the ambiance in that arena.

100 Mile Sliders Reining Club is an active group of riders interested in reining. To that end, they meet with their horses to exchange ideas but more importantly, to connect with others with a like interest. I had not met most of the riders and spectators at Easy Go Ranch but it didn't take long to see they were friendly and enthusiastic. I had brought may camera and, though the light is poor in an indoor, I managed to get some shots that conveyed what I perceived - a group of happy riders and horses.

Privileges of the Present

Posted by Sharon

After the last few posts, I felt a compelling need to jump back into the present. Memories are great but they’re just that – memories! To paraphrase Dr. Phil, “You can’t change the past – it’s over; you can’t change the future – it hasn’t happened; the only thing you can change is the present.” The present is today – March 8th, 2012.

Nothing is more about both past and present than birthdays. My computer reminds me of three on March 8th – an old boyfriend, an ex-husband and a friend, two born on March 8th of the same year! I phoned my friend. Ex boyfriend and husband belong in the past today. My friend and I discussed this at length on this day, her birthday (the 'present', not the old boyfriend and the ex-husband). Although vastly different in many ways, that’s one thing on which we agree. 

After I hung up, I continued to think about what living in the moment really meant and how I could make today, March 8, 2012, everything it could be. Easy – play with my dog, ride a horse, plan my garden (Okay – that’s the future but ordering seeds is now…)

I’m not going to tell anyone I’m waiting for spring anymore. Spring will happen when it happens. As my friend said this morning when I said some don’t want to celebrate birthdays: “A birthday is a privilege,” she said. Sure is… And so is every moment of every day. . . and night! Full moon tonight! I do love full moons.

And so I’ve wandered the trails backward quite enough for the time being. It’s all about the privilege of the present now.

Babies, Bath Water and Beef

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I chose the title of this blog  (Ridin’, Reinin’ and Writin’) because I thought it summed up the interests in my life at this time of my life. I’ve ridden horses all my life, reined for the last thirty plus years and recently pursued another passion – writing. As I look back on over 80 blog posts, I see that I have covered those topics (the ‘writing’ part is all topics in general and those that don’t have a horse in them in particular). As I’ve said a few times, I write here about whatever thought is uppermost in mind that week.

The last few posts were inspired by a trunk filled with memorabilia of my life. This one is connected in a way too, for in that trunk are my baby book and the ones I made for my three children as well as baby blankets and a crocheted baby sweater/ blanket set. As you can imagine, these treasures stirred up a lot of memories of those years. If the technology had been what it is today, my blog would have been quite different in the years I raised my family. The title might have been Babies, Bath Water and Beef because that’s what occupied my mind then.