"Surely, the old rock wall is
here." Dawn couldn't imagine it being destroyed. When they drove around to
the back of the property to, where it had been another sadness struck at her
heart. It looked as though someone had taken some large machine and pushed a
part of it over.
I can hear Dad. “They say,
ignorance is bliss, but I don't believe it.”
She shook off the heartbreak
involved and asked, “Can we measure the length of it?"
Pete pulled out his tape
measure and after pushing overgrowth out of the way he was able to come up
with numbers. "It is one hundred feet long, and more than six feet tall,"
he told her.
"My! My! Can you believe
Daddy picking up all this off the meadow by hand with a wheelbarrow? He
used a crowbar to pry the rock out of the ground.”
She had a mixture of emotion
and couldn't define quite what her feelings were. Was it pride in her
father's perseverance, anger to see the wall destroyed, sadness to know her
father could no longer be with them as he rested in death, or relief that he
could not see his work so destroyed? The emotions were probably partially
good, else how could she have been able to endure any one of them alone. At
the moment she knew she was ignorant about this wall. Somewhere in her mind
she remembered reading about eco systems and the contributions of a garden
wall but at the moment there was no recollection of it.
"Let's go film the
watershed." Dawn mumbled. She wasn't anxious to see that either.
While they slowly drove down
the rough, rocky, deserted road past that ancient German immigrant, once
part of a Lutheran church yard, cemetery, the car moved at a necessary
snail's pace lest the bad road take its toll on their automobile. As they
moved along, she happened to look to the right as if someone was tugging at
her to do so. There in the middle of the pasture was the dolman her father
had built so many years before.
"Look! Pete? Look out
"I always wondered what that
thing was." He glanced for a moment from the job he had of creeping down
the very bad road.
"It's a dolman. It is a house
for the little people."
"Hm-m. Little People? Sounds
like your father's sense of humor."
"Stop the car. I want a
picture of it."
Dutifully, Pete stopped the
car, trudged out to the object, measured it and snapped a photograph. When
he returned to the car he said, "It is ten feet across the top of it and
that is one large solid rock."
"How in the world did Dad
ever get a rock that size up off the ground?" Dawn had to laugh. "He said he
did it because Gramma Bell wanted a house for the Little People. Some folks
take flowers and food out for them."
"Believed in them did they?"
"Well, I would say so. That
was Gramma Bell's Collin's blood. Irish." She smiled.
At this point they were
approaching the old watershed. "Better go slow here. I don't think we can
drive over it anymore. It looks like it is washed out."
Sure enough, mammoth rocks
her father at one time had pulled up to make a low water bridge had a foot
drop between them.
"We could never drive over
this now, and look, no water, just a dry creek bed. This used to be such a
beautiful watershed. Oh, we spent so many happy times fishing this old water
hole and the fish were so good to eat.” Again there was a sadness about her
heart as she knew her own father would have been hurt too, by the neglect.
"Let's go, I'm through
filming this and I don't want to look at it." Dawn had no wish to experience
They drove over the long
stretches of roads, many of which were set there by her own grandfather,
Joe. They were driving back over some of the very roads he had helped
establish. This was in the days of horse drawn wagons, picks, axes, and
men's back power.
Dawn was quiet with no
discussion of what they had just seen. In her mind she was forming a plan.
If she could have known all the intricate little trivial gremlins to bar the
decision she made, probably, she would have gone on with it, anyway. She was
just that certain of the rightness of her act. Only later was she to
reiterate her teachings by her father which said, “there is a way that seems
As usual, in the following
days their time was pushed in upon with an impossible number of chores. The
closing of Pete's aging parent's home was occupying most of his thoughts and
the emotional drain it was taking on their little family was a difficult
time for them also. The loss of his parents to a retirement village would
leave a hole in their lives. They were elderly and needed attention but even
in their feebleness they had been much encouragement and a source of
emotional support to the grandchildren when they were just trying to begin
their lives. Now without the guidance and wisdom of the old folks the young
grand kids were having to face a cutting off and isolation from them. It was
very difficult for the whole family.
Any plans to work on the old
house would have to be done with great care and this she did. The first
stage of her plan was simply to get over to the place and clean out some of
the thorn trees in front of the place. They had to just do it with no
discussion with family other than having permission of the owners in
Colorado. This Dawn was able to do over the telephone. Her cousin told her
to be sure to get the permission of the man leasing the property and this
she did too. All Native Americans were schooled and learned as to whom
really owned the land and theirs was ownership in name only. She did tell
the lessor what her plans were and that she would be sure to include his
family on the list to send invitations for her planned gathering, after
there was a clearing work accomplished.
Today, on a pleasant Saturday
afternoon they drove up to the old place armed with all the things needed to
get to the work. Lawnmowers Pete quickly unloaded from their trailers and
went swiftly about mowing. By hand they cut the thorn trees and trimmed the
other tress until they were without a chain saw after it refused to start
one more time.
"I think I will drive down to
the next ranch to see if there is anyone home." Dawn told Pete. "I will be
A car was parked out in
front of the antique house but as she knocked on the door over and over no
one came out. While disappointed and turning to walk away it was only then
someone called to her. Startled, she turned to look and was pleasantly
There stood a young man about
her son's age. He was handsome in a dark striking strong Native American
way. He had a very well cared for physical appearance and was healthy
looking, more so than the youth of the town where they lived. He had a
rested and well groomed look about him. Dawn had not seen this stature among
the young people of the day for quite a while when even those of the wealthy
had a tired strained look about them. This young man seemed to step out of a
different time period, which was of another day when there was a more simple
life style. He had a wide friendly uncomplicated grin and he was obviously
blessed with a charming personality as he spoke with a slow Oklahoma drawl.
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