Monday, May 8, 2017

A Slice of Life - 9


Life never fails to surprise me. Today I was cleaning the upstairs bedroom when my broom hit something that had fallen halfway between the bed and the wall. Curious, I stood and leaned the broom up against the door and pushed the bed back.
After scooting the bed out far enough to look in, I saw that a small book had fallen between the wall the headboard. I wedged myself in far enough to grab it with the tips of my fingers and then pulled it out.
Turning it over, I was puzzled. I’d never seen anything like it before around the house. I opened it, and a loose page fell out and landed on my lap.
My eyes scanned the heading. April, 1883. The handwriting was Riley’s. That had me curious. I’d never known Riley to have any kind of journal. This entry was longer than I would have expected.
I hesitated about three seconds before deciding that Riley probably wouldn’t care if I read it. Would I care if he read mine? Hmmm . . . Nope!
My eyes scanned the writing before I changed my mind. One little peek . . .

Today was my first day of driving a herd to market. I’m still not sure if this is something I want to spend the rest of my life doing or not. I think I prefer horses. But today something really stuck out to me.
The drive was going well, and we were all in high spirits. We had to cross a stream, and one of the calves got swept away in the current. Its bleating cries for help were pitiful. I couldn't bear to see it drown. I pushed Dakota into the water, trying to keep us away from the strongest part of the current.
When I got as close as I dared to the struggling calf, I tossed my rope around its neck and didn’t waste a minute dragging it up on the opposite shore. My heart was thrumming wondering if I was too late. The little thing just lay there. I pulled off the rope, rubbed the little fella down, and suddenly his head popped up.
He was alive! That’s when I knew that—horses or cattle—the ranching life was for me! I was thrilled when the calf staggered to its feet and went bawling up the riverbank. It wasn’t too much longer until the calf found its mama.
I was glad. It’d be terrible to lose an animal on the first day.

The entry ended there. I smiled and tucked the page back inside. This was obviously something Riley had written when he was younger.
I wanted to read more, but  little voice told me to set the book aside for now. When I finished cleaning, I took the journal downstairs. I would ask Riley about it when he came in for supper.
Thankfully, the dusting and sweeping didn't last long, and I headed downstairs to start supper. I fried up the steaks and whipped together some mashed potatoes, feeling quite pleased. This is one meal I’ve mastered, and I can cook it almost to perfection. In fact, it’s one that I can add to the list of meals I now make with competence. Trial and error really are the best ways to excel at something.
By the time I finished cooking and set the table, I could hear Riley on the front porch.
He came in with a smile, washed up, and sat down at the table. After saying grace, I took the book I had set on one of the empty chairs and held it out to him.
His fork, filled with mashed potatoes, stopped halfway to his mouth. When he caught sight of the book, he set it down and grinned. “I see you found my journal.”
He took it from me and turned it over in his hands, much like I’d done. “I got this a while ago. My ma thought it was a good idea if I started jotting down some of my thoughts. She gave it to me on my 15th birthday.”
He opened it, and flipped through the pages. “I kept it with me, but when I couldn’t find it after we moved in, I thought I’d lost the thing.”  
I told him how I’d found it in my cleaning, and he nodded. “It was probably in the box I shoved under the bed with a lot of things from my childhood. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone through it.” A faraway look entered his eyes. “It’d be fun to go through it again sometime soon.”
And so the mystery of the book was solved. But it still amazes me to think that we were both given journals, and both of us still have them! I guess it’ll be something fun to pass on to our children someday. 
 

 

12 comments:

  1. Cool....but I thought you (Andi) got your first journel as a Christmas gift from Melinda. It says so in chapter one of Thick as Thieves.. just thought I'd mention it.
    <3 MA

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    1. Good catch. You're right. I fixed it.

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  2. Awww! I loved this one!!! This is great....now we can see Riley's journal entries, too!
    *hint, hint* I'm sure glad some people are better at keepin' up in their journals than I am....normally it's months or years of catchin' up I have to do...which drives me nuts 'cuz I hate catchin' up on stuff from a while back...which in turn makes me dread havin' to write in my journal...which makes it even harder. I think you get the picture. ;) I don't know about my children ( the ones I'm probably never gonna have :( ), readin' it, though, it's too personal for that, and I'd be embarrassed 'bout most of it.
    Thanks for the post!
    ~Hope M.

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    1. Hope, I am bad at writing in my journal too. But not that bad, usually I'll write in it good for like every day for half-a-week then I'll not write in it for like three weeks, then it starts again. And I don't want ANYONE to read in MY journal, I'd be way too embarrassed 'bout pretty much all of what's in it. I hate catching up on stuff to, and tryin' to 'member it all is SO hard. I should try to get in the habit to write at least once a week but I always forget, lol;)
      Thanks for a great post, Mrs M.
      <3 Missy

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  3. What year was Riley born? Also, how old was Justin when Andi was born.

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  4. Lol, I'm the same way. I'll write in it a couple times a week, then not write for a month...
    I love reading Andi's entries, though! :) <3 Thanks, Mrs. M!!!

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  5. It's nice to see I'm not the only one. LOL. Thanks girls, for the encouragement. As part of school, I'm actually 'sposed to write in it once a week,but....that doesn't happen. *sheepish expression* For right now though, I have a two day streak! *high five, girls!*
    ~Hope M.

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  6. <3 Love the journal entries!
    -Raquel A.

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  7. I am the most continuous journal keeper as far as I know. Anyone I ever talk to about journaling is always the same as you guys, always missing things and not wanting to catch up. I have the secret to consistent journaling.

    Number 1, NEVER make yourself catch up. If you miss a month, or three, it's ok. Writing comes when you feel like it. never make yourself go and catch up. Blurt what you want to say and leave it at that.

    Second, keep your journals clean. Don't write things you don't want other people to read. If something is a secret it shouldn't be somewhere where someone can read it. It's too stressful to keep it secret.

    I have a total of 8 full diaries, since 2013, and I'm still going strong. So much fun to go back and read them!

    Anyway, Andi! I'm so glad that you can cook something that Riley can eat without cringing. Gives me hope for your future!

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    1. Thanks for the advise Libby!! I appreciate it:). Oh and good job, Hope!!!
      <3 MA

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    2. Diaries are for little secrets or things you might not want others to read. It's a private place to jot down your thoughts, joys, sorrows, and ideas. No shame in not wanting others to read them (at least not until years after when it's fun to look back and laugh at the things you thought were so important that weren't really a big deal, or the things you got upset over that you don't even remember now). It's a "safe spot" for a lot of people. :) But everyone is different in this area. Keep journaling! It IS fun to go back and reread those things! ;)

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    3. Diaries are for little secrets or things you might not want others to read. It's a private place to jot down your thoughts, joys, sorrows, and ideas. No shame in not wanting others to read them (at least not until years after when it's fun to look back and laugh at the things you thought were so important that weren't really a big deal, or the things you got upset over that you don't even remember now). It's a "safe spot" for a lot of people. :) But everyone is different in this area. Keep journaling! It IS fun to go back and reread those things! ;)

      Delete

Let Andi know what you think!