The Reading Room
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
canyon this past summer.
Ed was home when the "cavalry" moved the
Utes through. They were given permission to
I told myself, when I was in my early
camp around the spring that night. His Mother
twenties, that I would never be part
and Grandmother baked dozens of biscuits for
of "the rat race", that treadmill of
the Utes. To thank the women they danced some
work wherein one scurries at a frantic
keeping time chanting and beating on tin cans
pace simply to avoid being left be-
because they had no drums.
hind. ("Yah, how'd that work out for
We got our water from that same spring. It was
ya, sparky?") I had a fairly simple-
deep, clear, and ice cold. I believe it had been
minded job and enjoyed it, but at times
there for the millennium, water for all who
I felt like technology, changing human
thirst. We found several projectile points near the
values and the world in general was
spring. One a Hannah Duncan point dated 4500
building up around all sides of me,
and all I got was what I would call the
A friend tells me that his Grandparents rented the
"nineties headache," a dull throbbing
ranch house some 80 years ago. At that time an
just behind the temples.
old Indian could be seen at daybreak sitting high
It turned out that my instinctive dis-
on the branches of the long needled pine east of
comfort was perhaps more insightful than I had
the ranch house. A silent silhouette, they left him
known. People in the 1990s were living well above
alone. Most mornings his Grandmother would
their means and advancing technology and science
Pioneer, cowboy, rancher, he was called Ed. My
send her two small sons with a basket of left over
but not developing the more mature conscience
husband worked on Ed's ranch. We had moved
breakfast biscuits to leave at the base of the tree.
that should have accompanied these advances. In
into the, well lived in, ranch house. A big two story
Finally came the day the sun rose over an empty
short, folks were operating on "man's economy"
many decades old our family was enjoying the
tree. The old one was gone and never seen again.
instead of "God's economy".
space. After the last box was unpacked and all put
An era has passed. The essence of the ancient
God's economy suggests that people work hard,
away I eagerly began decorating; an attempt to
peoples continue to be felt in that place. The
give due honor to those in authority, giving grati-
return it to its former not to be forgotten self. I wall
house is gone. Ed passed in 1990 but, his memory
tude to the Great Provider for blessing us and rest.
papered, hung lace on endless high reaching win-
lives on. Ed, pioneer, cowboy, rancher, friend.
Yes, we are told to rest. The Book of Genesis tells
dows finally headed for the big red barn looking
(Karen Schafer lives and writes in Naturita)
about God resting at the conclusion of what had
for treasures. I found them in the loft.
to have been a productive work week. How much
Ed was a quiet man, said very little leaving me
better do we think we are, believing that we don't
somewhat intimidated. When I approached him to
need to rest. And, I say this, fully knowing that
ask if I could put the large round oak claw legged
I'm more guilty than most, operating in a state of
table, old steamer trunk, and straw filled horse
constant `on-call' status. I have a strong work ethic
collars in the ranch house I caught myself holding
and I expect everyone else around me to have one,
my breath. Looking at me with his piercing eyes
which, obviously, leads to significant disappoint-
he tilted his dusty sweat-stained cowboy hat back
on his head thought for a moment finally saying
How remarkable it is, though, that God's economy
"yes". The ice was broken.
actually works. It's both counter-intuitive and
At that time we had resided in the Norwood area
flat-out illogical that one can enjoy seven days of
four years long enough to have learned some of the
Write It Down
provisions on five or six days of work. (Even more
area's fascinating history. I was to learn much more
remarkable for those of you who work three or
An 80-year-old couple were having problems re-
from my visits with Ed. He answered my many
four days a week and still end up with adequate
membering things, so they decided to go to their
questions about the registered herford cattle he
provisions!) Consider, though, that it's the same
doctor to get checked out to make sure nothing
raised, the ranch, his childhood.
economy that allows for the planting of one bean
was wrong with them.
True pioneer family his brother was the first white
and results in 40 times that in the harvest.
When they arrived at the doctor's, they explained
child born on the mesa. His father and grandfa-
As a civilization, though, we now wonder if we can
to the doctor about the problems they were hav-
ther built a house on the land the first summer.
simply take the wheel. It's always a smooth ride at
ing with their memory. After checking the couple
Late in the fall they moved to the "low land" for
first, but we don't have the foresight nor the intel-
out, the doctor told them that they were physi-
the winter. Upon their return the following spring
lectual means to adapt to the curves and potholes
cally okay but might want to start writing things
they found their home burned to the ground by
along that road. The more we push away from
down and make notes to help them remember
the Utes. Ed's Grandmother had a lace and flow-
God's economy, the more we realize that we were
things. The couple thanked the doctor and left.
ers bonnet she wore outside. One day Chief Ouray
never meant to be independent of it all along.
Later that night while watching TV, the old man
and wife Chipeta rode by stopping when Chipeta
So, I'm going to "test the rest" and take a vacation
got up from his chair and his wife asked, "Where
admired the bonnet. Ed's Grandmother gave the
this month. Sadly, I will still have to do limited
are you going?"
bonnet to her. The new house and their belongings
work-related tasks. But my goal is to keep it to the
He replied, "To the kitchen."
were never bothered thereafter when the family
bare minimum. I intend to enjoy fully the wonders
She asked, "Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?"
of the Midwest without what awaits me back here
He replied, "Sure."
Just east of the barn was a circular track etched
to piddle on the parade. Maybe I'll even catch a
She then asked him, "Don't you think you should
deep in mother earth where the Utes raced their
momentary glimpse, within, of the simpleton from
write it down so you can remember it?"
ponies. Even after all those years the native grasses
the 1990s who was highly critical of the "rat race".
He said, "No, I can remember that."
grew sparsely in the track.
Capitalizing on the concept of rest in God's econo-
She then said, "Well, I also would like some
As a very young boy Ed was sitting on the rail
my...that is the true meaning of renewable energy!
strawberries on top. You had better write that
fence when an Indian rode up to him, raised his
((Kelly Turner is the station manager at KRTZ-FM
down `cause I know you'll forget that."
hand and said "How". Not knowing what to reply
Radio 98.7/92.1 in Cortez. www.krtzradio.com)
He said, "I can remember that! You want a bowl
Ed finally did the same, then the Indian rode away.
of ice cream with strawberries."
To the north of the barn an old Indian trail can be
She replied, "Well, I'd also like whipped cream on
seen yet today. A trail worn deep by time and the
top. I know you'll forget that so you'd better write
feet of many ancient peoples traveling each spring
from the Basin to Beaver Creek Mesa above Beaver
With irritation in his voice, he said, "I don't need
Canyon and back before winter.
to write that down! I can remember that."
South of the ranch house is a canyon where lofty
He then went fuming into the kitchen. After about
pines and cedars grow. Ed told of the time of the
20 minutes he returned from the kitchen and
"great storm". The wind racing down the canyon
handed her a plate of bacon and eggs.
uprooted a few pine. Under one of those trees a
She stared at the plate for a moment and said,
grave of an ancient one was discovered. He had
"You forgot my toast."
been buried sitting upright. I always felt the canyon
was a magical place. An unusual number of owls
"If you want to succeed you should
nested there. A bear had traveled down the canyon
strike out on new paths, rather than
one spring leaving muddy foot-prints on the side
travel the worn paths of accepted suc-
of the house. Evidently, looking for a way into the
kitchen. One night when gathering the clothes off
cess." - John D. Rockefeller
the line the fog was drifting in, not a sound could
be heard. I was thinking what a great setting it
"Do not go where the path may lead,
would be for a Stephen King novel when a moun-
tain lion screamed from up the canyon. Husband
go instead where there is no path and
had to finish bringing in the clothes. I was told a
leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mountain Lion with three Kittens lived in the