Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Time moves forward...

August in Southern Illinois. WHEW!
If it weren't for my family and some really good friends, I would be all for moving to some higher elevation where the temperature never climbs above 85˚. I said "if". If I had a million dollars I would ...
Oh, well. What does it matter anyway?

The grandkids are back in school and autumn is just around the corner. Another year of annual rides is just about over. We survived the Sikeston Ride yet again. Of course I did put my foot down and refuse to ride the full 26 miles of the first day. Just too darn hot for the horses, and why make myself and my horse miserable? I don't need to prove anything and my horse was much more comfortable in the barn with a full bucket of water and three fans to help keep her cool. So, Chester and I rode from the Williamson County Fairgrounds back to my house, about 3 miles or a little more. That was enough for such a hot day. Several others completed the 26 miles from Marion to Lick Creek School. They were very careful and kind with the horses. The ride leader carried a 250 gallon water tank in his trailer (he and his brother take turns riding and driving the truck and trailer) and about once per hour, or more often if needed, everyone would stop to rest the horses and offer them water. So all made it safely to the school and the end of the first day. The second and third days are a little shorter. Day two is about 17 miles and day three is approximately 18 miles. We all made it safely and the horses did great.

August 18 was another leg of the River to River Ride that several of us from the area are participating in. This ride was from Giant City Park to Fern Cliff State Park, about 22.5 miles. It was a very hot daybut we took our time and took care of our animals. August 25 was the annual Stonefort Reunion Ride, about 15 miles. We saw a little rain on this ride and we had a pretty good breeze going all day. I believe there were about five wagons and teams and maybe 7 or 8 horseback riders. All in all is was a pretty nice ride.

I am so looking forward to cool, crisp weather and the changing leaves, open windows and the smell fo autumn. I am also looking forward to this weekend when two of my friends from Chicago will come for a short visit. Too often we only get to see each other at Sundance and if we are lucky, maybe one other time throughout the year. This year I hope it will be different as I plan to make a couple of trips to Chicago before Christmas. I'm not a "city girl" but I can manage to tough it out for a few days now and then!

Remember, don't take yourself or life too seriously and ALWAYS remember to "Live, Love and Laugh"!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Are We Having Fun Yet???


It's summer in Southern IL, hot, humid and getting hotter. I have just returned from the 9 Day Trail Ride, or as it
is to be known from now on, The 9 Day Encampment. Why the change? Ask the Forest Service. Enough said.

While at the "encampment" I once again visited the Story Cemetery. I walked the entire area of the one acre site,
attempting to find (count) graves. Since the only graves with "readable" markers are those of Ephraim and Caroline
STORY, it can be difficult to be certain where the others lie. There are still many, many sandstone markers at the
head and foot of the graves, no print, just rocks. The best I could tell there seems to be at least fifty graves within
the one acre cemetery.

Again, I am asking for anyone with any information about this cemetery or the placement of the marker for Caroline
Williford Story, to please contact me. This has become an obsession and I would really like to find out who knew
Caroline was Cherokee and went so far as to say so on her marker in both English and Cherokee.

Next week I plan to go on the "Sikeston Ride", weather permitting. A group of horseback riders and a few teams and
wagons will leave the Williamson County Fairground Thursday morning for a three day adventure, an annual event.
On Saturday we (hope) plan to arrive in Sikeston, MO at the JC Bootheel Rodeo. It's going to be hot and if we have the typical
weather, it will storm at least one day of the ride. Right now my horses are resting up and eating plenty of salt and
in turn drinking plenty of water in an effort to get ready for three long, hot days. Why would anyone do this, you ask?
I'm not sure about the other riders, my excuse is multi-layered. My riding "buddy" is almost 90 years young and an
inspiration! I go on this ride because he wants to, because he feels like doing this. How could I possibly tell him
I think it's too hot or too long a ride? How could I tell him my knees hurt or I'm too tired to go? So, as of right now the only
thing that will prevent us going is if it's too hot for the horses. It is supposed to be really HOT! Time will tell.

Hope everyone is surviving the summer. Remember to Live, Love and Laugh!!!

My Cherokee Grandmother

My Cherokee Grandmother
Selva COX/Opal Nokomis SMITH Nolen

Enjoying the Ride

Enjoying the Ride
October 31, 2008

Daddy Cat, Jr.

Daddy Cat, Jr.
"You're blocking my light!"


Chester & Princess Out For a Ride