Monday, October 4, 2010

I Just Wanted to Call...

As I sit here trying to find the words that I want and need to say, I see how totally surreal the past eleven days have been for me.  The last words he said to me were, "I just had to call and tell you, Aunt Robin, I'm starting to work on Monday at Willow Lake Mine!  I needed to share this with you because I knew you would understand how much I have wanted this.  I have to go now because I have another call coming in, I love you and I will call you tomorrow."

There was and will be no tomorrow's for him.  He died before 3:30 a.m. that next morning. 

I have to take comfort in knowing he is in a far better place.  His demons died with him.  

Even though I saw him there in that tiny ER cubicle, even though in my pained heart I know he is gone,
my mind keeps playing tricks on me.  I still expect my phone to ring and to hear his voice saying, "Aunt Robin I just wanted to call and tell you how much you mean to me..."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Trail of Tears sign to be unveiled in Pope County - Southern Illinoisan

  GOLCONDA - A new sign will be unveiled at 1 p.m. Wednesday (9/22) in Pope County (IL) to identify the original historic roads of the Trail of Tears and allow the public to follow the actual route.
  The sign unveiling ceremony will take place at the intersection of Illinois 146 and Homberg Road, about three miles west of Golconda.  Community members, including students, are invited to the ceremony.
  A number of local, state and federal officials will attend the ceremony, along with Cherokee Nation Principle Chief Chad Smith and Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Justice Troy Poteete,  Also attending will be Jack Baker of Oklahoma City, Cherokee Nation councilman and president of the Trail of Tears Association National Board of Directors.
  This official Trail of Tears National Historic Trail sign unveiling ceremony will recognize the first and longest signed original historic trail segment on the Trail of Tears.  Although many of the original roads of the Trail of Tears have disappeared, there are many places like the historic road in Pope County that have survived.
   "Marking this 8 1/2 mile stretch of original route of the Trail of Tears gives the American public an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Cherokee, who traveled this stretch of road during their tragic removal in the 1830's, and helps all Americans to confront and understand a period of our history that many of us perhaps have tried to forget," said Aaron Mahr, superintendent of the National Park Service Trails Office, which administers to the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
  For more information, email Sandy Boaz, president of the Illinois Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association, at

This article was taken from the Southern Illinoisan, Friday, September 17, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2010 What a Year (So Far)

I thought it might be time for a new post, since I haven't done so in nine months! 

Where to begin?  2010 has been quite the year so far, with oil spills, floods, excessive heat and so many other happenings in this country and around the world.  Some days I just want to turn the television and the radio off and retreat to the woods.  Sounds like a wonderful idea, except for the ticks who like to leave me with a bulls-eye rash and 21 days of antibiotics. 

We did have a beautiful Spring in Southern Illinois, wish it could have lasted a bit longer.  I did manage to get my two year old gelding going really well under saddle.  I actually rode him in his first parade on the 4th of July.  One never knows how a young horse will deal with all the noise and movement.  I am pleased to say "A.J." did great!  Soon it will be time to take him on our annual "Nine Day Encampment" and following that, the annual Sikeston Ride.  Once these events are over it will be time for me to make the difficult decision to either keep or sell this beautiful boy.

Another happening for our household this year was the addition of a new dog.  This has been quite the experience!  I decided I wanted to adopt/rescue a Boxer, I have always liked Boxers but I didn't really want to start with a puppy.  My daughter and I drove to Evansville, IN to see some shelter dogs found on "Pet Finder", supposedly Boxers.  When we arrived at the first shelter we discovered the youngster I drove there to see was more Pit Bull than Boxer.  Now I personally have nothing against the breed but my husband will not have one anywhere near him or our property.  Sadly, we drove to the next shelter where there was a Boxer mix, probably some Pit here also.  This second one was a BIG dog!  I actually filled out paper work on this one but they turned me down because I don't have any of my 20 country acres fenced for a dog.  So we drove home without a Boxer, my daughter was not happy.  Mind you, she is grown, married and lives in another town but she wanted (me) to bring a dog home that day.  I told her it was just not supposed to happen yet and that when the right dog came along, everything would fall into place.

After this experience I thought I might just forget about the whole idea of getting a new dog.  We had lost one of our dogs to old age a few weeks earlier but we still had Spot.  Both the older dog and Spot were outdoor dogs, only outdoor.  I had no desire to have another indoor dog, especially a large one.  I have never had an indoor dog bigger than 10 pounds.  Addie and I talked about my looking for a Boxer and he said we really didn't need another dog, Spot was enough.  Then our daughter sent a text message saying her husband had found a full blooded Boxer in the shelter at Franklin County!  I wasn't sure what to do!  In the end (long story, short) I picked up my son-in-law and drove to Franklin County Humane Shelter where I met Bobby, a 2 to 3 year old, full Boxer boy.  Bobby was a beautiful, fawn and white, docked tail with un-cropped ears, neutered male who weighs in at 71 pounds.
When Bobby first came to live with us, he was to be an outside dog.  Did I forget to mention that before he came here he was an inside dog?  Did I also fail to mention he's terrified of thunder?!!!
Again, the short version here is, Bobby lives in our house and surprisingly enough, WE have adjusted.  The big boy is very, very well housebroken and very aware of his size in the house.  When outdoors, if it's not thundering, he loves to run and play with Spot.  We have had a couple of problems along the way and at first he was very depressed, looking for his former family.  Now, after almost three months with us, he is at home. 
Shelter dogs rule!!!

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