We have writing in our blood. My grandfather, Mecoy Ross, always had a dream to write a book of his stories about growing up on a farm during the Depression and teaching school for decades. He had millions of great stories and was a gifted story teller.
My mom is a gifted writer as well. She actually was a newspaper journalist when she graduated from college. While we were growing up she continued to write a regular column about family life. Life is funny, isn't it. My sisters and I grew up being written about and now I grew up to write about our family life as well.
When I started this series, I thought of several of Mom's stories that she could share. I asked her and suggested a few options. She started writing and these memories are what she landed on. I am so thankful. Growing up, as she shared with us about her horses.
I dreamed of having my own horse...what little girl doesn't. Now our youngest daughter loves to hear Mom tell about her horses. She will go on an afternoon with Mom and comes home to retell me what Bebe told her about growing up with horses. She is dreaming of having a horse.
I hope you enjoy Mom's Cherry stories as much as we do...
My favorite summer memory had a beautiful red coat and a long black mane and tail. Her name was Cherry. She was the sweetest most devoted friend an only child with few people to interact with could possibly have. Every morning after breakfast I found her waiting in the barn. I saddled up and what glorious adventures we had.
My dad was an elementary school principal and there was no summer pay. He made up for this by raising and selling cattle, hogs and a little farming. Cherry and I had a lot of fun rounding up and chasing the cow until Dad put a stop to it. The cattle were very relieved.
The town in which I grew up was very small and everyone knew each other. I was free to roam on adjoining farms. I would tie a fruit jar of water on the saddle and begin my day's adventures. Cherry would drink from one of the many steams nearby. I didn't tell my parents, but when I forgot my water I would often help myself to clear water in the creeks. I did make sure I drank upstream from Cherry. Not a great idea, but I did live to tell about it.
There were rules. To get across to the front of the house I had to go thru a neighbor's yard. I had to cross at the end of the yard and never thru the middle . As previously mentioned, I was not supposed to run the cows. I was not allowed to go to the very best creek because it was filled with soapstone and was unsafe to ride on. I could not ride through the planted fields.
There was one rule I only broke once. Cherry and I just had to visit that creek. It was cool and such a pretty little creek. The water was clear and ran a little deep in some areas. When we got to the creek Cherry leaned down to get a drink and the the saddle and I slid down her neck and into the water. Of course, it scared her. She ran back home. This, leaving the saddle and I in the creek. When she came home minus the saddle and me, it scared my Dad. He met me coming up the road crying, dragging the saddle, knowing I was in trouble.
Only once did Cherry throw me. I went crying to Dad. He took the saddle off and found a cuckleburr under it. He put me back on and said if I didn't get right back on I would always be scared. I rode on.
I wore long pants for a week to cover the hoof print on my upper leg. was trying to catch Cherry and she didn't want to play. I thought if Dad saw it he might sell her, I couldn't let that happen.
I was Dale Evans, even had the suit. I was Annie Oakley. I was cowgirl with a vivid imagination. I climbed up her neck, I slid down her backside. I rode standing up, but not many times after I rode under the clothes line and flipped off.
She was a small horse. I grew up. I became interested in other things. Horses are expensive to maintain. Our days came to an end as I watched the trailer leave with her my junior year. With her she took most of my childhood and part of my heart. She left me with special beautiful memories of the love a girl and a horse and hot summers together.
lf you have girls be sure to share this stories with them. You could also make some cookies together from Elizabeth Jane's Lemon Cookie Recipe as you share them.