Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Writing, Teaching, Language, Landscape, Life

Backyard Tango


Cara's bouquet

Cara’s bouquet

Of course, the first mason-jar bouquet of the year in our new home had to be in honor of Cara.

Our home—more specifically, our yard—has been a swirl of activity lately in preparation for Luke’s upcoming high school graduation festivities. We kicked off Mother’s Day with all that I asked for—working in our yard with loads of planting and digging. Despite the wind and rain, the kids dove in and we spend the day outside. 

Flowers to plant

Wynn Luke working on the yard

The next day, we poured the slab of cement for the ramada. A couple of Noé’s friends from work came to help. I felt as if I were in Cascabel—large machinery, Spanish flying everywhere. The guys constantly referred to the other as, Mi rey (my king), a common term of endearment in Spanish. 

Pouring slab

Couldn’t resist.

Casa Villarreal Wink 2016

We moved on to laying flagstone.


Wyatt Wynn laying flagstone


I hope our neighbors don’t mind classic 80’s, 70’s, and 60’s music, as that is what is playing to rock us through our work. 

Work cre

El Blanco has pulled through like a charm. Cannot imagine how we ever made it without.

Dawn El Blanco

When you need more room for 18 foot boards, improvise! Noé said people were anxious to pass and get ahead of him on the highway. 

Noe el blanco

Saw first rattlesnake of the year on my run. I saw as my foot almost came down on its head. I was deep into mile six and my mind a million miles away thinking of everything needing to be done. Then suddenly, the “rattlesnake hop,” when suddenly your heels grow wings and you find yourself flying several feet forward. Rattlesnake

Today is Sunday and Luke graduates tomorrow. The day will be filled with putting up the structure for the ramada—a “ramada raising,” the southwestern version of the Amish barn raising. My bonnet is ready. Then, on to decorating the ramada and trees with as many little white lights as I can wrap around everything. We’re starting early, in hopes of actually finishing and getting some good work time in before the late-afternoon southwestern winds kick up. Breakfast of egg burritos, made with fresh eggs from a colleague. I love their mosaic. Fresh eggs

As I was looking around yesterday, thinking of the yard last year and even last week, I said to Luke, “We may actually pull this off yet, buddy.” 


When not digging holes, Luke’s 1600 meter relay team took First in the New Mexico Track and Field Competition. More on that, and how life gave me a second chance, in a future piece. For now, the State Champ himself.

Luke's team #1

Luke’s cheering section.

Luke's team

And his very proud Mommy Lady.

Dawn and Luke



Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores the beauty and tensions of language, culture, and place.

12 thoughts on “Backyard Tango

  1. Pingback: Of Graduation, 50th Anniversaries, the Ranch, Laborers—and Sunsets | Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

  2. Dear Dawn,
    Hello after my “absence.” Have been following you all along….daily. And still loving all the joy you bring to life and those of us who follow you. Loved the picture….and all the years of loving and living behind it….of your Mom and Dad. Wrote an email to your Dad…for both of them, of course, at the only email address I had. Got it back, undeliverable. It is meant for them….and you. Would love to reconnect. Would you be willing to share you and your Dad’s email address with me? I promise not to bug a busy legislator/rancher….but just offer my best wishes. Then he can get back to feeding the horses, fixing the water leaks, running South Dakota, etc….ha. Much love to all of you…..and thanks for the sunshine you bring to my day as I click into “Dewdrops.”

  3. Wonderful!!! Happiness to Luke in his new adventures!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous Dawn and family! Can you believe Luke has grown up so quickly? and El Blanco is still working!!! Jan is thrilled 🙂 Congratulations on all of the beauty you have and are creating in this world. Love, Sharon

  5. Love the back yard!!! Those children of your are just gorgeous. Congratulations to Luke for that win. We have Maggie graduating Fri.
    Sure do love you!

  6. I always enjoy reading about your latest family adventures, seeing your short-captioned photos to match, which leave your readers to wonder what the other 995 words would’ve been had you written them all 🙂 I love how you can do that! Great outcomes all around, from laying flagstone to Luke’s winning prowess in track and field. And luck smiled upon you with the rattlesnake!

  7. Love love love your yard! We’ve thought about a ramada forever and you did it. Congrats to Luke🎓
    Hugs, judi

  8. What a wonderful backyard ready for the graduate! Lovely photos, lovely young man and lovely momma.

  9. All aspects are so colorful from snake to gorgeous flowers! Fantastic photography, madam!

  10. Disfruta tu familia y tu esposo. Que viva la felicidad mujer! Saludes un abrazo fuerte y te quiero mucho.

  11. So happy for you and your family. I’m thinking life is good! Love you💕💕.

  12. Como se dice “whirling dervish” en Español? Because you are officially one, comadre! What a transition for the backyard at La Hacienda, for Luke, and for all of you. Time flies with the wings of Luke’s feet, plus your rattlesnake hop. Much love to you all!

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