Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Landscape, Language, Teaching, Wildness, Beauty, Imagination

Of Graduation, a 50th Anniversary, the Ranch, Laborers—and Sunsets



With Luke at his graduation party.

So, sometimes life is a ripple and sometimes it’s a tidal wave. The past month has been a tidal wave kind of life, resulting in both my being OBA (Officially Behind in All, including writing to you!) and so awash in gratitude that it drops me to my knees. I swing back and forth between the two and grab firm ground when I can.

Last I wrote, dirt was flying, cement was being poured, and flowers planted in preparation for Luke’s high school graduation. The flurry of activity continued up until the last minute (reminding me Noé and my wedding!), including the great ramada-raising, which now included the arrival of the mounties to help.


Wyatt, Noé, Dad

 Luke graduated in fine style with the most enthusiastic cheering section.


Noé, me, Wynn, Wyatt, Luke, Dad, Mom

Every minute of planting, building, copious amounts of watering and wine was worth it. 

View from the roof. ©Rosemary Dunston

View from the roof. ©Rosemary Dunston

‘Twas the season of celebration. Immediately after Luke’s party, we headed to the ranch to celebrate Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary. We arrived just as the sun was setting on the lane.

Wink sign arrival

If you look closely, you’ll see Wyatt and Wynn fishing amongst the clouds here. 

Fishing in the clouds.

Fishing in the clouds.

Wynn and I went to spend time with my favorite horse, and inspiration for Mame in Meadowlark, Josie. 

Wynn and Josie

Wynn and Josie

I was taken with Wynn’s hair next to Josie’s mane – the colors and textures of both…


…and made a ring from strands of Josie’s mane, now in my jewelry box. 

Horsehair ring

One of my all-time favorite photos of Wynn, now on the ranch. I have no idea why we called her the The Pink Pistol…

Wynn, the Pink Pistol

Wynn Elizabeth, The Pink Pistol

What began with this June 4—50 years ago…

Mom ad Dad wedding

Dean and Joan Wink, June 4, 1966

…now looks like this. What a life Mom and Dad have created.

Whole fam-damily

Whole fam-damily, June 2016. Bo, Austin, Garrett, Dad, Mom, Wyatt, Wynn, Luke, me, Noé

Cousin time!

Cousin time—Wyatt, Austin, Wynn, Garrett, Luke

Came back to head to Tucson for Orientation, where Luke will be studying International Business at the University of Arizona—because, he is the luckiest guy we know.

Bear Down, Wildcats! #WildcatMom

With Luke Orientation

And then to Chicago to meeting again with two incredible communities that come together once  a year at the Annual Instructors Conference (AIC) for the LIUNA Training and Education Fund. Once a year in Chicago, instructors in the Laborers’ International Union of North America and international educators from all over the world come to work together in an incredible week. Through the years, I’ve come to love the people of these communities deeply. People always ask me what we do at this conference. There is so much happening here, better to watch for yourself.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/131241866″>The 2014 Annual Instructor Conference Recap</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user17215533″>LIUNA Training &amp; Education Fund</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Home to teach three classes of Orientation to the Teaching Profession. Clearly, we needed flowers and stones for our first night of class. 

Flowers for first night

After class, watched this sunset unfold from our roof…

Sunset 1

Sunset 2



Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores language, landscape, wildness, beauty, and imagination.

31 thoughts on “Of Graduation, a 50th Anniversary, the Ranch, Laborers—and Sunsets

  1. Pingback: In Celebration of Heroines—Moms and Daughters | Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

  2. Aww… the power of a photo. Bless your family!

  3. You have such a beautiful family! I know you are proud of all of them. Congrats to your parents!! We are celebrating our 50th this August. Life is such an amazing ride. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been great! Hugs Judi

    • Dear Judi, Congratulations on your own 50th! I send you huge hugs and love in spirit. Life IS such an amazing ride, isn’t it? Please keep creating art and Layers! your own art makes my life so much more beautiful. Hugs! Dawn

  4. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I think spring, we go through a lot of things (title waves) or deadlines. It’s nice to end with a sunset!

    • VirginiaAnnette, I love this… Yes, we do go through lots of things in Spring, don’t we? What a wise perspective – and yes, let us end with a sunset. So good to hear from you and connect!

  5. Dawn, One other thought popped into my brain and excuse the forwardness….I have a group of four college students coming out to Santa Fe the first week in August. They represent Mendocino Presbyterian Church and are going to be in conversation with David Douglas and Judy Crawford about opportunities to support a Waterlines well. Trying to arrange transportation and have hit a little bump….the college students are all under 21 which means they can’t rent a car. Would you know of anyone who has an available car for four days? The leader Tavi (who will be driving) is beyond responsible (and a great writer). If you know of any possibilities..please advise. The Davis Clan might be coming through the second week of August as we are coming down from a family reunion in Utah. Are you around? Would love to see you and the kids! Matt >

    • Matt, how wonderful that these students from Mendocino Presbyterian are headed this way. Let me ask around for an available car for four days. Surely, we can figure this out. Would LOVE to see the Davis Clan. Yes, here second week of August. Big hugs, Dawn

  6. Thanks for these great pictures Dawn. I really appreciate the pink pistol! hope you are writing strong and deep into the night. Grace and Peace, Matt >

  7. I love that you share your family, your life and your thoughts with me. And the photos, too. You are truly blessed in so many ways…

  8. Greetings from L.A., dear Dawn – and thank you so much for sharing these wonderful pictures along with your touching commentary. I really have enjoyed watching your wonderful kids grow up! And what a fantastic job you have done – and continue to do. Much love comes your way from this grateful observer… XO

    • Liz, Happy L.A.! And how you’ve known the kids through their many chapters… Thank you so much for sharing the journey, through the valleys and peaks. Much, much love to you.

  9. Thank you for sharing your lovely stories and photos. Looks like you are having a great summer. Can’t figure out how to respond on your site without WordPress or Facebook nosing in.

    Patty Armstrong, GCDF
    Senior Career Services Coordinator
    Back to Work 50+ WESI Project Manager
    Santa Fe Community College
    6401 Richards Ave.
    Santa Fe, NM 87508

    “No matter what path you choose.
    I want to make sure it’s you choosing it.
    Not someone else.” –Michelle Obama

    • Dear Patty, thank you so much for taking the time to connect! I love hearing from you! Oh, dear about responding… I’ll swing by and we can figure it out. Hope your own summer is going beautifully. Love the quote. Here’s to sharing our paths. Dawn

  10. Buen dia Dawn, I relish your posts like this latest one because they are a reminder of the beauty of NM and most importantly, the value of family. Your photos and expressions always fill me with optimism. The sunset photos are stunning, I’m darn fortunate to have some of those same views from my backyard in Velarde. Please keep reminding us to live life fully.

    Paul Martinez

    • Buenos dias desde mi ventana con velas, Paul. Thank you so very much for all you write here, which inspires and strengthens these connections with family and place. A gift to know that we share some of these same views.

      Una bendición compartir nuestras jornadas,

  11. Don’t know how you do it. And each event produces so many beautiful smiles all round.

  12. Could I have your life? sigh Lovely

  13. Love those sunset pictures. Oh my God. Thank you for sharing your life so beautifully. Great meeting you and Susan at SCN. You were born to be a teacher. Please let me know when you get more information on your writers’ workshop in February.

    • Laurie, wasn’t that sunset amazing?! I just loved, as well. So good to meet you at SCN! Susan and I will share information about our February Writers’ Retreat this fall. I hope you’ll join us!

  14. Phenomenal is what I say to you of your life and accomplishments! Pure joy and gratitude is certainly the mountain top experience.
    Your description and pictures brought me very close.
    Love you, Cathy

  15. Dear Dawn, the few years I’ve known you through cyber-space, I have not seen when your life is not a tidal wave! You are blessed to have such a wonderful, close knit family. The sun set photo takes breath away. U. of A, Luke is full of surprises! Big hugs, Dan

    • Dan! I’ve been thinking about you! Yes, I suppose the whole life-thing-always-a-tidal-wave is pretty true… 🙂 I’ll have to catch you up on our little Mr. Surprise with the UofA Luke. Much love, Dawn

  16. What a lovely family, Dawn!


    • Kathryn, so wonderful to hear from you. I was thinking of you when we were in Tucson. Only there one day and it was packed, but I plan on being there much more! So grateful to see your photos of carrying water into the desert for migrants. Abrazos fuertes, Dawn

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