“I believe in the power of the internet, but even more in the kindness of strangers.”
“BostonStrong paying it forward>RancherStrong.”
Lorraine Lewandrowski lifted the events on the Plains to an international voice.
Grass roots initiative Help for South Dakota, where one can pledge livestock. Contact volunteer Wendi Lankister, firstname.lastname@example.org
My dad, Dean Wink, articulates this experience with insight and eloquence, in his interview with Sherry Bunting. “We had a few hours of rain,” Wink recalls the afternoon of October 4. “Then, just hours before sundown, it changed to blizzard conditions. There are some things we could have done if we had known it would be this much of a blast. But it was the perfect storm stacked up against the cows: Rain, then sleet, and with no winter coat yet, they chilled down faster than normal. Then it turned to snow and we had white-out conditions for hours, and then the 70 mph winds snapping a reported 4300 power poles in the next county over. It was the combination of things — and the timing — the cows were not prepared for it. We were not prepared for it. Mother nature can be pretty brutal at times, and people in cities can’t have a true appreciation for that unless they are in it.” For the rest of the article, ‘Big Shot’ news organizations: Get out of town!.
I am crazy-proud of my dad.
I thought of all of this as I walked through the red New Mexico dirt, eyes on the gold-threaded cottonwoods ahead. The kindnesses of strangers mix with the bone piles, both physical and emotional. All is too new and raw to make much sense of right now.
Patricia Frolander, Poet Laureate of Wyoming, voices the ephemeral and visceral.
Prairie seeds, dirt and thistle
borne on biting wind,
adorn wooden crosses,
mausoleums, marble stones,
and the small chapel steps.
This last refuge, draped over a hill
bears its earthy blanket with dignity.
Tears more frequent than rain
nurture native roots, their grasp
as tenacious as the pioneers they embrace.
I greet the ancient ones.
Spirits move with the breeze,
hover beyond my shoulder
wondering why I am here.
I whisper my answer to the November sunset.
I stood under the cottonwoods and looked up into the green, gold, and blue.
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