Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Landscape, Language, Teaching, Wildness, Beauty, Imagination


The Power of Story by Joan Wink

Dr. Joan Wink, aka Mom/Grammie Extraordinaire, The Power of Story ©Chyllis Scott

It is with tremendous pride and pleasure that I share Mom’s latest book, The Power of Story (Libraries Unlimited, 2017) with you. It is FABULOUS!

Dr. Joan Wink

Yet, I get ahead of myself. I always assume that anyone who knows me, also knows my mom, Dr. Joan Wink. For those who do know and love her, and those who are yet to know and love her, let me share a little about Mom.

First, the professional:

Joan Wink is professor emerita of California State University, Stanislaus. Since retirement in 2007, she has been an adjunct professor at Black Hills State University, South Dakota State University, and in the Global Education Master’s Program of The College of New Jersey in Mallorca, Spain.

Joan began a six-year term to the South Dakota Board of Regents in April 2017. Throughout her career, she focused on languages, literacy, and learning in pluralistic contexts.

Dr. Wink completed her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Texas A&M, 1991), two masters’ degrees from the University of Arizona (Spanish, 1981; Educational Foundations/Bilingual, 1985; Spanish and English undergraduate degrees from Yankton College 1966.

Joan continues sharing, writing, and speaking nationally and internationally. Joan maintains an active website and blog, WinkWorld. She has published widely in scholarly journals and is the author of Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the Real World (4 editions), A Vision of Vygotsky with LeAnn Putney; and Teaching Passionately: What’s Love Got To Do With It? with Dawn Wink.

There is a scroll of international accolades for Mom that rolls out and reaches into the horizon.

With Mom, Cascabel, 1978.

And here’s the woman her family and friends know and why The Power of Story sings with wisdom, power, and truth. Mom’s life is composed of stories—stories of love, stories of pain, stories of joy, stories of loss, stories of resilience, stories of students around the world, and stories of friendship and roots decades deep.

Yes, Mom writes as the internationally renowned scholar that she is. And, what makes her writing, teaching, and living so powerful is all is based in real, lived experiences. The stories in this book made me laugh, cry, reach for my journal, drink some wine, informed my instruction as a professor, then laugh and cry some more for the sheer humanity that threads every sentence and every story of this book.

Mom does not write from some Ivory Tower of Academia. Mom writes from our cattle ranch on the Great Plains of South Dakota, summed up best when she called me while writing the The Power of Story. “I was working on Chapter Three and then the bulls got out on the highway. Wink and I ran to the pickup and headed out into the blizzard to try to get them off the highway. We barely made it up the lane through the snow. Took several hours to get the bulls back in, including your dad coming back for the four-wheeler and then both of us heading out. A couple of near misses on the highway. Your dad’s out feeding the horses now. Diving back into Chapter Three.”

Mom on Buffalo Roundup. © Dean Wink

The behind-the-scenes story of The Power of Story is one of family and the ever-present realities of writing on a cattle ranch. Just when a writer sits down to write, the bulls get out, the pump blows, the well freezes, the horses get out, the heifers get into the wrong pasture and have to be moved, the hay baler quits, there’s a hailstorm in the hay field, and…

This is the reality that grounds and lifts every page of this book.

The stories of this book are real.

Mom and her Little Free Library at the top of the lane.

Now, if you are interested in dry data and prescribed curriculum, this is NOT your book. If you are a reader, lover of words and language, a parent or grandparent, a teacher of students of any age who wants to sink into story-after-story of how to create a love of reading, the research about why woven seamlessly within, then this is your book.

I‘d originally thought that I would write a single piece on The Power of Story.

Then, I started reading it. By chapter Three (when the bulls got out on the highway), I’d already laughed, cried, taken notes for my own teaching, written on sticky notes on what to connect about with the kids, and scribbled in my journal about language, literacy, and story.

So, I’ll be sharing here some of the stories that made me laugh, cry, reach for my pen to remember to share with my students about literacy, reach for my phone to call and share with the kids, or just sit and stare out the window while I pondered.

First, a story:  If You’re Not From the Prairie by David Bouchard






When Moments Reflect a Lifetime

There are some things one simply must do in life— attendance when your dad/BopBop sworn in as Speaker of the House of the South Dakota Legislature is clearly one of them.  Better yet to tell The Speaker that you cannot possibly attend — and surprise The Speaker with your arrival.

Surprise - 2007

Surprise – 2007

Eight years ago, for Dad’s first term in the Legislature, my brother, Bo, Mom, and I conspired for Bo and me to surprise Dad on the first day of Session, as he was sworn into office. Bo arrived first and told Dad that he needed to shower, went to his hotel room, and promptly slipped out the door to come pick me up at the airport. My plane was 45 minutes late and by the time we arrived back, Dad was ready to break down the door to Bo’s hotel room, convinced he had fallen and knocked his head in the shower. 

This time, we got the kids involved and Bo and family headed the 10-hours west from Wisconsin and our family (minus Wyatt in the midst of an avalanche course and Wynn who needed to be in Santa Fe) headed the 17-hours north from Santa Fe. We arrived in Pierre, South Dakota within minutes of one another at the Capitol building. We threaded our way down the hall in single file, whispering, peeking, and finally arriving to Dad’s office, where we entered en masse. One look, two looks, a triple-take later, Dad believed his eyes. 

Surprise, Mr. Speaker!

Surprise, Mr. Speaker!

Surprise, Mr. Speaker!

Lisa, Garrett, Austin, Bo, Mom, Dad, me, Noé, Luke

Cousins in the Capitol

Cousins in the Capitol

The South Dakota Capitol building is simply gorgeous. We explored the building, looking for the famous cobalt blue tiles amidst the 30,000 square feet of tiled floor. Legend has it that the Italian craftsmen who laid the tile were each given a single tile to place wherever he wished (South Dakota Magazine). Apparently, 66 tiles lie within the terrazzo floor and 55 have been found. The cousins roamed the halls found four, including some hearts.

Cobalt blue tile in capitol floor.

Heart within tile floor.

I loved the miniature replicas of each dress worn by a First Lady of South Dakota for Inauguration and the soaring stained glass ceilings above. The cousins were not nearly as taken with these and ditched me to keep looking for tiles. 

Dresses of first ladies

Stained glass ceilings.

We arrived prepared. “Oddly,” Bo said, “the Winks were the only family to show up to the Session Opening with sideline signs…” 

We love the Speaker signWith Bo, very proud of our dad.

Bo and Dawn

Dad took the Oath of Office and my heart overflowed with pride and love. Life is so very busy and so often we fly through days in a blur of all that must be done. It was a rare moment to sit and allow all that Dad has done in his life to wash through me. When your dad’s a cowboy there is never a dull moment. Of the many life lessons that I’ve taken from my parents, one of the largest has to be their steadfast determination to create goodness in life, no matter the circumstances life may toss their way. This moment in time reflected Dad’s strength-of-character, integrity, resiliency, vision, leadership, hard work, and sheer generosity and goodness of spirit throughout his lifetime. I burst with pride.

Daddy waving Speaker

After Dad took the Oath, he acknowledged each of us beautifully. I was doing okay until he started talking about Mom. He spoke of their 50-year marriage, of what an incredible mother, wife, friend, and all she’d done for our family, all while creating an international career and writing five books, with a sixth on the way. He spoke of the emails she receives from students around the world who tell of the difference she’s made in their lives. “And,” he said, “on top of all of that, she’s a GREAT dancer.” At this point, tears streamed down both of my cheeks. So much for legislative decorum…


We love the Speaker

Noé, Luke, and I slipped out right after his speech and started back to Santa Fe, via the ranch. It had been far too long since I’d been there and I savored those precious hours. As we made a final trip to the car, I looked up to see horses on the ridge above the ranch house and drank in the beauty.

Horses on ridge above ranch house.

We headed up the lane and out past Mom‘s Little Free Library. 

Wink Ranch Little Free Library

I give thanks for every single second of the journey. The photo of Dad and me below was taken on the Cascabel Ranch in 1977. I love this photo for many reasons; the sense of fun, our Wink eyes that close when we laugh, that this was clearly a break in the shade on a hot ranch day of work. What I love most about this photo is that my love for my dad shines through. 

Cascabel Ranch, 1977

With Dad, Cascabel Ranch, 1977

Some things never change.

Daddy and Dawn


Rainbow Between Storms


Evening sun on clouds over the ranch.

Evening sun on clouds over the ranch.

Last we knew, my dad was out of the hospital after being thrown from his horse, Wyatt was on a plane headed for the ranch the morning after his high school graduation, and I was curled up on the couch writing by candlelight about my heroes.

Horses on prairie.

Horses on prairie.

Dad continues to heal. While our time on the ranch last year was filled with horses and rafting, this year’s time was all about Dad’s healing. The latest X-ray revealed that he broke seven ribs, rather than the five we originally thought, and his collarbone is held together by a piece of metal and a comb of screws into the bone. He’ll light up security at the airport like a firework display. 

While the kids were on the ranch, I made my yearly trek to Chicago where one week a year I work instructors in the construction industry, essentially, teaching construction workers how to teach. For this brief week each year, a group of teacher educators from around the world comes together with instructors in the construction industry from across the US, and we spend a week of intensity in which we bring different areas of expertise to work and learn together, with the construction workers learning about how to compose an engaged class and the teacher educators learning about hoisting, rigging, scaffolding, and other aspects of the construction industry. I look forward to this week all year.

Dad, branding 2014

Dad, branding 2014

My plane from Chicago landed on an uncharacteristically wet June western South Dakota prairie – lush and green as Ireland. Our group from Chicago was returning home to places across the US and the world. Branding was the next day on the ranch. Thinking about the different worlds we each inhabit and move between, I wrote of the mosaic of each of our lives the morning of the branding. Mom wrote back, “Mosaic? It’s all about mud and manure!”

Dad oversaw this year’s branding on foot and all went well. Most notable among the conversations at our branding and others, was how many hours shorter brandings are this year,  due to the losses of the Atlas Storm

Wink Branding, 2014

Wink Branding, 2014

Tommy, roping.

Tommy, roping.

Dad and Billy

Dad and Billy, laughs amidst the work.

Kids hanging out between calves.

Kids hanging out between calves.

Mom and Dad, lunch.

Mom and Dad, lunch.

Four-wheeler with neighbor girls!

 Four-wheeler with Mom, Wynn, and neighbor girls!

With Mom, final walk on the ranch between storms.

With Mom, final walk on the ranch between storms.

A series of storms blew in trailing thunder and lightning on our final night on the ranch.

Thunder and lighting storm blows over ranch.

Thunder and lighting storm blows over ranch.

I watched the clouds ebb to the north, as others approached from the south. A rainbow slipped in between storms. I thought of Dad’s healing, of all happening, and the unknown yet to come.

Let us enjoy the rainbow between storms.

Rainbow between storms.

Rainbow between storms.


What Creates Heroes

Mortar boards fly!

Mortar boards fly outside the Cathedral!

My oldest son, Wyatt, just graduated from high school. One year ago, I was asked to write a letter to him. When I sat to write, I thought of the mosaic of our lives.

Wyatt and The Mommy Lady, 1996

Wyatt and The Mommy Lady, 1996

February 22, 2013

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Dear Wyatt,

I remember the first time I felt you move when I was pregnant with you. I was reading and resting the edge of a book on my tummy. Suddenly, the book popped up. I knew then that there was no way I was imagining you and your movement. When I think of this now, I think of your love of books, reading, and ideas and wonder if you were anxious to read yourself and trying to grab the book!

What a journey, our lives together, Wyatt. I don’t think there was ever a child more loved or cherished than you. You were born into a world of love. 

My journey with you as your mom has been, and continues to be, the most important in my own life. When you were 2 1/2 years old, you started calling me The Mommy Lady. Of all of my names, this one remains the most cherished. 

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The best journeys are like those of the great novels, those of Tolkien – journeys of both beauty and hardship, of love and despair, of being tested and tough decisions made, of sorrow and joy. And what a courageous and honorable path you’ve walked. This has been your journey, dear Wyatt. Like the heroes of these tales, you’ve experienced all of this and more.

What separates the heroes, from those lost to history, is not the circumstance of their birth and not their wealth. What creates heroes is their courage and willingness to make the difficult decisions for Good. Think of Aragorn, Frodo, Sam, and Gandalf’s paths and all of the times it would’ve been far easier to succumb and give up on their journeys. For Aragorn to continue to hide in shame for what his father had done, Frodo to deny his destiny, Sam to leave Frodo in the Shire or on the mountain in Mordor, and Gandalf to stop trying to slay the dragon as they hurled into the depths of the crevice. And yet, they rose above again and again, living out Gandalf’s wisdom, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Wyatt, Black Belt test

Wyatt, Black Belt test

This is what you have done, Wyatt. There were times in your journey when it would have been the easier decision to give in darkness, and a few times, you did, as we all do.

What demonstrates the greatness in you is that you looked within, learned from these experiences, and set about doing the hard, hard work of creating a person founded upon the very best of you –integrity, willingness to work hard, honor, kindness, intelligence, compassion, respect, trust, and goodness. What a young man you’ve created!

One of the things I most admire about you, Wyatt, is your courage in looking within yourself and choosing kindness, and respect for all, honor, and love. Often, this is the most difficult journey of all. And—as with all great adventures—the one most worth taking.

Wyatt, hurdles 2014

Wyatt, hurdles 2014

I burst with pride for you and with excitement and anticipation for what lies ahead in your life. Whatever comes, I know you will rise to the occasion to create a life of wisdom, adventure, wonder, I fill with gratitude that I am blessed to take this precious journey with you.

I love you to the moon and back,

The Mommy Lady

Wyatt’s journey of courage and integrity continues. Last week, Mom had just arrived for Wyatt’s graduation from high school. Dad was to arrive the next day. Two hours from Santa Fe, Mom received a phone call that my dad had been thrown from his horse and was en route to the hospital in Rapid City, SD with a crushed lung, five broken ribs, two cracked ribs, and a collarbone broken in five places. A dear friend forwarded this piece about Dad and the horse wreck, Lawmaker, rancher in hospitalized after being bucked off horse.

“If he goes into surgery, I have to drive back,” Mom said, having just completed the 15 hour drive. She left the next morning to return to South Dakota, putting in 30 hours of driving within two days. The poignant aspect of this horse wreck is that less than ten years ago, I was with Dad for another awful horse wreck that left him with a separated pelvis and shattered hand. I wrote about life when your dad’s a cowboy.

Wyatt and The Mommy Lady, 2014

Wyatt and The Mommy Lady, 2014

“Wyatt,” I said, after Mom arrived in South Dakota and we realized the extent of Dad’s injuries, including his all-too-early release from the hospital. “What about heading to the ranch earlier than planned? It’s your decision. I know there are graduation festivities with your friends for the next weeks. This is your time. What do you think?”

“I want to go with Bop Bop and Grammie, Mom,” he said, without hesitation. “I want to be there and help.”

Let me say again, so there is no romanticizing any of this, that Wyatt and I shared several very dark and difficult years—years in which I had no idea what the future for either of us held. Yesterday, Wyatt graduated at 10:00 am in a beautiful ceremony in the Cathedral on the Plaza of Santa Fe. This morning, he was on a plane to South Dakota at 6:00 am. Tonight, Wyatt is with Grammie and Bop Bop on the ranch.

As I wrote to Wyatt in his letter, What creates heroes is their courage and willingness to make the difficult decisions for Good. 

Wyatt, you are my hero.

The Mommy Lady


One Year of Dewdrops

Bouquet from garden

Bouquet from garden

Today marks our One Year of Community within Dewdrops. August 4, 2011 I wrote this and sent to those and sent to those near and dear:

Welcome to my blog, Dewdrops.

The Hummingbird's Daughter

The Hummingbird’s Daughter

One evening this past week, I went to Luis Alberto Urrea’s (author of The Hummingbird’s Daughter, The Devil’s Highway) blog and read “Love and Discipline” about his brother’s recent brush with mortality. I wrote Luis a note thanking him for sharing his heart and soul in his blog, my own initial resistance to writing a blog and recent reconsideration, and thanking him for a blog written as doses of writing that knit us together in this wild, heartbreaking, exquisite experience of life.

And Luis Alberto Urrea wrote me back how his fans on Facebook formed Team Juan for his brother, started a prayer chain and Juan is now doing great. Luis finished his note with, “I think you should blog! Yrs., Luis”

When Luis Alberto Urrea tells me, “I think you should blog!” — I listen.

So here is my hope – that this blog will be doses of writing, dewdrops, that might knit us together in this wild, heartbreaking, and exquisite experience of life. Inevitably along the way, there will be thoughts and questions about language, culture, writing, teaching, the land, kids, and anything else that composes the chapters of life. I look forward to our journey together.



I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. My life seems to be a series of, “Leap, and the net shall appear.” I had no idea of magic possible, across miles, mountains, deserts, prairie, and oceans. At that time, 39 brave souls subscribed to Dewdrops. I knew they did this out of love and friendship, probably knowing in their hearts that I had no idea what I was doing, yet another leap of faith, and out of love, they leaped into the unknown with me. Our community has grown exponentially since that time. The vast majority of our community has joined since Dewdrops inception. 

Clouds outside our front door.

Clouds outside our front door.

I look with amazement at the past year. It has been, and continues to be, a year with ever-increasing blessed busyness. There are light years between the busyness of crisis and the busyness of blessings. When the days feel far too short, and I wish I could add hours to each for all that that needs tending, I return again and again to this thought. Energy builds and attracts similar energy. Vast worlds of positive energy swirls and whirls around Dewdrops, because of You. What I have experienced in the past year:

• The paths of life expand and deepen when shared. Life without community of kindred spirits begs loneliness and a mistaken sense that we alone face the hurdles of life. We are all in this together. Each of our lives overflows with blessings and challenges. Alone, this often feel overwhelming. Together, we recognize this shared experience of humanity and are strengthened. Our individual laughter, tears, challenges, loneliness, and wisdom gained flows when shared. I believe this is why we read—to know that we are not alone in this life. 

In honor of our one year of community, I include a few of the writings of the past year. I composed many of these pieces, and many were composed by the members of our community. I only organized and shared what you wrote. For those 39 souls who have been members of our community since August 4, 2011, perhaps (I hope), you’ll find some old friends. Those who are newer to Dewdrops, perhaps some new friends along our shared journey:

The Nest

The Nest

Textures of Guatemala

Early morning editing

Writing Meadowlark

Vincenzo’s Ghost

Words to Write By—for Writers, Teachers, and People Experiencing Life

The Nest

Will This Book EVER Be Published? What To Do in the Meantime


What I Wish for You—Wishes for Teachers


Dreams and Deadlines in 2013: Some Ideas on Organization

Doris Quintana Brandt, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Doris Quintana Brandt, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Writing Spaces of the World

Mosaic: Creating Beauty and Wholeness from the Broken Bits of our Lives

Artists Among Us

Meadowlark—The Veil Thins

Dear Wyatt, Luke, and Wynn—Why We Go To Church

Teaching—Freedom Within Structure and Teaching With Stones

TESOL and Veins of Turquoise: Migration, Immigration, and Language

Good Friday Pilgrimage to el Santuario and Chimayó

Meadowlark—Publication Announcement

Dewdrops, Brian Carnation

Dewdrops, Brian Carnation

Dewdrops Quotes

Anne Hillerman on Writing and her Dad, Tony Hillerman

The Nest Behind the Skull

Lifelines—The Fierce Love of Grandmothers

My Mother’s Hands

Authentic Creative and Professional Community Through Social Media

Raven’s Time: Wildness and Beauty Online Class



When Your Dad’s a Cowboy

Photo Journal of the Ranch

Pre-Order Meadowlark and Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Book Launch for Meadowlark at Collected Works, September 14, 4:00 pm

You will find it necessary to let things go…

Meadowlark on Amazon and Discovered Reading Treasures

Dawn Wink

One year ago, with no real idea of the path ahead, I wrote, “So here is my hope – that this blog will be doses of writing, dewdrops, that might knit us together in this wild, heartbreaking, and exquisite experience of life.” 


Photo by Michael Brandt

This past Friday, we experienced the potential and possibility of sharing, friendship, and love. Our dear friends, Rachel and Taylor Gantt, surprised us and another couple with the gift of sharing what they’d won at a fundraiser for our kids’ school before Christmas. We were told to be at their house at 4:00 pm. We didn’t know anything else. Imagine our surprise when a limousine rounded the corner into their driveway to whisk us off to wine tasting, dinner, and sunset on the rooftop terrace overlooking the plaza! Here, a photo of the women’s hands as we rode.

To me, this photo symbolizes that essence of shared humanity, of we’re all in this together, of love. This has been my experience with Dewdrops and remains my hope. From my heart, thank you.



We rise

We rise

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Pre-order MEADOWLARK and Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

MeadowlarkAd.qxpI can at last announce that if you would like to pre-order a signed copy Meadowlark, we can now do this. According to my publisher (Pronghorn Press), the books should be available for shipping on August 1, 2013. From the back cover: 


Based on a true story, the author provides a captivating and crystal clear window into the lives of some of                        the early settlers on the plains of South Dakota.

In 1911, sixteen year old Grace has the same hopes and dreams as any other bride for a future built on love, commitment and family. But she also knows that a life of ranching on the magnificent prairie she loves so deeply will require years of perseverance, hard work and suffering. What she doesn’t expect is how quickly she will be required to confront these threats to her heart and her soul.

Despite challenges that often seem insurmountable, Grace builds two abiding friendships in a land where other women are very few and rarely seen. Daisy, a half Lakota widow befriends her and Grace also recognizes a kindred spirit in her nearest neighbor, Mae Thingvold, a young doctor on her own. It is these women and their connections to each other that will sustain all three through unimaginable pain and loss and bring them joy in the sharing of small victories and celebrations of milestones along the paths of their lives. 

Dawn Wink introduces you to Grace and allows you to share her journey as you walk the rolling hills of her beloved prairie at her side. You will laugh and cry with her and share her deep connection the land that is the anchor to the ship of her life on which she sails the endless sea of grass.”

There is a deep part of me that will only believe this book has come to life only when I hold it in my own hands. Whoops, got teary just thinking about it there. Okay, onward. There are multiple ways to purchase Meadowlark, depending on what you’d like and where you live. 

1) If you would like to purchase a signed copy from me, please write me at dawn@dawnwink.com, and include your name and/or the name of the person for whom you would like me to personalize the book. If there is anything that you’d like me to write, please include that, along with your address. Please send a check for $24.00 to:  Dawn Wink, 3 Featherbush Ct., Santa Fe, NM 87508.

If you live in another country, please write me and I’ll find out how much it will cost to ship the book to you.

I will pre-order these books from the publisher myself, have them sent to me, and then I send to you. 

2) If you live in Santa Fe, we will hold a reading at Collected Works. We’re still working on the date. I will let you know, as soon as I know. If you are able to come to the reading (and I hope you do!), then I would love to support our local independent bookstore with your purchasing the book there. 

3) I am checking Amazon daily for Meadowlark to appear for pre-order. My publisher says, “There is no rushing Amazon.” I’ll pop you a note through Dewdrops when it appears. 

4) I would love to support independent bookstores in all places and in all ways. I encourage you to buy Meadowlark through yours. 

I loved what Kate Meadows wrote about writing and Meadowlark in her piece, How to Eat an Elephant: A Rare Glimpse of an Artist’s Success. Meadows writes, “Times change, and circumstances change. We are tested by many hardships in this thing called life, moments of intense heat in which we, like hot iron, are bended and shaped. We won’t be in the furnace forever. But those trying times are the nuggets that test our true character. Writers count these times as gold for their craft – moments and emotions that provide foundations for creating riveting stories.” This is going above my writing desk. Thank you for these words of wisdom, Kate.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

After a week in Santa Fe, we are back at the ranch. Along the way, we pass many abandoned homesteads. There is something so poignant and evocative about these, each with their own stories. When I was writing Meadowlark, I spent a lot of time walking within these sacred places, listening for their stories.

Abandoned homestead, Wyoming

Abandoned homestead, Wyoming

This is one of my favorite places along the drive, a valley north of Lusk, Wyoming.

Valley north of Lusk, Wyoming

Valley north of Lusk, Wyoming

Madonna of the Prairie north of Hermosa, SD:

Madonna of the Prairies

Madonna of the Prairies

Outside of Rapid City, SD, as we headed out onto the prairie and had less than two hours to the ranch, we watched this rain cloud move across the plains.

Rain cloud moves over the plains.

Rain cloud moves over the plains.

We woke to a foggy morning on the prairie.

Foggy morning

Cottonwood in the fog.

Cottonwood in the fog.

This week Luke is off to Placerville Camp in the Black Hills. Luke wouldn’t let us take his picture, so instead we took pictures of one another. 

Noé Villarreal in the Black HIlls

Noé Villarreal in the Black Hills

Dawn Black Hills

Dawn, Black Hills

Noé and I soaked in the beauty of the Black Hills and stopped by Prairie Edge again. I could spend days in that place—the art, the books, the beads, the textures. I included the beads in the photo journal of the ranch. Some beauty and art to share with you. This piece is made of paper:

Allen and Patty Eckman

Allen and Patty Eckman

Ledger drawings. These fascinate and humble me…

Ledger drawings

Ledger drawings

Horse Gatherer, Don Montileaux

Horse Gatherer, Don Montileaux

Wyatt chose to stay and work on the ranch. Mom is teaching a class in Mallorca. Dad is gone for the next week, and Wyatt is responsible for checking the water, cattle, and pastures. We spent the morning before Dad left driving around, with Dad showing Wyatt what he needed to do. 

Dad and Wyatt

Dad and Wyatt

Dad left a list for Wyatt:


Dad’s list for Wyatt

So often, our children believe of themselves, what we believe of them. Wyatt has embraced this responsibility. How much do I love this guy?

With Wyatt

With Wyatt

Pinterest – which I had no idea how to pronounce when I first read last year. Since then, I’ve discovered a world of visuals, bold images, and community. I created boards on Writing, Beauty:Colors, Textures, Places, and Meadowlark – and discovered that I love this creative expression. Here is the board on Meadowlark, with insights into the characters, time, and place of the novel: http://pinterest.com/dawnwink11/meadowlark/

Mae Thingvold, doctor and girl homesteader, was one of Grace’s best friends. She lived in a shanty and made her rounds with her horse and buggy.

Girl homesteader

Girl homesteader

When Grace moved to the homestead at 16, she spent the first years of her marriage there in a soddy.



This piece was composed here, in the eating/writing nook of the ranch house, morning sun streaming in through the windows. What a beautiful place to write.

Eating/writing space in the ranch house.

Eating/writing space in the ranch house.

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To subscribe and receive Dewdrops in your email, please enter your email address in the box under “Follow this blog via email” or click on the ‘Follow’ icon in lower right-hand corner of the blog’s screen and ‘Confirm Follow’ in the email you receive. To return to website: www.dawnwink.com