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Wild Wild West

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When I think about the Wild West my first thoughts are cowboys and Indians. Cowboys out on the range, gathering cattle, mending fences, and coming back home to the sound of the dinner bell ringing. Cute cowboys. Sexy cowboys. Cowboys with muscles and a strong face yet gentle hands when they were with their wives and children.

Then there are the Indians. The ones who trusted no white man and the ones who learned to trust the white man and live in peace. They lived on the land and believed we owe much to mother earth. Which is something I still believe in as well and probably we could learn a lot from their ways to increase our going green lives.

I remember visiting the Smokey Mountains and seeing the saloon, taking pictures with real live Indians, seeing a gun fight in the middle of the street, one complete with fake bullets, but as a kid they seemed real to me. I loved it and as a young girl wanted to live like a cowgirl.

The movies made me believe this was an amazing life. Times were simpler and people often came to one another’s aide to mend what needed to be mended to insure the Wild West life continued.

Ah, such a wonderful thought. That is until I think about the items they didn’t have. No indoor plumbing. That’s a big one for me (who remembers her grandmother’s farm having an outside shower and oh yes, an outhouse).

Traveling to visit a friend could take days or even a week. Rough terrain complete with robbers, Indians who wanted scalps, and oh my god, snakes. I so don’t do snakes (sorry, different post). Washing your clothes wasn’t the easiest thing in the world either. After they made the soap (most often lye soap), they had to beat them against a rock or if they were lucky they had a board to beat them against, and then hang them in the sun to dry, all nice and…stiff.

So for me, yes, I still love the movies and the books that make it seem so romantic, but in reality I’ll take my internet, air condition/heating, and buying soap any ole day.

Now writing about them? That’s, as they say, a horse of a different color. Nothing seems impossible and the heroine is more than happy to cook over an open flame, scrub the floors, and still manage to float down the stairs in a beautiful dress to greet her man. The hero never seems to smell bad regardless of how much labor he’s done without the help of Arrid extra dry, and even if he does, she doesn’t notice. Nope she’s running to meet him and the kiss as the sun is setting behind them heats the night to beyond belief.

Of course the stars lighting the night sky like a hundred thousand LED lights, while lightning bugs flitter around would make it beautiful. And really the scene in my head is so perfectly romantic.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the country, the wide open space, and seeing the sky without the aid of street lights. Traveling to town to buy groceries would be fine as long as I could get there within an hour or two and in an air conditioned truck. I would honestly trade my city life with that of more country if I could, but I’d still have the items we’ve come to love today.

What about you? Do you wish for the days of the cowboys or are you more of a citified person? 




8 Responses

  1. Ummm…both. I like the rural life. The air feels fresher, time slows down and there is something about the stars in the sky (so many!)

    But I don’t want to live the way they lived without the amenities. Not really. I like toilet paper and paper towels. I like dish washers and fancy ovens. I like deodorant and clean sheets. And, Lord knows I love the air conditioning and heater.

    So, I’m pretty citified, but I do appreciate the country life upon occasion.

  2. As long as I have the amenities, I’m all good with the country. 🙂

  3. I fall on a good inbetween line. I’m far enough out that there are NOT street lights messing with my night sky and close enough that I can drive to town (bout 30minutes there, 30back) for those needed items like soap.

  4. I live 10 miles from my mailbox.
    65 miles from the closest Wal-Mart.
    40 miles from what would be considered a grocery store.
    I’m 9 miles from the nearest paved road.

    And I grew up in the city. Granted I rodeoed and rode horses growing up; and I love amenities, but I have learned to live w/out air conditioning, because we don’t have it. And really, here on the wide open plains of SD you don’t need it. You open the windows when the sun goes down and it’s cool enough by bedtime to sleep and listen to the coyotes howl, crickets chirp and the dogs bark at whatever dogs bark at at night. You can hear the wind whistling down the plain if you listen close enough, and the stars do sparkle like no one’s business.

    When I moved here a year and a half ago I wasn’t sure I’d adapt. The silence is deafening, and addicting. Everyone should get to try it. At least once.

    Wanna come visit?

  5. I’ve lived in the city my whole life, but I do think life during the days of cowboys must have been an adventure. I’m not sure I would be able to handle that kind of life. Might be a little rough for me.

  6. I live on ranch an hour from the nearest town and I have a tipi on my front step. I guess you could say I’ve got both the cowboy and the Indian bases covered. 😉

  7. I think the days of cowboys is nice to read about. I like a more rural life, provided I can still get online!

  8. I live in the sticks too… and write about it on my blog… though I was raised in a town of 60,000, my dad taught me how to do most home and car repairs, hunting, fishing and camping… The switch to rural life wasn’t that hard!

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