See What You Read
To see photos of the land, people, places, and things Linda writes about, click on the topics or just scroll on down.
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The Ranch and Landscape
The ranch buildings in 1953
View of the ranch from Badger Ridge
The Lookout Rocks
Prickly Things on the Prairie And we aren't just talking about Linda!
Prickly Pear Cactus
To Love and Honor Linda and George
Rebel Linda's favorite horse
For More . . .
More photos of Linda and her family appear in Linda's biography.
The Dog Stories page has photos of Linda with some of the dogs in her life.
A newly-updated photo tour of Homestead House is now available. Click here for pictures and more information about the retreat house and its surroundings.
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The Ranch Buildings in 1953
The barn, corrals, outbuildings and house.
This photo was taken from a hill to the south of the corrals.
The white building at the far right is where Linda lived during her childhood. Linda hosts writing retreats in that house, now called Homestead House.
The windbreak trees were barely started fifty-some years ago when this photo was taken-- Homestead house is now very well shaded and the area is a haven for birds.
View of the Ranch
This photo was taken from Badger Ridge, looking north-northwest.
Windbreak House is slightly left of center, above the stock dam and hay field.
Homestead House, the corrals, barn, and other out-buildings are on the right, amongst the trees.
You can see the Black Hills on the left-hand horizon.
This photo was taken during the wet years of the mid-1990s so the grass is green and the stock dam has water.
The Lookout Rocks
I point south, until Mike can see the lookout rocks.
He wants the story, but there isn’t one. The pile of rocks has been there as long as Harold, my eighty-year-old uncle, can remember. It stands three feet high at the point of this long ridge, and is visible for several miles. We climbed up to it once; it’s built of naturally flattened chunks of limestone, carefully leveled and chinked with smaller rocks, and tapers up to a point at the top. Harold says sheepherders used to build landmarks like it, but no sheep have ever been herded in this neighborhood. It’s impossible for us to tell its age, unless something was put inside it, but we won’t tear it down for that. . .
From Going Over East
“Eighth Gate: Homesteading the Future”
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Prickly Things on the Prairie
Their hidden weapons make buffalo berries the elite among wild fruit. The thorns can be up to six inches long, all scientifically placed so that you cannot pick a single berry without puncturing naked hands. Even leather gloves don't save you from injury.
Buffalo berries are symbolic, to me, of the answer to the question all plains people are eventually asked. . . "Why do you stay here?"
These tart little berries on hidden, thorny bushes are what the modern people of the plains have become. We're not easy to find, and we tend to be a little prickly if we've been here long. Hardship and freedom breed stoicism, and don't leave us with much patience for such questions. But when you get to know us, when you understand a little of the plains, we're rare and tasty.
From Land Circle: Writings Collected from the Land
pages 23-25, published 1991, Fulcrum Publishing
This morning we repaired the stretch of fence the [neighbor’s] buffalo have been abusing over east. I enjoy fencing, partly because when I finish I can see what I’ve done and it stays done for a while-- unlike cooking meals and cleaning house. We took out about twenty rotted wooden posts, and then George put in a new corner, digging the postholes deep, while I drove twenty steel posts. Then we strung four strands of new barbed wire, stapling it tight. The buffalo can jump it if they want, but they can’t just walk through it anymore.
Taking a breather after putting in a post with the maul, I pictured myself in twenty years, wearing the same worn jean jacket, fixing this fence again and remembering this sunny day with George humming in the background. I felt unbearably sad for an instant.
October 21st entry
published by Barn Owl Books, 1987
Every night I watch TV, watch the men with their ties and neat sport coats, the women with perfectly groomed hair, long polished fingernails and success dresses, reciting the list of who bombed who that day, what natural disaster killed thousands, the latest difference of opinion taken into a courtroom, and I wonder if there’s any hope for humanity at all.
Then each morning I look at my bitten fingernails as I shove a teat into a calf’s mouth and watch his little tail switching as the cow burps with contentment and think, “Well, something will survive. It may not be us, but something will survive.”
Spring, April 30th entry
published 1987, Barn Owl Books
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To Love and Honor
. . . You wore a blousy riverboat shirt of heavy cotton with a "Made with love by Linda" label in the back, a suit instead of the jeans I hoped you'd choose. I wore an old ivory satin blouse under a new ivory lace vest with a small-waisted maroon wool skirt you liked, high boots hiding peach and silver socks my friend Kathy had sent. We drove up in the Hills, not yet green this early in March. Patches of snow hung on hillsides. Your former wife brought your son, so he could stand with us and a few close friends while we promised to love each other all we could.
from Land Circle
Part II: George: In Beauty Walk
"To Love and Honor"
page 174 in the original edition
page 195 in the Anniversary edition
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She was eager to learn, but full of fire. We came as close to being one organism as is possible; I rode her bareback with the reins loose from the first, guiding her by leaning. Sometimes she seemed to know what to do with no direction at all, unless she read my mind. Her gait was the smoothest I've ever felt, a long, loping stride even though she was small and fine-boned.
Fall: September 20th
For years I was the only person to ride her, and my love affair with her is the most perfect I’ve ever had. The others ended in heartbreak or marriage or both. She never betrayed me. . .
from Going Over East
“Third Gate: Shade for the Prancing Horse”
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