Windbreak
A Woman Rancher
on the
Northern Plains


A journal of
a ranch year

Nonfiction interspersed with poetry

Published 1987; reprinted

Published by
Barn Owl Books

233 pages
size: 5½ X 8½

$14.95 – paperback
ISBN 0-9609626-3-8

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Index of Windbreak

About This Index

This index was created by Mindy Keskinen during the winter and spring of 1999 while she spent some weekends at Windbreak House as a retreat from a hectic job. Thanks Mindy!

Some additions and changes were made by Tamara Rogers prior to posting it on this website.


Most people in the book are listed in this index under their first name and by their relationship to Linda (family, friend, neighbor).

Those with a more formal relationship to Linda are listed by their last name.

Look for domesticated animals under the species name-- thus Phred is listed under "cat," and Rebel will be found under "horse."


Use this clickable alphabet to jump directly to the portion of the index you want to search, or scroll on down.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P

Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z




Index to Windbreak: A Woman Rancher on the Northern Plains



777
see Triple Seven Ranch

AL
(Linda’s neighbor)
annual ritual with John, 55-56
creek pasture chores, 71, 90, 104
mouth-to-nose calf resuscitation, whiskey chaser, 95
see also Neighbor

ANNE
(Linda’s aunt on father’s side)
fire near her place, put a few things in car, 92-93
see also Family

ANTELOPE
fence-crossing technique, 190

ARROWHEAD
found by George, 143

ART
Tom’s collages with calf ear notches, 26
Linda used to barter eggs for paintings, 146

AUCTION
see Sale Ring

AUDEN, W. H.
on Eisley, 65-66

AUNT
see Anne, Jo /​ Josephine, Family

AURORA BOREALIS
see Northern lights


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BADLANDS
"like a foreign country," xiii
blue haze hanging over Badlands, 29
Cuny Table and description of area, 30

BALLOON
hot air balloon: passes house; dog barks, 33

BANANA
dried 25 pounds, 40

BEEF
see Butchering, Calving, Cattle

BERRY, WENDELL
"to know the dark, go dark," 118

BILL
(Linda’s neighbor; married to Margaret; daughter Bonnie)
see Margaret, Neighbor

BIRD
“snowbirds” (species?) zipping in noisy flocks overhead, 87
after spring blizzard, 132
waving the birds to safety, 178
see also individual bird species: Blackbird, Bluebird, Buzzard, Cedar Waxwing, Cowbird, Crane (Sandhill), Curlew, Dove, Eagle, Falcon, Goose, Grouse, Hawk, Heron, Killdeer, Meadowlark, Nighthawk, Owl, Swallow, Turkey, Vulture

BIRTH
clean patterns of birth, life, death, xiv
life out of death, 93
life and death struggle of backwards calf, 113
See also Calving, Cattle, Death, Nature

BLACK BEAUTY
(book): parents' gift, left under tree, ix

BLACKBIRD
Linda’s appreciation of God for blackbirds’ song, 66
redwing, 107, 115
none dead after blizzard, 135
at storm's end, 138
flies at Linda and George, 139
see also Bird

BLACK ELK
"power of earth works in circles," 140
See also Indian

BLACK HILLS
description, sights, xiii
blue and icy, 72
Keystone trip refreshing, 91
wild flowers, 170
fire, 175
wild plums, 200

BLACK HILLS ENERGY COALITION
see Environmentalism

BLAZE
see Horse

BLIZZARD
"Late March Blizzard" (poem), 114
See Snow /​ Sleet

BLUE
see Cat

BLUEBIRD
like a rare gem to a jewel lover, 138-139
see also Bird

BONE
“Bone,” poem, 69

BONEYARD
children took samples home, 139
Whirlaway runs through boneyard, 145

BONNIE
(Linda’s neighbor; parents Margaret and Bill)
see Margaret, Neighbor

BOVARD
see Mildred

BRADBURY, RAY
on Eisley, 65

BRANDING
Tom's calf-ear collages, 26
branding in Nov., 40
spring branding/​dehorning/​castrating yearlings, "castrating female," 118
gathering supplies, Linda/​John agree eartags too costly, Linda reflects on future of ranch, 140-141
Linda’s and John’s brands, 141-142
branding detailed, 140-143
injuries, 142
cows find calves instantly, 143
late spring branding, 150

BUFFALO
yearlings with cows over east; Oliver's reaction, 7
back in pasture, 26
in pasture to east, bulls in front, 146
Indians say buffalo returning, 146

BUFFALO GAP
trips for cake, 37, 53, 56, 76, 88

BULLET
Linda uses to write notes, 16

BUTCHERING
crippled heifer, and canning, 13-14
yearling butchered on tipi poles, silly labels, 107
Mildred concerned for cleanliness, 111

BUZZARD
raids nest, 175
see also Bird, Vulture


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CAFFEINE
health effects, 39

CAKE (CATTLE FEED)
in paper sacks, 33
feeding to cattle, 34
from Buffalo Gap, 37, 53, 56, 76, 88
as lure for cattle, 102
sole spring feed with enough grass, 107
buried in snow, 137
"hell of a thing" when still feeding on June 1st, 158

CALVING
calving season, 102 (and following pages, esp.107-136)
breech birth, cow dies, 84
“several hundred dollars worth of coyote feed,” 84
“matronly waddle,” 89
premature calf dies, 103
Panther and calf, 111
prolapse, 113
backwards calf, 113-114
twin-calf joke, 115
dead calves, 115
“wrong kind of kick,” 116
calving season handy social excuse, 116
too-large calves, Charolais cross, 119, 124, 125
John on calving two-year-olds, 121
"tailing her up," 122
instinctive mothering vs. affection, 122
hoofless calf, 123
hoofless calf dies, 125
colostrum too rich?, 124
Charolais vs. Angus calves' behavior, 129
George collapses, 130
neighbors' cows calve simultaneously in blizzard, 140
lost heifer calves, 148
calf born dead in June, 165-166
See also Cattle

CALVING TIME
“Calving Time” (poem), 135

CARL
(Linda’s uncle on father’s side)
killed in WWII, 9
see also Family, Uncle

CAT
Phred, on George's shoulder, 8
Phred, George, and Cuchulain sleep through windstorm, 9-10
Phred sits on steps with Linda and Cuchulain, 11
Phred licks Linda's tears, 22
Janet and Jacob poisoned, 29
George lured Phred from friend, 29-30
Phred growls at deer, 80
Linda dreams of and remembers Blue, 88
Phred’s disdain for snow, 93
Bluebird killed by cat, 138-139
Phred scared by Linda's Wicked Witch of the West laugh, 145

CATTLE
Hereford/​Angus stock on Hasselstrom ranch, x
Charolais bull visits pasture, 13
Longhorn bull visits pasture, 15
feedlot calves yield "overly fat beef America favors,” 17
truck arrival, sale, walking quietly among cattle, 17
met Hudson at sale ring, 17-18
bringing cows home to sell, 25
Tom's calf-ear collages, 26
weaning, 33
moving dry cows over east, 35
trailer to sale, 40
"drouthy," 41
ranchers discuss calf prices, renting pasture, 41
350-lb calf from over east, 43
winter feeding, 45-46, 56, 60, 62, 71, 76
winter injuries, 46
bird's-eye view of feeding, 48
Angus/​Hereford bulls fight, 55
selling in winter, 60
winter deaths and sickness, 64, 66, 67
calves eat creep feed, "C'calf," 75
calf in house bawls while Linda on phone, 75
silhouetted in snow, 79
January thaw sickness, 82, 83
"several hundred dollars worth of coyote feed," 84
calculating feed needed, 86
"styles" in diseases, in breeds, 87
"matronly waddle," 89
creek ice, 90
absorbing sun, in trance, 91
bulls hungry for heifers, 92
"intelligent reasoning," 102-103
calves' behavior, 103
recognizing cows, 105
John:"Never count the dead ones," 106
ability to sense fear, 108
sorting in mud with new calves, 112-113
sixth sense for working with cattle, 117
lice (red cows vs. black), 119, (lice treatment), 150
cows plot to avoid boredom, 123
savor food, 123
butting games, 127-128
minimizing cows' pain, 128
icy blizzard, mud aftermath, struggle with old sick cow, 131-132
effects of snow/​chill, 133, 134
transplanting orphan calf, 134
"something will survive" despite humanity's hopelessness, 135
emergency feeding, 137-138
dragging old cow to boneyard, 139
neighbors' storm losses, cows drown in dam, 140
branding, 140-143
bulls unable to perform?, 143
Linda drives cattle using a Wicked Witch of the West laugh, 145
catching Whirlaway, 145-146
steers observe pasture romance, 146
to sale in Sturgis, 150
selling replacements, 167
calf breaks jaw, 173
cow struck by lightning, 190
stock spooked by dark underpass, headlights, 212-213
John sells them "when they're ready," 213
See also Branding, Butchering, Calving, Ranching, Trailer

CEDAR WAXWING
in trees, will pass again, 57-58
see also Bird

CHARLES
(Linda’s grandfather on father’s side)
some of his history, 8
ledgers, 58-59
in poem "Memorial Day," 152
see also Family, Grandfather

CHEYENNE RIVER RESERVATION
Hudson at Cherry Creek /​ Diamond A Cattle Company, 18
see also Indian

CLOTHING
attire for winter chores, 42
frozen jeans drying inside, 77
dressed for spring in town, winter on ranch, 129
wool resists wet, 133, 137
well-dressed newsman vs. Linda's bitten nails, 135
Linda envies bib overalls, 144
manure-caked jeans, 146
Phyllis's handwovens vs. "shoddy, gaudy" mall products, 160
See also Hat

CLYMAN, JAMES
Mountain Man, rode over Rockies with Jedediah Smith’s trappers in winter, 72

COLLEGE /​ UNIVERSITY
Linda as student at University of SD, Vermillion, ix
graduate school at University of Missouri-Columbia, ix
teaching at Christian College (now Columbia College), ix
teaching at Black Hills State College (now University), Spearfish, x
see also Education, Teaching

CORA
(Linda’s grandmother on mother’s side)
birthday, 28
Linda feels her presence in kitchen, 28
her death, tearing tubes from arms, 32-33, 215 (poem)
"sunrise and a good day to die," 33
lamplight, 82
speaking well of people in old age, 88
chickens: one hour from barnyard to table, 109
see also Family

COW
See Branding, Butchering, Cake, Cattle, Calving, Ranching, Trailer

COWBIRD
returned March 14th, 107
see also Bird

COYOTE
shot by Game, Fish & Parks official, 11-12
eating heart and liver, yapping, 13
hunting mice, 17
in snow, 44
howling at bagpipe chanter, 18
"morning constitutional," 39
luring deer, 48
how many howling?; act wild but appear modest, 95
attacking calves, 104, 105
John: "won't kill healthy calves," 105
howling, 117
stripping carcasses, 127
coydog?, 129
teaching young?, 144
pass through herd, 144
responds to honk, 190

CRANE, SANDHILL
"seem to just appear in the sky,” 39
flying north, 137
see also Bird

CRAVEN CANYON
petroglyphs, 34

CUNY TABLE
see Badlands

CURLEW
George’s description, 143
spring behavior, 147-148
see also Bird

CUSTER COUNTY FAIR
see Fair


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DAM
in government lease pasture, 5
giving up swimming in them, 13-14
deer in dam bottom, 25
filled once in 50 years, 138
neighbors' cows drowned in dam, 140
frogs singing, 143
dry, 146
muddy, 190
see also Water

DARKNESS
flashlight needed to sense trail, 117
Wendell Berry: "go dark," 118

DEATH
grandmother's death prompts Linda's thoughts on reincarnation, cycles of nature, 32-33
"sunrise and a good day to die" (John), 33
deathbeds too crowded, 43
life out of death, 93
plans for wills, 95
moral dilemmas on ranch in spring, 128
scent of death mingles with flowers, 145
See also Birth, Cattle, Nature, individual names

DEER
“Deer” (poem), 36
in bottom of dry dam, 25
young one alone, 26
George coughs while deer hunting, 43
seven outside house, 80
sail over fences, 119

DIAMOND A CATTLE COMPANY
Hudson at sale ring, 18

DIGGING
George helps dig 60 pounds of potatoes, 7
“Digging Potatoes in January” (poem), 23

DIVORCE
see Marriage

DOG
Cuchulain, 8
slept through storm, 9-10
starts day, 11
barks at Black Hills squirrels, 25
waits up with George, 29
barks at balloon, 33
company in bathroom, 71
hunts mice, almost struck by falling tree, 83
ticks, 140
swims in tank, 146
death, 198
grieving death, 200
bought new puppy, thinking of name, 211

DOVE
like mist, 143
see also Bird

DREAM (LINDA'S)
daydreamed of horses, 16
of horse Rebel, 22
of baby (Michael), 25
of attacking a man; pet lynx; dry leaves, 29
of smothering, 56
of cat Blue, 88
after George's throat operation, 204-205

DROUGHT
3-year spell, 5
2-year spell (short of feed), 16
affects haying, 170
see also Dam, Heat, Water

DRYING
“Drying Onions” (poem), 96

DUMP
old magazines to city dump, 33
see also “Sunday Clothes” magazine


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EAGLE
eagle with snake, 7-8
on George's birthday, 205
Lawrence imagines reincarnation, 33
in cottonwood, 63
see also Bird

EARTHQUAKE
measured 5.6 in Cheyenne, 34

EAST /​ GOING OVER EAST
ten gates, 6
cows and calves mixed, 7
pairing up cows, calves, 8 and following pages
bringing calves home to sell, 16
into 777 pasture; ripper used, 27
George feeds cattle, 37, 38, 39
moved 8 dry cows, 40
bluebells, 144
dry and dusty, 149
Linda recalls past trips over east, 162-163
buffalo berries, 201
moving cows to school section, 212

EDUCATION
talk with Lawrence on "reading and thinking," 32
see also College /​ University, Teaching

EISLEY, LOREN
Linda reading one of his books, 65-66

ELK
bugling in poem "Rankin Ridge," 2
listening for elk at Rankin Ridge, 15
curlew's call as indescribable as elk's bugle, 148

ENVIRONMENTALISM
Linda’s separate existence as rancher and environmentalist, x
ranchers balk at name "environmentalist," xiv
Lawrence living his beliefs, 11
Black Hills Energy Coalition initiated measure against nuclear waste dump, 14-15
Linda speaks at Watertown meeting, 29
pre-election activity, 35, 37
election day voting, election party, the day after, 38
election spending and voting results, 39
Linda staffs anti-nuke dump table at Custer County Fair, 205-208

ERIC
brings Leslie Silko to party, 28
see also Friend

ERIN
(Linda’s stepdaughter from first husband)
paper on Linda; concerns about career, marriage, 10-11
see Family, Heather


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FAIR, CUSTER COUNTY
description of Fair, Linda’s memories, 206-208
Linda’s horseback accident at 14, 206
country fairs as way of appreciating neighbors, returns to them as adult, 206-208
Linda staffs anti-nuke dump table at Fair, 205-208
Michael has fun at the Fair after all, 208

FAIRBURN
Hudson's family came in 1883, 18

FALCON
"tiny, fast one," 15-16
injured by cats, 22
caught meadowlark, source of poem, 24-25
see also Bird

FAMILY
see Anne (aunt), Carl (uncle), Charles (grandfather), Cora (grandmother), Erin (stepdaughter), George (husband), George (uncle), Harold (uncle), Heather (stepdaughter), Jo (aunt), John (father), Michael (stepson), Mildred (mother), Sue (cousin)

FATHER
see John, Family

FENCE /​ FENCING
bringing tools over east, 6
repairing buffalo damage, enjoying fencing, imagining future, 32-33
George fencing at creek, 39
checking dike pasture fence with father, tumbleweeds on fence, 39
George fixing fence while Linda loads wood, 40
cows walk over drifted fence, 89
cows follow fence in snowstorm, 103
wood/​steel posts, 144
downed by buffalo, 146, 149

FIRE
methods of firefighting, 3-5
flaming, spinning cowchip, 4
child missing, 5
prairie fire aftermath, 4-5
fire started by train, 15,000 acres, 5
plowing fireguards, 14
fireworks safe at New Year's; "never that dry 'til June," 88
fire near Anne’s starts with garbage burn, 92
what would we save?, 92-93
bonfire in snow, 93
keep water handy at branding, 141
forest fire in Hills, prairie fire at Kyle, 175
fire at rendezvous, 182-183
neighbors' losses to fire, 198-199
Linda imagines fire, then lightning strikes, 209-211
fires in Montana, 203

FLOWER
potted lavender, lilies of the valley, 7
gladiolus, 9
digging tulips, gladioli, 22
names of wildflowers: aromatic aster, prairie aster, salsify, gumweed, goldenrod, mullein;
calves in grass "like daisies blooming" (George), 128
spring wildflowers, 145, 147
summer wildflowers, 158, 166, 168
in Black Hills, 170
see also Garden

FOOD
digging/​storing potatoes, 7-8
pickling, 8
canning, drying, 11, 12-14
apple butter on ceiling, 11
"like a squirrel storing food," 12
drying pumpkin, squash, "ready to face winter," 14
bought cases of vegetables; 30-lb. tin of Michigan cherries, 26
George's oatmeal a sign of fall, 33
soup stock/​oxtail soup, 40
steaming/​drying pumpkin, 79
drying onions, 91
freezer requires planning, 108,109
wild onions, 147
wild plums, 200
buffalo berries into jelly, 201
see also Garden

FRIEND
see Eric, Jerry, Jim, Lawrence, Mavis, Phyllis, Tom
see also Neighbor

FROG
singing at dam, 143


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GANDHI
"insignificant....but....do it anyway," 113

GARBAGE
bag in driveway, 24;
exposed after snowmelt, 80, 86

GARDEN
native plants around house, 12
digging tulips and glads marks summer's end, 22
ordering seed in Jan., 82
digging parsnips in January, 85
“Scrubbing Parsnips in January” (poem), 85
“Mulch" (poem), 100
planting in spring, 123, 124
post-snow storm, 138
early crops frosted, 150-151; destroyed by hail, 191
see also Flower, Food

GEORGE
(Linda’s husband; father of Michael)
brief history, x
"when kids played King of the Mountain, I was the mountain," 5
pretends not to know Linda when vocal on environment, 9
bagpipe chanter practice, 18
appears in t-shirt when Linda unable to sleep, 19
"thy rod and thy staff shall comfort thee," 20
"funny-looking dog," 20
shoots Rebel, 22
Linda dreams of baby (Michael); talk of adoption, 25
cherries from Michigan, 26
with cats, Janet and Jacob, 29-30
"don't worry about dishes," 30
"panic muscles" sore from riding Sage, 33
petroglyph, 34
fencing at creek, Linda brings sweet rolls, 39
grinds teeth at night, 40
snow tests knowledge of land, 55
"Breakin' Wind," 60
on old-timers' weather comparisons, 64
hugs Linda at desk, 67
on resolutions, 71
snowballs with Michael, 71
feeds alone when Linda injured, 74
thaws pipes, 79-80
burns through fingernail, 90
brings ties for fence, 90
chocoholic, 93
buys twin-calf joke, 115
hunting turkey, 122
says Linda silly to like stupid cows, 123
playing cards until checking time, 124
"thank you!" to meadowlark, 124
"let's wait until he gets a little sicker," 125
broke limestone to plant cedar, 126
"won't let you say shit if you're covered with it," 127
calves in grass “like daisies blooming,” 128
lets stranger use phone, Linda gets gun, 129
checks old, sick cow at midnight, 132
finds arrowhead, 143
romance in pasture, 146
auctioneers "pounding them out," 150
buys hat for Linda, 163
at rendezvous, 177 and following pages
early birthday celebration, 187-188
salsa made "tongue roll up like a window shade," 191
stacking hay teaches Mike value of college education, 191
gaining own identity in Hermosa community, 207
birthday, 207
see also Family, Illness, Michael

GEORGE
(Linda’s uncle on mother’s side; father of Sue)
visited in Craven Canyon, 34-35
says animal rights activists would have ranchers bury cows, 119-120
see also Family

GINGER
see Horse

GOD
Christmas Eve discussion with parents, 66

GOOSE
"tracks in the sky," 29
flying north, George's sign that we've survived winter, 104
see also Bird

GOVERNMENT LEASE PASTURE
moved stock from there to Lester pasture, 40
cattle out a month early, 190

GRANDFATHER
see Charles, George, Family

GRANDMOTHER
see Cora, Family

GRASS
"packaged inside a cow, what we really sell," xiv
ranchers close to grass: best forage, overgrazing, xiv
rain softens, eases grazing, 27
types, named and described: big bluestem, more blue; swamp grass, clown green, little bluestem, warm bronze, sage, soft as down, glows silver-blue; tumbleweeds, squirreltail, three-awn, porcupine; blue grama and buffalo grass, 27-28
"grass remembers snow," 106
spring's new grass, 121
tipi circles?, 140

GRASSHOPPER
spraying for grasshoppers kills birds, 191-192
grasshoppers like heavy, winged rain 193
grouse catch grasshoppers, 194
see also Insect /​ Arachnid

GROUND SQUIRREL
see Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel

GROUSE
wrung neck of roadkill; ate with game hens, 34
bell-like calls, 71
flying from volcanoes of snow, 93
size of flocks, 95
catch grasshoppers, 194
see also Bird


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HAIL
destroyed flowers, 9
several, severe, 16
vicious, banged new paint, 19
in May, 144
rhythm (always a pause), 164-65
John: "in a dry year, if you get rain, you get a nasty hail," 189
hailstorm, 189-90
see also Weather

HANDS
“Hands” (poem), 214

HAROLD
(Linda’s uncle on father’s side; married to Jo)
history of his ranch, x
Harold tells story of his father, 8
description of Harold; he drives posts with sledgehammer, 8
no children; ranch divided, 9
heart attacks, 42-43, 55
moves cattle in winter, 71
crutches at eighty, 76
on Ginger's supposed death, 81
on grasshoppers hatching in January, 82
reacts to Linda's office, 82
describes ice, 90
cream seals a tire hole, 102
re-uses 82-year-old cedar post, 201
see also Family

HAT
we never call them cowboy hats, 162
hat with vulture feather, 163
see also Clothing

HAWK
spiral, 6
with falcons, 15-16
wet red-tail on porch, 19
soaring, 32
white-breasted, 87
sparrow hawks, 117
see also Bird

HAY
estimating bales, 18
winter feeding, 45,47
See also Cattle, Haying

HAYING
"Haying: A Four-Part Definition" (poem), 156-157
mowing/​raking/​stacking, 168, 169-71, 173, 196-97, 200
rules for haying, 175
haying amidst nearby fires, 175-76
Linda guilty leaving for rendezvous, 177-78
George teaches Michael to stack, 191
mowing tough grass, 199

HEAT
"cooled to 90," 12
dry heat exhausting, 15
"send heat," 48
See also Drought, Weather

HEATHER
(Linda’s stepdaughter from first husband)
has made Linda a stepgrandmother, 207
see also Erin, Family

HEMINGWAY, ERNEST
on shooting horses, 22-23

HERMOSA
one-family ranches, x
pioneer town, xiii
graveyard, 151

HERON
two Blue Herons on south hill, 124-125
one alone, 140
see also Bird

HODGKIN'S DISEASE
see George, Illness

HORSE
teethmarks in saddlehorn, 7
"gentled" rather than "broken," 15
"I love being alone on a good horse miles from highways and houses," 41
pasture vs. corral, 61
Linda concussions, 65

HORSE: BLAZE
bought for $80, ix
first horse, 16

HORSE: GINGER
pastured in driveway, 11
alarmed by shots, 11-12
assumed dead, 81, 83
found alive, 106-107
aging, 196

HORSE: OLIVER
reacts to buffalo, 7
moving short-eared bull, 9
in 777 pasture, 27
over east, 35
father waiting with him saddled, took bull to dike pasture, 39
threw tantrum tied behind pickup, broke every rope, but when fastened with tow rope, acted like a real cowhorse for a change, 39
led behind truck, 54
cold ride to creek pasture, 72-74
falls on Linda's leg, 73-74
stranded in winter pasture, 81
bluebells under hooves, 144
spooked by slicker, 163
in electrical storm, 166
good cutting horse when mad, 167
jumped in dam, 169

HORSE: REBEL
retired at 25, 15
Linda begins to ride, smooth gait, one organism, 16-17
horse speed more satisfying than car speed, 17
subject of dream, 22
death, Hemingway on shooting horses, 22-23
bones return to earth, 28
grave, 149
good cutting horse, 167

HORSE: SAGE
hard to catch, 9
hard to load, father's trick, 33
practice loading in stock trailer, 35
stranded in winter pasture, 81
pros and cons, 195-196
to sale, 196

HOUSE, RANCH (Windbreak House)
location, xiii
description (fits landscape), 12
greenhouse, furnishings, 13
frozen pipes, 79-8
foundation on limestone slab, 126
native plants for yard, 138
parents make rare visit, 143


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ICE
3 inches on dam and tank over east, 34
chopping for cattle, 43, 53, 63
"beauty and menace," 48
icicles on horse's mane, 73
on George's mustache, 76
trouble for cows, 90
25 miles in 1-1/​2 hrs on slick road, 104
icy blizzard, mud aftermath, 131 and following pages
see also Weather

ILLNESS /​ INJURY (LINDA)
acne rosaria, 39
diarrhea (suggestion for coverall design), 55
horse slipped on ice and fell on Linda’s right leg, 65
riding-related concussions, 65
Oliver tramples Linda’s left leg at creek crossing, 73-76
nausea from sewer vent, 78
visit to doctor for trampled left leg, 80-81
trying to drive with injured leg, 87
no splint; using crutches only on stairs, 90
relationship with injured leg like “a close friend who once betrayed you,” 95
trampled leg still bad; inventory of injuries after branding, 144
trampled leg still hurting and mending, 158-159
horseback knee injury at age fourteen, 206

ILLNESS /​ INJURY (GEORGE)
Hodgkin's disease, x, 9, 19, 20
asthma medication, 7
sterile, 9
to Denver, doctor, radiology, "hospital slippers can make you sick," 19
rather die than take more chemotherapy, exhaustion, trouble breathing, 20
reluctant to talk about illness, Linda frustrated, 20-21
irony of environmentalist woman /​ radioactive man, 21
how would Linda live without him, 21
not thyroid cancer, inactive, needs pills, 28
throat obstruction, 68
Linda confides fears in letters to friends, 94
fractured vertebra, 117, 119
scratched cornea, 124
collapses after pulling calves, 130
cartilage blocking throat result of radiation, 201-202
in hospital, 202-205
operation to remove cartilage, 203
Linda on showing emotion around illness, 204
discusses aging with Linda, blue-hair contract, ring, 205
see also George

INDIAN
walking to get somewhere, not for exercise, 29
reservation housing, school, landscape, teaching, 30-32
Yellow Thunder camp benefit, 45
Linda Crazy Horse novel, 45
tipi circles?, Black Elk quote, 140
arrowhead, 143
George: Indians say buffalo returning, 146
anniversary of Little Big Horn, 169
at rendezvous, 186

INDIAN NAMES
George: animals name themselves, Red Feather Dancing, 149
Linda as Iron Bladder, 173
camp names, 180
Michael as One Moccasin, 181

INITIATIVE
(Initiated Measure against nuclear waste and uranium mining)
see Environmentalism

INSECT /​ ARACHNID
treat red cattle for lice, 119
neighbor died from toxic lice treatment, 150
dog covered with ticks, Linda rips her clothes off, 140
spraying for grasshoppers kills birds, 191-192
grasshoppers like heavy, winged rain 193
grouse catch grasshoppers, 194
mosquitoes, 195
spiders in tomatoes, 174


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JANET and JACOB
see Cat

JERRY
cabin near Hulett, 198-99
in Cheyenne, post-hospital visit, 205
see also Friend

JIM AND MAVIS
paid a visit with new Harley, 13
shared roadkill grouse meal, 34
Willie Nelson concert, 45
Christmas visits, 64-65
"nothing startles a nurse," 74-75
plans for burial, will; Jim leaves guns to George, 95
help butcher, silly meat labels, 107
at rendezvous, 179 and following pages
George's birthday, 207
see also Friend

JOHN
(Linda’s father; married to Mildred)
Linda's stepfather (term not in 2nd edition), ix
"only real" father, need for privacy, xi
youngest of family, rheumatic fever, college, accounting, ranch divided, 9
"hate to drive over grass," "take care of the little things," 9
"it helps to be smarter than the cow," 13
supervised while Linda rode Rebel; rain "more like sweating," 19
Rebel "gone, dragged over hill," buried, 22
"sunrise and a good day to die" at grandmother's death; force of life never ends (implication?), 33
wonders about trees' consciousness, tempo, 33
trick to load Sage, 33
eye surgery, thought he'd keep patch, 35-36
annual ritual with Al re: feeding, 55-56
recognizing cows, 57, 105
"get it [the ledger] away from me," 59
leaving for Texas, "Jottings from an Old Man," 61
"cheaper to feed them planks," 63
Linda refers to John journal, 65
questions Christianity, 66
bobtail cow rule, 90
"spend like a miser, but keep the cows doing all right," 93
coyotes won't kill healthy calves, 105
back to work as soon as home, 108
people in Texas "just waiting to die," 109
conveys important info casually, 121
on calving two-year-olds, 121
no swearing allowed, 127
wonders whether to kick cow or George, 130
"wouldn't feel right" leaving cow to die in mud, 131
"she was a good old cow," 139
Linda admires style working cattle, 141
agrees ear tags too costly; Linda reflects on future of ranch, 141; sees roping as dying art?, 143
in Hermosa graveyard, 151
"hell of a thing when still feeding hay and cake on June 1," 158
watering trees, 159
"When My Father Waters His Trees," poem, 192
selling replacements for first time, 167
bolt cutter Linda's birthday gift, 177
deciding whether to mow or leave alfalfa for seed, 196-97
Linda's adoption birthday reflections, 199
understands cattle spooked by underpass, headlights, 213
sells cattle "when they're ready," 213
see also Family

JO /​ JOSEPHINE
(Linda’s aunt on father’s side; married to Harold)
getting food for fire fighters, 4
brings food to Linda after cold cattle drive, 73
called about fire at Anne’s, 92
called at 6 am, 125
"such lovely tits," 134
see also Family

JOURNALS
Linda's "daily lists of labors," 27
parents', 65
grandfather's ledgers, 58-59
first husband's betrayal, 93


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KILLDEER
spring song, 144
see also Bird


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LAME JOHNNY PRESS
history of name, x
operated 1971-1985, x
see also “Sunday Clothes” magazine

LATE
“Late March Blizzard” (poem), 114

LAWRENCE
cabin, cutting firewood, living beliefs, 11
work in BHEC, 14-15
cutting wood, 24-25, 29
conversation about education, 32
reincarnation as eagle?, 33
burns brush with George, chocoholic, 93
advice on lice, 150
see also Friend

LEONARD
(married to Linda’s cousin Sue)
on branding crew, 141
see also Family

LESTER, SILAS
(pasture named for previous resident)
Maude as mail-order bride; alfalfa and cottonwoods; Model A; spring where Linda soaks shirt, leans against "trees' thighs," 6-7;
cream can and salt shaker, 7
stock from government lease pasture, 40
dam in section next to Lester pasture has water, 151
see also Lindsay (John)

LeSEUER, MERIDEL
"life is not a straight line but a series of interlocking events, " xiv-xv
workshops in Vermillion, 158, 159-161
spiritual poetry reading, 161-162
dedicatee of poem "Tapestry," 171-172

LICE
treat red cattle for lice, 119
neighbor died from toxic lice treatment, 150
see also Insect /​ Arachnid

LINDSAY, JOHN
(pasture named for previous resident)
John collects cows from Lindsay pasture, 39-40
John Lindsay on morning work, 61
stock to Lindsay pasture, 144
mowing bottom, 196-97
see also Lester (Silas)


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MANFRED, FREDERICK
in Vermillion, 159-160

MARGARET, BILL, AND BONNIE
(Linda’s neighbor; married to Bill; daughter Bonnie)
description, state water board, Linda phones her about earthquake, 34
Linda phones her about northern lights, 41-42
car accident, 44, 45
planting trees, 44
quotes Frost, 53
Linda visits in hospital, 54
at home, 62
Bonnie's homecoming, 77
reviews trees with Linda, plans to plant more, 78-79
plans book, 89
cracked rib coughing, 111
helps move steers, true neighbors, 120
Bonnie and Bill stuck in driveway, 131
Margaret trades eggs for “Mulch” poster, 146
plants 500 trees, 151
see also Neighbor

MARRIAGE
(Linda's first one) "divorced man with three children," unnamed, ix
shaky, ended 1973, ix
divorce, 21
benefits of working separately, 40

MARTIN
(neighbor’s hired hand)
"I'm what's left of him", 94
see also Neighbor

MAVIS
see Jim and Mavis, Friend

MEADOWLARK
caught by falcon, 24-25
spring harbingers, 107, 116
George: "thank you!," 124
sheltering in hay bales, 132
dying in spring snow, 133
Linda saves from cat, 133
after storm, 138
see also Bird

MEMORIAL DAY
visit to cemetery: weeding and wandering, 151
“Memorial Day” (poem), 152

METEOR
sign that writing will wait, 117

MICHAEL /​ MIKE
(George’s son, Linda’s stepson)
first mention, without name, x
age 14, plans visit, 37
winter visit, 67-71
chores a diversion; invents games, re-animates Linda, 67
snowball fight, 71
calculates feed, 86
summer visit: bombs prairie dogs, 163, 164
haying, 177
at rendezvous, 178ff
One Moccasin, 181
hatchet accident, 185
moving stock, 190
at Cuchulain's death, 198
Michael has fun at the Fair after all, 208
kisses Ginger's nose?, 208
Linda reflects on his growth, 208-209
departs at end of summer, house quiet, 209
see also Family

MICHIGAN
bought cherries from near George's family farm, 26
George in orchards with grandfather, 39

MILDRED
(Linda’s mother; married to John)
private journal, 65
on Bovards' "hard heads," 65
propping frozen jeans "like quiet relatives" to dry, 77
stronger after Texas winter, comments on John, 109
"jack up the zipper and run a new pair under them," 110
sympathizes with Linda despite differences, 111
church is yearly gift to her, 126
maybaskets, 138
bluebell bouquet from John, 144
refrains from criticizing Linda’s house at Mother's Day dinner, 143
rhubarb for Linda, 147
Linda's adoption birthday reflections, 199
see also Family, Mothering

MOON
phases, hunter's, 26
ring indicates change in weather, 47, 83-84
moonlight soft, caressing, 76

MOSQUITO
see Insect /​ Arachnid

MOTHER
see Mildred, Family, Mothering

MOTHERING
talk of adoption, 25
part-time stepmother, 26
parenting vs. writing, 147
rendezvous offers Linda role as wife/​mother, 178-179
Linda's Hermosa contemporaries, 207-208

MOUNTAIN LION
“only seconds away” at rendezvous, 186-187

MOUSE
hunted by coyotes, 17
"mouse city" under snow, 87
nests and food stores, 195

MUD
in corrals, 131
art of walking in mud, 132

MULCH
“Mulch” (poem), 100
Margaret trades eggs for poster of poem, 146


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NATURE
"Mother Nature has a nasty streak," 19
can't be battled, 54
covenant with nature, 72-73
centuries of cold reach up from earth, 106
mouthful of manure a taste of reality, 107
See also Hail, Ice, Weather

NEIGHBOR
see Al, Bill, Bonnie, Margaret, Martin, Shirley

NEW YEAR
resolutions (365 sunsets), 70-71, 92
safe for fireworks, 70

NEWSPAPERS
Rapid City Journal (Linda internship), ix
Sioux City Journal (Linda on staff), ix

NIGHTHAWK
first of season, 151
see Birds

NORTHERN LIGHTS
"waterfall in the sky,”10
description; watches them with George; calls Margaret even though late, 41-42

NUCLEAR WASTE VOTE COALITION
election night, 38
see also Environmentalism


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OLIVER
see Horse

OVER EAST
see East /​ Going Over East

OWL
hooting, 35
hunting, floating by house, 76
corpse left to nature, 102
its mate?, 103
George spots burrowing owl, 128
burrowing owls in prairie dog holes, 133
see also Bird


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PAINTING
like writing poetry (fun for 5 minutes), 16
painted folks' house and garage, 18

PERCEPTION
as factor in the viewer (sandhill crane example), 39
Linda: "I pride myself on my perception,” 40

PETROGLYPHS
in Craven Canyon, 34-35

PHRED
see Cat

PHYLLIS
a weaver; Linda’s host during Vermillion workshop, 160
tornado leapt house, 162
see also Friend

POEMS
in book:
“Bone,” 69
“Calving Time,” 135
“Deer,” 36
“Digging Potatoes,” 23
“Drying Onions,” 96
“Hands,” 214
“Haying: A Four-Part Definition,” 156
“Late March Blizzard,” 114
“Memorial Day,” 152
“Mulch,” 100
“Rankin Ridge,” 2
“Scrubbing Parsnips in January,” 85
“Seasons in South Dakota,” 48
“Staying In One Place,” 52
“Tapestry,” 171
“This Is,” 176
“When My Father Waters His Trees,” 192

POETRY
like painting, fun for 5 minutes, 16
Linda reads James Welch’s poem “Christmas Comes to Moccasin Flat,” 30
poetry written by kids on reservation, 31-32
going back over old poems, 37
spiritual poetry reading by Meridel LeSeuer, 161-162
See also Writing

PRAIRIE
description, xiii-xiv
fall colors, hills vs. prairie, 27
See also Grass, Fire, Flowers, Weather

PRAIRIE DOGS
burrowing owls in their holes, 133
bombing, 163, 164

PRICES OF CATTLE
see Cattle

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RABBIT
feet never touch the snow, 71
baby rabbit jumps in driveway, 151
be careful when haying, 175, 197

RAILROAD
train passing in night, screech of ungreased wheels, 35
"never that dry 'til June," 88

RANCH (HASSELSTROM FAMILY)
extended family operation, 125-150
cows, x
location, description, xiii
map, xvi-xvii
school section, government lease, 5
Linda reflects on future of ranch, 141
See also Cattle, Calving, Rancher /​ Ranching

RANCHER /​ RANCHING
family ranches in trouble; camping syndicate, operation, methods, xiv
temperament, "If I'd known how bad I was hurt, I'd a' died,” xiv
won't identify as environmentalist, xiv
differences between good and poor cattlemen, 9
roadkill "how ranchers survive," 34
eavesdropped conversation on borrowing to buy ranch, cattle prices down, 41
not in it for money (could live off interest from land sale), 72-73
changing sense of community, 88
repetitive but not routine, 117
"rancher tan," 138
roping a dying art?, 143

RANKIN RIDGE
“Rankin Ridge” (poem), 2
hearing elk bugle, 15
see also Elk

RAPID CITY
location, xiii
shopping (cherries from Michigan), 26

REBEL
see Horse

RENDEZVOUS
gear, tipi pole tripod used for butchering heifer, muzzle-loading club,13
attending rendezvous camp, 177-189
arrival with Mike, 179-180
fire in camp, 182-183
latrine duty, 183
Linda’s birthday, 184
Linda teaches girls about plants, 185
Indian dance circle, 186
mountain lion, 186-187
tourists, 187
George’s early birthday; rifle gift, 187-188
leaving camp, 189

RESERVATION
see Cheyenne River Reservation, Indian, Teaching

ROADKILL
ate roadkill grouse, "how ranchers survive," 34
see also Grouse


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SADDLE
teethmarks in saddlehorn, 7
Hudson’s saddle, 18

SALE RING
Hudson (man at sale ring), 18
in Sturgis, 40
description of June sale, 167-168

SAGE
see Horse, Sagebrush

SAGEBRUSH
“soft as down and seems to glow silver-blue,” 27
grows as if deliberately spaced, 30

SARTRE, JEAN PAUL
LeSeuer on Sartre’s self-hatred; Linda thinks of ex-husband’s study of philosophy, 160

SCRUBBING PARSNIPS
“Scrubbing Parsnips in January” (poem), 85

SEASONS
“Seasons in South Dakota” (poem), 48
the seasons dictate work, ix
drama of nature's cycles, xi
fall returning to school, 5
fall chores, 28
signs of spring (skunks, hitchhikers, RV's, motorcycles), 104
dressed for spring in town, winter on ranch, 129
see also Hail, Heat, Ice, Nature, Snow /​ Sleet, Weather

SCENIC
town, 31

SHEEP
storm losses, 140

SHIRLEY
(Linda’s neighbor)
rare visit triggers thoughts on community, neighboring, 88
see also Neighbor

SILKO, LESLIE
line from Ceremony: “the old mule’s bones,” 28
comes to party; talks with Margaret and Bonnie, 28-29

SKUNK
cake thief, 103
sign of spring, 104

SNAKE
Linda stepped on rattlesnake; “walked up to the tail end,” 13
Linda sees rattlesnake “as if I’d created him by thinking of him,” 190-191

SNIPER
rumored shooting tires and gas tanks, 30

SNOW /​ SLEET
blizzard of '85, xi
"cold purity," 12
sleet storm, 35
county plows driveway, 43
gunning pickup through drifts, 54, 133
crusted snow injures legs, 59
snowball fight, 71
"little snow, big snow," 72
swirls made by tumbleweeds, 78
ranch archeology (snowmelt reveals all), 86
cows walk over drifted fence, 89
beauty of fresh snow, 93
feeling it falling, 94;
follow fence in snowstorm, 103
snow remembers grass, 106
spring blizzard, 129 and following pages
snow too heavy to be blown, 132
blizzard of '49, 133
snow squall like great white hen on nest, 137
snowstorm losses, 139, 140
see also Hail, Ice, Weather

SPIDER
spiders in tomatoes, 174
see also Insect /​ Arachnid

SQUIRREL
Cuchulain barks at Black Hills squirrels, 25
see also Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel

STAYING
“Staying in One Place” (poem), 52

STEPMOTHER
see Family, Mothering

STOCK TRAILER
see Trailer

SUE
(Linda’s cousin on mother’s side; married to Leonard, daughter of Uncle George)
on branding crew, 141
see also Family

“SUNDAY CLOTHES” MAGAZINE
established, ix-x
hauled old issues to dump, 33
see also Lame Johnny Press

SUNRISE
"and a good day to die" (father after Grandmother died), 33

SUNSET
Linda’s resolution to see 365 sunsets, 71

SWALLOW
which is Lawrence's dad?, 32
barn swallows back, 129
flight patterns, 139
nesting, 147
see also Bird

SWIMMING
in stock dams, and coliform bacteria, 13-14


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TAPESTRY
“Tapestry” (poem), 171

TEACHING (JOBS HELD BY LINDA)
at Christian College (now Columbia College), ix
at Black Hills State College (now University), Spearfish, x
Linda earns extra money by teaching workshops on writing and publishing, x
at Indian Reservation, kids’ poems, 30-32
at the Newcastle Writers’ Club workshop, 147
workshops in Vermillion, 158-162
see also College /​ University, Education

TELEVISION
see TV

THIRTEEN-LINED GROUND SQUIRREL
“racing everywhere in the grass, cheeks fat,” 147

THIS IS
“This Is” (poem), 176

TICK
dog covered with ticks, Linda rips her clothes off, 140
see Insect /​ Arachnid

TOM
collages with calf ear notches, 26
on branding crew, 141
see also Friend

TRAILER /​ STOCK TRAILER
John’s trick to load horse (Sage), 33
practice loading Sage in trailer, 35
hauling cattle, trips to Sturgis, how hard it is to stop a loaded trailer, 40

TRACTOR
in "Haying: A Four-Part Definition," 156-157
maintenance, 175

TRAINS
see Railroad

TREE
in prairie gullies, xiii-xiv
mother rakes, Linda glad for no trees near house, 8
Lawrence cut for cabin, 11
counting 150 tree rings, 11
leaves' fall colors contrast with prairie grass, "cottonwood lights a valley," 27
reincarnation as aspen?, 33
father wonders about trees' "slower tempo," 33
Margaret's trees, 44, 78, 79
Linda Christmas tree, 62
"whole ecology" in cottonwood's core, 83
Margaret plans book, 89
at dam, 92
planting trees around Linda’s house, 126
John plows furrows for trees, 127; plants pines, 141
Margaret plants 500 trees, 151
John waters trees, 159
"When My Father Waters His Trees," poem, 192

TRIPLE SEVEN (777) RANCH
hired man rumored quitting rather than ride horse across ripped ground, 27
"cell theory" of range management, 35
searching for missing bulls, 41
picking up cow, 43
buffalo in pasture, strange calves to come?, 146

TRUCK STOP
meal after hauling cattle (overhearing ranchers' talk), 40-41

TUMBLEWEED
description, 27
piles in gullies chest deep to a tall horse, clear over fences, 39

TURKEY
flock of wild turkeys triggers thoughts of grandmother, 32
see also Bird

TURTLE
snapping, size of dinner plate, 13

TV
Linda watches TV, "something will survive," 135


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UNCLE
see Carl, Harold, George, Family

URANIUM
see Environmentalism


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VETERINARIAN
bone down cow's throat, 42
weighing cost of vet's fees, 68, 81, 128
fixed prolapse, backwards calf, 113
"wrong kind of kick," 116
Caesarian, 124; sawed up calf inside mother, 124
pulls dead calf, 165-66

VOTING
voting in small town, 38
see also Environmentalism

VULTURE
keep prairie clean, 119
see also Bird, Buzzard


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WATER
no natural running water on ranch; xiv
"a million creeks" after snowmelt, 87
clearing irrigation ditches, 112
runoff, 135, 138
See also Dam, Drought, Snow /​ Sleet

WEATHER
as an "intelligence," 56
thunderstorms/​clouds/​lightning, 167-65
lightning starts fire, 209
See also Hail, Heat, Ice, Nature, Snow /​ Sleet, Wind

WELCH, JAMES
poem "Christmas Comes to Moccasin Flat," 30

WHEN MY FATHER WATERS HIS TREES
(poem), 192

WIND
storm slams doors, 9
silence wakes Linda, 9-10
fences down, weight of tumbleweeds, 10
65 mph, 36
"as if a dentist stopped drilling," 74
tornado-like wind from southwest, 127
feel foolish in basement, 127

WINDBREAK
“we all need a windbreak,” epigraph
Linda plants around house, 12
See also Tree

WINDBREAK HOUSE
see House, Ranch

WOOD
cutting firewood, counting 150 rings, 11
load of post ends from Custer, 37

WOMEN
ranch womens' similarities; Linda writes on their behalf, x
Linda as rancher's daughter/​wife, 10
general, "poetry of womanhood," in work, 27
LeSueuer on women's stories, 160-62
pioneer women's work, "This Is" (poem), 176-77
See also Mothering, Work

WORK
general, "fall chores almost ritualistic," draining hoses, 28
benefits of working separately, "being together 24 hours a day is only a teenager's dream of love," 40
attire for winter chores, 42
Linda stuck with cooking, 69
laundry, 77
cocoon of reading as antidote for working together, 87
Margaret cracks rib coughing, keeps working, 111
LeSeuer on women's stories, 160-62
pioneer women's work, "This Is" (poem), 176-177

WOUNDED KNEE
Hudson's father moved dead, 18
see also Indian

WRITING
story draft on computer, 16
"how I define myself between poems and stories," 27
focuses on own work, 33
works on poems, 36-37
works on stories in head (can't sleep), 39
listening to conversations a writer's habit, 41
Crazy Horse novel, 45
Windbreak/​Breakin' Wind, 60
hug from George, 67
resolutions to maximize writing, 71
injury allows writing time, 74
NY visitors making documentary on regional writers, 76-77
interrupted by cooking, 80
"office of a demented shaman," 82
callers ask if Linda napping, 90
stories fill mind, 91
writing a priority to save in case of fire, 93
letters, 94, 111
"I don't know you well enough" re personal question, 112
writing vs. mothering, 147
writing while driving, 159
See also Poetry, Teaching

WRITING WORKSHOPS
see Teaching



No entries under the letters X or Y or Z


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