Part of the Mare Herd at the 4DH Ranch in Oklahoma. For More Works by Debra Coppinger Hill Click Image.

Monday, June 25, 2012



My first cousin once removed Zella always started her letters with “Just a quick note to let you know...”, followed by the news of the week. I had long ago learned from corresponding with her and my Aunt Carol that if I wanted letters to read that I had better write letters to be read. I would read her ‘quick notes’ that would go on for pages and feel a part of my family that was so very far away. I would read it several times over, pick up my pen and write back. Reading made me feel less separated from my relatives and writing made me feel less homesick. Tucked away in several shoeboxes in a steamer trunk in the old dairy barn lie each and every letter they each wrote to me over the years.
They and their letters were my lifeline as we travelled from one job to another. We lived in a thirty-five foot travel trailer and pulled an eighteen footer as an office for Husband. Back and forth across the country we moved while our friends settled into homes here and there. We dreamed of other things, saved money by staying in the trailer and waited patiently for acres, cattle and horses. Zella lived on homesteaded land claimed the last year you could file for a homestead in Oklahoma. She understood about wanting, needing land. Carol understood about moving and taking your house along with her as she and Uncle Bill had been nomads like us at one point as he too worked in the oil fields.
Last week while I was laid up with a messed-up shoulder, I went looking for a book and found instead those boxes of letters. Good news, sad news, jokes, good-natured gossip and stories made for good reading. It is my family’s history compiled for the most part by two women who taught me that love quite often comes in the written word.
Zella is long ago passed through the gates of Heaven, while Aunt Carol lives about thirty-five minutes from me. It seems strange to think about writing a letter to her when she is so close. But as I write this I am prompted to remember that it was she who wrote the last letter to me and therefore, I owe her a letter. I also believe my first line will be “Just a quick note to let you know how very precious your letters have always been to me...”
*For more about Debra go to the Cowboy Poetry section at AlwaysCowboy.com.

RIDING DRAG with DEBRA COPPINGER HILL is featured each week at ALWAYS COWBOY where Debra is a Resident Western Poet. Join her and her Cowboy Friends for Cowboy Poetry, News and Events. http://alwayscowboy.net/debra_coppinger_hill_poetry.html

1 comment:

Jen' D'Enise said...

Beautifully said! A treasure I fear is lost with today's youth. With this age of technology also comes a great loss. They will not have such treasures. Such connections. Text messages, FB and email! And I am so guilty too! I do not write near as much as I should. I wonder if that is what was thought when the telephone became to available :)
Miss you guys!! And, I'll write you a short note! (((((((((( hugs )))))))