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

Friday, April 5, 2013


Rainy days force us inside after chores and give us a dose of cabin fever. Being trapped inside also forces us to take a good look at our surroundings and take stock of our collected clutter. Accumulated across the winter months when we voluntarily spend more time inside this collection suddenly begins to surround us. We feel penned in and stare longingly outside; but the rain is falling steadily and there is still a chill on the air. We turn back to the mess and make the monumental decision to clean house. I am not talking about the usual cleaning that goes on where we dust a little, run the vacuum and wipe down the bathroom. I am talking about the kind of house cleaning that includes clearing shelves, washing them down and getting rid of half of what we pulled out in the first place.

I love junk. I am, without shame, a junkaholic. I love trinkets and knick-knacks, photos and glassware, Cowboy and Native American bits and pieces. If the article has family history attached, all the better. I won’t even go into books and other printed word pieces and how they fill up space around here. (I vaguely remember a table beneath the pile of books beside my chair.)

My good intentions are side-tracked by the sheer volume of it all. I find myself in the spare room sitting on the floor slowly going through a box of articles, school papers, photos and programs from my kids’ formative years. I know why I saved them; because my mother and grandmother saved things like this for me. They kept scrapbooks for each of us and though I thought them silly at the time they are treasure now. At times in my life when I thought myself an utter failure I could go through them and see what I had accomplished. Notes written here and there among the articles, etc. served to remind me that I was loved, that they were proud of me and that I was special.

No, I did not get the house truly clean. The stack of books still towers next to my chair, there are still vet supplies in my kitchen cabinets and half consumed boxes of crackers in the pantry. But I do have four scrapbooks fairly underway and more than half of the things in the box now pasted to pages. Hopefully they will find these books about them as valuable as I found mine. Memories versus a clutter-free environment…priorities people, priorities.

*For more information on Debra Coppinger Hill go to the 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 & Events. http://alwayscowboy.net/debra_coppinger_hill_poetry.html

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