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A Home on the Range

explanatory Essay
3365 words
3365 words
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A Home on the Range

I swear that I spent my entire childhood waiting for Ray and Mary-Beth Garson. I would rock back and forth on the plush golden chair to the right of my Grandpa's and look out towards the golden Wyoming hills and the hay stack, waiting for their trailer to come bouncing down into the yard of the Dodds Family Gatecreek Ranch. Once they were in sight, I would dash outside and pretend to be busying myself with the saddles or sprucing up the area around the barn. It was never clear how many horses they would bring, but they always brought April and that was all that mattered. She was my horse. When my mother would tell Ray how much I loved April, he would just look down at his feet, smile and say, "She's a good horse."

This time, however, I was not waiting for Ray and Mary-Beth by the window. I actually was busy in the yard, preparing a barbeque on our new grill from Kmart. In summers long past, we would have gone up to the picnic grounds to have dinner, but this time because it was just my mother and I we decided to stay at the house. There were no cousins, aunts, uncles, or siblings milling about, making trips to and from the house with the food and friends. There were no horses in the now terribly overgrown and rundown corral and there were no cows in the meadow behind the house. An elaborate meal was not on deck; it was just burgers, salad, and a Dominos pizza that Mary-Beth brought from town.

I had not been to the Ranch since the death of my grandmother, four years earlier. She died on the eve of the millennium, perhaps not wanting to embark into the 21st century, after living through three open-heart surgeries, and the loss of a child and two husbands. Her one true source of joy came from Roger, my mother's half brother, the product of her first marriage which ended when her husband's plane was shot down during World War II. Roger was her prince and she showered him with more love than my grandfather, Thomas Dodds, would ever experience.

Tensions had always run high between Roger and the rest of the family, but they came to a climax after my grandmother's death.

In this essay, the author

  • Recounts how their mother received a call from her lawyer in wyoming about lots being drawn and who was getting what. jerusalem is the heart and soul of the gatecreek ranch.
  • Explains that it was hard to believe that in a matter of months, it would be illegal for them to be on this road, on the land that their great grandfather had worked so hard for.
  • Explains that the dodds family is toasty warm at all times. the weather in wyoming can turn on a dime.
  • Describes how ray agreed to continue to lease their land, mainly for the hay, and would like to help us fix up the barn as one of his winter projects.
  • Describes how they spent their entire childhood waiting for ray and mary-beth garson at the dodds family gatecreek ranch.
  • Recounts how the old blue nissan truck lurched back and forth when they started out for the drive, and the truck that roger bought from the ranch for a mere three hundred dollars.
  • Recounts how their mother and her lawyer arranged for the division of personal property at the ranch. they thought back to their great-grandmother's house and the memories it held.
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