By 1952, I knew that I was actually the luckiest kid alive because I had wheat fields, peonies, litters of baby kittens, tiger lilies, rainbows, crocuses, stars, west winds, thunderstorms, privacy, a huge pasture to roam in, endless country roads to ride bike on and a barn to play in during the winter.
Come look at my bedroom: take the long staircase that turns 2/3 of the way up for the last 4 steps to the second story of the big farmhouse sitting on 1200 acres of Montana dryland. Second door on the left. A big walk in closet. A double bed (which used to hold older sisters now gone from home). A dresser with a big round mirror and a wastebasket. 1 window that faces east just over the peak of the kitchen roof which extends about 16-18 feet further out.
(The photo just above portrays my parents as I knew them prior to Dad’s death when I was 17. This picture was taken on, I believe, their 30th wedding anniversary (1956) when they received a fine card and a check for $100 from the 5 oldest siblings. Note from 12/5/17: for some reason, I can’t edit this page decently to clean it up for printing – – – and don’t have the gumption to start over completely)
The view from my room is pure Big Sky Montana. I can see to the curve of the earth literally—over rolling prairie pasture and fields that are so soil poor they can only be sowed every other year and rest fallow on alternate years. One of the best times is when a thunder and lightning storm happens at night: the lightning repeatedly photograph the big outbuildings~~the red barn, granaries and windmill are trimmed in white paint.
Like strobe lighting—flash! Flash! Flash! It’s like looking at photo negatives.
I can literally lay my pillow and my head in the windowsill area and fall asleep watching the stars and the moon. Sleep seems like a terrible waste of time.
Even as a child, I knew the view was spectacular and special.
In 1952, I knew I was the luckiest kid alive.