I admire the practice of elephants whose extended family helps raise their young. The sisters of the mothers stay close during and after birth. They pick the babies off logs too tall to straddle, surround the youngsters when danger approaches, assist at bath time. I am the youngest of four daughters, and I left all that marriage and baby stuff up to them. I have three grown nephews and one grown niece, and their progeny. I make regular choices to be with my nephews and niece because it isn’t difficult to show love for people if you just show up. I also seem to be Aunt Tracy to friends of their friends, to step kids, kids of neighbors, and kids of friends, which is okay. I love being an Aunt, and I love my Aunts. So maybe we’re all interconnected in the universe anyway.
I live in Montana, where vast distances between our small communities are the norm. My remote location feeds me not only incredible seasonally changing vistas but a sort of hands-on to the beauty, drama, and splendor of the American West. But I’m older now, and I’m changing things up a bit. My father passed away in 2013, and ranching just isn’t any fun without him. So, the responsibilities are getting sorted out other ways, and I am embarking on the next chapter. I have a liberal education and a passion for creating through writing, painting, cooking, and occasionally carpentry.
Time is short, so hand me my glass and let’s see what happens.