Raised in Wyoming and Idaho I was exposed to tough, salty people. Most were homesteaders who had to look to themselves to survive. No time for silly arguments of color, political correctness. They came West to have a chance to own property and create their own life, bowing to no man, but simultaneously acknowledging and giving thanks to the Almighty for the chance. They worked hard. Strength came from working the soil, a spirit of self-reliance. These people had to work with a will and sore muscles due to limited machinery. They had to bend to natural law of timing for seeding, cutting hay, raking hay, irrigating, harvesting, and lambing or calving season. No government subsidies existed. No insurance. Saving for a rainy day, I learned, was a must for the reality of Mother Nature’s seasons had to be accepted: killings frosts, hail, wind damage and drought. So also was her effect on livestock.
“Storage against a day of want” was essential. The only constant resource or insurance against the elements and injury was prayer. And it was often used in petition and thanks. The life of the rugged West formed and forged some of the best people I’ve ever met. Whining and complaining was rare, encouragement and effort was the mainstay. In this area, I see remnants and meet different land-owners and shop owners with the matching unbreakable, steady, and hopeful spirit. It’s refreshing.
And it’s refreshing to see that the American spirit is still alive.