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Posted by Administrator on Sun, Aug 21 2016 10:32:00

I suppose a hundred years ago, when young Harry Benham invited his friends to come over after school, he’d say “I live on Residence Hill, in the house with the big porch.  Street addresses weren’t necessary when the town was small.

When we lived in the Middle East, street addresses didn’t exist.  To tell a new friend directions, a homemade map was often necessary. “Do you know where Zarawani’s Hardware is?”  we’d ask.  “Continue away from the town center until you hit the third roundabout, then go south toward Jebel Hafit three more roundabouts”.  We’d continue, identifying mosques and empty fields, maybe a camel market or suq in our description.

Because our guests come from many places, and pay for their rooms by credit card, I’m often privy to their house address.  And some are very, very different from the vanilla sounding US address.  For instance, Cherry Cottage, Cooden Close, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex TN71 4TQ, United Kingdom sounds so much better than 450 South Thurmond, Sheridan, Wyoming 82801.

The first evokes visions of ancient Normans chasing Northumbrian serfs over hill and vale.  Our address, is so darn American.  Just dry facts, no words that sound even a tiny bit poetic.  

So… what about a new address for the B&B?

“You know the hill in where Red Cloud and Crazy Horse shot the bison and had dinner after they slaughtered Fetterman at the Battle of the Hundred Slain?  Well, we’re at the top.”  

Note to future historians:  I’m not certain that RC and CH (as I knew them in those days) had bison for dinner.  It coulda been elk.

What do Odocoileus Virginianus (white tail deer) Talk About?

Posted by Administrator on Fri, Mar 20 2015 19:18:00

Bev saw the four adolescents standing on our front lawn before I did.  When we drove by, they barely looked up.  “I hope they don’t eat our flowers,” said Bev.  Second year White Tails have a reputation, you see, for munching on the tender shoots of new garden growth.  And today was the first day of spring, so of course the four deer were out enjoying the sunshine.

As we drove off on some errands, I couldn’t help but think about those deer.  Over all, they’d had a mild winter.  The first snowfall buried gardens in mid-September, and there were two bitterly cold spells.  But those cold times were not too long, and there were lots of warm days in between.  I began to imagine what those four were talking about as they munched on our lawn. 

If deer could communicate down through the generations, maybe with stories at night before they tucked in, would they tell of their ancestors?  Would those tales tell of the red men who lived along Goose Creek long, long ago?  Or maybe tell of great Grizzly bears who lived nearby a hundred years ago?

Maybe they’d discuss old Nelson Story who started in Texas and led the first cattle drive to Livingston Montana right up the Big Goose valley in 1866.  Perhaps they’d laugh about Buffalo Bill holding auditions for his Wild West Show on the porch of the Sheridan Inn in the 1890’s.

“Nah,” I thought as I headed back home, “those dear probably talk about who has the best tasting garden!”

The Tongue River Tie Flume

Posted by Administrator on Thu, Jan 08 2015 06:53:00

Our first outing as a family into the Big Horn Mountains was a hike up Tongue River Canyon.  Now, 25 years later, we point our guests in the same direction when they’re looking for a hike into the beauty of the Big Horns.  Wild flower carpets in the spring, massive, towering spires of rock, the gurgling of the river down below, and an occasional peek at a startled fawn or soaring eagle are some of the memories our guests bring home.

There’s history there too: ancient Indian spiritual sites, trails from the early frontiersman, a broken down cabin with an undiscovered pedigree.  And then there’s the Tongue River tie flume.

I couldn’t tell the flume's story any better than Rebecca Hein, a prolific writer and blogger, musician and Wyoming enthusiast.  Read her marvelous look at the Tongue River tie flume here: http://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/tongue-river-tie-flume

Then come to Sheridan, stay with us, and we'll give easy directions to a mountain trail that leads to this area. (Bring good walking shoes!)

Ahhhhhh Spring

Posted by Administrator on Wed, May 28 2014 12:40:00

The volunteers at our local VA hospital are amazing. They provide Christmas for our vets, funds for phone calls to the poorest vets, manage holiday events to honor them, and do many other things. But the best time is springtime.

At the tail end of each winter, the volunteers get together in a greenhouse and plant seeds. Then for weeks and months they nurture the young plants until there's an amazing variety of hardy young flowers and vegetables and a riot of color and shape and size.

Each year we buy plants for the B&B front and side yards.  Then all season long we get to watch these plants grow. And their variety and aromas are indescribable.

young flowers

Today while picking up the plants I had to pull back on my own reigns. My senses of sight of smell were wonderflly assaulted; I could easily have purchased twice as many plants. 

This response is understandable.  It was a direct reaction to the toughest winter we've had in years, and I was ready to erase winter with one mornings' flower buying binge!



Why not a national holiday day for teachers?

Posted by Administrator on Tue, May 27 2014 07:44:00

Imagine a school where you can park in expensive bike outside all day and never have to lock it. Imagine a school where parents and teachers know each other because their kids play sports together and they dig each other out of a blizzard.  Imagine a school, even a high school, where kids have good manners and respect for adults… and will help them do something without being asked.

That school is up the road apiece from us, it's where my grandkids go.  It is my favorite US school.

I’ve worked in education on three different continents, and have taught grad and undergrad education courses for 30 years.

I’ve learned the most important part of the teacher is inside their rib cage - it's their heart.  I know you can identify a school teacher’s car by looking in the back seat – where boxes full of stuff for their kids sit.  I’ve seen dedicated teachers give up their evenings, weekends and summers to coach kids, go back to school and put together new curriculum.

Yesterday a retired first grade teacher told me that 35 years ago parents supported teachers, now they challenge them.  At our breakfast table a while ago, a rural Nebraska K-12 principal sat next to an LA Assistant Superintendent.  Their shared topic and mutual belief was that our infamous “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) is a train wreck.  And I agree.  Anytime you let politicians set the standard for something they know nothing about you get bridges to nowhere, $600 hammers, pork barrel overflow and NCLB; the LA Super called it “No Teacher Left Standing”. 

But last week, I saw the best side of education at a rural Wyoming school, and it did my heart good. 

Now I’m a vet, and yesterday (Memorial Day) I got emails from people thanking me for my military service.  I’ll get kudos on the 4th of July and on November 11th too.  I’m grateful.

But how come we don’t have a day for teachers?

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