Thursday, September 20, 2007

More pics...

Here's a picture of my amazing husband and I, taken at my grandma's funeral in American Falls, ID.
And another one of all the cousins, except for my amazing brother Thane, who wasn't able to get leave to come home from Iraq for the funeral. We all missed him terribly, and while I was tempted to photoshop a picture of him into this group, I'll leave those artistic details to my mom.
cousins... you've got to love them! And yes, all the men are wearing blue shirts for a reason. All the guys were pall bearers, and my aunts wanted them to match. Cute aren't we?

Road Trip to Idaho

Okay, Here's a bunch of pictures of our road trip to Pocatello and then onto Boise, Idaho. This is a picture of The Chef, me, my Great Grandma Ella, and Grandpa Dan.

Here's my cousin Ryan, with his wife Abby, and boys, Owen and Wil.
And here is my cousin Michelle, her husband Andy, and son Jaben.
My cousins Zane and Kendall...

Cody and his wife Linzy...
And the whole crazy Wegner clan (well my immediate family... not great aunts and uncles).

And in Boise... Becky with baby Miles.

And the gang in Boise, Robin, me, Sandra, Suzie, Jen at the Cheesecake Factory.
And Robin, Joni, Ryan, Rama and I at a pizza joint.

It was a long week, full of family, friends, and a lot of laughter as we celebrated grandma's life, and the fact that God has given us each day to enjoy to the fullest, and to love as He has first loved us.


I've been listening to this song over and over again, I love it. Especially the second verse. Go King George

Album: It Just Comes Natural (2006)

I felt the rush of the Rio Grande into Yellowstone
And I've seen first-hand Niagra Falls
And the lights of Vegas
I've criss-crossed down to Key Biscayane
And Chi-town via Bangor, Maine
Think I've seen it all
And all I can say is

How 'bout them cowgirls
Boys ain't they somthin'
Sure are some proud girls
And you can't tell them nothin'
And I tell you right now girls
May just be seven wonders of this big, old round world
But how 'bout them cowgirls

She's a ridin' colts in Steamboat Springs
Bailing hay outside Abilene
She's trying hard
To fit in some city
But her home is 'neath that big, blue sky
And the Northern Plains and those other wide open spaces


Boy, she don't need you and she don't need me
She can do just fine on her own two feet
But she wants a man who wants her to be herself
And she'll never change, don't know how to hide
Her stubborn will or her fightin' side
But you treat her right and she'll love you like no on else

Yeah, how 'bout them cowgirls
Boys ain't they somethin'
Sure some are proud girls
But you can't beat their lovin'
And I'll tell you right now girls
May just be seven wonders of this big, old round world
But how 'bout them cowgirls
How 'bout them boys

Okay, I know I'm supposed to be grown up, responsible for my decisions, and I have to stick with whatever I've planned. But sometimes, and a lot more recently, especially after Grandma's been sick, I just miss the ranch. I miss the ranch work. I miss haying season, sitting on a tractor for hours and hours at a time, bored but still feeling this amazing sense of accomplishment as the hay falls in neat rows behind the swather. I miss riding horses, of working the cattle, even my least favorite job of helping out around the mechanic shop. I miss it all. I know one of my main reasons I miss the ranch (not just McDermitt, but I miss the ranch in Nebraska too) is because of family. I spent everyday working with my brother (before he went to Iraq) or my cousin Cody, or my grandpa, and almost always with my dad. Everyone had a job to do, and everyone did it. A lot of sweat, a lot of hard work, but we were in it together, and we worked hard for the success of our ranch and our family. Sometimes I'll be driving through the rush hour traffic here in Denver and I'll start planning on buying land in Boulder or someother smaller town around Denver and owning horses and a small herd of cows. But then I feel even more depressed because that means I'll have to be a gagillionaire to afford that much land anywhere near Denver!

I made a committment, a promise, to live in the city, to love and support my husband, whose career is in the city, but why, why do I miss the country so much? Will it get better? Will I one day walk out of my house in the morning, and not take a deep breath and cock my head to the side, wishing with all my heart I heard the bawl of a cow and breathed in the crisp, clean country air?

Monday, September 10, 2007


Marjorie Ruth Wegner
Marjorie Ruth Wegner, 67, went home to be with her Lord, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007. Marge was born March 23, 1940 in American Falls, to Rowe and Ella Bolton.
She grew up in American Falls and married her high school sweetheart Daniel Wegner on June 24, 1956. They were married 51 years. Marge and Dan owned and operated ranches in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Oklahoma and Nebraska. She was a partner of the family “Ten Mile Ranch”, a woman who walked beside her husband, not behind him, with wisdom and grace whether it was family or business. She loved horseback riding and tending the cattle, horses and dogs.
In addition to the ranch, Marge’s hobbies included listening to her family’s gospel singing, cooking, gardening, sewing and knitting. She was also a successful Avon representative in American Falls and served in the voting polls. Marge was the secretary-treasurer of the Homemaker’s Club in McDermitt, NV, and was selected as “Homemaker of the Year” for Nevada. She was a member of the “Friends of the Library” in McDermitt.
Marge is survived by her husband, Dan; their three children and spouses, seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren; her mother, Ella Bolton of American Falls; and sister, Dorothy Rise of Pollock Pines, CA. Her father, Rowe Bolton, and siblings Elaine and James preceded her in death.
Marge was a role model of a Christian loving wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and friend. She touched the hearts and lives of those around her and was beloved by many.
Funeral services are pending in American Falls.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

What's up... and why I havent' been writing

August 30,
The Chef's birthday. We celebrated by leaving at midnight, and driving through the night to Nebraska. The Chef drove to Ogallala, and I drove from there to the ranch. We made it to Mom’s house by breakfast.

The morning agenda was to sell a herd of cattle. These were old cows, and we had to round them up, sort the calves off of their mothers, and prepare the loading chute for the semi-truck. We were ready long before the trucks arrived, and Dad and Mom immediately began pulling weeds. Horse weeds in Nebraska grow as tall as six to eight feet tall. These weeds completely blocked the corrals, and you couldn’t even see the fences past the weeds. Because of the sand, the weeds pulled out easily, and I must say it made me feel like I had superhuman strength as we pulled out thick weeds easily.

The Chef and Cody rested on the pickup bed, their allergies acting up from the thick pollen. The cows loaded easily, and all were on the truck out of the ranch by eight-thirty in the morning. We napped, I drove the swather for an hour and a half while Cody ate lunch, and then we hung out. We rustled a cow, accidentally of course, and had to take the cow and her calf back to their pasture. We chased and treated a sick calf, who showed signs of dust pneumonia.

Instead of a cake, Mom made The Chef spudnuts (doughnuts) for his birthday, I think we all appreciated that!

August 31, 2007

In the afternoon, The Chef washed Grandma’s windows, while Dad and I chased the calves back in. They jumped the fence in the morning, and they were all out, so we had to saddle up our horses and chase the calves down. In the afternoon, two more had escaped, this time swimming through the water trough to their freedom. Dad and I spent time around the headquarters, fixing the feedwagon to dispense minerals and caked oats, and I washed out our galvanized steel horse trailer with a power washer. Tiny flecks of manure flew all over me, and within minutes I knew I was caked with manure molecules.

I saw Grandma this afternoon. It was hard to see her, as she was refusing to talk, and couldn’t seem to swallow. Grandpa and Aunt Tammy were talking to her, coaxing her to swallow another mouthful of water, or to swallow her pills. It would take five or six minutes to get her to swallow. While it looked like she was being difficult, rebellious by not swallowing, what she was really doing was struggling to make her mind remember how to swallow.

I walked in, and bent down to kiss her. “Hi Grandma! I like you new set of wheels!” She had just gotten a wheelchair from town. Grandma opened her eyes and looked up at me, and said, “Hi, Amy.” In her weak and quavering voice. Grandpa started to tear up, “You just made our day, Mother.” I guess she hadn’t spoken yet and having the strength to open her eyes and remember my name was a huge accomplishment. But I learned later, that Grandma was a great faker. When someone came over, she would rally, put up a happy, strong face, and pretend she felt much better than she was.

It was so hard to see her, tiny, her clothes hanging off of her frame, and her cheeks chubby from steroids. I kept choking back tears, and my nose started running of its own accord. Tammy asked me if I was all right, and I said it was the pollen that was getting to me, but really, seeing my grandma like that was miserable. We were all helpless. Grandpa started crying when Tammy wheeled Grandma into the master bedroom, and seeing my dad embrace him and offer his strong shoulder as a comfort was heart breaking.

September 1, 2007

We ran all of the calves into the corrals this morning, working them, giving them shots, deworming them, and branding the slicks. After working the calves we all went inside to have pie with grandma.

In the afternoon I ran the swather on the Moon pivot, cutting down the Millet. I drove the tractor all afternoon, listening to the radio, NPR and an occasional country station that flicked on and off. When Cody came out to relieve me, it was already dinner time and The Chef met us with freshly grilled steaks, baked potatoes, and fresh tomatoes picked out of mom’s garden. My husband cooking dinner for my dad and I was odd, it seemed that somehow we had a role reversal thing going on, since I was hot and sweaty from working in the fields. We’re an odd couple, that’s for sure, but The Chef's cooking sure helped us out that weekend, as yesterday Mom had to drive into town to pickup a wheelchair for grandma, and today she was driving to Rapid City to pick up Aunt Sherry from the airport.

September 2, 2007

It was Sunday, and The Chef and I hustled to get packed up and leave the ranch. Before we left, we stopped in at Grandma’s to say goodbye. Grandma was still in bed, and we talked with Aunt Tammy and Aunt Sherry for a few minutes before they told me to go into grandma’s bedroom and tell her goodbye. Grandma was laying on her side of the bed, her body propped up with pillows, with her back to me.

“Hey Grandma,” I said, leaning over. “Good morning! It’s Amy.” I saw that her bright blue eyes were open. “You can’t see me, can you?”

She made a sound in her throat indicating that she couldn’t, so I leaned further over the bed and gave her a couple kisses on the cheek. “I’m headed back to Denver. Rama and I have to get back so he can work tonight. So I’m saying goodbye, but I’ll be back on Thursday to finish cutting the hay.” I kissed her again, wishing I didn’t feel so awkward.

“I love you, Grandma.”

“I love you, too.” Grandma said, her voice coming out surprisingly strong.

“Really?” I said, shocked that she could talk to me. “Thanks! I mean I love you. I’ve gotta go, but I’ll see you again in a few days, Ok?”

“I love you.” She repeated, and in my memory I can’t remember if she said, I love you too, twice, or if she said my name at the end.

I left the room, tears in my eyes, but so happy that she was talking to me, and that she once again seemed to know exactly who I was. I felt hope. I felt loved. That was the last time I saw my grandmother alive, as two mornings later she died in my grandpa arms.

September 5, 2007
Well, I'd like to continue to ask everyone for prayers for my and my family. We've all been praying for my grandma to be healed or to be taken away to heaven where she wouldn't be in pain. This last week was terribly painful for her, and we could see her getting weaker and weaker. Yesterday morning, after my Grandpa spent the whole night praying for God to take away her pain, he kissed her good morning and told her that he loved her. My grandma groaned a little in agreement, and then, while cradled in my grandpa's arms, passed away.

I'm grateful that my grandma is no longer in pain, and is now in heaven with her Heavenly Father. The funeral will be next week (probably Monday or Tuesday) in American Falls, Idaho. The Chef and I'll be staying in Denver this week, working, and then will probably take all next week off to be with our family. Be praying for us all and specifically for me (you all know how I like to stuff my feelings and "tough" it out) and my Great Grandma Ella who is 97 and in a nursing home in Am. Falls. She is having a horrible time with her daughter's death as you can imagine. Please be praying for us all to be at peace with Grandma's loss.


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