Category Archives: Julie Carter

And the horse he rode in on

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Julie Carter is a New Mexico writer and author whose column appears weekly on Rio Grande Digital.

Julie Carter

Cowboys that hang in the same circles identify each other by their ride long before they recognize a face.

In the world outside of cowboy, if you were to inquire about someone in town, you might get a litany of descriptions. “Gwen? Sure, I know her. She’s a marine biologist, has a couple kids and lives over on the hill above the golf course.”

Or, “Bob? He’s looking pretty good for his age, but he did just win a Nobel prize for something no one understands. He’s some sort of nuclear physicist. He lives down by the lake, has a boat at the marina.”

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy: America the Beautiful

Julie Carter is a New Mexico writer and author whose column appears weekly on Rio Grande Digital.

Julie Carter

There’s a holiday just around the corner, one we’ve celebrated for a few hundred years. Independence Day, Fourth of July and Cowboy Christmas –all one and the same.

America’s birthday is honored across the country with as many traditions as there are firecrackers. For my entire adult life, my observance of the day has always revolved around rodeo.

I spent a couple decades driving long, lonely highways to get to the “next one” over a four-day stretch of Cowboy Christmas. I hauled horses, kids, and dogs while giving little thought to much else except getting there on time and being ready to compete.

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy: Family reunions

Julie Carter is a New Mexico writer and author whose column appears weekly on Rio Grande Digital.

Julie Carter

Summers mark a myriad of events in people’s lives, ranging from Disneyland vacations to weekend boating and fishing at the lake. Family reunions fit in there somewhere and any of the sane ones that attend leave wondering, “What was I thinking?”

Family reunions are where a whole bunch of kinfolk, many of whom never liked each other much, get together for a day or two and try to act like they are happy to be in the family. Then they spend most of that time avoiding the ones they didn’t like in the first place.

Every family has its own “special people,” and usually they can be described with the phrase — “Somebody needs to get the net after that entire bunch.”

The third toughest roping

Julie Carter is a New Mexico writer and author whose column appears weekly on Rio Grande Digital.

Julie Carter

Fishing stories don’t hold a candle to roping tales. The big one always gets away and there is always some windy explanation about how it happened and what the result would be if it hadn’t.

This past weekend there was a sizable high class roping, and yes, I know, there will be some that will holler “oxymoron” over that description. I will argue that where team roping is concerned, the scales will most generally tip toward the moron than the high class, but I digress.

High dollar prizes and prestigious titles were at stake and the “big boys” of roping were there wearing the names of their corporate sponsors embroidered all over their shirts.

Down and dirty at the carwash

Julie Carter is a New Mexico writer and author whose column appears weekly on Rio Grande Digital.

Julie Carter

Today I drove by the car wash in town and predictably, there was one bay full of mud clods the size of a small dog. I smiled to myself and thought, “ranch pickup.”

However, since it hasn’t rained in months, I had to wonder what was the source of the mud? Pipeline leak, no doubt.

This is one of those do-it-yourself car washes, where a handful of quarters allow for a sudsy brushing, power spray and if it’s working, a light waxing coat for a finisher.

Rural community car washes get a slightly different clientele than those in the metro areas. It’s not uncommon to see a pickup with a stock trailer in tow pulled into one of the bays and everything, including the livestock, is getting a good wash down.

The countdown to emancipation

Julie Carter is a New Mexico writer and author whose column appears weekly on Rio Grande Digital.

Julie Carter

It’s a burden he has had to endure – his life chronicled for publication as he grew to manhood.

His mother is a writer so, of course, she has frequently penned his adventures in the process we call “growing up.” Now, another milestone has arrived.

My son is part of the high school graduating class of 2012. There are hundreds of thousands of them across the country, but for him in a small rural school, there are only four others that will stand next to him in a cap and gown this month. It is a fitting close to this chapter in the life of a country boy.

Do we need a new ‘Code of the West?’

 

Julie Carter is a New Mexico writer and author whose column appears weekly on Rio Grande Digital.

Julie Carter

It has been almost 150 years since Horace Greeley advised, “Go west, young man, go west and grow up with the country.”

And today, they are still coming, not so much as a direction, but more of a destination. Ours is a nation of immigrants — people who have never been content to stay in one place and always seek the new of what might be over the next horizon.

The West has long been a frontier to those with a variety of needs. Some come seeking a romanticized version of it as the “old West” or the “Wild West.”  Others search peaceful solitude away from the noise of an industrial civilization.

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy: First love on the hoof

Julie Carter is a New Mexico writer and author whose column appears weekly on Rio Grande Digital.

Julie Carter

He was tall and beautiful with a gentleness that captured my heart. And he loved me like he loved no other. For me, it was this love that defined unconditional love and forever measured the standard.

His name was Ranger. I would stand in the meadow and call his name and he would come to me. With a can of grain and a small rope in my hand, he would let me catch him.

When my dad would try to catch him, he would run off and keep running until dad would have to give up. If Ranger needed caught for anything, I had to do it. I’m sure it was the very foundation of any self-confidence I was to gain in life.  He made me feel very special.

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