Memories Agriculture

18 Oct

I read an article this morning which resurrected memories of my early years in southeastern Iowa. The state was then and continues to be a major agricultural area. Much of my elementary schooling was in ‘country schools’ – the one room schoolhouse concept applies. I clearly recall agriculture being a part of our schooling in 7th and 8th grade. We took a field trip to an agricultural gathering [can’t remember who sponsored it] and learned about the methods in use at the time to promote healthy uses of the land. We learned about contour plowing, four-year rotation of crops, and much more. These methods protected and enhanced the soil and improved production without extensive use of fertilizer and hazardous chemicals.

The article describes today’s use of these principles and methodologies:

Sometimes a look backward is the best way forward.



October Lakota Way

1 Oct

Tradition, like language, is necessary to a people’s identity. One is as old as another, and if one is lost, the other will likely soon follow. Since the coming of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe, it has been in the care of a keeper. To be a keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Bundle is a calling, a sacred duty. Men and women have answered the call to care for it, and in doing so they are preserving tradition – in this case, a tradition that ensures that the heart and soul of our culture and identity is preserved and its story is told to each new generation.

Joseph M. Marshall III

September Lakota Way

2 Sep

When the newcomers arrived on the shores of Turtle Island, both new ways of thinking and new things in the form of different tools, weapons, and other products of their technology came with them. Of the two, the indigenous peoples more readily accepted new things held in the hand rather than those forced into the mind. Horses, firearms, needles, and beads were items easily adapted to because they were unquestionably useful. A new religion, on the other hand, was another matter entirely because it directly assaulted the core of identity, unlike a horse, which enhanced it. A knife or a band of beadwork or a steel pony with two wheels could be adapted and altered to give it a Lakota identity. Perhaps it is one way to remind us to never forget who we once were.

Joseph M. Marshall III

Lakota Way, Late

24 Aug

With all the activity and changes involved in buying a house and getting settled after 12 years of travel in an RV, I am remiss in not keeping up with the share of my favorite calendar entries. So better late than never:

June Lakota Way

Sitting Bull learned that leadership was not a prize but a responsibility to the people. He understood that a Lakota leader had to think of others before he thought of himself and that a true leader provided for those who had nothing and spoke for those who had no one to speak for them. He understood that doing the good deeds first gave power to his works later. He did not lead by pointing to where others should go; he led by going first – as all true Lakota leaders of his ear did. All those who aspire to leadership now – Lakota or not – should first take a lesson from Sitting Bull.

July Lakota Way

In a rural cemetery on the northern plains is a white marble marker bearing the name of a Lakota soldier killed in the European theater in World War II. Though he fought in a foreign land, he is buried at home. A relative composed a memorial song for his funeral, and Lakota veterans in attendance heard the song and took it back to their home reservations. Hid mother honored him on the anniversary of his death every year, for fifty-five years, until she died in 1997. Than memorial song became very popular and is now known across every reservation as the “Lakota Flag Song,” and different versions of it have been composed. And whether those who sing it know or not, they are helping a devoted mother honor her beloved son, a modern Lakota warrior.

August Lakota Way

Long ago we Lakota people called ourselves the Pte Taoyate. Loosely translated, it means “the buffalo people,” “people of the buffalo,” and more accurately “the people who belong to the buffalo.” It is a historical fact that the buffalo, or bison, once roamed the Great Plains by the millions. Most of the indigenous tribes or nations of the plains depended on them for the basic necessities of food, shelter, and much more, but none more so than the Lakota. As a matter of fact, the relationship was much more than a dependence on a necessary resource. There was a symbiotic connection, both physical and spiritual. Interestingly, when the buffalo were nearly exterminated by the whites, we began to lose our culture. Like those ancient ones, we have been to the brink of extinction; and like them we are coming back.

Joseph M. Marshall III

Letter to a Glacier

23 Jul

This story appeared in my email from Ecowatch this morning including a picture of the monument to the ‘dead’ glacier. Knowing that others right here in America’s Glacier National Park are headed for the same fate, I was saddened. A snippet from the article appears below:


Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose it status as a glacier,” the text of the plaque reads. “In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path.”

“This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done,” it says. “Only you know if we did it.”

The bottom of the plaque reads “August 2019, 415ppm CO2.” Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels hit that threshold—for the first time ever in human history—in May.

Clean-up Duty

10 Jun

Pippy and I are spending our mornings taking advantage of the cooler temperatures to clean up our yard. This morning I was cleaning the ‘front patio’, mostly sweeping up the dropped blossoms from our tree. Then I noted the interesting patterns the wind creates…

The tree…

…maybe a map of Central America?


It’s Been Awhile

9 Jun

As you may recall, Pippy and I made a quick Spring trip to Washington state to explore the possibility of buying a cabin in the woods not far from Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula. Disappointed in the property and having noted a house for sale in Deming, NM, we made a quick trip back down south.

Long story short, I bought the house and we have moved in. Plans are to finish getting settled, give the RV a thorough cleaning, and either sell it or store it at Low Hi RV Ranch. In addition to the house, I purchased a Subaru Outback which will allow Pippy and I to take some short camping trips or longer trips to see friends.

At present, I have only taken a few pictures.

Our back yard