Have you ever noticed that you can be sitting around doing as little as possible and suddenly have memories from the past flash across the mind's screen? Often those memories have been hidden in the webs for years and for no explainable reason appear as if the events had occurred yesterday.
Recently, I was doing a whole lot of nothing and was suddenly immersed in a memory from childhood. We were living at Ima, and I was probably 10 or 11 years old. I had driven the car to the store to get the mail and some groceries because I was too lazy to walk across the two canyons to do that chore. I met Dad there, and he said he would be home shortly.
Just as I turned toward the road down to the house, I happened to look into the rearview mirror. Rarely did I do that as the chance of seeing another car approaching was just about a million to one. At any rate, I looked back just in time to see Dad airborne as he was pitched off his horse. I saw that he landed on his feet and that he horse was headed west, but fearing that Dad was hurt, I stirred up a little dust to get to him. His pride was injured, and his temper was missing. But for once, he said I did the right thing by going to see about him.
He then took over the steering wheel, and we headed after that horse. He just loped off the Ima Hill and took a short cut to the Alamogordo Valley floor on his way to the new Nations' Place. We could see his dust as we drove down the hill, and I was hearing a little about what was going to happen to him as Dad drove along gripping the wheel with both hands in order to keep from hitting something.
The horse stopped at the cattle guard near the Nations' house and was waiting for us when we drove up. I was a bit baffled as to what was going to happen next as I knew Dad wouldn't let me ride that horse, but I also knew I had never driven up that hill and wasn't eager to try that by myself.
Well, Dad took a firm hold on the horse's reins and told me I was going to drive home. I think he saw a bit of hesitancy on my part and calmly explained that he would be right behind me in the event I got into trouble. As I slid under the wheel, I saw Dad put his boot into the stirrup, swing into the saddle, and apply his spurs for a minute or two in order to get the horse's attention. I could see that neither the horse nor I should proffer any argument and just started driving.
That hill was not in the pristine shape it's in today, having some very sharp curves and some high places to avoid. The trip seemed very long to a scared little girl, but I finally rounded the bend at the top and knew I could get home safely. As usual, Dad let me learn lessons the hard way and assured me I could do most things if I really made up my mind to do them. Some memories are most helpful when we may have a moment or two of self doubt.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.