Update: Big Boss got #11 up last year. But. We need one more horse and rider. Number twelve arrived in April. Right smack dab in the middle of corn planting, followed closely by wheat harvest, with corn silage harvest right on its heels. So #12 will have to wait until this winter. While my knitting needles clickety-clack, Big Boss will be firing up welding torches and such. BTW…each horse and rider represents a grandchild!
So an update was waiting in the wings. The above photo shows we’re minus one rider. She (#5) fell off her horse during a horrible wind earlier this summer. Another winter project!!!
I’ve had questions about the headers on this blog. Mostly, people think they’re real cowboys up there on our hill. You wouldn’t believe how many folks drive in here, nearly having a wreck because they’re trying to figure out what’s going on up there on that hill!! Is it a cattle drive? A rodeo? A parade? Many people come out here not to see or visit us…they’re here to see the cowboys…and cowgirls.
For me, it’s thrilling because Big Boss found his creative self. He thought I had all of the creativity…well, he can write extremely well, but not necessarily on the crafty side. Basically, I had very little to do with the whole project, other than
nagging encouraging him to get the last 3 horsemen/girls made. I helped him find some of the pictures and showed him how to use the photos once I blew them up for him. But after, that…it was all his show! And I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to look out of my kitchen window and see those younguns running across the hill! It reminds me every day to pray for them as they go to school, pray for their teachers and bus drivers, pray for their health, pray for their relationship with G-d, pray for their future mates.
And now a word from the Big Boss…
Grandchildren are postcards that we send to a time we will never see.
Insuring that they are not regarded as junk-mail is always our concern. Mankind’s historical records reveal that any society is one generation away from chaos. Erosion of ethics is much like the erosion of our topsoil–incremental–often so slight you don’t realize it has happened until you’ve lost it.
The 10 horses (soon to be 11) on the hill east of our home are life-size silhouettes of frontier Indian Scouts along with some 1800’s cowboys. Mrs. Emma Perry, who settled on this property in the 1860’s raised horses. She would be proud. The horsemen represent our grandchildren. We placed them there for their enjoyment, but much more than that we wanted them to know of their great value. That each one is unique, special, nobody else like them.
We placed them there for ourselves as well. We wanted to be reminded daily of the opening lines of this piece–to be aware of our responsibility to do all that we can to educate their conscience–to teach them that there is such a thing as evil, and there is such a thing as good, and that we can know the difference. Ultimate truth is knowable.
Our primary responsibility is to pray for them. To pray for their growth and protection, physically, socially, mentally, and spiritually. To ask guidance for their choices. To lead them as they individual answers to the four most important questions that any human being has to answer:
1. Origin–Where did I come from? Am I a product of impersonal chance, or am I “Imago Deo”, made in the image of God. This question shapes everyone’s entire worldview.
2. Meaning–Why am I here? What eternal purpose can they fulfill each day?
3. Morality–How shall I live? What will their choices be?
4. Destiny–If they are made in the image of God, will they spend eternity with Him?
Regardless of our endeavors, personal choice is the final arbitrator. There is always the possibility that one or more will break our hearts. We rest in the fact that the God we serve is capable of moving in the lives of His people–so we then pray each day for His moving in the lives of our grandchildren. Our great desire is that they will live lives of gratitude–the mother of all virtues, and that they will learn from us that the best use of their compassion is to extend it to someone who can do nothing for them in return.
Ronnie aka Big Boss aka Paw
“So how did this little project come about, Big Boss?”
This part was like pulling teeth. I wanted to know what the inspiration was, the impetus behind the project…all I got was a blank look and “I told you why in the first paragraph!”
“No, no..where did the idea come from?”
I got the same answer. Sigh. OK, new approach… “Had you seen something like this before? In a magazine? In a book? In your head? Come on, help me out here honey!”
“Oh. Yeah. Remember those Indians around Dighton, up on a hill?”
Thank you dear. Thank you. He can write, but I would make a sorry editor.
So here’s how he created The Ten Horsemen, Soon To Be Eleven (make that Twelve)
About 10 years ago, I purchased four sheets of 10 gauge sheet iron to be used for horses honoring our first grandchildren, twins, Braeden and Austin Ruff.
I welded two of them together to make an 8 feet by 8 feet sheet. After sundown, I moved our wheel loader inside our shop building, lifted one to an upright position, and positioned an old overhead projector (from teaching days of long ago) in front of the metal sheet. I had traced a picture from a history book onto an overhead transparency. I blew the picture up to life-size, using the entire length and width of the sheet iron. After tracing that image with marking chalk, I then connected the plasma cutter ground wire to the metal. and began to cut along the previously traced lines. A plasma cutter works much better than a conventional cutting torch because it generated much less heat and does not warp the metal during the process.
After cutting the cowboy’s outline, I laid it back down on the floor and used an electric welder to fasten bracing on the metal behind each of the horse’s legs. Holes were dug in the ground and concrete was poured into the holes to hold the figures upright. The initial investment was around $50.00 per horse and cowboy. Currently, it’s well over $100 for material. The entire manufacturing process takes about 3 hours. Installation takes another one to two hours. If the trend should continue, buying more hill will surpass the expense of the required additional metal!
CRR aka Big Boss