So I’m driving on a wash board dirt road outside of tiny DelNorte, Colorado (translated, it’s Spanish for “the North”, and it was for Conquistadors searching for the famed 7 Cities of Gold). So I stopped, backed up, had a gander gaze, and decided to drive into the farm yard dirt entrance.
Here in an already arid area where the current drought makes it even more so, was an oasis of color. An aging woman in a wheel chair wasn’t alarmed by my driving next to her, just curious. I rolled down the window and coughed at the dust I had created: “Are you the gardener?” I asked. Her reply: “Not much of one with this bum leg.” She lifted a walking cost leg. I got out, introduced myself, and began a fine unexpected venture.
This white washed barn, one of several farm out buildings, is actually bigger than the little tidy farm house with painted green shutters. This is just one of the many garden room this woman has created. Birds are as welcome as I was.
That pile of rocks? It’s a hand made water feature she created from rocks found in the prairie around her place. Her place? Oh…. A homestead. Her people came from Kansas during the dust bowls days of the 20’s. They first settled further up the Rio Grande headwaters area in Silver Mine Town Creede. But the likes of gunslinger who killed Jesse James, a guy named Ford, was likewise gunned down, buried there in fact, was one of many reasons they moved on down the Rio Grande and founded this site. It reminded me of what my own grandpa told me, “Don’t ever give up or by pass land with rabbit bush. It’ll grow anything if ya can jest get water on it.”
Every flower on the place is grown yearly, by seed by this little lady.
…..in this greenhouse. She never married. It became her lot to tend to aging parents. So she retained the house, the farm. Her brothers farm it. They used their front end tractor scoop for cleaning out winter manure in calving corrals to lift these beans and rafters built on the ground by this woman. She scoffed, “up high on the walls I built I balanced myself and bailed this whole thing together. Never fell off. Not once. Not close. But that was 11 years ago. Now that rock heap of a water fall is what tripped me up last week, a water hose caught my leg, and down I went.” I like her greenhouse. Farm spun, store bought fans, clear corrugated roof panels: the stuff of farm places.
Yup. That’s her. Rosalind. An amazing lady, the last of generations on this old farm that’s seen better days. But the dry spell doesn’t have her down n out anymore than that bum leg. Both with heal. After all, she’s got Dust Bowl Days genes in her blood. She’s vibrant juxtaposed against adversity.
Great farm yard and gardens in a great area the Conquistadors turned their backs one in a great region of southern Colorado, here in the Southwest.
Be Well, Do Good.