Sometimes, on the High Plains of Eastern Colorado, it’s easy to forget that the first day of spring falls in the month of March. Anyone familiar with the region understands why this is so. It’s during March that the biggest winter storms have, on occasion, landed like a sledgehammer on the broad expanse of prairie, testing the most optimistic heart that yearns for the beauty of spring, only to see snow clouds rolling in from the west that ultimately dump a hefty load of the wet and heavy stuff. Yet, despite the sudden blizzards that can wreak such havoc in so many ways, the reality remains that the first day of spring does come and with it the promise—delayed though it may be—of the bounty new possibilities can bring.
Leonard Sniff was one of the first friends I made when I moved to Eads. I’d initially met him a few different times in a few different places and could tell from the start he had “the gift of gab”, as they say. But I really got hooked one afternoon when I just happened to run into him outside the post office in Wiley. Somehow, just standing there on the sidewalk on a summer afternoon, he managed to work a story in to the conversation that involved an old man on a tractor, a brother and sister—both “a-horseback”, a dog, a gun that didn’t work and a lawyer named Wilke Hamm. Of course, I can’t repeat it—no one could or ever will really do justice to a Leonard Sniff story. But it was a good one, that’s for sure.
Series by Betsy Barnett
As the cost of living in urban areas such as Denver continues to rise and the traffic and daily commutes get longer and more dangerous, young educated millennials are considering the idea of moving out of the cities and into the remote rural areas such as southeastern Colorado. Many who seek the slower paced and more simple life are now of the age where they are ready to settle down and want to raise their own families the way they were raised. There’s often just one thing stopping them---one pretty significant road block----how to make a good enough living to support their families in a manner they are used to. Enter the new breed of young parents, mostly the mothers of the family, who have taken matters into their own hands and have found a way to bring their individual passions and skills into making a living. These are the women who start their own online businesses often times with nothing more than a smart phone and a great idea. These are the women behind the screens.
With all of the advances that have become just an accepted part of modern day life, all of the different accomplishments that have caused various members of our species to beat their chests and proclaim their greatness, it has become easier than ever before to delude ourselves into thinking that we have solved many of the great mysteries of life and few real head scratchers remain.
For those of us who are novices, searching through the common, every day records of history is, in many ways, similar to taking a journey half blind-folded. You have an idea, vague though it may be, of where you’re starting and an even more vague idea of where you want to end up, but the distance between the two is often rambling and haphazard and largely based on luck.