Monday, June 22, 2009

Reading And Writing

From time to time, I receive a note from a reader of my newspaper column. I enjoy hearing from each person who takes the time to email me, but a few responses have been especially memorable.

For example, one reader took the time to express her concern about the health of my aging dog. Incidentally, Mitch is still chasing cows several years later.

One reader chastised me at great length for "airing my laundry" in public after I wrote a tongue-in-cheek column about my husband and I battling over the location of the coffee pot in our kitchen. Incidentally, we're still married.

Our state's lone Congressional representative responded to one of my rants about government spending with his own letter to the editor.

Of all the responses my column has elicited, my favorite is the one that follows, which was written after this column was published a few years ago.

Hi, Erin, I always read your column first in the Prairie Star. You so often speak from my heart, as well as your own! This week's column was so true. One day last summer, as I was working in the garden and thinking about various help we've had, it occurred to me that you'd probably like to know about one of our favorites.

She was a little black haired gal that came to us after a somewhat circuitous career in a lot of places. We knew her last three places of employment; before that was a mystery she never shared. Because she was kind of little, and not quite so glamorous, some of the other gals kind of ran over her sometimes. She'd just tuck her chin and work harder. Boy! could she work!

After she'd been with us a few years, she became a very proud mom. She spoiled her daughter rotten. Her daughter lives at Arlee, and now her granddaughter is startingto work for us. When she got old enough to retire from outfitting, a family with three little kids gave her a babysitting job. She enjoyed that until she passed away of old age.

As I was thinking about Molly, it floated through my mind that "Erin Robertson" was the name on her brand inspection when I bought her at Judith Gap in the mid-90's. And I'd just read your column about multiple surnames--- You never know what your column will do!

-Mary Ellen Schnur

Why did that email move me to tears?

Molly was my horse, purchased with my hard earned sheep money that I had saved throughout my childhood, and I had always wondered what had happened to her after I sold her when I started college. Most horse owners never have the satisfaction of knowing that their horse was well cared for and loved after going to a new home.

My writing means nothing without my readers. It meant more than Mary Ellen will ever know that she read my column, connected the dots, and so eloquently wrote the story of Molly.


Reddunappy said...

That is so cool, I would so like to know h0w a pony we sold in doing, but no way of finding her again, I have tried. You always worry that they werent taken care of.

Mum-me said...

I suppose anyone who writes for a newspaper or magazine will have their fair share of fans, and critics too. How nice that you were able to discover what your horse had been up to since you sold her. Must be hard to sell a horse - hard on the owner, that is.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful.

Pony Girl said...

Oh, that is SO cool!! I always wonder about my childhood ponies and horses...I think only one or two of them have the potential to still be alive today. I do hope they went on to make other children happy!

Farm Fresh Jessica said...

That is so wonderful!

Steph said...

Thats neat! Check out my blog, I tagged you and left you something! :)

threecollie said...

Cold chills jumped up all over me when I read this. What an incredible story! Thanks!

Prairie Chick said...

So precious.

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