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Change of Seasons

Homesick for Her Heartland

Suzie Lechtenberg

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Rodeo days
(Courtesy Sherry Connot)
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The following letter was sent by Sherry Connot, from Chapman, Neb., in response to Weekend America's call for stories about spring and what the change of seasons means to them:

I grew up on a ranch that has been in our family since the 1880s. Spring in the country means baby calves, the fresh scent of frost melting underground and meadowlarks on fence posts. The year I graduated from high school, my parents divorced. As a freshman in college I found myself homesick -- and heartsick too -- as I watched my life-long dream of living where I grew up evaporate.

A classmate invited me to listen to some music and study in his dorm room. He introduced me to a artist named Ian Tyson. The first song on Tyson's "Cowboyography" album is "Springtime," about the changes that come to a ranch in the spring.

It starts out: "Bald eagles back in the cottonwood tree / The old brown hills are just about bare / Springtime's sighing all along the creek / Magpies ganging up everywhere."

I started crying and I couldn't stop -- I ended up sobbing into my new friend's shirt as he held me through two songs, wondering what on Earth he had gotten himself into.

Today, 18 years later, I live on an acreage with a few cows and a horse. The baby calves are already romping in the pasture. I am looking forward to smelling the frost come out of the ground, and hearing my first meadowlark of the season.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Ian Tyson
    CD: Cowboyography (Vanguard Records)
More stories from our Change of Seasons series


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