Trisha Swift's Articles

The Giveaway


 

Life and death on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.


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I Waited for God in a Draw Herding Cattle and All I Got Was More of His Grace


 


“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)

“I hate waiting.” — Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

One item that has been on my bucket list for a long time is going on a cattle drive. After years of trying to finagle a way to work cattle, I finally got the opportunity to do it this summer when I reconnected with a high school friend whose family owns a large cattle ranch in the mountains.

Even better (at least in my mind) was that my husband, Chase, tagged along. Freddie, the horse he rode, was the only one of us (human or equine) who had any experience working cattle. Chase joked that we were going to be in the next sequel to City Slickers.

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In Your Despair, Suicide Doesn’t Have to Be the Final Word


 


September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This is a sobering topic and one with which our county is, unfortunately, well acquainted. It’s hard to say anything about the issue of suicide without trying to say everything, but this essay is primarily about the findability of hope when it all seems lost. If you are actively considering suicide, there are people waiting to talk with you. Please consider contacting the Crisis Text Line, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or Colorado Crisis Services.


The downward spiral started earlier that spring. As always, my depression came like a thief in the night, until I found myself bound in chains while it ran around in my life, crushing me.

That brought me to the beginning of June. The final day of horse camp. Horse camp had gone remarkably well. The kids were great. My helpers were fantastic, as always. The weather was beautiful. It had been loads of fun.

But after everyone had left, I slowly sank down into a chair in the barn’s tack room and wept. I was done…at the end of my rope, and not willing to hang on any longer. I was exhausted from the struggle of trying to hold myself together. I contemplated googling “painless ways to commit suicide” but I didn’t do it.

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What Wrangling Alpacas Can Teach Us about Neighboring


 


“Are those alpacas?” my friend asked. I looked out across my hayfield to my neighbor’s pasture across the road, approximately 300 yards from where we stood.

“Yes!” I exclaimed. “And they’re not supposed to be there!” Without hesitation, I took off running.

Thus began a merry chase of three mostly wild alpacas, a chase that enabled me to meet two of my neighbors and connect with the owner of the field as we tackled the alpacas in the tall grass. I joked to the alpaca owners, “I’ve been wanting to meet you but I didn’t want to just drive in your driveway; I didn’t want to seem rude.”

“You can drive in our driveway any time,” the husband said.

“Especially now because we’re best friends,” I laughed.

You get to know someone fairly well in a short amount of time when you’re sweating and strategizing on how to catch contrary animals in a 15-acre field.

That’s how it is in rural areas. These neighbors of mine live roughly a half mile from me. You may not consider us neighbors at that distance. But there are only two driveways in between my property and theirs. Neighboring in the country is different.

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Don't Quit: God Works Miracles Even when We're Too Weary to Ask for Them


 


Earlier this year, I was really struggling with negative thoughts and depression. Fighting off all those lies about who you are wears you down to the point you don't want to fight anymore. My heart was a hard little stone in my chest, and I was done with everything. Then a miracle happened.

My friend Shawnee competed in her first triathlon a few weeks ago — along with a billion other crazy people who somehow think a 1.2-mile swim (in Boulder Reservoir), a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.2-mile run sounds fun. In 90-degree weather. Really?

Anyway, I won't go into the absolute zoo of a time I had trying to get to the reservoir, though when I finally got to the road that leads to it, the road was closed. I had missed my friend's swim and now I couldn’t get up to the reservoir at all.

I may have said a bad word. I may have cried a little, too. Maybe.

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