It’s located on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. No debit or credit cards accepted. The service is a bit slow, but the home cooked rations make you forget lunch hour took a bit longer today.
A flag hangs out front. We are greeted by three reservation dogs – harmless. Ginger, in a colorful mumu, brings us coffee by the thermos full. Wednesday’s soup is ham and beans, heavy on the ham. The dogs lie on the stoop as if waiting for their owners, which we aren’t of course.
We are summering a few cows and calves on the reservation, and when we check on them, we often take a respite at the local café. One day we met our friend Alan there. He was making a run to Pocatello for a hay mower part for our ranch. He is a mechanic extraordinaire and we rely on his skills regularly. He teaches school nearby, but has recently accepted a job in Boise. It is a good move for him and his family, but we will sorely miss him. He has unselfishly donated a million plus hours to our ranch as a mechanic, not to mention castrating a few hundred calves each spring.
On the wall of the café is a poster of “Desiderata.” Remember that one? I think it was set to music and was popular during my high school years. The phrases are familiar but catch me off guard.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
Maybe it’s the change of seasons, our friend’s leaving, his excitement about the moving preparations - whatever it is, the words blur and I find I cannot read more than a couple of lines at a time before the tears well up.
For the last twenty years or so, Alan has been helping us on the ranch. Teaching school is a stressful occupation and his wife told me once that he needed to be on the ranch to get back on an even keel. He would leave home cranky and return in good spirits. Lately the stress at work had gotten to be too much for him. Under appreciated, his ag program reeling with budget cuts, he has taken a job in a well funded district where he can specialize in teaching mechanics. They have family in Boise and it just makes good sense to move on.
And so we will wish him well and God speed.
. . . whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Words to live by. Words to wish a good friend adieu by.