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The Farmwives of Alberta 


Everybody's different, diversity rules the day 

Still I slap my head in wonder at the Housewives of LA. 

They're bosomy and botoxed, voluptuous of hip 

And I can't understand why anybody gives a rip. 


They're brassy and they're bossy, over-glitzed, uber noisy 

And please don't get me started on the Housewives of New Joisy. 

A spree at Niemen Marcus and they're rolling the clover, 

Cleavage like the 23 Psalm: their cups runneth over. 


They hurl diamond crusted insults with a practiced, deadly aim 

Jealousy and jewelry are their biggest claims to fame. 

They dress themselves in Gucci just to buy a happy meal 

Though to be clear, the chauffeur is the one who's at the wheel. 


Flirting with a jailbird sugar daddy millionaire 

And here's my biggest question: Why does anybody care? 

If you want me as a viewer, scrap those superficial wives 

And point your TV camera at the gals who have real lives. 


Farmwives tough as tigers, ranch wives strong and brown 

And the ones I know the best: the real farmwives of my home town. 

When I was just a baby, when TV was still a dream 

These farmwives got together just to laugh and let off steam. 


Tough and smart and funny, and steady as she goes 

And they never shopped at Tiffany's or wore designer clothes. 

They could drive a tractor, fix a fence, load and bale and stack 

Then bake six rhubarb pies with one hand tied behind their back. 


They had soirees, they had set-backs, skies of grey and skies of blue 

And these Farmwives of Alberta always got each other through. 

They buried husbands, buried kids, shared laughter and shared tears 

They've been there for each other for over 60 years. 


So when it comes to housewives, you can keep your bling and brass 

It's to farm and ranch wives everywhere I raise my fluted glass. 

But specially to the women who you won't see on TV: 

My mom and all her farm pals who still inspire me. 



Say Hi to Grandpa 


Grandpa wasn't perfect but he sure came mighty close 

He doled out love to grandkids in a big and generous dose. 

When one of us did anything to brighten up his week 

He had tears as big as horse surds coursing down his cheek. 


He did what all good grandpas do and did it all with zest. 

He was unapologetic: his grandkids were the best 

We'd dance and twirl and sing and play and rope and race and ride 

And Grandpa cheered, our biggest fan no matter what we tried. 


The best thing Grandpa did, and it might not sound like much 

Was tell us, that when he had died, he'd like to stay in touch. 

He had a wily notion, he'd clear it with The Boss 

He'd come back as a coyote so our trails would sometimes cross. 


We thought this was hilarious and teased him through the years. 

Until the day the phone call came, then laughter turned to tears. 

Well, that was 40 years ago and I can testify 

There's been many Grandpa sightings as the decades rolled on by. 


Just when I need a boost or my luck is running thin 

A coyote often comes in view, that's Grandpa checking in. 

When the stars are sparkling brightly or when the night is long 

I smile in the darkness when I hear a coyote's song. 


So next time on a road trip or you're horseback in the hills, 

Your day is full of thistles or bright with daffodils, 

Let your heart be lifted when a coyote wanders by 

And give a little wave, that's just Grandpa saying, "Hi."



100 Years from Now 


100 years from now, if the world’s still in the game, 

May the earth recall our footprints, may the wind sing out our names. 

May someone turn a page and hearken back upon this time, 

May someone sing a cowboy tune and someone spin a rhyme. 


History buffs will study us and time will tell its tales 

Our lives will be a brittle pile of cold and quaint details. 

A scrap of faded photograph, a news headline or two... 

But life was so much more, my friend, when the century was new. 


100 years from now, don’t look back and think me quaint, 

Don’t judge and call me sinner, don’t judge and call me saint. 

We lived beneath the arch with a mix of grit and grace, 

Just ordinary folk in an extraordinary place. 


So 100 years from now hear our ancient voices call, 

Know that life was good and the cowboy still rode tall. 

Wild flowers filled our valleys and the coyotes were our choir, 

We knew some wild places that had never known the wire. 


We raised stouthearted horses; we’d ride and let ‘er rip 

We burned beneath the summer sun and railed at winter’s grip. 

We took a little courage when the crocus bloomed each spring 

We loved beneath the stars and we heard the night wind sing. 


We buried and we married, we danced and laughed and cried 

And there were times we failed, but let the records show we tried. 

And sure, I have regrets; I made more than one mistake 

If I had it to do over there are trails I wouldn't take. 


But the sun rose up each day; we’d make it through another year... 

We’d watch the skies and count our calves and hoist a cup of cheer. 

We knew drought and fire and heartache, we knew fat and we knew bone 

But we were silver lining people and we never rode alone. 


So, Friend, if you are reading this 100 years from now 

Understand that we were pilgrims who just made it through somehow. 

We’ve crossed the river home now and we left but one request: 

100 years from now, think back kindly on the west– 


And ordinary folk, no special fate, no special claims 

But 100 years from now, may the wind sing out our names. 

Know the times were good and we rode the best we know. 

We loved the west, we kept the faith–100 years ago.