Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Low in the Snow

Posted on: December 13th, 2011 by R.W. Hampton 6 Comments



Well winter’s sure set in here at Clearview Ranch. While the boys and I were gone to Texas on our last road trip, my wife offered to babysit our good friend Shelly’s two Corgi dogs.  Neither of the pooches are house-broke so Lisa made them a home in our backyard. 

And then it snowed. Over six inches. 

Now that I’m home and my gigs for the year have wrapped up, it’s time to take my pencil and paper in hand and get back to writing songs. But, to be quite honest, here lately I’ve lacked inspiration. Between a flu bug I picked up at the Western Music Awards which lasted a month and a root canal on Thursday, I haven’t really had much to write about that would make good song material. That was until today when I spent the afternoon in the back yard chopping wood and after watching our two visitors try to make a home in snow that is 3 inches deeper than their legs are, I think I finally have some inspiration. 

So how about a new Christmas song that goes something like:

It’s Christmas time and my credit card won’t go/ I’m feeling low/ Like a Corgi in the snow

What do ya think? Is it a Nashville hit in the making? 

I think I’m feeling better already! 

Merry Christmas!  – RDub

Do you have a line that I can add to this? or have any better ideas I should be working on here? Send me your Christmas inspirations!


Wood, Grass and Water

Posted on: December 30th, 2010 by R.W. Hampton 2 Comments

I’m writing to you from this strange no-man’s land of time that lies between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I’ve got plenty to do, but I’m not sure what I can tackle before all the New Year festivities start, including the one here at Clearview Ranch.

As soon as our company from Christmas left, Lisa, three of our boys and I loaded up and drove out to one of our pastures to check an assortment of critters wintering there. The menagerie includes a handful of geldings, some young fillies and colts, a pregnant mare, three old longhorn steers and a first calf heifer. I’ve been gone quite a bit here lately and have grown worried about the condition of our place, so getting out and checking things was just right for me as I hadn’t laid eyes on that back pasture or its inhabitants in weeks. Even though we have great help, some things just have to be seen with your own eyes in the end.

It all started Christmas morning when I went out to my woodpile to get an armload of firewood and was startled to find my supply of piñon and cedar was within a few days of being gone. Out here you don’t want to run out of wood in the dead of winter, but fortunately for me, I was able to call a friend in Cimarron who had a fresh cord cut and loaded on his truck. This was a relief, but with inclement weather on its way it started a whole new set of worries.

At the top of my list, once I knew we had wood for the family, was worrying about our grass and the critters, so that’s when we decided to go out and take a look. Our summer pasture steers had stayed till mid-October and I was fearful our grass wouldn’t hold till the new green comes in the spring. I breathed a silent prayer of thanks when I found plenty of tall Broam as well as Grama grasses still across the entire place.

That was all well and good, but while out in the pasture I noticed that the water level in the pond was low, too low to last until the spring runoff. Our summer steers and the roaming elk herds had sucked it down. Out here we depend on water that comes from snowmelt; in the spring this snowmelt runs out of the high country down to a lake. When the lake gets full, it spills over and runs down an ancient ditch to our ponds. We get all our water from this source and what we get at the end of the summer has to last through the fall and winter till late spring. We were in a jam for sure and it was gonna take some cowboy creativity to make this one work.

Well, Sunday after church, on the way home, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw water running down the ditch right to our stock ponds. How could this be? Well, it would seem that although it’s dry and dusty down here, the mountains are getting snow on our side. It would also seem that although it’s the dead of winter, it’s been unseasonably warm these past few weeks and our glorious New Mexico sunshine turned the fresh fallen snow into much needed water for those of us downhill.

And so, as promised, the good Lord has provided the essentials for life out here on the ranch, and for us, it’s wood, grass and water!

I wish for you, my friends, an abundance of wood, grass and water, or whatever they stand for in your life, full and over-flowing in the coming New Year, and the faith that He will provide them. Till then, God Speed, and I’ll be looking for you on the trail ahead.

The Trouble with Christmas

Posted on: December 24th, 2010 by R.W. Hampton No Comments

The trouble with Christmas for me is that it’s always hard to find. Every year it’s the same; in fact, it seems to get a little harder as I get older. It’s that elusive Christmas Spirit, that old time feeling of wonder and joy that seems just beyond reach. Without it, I’m just a tired, over-extended, over-spent man waiting on this all to pass so a new year can start. Snow won’t make it happen, nor will the music. Although they can sure add to the spirit of the season, these things alone are not enough. I swear sometimes between the spending, ordering and charging, my heart cries out, “Where’s Christmas? Where is baby Jesus? Where’s the Christ Child in all of this?”

The frustrating part is that every now and then, I can catch a tinge of it, but it slips away just before I can grasp it. Like the scent of sage on the breeze, it’s gone before I can savor it, ‘cause the breeze has died. And then, when I least expect it, it will return, only to drift away again on that fickle gypsy wind.

If only I could see Christmas through the eyes of a child again. For was it not a boy child who brought us the original Christmas Miracle? I’ve got memories of that wonder and joy, but memories aren’t enough and time is getting short. Just a few more hours to go and it will all be gone for another year.

But it will come, it will happen, I just know it will. It always has and it’s always a miracle! Perhaps an unexpected phone call from a long lost friend will bring it. Or maybe the chaos of my kids and grandkids running through the house will be what does it. Just maybe it will be the realization of the blessing of getting to spend one more Christmas with both of my folks. It could happen tonight, when I see the candlelight in my wife’s eyes at the little country church service. Or possibly in the wee hours, when I’m wrapping gifts and realize that it’s already Christmas for my Marine son over in war-torn Afghanistan. I wonder, are he and his “boys” huddled together singing carols, or in another fire fight like they were on Thanksgiving? It could happen as we all join hands to pray over the wonderful Christmas dinner my wife prepares, or in the morning, when a gift that was given from the heart is unwrapped and obviously appreciated by the receiver.

For me, it could be all of these moments or none of them. It all boils down to a supernatural spiritual thing that happens in the heart when everything else is stripped away and the connection between God and man through that first miracle birth becomes real.

Well, my friends, the spirit of Christmas could even come at the close of this writing. Who knows where, when or how, but it will happen and I’ll be here waiting when it arrives.

Here’s hoping it comes for you too.

God Bless You,