The last time I was home, Scott offered to hook the cattle trailer up to his truck and load up my horse Jack and take him out to my family farm. I loved the idea, so we got it all ready and I rode Jack around the pastures that we own.

Mom never came out and worked cattle with us or drove the fields and pastures with us; it was always dad, Lindsay and I. Those hills and those fences are dad, they are what I used to be.

Every spring, crocuses bloom. They are the first flowers to come up, they are up before the tulips can think about their beautiful bloom. Dad, Lindsay and I always picked them. Ever since I was little, every year we’d see them blooming from the road and go pick a bunch for mom. When we didn’t have a bucket with us, we’d fill dad’s breast pocket of his coat with the flowers. He would take off his gloves and we’d have crocus bouquets in dad’s dirty, oily gloves.

When I was out riding Jack, I noticed the dainty purple flowers. It was spring. And dad wasn’t here. It wasn’t really a sad feeling. It was a feeling that I can pinpoint as thankfulness. I am so thankful that even though throughout life’s raging waves and spins and flips, there is always going to be constants. The sun is always going to rise to chase out the dawn. The moon will always pull and mold the ocean tides. Tomorrow will come, no matter how long the night seems. Crocuses will always bloom in the spring.

We will bury dad soon. Most of him will go in the cemetery above his own dad’s grave, but I am going to take part of him for myself and place him on “my hill.” The hill he always posted me for deer hunting, the hill where he picked a tiny purple prairie flower and gave it to me saying, “I guess I’ll have to buy you flowers from now on.” Crocuses bloom there. I hope one day they will bloom in top of him. I think it will feel like home then.


  1. What a great memory Erica. Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Ah, crocuses. Only in North Dakota, one of the last places with virgin soil -- the only place crocuses can grow naturally.
    How fitting that you join your father with the virgin earth and crocuses will bloom above him.

    (One of the framed articles in my office is about crocus hunting with my dad.)