September 11, 2012

Robert & Mary Perino

Robert & Mary Perino - 82 & 86 respectively - proof that an active, healthy, hard working ranching lifestyle adds longevity and spirit to life. The brother and sister duo are pictured here on their ranch near Four Corners, Wyoming. The ranch was homesteaded by their grandparents in the late 1800's and it is where Robert and Mary were born and raised and have lived all their lives - their 88 year old brother ranches down the road as well. They were so nice to let me come and visit - we chatted while having coffee and cookies in the kitchen of the original house. Mary pointed out she was born in the room behind me - Robert was born in town since it was wintertime when he arrived. But he was soon bought back home where he lived amongst the animals and started riding at a young age along with Mary and their other siblings. As I sat in the kitchen listening to their stories of riding, milking cows, broken bones, hitching up teams, taking cream to town to sell, loading cattle on the train, fighting fires and such - I looked out the picture window of the nearby living room at their beautiful view of red bluffs, rock formations and pine trees - a view they have seen since they arrived here on earth. As we were chatting about their family - Mary also pointed out her father died, at 100, while holding her hand sitting in a chair that was right behind me. It all happened here for them and they are so content with that - this is their life. Fantastic.

It seems, for me, that visiting and recording some of their story was priority for me on this trip. But we then ventured outside to take a few photographs. As we walked through the nearby corrals, where a huge fire burned just up to last month, the chickens clucked and followed us around as well as many ranch cats. We took a couple photographs in the barn where they once milked their 16 milk cows, as kids, before and after riding or walking several miles to school each day. When we walked out we saw that the horses had wandered in to see what was going on and Robert offered to saddle up his Pony. I was happy to see that Robert was also a lover of white horses. Here, he is pictured on his horse, Curly, who gets, well, curly when his winter coat grows in. He and Curly seem truly bonded.

It is so nice to meet kind gentle people from another era and to be reminded that a life of solid hard work is so positive. Happily my visit prompted Mary and Robert to take the afternoon off from fencing - as they have been repairing corrals damaged by the recent fire. I am so glad I stopped to take a snapshot of Mary and Robert the week before and thankful for their invitation to visit and their kind hospitality. What a treat and privilege to feel, once again, that I was allowed to step back in time.