A Christmas tree at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Photo: Senior Airman Christopher Quai / U.S. Air Force

Clara Caufield: Holidays and keeping in touch with our loved ones

'Gotta Go!'

We're over another Holiday - Thanksgiving. Now a short time before the BIG one - Christmas.

One good thing about Holidays for elders is that children, far flung across the country due to careers, jobs, families, etc.… will call. If nothing else, to hope that dear old Mama (that would be me, no longer having to produce such a feast for them) hopefully got a bite or two of turkey. If not, what could they do about that?

My children, except for one, are scattered hither and yon, from Connecticut to Salt Lake, busy pursuing careers and "living in America" having decided that the Rez, dubbed by my son as "dysfunction junction" does not offer similar opportunity. I'm glad they are bright enough, educated enough and resourceful enough to do that.

Clara Caufield

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Yet, I miss them but since it is so, unlike many Indian grandmas, I do not have the opportunity to collectively gather them about during the Holidays. Phillip, the only one that stayed home is equally busy with Tribal Council duties (they, too, do quite a bit of traveling) and his young growing family, but he does take a minute or two for me every once in a while, not wanting or desiring my advice about the Tribal Council.

Miracle of miracles, now he knows everything. Soon enough, as I try to advise, he will be another broke Cheyenne. He does not want to hear that. He is too important now. My time of giving advice is done.

Lance, the oldest and most educated, has finally secured his dream job - traveling all over the country, representing a big company. Never know where he will call from.

Could be Texas, Florida, Utah, Washington or California. He's ever on the "fly" -- literally about ready to catch a plane or maybe just hopped off one, on his way to a motel and then meetings with clients. Yet, he will take a moment, at least once a month, to make cell phone contact.

I gladly listen to his adventures and he indulges me a bit, though mine are not nearly as exciting, now reduced to old-lady stories. “Have you called Grandma lately?” I always prod. “You know for her, the oldest grandchild, the sun rises and sets upon you. If you ever get within a hundred miles of Montana and Wyoming, you should come and see us.” “Yes,” he promises. But, he rarely does.


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Contact Clara Caufield at acheyennevoice@gmail.com

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