No, I don't want to go Beth Dutton on ya.
If you haven't heard anyone talking about Yellowstone, the documentary or the series, you must not be exposing yourself to the outside world. Facebook has exploded with talk of Yellowstone Season Five, 1923, 1883 and the documentary about Yellowstone Park and its 150 anniversary.
People are buying Yellowstone tee shirts and cowboy clothing. That is how I came to watch Yellowstone in the first place. Yes, I had heard it was a great series, but that's it.
So, one day at the market two years ago, someone stopped by with a tee shirt that read, "Don't make me go Beth Dutton on you."
"Who's Beth Dutton?" I said.
Simultaneously, my daughter and the customer both said, "Yellowstone."
Okay, I bit. I love westerns, and they don't make them as often as they used to. I also love Kevin Costner. Always have. It's not his award-winning movies I love either; it's the apocalyptic ones like Water World and The Postman. Then there's Dances with Wolves.
Once they moved the first four seasons to Peacock, I decided to try it. It's a modern-day ranch with a smack of violence -- i.e., the train station. At first, I was astonished at the number of murders that no one seemed to investigate or get in trouble for.
Then there's Beth Dutton. Wow. The first two seasons led me to believe she was a troubled woman who desperately needed to stop drinking and get help. Watching Beth Dutton in action made me question the tee shirts and other swag from the show promoting her bad behavior. She's an intelligent businesswoman, but I wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of that tough lady.
The plot revolves around the loss of a ranch in Montana that Costner (John Dutton) holds with stubborn determination in his possession and heart. He staves off development and cherishes what Montana offers in its natural beauty. He promised his father never to sell the land and continues to find his way out of the rancher's debt experienced by many today.
Development happens, and I, too, hate to see the farmland around me turned into housing developments, which brings me to two endearing statements made by Beth Dutton. As some of you know, I am purging my stuff. It's been immensely satisfying, and I don't know why I kept most of the things I am now distributing to the outside world, and the fire pit. Of course, my children do not want anything.
That brings me to the first thing Beth said that struck a chord in my soul. "Dad, people don't value what you value anymore."
Sad, but true.
Recent hoar frost created a winter wonderland in our area. It was breathtaking to see the beauty of the landscape after Jack Frost brushed every twig and branch on every tree, every fence and piece of patio furniture with the purest white ever imagined.
I am fortunate to live with wildlife. In addition to the beauty of ocean-like waves of snow drifts in the surrounding fields, we walk to the mailbox daily with turkeys, deer, pheasant, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels and whatever birds decide to stay behind. These things enrich my life beyond most everything, except my children and grandchildren. Sometimes I wonder if people ever look at the moon every night, grateful for its steadfast waxing and waning,
This thought brings me to Beth's second statement, "The things I love and find most beautiful I like to keep to myself."
Walking outdoors or standing in front of a window, I drink in the beauty, observe the nature of the wildlife and count my blessings every day. I love that. It made me feel not so selfish about NOT taking photos and sharing them as often as I used to on social media. I have words, but they cannot express the feelings I share with the Duttons as they try and hold on to what they value in the land, of the land.
Our surroundings have changed considerably in the past 15 years. There is no darkness out here anymore. As far as my eyes can see, there are so many new lights on the horizon that it makes me sad. I mourn for the days of my youth and the simplistic life we led.
But, it is the way.
Then there's Beth's heart-throb husband, Rip. That's a whole other story.
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Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.