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One of the greatest television shows ever produced (in my opinion) was Northern Exposure. It debuted in 1990, ran for six seasons, garnered numerous awards, and still has a large and very devoted following. My favorite character on the show was named, “One-Who-Waits” played by Floyd Red Crow Westerman. On the show, Westerman played a 256-year-old spirit guide who helped another character find answers. He was on very few episodes, but they are memorable and extremely thought-provoking. He may have been called, “One-Who-Waits” but we are all “Those-Who-Wait.”

We wait to be born. We wait to be tall enough, strong enough, big enough. …


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“It’s him,” she exclaimed a loud, feeling her heart beginning to flutter as she listened to the familiar turn of his key at the front door. Her husband was finally home, and she was terribly excited to see him. He’d been gone for two days, and while he’d been away, she’d been keeping herself busy with making plans for the coming week, cooking and cleaning; she’d even gotten in a little reading. She’d been making a special dinner all day and she was anxious to serve it. She was really hoping he’d like it because she was trying to tell him how she felt about him through the wonder of food. His favorite food. …


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If you were to have a Bigfoot sighting, would you tell people about the encounter or would you just keep your mouth shut? That is the question my boyfriend and I were asking each other the last time we went out into the wilds of Montana looking to have our own Bigfoot sighting. It’s not that we believe or don’t believe in their existence, but we do think that people who have had sightings honestly believe they saw something that they couldn’t explain. They may not know what they saw, but they certainly know what they did not see. It was not a bear standing on two legs and it was not a man in a costume. They are adamant and they are not alone. There have been thousands of sightings across the United States since those first appearances of a “Wild Man” started making headlines back in the 1840’s and 1850’s. What was it all about? Was it all just a giant hoax? It seems most people today are not believers and they are amazed that anybody could be. …


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What had seemed to be an ordinary fall for most, had been just the opposite for me.

There are days when I am convinced that the whole thing never happened — that old age and the passage of time had gotten the better of me. But then there are those other days; and especially the nights, when the flashes of memory are so vivid that I can swear that I was back there once more, and I wonder all over again if I have lost my mind.

If I close my eyes, I can be brought right back to those days and I can see everything. I can play it all back, again and again and again, and remember that sick feeling in my gut when I knew everything was all wrong. …


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“Annie, I’m hungry,” Kadie said softly to her sister. “I think I need to eat something.”

“Nonsense,” Annie answered sharply. “You just ate.”

“But that was yesterday,” Katie told her. “Remember? That was yesterday.”

“Nonsense,” Annie said again. “It’s just your mind playing tricks on you again.”

Annie got up out of her chair, lay her nearly finished afghan she’d been knitting on the seat, and walked up to where Kadie was lying in bed. Aged like a summer peach left forgotten in the sun, Kadie was bedridden and totally dependent upon her sister.

“I’ll bring you some cheese after I finish feeding those raccoons,” Annie told her. “It’s just about time for them to come up to the house and I don’t want to keep them waiting.” …


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The sun was getting ready to set in Dead Snake Canyon, peacefully putting an end to what had been a miserable day for the two thieves who’d been using the canyon as a temporary hide-out. Merrick glared at his partner, Linder, tired of Linder’s constant babbling. “I told you to shut up about it,” he said. He doesn’t know where you are, so quit talking like a fool and shut-the-hell up. He’s not coming for you.”

Linder glanced over at him quickly before scouring the canyon again. “You don’t know where he is,” he answered. “He could be anywhere in this damn canyon and you know it.” Linder glanced around him again, his eyes darting from side-to-side. “I’ll just feel better once we’re out of here.” He dismounted from the horse that he’d recently stolen and renamed Blanca, because of her stunning white color, and tethered her reins to a tall, weathered stump that was close to the canyon wall. …


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Last night I watched an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled, “Inheritance.” It’s the one where Data realizes that his human mother is now a 24th century, Soong-type Android. To everyone but Data, she looked like any normal human female would look. No one on the Enterprise had any clue that she was an Android — she had been created to look and act so much as a human that it took another Soong Android to recognize that she was not as she appeared. As I watched the episode, I couldn’t help but wonder how men in the 21st century would react to a wife/girlfriend who was an Android and was completely convincing as a human female. If female Androids could become so realistic that no one can tell the difference, how many men would ditch their “real” women for the perfect Android woman? …


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Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time and to get to know our new neighbors. They are a very interesting young couple. They are intelligent, kind, thoughtful, respectful, and are overflowing with family values. In addition to these fine qualities, they both seem to have something else in common — for whatever reason — they are both tapped into the afterlife.

You could have knocked me down with a whisper when she (I shall refer to her as Jennifer) started talking one day about the first house she and her husband (I shall refer to him as John) lived in right after they were first married. A centennial home that had survived over the years with its outside bones intact. The inside of the house, however, had been modernized (what always seems to happen to these homes), but Jennifer and John decided they would try to bring the house back to its original time period as much as possible. It wasn’t long after the renovations began that Jennifer started to feel that she wasn’t alone in the house, (you know that feeling we’ve all gotten when we think we’re being watched). She said this feeling continued for weeks until one day when she was leaving the living room to go into the kitchen, she saw a man dressed in period, turn-of-the-century clothing walk across the hallway directly in front of her and disappear. She said it felt like she’d had the wind knocked right out of her. She was so incredibly startled at the sight of him that she just stood there for what seemed like a very long time, feeling as if her feet were stuck to the ground. …


Are You One Of THOSE People?

One of those people who can’t spend any time on Facebook, or Snapchat, or Instagram because social media makes you feel anxious, depressed, sad or lonely?

Are you one of those who used to be satisfied with your income, your house, your car, your spouse, and your career before your daily dose of Facebook?

Are you one of those people who used to be happy with the way you looked until you saw how fabulous some of your friends looked on their social media accounts?

Are you one of those people who feel a stab in the heart every time your friends’ vacation photos from all those far-away places start to endlessly fill-up your news feed? Are you engulfed with jealousy to the point that you can’t be happy for them? …


The Sad Life of the Soiled Dove

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I remember when I first heard the term, “Soiled Dove.” I knew immediately what it was referring to — prostitutes. In particular, those back-in-the-day prostitutes who worked the men of the Wild, Wild West. It was a seemingly perfect description of them. Women — beautiful, would-be wonderful women who had somehow gone astray and “soiled” their innocence. They’d soiled their goodness, their value as a wife, their futures, and had made themselves into a part of the throw-away society.

There are vintage photos of some of these women that exist in the archives of history. They are “every” woman. They are young and old. They are beautiful and homely. They are thin and chubby. Females living in the West who had no education, no marital prospects. Many had no families to care for them, to love them, and they had no way in which to support themselves, so they began to trade their virtue for food and board. Once that trade had been made; they began to be treated as less than human and many of them began to look at themselves that way. They felt they had no value in society and that’s exactly how society felt about them. Suicide was rampant in their world and mourners for the life that had passed was usually hard to find. For many of these girls, it was turn to prostitution or die of starvation, exposure, disease, or a combination of all three. …

About

Robin Burke

Robin is a writer/photographer who lives in Montana and happily gets to travel the state to photograph the beauty and document the stories.

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