Winter Skies and a Too Soon Goodbye

winter sunset hickory ridge studio
Taken Christmas Day on Magnolia Drive Noxubee County Mississippi

I don't have a whole lot to say today. A very good friend passed away last night who has been battling cancer the last few months and though we knew it was coming the loss of someone so young is always hard. I know 50's might not be young to some, but he's the same age as my dad and that is young to me.

Randy Parkinson was a large part of my teen years and even into adulthood. He was a cowboy, a dad, a husband, and a good friend. Last night when I heard I was immediately flooded with so many memories from his sly smile, large laugh, quick wit, and no nonsense honesty. He was a hell of a horseman and could help you figure out whatever it was you were having trouble with. He was a master of bits and knew just what your horse needed and had no qualms about telling you if it was you and not them.

He loved his wife Nannette dearly and his daughters Candy and Pam were his world. I was lucky enough to move from "verminator" to Lanita and always valued that he saw me for me. He would fuss I was 15 going on 30 and needed to loosen up. He was brutally honest with me one day and told me I was never going to be the littlest girl to run down the alley but I could darn well be the best prepared. I needed to learn how to ride and think and stop letting my big horse make the runs with me just hanging on. There was a lot to be learned if you could take it and I sucked it up a lot of days and took my criticism and was a better rider from it.

Randy was also just plain fun. I learned the fine art of people watching sitting beside him at barrel races and horse shows. Oh we were horrible! He had a terrible sense of humor. We were going to a barrel racing series in Tupelo one winter and every Saturday we would go to the buffet at Golden Corral to eat. There was another couple that would eat with us and every single Saturday he would tell the girl at the front it was his birthday and every single Saturday that poor guy had about 10 servers sing him happy birthday and bring him a cake. I don't know if Randy enjoyed watching the poor man turn 10 shades of red or the free cake more.

Though Randy and Nannette had moved over 10 hours away to Stamford, TX several years ago they were always in my thoughts and facebook let us keep up with one another. I'm happy to say that after they moved out there Randy joined their local cowboy church and I know someday I'll see him again.

We could sit here all day swapping Randy stories but I think I'll end by reposting the prayer by Roy Rogers I posted on my facebook last night. Good horses, good ground, and good steers are waiting for you.  We’ll miss you ole man.   

The Cowboy's Prayer by Roy Rogers

Lord, I reckon I'm not much just by myself,
I fail to do a lot of things I ought to do.
But Lord, when trails are steep and passes high,
Help me ride it straight the whole way through.

And when in the falling dusk I get that final call,
I do not care how many flowers they send,
Above all else, the happiest trail would be,
For You to say to me, "Let's ride, My Friend."


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. January is a hard month for me. I've lost my grandmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, my horse I had 18 years, and now a long time friend all in the same month

    2. In different years of course. My grandmother 2007, my father in law 2008, my mother in law 2012, my horse 2011, and now Randy this year.

  2. Beautifully written Lana! Idk him but this got me all teary eyed!

  3. Well I did my job then. I was choked up writing it. It's been a tough day.


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