25-Years Don's and Sybil's Story (Paperback)
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I met Don, when I followed in the footsteps of my great grandmother, grandmother and mother, who had taught in rural schools out west for three generations in the late 1800's to the beginning of the 1900's and into two decades beyond. My teaching contract was in the school district of the Brandeis Ranch, where I was to board-the biggest ranch in western Nebraska, steeped in history. This is the story of our short twenty-five years of life together that was packed to the hilt with love and well-being, yet not without hardship-raising our five children in God's country. We lived on some of the most prestigious ranches in the day, when business deals were done on a handshake. I was 'queen of the manor' running the office, home and cookhouse in the center of-'a sort of metropolis', from where all things for all people working for our Malmberg Cattle Company depended on for their paycheck and existence. Don's father was the boss and in the midst of cowboys, hired girls, schoolteachers, our five kids and us, he ruled with an iron hand. Although Don and I literally slaved in our utopia, we knew only tranquility and success in the sandhills of Nebraska, God's country, until the day it came to a screeching halt. The book relays life as it unfolded, searching and moving to parts unknown to find again what we had taken for granted. At last we arrived at a place far into Wyoming that Don described to me as his Garden of Eden. We were a well-yoked team, he and I, and at eighty-eight years old, I realized I needed to tell our story to our grandchildren, so something of their most uniquely honest, decent and kind grandfather would speak to them and make a difference.
About the Author
Sybil is, purely, a very beautiful person. Fourth of eight strongly-bonded children and raised on a farm in Page, Nebraska during the Great Depression days, Sybil says, "I don't know if hard work taught us to be ambitious, or if we were ambitious because we had to work hard." Sybil's optimism and faith in God as her co-pilot carried her through the triumphs and trials of living out her childhood dreams to live on a ranch. Sybil has enriched every community she's lived through her writing real-life stories of local ranching families. Promoting the works of Nebraska sandhills author, Mari Sandoz, is one of her more substantial undertakings including authoring her own books and playing a key role in bringing the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center, located at Chadron State College Campus, to fruition. Love, joy and cheer emanate from Sybil's deep rooted sense of thankfulness. She bolsters and inspires family, friends and many others through her faith, wisdom, optimism, and unwavering commitment to their good. She is the kind of person you can count on to see the positive side of any situation and bring out the best in others, because she believes the best of them. With a marvelous ability to make enjoyable and interesting what many perceive as ordinary, knowing Sybil is delightful. Today, at eighty-eight, Sybil maintains a genuine zeal for life and learning, traveling around the world to visit, or live for a time, with one of her five children, spending time being the 'Grandma Moses' of writing, solving crossword puzzles in pen, reading the New York Times best sellers on her Kindle, and viewing Charlie Rose on CBS. Sybil's presence is memorable. Indisputably, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of person, the famous chorus of her theme song is personified as it jubilantly sings out through the melody of her life "And I think to myself, what a wonderful world" as sung by Louis Armstrong.