Many of the photos you have seen over the years on this blog site have been taken on the Aus ranch north of Glendive. Merle Aus and his wife Rose Marie built up their ranch over many years. They have had a comfortable home where everyone has been welcome in the true western style of hospitality. Merle has been a friend for many years and a member of the Lutheran congregation I pastor. Yesterday Merle, a gentleman cowboy, died at age 94. His daughter who now runs the ranch said of her dad, "He is riding a good horse again." I see him tall in the saddle. I will miss him. There is a country western song I like that reminds me of Merle:
(by Dan Seals). A campfire some coffee from a tin cup in my hand
Sure warms the fingers when it's cold
A-playing an old guitar a friend I understand
Sure smoothes the wrinkles in my soul
A-sleeping in the moonlight a blanket for the bed
Leaves a peaceful feeling in my mind
Waking up in the morning with an eagle overhead
Makes me want to fly away before my time
And I think God must be a cowboy at heart
He made wide-open spaces from the start
He made grass and trees and mountains and a horse to be a friend
And trails to lead old cowboys home again.
God rest his soul. He rests in the arms of Jesus.