It Is Like Living On The Ponderosa

One week ago I sat in a gym in New Jersey and told friends and relatives that life in Texas was just like living on the Ponderosa.

You do remember The Ponderosa, right? You know Pa, Hoss, Adam and Little Joe and the catchy tune from the video above.

Every day I’d stroll outside, saddle up my horse and go riding around here and there, spend a little time drinking whiskey in a saloon, win a couple of bar fights and then mosey on over to the next adventure.

Ok, maybe that didn’t happen nor did I ride off into the sunset while some boy yelled, “Shane, come back!”

But I thought about all those things.

New Beginnings

Each morning I walked out to the car and drove by a group of horses and smiled because seeing horses in Texas is like running into movie stars in LA, a cliche.

I suppose it is worth noting that I did see both movie stars and horses and Los Angeles on more than a few occasions so maybe there is more “cliche” floating around than we realize.

Anyhoo what I quickly began to realize was how many little things I knew about the old home and how many I didn’t know about the new one.

Doctors, dentists, dry cleaners, synagogues, favorite restaurants, parks, beaches, hikes, trails, mechanics, body shops, grocery stores, pharmacies, movie theaters, clubs, gas stations, malls and more.

Some things are easy to find/replace– Costco, Trader Joes, Walgreens, I found them all in no time.  Those were easy and I never expected to have any issues.

But some things are harder to locate. You don’t always stumble onto a great doctor or a good mechanic. Your favorite restaurant isn’t necessarily part of a chain so when you move you have to make a point to look for these places.

An Adventure

I viewed all of these things as being part of an adventure. I figured that when I needed to find them I would start looking and sooner or later I would wake up knowing that I have a doctor in Texas that I like and a mechanic I trust and a new restaurant I love to eat at.

Truth is that it hasn’t been all that long so I don’t have any of those things yet. Heck, I haven’t officially moved into the place I am going to live in yet, but it will happen soon.

I am looking forward to it because that is when I will really be able to establish some roots and build a routine. That is when this will really start to feel like home.

Right now I keep repeating that Texas is home because it still sounds novel to me.

Back To The Ponderosa

Most of you probably don’t know all of the words to the theme to Bonanza so I included them below.  There is a line there that made me chuckle, “if anyone fights any one of us, he’s got a fight with me” because it has always been true of my family.

But last week in New Jersey we got the opportunity to demonstrate to the little people that call us Mom/Dad/Aunt/Uncle that these are not just words to us.

A very nasty old lady made some very obnoxious and misguided remarks to the aforementioned little people and in return she learned that we will not tolerate any attempt to bully or intimidate any member of the family.

It was really a silly disagreement, but if you have a problem with the family it is always better to start out with a civil conversation than to begin by throwing insults.

Anyhoo, in about twenty years the tale of sixty seconds of silliness will probably evolve into a tall tale of epic proportions that will end in gales of laughter and so family legends are created.


We chased lady luck, ’til we finally struck Bonanza.
With a gun and a rope and a hat full of hope, planted a family tree. We got hold of a pot of gold, Bonanza.
With a horse and a saddle, and a range full of cattle, how rich can a fellow be?

On this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name, fortune smiled, the day we filed the Ponderosa claim.
Here in the West, we’re livin’ the best, Bonanza, if anyone fights any one of us, he’s got a fight with me, Bonanza.

Hoss and Joe and Adam know every rock and pine, no one works, fights, or eats, like those boys of mine. Here we stand in the middle of a grand Bonanza.
With a gun and a rope and a hatful of hope, we planted our family tree, we got hold of a potful of gold, Bonanza.

With a houseful of friends where the rainbow ends, how rich can a fellow be?
On this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name, fortune smiled, the day we filed the Ponderosa claim. Here in the west we’re livin’ the best Bonanza.

With the friendliest, fightingist, loving band, that ever set foot in the promised land, and we’re happier than them all.
That’s why we call it Bonanza…Bonanza…Bonanza…

Lyrics written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.

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