Small Town Christmas

Small Town Christmas

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Take Me Home, Country Roads

"Painting" filter from my camera
Come and find the quiet center
in the crowded life we lead,
find the room for hope to enter,
find the frame where we are freed:
clear the chaos and the clutter,
clear our eyes, that we can see
all the things that really matter,
be at peace, and simply be.
From a hymn/poem by Shirley Erena Murray
Words copyright 1992, 2005, Hope Publishing Company
Sometimes, going along for the ride is just the destination I need.

Randy wanted to drive down to the Ninnescah pasture to make sure his fence repairs were keeping the cows from exploring the old adage, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."

Randy's favorite part of the trip was finding that the cattle were where they belong. My favorite part was a side trip on the way home through a tunnel of majestic old trees with the evening light playing hide and seek with the canopy of green.
I got out of the pickup and walked down the road, enjoying the glitter of light on century-old cottonwood trees and their octogenarian neighbors.
It's hard to capture on the camera, but a special filter shows the pinpoints of light streaming through the lush ceiling of green.
It reminded me of a hymn we sang not too long ago at church, which tells us to "clear the chaos and the clutter ... and simply be."

That's not a natural state for me with my to-do lists and expectations. There seems to be this stereotype of a laid-back lifestyle and attitude permeating farm country. But with weather concerns for the past year, employee problems and the farm economy, I'm not feeling that mellow feeling at the moment.
Instead, it feels more like trudging through the sand (or mud) and just trying to slog my way through it.
So stopping on top of the old wooden bridge at the Ninnescah and getting out to watch the water gently ruffle the grasses lining the banks was a quiet diversion.
So was looking up at the backlit green leaves against a blue and white puffy "quilt" of a sky.
I can find that quiet center in God's beautiful canvases painted in evening skies - if I just take the time to go out and look.
Sunset over my folks/brother's circle of corn - Pratt County
Silence is a friend who claims us,
cools the heat and slows the pace,
God it is who speaks and names us,
 knows our being, touches base,
making space within our thinking,
lifting shades to show the sun,
raising courage when we're shrinking,
finding scope for faith begun. ... 
More from the hymn/poem by Shirley Erena Murray
Taken in Pratt County, just north of my folks' house
An update: Our trip to the Ninnescah to check on the cattle last night was not as successful. It was still pretty, but four pair were on the wrong side of the fence. We got two back in, but we'll leave in a few minutes to try and shepherd the rest back to our pasture. 

Tomorrow, the National Master Farm Homemaker Guild convention begins in Manhattan. I'm in charge of the Hospitality Room, so my to-do-lists have their own lists (so to speak)! Here's hoping our visitors from Iowa, Kentucky and Colorado glimpse some of Kansas' beauty during their visit to the Sunflower State. 


  1. Love the photos and the hymn/poem very much. Thanks for posting them and I hope you have a safe and lovely trip and enjoyable convention.

    1. Thank you! I keep thinking through my list. I hope I've remembered everything.

  2. I hadn't realised you were the Sunflower State.
    Have a wonderful conference. Remember to breathe.

    1. Yes, the sunflower is our state flower. We also are the Wheat State. The conference went well. I have a lot of sorting to do, expenses to figure and a report to write, but it was a success!

    2. Do you ever have time to put your feet up?

    3. Well, I am struggling to even have time to write at the moment, as you can probably tell since I haven't posted anything on the blog for awhile. We don't have an employee right now, so I have increased my hired man duties. This week has been hectic.