Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mundane Everyday Life

I looked beyond the back porch window sill with its collection of dead bugs and thin layer of dust. Clouds tinged in cotton-candy pink billowed above the tall trees to the south of our house. Still, I went to the basement to begin my normal morning routine.

As I sat in my wood-paneled office underground and waited on gmail to cycle up, I couldn't quit thinking about the clouds. Emails and blogs and KFRM radio reports could wait for a few minutes.

So many times, we walk past the beauty in life. I don't even remember now why I went to the porch to begin with. It's not a mandatory stop on my day. Maybe I glimpsed the unusual clouds through the bathroom window and decided to get a closer look.

Our house is surrounded by big old trees, so I grabbed my camera and told Randy I was going to drive down the road to check out the sunrise.

Many times, I'm disappointed by the photos. I can't always get the camera's eye to duplicate the beauty and majesty of the Kansas sunrise or sunset. The night before, Randy called me as he was driving a tractor toward home. A storm was blowing through and the sky was unusual. And, try as I might, I couldn't get the camera to capture the moment the same way as I was experiencing it in person. 
July 9, 2013 - Sunset
But I'm persistent. (Some might say stubborn.) So the "failed" sunset photos didn't keep me from trying to capture the sunrise yesterday morning. See, there are sometimes fringe benefits to being persistent.
July 10, 2013 - Looking to the south
A little later yesterday morning, I sat in a pickup cab in an old farmstead yard while I waited on Randy and Jake to round up heifers and a bull on 4-wheelers. I rolled down the windows and listened to the birds call to each other and heard the cottonwood leaves rustle in the wind. Birds played hide and seek in the branches.
Taking photos helps me to "see" the beauty all around me. To tell the story of our farm and our life on the County Line, I look for ways to illustrate the words with photographs.

But it doesn't take a camera in hand to notice the little things. Yesterday, as light streamed through the bathroom windows, the lace edge of the curtains made a pattern on the wall. I caught a glimpse of a bluejay as it darted across the backyard. Three baby kittens played tag in the backyard.

Beauty isn't just found in the spectacular. Neither are blessings. They just require me to open my eyes. And then count them, kind of like that old Sunday School song we used to sing in the basement of the Byers United Methodist Church:

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
View of the eastern sunrise sky - July 10, 2013


  1. Beautiful photos. I like them all, but really like the one with the flower! It is hard to capture the beauty of the country thru a camera lens. But you did a good job!

    1. Awww, thanks! I give it my best shot. I have a pretty sunset photo with a sunflower that I'll probably use next week. They are handy props in summertime Kansas!

  2. Thank You for your wonderful thoughts, Kim! As usual, you are so grounded and I agree with your view point. One reason I like to carry my camera with me is just for the fact it makes me more aware and observant. Even if I don't snap a picture, I am always looking.

    Sometimes I wonder what my pictures look like to other eyes. I see so many awesome photographers that blog or bloggers that have a knack for photography, and wonder if they know how gorgeous their work is.

    The blog comments about "your life is so different from our city life" always make me think. Think and be grateful for what we have, even though we have to work hard to enjoy it.

    1. I think blogging has helped me notice and appreciate my surroundings more. I know I've asked more questions. Maybe I'm the one who learns the most!

      I understand what you mean about comparing my/our work to others' posts. There are some bloggers who are truly gifted with words and photos, and I think I can't possibly "compete" with that. However, they aren't living my life here on the County Line or your life on the ranch. We are the recorders of our lives, and we should just embrace that. (Some days, I'm more successful with that attitude than others. On a day when I didn't have that many people read my post, that just feels like a rationalization to me. Ah well!) Hopefully, some day, my family will appreciate knowing what farming and life were like in the 2000s. I hope they will get to know more about the farm, the family and my faith through my little spot in cyberspace. And hopefully, they won't just throw the blog books away!

  3. Kim, I really tried not to use the C word. I was told by my college Meats Judging Coach that our only competition is with ourselves. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to stick my foot in mouth or express a bad attitude and beat myself.

    It keeps me humble, asking forgiveness, all the time, and trying again and again. Maybe someday I will learn.

    1. I am so glad you are my blog friend, Robyn! Maybe some day we can meet.