Thursday, March 31, 2005

Square Off

I have been searching for information on the rock fences built by the early settlers in Kansas. In the process of reading about this topic, I came upon an off hand observation by a writer that is totally true of people from Kansas and probably the mid west for that matter.

The author was writing about his attempt to follow the old Western Trail aka The Dodge City Trail from Texas north to the Dakotas. He wrote about crossing the line from Oklahoma into Kansas and wanting to go to a town northeast of his location. He stopped to ask directions and then wrote the following:


It occurred to me that a Westerner’s suspicion of diagonals is innate.
Westerners are raised, after all, in a country marked out in square miles. Their farms are square, their counties too, even their states—if they’re to count for anything at all—are rectangular. They think like their pioneer forefathers, in sections and quarter sections. And they orient themselves exclusively by latitude and longitude. There’s east and there’s west, occasionally north and south. No place is ever five miles northwest of any other place. No, it’s three miles west and four miles north.

I am always amazed when describing how to get someplace and people don’t know their directions. I grew up thinking in terms of directions and squares just as this man observed. The fields are laid out by sections and are identified by their direction, such as “the north 80.” To take it on a bigger scale, farms are sometimes described by their direction also, such as “the south Smith 80.” All of our roads are laid out in mile sections and “right with the world” as my Mom would say. As a kid, I would ride my bike ½ mile north and 1 mile west to get to my neighbor’s house. My mail route is in squares.

In addition to the normal north, south, east, west vocabulary, we Kansans feel the need to say whether we are going up home (north), down to visit friends (south), or over to the school (east or west). However, that is not always true because I will say I am going up home and we live east of there. I've never known the difference between up town and down town--I just figured it's whether you are north or south of it. We do go across places--but usually we're in a boat, atv or tractor. Of course if we are going to Colorado, we are going out west.

As a final thought on directions, my Dad had a theory that if you placed the head of your bed north you would sleep better. What direction is the head of our bed? North, of course!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


March 29, 2005, 6:45pm Posted by Hello

Two Days of Sick and Sunshine

Dan and I had an unusually healthy winter—not even a bad cold. As a matter of fact, I was just saying this past weekend how fortunate we have been (should have knocked on wood).

Then, Monday morning I got up sick. It has taken me two days to get back to normal. I still haven’t gotten my appetite back. Hey, that isn’t so bad!

The weather has been beautiful with highs in the 70s. I looked for my lettuce & spinach in the garden but so far it hasn’t sprouted. I bet it will be up by the end of the week.

I went out the door this evening to put something in my mail truck and noticed the beautiful sunset. The sun was just slipping below the horizon. I ran in for my camera and by the time I got back out, it was down. It was still beautiful. In only five days it will be 7:45 when the sun goes down!

This will be a short week—hooray!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Time Out


Time Out
Posted by: lhanney.
It was a wonderful weekend. We had lots of fun with our grandkids. Aaron, our oldest, didn't feel well, but was a good sport and hung in there. The two middle boys, three weeks apart, are a joy to watch. Our newest little five month old Carly Kay is beautiful.

We had a Easter Egg hunt at Wayne & Ruth's. Trent had to take a time out to check out the cattle.