Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Old Farmstead

The valley is mostly green on this beautiful spring day. Off to the southeast is a group of tall green Elm and Oak trees scarcely visible among the other foliage. Sometime over the years, we named this location The Old Farmstead.

The Corp of Engineers demolished The Old Farmstead to establish flood easement area for Clinton Lake. The farmland became part of the Wildlife and Parks hunting area.

Each spring we visit The Old Farmstead. Red cedars planted in rows provide the windbreak for the ghost home, remnants of a foundation the only hint of its location. Clumps of iris and daffodils bloom along a sidewalk that leads to nowhere. Fragrant overgrown lilacs flourish as if decorating the grave of a loved one long deceased. Could a fenced clearing have been the garden?

We feel the spirit of the family who lived, loved and laughed in the yard, acknowledging their presence as our neighbors.

One day a young lady asked if she could park at our house and walk down to The Old Farmstead as it was her grandparent’s farm. She could remember visiting there when she was young. She didn’t stay long. She said it made her sad.

The lake changes how we perceive the land and soon there will be few who remember how it was before. However, we will remember The Old Farmstead as a special place, not yet ready to send it back to the land forgotten.

Note: I submitted this essay to the Lawrence Journal World as a tribute to an abandoned farmstead in the Wildlife & Parks area above Clinton Lake Federal Reservoir.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Flowers

My heart is at ease. Some part of me feels my thoughts are in the wrong place. Tell me if I have too much pride.

We made the 180 mile round trip to decorate the graves of Dan's parents and my Dad last night as well as Dan's aunt and uncle who have no local family. Our Colorado family is coming in today. We are looking forward to a exciting family weekend. However, they are leaving to return Monday. We could have gone home then to decorate and had time to visit Mom in the nursing home too.

Why did I want to make the trip last night with today being a work day for both of us? Because I didn't want Dan's parents graves to be undecorated throughout the weekend. Traditionally we are the only ones to visit their graves during the Memorial Day weekend. I know that my sister-in-law will decorate my Dad's grave beautifully so Monday would have been fine there.

It is a tradition in small rural neighborhoods to visit the cemetery and walk about remembering other relatives and friends by visiting their graves. Often other family and friends are there doing the same. I did not want Dan's parents to appear unappreciated by not having flowers. On the surface, I feel there is something wrong with my thinking. You know, too much showy pride. How could anyone judge love for parents by whether there are remembrances on their grave. Am I giving away my own thoughts?

Whatever it is, I do feel better knowing no one is left out in with flowers.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

So much to say, so little time

I will finish writing about our road trip soon. We returned late Sunday evening and had a lot of fun. I will post it on my travel blog with a link.

A church sign on our trip said something like this “When Jesus served the Last Supper, it was not bread and whine.” So, I am sure no one wants to read how busy I’ve been taking a vacation, planting seeds and transplanting flowers. Not to mention my usual work day.

So, I will just say that my blog posts may be a bit erratic for a while. Please stay with me. I want to write about Bird City. It’s a new little town that has formed around our house. Also, one of my favorite elders, Ronni Bennett who writes Times Goes By has several posts on which I want to comment. Finally, of course, I will have to write about our whole family who will be together this weekend. Grandchildren pictures—Yeah!!

Meanwhile, I will put on my Mother’s Day gift of James Patterson’s
Sundays at Tiffany’s book on tape and clean up the kitchen.