They make my heart sing! I have actively been attempting grow a crop of beautifully vivid wildflowers beyond the dusty dirt road that runs in front of our home. This is a project that I have worked on for years. Not just a couple nor a few years but decades of hard labor in the trenches covered in dirt and sweat. Yep, decades of digging, pulling, planting and dreaming of the cascading adornment I could gaze at while cooking in my kitchen. Oh what a wonderful sight that would be. ( Is my OCFD showing?) I could imagine the comments of the people who drove by. WOW!!!
Several years ago we hired a long tall gent who sometimes helped with the cattle round-up to power wash our deck. I decided it was also the perfect day to grab my shovel to turn some dirt and seed my dream once again. This fella' was a city slicker who had moved to our rural town from the Chicago area. He spent the day stripping the dirt road off the veranda scratching his head and yelling, "HEY, WHY 'YA DIGGING HOLES ACROSS THE STREET?" Enjoying his confusion, this mud covered farm chick would just smile and wave. This gentleman was most certainly a city slicker. We all know the country is void of streets. City Slicker completed his task leaving the Ponderosa quite perplexed.
Several weeks later long tall City Slicker cornered my grown son at church asking him, "HEY, WHY WAS YOUR MOM DIGGIN' HOLES ACROSS THE STREET??? Not having a clue what had taken place, my son gave the best answer. He paused for a moment drew a long breath and said, " well...that is where mom buries the help she is unhappy with. Thus, leaving City Slicker who cued the question again last Sunday without an answer.
I now gaze out the windows enjoying my glorious wildflowers and watch the sparse road traffic enjoy the colorful display of floral variations. I am ready to show City Slicker this picture and stop the years of confused torture I have put him through. It's been fun but it is time to let him know that wild things make my heart sing.
"Come one come all, see the amazing Bucky (hubby)! Come set your eyes on the most tantalizing tasty creation ever concocted. Only one minute and forty-five seconds until you touch those luscious lips to the most decadent oatmeal your taste buds have ever latched onto." The voice riveting louder I hear, "Are you ready... ready for the most unbelievably delicious hot cereal you have eaten today?" This is a tradition that can be heard 'round the old Ponderosa every beautiful Ozark Sunday morning.
I am not sure quite sure how this wonderfully welcome tradition started but it is an event I look forward to each and every week. It all started sometime after the children flew the coop and post dairy. Hubby did not have to rise at the crack of dawn and juice the cows before attending church. For the first time in our married lives we could sleep in a little on Sunday mornings leaving me extremely rushed completing the hair make-up thing.
The blessed event I lovingly call Big Top Breakfast allows this primpy farm chick time to apply make-up while my ringmaster is orchestrating the three ring circus in the kitchen. Yep, this clown loves her Big Top Breakfast and her Ringmaster!!!
I have the most unique mockingbird that has been both pal and entertainment around the old Ponderosa over the past several years. (see Aprils archive: WAKE UP MAGGIE) I have feared she had succumbed to the harsh winter or became the delicious entree to one of the ravenous wild creatures that abide on our acres. I had spotted other mockingbirds but not my Mag. Too much time had passed. I had given up the ghost of a hope that she would return and entered step one of the mourning process. The sadness drenched the quietness of my surroundings as I pulled, dug and planted in my many flower gardens. Gazing at the spots Maggie would land to sing her repertoire while performing her own style of dance, my heart felt her loss.
Last Friday afternoon after my attempt to clean without electricity and reading everything I had compiled in my to read pile the storm cleared. The healing warmth of the sun beamed down on the wounded earth I decided to don the old 'kini to catch some rays on my iron deficient albino body. I spread the beach towel, kicked off my flippies, set the timer and stretched out letting the heat of the sun melt the storms wrath away. Lying face down on the soft towel, timer set and flippies near my head I was in the ZONE!!!
Then I heard it! The most ranting raving chattering noise blasting from the tree at the working pens where Maggie always chose as her prime residence. I raised my head and called, " Maggie is that you???" The commotion subsided and I convinced myself I was mistaken when all the sudden I heard a soft flutter at my head. Raising my head there on the vee of my flippies sat Maggie the Mockingbird who looked me square in the eye and gave me a nod. She flew to her favorite spots to serenade me that afternoon.
This blessed beautiful morning I kissed Hubby's face good-by reminding him to earn lots of money as Maggie's melodies filled the early morning air. Lingering in my mind is the thought on how God gives us the desires of our hearts as Mag rocks in the tree tops singin' her songs letting us know MAGGIE'S BACK!!!
There is and old saying in the Ozarks that speaks volumes. If you don't like the weather just hang around...it'a change. This saying has held true throughout my fifty six year life. I have been in shorts preparing for a forty degree drop in a manner of a few hours. We can go from winter to summer as faster than a squirrel can change directions. With sudden temperature changes comes wildly violent storms. These storms usually consist of damaging winds, hail, heavy rain, loud thunder that voices echoes from the Gods and lighting bolts pulled toward the earth. I have never been one to do storms well. I tend to freak. My memory replays the tornado I went through when I was five. Hubby on the other hand is destined to wake up in a tree someday.
Fridays Weather Service predicted major severe storm warnings. This blessed event is not an unusual occurrence in the great state of Missouri. This storm was setting up differently we were warned. The feared monster was developing like an on land hurricane with predicted straight-line winds of 75 to 95 miles an hour and an eye. An eye??? Our storms usually do not posses vision. Knowing this and understanding our area I knew this would mean major power outages. This type-A chick kicked into gear getting this deep clean Friday rolling. Power outages on the Ponderosa means the pump in the well fails to work. Yep, you've got it no power, no water, no cleaning!!! There goes MY perfect world.
I proceeded to start laundry, run the dishwasher, clean the tub jets, save water and restock the 'frig with any form of liquid it would hold. Then just as predicted the storm pushed in with all the fury predicted. The sun hid behind the darkness of the morning sky. The bow echo shoved its big belly through bringing horrible storms consisting of everything Mother Nature had to offer. Warnings were casted fast and furious of rain, flooding, tornadoes and the unbelievable straight line winds. Reports of semis being blown off the road, downed trees, missing school roofs, buildings vanished and sadly deaths.(We had seventeen confirmed tornadoes confirmed in the area and the loss of three lives.) The 75-95 mile an hour winds did indeed show its face as promised taking the electrical poles and lines like a child snatching a forbidden cookies. My washer held a batch of whites that had just filled for the rinse cycle when the heart of my home stopped beating. They would have to wait and wait they did.
Friday evenings darkness brought the realization that we were going to be powerless for awhile. We started stringing extension cords from the generator feeding the refrigerator and freezer. First we protect the food supply. Did I mention I like to eat? We could plug in one more item and of course we chose the T.V. God. With the power outage also comes moments that would never happen with life as usual. The things we never find time for like lounging on a bench Saturday afternoon with Hubby just quietly nuzzling watching the birds feed and the cattle graze. Saturday nights light show of the lighting storm in Arkansas showing under a full moon framed with clouds. A spectacular sight that we would have never even noticed through our busyness. Sunday afternoon we were welcomed to our home with the pulses of electricity running through its veins. Everything became normal very quickly. That I am very thankful for that but I will always cherish those stolen moments the night the lights went out.
Thursday was one beautiful sunny Ozark day. The rain had ceased!! I bounced out of bed with the enthusiasm of the energizer bunny. First the yard and outside chores would be taken care of. Next, I would hit the kitchen with my full meal deal plan. I would make hubby big soft oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies drizzled with icing for his work lunches. Make a big batch of my famous baked beans. Thaw out hamburger for the Nezzy burgers I would fire on the grill for dinner. Grill out? Hey, I might as well thaw out beef short ribs to marinate two days to smoke for Saturdays entree. I had all this going on while I was doing laundry and six other projects swirling around me. I can't help myself, it's just my nature. My day was proceeding as planned.
This was the point Hubby entered the house announcing that he needed me to transport him to the tractor that was hung up. Asking no questions, I immediately tossed the cookie dough in the 'frig, donned my shoes and hopped into the pick-up. On the way behind the old country church and up the mountain I am thinking the tractor is either hung on a stump or sunk in the mud. You know something normal that happens on the Ponderosa from time to time. Hubby cut a donut and backed the two wheel vehicle partially down an incline. Seeing no tractor in sight I turned my head like an hoot owl and looked down the ravine. There at the bottom between two hills and enormous amounts of brush sat the tractor tangled like a fly in a spiderweb. A web of grape vines, timber and brush surrounded the tractor with it's spray boom attached. I know I gave Hubby one of those...you want me to do what??...looks. We had left the the big brown four wheel drive truck at home. Didn't we need the big brown truck? He just smiled at me as he pulled out the chainsaw saying, " after I cut the brush and trees away I can drive it out." I let my breath out with great relief thinking he was going to ask me to pull him out of the depths with a two wheel drive pick-up.
I stayed in the comforts of the truck pondering just how Hubby ended up in this predicament. Surly he could see that was not a good place to drive a tractor. I watched as he buzzed everything away from the tractor freeing it from the web that had it captured. Hubby popped in the seat starting the tractor and began to find his way out of the ravine. Doing so he had the tractors nose in the air with only the two back wheels touching the ground thinking he has brought me just to watch him turn the tractor over. Oh the glamorous life of a farm chick.
As he pulled beside me I asked, "and how many ways was this not a good idea?" He told me that he had a problem with the sprayers boom and had gotten off to fix it. As he was working on the problem the tractor took off over the hill leaving him sprinting to catch it. I am soooo glad he didn't. That really would have not been a good thing. There ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough to keep a farm wife from helping her guy out.
Inside my house I have a peace in knowing I have accomplished the tasks I have set before myself. Carpets vacuumed, floors shined, furniture dusted, filters cleaned, clothes folded, toilet shimmers, faucets sparkle, mirrors glisten and windows shine, you guessed it....It is deep clean Friday. (It is really Saturday but my server was down yesterday, so let's pretend.) I can take a deep breath knowing everything is well in MY world. You see on Fridays my type-A personality shines through like a shooting star through a dark nights sky.
Outside I take joy in catching a glimpse of the activities conspiring beyond my windows as I race around the house like a wild woman with a dust cloth. Bees buzzing, hummingbirds humming, cows grazing, birds singing, flowers bloomin', calves romping, dog barking and the creeks roaring higher in its banks. This (being Friday of course..still pretending?) is this fifth straight day of rain.
On this very soggy Saturday morning I measured another eight tenths inches of rain. If my calculations are correct that makes a total of four and eight tenths of rain since Monday. The weatherman is predicting a possibility of another five to eight inches before this stationary waterfall moves out. Where is Noah when you need him? I will have the hip waders and snorkels close at hand. Good thing UGLY is sitting in the drive because Hubby and I may need a boat to float around the old Ponderosa. Doesn't that sound romantic? We farm chicks really know how to plan a week-end. You all have a wonderfully dry week-end!
I am a fun loving farm wife.
A modern mother and a gleeful gardening Grandma of eight.An A-type personality with an artful flair.
A primpy person who can also sling manure with the best of 'em.
I am a unique creative creature of God.
I am blessed!!!