A Mid-West Summer

Sometimes pictures truly are worth a thousand words……

Glimpses of the lazy, hazy days of a Mid-West summer.

 

Take Me Home Country Roads

 

The long driveway to the Amish house, where they sell eggs.

 

 

 

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The flowers of the fields…

 

 

 

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A neighbor’s barn that looks like a scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell picture.

 

 

 

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Wind socks of patriotism.

 

 

 

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The sun sinking into the horizon, and the night cooling off ever so much.

 

 

 

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There are no colors like this here on earth.

 

 

 

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Mama killdeer hiding her, soon to be, babies.

 

 

 

 

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Relaxing on the hammock because lazy days are necessary.

 

 

 

 

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You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!

 

 

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The days, delicate, fragile, much like life.

 

 

Giving Thanks In The Midst Of

Category F5 tornado (upgraded from initial est...

Image via Wikipedia

I heard the rain and wind last night

Only semi-awake in the dark of the night

A fleeting thought of stormy weather

As I changed my sleeping position

I woke to the early morning news of more people hurt

more buildings demolished

more lives destroyed

more people gone…just gone

never to return

Those who have lost so much in the deadly winds

Why them? Why not me?

Is it right for me to give thanks on this Monday, when so many are hurting? Lost? Devastated?

I quietly sit at the table

and stare at my computer screen.

Images from the news seared into my thoughts

My heart aches.

*thankful that more people weren’t hurt or injured

*for friends and neighbors who reach out their hands

*for those who come to help

*for the human spirit

*for not giving up

*for pressing on

*for trying one more time

*for surviving

*for God, who is still there

Some of us have not gone through the utter devastation of a tornado, but we have lost loved ones. Some of us have never huddled through the howling winds, but we have huddled in fear of losing everything from job loss. Some of us have never watched as our house was torn apart, but we understand fire, floods, or theft. We haven’t stood in terror watching the storm approach, but we understand the terror of a deadly diagnosis.

Storms of life come in all shapes and sizes.

I am thankful that God loves us, that He cares for us through ALL of life’s storms.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  Psalm 18:2 NIV

What are some things you are thankful for this Monday?

Candy, Cats and the City

This past week my family experienced a whirlwind vacation through part of the midwest. Just on a side note…the midwest in mid August is blazing hot. Like inferno hot. Like stick your head in an oven kind of hot. Just sayin’.

We left last Saturday morning (as always, just getting out of the house and on the road is a challenge) heading to Greenup, Illinois… A cute little town in rural Illinois. Picture a mix of Mayberry and the Old West. I was really diggin’ the down town area. The old buildings with the second floor balconies were examples of architectural endurance. In amongst the visiting with family and cooking out, and crazy card games, and fluffy cats and a hyper dog……we also had opportunity to eat at this super retro restaurant, the Candy Kitchen. The Candy Kitchen has been around since 1924. It was owned and operated by the Loomis family, who came to the U.S from Greece. Over the years it has changed owners, been boarded up, been renovated, opened, closed and is now doing a thriving business serving up good food mixed in with a hearty helping of nostalgia. If you are ever in the Greenup area you must visit this place. It is worth it.

We also visited a restored, covered Bridge on the National Road. I love covered bridges. There is just something about them. Something rugged. Something old fashioned. Definitely something one doesn’t see very often anymore….and that   makes it special.

Next, it was off to a suburb of Chicago. I’m sure Chicago is a fun city…but, honestly the traffic leaves a lot to be desired. I much more enjoy having to share the road with the Amish, here in rural Ohio.  We were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, in the heat, with other drivers that were not so very nice. One semi -truck kept honking his horn and I nearly jumped out of my skin. Patience, people, patience!!! While visiting in the Chicago area we had opportunity to eat some real Chicago style pizza, that was very delicious. Probably also a ton of calories…but who cares? When on vacation calories don’t count, right?

I had a good time playing with the dogs. Shaggy and Scrappy. Both very smart and a lot of fun. Who wouldn’t love dogs that were obviously very intelligent, and yet were not above waking one in the morning with a sloppy, drool filled kiss?

Next stop, Portage, Indiana. Family took us to the Dunes on Lake Michigan. Beautiful. When looking at Lake Michigan it is difficult to believe that it is indeed, a lake. God sure has made a beautiful world. Of course while enjoying His beautiful world I was “lunch” for about a million black flies and am also now sporting a nice sunburn. Such is life.

The family also attended a Rail Cats baseball game on Saturday evening. TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME! It was a lot of fun. I love “the boys of summer”. Nothing like hundreds of people packed into a stadium yelling for the home team. It was a close game. The Rail Cats lost but only by one run…and it was exciting all the way through the end of the ninth inning. You can check out the Rail Cats site and if you are in the area, go see them play!

It’s been a busy week. Also a glorious week. Monday seems kind of drab after all the fun of visiting and hanging out with family and seeing the sites. Sigh. I knew it would come to an end and I’d be forced back into reality. Sigh, again. It was a great way to spend a week–and memories do last forever.

I Am Totally A Weather Geek

I get a little too excited over Storm Stories on The Weather Channel. I am fascinated by amateur footage of tornadoes. I dream of what it would be like to be a storm chaser. ‘Cause I’m just crazy like that.

My husband and I were discussing the famous “tornado alley” the other day. I said, “living out in the flat lands of the mid-west might be a little scary during tornado season”. My very practical husband replied with a shrug, “those people are used to tornado sirens, besides when tornadoes actually hit, it is usually a rather small area, as opposed to say, hurricanes.”  He did not put a damper on my tornado conversation. “I bet they all have a good basement or at least a storm cellar.” ” They probably watch the sky. I wonder if it makes them nervous at all, to live in the dreaded tornado alley?” I suspect my husband thinks I have too much time on my hands and I dwell on tornadoes too much. Whatever. To each his own.

I dreamed about a big, huge, monster tornado the other night. I frequently have dreams about tornadoes. I’m just weird like that. Now, if one reads one of those dream interpretation books it would say that I must have a lot of unsettled business in my life, that I feel like things are out of control, thus the tornado dreams….yada…yada…yada..”  Well, duh. Of course life is unsettled. I’m 42 years old. Out in the country. Living with llamas. And corn. And soybeans. All around me. Wife to a my very own computer geek…um…I mean developer/programmer. Mother of three teenagers. Homeschooler. AND with very little good chocolate around. So, obviously life is unsettled.  Anyone could see that.

I have about a bazillion (or so) blog readers. I wish some of  my Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas,and North and South Dakotas readers would comment on my blog. Any stories to tell? Did you ever see a tornado? Do you have a storm cellar? Do you pay much attention to tornado sirens or are you just used to them? Just curious. It would make my day to hear from you. Come on, throw me a crumb. I know. I’m a total geek. I’ve embraced it.

A few weeks back my husband and I took some friends up to northwest Ohio. On the way back sirens started going off, as the sky became black and ominous. I was totally entranced. A couple weeks earlier a tornado had hit a small town in that part of Ohio, destroying much in its path. So, traveling this area with sirens going off, did make me a little nervous….but, in an adrenaline pumping sort of a way. I could so be a storm chaser. I’d be the one with the camera, taking footage of the approaching storm….the one that yells, “Move it! Move it! Move it! It’s coming this way!” as we tear off down some back country road, tires spinning, and graveling spewing as we make our narrow escape. At least that is how it goes in my dream. Hey, don’t make fun of me–or my obsession with all things stormy. By the way, I’m still waiting to see a cow flying by my window. Now that would be cool. Helen Hunt has nothing on me.