In Monday’s post, I mentioned that we’d recently returned from a whirlwind trip, which included a drive from Texas to Kansas, Kansas to Missouri and then back to the Lone Star state. The occasion of that trip was simply to enjoy my family’s long-standing Fourth of July celebration, until my mom called with her crazy idea …
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that my mother’s family hails from the Sunflower State (as mentioned here and here), and her siblings still farm the land she used to roam. It just so happened that the wheat harvest coincided with our planned drive north, and my mom thought it would be fun to let the kids
help with observe the harvest. So on a whim, my mom drove from Missouri to Texas so she could turn around and travel back across the plains and into the Kansas heartland with the kids and I in tow. (My husband met us a few days later in Missouri.)
We arrived just in time to watch my uncle B as he began to make his last few rounds atop his John Deere combine. He pulled the kids into the cab, and off they went, stirring up a cloud of translucent chaff in their wake. The billowing waves of the golden grain, illuminated by the late afternoon sun displayed a spectacular foreground contrasted against the deep blue sky. It really was a beautiful display of creative beauty and bountiful provision; I couldn’t help but pull the camera to my eye.
Later that evening, we plucked blackberries from my Uncle K’s vines and pulled mulberries from his loaded tree branches. Mouths stained with a deep purple served as evidence of both.
The next morning, the kids helped my aunt gather a few eggs, harvest some squash and unearth new potatoes. And immediately after lunch, we were back in the car heading east toward Missouri. As we drove, my mom retold novel-worthy stories of her childhood on the farm, including a specific tale that involved the Flying Farmers. (No, I’m not making that up. There’s actually an international organization. Who knew?) Her mention of the Flying Farmers then served as the impetus for a brief detour to the map-dot town of Beaumont, Kansas, where a well-maintained grass runway frequently hosts various pilots and their privately owned prop planes.
Just beyond the grass runway down a long gravel road, we drove out to a field of energy-generating windmills splayed like pinwheels across the prairie. They were ominous in their size, yet soothing in their slow and steady spinning.
After arriving in Missouri, we filled our time with a host of activities, including the fireworks display that has become a summer tradition at my parents’ home. It was certainly a memorable time!
How was your fourth? I hope you were able to enjoy a few adventures of your own!