The Subtle Glory of Kansas

You know, it’s a wonder any of us Kansans have derrieres. We freeze them off in the winter and sweat them off in the summer. And the wind. The d*mn wind that never, ever stops blowing. To be honest, I’ve been fantasizing lately about a new home, and suburbs where young families flock, and a state other than this one. But all it took was a day like today to make me fall in love all over again (for now).

It's not fancy, but it's ours. And that's all that matters.

It’s not fancy, but it’s ours. And that’s all that matters.

 

You see, there’s a part of me that takes comfort in deprivation. A lack of choices. Too many, and I’m overwhelmed and panic-stricken. I prefer Aldi’s over the mega stores, and do most of my clothes shopping online. I need things narrowed down to the essentials.

This wheat under foot will grow and quickly be gone. Much like children we can't keep little forever.

This wheat under foot will grow and quickly be gone. Much like children we can’t keep little forever.

And that’s what this great state does for me. It doesn’t give us year-round beautiful weather. It gives us a handful. Days we don’t take for granted, ever, because they don’t come around that often. Nearly 60 degrees and sunny in late January, so I couldn’t let it go to waste. The ubiquitous wind could have dissuaded, but we’re Kansas girls after all. We can handle heavy breezes.

Their grandfather would be proud. Little treasure seekers like he was.

Their grandfather would be proud. Little treasure seekers like he was.

Out we went, backpack with picnic blanket and simple food. Turkey wraps, chia seed crackers, bananas, and a Mason jar full of water. I assured my daughters we wouldn’t see any bears, or wolves, or any natural predators, really. Another benefit of these low-lying plains. We could relax. And we did.

A simple way to carry a simple drink.

A simple way to carry a simple drink.

 

For two hours we hiked through the wooded area on our land, a full half mile until we reached the property line. All of this. Ours. Imperfect and drab, really, but ours. Our black lab criscrossed the creek ahead of us, panting and splashing and taking great delight in this adventure.

This little guy was about the only wildlife we saw.

This little guy was about the only wildlife we saw.

We sat in the sun overlooking the water and ate our food, a ladybug and grasshopper joining us on the blanket. “This is what life’s all about here girls. Just us, enjoying what we have.” And that’s the subtle glory of living on this simple 80 acres in this simple rectangular state.

Her worn-in dusty boots are made for walking on this land.

Her worn-in dusty boots are made for walking on this land.

 

5 Responses to The Subtle Glory of Kansas

  1. Jodi Pyle says:

    I don’t know if you have to be born in Kansas to love it so much but I think it is beautiful in its deprivation, too! Thanks for taking me along on your picnic, Cat. : )

  2. I totally get it. I live in a small town here in KS and it is the simplicity and quite honestly the lack of choices that I love. There is a freedom in that simplicity. I love it here. Hated it when I was young. Now in my 40s I love it. I had a literature professor once tell me that the beauty of Kansas was subtle, you had to look for it and that makes it more worthwhile because of the effort to see it. I totally agree.

  3. KJ says:

    The way you wrote your day out made it feel as if I was on the journey with you, including the breeze.

    I some times wish I moved to another state as well, instead of staying in the East Coast, but I think everyone probably gets that way. I like simple things, too.

    Your property is beautiful. It kind of reminds me of Michigan where I grew up. I live in Tennessee now and I think each state has its own beauty.

  4. Robbie says:

    We lived in Kansas for 7 years and I made wonderful memories and found much beauty there.

  5. Polly Culberson says:

    I live in Michigan and love it here. My little Grandma always looked for the tiny little things that others overlooked and that’s what I do also. There are teeny, weeny flowers and colorful “weeds”; beautiful butterflies; a different sunset every evening which, when I’m coming out a store, I stop to revel in; just so many little things that others pay no mind to and simply go on their merry way. I always used to get my Mom away from doing the dishes and say, “Mom, Mom, come and see the sunset”. And she would, thankfully. But I would watch it until it was done. When I drive and see a horse or donkey or other animals in a pasture, I whip my head around to look at them because they are so beautiful to me.

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