Friday, September 26, 2008


Sowing and Spraying

The last time I saw my grandmother alive, we were in her home in Nebraska. I'd applied for an American Express Card in college because I would receive a free round trip ticket to anywhere in the US; I went to see her. It took me 7 different airplines to finally arrive in Kimball, but I didn't care because I wanted to spend time with my grandmother, and I'm glad I did.

I was just turning into an adult reader with mature tastes (not that kind of adult, mind you). Even today, when I read a particularly good book, I wish she were alive so I could talk to her about it. I actually have very few people I am able to talk to about books. But I digress.

I'd finished Wuthering Heights and she and I spent a good deal of time talking about that book and the Brontes. I asked her if the prairie was something like the moor, and she said that it was. She must have been about 85, but we got into her car and drove through the prairie, marveling at its unique beauty.

Later, when she was essentially dying in a rest home, she told my father that she feared she would never see the prairie again, and she was right.

There are those who can't appreciate the beauty of the plains, and I am sorry for them. The day I drove from Denver to Nebraska, the wildflowers were in full bloom and a sea of yellow, purple and white accompanied us all the way across the state line.

Few things capture my imagination or my heart like the promise of an open road.

There are skies as beautiful as those of the plains--but I don't believe there are skies that are more beautiful or majestic.

Our friend Damon, who helps us farm, uses this sprayer, which I thought looked oddly delicate for its size. The spraying wings unfold, rather like an insect.

When Damon takes the sprayer home, he must load it onto this enormous truck. The incongruity of a commute requiring a truck of this size and the SUV enthusiasm which infected our country in the last decade is amusing. Personally I think people ought to drive what they need, but then I don't really see the romance in a car as a thing.

Damon's truck and the big sky.

I find the round faces of the sunflowers and the way they struggle to look up at the sky almost eerie--as if these plants are almost sentient.

I enjoyed the company of new friends on my trip to Nebraska. Here are some of my new young friends, two of whom took me to school to introduce to their classmates. I am going to send them some photos from California to share with their friends.

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