The best cow dog I’ve ever run across was a black and white streak named “Pippi Longstocking.” (Well, what else would you expect a 7-year-old who had just read the book to call a Border Collie with four white paws?)
I was reminded violently this weekend that while in my heart I’m 22, I am, in fact, 41. My knees are 41. My muscles are 41. My liver and kidneys are 41. And my metabolism is 41.
A baseball cap, tank tops, shorts and flip-flops were once my summer uniform on the farm. Well, unless we were working around cattle, and then it was a baseball cap, tank top, jeans and toe-saving cowboy boots. Live and learn.
Every year I stand in the card aisle, flipping through and rejecting card after card, just trying to find the least objectionable one to send to my farmer dad for Father’s Day.
Dan Robbins isn’t a household name you’d recognize. But chances are some of his artistic work is still hanging in your grandparents’ finished basement with the shag carpeting, or is tucked away in a dusty box of your dad’s things in the attic.
It’s tough deciphering your farmer’s hand gestures when you’re backing a trailer or working cattle. It can be frustrating when one partner repeatedly insists on tokens of affection and gets upset when you miss important dates because you’re in the middle of planting corn.
Anyone with a Netflix password has been drawn to the binge-worthy new series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” If you suddenly look around your house and see your spouse hauling out bags of clothes and things to the dump or to charity, it’s a good chance he or she has seen this too.
My Mom has this tradition of changing out her everyday Corelle dishes and glassware for Christmas dishes and glasses. It’s as much a sign of the holiday as the antique ornaments from Great-Grandma on the tree and her distinctly inclusive Nativity display on the piano.
As I write, there’s snow piled up in my office’s windowpane from the Nov. 11 snowfall here in Dodge City, Kansas. I’ve broken out the heavy winter coat and gloves, the Christmas ads are filling my TV and email, and I’ve had my first bout of winter-related car trouble.
Leaves are turning colors, pumpkins are on the porch and that can only mean it’s time for the annual invasion of our nation’s rural vistas by the family photo crowd.
Head, heart, hands and health. For decades 4-H members have recited the pledge to use their talents and abilities for the betterment of themselves, their communities, their country and their world.
My grandma would be so very confused by the fuss being raised over “pumpkin spice” today. In her day, they were simple canisters on her spice rack that came out when she was making pumpkin pies for the family.
The bumper stickers are faded and crackled, and the T-shirts have long since found their homes in the rag bag. In a few years, it’s likely only C-SPAN will carry the live coverage of the memorial ceremonies from New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
There’s a scar on my right forearm that reminds me that not all farm dogs want to be petted. My knees still bear the marks from every tumble I took while trying to master my purple 10-speed bicycle on our gravel driveway.
Like many of you, I was in a stuffy, packed, high school gymnasium this past weekend, attending a graduation ceremony for a class of bright-eyed hopeful young people. All of which were waiting breathlessly for one moment—for the tassels to be moved and the class dismissed into the fresh air.
A few years back I read Howard G. Buffett’s book “Forty Chances.” In the book Howard, son of Warren Buffett, explains that farmers have about 40 growing seasons in their careers—results and mileage vary, of course.
A month ago a story popped up on my Facebook timeline from a friend in Australia. It’s the rainy season there and that means saltwater crocodiles are on the move. Parks and Wildlife rangers had trapped a 3.92-meter (that’s almost 13 feet) saltwater crocodile near the town of Katherine.
As anyone who’s burned pasture in the Flint Hills can attest, just under the surface of the amazing grassland is a vast amount of limestone rock. It comes to light after a controlled burn, popping out starkly gray in a sea of charred grass.
Tucked away in a box in my closet is a gray sweatshirt with a purple duck in Groucho Marx glasses on it. No matter how many times I’ve moved, that sweatshirt tags along with me because of the lessons that duck taught me.
Those who study generations are now dividing millennials into two subcategories—the older ones born at the tail end of the 1970s, like myself, and the younger ones born in the mid- to late-1980s.
As I write this, children all over the land are eagerly anticipating the 5 p.m. starter’s gun for Trick-or-Treating. This evening I’ll probably see about 100 or so Elsas, Batmen, Wonder Women, vampires, ghosts, zombies and all manner of witches at Casa Latzke.
It was one-half of a lightly rusted and aged 8-foot windmill blade assembly, picked straight from the farm. And for just $350 it could come home and sit on your mantel for that “rustic farmhouse style.”