Heart of Texas has won my heart. When we arrived they told us many SOWERS wind up just staying. Now I understand why. The whole town is so friendly, the stores still understand customer service, the cowboy church we found was an inspiration, and the camp has made a difference in the Kingdom of God since 1946. The folks there wanted to take us out for lunch our first time there. Another big plus is there is a lot of green. They said they were dry but they are not as dry as home.
The camp was having a big Senior Day celebration with a special concert by the McNeil family. Senior groups came from many churches around that area.
I was delighted to work in the kitchen again minus the chicken deboning. This time we made fruit kabobs. We had grapes, strawberries and pineapple. It made great looking fruit kabobs. We needed at least 200 of them. We had to ask the Lord to increase and multiply our pineapple. Because we were running short. We knew the Lord had experience in that from the stories of five loaves and two fish being used to feed the multitudes. We had enough and the kabobs were a hit with the Seniors. We also put together a Make Your Own Granola Bar. All the ingredients were in mason jars and was quite an attractive bar.
The McNeils put on a wonderful concert of many special songs. They are a couple with ten children who are all very musical and gifted.
It was a great finish to our month at Heart of Texas camp.
The farmer and I broke camp on Wednesday morning to pull the camper to Joplin,MO. We had planned to go to Big Sandy, TX for the 40th SOWER Reunion but I had received a phone call from my cousin who is more like my sister, with tragic news. Her 19 year old grandson was found deceased at his home,in his bed, from the onset of a sudden illness. His funeral was to be Saturday. We praise God that Clay knew and loved Jesus. He was in church every time the doors were open. This is the third time one of my dear friends has lost a grandchild in the last few months.
Earth has no sorrows that heaven can’t heal.
Grief is so difficult to navigate especially when it is a child or grandchild or a young person in the prime of life. We have hope and assurance because as lovers of Jesus we know His words are true and we will see them again.
On this assignment at Heart of Texas Camp I have done an assortment of jobs. I started in the office working on Policy and Procedure manuals and job descriptions. Then I boxed up old records and organized the new years information in the files. I really enjoy this kind of office work but also missed the opportunity to work with the other two women. We seem to bond so well working together. I arranged 50 jars of flowers. They may have to rearrange them as this is not one of my talents.
If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.
We cleaned, painted rooms and helped in every way we could. I thought how neat it would be to be able to work in a kitchen in one of these camps. I asked the Lord to give me an opportunity to help in a kitchen sometime and somewhere. I didn’t know He would answer my prayer today. After crawling on a floor for an hour painting up against the wall, we were summoned to the kitchen ASAP. I was the first one to arrive and see that our job was to fabricate 59 chickens. I guess fabricate also means debone. For the next three hours, four of us deboned 59 cooked chickens. My prayers were sure answered quickly. My legs hurt, my back hurt, and my fingers were numb. But it is going to make some wonderful soup to feed 300 people tomorrow at a fund raiser. Thank you, Lord for answering my prayers.
How quickly the time goes. Our work at Heart of Texas is done. Our good friends from Minnesota have left but we will see them again next week at the SOWER 40th reunion in Big Sandy, TX. We will miss our leaders Don and Betty. They are a precious couple.
The farmer and I are helping with a Senior Day program here at the camp on Tuesday then on Wednesday we will leave for the reunion also.
“Wrinkles will only go where the smiles have been.” Jimmy Buffet
I think we could stay in Texas. We love the friendly people and the “Howdy Y’all” we’ve heard at the camp, at church and even in the stores. It’s such a delight to see those friendly faces. They still know how to do customer service here in the heart of Texas.
We took a weekend trip to Austin to see my brother and his wife and girls. It was such a delight to be with them and to get to attend church together. He is my only sibling so he’s pretty special.
Tomorrow I’m working in the kitchen again but not on chicken. Maybe this will still be my dream job.
We do devotions on SOWER assignments every morning at 7:30. We all take turns leading these devotions. This morning the farmer felt led to share his testimony in song.
But first he had an important story to tell. He heard it at church Sunday. There was a guy who went ice fishing in Minnesota. He got all set up, cut a nice hole in the ice and caught nothing! Not one thing. He noticed that the guy close to him was catching a lot of fish. After awhile he decided to ask this guy what his secret was. The man told him, “hmm, mmm, mmm!” He said, “I’m sorry but I didn’t understand a word you said.” The good fisherman answered him just the same. He just had to know the secret so he asked him one more time. The good fisherman spit out something from his mouth into his hand and said, “the secret is keeping the worms warm.”
In 1868 Elizabeth Clephane of Scotland wrote a poem. In 1874 Ira Sankey, who was Dwight Moody’s song leader saw this poem in a newspaper in Scotland as they were conducting revival services in the area. Ira thought the words of the poem were powerful and cut the poem from the newspaper. A few days later after Dwight Moody finished a strong message on the Good Shepherd, he said to Ira, “Mr. Sankey, I believe you have a song to close the service tonight.” Ira couldn’t think of anything but that poem, but it had no music. The Lord gave him the music right on the spot and he sang the words of the poem.
The farmer sang this song, which he sees as his testimony.
1 There were ninety and nine that safely lay in the shelter of the fold, but one was out on the hills away, far off from the gates of gold, away on the mountains wild and bare, away from the tender Shepherd’s care, away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
2 “Lord, thou hast here thy ninety and nine: are they not enough for thee?” But the Shepherd made answer, “This of mine has wandered away from me, and although the road be rough and steep, I go to the desert to find my sheep; I go to the desert to find my sheep.”
3 But none of the ransomed ever knew how deep were the waters crossed, nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed through, ere he found his sheep that was lost. Out in the desert he heard its cry, sick and helpless and ready to die, sick and helpless and ready to die.
4 And all through the mountains, thunder-riven, and up from the rocky steep, there rose a glad cry to the gate of heaven, “Rejoice! I have found my sheep!” And the angels echoed around the throne, “Rejoice, for the Lord brings back his own; rejoice, for the Lord brings back his own.
The farmer said, “It’s not about how good I am or how bad I’ve failed. It’s all about Jesus.
Then I shared about the scriptures we read this morning. Mark 12:32 so the scribe said to him, well said teacher, you have spoken the truth. For there is one God, and there is no other, but he. Verse 34 now Jesus saw that he answered wisely. He said to him, you are not far from the kingdom of God. What was he missing to be a part of the kingdom of God? He was missing Jesus. Jesus as the son of God and not just a teacher.
There are four stops on the Romans Road. Stop # 1: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Stop # 2: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Stop # 3: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”(Romans 5:8).
Here’s a multiple-choice question: How good do you have to be to go to heaven? A) Pretty good B) Really Good C) Better than Uncle Joe D) Perfect The answer is D. If you want to go to heaven, you have to be perfect. And I don’t mean “sort of” perfect, “mostly” perfect, or 80% perfect. Being 80% perfect is like being 80% pregnant. Either you’re pregnant or you’re not. Either you’re perfect or you’re not.
Stop # 4 is part of our passage for today–Romans 10:9-10. If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (vv. 9-10).
God made it simple; I want to make it available. Maybe you are religious, you probably are, you have probably gone to church before, but the question is, “Do you know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord?” Here is a prayer that can help you express your faith: “Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ is your Son. I believe that he died on the cross for my sin and that you raised him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
The farmer and I attended a powerful, dynamic Cowboy Church, Sunday morning and Wednesday night. The pastor gave a powerful message at both services. That was what the farmer and I have been looking for. He didn’t mince words, but spoke powerful truths that are relevant to our situation in today’s world. The congregation was so friendly and welcoming. We could all learn much from them. The cowboy hats were prevalent and so were the cowboys and cowgirls. You could tell it is an active church with all of the children that were in attendance. We could sure attend here every Sunday.
That was a great way to start the week for sure. On Monday we were back to work at the camp. This camp was started in 1946. I love to think of the faith of the people back then who had insight and vision to donate land, provide funds and labor to provide a camp for their children and grandchildren to hear of Jesus. Since 1960, 452,904 have attended Heart of Texas camp and there have been 15,953 salvations since that time. That’s a lot of lives changed for the Kingdom of Jesus.
The men are still remodeling the staff cabin for the male staff. The farmer is installing plumbing and doing some electrical work. This cabin has been empty for awhile so it is taking some time to make it usable. It is basically gutted and redoing all of the interior. I have helped the women some with cleaning air conditioner units in all of the cabins and motel rooms. Policy and Procedure manuals and other filing and organizing documents for storage from past years, have kept me busy in the front office. This work has been enjoyable to me as it reminds me of the days in the clinic office where I worked before retirement. I enjoy organizing things.
Tuesday night was game night. We played several hands of Sweep. This is a popular game among SOWERS. The rules seem to change with each SOWER. However, the official Sweep rules were recently posted online so all SOWERS can get on the same page before our 40th anniversary of SOWER’s ministry reunion in Big Sandy, TX at the end of March. Thursday night we taught a new couple how to play Marble Pursuit. I think they enjoyed the game. The farmer makes the boards for this game in his wood shop at home.
The director, Rhonda of the camp and all of the staff are the best. Rhonda has been here 23 or more years. The input she’s had in all of the camp staff and camper’s lives through the years is amazing. The Lord has used her mightily. She is so creative and has done chainsaw carving on the tree stumps around the camp with some unique works and also some precious scriptures. God said He made us in His image. He’s so creative and I know He put creativity in all of us. I just have trouble finding my creative talents. She also made this beautiful hymn and bird picture.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Week two has been busy and full. The farmer and I are going this weekend to see our son and family in Flower Mound, TX. See you next week.
Brownwood, TX is now home to the farmer’s camper. We are being blessed by this beautiful camp and are on a new SOWER assignment for the month of March. This first week has not been normal. We left home on March 1 and overnighted in Blair, OK at a very nice city park with camper hookups. About midnight we received a call from our niece that her dad had made the transition home to heaven. This was not unexpected as we knew that he was struggling. Brother Jim was ten years older than the farmer. The farmer is the little brother of the family and now he is the only brother.
We quickly decided to get the camper moved to the campground where we could set up for the month of March and then take the pickup and head home for the funeral and family gatherings. We were grateful that we were only nine to ten hours from home. The celebration of his life was wonderful and we had a good time visiting with family. The farmer’s youngest sister really put fear in his heart though, when she told him that now he was the only brother to keep the three sisters in line. You could just see the concern on his face. However, his oldest sister informed him that he would NOT be bossing her around at all! She is the one that would dress him in little dresses when he was a baby.
Our first week at Heart of Texas was spent traveling. We arrived back Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday we went to work. The camp director asked me to help with Policy and Procedure Manuals in the office. I really enjoyed getting to do that kind of work again. The farmer worked on preparing a site for cement and made some forms.
There are two other couples working with us here. One couple stayed overnight at our place last May. We so enjoyed having a meal with them and getting acquainted and now we are delighted to get to work with them this month. They were brand new to SOWERS when they were at our house last May but now have several places of work under their belts.
The couple that are our leaders are a very nice couple and have worked here at Heart of Texas for several months. They are familiar with the camp and the wonderful staff here. It fills our hearts with joy to be able to work with such a special team in this place.
The men have several projects going on. They are remodeling one of the boys’ residence halls, putting cement at the zip-line, installing some plumbing and the list goes on. The ladies are cleaning and organizing.
Some youth groups were here this weekend raking, painting and moving bunk beds. They were a busy bunch. It almost got to 90 degrees here and they worked hard. In the afternoon I saw them with towels in hand head to the lake. They were on a dead run to plunge into that water. I don’t imagine the water was all that warm since the temperatures had been in the 50’s earlier this week. It was a delight to hear them work, laugh and play. They had a bonfire in the evening and the sounds of joy and laughter rang through the camp.
Insert pic of painting
Just up the road is a beautiful pecan grove. It is called Pecan Grove Farms and they have 1,150 acres of mature trees adjoining Lake Brownwood. They have other Pecan farms in other areas also. The trees here have not yet leafed but I’m hoping that by the end of March they might be getting close to blooming. Pecan groves fascinate me as my great uncle had a pecan grove on his farm in Oklahoma.
If planted in the correct location, you can expect nuts in eight to ten years. Be aware though that the crop yield is not the same every year. Pecan trees alternate with a heavy crop one year followed by a light year.
“What is paradise, but, a garden, an orchard of trees and herbs, full of pleasure and nothing there but delights.” -William Lawson
That’s a recap of the first week in Brownwood, IN A NUTSHELL! Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the pun.
The farmer bought an old cast iron Dutch oven from our mailman who was moving. It was a Wagner Drip Drop Baster as it said on the lid. It also said the patent had been applied for.
We really do like packing a lot of iron and have developed a special spot in our hearts for Dutch ovens. The farmer cleaned and oiled that pot and we put a beef roast on to cook. Oh the smells that filled our home were good. When we opened that old oven we were thrilled with how it had cooked that piece of meat. The self basting lid is amazing.
The farmer felt just a mite guilty that he’d only paid $5.00 for it so he looked the mailman up the next day and gave him a 20.00 bill. it’s been worth every penny. We’ve used it so many times in the last ten years.
A well-seasoned Dutch oven is a prize today, as it was on the cattle drives of old.
We have baked chicken in it and made all kinds of casseroles and other great dishes. We use this one mainly in the house in our oven as it has that domed lid so charcoals cannot be placed on top to use it if using charcoal. But that’s not a concern of ours because we have plenty of other iron pots. That farmer has a pot of every size. Once we did see a huge old cast iron oven that took up the whole trunk of a car. We don’t have that one. I have no idea how you’d ever be able to pick it up.
Wagner cast iron is antique cookware that is regarded as one of the best in the market. Despite its age, it still works fine. It is bought by people who prefer vintage cast iron cookware or collectible enthusiasts.
The Wagner cast iron ware ranks among the top rated of the 19th and 20th centuries. The ware is known for its durability and exceptional functionality.
The Wagner Hollow Ware Company was officially launched in 1891 by two brothers, Bernard and Milton Wagner. As the company got into full production, two other brothers joined the operation. William and Louis, joined in 1891. Their company was in Sydney, OH and some of the Wagner Ware pots were stamped with Sydney on them.
“Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule, or a cook.”
The farmer and I, well it was mostly the I in this story made a delicious Dutch Oven Chicken Pot Pie. I like to make it without any crust because I like to make my Sourdough biscuits separately and put the pot pie on top of them.
Add one Tablespoon unsalted butter to Dutch Oven
Add one carrot, diced
Add one stalk celery, diced
Add one onion, diced
Add one clove garlic, minced garlic
Add one bay leaf
Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add cooked diced chicken to the pot, and chicken stock with 1 T. parsley,
1 T. chopped rosemary,
1 T. sage, salt and pepper to taste.
One bag of frozen vegetables and
three potatoes, diced
Place Dutch Oven in oven 350 degrees and bake 1-2 hours until vegetables are tender.
Remove from oven and add 1 cup milk and thicken with cornstarch.
Our little lightweight camper is packing iron. It’s full of cast iron pots because you just never know when you need to feed a bunch of cowboys and cowgirls.
“Always take a good look at what you’re about to eat. It’s not so important to know what it is, but it’s critical to know what it was.” Cowboy Quote
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Unsheathe the sword and wield the sword. The sword I’m talking about is the word of God. The Lord says in Is. 55:11 It is the same with my word that goes out from my mouth: It will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. If God’s word is shut up in the Bible and not spoken, how can it be released to do the work the Lord sent it to do? In a battle a soldier would not just leave his sword sheathed. He would fight for his life and wield the sword to defeat the enemy.
Jesus, our Savior and example used the word of God to defeat the enemy when he was in the wilderness. The tempter attempted to tempt Jesus in the wilderness by telling him to create bread from stones to relieve his hunger, to leap from a pinnacle and rely on angels to break his fall, and to kneel before Satan in return for all the kingdoms of the world. Luke 4:1-14 tells the complete story. In every case Jesus used the word of God to defeat the enemy. Luke 4:4 Jesus said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’ Again Jesus unsheathed the sword of the Spirit and said Luke 4:8 “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” And finally Jesus said, “It is written:’ Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
Wielding the sword means to handle with skill and ease, to exercise authority or influence, to govern, to rule, and to keep. God has given us his word so that we might use it skillfully and with ease. We are in a war in our world right now. This is not a physical war but a spiritual war. But we are not defenseless or ill equipped. Our Bibles are full of both offensive and defensive weapons. We must give them voice. We must speak them and watch the impact over situations and circumstances.
Let praises to God be heard in their throats, while they wield the two-edged swords in their hands.
It’s winter here on the prairie. And we have been in a terrible drought. This drought stole the fall crops from the farmers. There was not even a reason to try running the combine through the field and see if there was any grain there. Only irrigated crops survived. Its been difficult to see the faces of the families as day after day we faced drought. My favorite color is green. Green grass, green wheat, green trees and anything green. and this summer was all brown. People have met to pray for rain and churches have met to pray for rain.
The other day as the farmer and I were praying, I remembered a dear sweet lady in our church from bygone years. She always had us sing “Showers of Blessings” hymn number 721 in the hymnal. Many times it would rain after we pleaded this song before the Lord. Not always did it rain but sometimes it did. So the farmer and I prayed and sang “Showers of Blessing.” We wielded the sword and spoke the scripture Eze. 34:26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.
Last Friday it began to rain and snow and we got almost eight inches of snow. See the tree all decked out with its winter decoration of snow flakes. We are a thankful people. Farmers with smiles on their faces once again. Hope is springing to life.
Just had a call from a friend going into surgery. I thought, “God’s word doesn’t return void.” Ps 43:5b God is the health of my countenance and he is my God. I am speaking this over his surgery tomorrow. I wish I could say that I always do this but that would not be true. I must get some fencing practice in. Not the fencing that holds the cattle in the pasture but the kind of fencing done with two swords. It’s a beautiful art to wield the sword at the appropriate time with the appropriate word of God. But he says he will give us the words and so he has.
May our prayer be:
Lord, teach us to wield the sword, your word. Help us to unsheathe the sword and speak your word into situations and into others lives. We know your word does not return void so there is no better way to speak life into any situation but to speak your word. We ask you, Lord that our words would be divinely inspired to bless others. We ask for our mouths to be filled with your wisdom. Your word is in our hearts and minds and in our mouths. Fill us Lord, and teach us the lovely art of fencing with swords and winning great victories by declaring your word. Amen
A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop.
Every project that I seem to dream up in this house or on this farm, I know my farmer husband can make it happen. That doesn’t mean that he always wants to do it or that he agrees to do it. I have been banned from watching any DIY shows or videos. He does always have one comment when it is something that he agrees to do. That comment is, “Hmmm, that’s probably going to involve buying some new tools.” Are you serious?? I’m sure my farmer has three of every tool imaginable. What else could he possibly need? Invariably this leads us to a trip to the lumber yard and/or the tool store.
Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.
Many times, through these 50 years, I have been the farmer’s gopher. That means that I stand ready to go for whatever it is he needs. I lost my job for a few years when he had sons at home to help him or even when the daughter could help. But now they have all gone onto their own adventures and I am once again the designated gopher. One day last week I was on duty again. The farmer had his head under the fender of the pickup, and he needed me to gopher a flashlight. When I got back with it, I tried to hand it to him, but he didn’t look to see where I was with it. This is when the teacher in the farmer came out once again and he carefully explained something to me. When he and the boys were working on equipment around the farm or repairing windmills and he needed a tool, they understood that they were to slap that tool into his hand. This was so that he didn’t have to take his eyes off the piece that needed mending and he didn’t have to reach for the tool. This way he knew exactly where the tool was that he needed so desperately. (Just a side note. I have never measured up to be the kind of help to him that his sons were.) But that’s ok. He likes me anyway. He is a very good teacher and may have missed his calling for teaching instead of farming.
Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
For everything that we need to accomplish and every job that we’ve been called to do we need the proper tools. I’ve learned this from the farmer. God has a plan and purpose for our lives. He has projects that we need to accomplish. He would not send us out to do His good work without the proper tools. He has placed all the tools we need, to do His plan into our hands. He has fully equipped us. Our Lord and Savior does not call the equipped, but he equips the called. He has given us the proper tool, the perfect gift, the words to say, and we lack nothing. This is not in ourselves but because of Jesus. Many times, I have hesitated because I didn’t think I had the gifting to do His bidding, or the tool to finish the project but the Lord slapped it into my hand so that I would know that the gift was at my fingertips. All I had to do was put it to use. I needed to be the Lord’s hands and feet. I needed to be the one to move, to just do it.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all time, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
1 Peter 4:10
May our prayer be:
Lord, help us to use the tools that you have given to us, and to put them to work to bless and encourage others, and to accomplish the work you have for us to do. May we see meaningful fruit in our labors for you. May we have the full ability to complete and finalize all the tasks you have for us to accomplish. Help us Lord to keep our eyes on you and to hear your voice and be guided by your hand. In Jesus name. Amen
Happy 2023!! The tools you need for a productive year have been placed in your hands.
Our grandson on the far left, in the middle row was the project manager at school for making the sign we are holding. They had to come up with a project they could mass produce. We were so proud of his accomplishments and were rewarded with a sign that says, The Popp’s. Of course we are proud of this whole bunch and welcomed them to this little house on the prairie for Christmas. We went from a quiet little house to one that was full of life and energy. For this we are very grateful.
This grandma spent a couple of weeks prepping food and in other preparations. It takes some planning to house and feed this crew for a couple of days. But the farmer and I are feeling very blessed. I completed a king size quilt for daughter-in-law Wendy and the farmer used his new wood lathe to make some special little wood bowls and cups for each family. Grandma is excited that Addie and her mom invited me to Kansas City for a pedicure treat in the near future. This year I have one more king size quilt to complete for another special daughter in law.
Two of these kids are now in college and two more will be graduating from high school in May. My how time flies. Its hard to believe they are growing so quickly. May will be busy with graduations in Kansas and in Texas. It keeps us busy now trying to attend some of their sporting events. We wouldn’t trade this season for any other though.
Haley, who now is the owner of Hive Bakery in Flower Mound, TX used to bring us lots of delicious sugar cookies. She’s quite busy now so I got her recipe and made sugar cookies for the family. They were delicious. They were not as pretty as hers but tasty.
Peace filled us and our farm home this Christmas as we celebrated our faith, our family and our freedoms. It wasn’t quiet for a few precious days but it was peaceful. Our hearts were blessed immensely knowing that our Jesus came to rescue us and to be our Savior. He is the Prince of Peace. No matter the circumstances, He fills us with peace if we invite Him in.
Cornhusks have blown into the fence as the little house on the prairie is in the middle of a cornfield and we’ve had drought and wind. That is one thing the weatherman gets right; the wind does blow on the prairie. The ice on the bush is the most moisture we’ve had in a long time and we are grateful. We wish you and your family a wonderful, wet 2023!
Cousins are people that are ready-made friends. You have laughed with them and remember good times from a young age. You have fights with them but you always know you love each other. They are a better thing than brothers and sisters and friends cause they’re all pieced together as one. Courtney Cox.
August was the month of cousins! What a treat! As I grow older family means more and more to me. My cousins on both sides of my family were and are precious treasures. Some are the sisters I never had. The definition for cousin is the son or daughter of an uncle or aunt.
My mother was very close to her siblings and that meant that we spent as much time as possible with these cousins. She had three siblings and I had eight very wonderful cousins. Four of us were around the same age. We roamed the entire ranch of my grandparents in Oklahoma. We crossed barb wire fences, navigated hog wallows, fished in the ponds, rode horses, and used our imaginations. An old threshing machine became a pirate ship or rocket ship. Our parents got together to visit and play cards and the less we bothered them the better. We had free reign over that entire place, and we loved it.
Cousins are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer. Ed Cunningham
My dad also had three siblings and a wide variety of cousin ages. There were four cousins that were close to my age and since my grandparents lived close, we got to see most of them frequently. We played on our farm and drove the lawn tractor pulling a trailer full of smaller cousins for hours. All of us learned our driving skills on that tractor. Board games were also a hit and Scrabble was the best of all.
Cousins are sisters you never had. Reah Glowstorl
One cousin couple were having a 60th wedding anniversary celebration in August. This started the cousin, journey. Celebrations always call us out from the farm, so we planned to see them in SE Kansas. Since SE Kansas is close to SW Missouri, I decided we had to stop and see my sisters/cousins there. Then another cousin that had lost her husband a few months prior was having a celebration of life for him in NE Oklahoma just two days prior to our trip so of course the trip had to be extended. In just a few days we were able to see five of my precious cousins.
No time seemed to have passed since we last saw each other. Although with some it had been a few years. We just picked back up right where we left off. Each of our memories were a little different but all rolled up together they were filled with fun, love, cherished times, celebrations, and blessings. What a delight to my heart when one of my younger cousins said she always remembered how I would try to get everyone to do a craft or art project. I guess that prepared me to be the Craft leader for 4-H in my later years.
In the last two years I have been delighted to spend time with thirteen of my cousins. I had 20 in all and two are deceased. Guess I better find those other five. I have been able to visit with them on the phone.
At Christmas, cousins are the presents under the tree. Karen Decourcey
Family is a treasure. When parents are no longer available to answer questions on family history or to help you keep in touch with siblings and cousins, you begin to realize that it is now up to you to keep this family together. As I visited with the cousins, we began to plan for a reunion here at our farm again. This little farm on the prairie is the home place for my dad’s side of the family. So, it is the perfect place. My grandma that lived here was a true hostess for her family and that is my desire also. The reunion planning is underway.