Back on the Prairie

Danish Mill in Elkhorn, IA

It is difficult to leave a project and new friends and begin the journey home, but that is what the farmer and I did this week. We hooked onto the camper and stopped in Elkhorn, IA to check out this Danish Mill. It was fun to see and to visit the little gift shop here. Since the farmer was a windmill repair man for 25 years we love to see all kinds of windmills. There was also a fabric quilt shop nearby so I made a visit there while the farmer got a nap in the pickup. His nap was a little pricey.

Basket Wheel Windmill

Road construction was everywhere as it is summer. Our usual travel method is to take older two-lane highways and avoid interstates. We like to see the farms, barns, small towns and enjoy the slower pace. This made our day a little longer than we planned but were able to camp beside a beautiful lake in Nebraska.

One Night on the Lake
God’s Beautiful Creation

We made it home the next day. There was no dog to welcome us home as we had to put our precious basset hound to sleep in January due to old age. Our son and two grandsons had mowed for us once while we were gone but the farm yard surely needed our attention. There is no place like home.

There is no place like home.

L Frank Baum
Home by the Fourth of July

Home is the nicest word there is.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

As we reflect on our last month, we have been delighted to see our Lord’s protective hand on us in so many ways. A huge very muscular deer ran full speed across the road in front of us just two hours from home and we were protected. The farmer took quite a tumble and experienced no injury to his body. His dear cowboy hat got blown down the highway while he was attending to an issue with the camper and we got it back unharmed. We have been so blessed by the wonderful people we met, the work we were able to do, and the creation we have seen. But most of all by getting to know the Creator just a little bit closer.

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

Robert Frost

We came home exhausted with much to do here on the Little House on the Prairie. This little farm in the middle of a cornfield is home sweet home to us. Here we pick up the projects we left in May and prepare for some serious family time with our grandchildren and we count our blessings. We name them one by one. And we find peace and joy. We hear of the world in chaos and we pray daily for our world. In the midst of it all we find peace (indescribable peace) and joy.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8-10

Ella, Amish Quilter

Beautiful Dress and Bonnet

I was privileged to meet Ella yesterday on our drive west of Hazleton, Iowa.  We went in search of barns that needed their pictures taken.  The farmer/windmill man and I love old barns and windmills.  When our children were young they helped their dad work on windmills.  When we traveled we didn’t play the usual car games like I Spy or Alphabet sign games.  We played what kind of windmill was that?  Was that windmill a Dempster, Aeromotor, Monitor, or Fairbury or Woodmanse?  The children were experts at this game.  The windmill man and I still play this game as we travel and we reminisce of times when we had the four children along with us.  It’s a lot quieter in the car now.  It was our day off as retired folks only have a four day work week with this SOWER group.  

Round Brick Barn and Windmill on Amish Farm

As we traveled west of Hazleton, IA we discovered we were in an Amish neighborhood.  A community auction was just completed and horses and buggies were everywhere.  The farm homes were beautiful and huge!  The clothes on the lines were impressive.  Some of the clotheslines went to the top of the barns.  There were large barns and we even saw a round barn.  

Mowing Hay

We saw farmers mowing hay with horses and several others were cultivating the corn.   Children were working in the gardens and helping around the farmstead.  Of course an Amish bakery was discovered and rhubarb pie, cinnamon rolls, and jams and jellies were relished.  After enjoying some delicacies and getting filled with sugar we headed south.  

Friendly Folks

There is where we saw a sign for “Quilts, Crafts and More”.  The farmer was instructed by his bride quickly to turn in.  As we pulled into the drive a beautiful lady with gray hair was walking over from the nearby house.  Two dogs were in the lead though.  As Ella led me into her quilt sanctuary, my breath was taken away by her lovely quilts.  Gorgeous colors and perfect stitches.  Her machine was a trusty treadle machine.  No electricity here to take away the quiet, contemplative nature of the place.  Aprons, pot holders, painted saw blades, and other crafts were readily available.  Ella and her husband were unable to have children but they have lots of neices and nephews to spoil.  Her grandparents were from Yoder, KS.  She sends her quilts to Yoder for their big quilt auctions.  She would love to visit Yoder some day.  It would be a long trip to Kansas by horse and buggy.  

I remember my dad talking about the long trip from Quinter to WaKeeney with his grandpa.  The trip was made by wagon.  Oh the visits they had as they traveled that way.  No time for ipods, ipads, video games; only talk.  Grandpa’s had lots of stories to tell their grandsons.  And grandsons had time to listen.  

Big Barns needing their Picture Taken

My short visit with Ella, the quilter made me reflect on the noise of our society.  What if we sang our own praises to our God instead of turning on the radio? What if the TV was off and birds could be heard singing?  How about shutting off the news in this world gone wrong and enjoying peace? I feel the stress of this world lifting when I still my heart and listen to the still, small voice of my God. Not even the sound of an electric fan or motor but the birds and His creation. I wonder if Ella would let me stay?

Be still and know that I am God!

Psalms 46:10