Monday, May 24, 2010

Prairie Story 15- A New Life

This is a petroglyph of a bird over 12,000 years old. This carving was done in sandstone in northern Missouri, found in Thousand Hills State Park where I visited Saturday. I found a thunderbird that was dated around 5,000 years old last year that was only 3 1/2 inches wide in an Iowa State Park, and now get to see this at eighteen inches, along with a variety of other very worn figures. I was looking for something new in this very old area, as many had done before me.

Spiderwort blooms are some of the early color on the prairie offering a almost iridescent glow among all of the new plants ascending from the earth. One year on Father's Day we were in the Nebraska Sandhills at a biological station, and a father who had never missed the holiday with his family was getting very long in the face. Being forty miles from the nearest town, I drew him a card using this plant as a model because he had said it was one of his favorites.

This would have been a step up for new settlers on the prairie. With lack of trees in many areas, first homes were often fashioned from bricks of sod.

Homes like this old schoolhouse would have been built after the railroads came or if there was a sawmill close by, usually along a river. This is in Van Buren County, Iowa. I like to explore around this area not too far from the Mississippi River. There are a wide variety of cultures also so it is fun to meet new friends. In this county there are no stoplights, the only signal close is one blinking light to slow people down for cross traffic. There are no fast food restaurants so I enjoy stopping by a different family business to eat each time.
He worried too much throughout the better part of the day. Maybe today was a good day to go ask for a new loan to build on to their tiny home. In the eight years they had lived here, four children were born, and his wife was due again. He had a good job with the railroad, and worked part time for a neighbor. His brother had moved in also and was running their farm. He had actually thought about building a new home next to their present one. What worried him most was spending the nice savings he had accrued over the years. Living frugal made it hard to spend money like this, but down the road he recovered and enjoyed getting something new, in this old world. He felt he had paced long enough, and went to saddle his horse to go into town. He was shocked how easy it was filling out the paper work, with the help of the bank president. When he finally signed his name, pride swelled in his chest. His decision had been made, building a completely new home next to his old one.

His wife could hardly believe it when he came home and told her what had transpired at the bank. They danced all the way through their house and sat down in the kitchen, where she poured two glasses of wine. The saluted their venture, but began to look around at the home that had given them such a good life. Living in this new country the home shared many happy memories for both of them. Land of the plenty, if you had the stamina to toil endlessly, and this now was how they would reap what had been sown. He walked out to his saddlebag and got a catalog they would order their new home through. In two months he rode in on a train with the two flatbed cars carrying his new home. What a thrill when he waved the train to stop and placed the two cars on a siding. This was his place, his home to share with his family forever, si Dios quiera, God Willing. His brother had helped him dig the footings and place the foundation in, while waiting for the delivery. He hired eight teams from around the area to haul the materials from the station to his its new home, their home. Neighbors all came to help and within a week the basic roughing in was done.

Standing outside smelling the hog roasting made him happy to finally be free of the additional labor building this wonderful home. It was a grand home; everyone who came over tonight offered a lot of compliments. His wife joined him on the porch, held him tightly in her arms, and thanked him for being such a wonderful husband and providing for the family. She told him that her love grew every day they were together. He looked into her blurry eyes and professed his love for her, as big as all of the stars that night. They gazed at the stars above holding hands, and felt a tiny breeze pick up on the prairie, carrying off their merriment and love, across the land.

Praise goes to all
Who receive your glory
It is always retold as
The same but different story
To those that hear your song
Praises go to everyone
Held secure through love.


  1. Just love your photos and your story is wonderful. I can feel the excitement of the new house being built. The prairie looks like the best place on earth.

  2. Beautiful photographs.
    Great story.
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. I enjoy stories set in this time frame. Sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong era. The pictures are super!

  4. That petroglyph is so cool. Your photos, as always are gorgeous and I really enjoyed the story. This prairie is my kind of place.

  5. Wonderful story and beautiful pictures. It's funny I've lived in NW Missouri my entire life (42 years) and have never heard of the Thousand Hills State Park. What town is it near?

  6. MO , go across state near Kirksville.
    Poetic, always nice to have your input and share photos.
    Jean,I like the history, but would be lost without my toys.Maybe we all need to go back to horses instead of cars.
    Nature, I am having fun looking across the ocean.
    Ann, great to hear your thoughts and sharing with you
    Too all, the prairie can be very enchanting to live around, stay close.Warm wishes carried on a prairie breeze.


Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!