Sunday, October 31, 2010

New life in an old world

It has been so windy this last week, my little dog,Lily, just floats on the breeze.

My current prairie tales are all in a time when many towns were just starting to build. Some started out as others slowly dissolved away. A popular area in a county seat is the square, a ring of some of the original buildings that made this piece of prairie a town.

A little Halloween looking since it is the last day of October. This place is on the square where you can get some ink placed deep in your skin. I liked the name since I have a bit of mischief in me most of the time.

The original owners name and date built were often put on these prairie castles.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls!

Just hearing the name cinnamon roll, makes me hungry and ready to eat. These delicacies have stayed as one of my favorite foods for years. When I see one on a menu that I have never tried, there is a good chance I will try one. I normally find out who the baker is, it is a necessity to be made right on the premises.

Just the thought can make me visualize that dough rising and the smell of them cooking. There is a touch to make perfect dough, which seems to come with experience. I have tried a variety of recipes and wish I had one of the best I ever enjoyed, my mom’s. This is the roll that I use as my comparative to all others I eat. The very best that I took for granted growing up.

As a kid my mother would get out a huge earthenware bowl and begin her labor of love. Nothing was going to be measured except perhaps the number of packets of yeast she used. When we were younger she sometimes passed us a piece of the dough to play with. We would roll it, form it in a variety of shapes, while she worked her magic. And magic it would be, twelve to thirteen dozen rolls would come out of her little kitchen. Pans would be sitting all around the house, letting their sweet dough rise to perfection. She would call all the mothers and tell them she was making them, and not to make a huge dinner for the kids. All the kids were invited to our home for a feast, as many as you wanted. There wasn’t going to be that long wait for dinner after school, they were hot and ready to eat when we came home.

For parents that we also took for granted, I had one of the best on those special days. Who cared if they had parents at home, many were ready to join our home. With a large family many had shared our table, my mom just said, "I will just put another potato in the pot." Holding our stomachs after eating our fill of cinnamon rolls often involved telling how many one ate. It may be a while before she made more, so it was nice to have a break before gorging ourselves on too many again. They all disappeared on the day they were made.

When I moved away from home, I started looking for a big earthenware bowl to make breads in. I thought it was all in the bowl, and was surprised to find you could make a smaller batch than what I had seen done at home. Many times I had these gourmet delights mailed to me and even made instead of a cake for birthdays. I tried to make my own, but they have never made it close to the real thing, my mom’s.

One day I get a call and hurried to the hospital to find my mom comatose from a severe stroke. She lay on her back for weeks, blankly staring at the ceiling. We took turns sitting with her and I shared my tale with her many times as well as the nurses taking care of her. I made some of my best breads and other goodies to share with these caring people. Time came when we had to make a decision to unplug her ventilator, a hard one to do. It didn’t seem fair to have to let someone go this way. When they pulled out the tube she made a gasping breath and came back to us. She still wasn’t very coherent but we had a parent back, and my father his spouse. Through assorted therapies and a long stay at a care center we took her back to her home. Talking one day she asked me out of the blue if I remembered her cinnamon rolls. The memory returned that she had enjoyed making them. I retold the stories and shared how my friends still asked if she had made them. She smiled at the treasured tales.

A call one-day told me to come over and try a cinnamon roll. It had been over three years since I had had one, and I dropped everything and went running. Sitting in a wheelchair she smiled and told me to help myself, they weren’t good cold. They lacked a lot of the similarity they once had, but I ate until I nearly burst on a pan of true love. I share this story with the happy baker each time I eat one, as I have with you. Would you like another one, they aren’t as good cold.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Down The Road

Tiny little Skipper butterfly on some Bonemend.

Tiny remanents of summer

A wishing well?

We fret too much about troubles
When they are so easy to solve
Put a cup of love on top of them
And add a bit of love from above .

How could I ever forget
The gentle moments
We have spent
On the prairie
Looking at the moon
And stars realizing
Where we should really be.

Passion griped his heart so tight it should have burst, but he withdrew enough to catch his breath. When you live in a world of nobodies how could you still be held back from living in grace? It seemed when he thought something was going right it became a wrong and his life took another turnaround. Start from new he had always done, casting off all that prohibited his simplistic pleasures. Make his passion and sorrows turn into wonderful expressions of life and allow them to flow out onto the prairie on that gentle wind. He wished it would, but it haunted him how similar his life’s experiences were to those he eventually played a part in.

Hard times had continued after leaving his family on the prairie. He had a good life but followed his feelings and left all that he really had ever had. Everything he had built for, he suddenly gave up. Was it something he said or the way that he carried himself that brought on this displeasure. Maybe he hadn’t taken out the time to talk to the stars as he had done all through the summer each night. They offered some wisdom or at least solace to his sorrows. There were questions they could not answer for him, he had to live them and they understood his anguish.

He could only think of her and how she had graced his life since the first day that they had met. He could place the moment and memory, tracing his admiration to the very second they looked into each other’s eyes. It was hard not to continue, and he placed these passions into an intense friendship, treasuring the moments spent together as the best times of his life, no matter how trivial. Had he placed too much emotion into this relationship? No matter what was heartfelt and harsh should all be forgiven with love, for love cures all. He thought deep how he could mend his problems, for he could never forget her. His love was carried deep into the prairie and directly to her heart. She sat up with a spurt of energy, and truly believed she could never let him go, and their spirits swirled on a dust-devil, carried high into the heavens on that gentle prairie breeze.

In memory of Bird, I hope they have Harley's in Heaven.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just Horsing Around

These burros were hard to pass by.

These are a cross with a huge Belgium workhorse.