Tag Archives: Missouri

In The Middle

It’s been ten years now since we moved from the east coast to The Middle. All but the last four and a half years were in the South Kansas City area and the current in a quaint town about an hour outside of KC.

I finally feel at home. The USA is vast, miles wise and cultural wise. I grew up on the east coastThe Jersey Shore – Bruce Springsteen Country – New York City influence. Then I found myself in Southern California, Dude! Then back to the east coast and beach living.

Now let me tell you about The Middle from a Jersey State of Mind. The people are amazing. They are so kind and friendly. They love home cooking and that suits me fine, well, except for the red barbecue sauce, no thank you. I can handle a little but I think they go too far. Being from New Jersey, when you are invited to a barbecue that is exactly what it is. The grills come out and the food goes on. Here…..well, it’s a bit different. Smokers are in and lots of red sauce. I do like smoked meats, I have to say that, and now I will move along.

Sarcasm is different, well it is just plain scarce. If you are born and raised in New Jersey then sarcasm is part of your DNA. I have learned to hold the tongue and move on, well most of the time. I recently watched a certain series on NETFLIX that made me melt and feel all warm and cozy. No, it wasn’t Heartland, it was one that I will not recommend. It was one that made me feel as if I went back to my childhood and the sarcasm was tossed around like piles of fall leaves in the hands of children. It was harsh and rough and I laughed out loud a lot!

Moving along. My husband gets speaking engagements at churches from time to time. They vary in their denominational ties. Yesterday we went to a small mid-western town a fairly short distance from our town. It was a gorgeous spring morning, the hills spotted with cattle and their new offspring. We are in beef country. We have been to this church before but this time it was different for me.

The service began with an elderly gentleman and his electric guitar. They had trouble working the overhead projector and microphone but chuckled their way through it. I was taken back in time. The old-time religion/pentecostal tunes came forth easily for him and the people. Not easy for me but I sat and joined in anyway. I thought of simpler times and Johnny Cash. It was beautiful.

The feeling of a child not knowing much but wanting to learn came over me. I realized that at my ripe age I really knew so little about life. I wanted to sit at the feet of these men and women and hear their stories. The stories of days gone by, of farming hardships and joys and losses and great successes. Of perspectives that are so different and holier than mine.

I just felt these people have watched many sunrises and sunsets on countless disappointments and countless times they rose again wearing garments radiant with hope. What a special place, The Heartland of America. A place where pioneers of yesteryear passed through or settled here perhaps because they just couldn’t go any further. A strong and steadfast people.

I like to think that I am made of some of this grit. After all, it’s been said of New Jersey that “only the strong survive” – I should know, I actually have the T-shirt.

If you haven’t traveled various parts of this country get out and do it. The various cultures in the USA are amazing and all have wonderful stories of their past and new beginnings. And food! Various kinds of food!

Enjoy!

Cate B

Spring Is In the Air

It is finally warm outside here, in The Middle. Buds are on the trees and some have blossoms. Birds are singing and nesting and flying north once again.

I have longed for this. Winter lasted a long time this year and kept coming back every now and then. I do believe it is finally gone.

I sat outside for a couple of hours this morning just soaking up the sun and vitamin D. I love it. The breeze and the bright blue sky brings hope on its’ wings.

Here are some photos I grabbed….. go ahead and click on each one…….

Enjoy!

Cate B

Another Glimpse of December

Here we are, almost into the middle of December and just now the weather has gotten cold. That’s ok. It makes winter even shorter, at least in my head.

Here are some images before the weather turned at Pertle Springs. Such blue skies and water.

Then we have the culprit that brought in the cold. A thunder storm in December! Brief, but successful.

 

Enjoy!

Cate B

Who Are you?

After posting Love is the Key on January 19th of this year, it still stands. I just love my dogs.

Maybe they have replaced caring for my granddaughters full time. LOL I do call Teddy Roosevelt (the pup) Penny June (the girl) from time to time. I have even called Penny Teddy, oops.

It must be the mothering thing. It just doesn’t go away as time goes by, it changes. I like that. After all, as we grow out of childhood into adulthood and the decades that entails, we don’t go away…..we change. We evolve. We grow.

We are still there – or here. I know for me, my whole life has grown and changed and evolved. Some of us “find ourselves” at a young age. Some never lost ourselves so therefore, didn’t have to find ourselves. Some of us, like me, did not grow up in an environment that knew myself. But I found me along the way and I love me.

Did you follow that paragraph? I hope so. The bible says to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. I’ve heard countless times that it refers to faith and spiritual things. I believe it goes deeper than that.

If you have five children you cannot raise all five the same way. You have five different people in your care and all five are individual personalities. I believe that as parents we need to purposely find out who each one is and help them along the way to see who they are and who they will become. Then they won’t have to go on that journey of discovering who they are. They won’t lose themselves in life and then have to find themselves.

Wow. That almost twisted my head. I had two cups of coffee this morning and then a noon latte.

So, back to my dogs….. Teddy Roosevelt is just about five months old now and has already outgrown his brother George Bailey. The games continue….

Teddy Roosevelt

 

George Bailey after Penny June put party hat on his head

Enjoy!

Cate B

 

The Simple Things – Around The Burg

I have always loved nature. The wildlife especially. I love to look at images from around the world and feast my eyes on creatures I’ve never see. I love the diversity in this beautiful world.

I watched a series on Netflix that took place in Scotland. It wasn’t a nature series but a drama with comedy interlaced within. In one of the episodes there were cattle. Beautiful, hairy cattle that were vastly different from your typical American cattle. I learned they were Highland Cattle.

Always loving most anything Scottish, I had to google to see if by some chance a rancher in the state of Missouri was raising these fine specimens. I found some not very close by and even in some surrounding states. I mentally put it on my list of road trips in the future.

image from a google search - Highland Cattle

image from a google search – Highland Cattle

image from a google search - Highland Cattle

image from a google search – Highland Cattle

image from a google search - Highland Cattle

image from a google search – Highland Cattle

One day, a couple of weeks ago when the weather was warmer and no ice or snow in sight, my husband and I took off on a local country drive. We ended up on a highway that took us back toward our main highway. Nothing but farmland. It was brown and beautiful.

All of a sudden we saw some cattle lying in their pasture just chilling’ and enjoying the winter sun. I remember seeing their hairdo between some hefty horns and remarked that they were not your common beef seen in these here parts.

We turned around. Missouri is fond of no shoulders on these country roads and only ditches. Fortunately, there were no other vehicles on the road so we stopped. I expressed to my husband that they could possible be Highland Cattle from the bonnie banks of Scotland. I quickly shot some images from my husbands iPhone.

I couldn’t stop thinking about those cattle. I just love Highland Cattle and wanted to see them in person! It just makes me happy beyond words to feast my eyes on creation. Could they be? I asked a friend who happens to be a cattle person…..and he knew immediately that they were the ones I was looking for! As a matter of fact, he told me that his neighbor has a few Highland Cattle and I could come take pics of them.

Well, as soon as the cold weather that is now full of ice passes I will be out there!

Am I the only one who gets excited over things like this? The little things in life that come at the right moment. I call them gifts. Little gifts from above that make my heart glad. The simple gifts in life that let me know there is someone who knows me more than I know me. That someone who watches over me and cares enough to lead us down a country road so I can see cattle!

Such love.

Missouri Highland Cattle

Missouri Highland Cattle

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Enjoy!

Cate B

Life is Beautiful

We moved to this lovely mid-west town, affectionately known as The Burg, two and a half years ago. Little did we know that we would fall in love with this town and it’s people.

Sure, it has it’s frustrations like all relationships, but the people here and the countryside puts you right back into perspective.

Shortly before we moved here we met a great couple that were part of us feeling at home. We became fast friends.

Early in our relationship we found that the wife, Shirley, had been battling cancer. We became fast warriors in prayers of complete recovery.

Complete recovery can have perspectives just like a painting. We never seem to see all the outcome or the image at once. Some see victory on earth, some see the battle and the hard work associated with it, and some see the victory being the dance and the songs in the courts of Heaven.

As humans we would like the earthly answer. It’s where we are now. So many have overcome the ravages of cancer and some the overcoming came too early and continues in eternity with no more pain.

That was our Shirley. I had plans with our friendship. We were going to tramp through woods and see wildlife. She was going to feed them as I took pictures. I chuckle as I write this. Not to mention her husband and her children and grand children had plans of a future together.

We just don’t know. As a Christian I believe in healing. I’ve seen healing. I believe we can, scripture says, raise the dead. But sometimes that terrible, yet beautiful, mystery of our God takes us to where we  humans do not want to go. Death.

If we could just step back and see our life here, on this earth, is a part of the picture. Our lives continue into eternity. It hurts to lose. I know this.

As painful as it is I get to still be a part of the earthly tribe. The parts of Shirley that still live one. The heart of her husband that beats with joy, though pained, and a giving heart so big. Her daughter carries her mother’s heart for her own children and husband that shines with faith and love so deep for so many. Her son carries her creativity in levels that go so deep I am sure Shirley is rejoicing over them! And those grand children! An amazing legacy!

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That brings me to the images I want to share. There is a property in Russellville, MO that has been in Shirley’s family for quite a while. It is beautiful! If you go there and sit on the front porch with her son and his wife you feel completely at home.

There is a peace there and a piece there of Shirley’s inheritance that I cannot find words for. There is hope there. There is vision for the future there.

A vision to help those who have struggled to come and farm and learn and use their talents to make their life better. A vision of hope for the hopeless.

As this project develops I will write more about it. But right now I honor Shirley and her inheritance. It is so wonderful to see that it never ends when our pained and broken bodies fail and leave this earth. Life does go on. History teaches us that. Memories are like gold and seeing someone living on in the hearts and talents and actions of those still here is priceless.

In the old barns they found the original tools for farming – made of wood!

Enjoy!

Cate B

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