March 2014: The Children Are Tender

Caregiving, teaching little kids to read, and riding in the pickup with Farmer John; I tweet, pin, and blog, from my home in rural Kansas. If you've landed here looking for information about my books, visit my author's page by clicking this link: A. Born. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, May 31, 2013


Linda:  I heard a horrifying fact about Gila Monsters today on a children's zoo show.  When they latch on to bite you they don't let go!

Farmer John:  Like snapping turtles.

Linda: (rolls her eyes toward her husband doubtfully)

Farmer John:  (nods sagely) Yup.  When they latch on they don't let go until it thunders.

Linda:  You make this stuff up.  I swear you think I'll believe anything.  (Pulls out her smart phone, finds hundreds of references--albeit most labeled folklore--to snapping turtles not letting go until it thunders).

Linda:  (Sheepishly) Ummm...guess that's just one I hadn't heard before.

Farmer John: (Smug) Well, I do know a few things you don't.  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Riding in the Pickup With Farmer John

This sprig of purple flowers lay by itself in a field of green, looking as if a passing bridesmaid had dropped her delicate bouquet in the grass. 

The pastures are full of these little yellow flowers this spring (see below).

The bouquet Farmer John tossed in my lap--he harvests his spring crop of asparagus from road ditches; disdaining the lack of challenge raising an asparagus patch in our garden would provide. 
I hadn't accompanied John to do chores all week long because he's been so busy planting.  Last night's storms brought us about a quarter inch of rain, and so he couldn't go to the field this morning.  "Want to go count cattle with me?" he asked.

It is Sunday, and on Sundays I am nearly always in my usual pew at church, but after just a moment's hesitation I pulled on jeans and boots and followed my husband out the door.  The rain had washed everything clean, the air was sweet with the scent of mown grass and spring flowers; and I hardly felt guilty at all (well, not until after I ate the donut John bought for me--but I did give our dog, Annie, part of it...). 

We saw a white cattle egret that was apparently playing tag with two calves.  The bird would fly a few feet ahead of the frisky critters and land.  As they kicked up their heels and gave chase, it would stretch out its wings and fly a few dozen more feet ahead, then land and wait for the calves to approach once more.  

There was a flock of white pelicans paddling sedately, almost swan-like, across the lake.  Two coyotes trotted across a pasture and stopped to look back at us over their shoulders before they resumed their journey.  A lanky adolescent whitetail deer leaped across the road in front of us. 

We saw a total of four box turtles at different places along the road which, John claims, means we will receive a "four turtle rain tonight." 

"Notice," he said, in the tones of a tour guide, "...that all those turtles are on high ground." 

I looked at him doubtfully. 

"Well would YOU like to be a box turtle in a flood?" he asked. "They can only swim so long before they sink like a rock." 

I never know whether my husband is teasing or not, but I do know one thing.  Though I'll return to church so as not to give up meeting together with fellow worshipers next week, I found respite in God's creation this morning.