Kansas Sightseeing

Our trek to Colorado from home is leading us through 982 miles of the midwest. This Kansas roadside has been sprinkled with fields full of sunflowers. If we had time, I’d pull over and take a thousand pictures.

But… all I have to offer is one field shot from my back seat view.

We just left a stop at the World’s Largest Easel in Goodland, Kansas. I’m a sucker for the World’s Largest things. In May, on a trip through Iowa, we saw the World’s Largest Working Windmill and the World’s Largest Ball of Popcorn.

If you like these kinds of things, the easel is definitely worth a look. Roadside America has some interesting articles on its history.

Just crossed into Colorado!! Wahoo!! Give me some mountains!

A Grateful Brain

About a month ago, I saw an article about how the brain can actually rewire itself to think more positively by simply naming three things we are grateful for every day for twenty one days.

It intrigued me, so I tried it. It worked. Two nights ago, I woke up midway through the night and could not sleep. Instead of worrying about this or that, I challenged myself to list out one hundred things I was grateful for. I stopped at about one hundred fifty!

Friday one of our neighbors came by and said one of our trees fell over on their property. After she left, I hiked out to our back pasture to check it out.

Oh my goodness! You should see all of our wildflowers!! Queen Anne’s Lace, Philadelphia Fleabane, Brown-Eyed Susans, and wild blackberries. It is sooooooo beautiful back there.

While one one hand, a fallen tree is a mess and a ton of work, I think my brain exercise made me more mindful to the gifts laid out before me, via wild~flowers.

Honestly, those wildflowers have been there since May, but I haven’t been in them, or looked at them eye to eye, or reveled in their brilliant yellows and whites. They are literally everywhere and they are gorgeous!

I took some pictures so you could see, too. Here’s to noticing more and seeing more things with a more grateful brain. ❤️

(PS I’m 5’11” and some are knee high, others like this picture are about waist high, and some are over my head!)

Summertime Grace

The wildflowers are out in full force. Everyday, when  I look out my dining room window, they seem to be enjoying these long sunny days. They sway in the breeze, hold their faces up to blue skies, and simply look stunning on any ordinary afternoon.

A few days ago on my walk to the mailbox, something caught my eye. First of all, just imagine a field of white. Literally, there are thousands of white blooms all crowded together across an entire field.

Now, that itself is a beautiful scene, right?

Enter unique.

About six feet from the road, I saw pink. Pink, seriously? The exact same plant, but pink. The exact same bloom, in pink. Although that may not appear to be a big deal, around here, it is. It has been a rare occasion that I’ve ever seen pink.

I seriously contemplated stepping into waste-high weeds to get a closer look. I mean, it is tick and chigger season around here. One step off the road could lead to bug bites that itch for a week. Hmm. What’s a girl to do?

My fate? I totally did it. Weeds smeeds!  What are a few bug bites when I got to stand right next to summertime grace? 


Butterfly Bush

Have you ever noticed how sometimes the most goegeous colors almost hide amongst the overlooked and unwanted? 

Yesterday, in a ditch completely submerged with weeds and the notorious “no one ever wants to see” poison ivy, sat the most eye-catching array of oranges. 

Butterfly Bush. 

Tattered

Every day this week, we have taken a drive around sunset. Early yesterday evening, we found ourselves on the gravel road near our home that leads to the river.

The road makes a hard right and winds around a bit. About a half a mile down is an old, ratty cement bridge.

It is perched above a creek bed that’s almost always dry. A glance to the right reveals gravel. Same to the left, well except for one deep hole. 

If you catch the light just right, it’s good for seeing a reflection of the trees and sky.

So, like usual, we stopped to look, then continued on our way. 

About 20 feet later, I spotted some gorgeous wildflowers in the ditch and I could not pass them by! 

I put the truck in park, made my way over to them, and started taking pictures. 

Then, I saw it. 

The butterfly. 

Like the worn cement bridge, this fella has maybe seen better days. The edges of his wings seemed weathered, his colors were definitely faded. 

Instead of black and a vibrant blue, he was more of a matted, deep sort of gray. The wing tips looked like he’d spent a lifetime in storms, fighting unbearable winds. 

I’ve got to be honest here, he was probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.

You know those old fashioned quilts that have frayed edges and are covered in patches? 

The kind that as soon as you pick them up, you can feel a life well lived and love oozing out of them? 

That was him. Happiness with wings.

I’d love to say he noticed me, but I doubt he did. He was too busy having a snack and enjoying an evening among those yellow petaled beauties, bathed in grace, yet tattered. 

 

Wishes…Just Waiting

Do you ever make a wish, just because? 

We are definitely wish-makers. 

Of course, there are the somewhat standard wishing opportunities that come with birthday candles, spotting the first star at night, and seeing falling stars. Those are pretty much a given with the wish seekers. 

However, I find myself sending out small, in-the-moment hopes and dreams at other moments as well. For instance, when Little Bit’s and my birthday date pops up on the digital clock, I make a wish. Every time I see 1234 in a row on a digital clock, it’s wishing time. 

I’d have to say, our all time favorite kind of wishes are dandelion wishes. 

Talk about some fun! I love the idea of simply grabbing a white dandelion, taking a big breath, making a wish, and blowing those seeds out to who knows where the wind will carry them. 

Don’t you just love the limitless possibilities of that?  It’s like being completely free to put ideas and thoughts out into the world with no fear of self doubt or judgment. Thoughts, hopes, and dreams are all packaged up in a simple flower.

I once met a gal who said her children were not allowed to make dandelion wishes. Her reasoning? Because she didn’t want more dandelions in her yard. She said didn’t want more weeds. 

What??? What about running amuck across the yard, hair flying, giggles abounding, and joy radiating around the beauty of letting go and stepping into childhood for a few minutes? Hmmm. Guess I’m more of a wildflower type girl myself. 

Last Sunday it was a quiet day here. About mid-afternoon, I stepped outside and that’s when I saw them! 

Our yard was completely packed with potential wishes! Dandelions were everywhere! I sat down on the sidewalk and watched the wind whip their stems. If it’s possible for flowers to be happy, I’m pretty sure they were. Not once did I see even one try to hold still and fight the wind. Love that. 

In the days since, I have kept my eye on all those dandelions. In the mornings, they’re drenched with dew. In the afternoons, they seem to enjoy soaking up the sun, and when evening comes, I seem to find myself scrambling a bit, trying to get a picture so you can see what I see. 

Right now I’m standing in my yard with a huge smile plastered across my face. In every direction I look, dandelions are standing tall and with them are thousands of wishes… just waiting.