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What the Storm Blew In

Summer storms in the Midwest can pop up out of nowhere, when nothing but sun is predicted and the extended forecast graphics color a straight run of orange orbs as far out as the weather app will allow, which is to say, when the next ten days show bright light with no clouds, not even puffy ones. When the crystal clear blue highs are suppose to be in the 80s and 90s.

That's when a summer storm can take you by surprise. When you've no opportunity to pull in your potted plants or call the dogs into the garage or get your patio furniture taken care of. And when your kid is at the local community pool and you've little time to get there to retrieve her.

There is nowhere on earth, I'm convinced, that the weather can change so suddenly as in Kansas.

It keeps life exciting!

What We Found in Our Backyard After the Storm, July 2019

So does enduring the summer heat without air conditioning. Ours went out in May and one long, hot story short, we finally got a new unit installed in the middle of July and really, that's a story of thanksgiving because if you have cool air in Kansas in the summertime, you really are wealthy beyond measure and need not complain about a thing. A single thing.

So there those guys where, working hard in their sweat when big, purple clouds appeared out of nowhere and my phone buzzed excitedly with a warning of the imminent release of the heavens and before I knew it I was flying out of the garage and through our open gate to the gravel road, headed for the pool as dust devils broke out and swirled up before me and tree branches blew across the road like thrown javelins.

Fortunately, I managed with supernatural timing to retrieve my youngest from team practice at our local pool before things got real, thanks to a friend who met me half way. By the time I pulled into the driveway, not an animal remained in sight on our property. They'd taken cover already.

The storm didn't last long and aside from my citronella plant, all was well. The wind had knocked it over and carried away the pot, exchanging it for a horse.

Two actually, and a donkey. "Mom, there's a horse on our lawn!" Gracie had exclaimed, and then had run out to greet them, her little Puggle on a leash leading the way and there was a time she'd have thought she could keep them.

This was fortune indeed--that the three of them had made it in through our open gate and into our yard. They belonged to our neighbors, all of whom were no where near their farm at the time. One was out of the country, the other downtown with the kids for an event. So we gathered apples and carrots and led them to our north pasture to keep company with our goats until they could be retrieved and taken home, the air conditioning guys out and watching raptly as they loaded our old unit in the back of their truck.

There is always entertainment value here.

And always the end of a rope, which is where my dear friend Lisen said she was when I'd phoned her to tell her those lovelies of hers where here.

I'm nearly always at the end of mine. But this time, enjoying her beautiful horse, that darling little pony, and the always charming Simon the Donkey, allowed me to climb back up and get a better grip on mine. For the first time in a decade, I didn't sneeze or whine. I had no allergic symptoms. I could touch them! Her sweet Duchess whinnied and talked to me and my daughters and grandchildren delighted in them. It was fun because they were different.

And the problem wasn't mine to fix.

But the sweetest of all was the idea of God in all of it. When the storm blew my neighbors' gate open, ours happened to be open too. And of all the places those precious pets could have ended up, God sent them here to spend a few days with us, in a place He knew they'd be cared for and loved--something that allowed Rick and Lisen peace, and the rest of us a pleasurable diversion and I guess any good run deserves another, what with the chases my husband and I are forced into, thanks to our fence-leaping goats.

We've had cattle at our door that had to be coaxed away and a large pig that required chasing through our yard on a four-wheeler. I've lured a stray dog away from our chickens with my Thanksgiving ham bone and bravely dragged turtles the size of Volkswagens away from my dogs with a stick they've clamped on to, all of which proved spectators' events, to say nothing for the chases, lassoing, and dragging of escaped goats from the road and neighbors' gardens. But never has anything been so amusing as the sight of Rick taking his trio home, the little pony leading the way, the donkey following, Rick and the horse bringing up the rear while Lisen followed in the truck, hazard lights flashing. It was quite the parade.

I took pictures.

This time, I wasn't part of the show.

So I laughingly climbed higher on my own country living rope and held on a little tighter.

#milkandhoneyland #milkandhoneylandbook #kansasstorms #summertime #countryliving


Kansas City, Kansas l jm@jmhuxley.com

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