Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10

I went home for the weekend. I hadn't been home since New Year's. See, I found out the first week in January that the cancer was back. (This kind of news doesn't do much for a girl's ability to sleep, and when I'm not sleeping well in my own bed, I am not wont to travel and sleep in someone else's house. Not even my mother's.) Also, it snows a lot in January. And February. And March.

And I detest driving in the snow.

By the time the weather started to clear up and I knew that I'd be able to get over the rim without having to worry about snow/ice, I was way past how tired I had been in January. I had barely enough energy to get myself to work and home, and some days that felt like I was pushing it. (As we now know, I had a new little tumor friend crowding my organs during the spring. ... No wonder I'd been tired. Growing tumors is exhausting business. Don't ever let anyone tell you different.)

On the heels of learning I was now carrying two tumors around, I was told that surgery was scheduled in less than two week's time. ... I'm sure you can imagine that I had a few things I needed to get done in that time. (Stuff like laundry, clearing out my closet, vacuuming and eating at every single restaurant I could think of, before I lost the ability to eat more than a scrambled egg.) Sadly, a trip home prior to surgery wasn't an option. And it sure as heck wasn't an option in the several weeks that followed. But now? Now, it is an option.

So, I went home for the weekend. And it was a blessed, sweet weekend, full of the best things in life: family, Eva's tacos, Taylor sweet corn and Trapper's pie.

This is my favorite time of year. Taylor sports more shades of green than you can shake a stick at, in the weeks during and after Monsoon season. It's green as far as you can see. Well, green and yellow. The summer storms water the wild sunflowers that line the highway. There are yellow and purple wildflowers that grow at the edges (and in the middle) of every field in town. Between the blue sky, the green grass and the wildflowers, it's practically heaven. (My only regret is that I didn't think to snap a picture of the corn fields across from the church. I. Heart. The. Corn. Fields.)

This was taken on the road into town. Do you love that tall grass? I do. How about the field dotted with yellow flowers behind it? I love that even more than I love the grass (which is a lot of love). What you can't know, if you've never been there, is that this yellow field goes on for miles. Miles and miles and miles. Literally, as far as you can see.

It's beautiful to me.

I'd mentioned, over the weekend, that there were sunflowers as tall as my car lining the highway.


Isn't that ridiculous? ... And awesome?! There are bushes of sunflowers like this literally crowding the side of the road. Many of them are over six feet tall. It is glorious.

These two pictures are very similar, but they're actually different angles of the view to the right as you drive "into town". (To the grocery store, where they'll give you a GIANT scoop of ice cream - in a waffle cone - for $1. I kid you not.)

Again, the acreage here is hard to imagine, if you haven't been there, but I'm telling you, these fields go on forever. Literally, they reach as far as the eye can see. And beyond.


Here's a fun little discovery that I made, quite on accident.

This is an iron cut-out that Eddie Hancock had made to put on top of the signage for the new little park behind his house. (Big E is famous for the iron signs he has made for his friends and family. They typically have a pioneer/cowboy theme to them, with a picture very much like this above a hanging sign that has the family name displayed.) I happened to look up at the cut-out while Mom was reading the dedicatory sign at the park and I literally gasped when I saw the blue sky behind that covered wagon. I'm afraid that the picture is too small for you to be able to see the detail in the iron work, but I'm here to tell you that the dog behind the wagon has adorable little ears, and the reins and yokes have amazing detail, as do the spokes of the wagon wheels. So much work goes into these signs. I've always loved them, but I'd (literally) never seen them the way I saw this one, with the sky behind it, until Saturday afternoon. Gorgeous, isn't it?

And speaking of gorgeous... Behold, my beloved Silver Creek.

My goodness, I do love the creek.

These pictures are as the creek is seen from the bridge, headed up Center to my parents' house. The first picture is was taken looking to the right, the second is looking to the left.

I know this may seem like nothing more than a muddy little stream to most of you, but to me, the creek means Summer Magic. (Cue the music.) I have so many memories that revolve around the creek. It is one of my favorite spots in town. I love the willows and wild grasses that grow along the bed. I love the smell of the creek and the flowers that grow just outside its reach.

In every season, the Silver Creek is signal of home.

Speaking of flowers that grow just outside the reach of the creek... Look at this!

I'm not sure which I love more, the sunflower patch in a puddle of irrigation water, or the barbed wire running across the bottom of that last picture in the group. Be still, my beating heart!

And speaking of barbed wire...

I don't know how something that haunted me my entire childhood (I could not even tell you how many dresses/pants I ripped the seat open on, sneaking under, over or through barbed wire fences) could be so beautiful to me now, but it is. So beautiful.

It makes me laugh, how often, when people (by which I mean: single men who are asking me standard "get to know you" questions on a first date) ask me if I like to camp/hike/fish, etc., and get the answer that I do not, in fact, like to do any single one of those things, I get a response of, "Oh, you're a city girl". No. No, I am not a city girl. I am a country girl. (In fact, being a country girl, I happen to have a fair idea as to how many bugs live outside and there's NO WAY I'm sleeping out in the wild with them!)

I am a country girl with a deep, abiding love of her hometown. I love the color. I love the land. I love the smell of hay and horses. I love that, no matter where I go when I'm home, I'll see someone there whom I love.

I love the natural, untamed beauty of the sunflowers in the late summer.

I love the contrast of blacktop against gorgeous, verdant fields.

I love that all you can see, forever, is land and sky.

I love my hometown. I'm so grateful that I was able to grow up in such a lovely, delightful little place, surrounded by folk who loved me. I'm so glad that I was able to go home. Dorothy was right, "There's no place like home." ... No place.