• Last modified 389 days ago (Aug. 27, 2020)


ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: Have a blessed day

© Another Day in the Country

A text came flashing across Marion County from my friend, DeAnne, in Dickinson County, “Happy Birthday, friend! May you have a blessed day!”

A blessed day?

“What is a blessed day?” I chuckled to myself.

Whether you feel blessed or not, a blessed day is one where you’re alive and well! 

With that guarantee of blessedness, I went on celebrating my birthday. It was a great day; in fact the whole weekend was great. 

On the day before my birthday we had a pizza party with friends in Lindsborg. (Hadn’t had a thin and crispy pineapple and green pepper pizza in forever, and it was extra delicious, perhaps because of its long absence from my menu.) This was a gathering of artist friends and we painted fabric (which I’d never really done) and made masks. It was so much fun!

“I’m doing this for my kids at school,” I crowed with delight as I blended colors on a piece of an old pillow case.

“What a fun afternoon,” I said to my sister as we drove down the road, past tall corn in the fields and even taller wind towers, towards home.

A very good day, but the next day was my birthday, destined to be a blessed day! 

My blessings took lots of forms and flavors, beginning with Colorado peaches on buttermilk pancakes, piping hot from the griddle, for breakfast.

Afterward, I promised myself, I would mow. I love mowing grass. There’s something so delightful in everything looking clean cut!

I remember Aunt Naomi on her riding mower, cutting her lawn over on B St. — she was in her early 80s, like me, enjoying the thrill of mowing — as I do now!

“I used to think that 80 was really old,” she said to me one day with a laugh. “But now it’s not that bad and I think I could take a few more years.”

Aug. 16 was a perfect Kansas day — not too hot and not too cool! California was having unheard of thunderstorms with lightening, wind and rain; but Kansas was having a blessed day!

I went out to mow lawns in anticipation of my cousins coming over in the evening to play what we call “Kansas bocce ball,” which is a prairie version of the real game.

Our “court” is a strip of grass (hopefully) mowed down as short as possible with borders marked by taller grass — the borders sometimes sprinkled with flour to make it easier to see and sometimes spray painted, depending on what’s available.

In California, Jana and her crew love going down to St. Helena City Park where they have proper courts to play bocce ball — packed smooth, hard surfaces enclosed in 18-inch wooden walls. You can get really fancy with your shots, bouncing the ball off the walls as if you were playing billiards.

In Ramona, the borders are yielding so if you cross the line you are “out of play.” I hunt for 20-foot spans of grass in the yard that are level and free of bumps or ruts.

This day’s choice was a stretch of lawn in the backyard that was still green thanks to rain. Its only flaw was a downhill tilt, but we got used to it!

While remnants of my family played Kansas bocce ball, aunts and uncles — long gone — were with us in our backyard memories.

Mom and Uncle Hank used to play bocce ball with us, even though Mom loved croquet better and Hank preferred cards.

“Remember this when you play Kansas bocce ball and you’re my age,” I told the youngest member of our team.

The cousins were singing “Happy Birthday” and the 7-year-old and the octogenarian both trying to imagine him grown tall — let alone my age!

Earlier, I had gone out to the car while hunting for paint to spray the boundaries of our grass court and found instead an old Salina Journal from June! My friend DeAnne gives me the Sunday edition of the Journal and I give them the Wednesday edition of the Marion Record. In the Journal is a column by another Californian, Sharon Randall. 

“She reminds me of you,” DeAnne said when she brought one of her columns for me to read.

There was a certain similarity because we write about life and we hail from California. Her main topics are her children and her past. I also talk about my life; but perhaps more centered on what a day in country life brings. 

The particular paper I found had gotten lost in the back seat shuffle for weeks and I almost tossed it into the trash, and then I stopped, sat down, and read the column. It was on the subject of gratitude.

I read with delight, and now I share her inspired ending words with you, “Gratitude is a light that shines in the soul, turning worry into hope, fear into joy, weakness into strength and worriers into warriors.”

On that note, I give thanks for columnists and cousins, family and friends like you, and another blessed day in the country.

Last modified Aug. 27, 2020