Tag Archives: Kansas

Tent City Fireworks

The temperature is 98 degrees. The ground is bone dry. Dust clouds follow in the wake of trucks rumbling across the gravel parking lot.

tent city fireworks

tent city fireworks

It rises out of this flat, summer plain. A white top palace reaching for blue sky.

tent city fireworks mecca

mecca

Inside, a mecca to The Revolution. A bow to the Second Amendment.

where the fireworks live

where the fireworks live

This is where the fireworks live.

fireworks giant firecracker

giant firecracker

We’ve never seen such a thing.

fireworks untied we stand

united we stand

Fireworks were outlawed in our former cities, and they’re restricted in Wichita. This, however, is The County.

snappers

snappers

Country clubs and municipalities will put on their own shows.

sparklers

sparklers

Still the citizens’ pride is in everyman’s display.

don't forget the roman candles, love, grandma

love, grandma

We’ll survey the land and watch the night sky—east, west, north, south.

fireworks basket

our basket

We’ll light our own salvos of independence.

fireworks pack

boxed set

“We are Americans!” we’ll say with each spark. “And we are free!”

thank you

thank you

Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate His rule with trembling. Psalm 2:10-11 NIV

Firework by Katy Perry.

How did you celebrate Independence Day?

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Filed under America

Thunderstorm

the day after the storm

It’s been a week since we experienced our first Kansas thunderstorm. Think Dorothy in a giant, echoing dishwasher.

Last Thursday night, we were nestled all snug in our beds when out of nowhere came the strong wind. Bellowing thunder. Rain whipping against the windows. Four paws pouncing on my back.

The paws belonged to my dog. Her least favorite thing in the world is a thunderstorm. (Her most favorite thing in the world is rotisserie chicken.)

Our bed was damaged in our recent move to Kansas, so my husband and I are sleeping on our mattress and box springs on the floor. Kind of like camping.

This arrangement gives our small dog access to our bed. When the thunderstorm hit, our terrified terrier was glued to my side, trying to burrow under the covers.

It’s not easy to sleep that way, unless you’re like my husband who can sleep through anything.

forward march

Not me. I laid awake in bed, holding my dog, listening to the sky rattle and hum and shake and scream.

As I shared in Moon Walk, where we live in Kansas is flat and mostly devoid of trees. Nothing but God and ground and sky. Thunder echoes and booms like tympani in a large, empty room.

Nothing to buffer the wind. No gusts either. No chance to clear the hair from your face or adjust your vision. Kansas wind is sustained, constant, relentless.

Rain flies horizontally across the prairie. It attacks the house. A smattering of bullets against the siding.

“Jeff, do you hear that?” I whispered. “Should we go to the basement?”

The sounds reverberated, bouncing to the earth and back to the sky then down again. Angry and loud.

In my mind, I knew this was just a thunderstorm. It was not tornadic. It could not hurt me inside my house.

Even if it was tornadic and plowed my house to the ground—even if it killed me, it could not destroy me. Easier to write those words now than to remember them in the storm.

drying out

Storms are like this. They seem to erupt out of nowhere. They are no respecter of persons. None of us is immune.

Storms may devastate, frighten, hurt, and kill. They can last minutes or decades. Afterward, it may take years to rebuild.

But in Christ there is a place storms cannot touch. A place sealed and safe.

And there is a Person present in the storm. He stands beside us in the suffering and terror, even in death.

God, help me remember this because I know I will forget.

Next time the sky tears open and rages against me, next time I tremble, remind me You are with me. There is nothing to fear.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” from Isaiah 43:1-3 NIV

Never Let Go by The David Crowder Band.

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Filed under faith, life

Moon Walk

There’s a field behind our neighborhood. Carpeted with brome in the summer, scruff in the winter. It’s a magical place where my son, the dog and I walk.

in the field

We saw a deer run across the north end the first time we explored the field. We were a few acres south, but we spotted him clear as day. Our eyes followed his white tail and long, bounding strides.

Our part of Kansas is flat. Flatter than Illinois. If there weren’t lines of trees and houses blocking the view, no telling how far you could see.

The field is covered with short, dry grass now. Besides the ground and the wind, there’s nothing but sky. Wide, blue, voluminous sky.

image of La Lune print used with permission from Double Merrick, doublemerrick.myshopify.com

The moon often watches us when we walk the field. Even in sunlight, its bald head nods as we plod along the soft ground.

My son would play there forever if I let him.

In freedom he scampers ahead of me. Kneels. Lifts his arms. Stares down the barrel and through the cross hairs. Imagines sniping enemy troops.

The dog is also at home there. She parts the grass like water and swims. Without warning, she pops straight up and over, jumping like a rabbit. Ears pricked. Her body alert to the possibility of field mice beneath these waves.

Except for the one deer, the only wildlife we’ve seen are small birds. They congregate, hidden in the grass, then spring into flight as we approach. Dozens of tiny, floating kites, cut loose to lift and sail away.

One day, my son called to me from where he crouched. The inflection in his voice danced over the field.

“Mom,” he said. “I found a deer track!”

Sure enough, he’d found one perfect, heart-shaped deer track imprinted in the dried dirt.

far

We could tell—from the shape of the print, the deer that left it there had been walking. Just like us.

These are the moments I wish I could capture. They bound away, impossible to hold. Photographs don’t do them justice.

Must be what it’s like to walk on the moon.

An ordinary action, walking. Elevated here. Beyond measure in its fullness. Silent. Solitary. Surrounded by nothing but God and ground and sky.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

When I was pregnant with my son, I listened to Beethoven. Relax and savor the tender, magical, masterful strains of Moonlight Sonata.

Double Merrick

The La Lune print featured in today’s post is the work of English designer/illustrator Merrick Angle.

Merrick’s charming prints were a hit when he started selling them on Etsy. One has only to view his art to understand why.

Merrick presently works out of a studio near Limoges in rural France. His online shop, Double Merrick, continues to wow.

Visit his shop to see for yourself and read more of his story. Warning: you may fall in love with what you see.

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