Hurricane Isaac on it's way

*UPDATE:  Now Isaac has been labeled a Hurricane*

There's a tropical storm* in the gulf and it's predicted to become a hurricane and hit landfall by tonight.

It's ironic that we made it to Nebraska just in time for the massive wildfires and now we're back for our first hurricane this season.

We spent the day yesterday picking up outside and clearing everything off the porch.

This morning we decided to enjoy the calm before the storm, dancing before the rain starts, playing with our friends, eating donuts, and loving the sunshine.

We have a generator this year in case the power goes out and we stocked up on water and sandwich bread.   Joel informed me that all a cajun needs to make it through a storm is vienna sausage and flashlights.  So I guess that means we're pretty much set.

There's nothing like a hurricane to make you want to clean your house.  Maybe it's the thought that you're going to be stuck inside for a few days in bad weather and you want to make it as comfortable as possible.   I've got massive loads of laundry to fold and put away and of course I'm procrastinating at the moment.  The last hurricane that plowed through here we evacuated to Jackson, Mississippi, and a tree fell on our house.  It was ten days before we had power and were able to move back in.  This storm isn't predicted to be as strong, though, and while I'm sure there will be some flooding, we feel like it's safe to stay home.

Now I better go attack that laundry pile before it turns into a national emergency....


In the Desert of the Soul: Beautifully Rooted

Summer brought a wave of homesickness.
I'm a northern transplant down here in the south, and sometimes these roots start aching for familiar soil.
So I boarded a plane with four kids in tow, five counting the one nestled safe in my belly.  And then we drove seven hours to the Sandhills of Nebraska.

"The Great American Desert", so named by Lewis and Clark.  And it feels like a desert this year, parched dry and windy hot.
We pull off the highway and wind our way to the end of the road, to the gently sloping hills of our family ranch.  Where time seems to stand still, it moves at such an unhurried pace. Where the only sounds surrounding you are nature's voice.

And it seems God is louder here, too.

This is where I really came to know Him....

I'm sharing today on Beautifully Rooted
Head on over there to read the rest of this post.


at 28 weeks on the prairie

Story and I
on the last day at the ranch
as a farewell to the sandhills.

There's an ancient wind that blows across this prairie.
It creeks through the windmills, bending the bluestems, churning powdered sand in the hollow of these hills.

It squints my eyes as I shield them from the sun,
tracing the edge of a lazy blue sky that stretches wide and yawns across miles of sloping range.

My sandals sink into the sand, leaving footprints where the boots of my ancestors stood.
They staked their claim, drove it into the dirt, miles from nowhere on an endless frontier.
They had to be.
No one else would have dared such a future.
Homestead survivors of the hardiest sort.

And this land still demands their kind.


our days at the ranch

my little indian boy on Jenny
Legend and Astair on a haybale

We're back home now in Louisiana and our memories of our vacation at the ranch are still fresh.  
Every year that we visit my childhood home is more rewarding than the last.
Joel was able to join us for ten days and it was wonderful to have him with us.  Story was starting to protest that her mommy was driving all over the bumpy sandhills in a pickup truck and even took a few spins on a four wheeler.  The only thing I didn't do was ride a horse (and I was mighty tempted).

I love watching my kids learn to ride on the same little spirited palomino pony I learned to ride on.  Jenny, with her clear blue eyes and her snow white mane, has to be nearly 27 years old now, which is somewhere around 80 in horse years.  If only I could age so beautifully!  Astair fell in love with the "pretty pink Jenny", just as I did when I first laid eyes on her at age seven.  I had prayed and prayed for God to bring me a horse and I'll never forget the day my Aunt drove up to the ranch with Jenny in tow.  She was a princess of a pony and I knew without a doubt that God had gifted her to me.

I love walking with my kids through the hayfield, chasing lizards and other prairie critters, teaching them how to drive the ranch pickup over the sandhills (Thad can finally reach the pedals and peek over the top of the steering wheel).

We made the best kind of memories.

Astair and Jenny

Thad riding into the sunset with daddy and our friend Chris  (Chris and Erin came to visit with their new baby girl Grace.  Erin was my roommate in college and it was so good to see her and her family.)

Boston and Jenny with daddy
after tubing down the Niobrara River
Boston can't wait to float down the river
at Merrit Dam with Uncle Jody and our friends
finding frogs
Legend checking pastures with Grandpa Joe
exploring the Fairfield Creek with daddy and uncovering fossils
Legend and Jenny
we loved having our friends from South Dakota visit the ranch!  11 kids in all!  what a blast!
playing with our friends at the first Fairfield Falls

We enjoyed spending time with family and friends, eating Grandma Chick's fun snack foods and riding across the hills with Grandpa Joe and Uncle Jody.  It's comforting to know there is always a place we can go that hardly ever changes.  The hills stay in the exact same spot I remember them to be, Lost Creek disappears every year and then returns in the Spring.  Even with the devastating effects of fire, the prairie will return to life once again.

We're grateful for a place like that.


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