litany for drought

When waters flow, when waters fail:  You remain the Author of life.

When dazzling, crystal skies


Become horizons filling us with dread.


We cry out,

Lord, heal our broken and parched land.

When grainless fields produce only clouds of ash.


When trees gasp in unison


We cry out,

Lord, heal our broken and parched land.

When homes are scorched by wind-danced flames

aerial fire photo
photo Amarillo Globe News

And we wonder where we will lay our head


We cry out,

Lord, heal our broken and parched land.

When our rainbow window


Morphs into the mouth of Armageddon.

picturewindowWe cry out,

Lord, heal our broken and parched land.


summer’s flown

It’s over. Not officially, maybe….but it’s gone just the same.

Summer’s flown, just like the sparrow.

 To borrow from Dickens….it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

We are lucky and blessed in that our summers (since 1975, for me) involve several treks to the crisp air of the Colorado mountains.

Our cabin’s piney interior warmly embraces me and keeps me rooted in my family’s past. My first trip to Colorado was with the Texan while we were dating. I guess I passed the ‘cabin test’ his mom talked about. We married…our family grew…and we got a little place of our own near his mother and other friends. The kitchen has the pencil etchings on the wall of who caught the biggest trout, the bunk beds in the bedroom are where the children slept and fought their nightly tussles and we’ve devoured s’mores around the brick fireplace for nearly thirty years now. I’m sure it could use some updating in the decorating/furniture department, but the cabin’s sameness is somehow reassuring. Life at the cabin with family and friends is a treasure.  Need proof? Take a look at these posts.

Did I mention the food at the cabin tastes better? We eat like kings!

Bff Vicki’s peach pie. Oh….my….!

I could write a tome (but not now) of the fun the canines have in Colorado.

Nellie would like some pie, please.
Roxy Doxy never caught the chipmunk

Summer in the Texas Panhandle was in sizzly contrast to Colorado. Hot, dry….depressing and difficult. It felt like our ‘worst of times’ and there was lots of suffering to go around for the farmers/ranchers and folks who have to work outside. Our Sprout #1 worked in a frenzy to move cattle around, sell cattle, ship cattle and get water to thirsty cows and horses. Don’t want to ask him about his summer!

I can report the dreadful heat has broken (feels fantastic!), but we are still praying one of those tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico will meander it’s way into Texas and bring moisture for our brittle state. We hope and keep looking to the future.

I feel blessed, but a little meloncholy at scenes like this.

Covering the game table and chairs for the winter

Letting go of another summer in the mountains. Cleaning the old place up and preparing her for the long winter. Back to real life…sigh. Back to the land of no pies.

The Texan and I climbed the hill to say goodbye to Mom. Her ashes were still suprisingly intact even after the recent rains.

It’s gonna take her a long time to make it to the ocean at this rate, the Texan said.

That’s OK. She’s got nothin’ but time.
See you next summer, Joy.

With that, we switched off the light on the best and worst in the summer of 2011. Done.

Peach pie love to all.

summer of discontent

Don’t want to revisit the summer of 2011…..ev-er. Hoping this is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ kind of character building experience.

Tried to obtain hay yesterday for my best-old-lady-horse-in-the-world, Rodney. There’s no hay….for cows, horses, or any other ruminants. Oh I exaggerate, but the hay producers don’t have much hay to sell. Limited quantities=high prices. Most producers are hoping we’ll get some late summer rains to start a fall crop of hay. I dunno if that’s gonna happen-the forecasts are not promising.

People are praying for rain. There’s many a private prayer being offered and lots of public gatherings beseeching the Creator for more moisture. The governors of Texas and Oklahoma have asked the citizens to pray for rain. The governor of Oklahoma said “We’re the Bible belt…praying is what we do”. Well put, Governor.

We can’t complain even though we (like many others) are selling cow herds. This is especially sad because it takes some time to put a cow herd together with the genetics just how you like them. There’s no pasture, no pasture close by to lease and no feed. The economics are not working this year. We’ll survive (by the grace of God)….but many will not.

I have an intense admiration and fondness for the salt-of-the-earthers in this area. They set their jaw and they get the job done. They understand hard times….their ancestors endured the dust bowl. Surviving tribulation is in their genes. It’s a boot to the gut to witness these long-suffering folk lose their livelihood.

I’m praying for rain too, although I wonder what the larger lesson is we should be learning while living through this historic drought. All I can come up with is we are totally dependant on God…for every breath and for every drop of rain. His presence surrounds us in good times and in bad. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Any other lessons you can think of?

Oh….but there’s one thing keeping us enthusiastic. The thing that makes us wanna get up and greet each new day with a grin and a shout. It’s this bulging belly full of promise!

doesn’t he look like he’s going to have red hair??

 The Sprout was kind enough to let me take this photo. She generally shuns the limelight, unlike her overbearing mother. I think she’s beautiful.

The bump helps me keep enthusiasm for the future. Makes me do silly things like pony-shop and write songs. In the midst of this summer of discontent, I am most profoundly grateful.

Cool misty love to all.


We escaped the hot Texas Panhandle for a mountain vacation over the holiday. Going to the mountains is a beloved summer tradition in our family. Here’s our THRILLING BEAR STORY from last m-day.

On Saturday evening, we received a call there was a wildfire in our neighborhood. Some family members tried to make it to our house to maybe turn on some sprinklers, but they were turned back by law enforcement and heavy smoke. The area was closed. What could we do?……nada. We had (very slow) internet access at the cabin and we watched the local news reports. The news was grim……103 temperature and winds in excess of 40 mph.

In short, our house blessedly escaped the fire scare. The main damage was just down the road.

At least their outbuilding survived!

Upon arriving home, we surveyed the damage. It left me speechless.

This was just one of a row of 5 or 6 homes that were completely gone.

This was one of my favorite houses to drive by on my way home. It was a gorgeous Tudor-style house with impeccable landscaping.

The gardens and the seasonal displays were always outstanding. I marveled at the lushness of these grounds in the arid Texas panhandle. Someone put in lots of loving care to make this house an oasis of beauty.

Imagine driving through your front gate and seeing this destruction

This was the home of a popular local veterinarian. He and his wife lived here for 30 years. There was a gorgeous 3-story prairie-style home nearby. It was one of my favorites as well, with it’s big wrap around porch and gorgeous windows. I could hardly find any remains of that house. The destruction was total.

I did what anyone would do:  burst into uncontrollable tears for these losses. The years of memories, the family photos, the mother’s day cards from the kids, the wedding photos, the favorite easy chair…..all ashes.
Made me think of this post about how much I love my home.

While much of the country is flooding, or being hit by killer tornadoes-the Texas Panhandle has received just 1/2 inch of moisture since January. The grasslands are barren and the cattle have nothing to eat. The wheatfields are generally total losses. The wind has been unending and it has been unusually hot. The day of the fires, the humidity was 7%.

Our gorgeous Palo Duro Canyon has not escaped the fire’s grip. Remember the gorgeous photos  of the canyon? Thousands of acres have burned around the canyon.

The hardy folk of the Panhandle are uniting to pray for rain. I’ve not seen conditions as dire in all my 34 years living here. I’m joining in the prayers.

Enjoy your home. Rising Phoenix love to all.