CREATIVITY is the soul reflected

Master Painter

Master Painter
Prairie Sunrise by Charlie Clark

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pets and Prairie

Ten days ago I made yet another attempt to post and was interrupted. Even though this isn't quite fresh, I'm posting it anyway. I have a friend who always tells me, "Kay, just DO it!" So, I'm giving up my nap this afternoon, and if I get as far as putting it out there, maybe I will have broken the block.

I also know WHY I don't get my entries posted. Along with other matters (attempts to make it perfect, for example), when I do finally attempt to publish, I run into a major problem with it. I've now been trying for a few hours and it will be something of a cyber miracle if what I intend to put out there actually makes it.

It's been such a long time, since my previous post, I don't want to try to play catch-up. But a couple big changes have occurred that need noting: my companion of nearly 20 years, Heidi cat, went on to the Big Cat Heaven last summer. And at the end of the summer, we welcomed a new pet: Sadie, a black pointer labrador retriever, hoping our old lab Quest would take the new one under his wing (or leg, as the case warranted). He has been a godsend, I might add, but he's also learned a few things (who says old dogs can't learn new tricks?!) from the little one.
February 8, 2008
I've written so many entries to the blog lately, all in my mind. Usually it's as I'm driving or riding and, by the time I get home, out of my winter coat and boots, put away groceries, go through the mail, all those pressing matters, I am out of the mood. Or the inspiration is gone.

The same thing has happened tonight, but I'm going to try to entice my muse back. I'm closing my eyes (luckily I learned touch typing and can get this down without looking at the keyboard) and remember what struck me so deeply two hours ago.

Charlie and I had just spent the most enjoyable afternoon visiting some old friends. Actually, what prompted the visit was a play date arranged for our dogs! I cannot believe I am even saying that. We have a seven-month-old puppy, a black lab named Sadie. Mason and Betty lost their little Nipper, a Jack Russell, a few months ago and recently acquired Benny, a feisty, untrained, handsome rat terrier. He has more energy than the two of them combined, they being in their 80s.

Betty recently started "Benny's Blog" and had been asking us to bring Sadie over to play with him. We finally got around to it. After the initial barking, sniffing and sizing up, they really got into playing. They chased full-speed through the house, in and out the dog door, around in the snow, under the bed and tables, and teased each other with the toys.
Hi friends. This is your favorite rat terrier here. Wow! What an afternoon. Shortly after the boss's nap, some of his and the wife's friends drove in and when they got out of their pickup, I nearly fell down. They had a beautiful black lab with them, who looked about my age. Of course, being a lab, she was twice as big. At first we were very formal, wearing our leashes for the first 15 minutes. Once the people were persuaded that we weren't going to fight, they took our leashes off and then the fun started!

Sadie, did I say she's a girl? and I ran around wrestling and grabbing noses and smelling tails. Then we had some real fun. We played keep away with some of my toys. Sadie carried a squeaker in her mouth, daring me to take it. Then, she'd chase me. The funny part was when I ran under a low table and she couldn't get under it. (I learned that from when the cat runs from me.) Then we took a play rope and grabbed it out of each other's mouth. Finally I ran out the dog door and Sadie had to work really hard to get through it. We played in the snow for a while, then I went inside to get warm.

The woman visitor kept taking our pictures and saying how beautiful I am. Mr.K (the cat) was up on the counter by his food bowl, and he kept making insulting remarks that the people couldn't hear. I'll get him for it later.When the visitors had to leave, they put Sadie's leash on again and walked to their pickup. The boss put my leash on me, but I bit it in two, then he held my collar while we watched them drive away. I heard the lady invite us to come to their house so we dogs could have another play day. Not right away, but in a couple of weeks after Sadie recovers from some female surgery she's having next week. 'Bye for now.

Betty and I always enjoy discussing art and language and books and have Show-and-Tell. I hadn't taken anything today, but she shared with me several items. We mourned the demise of the English language, she loaned me a novel and book of puzzles, we took lots of photos of the dogs, and talked about flowers.

Charlie and I thought we'd better head home. The sun was setting over the snow-covered prairie, with the frosted cedar trees in the distance along the creek. First we saw one deer, then a couple more, and this continued all the way home. The clouds spread the golden orange glow of the sun across the horizon, and we watched three deer bound over several fences. I thought to myself, "Watching deer float so gracefully like that is one of my greatest joys!" I said to Charlie:

"I still have to pinch myself sometimes to realize I actually live here, in this beautiful country." (Flint Hills of Kansas I used to drive the turnpike from Topeka to Wichita and wished I knew someone who lived here just so I could get off the highway and drive around the area.

Then one day I did just that, even though I did not know anyone here. Two weeks later I was actually doing a retreat on a ranch, and after that experience I knew I had to get back here on a regular basis—but could not imagine it happening. Lo and behold, less than six months afterward I was offered an opportunity I could not pass up, even though it meant leaving a fairly secure, well-paying job that I didn't particularly like any more. The rest, as they say, is history. I really felt I had come "home" when I drove into that ranch driveway, surrounded by the russet waves of tall grass. FYI, there is almost no native tallgrass prairie left in the world, and most of it is right here, surrounding me.

Well, that's it for now. I have lots to talk about, but it will have to wait until next time....and I definitely want to comment on that novel Betty loaned me because it's now added to my "all-time favorite reads." Until then....


  1. It has been very interesting to have a Google Alert for Blogs on "Kansas Flint Hills!"
    Yours came up today!
    We have a 22 county Flint Hills Tourism Coalition, Inc. promoting visits to the Kansas Flint Hills – this is the website:
    Our web site is to promote the Kansas Flint Hills; and we were so happy to be in the 22 page color photo spread in National Geographic's April Issue on the Kansas Flint Hills, as a distinctive landscape. We are now working to get the Kansas Flint Hills designated as a National Heritage Area.

    We would appreciate a link from your site, to ours, if you are willing to do so. THANKS!
    Best wishes!

    Bill ;-)

    Personal Blog:

  2. Years ago, when I was working that "fairly secure, well-paying job that I didn't particularly like any more" right alongside you, one of my joys was being around someone who loved the language as much as I did. It's great to see you sharing it with us again.

  3. Oops! Just getting the hang of this comment thing.

  4. What about a link to Benny's Blog?