Painted In


Snow, like slathered paint on canvas, blends everything together as horses in winter coats eagerly sift through the tangled mess of cornstalks looking for bits of corn. Being engaged in the pursuit of survival they are oblivious to the beautiful picture they have become a part of.


The Grand Run Around



It was Saturday afternoon and mischievous Eli tore into his friend Andy’s lane at breakneck speed. When he was even with the yard gate, he yelled, “Whoa!” and pulled hard on the driving lines. By the time the horse skidded to a stop, Eli had already jumped off the buggy and was breezing through the gate.

About the time he entered the front door, his friends Andy and Roy came around the side of the house. When the two teenage boys saw Eli’s horse standing in the lane with Eli nowhere in sight, they realized that their friend had once again done the unconventional and left his horse unattended. An unwritten law among the Amish is that you always tie your horse. Nothing could put a slow horse into high gear faster than the opportunity to hit the road without a driver. It was simply the human in the horse.

Andy and Roy looked at each other, looked at the house, and looked at the buggy. Without hesitation Andy jumped into the buggy, grabbed the driving reins, and climbed behind the seat. Roy gave Andy some time to get away with the horse and buggy and then let out a desperate shriek, “Whoa, whoa! Eli, your horse is running away! Whoa! Eli!” Roy half-heartedly ran after the “runaway” horse while yelling at the top of his lungs.

Eli, taking advantage of Amish hospitality, was just opening the refrigerator door when he thought he heard someone calling his name and yelling something about a runaway horse. Oh, well, they could catch their own horse. He was hungry. Surely his friends had something to eat . . . He froze. A horse running away? His horse? Hunger pains left him faster than a piece of chocolate cake in a crowd of starving boys.

About the time Andy had steered the horse through the open gate and into a harvested hay field behind the barn, Eli came flying out of the house like a ball from Mickey Mantle’s bat. Without losing momentum in the race, he yelled at his horse to stop. He tore down the field toward the careening buggy, easily catching up with Roy who was still flailing the air and yelling.

“Faster, Roy!” said Eli as he puffed past Roy. “We’re not going to catch him at your pace.”

Roy picked up speed as Eli passed and then keeping his eyes on Eli, he slowed to a dull run. He hoped his loud screams of “Whoa!” would make up for his slow pace.

Crouched behind the buggy seat, Andy pulled on the reins to slow Eli’s horse just enough for Eli to catch up. When he heard Eli puffing directly behind the buggy, he eased up on the reins, allowing the horse to pick up speed and leave Eli behind. When Andy got to the end of the field, he pulled on the driving reins and made a wide turn back up the field.

“Head him off, Roy! Head him off!” Eli shouted as he picked up speed once again. “Can’t you run faster?” Roy ran clumsily toward the fence to “head off” the horse, but by now he was laughing so hard that he stopped to bend over, feigning stomach pain from all the running.

From somewhere deep inside of him, Eli found the will to drum up more speed. When he could almost touch the buggy, the concealed Andy eased up on the reins once again and the horse sped off. From one end of the field to the other they went.

Finally, the exhausted Eli dropped to the ground in frustration and watched as the horse stopped at the far end of the field.

Roy dropped beside him, holding his side as he laughed.

“What are you laughing at?” Eli sputtered.

“That must be the smartest horse I ever saw in my life,” Roy gasped. “Did you notice how he sped up every time you got close?”

Eli looked around, disgruntled. “Where in the world is Andy? Why didn’t he come to help?”

“Andy? Who’s Andy?” Roy asked innocently.

Suddenly a light came on in Eli’s brain. “Andy!” he screamed, jumping up. “I am going to get even with you!”

The distant horse and buggy slowly turned and came toward them.

Holding onto his hat, Eli ran for his horse. Andy, roaring with laughter, waved at Eli from the front seat of the buggy as he headed toward the hitching rail. He kept just far enough ahead of Eli that he could quickly tie the horse and run into the house for refuge.





This little pony crossed the road in front of us. We slowed to see what would happen. A little tyke soon saw the pony so he scrambled after him not looking to see if anything was coming. He quickly grabbed the pony and dragged him back to his side of the road. No harm done!


Companionship is no respecter of age or culture. We are happier when we have companionship, whether it is working together or socializing.  Painting, building barns, sewing, quilting, or eating goes better when we are with someone. Many animals also enjoy being together.


Since we don’t paint the town we decided to paint the windows

Amish School IMG_4886

Happiness is making it fit.


Grouping together makes even the blues happy.


Sunday evening socializing


Catching the socializing fever.


If they can go to the neighbors why can’t we?


It’s fun to go with Dad!


Getting the work done together.


The blues have it over the browns, eleven to two.

The Evening Before Tomorrow

It was the evening before tomorrow and peace ruled the countryside


Pants were hung securely from the clothes line.


A few people were winter minded in the heat of the day.


A buggy stood resting on its shafts under the shade  of the old maple tree.


A young man painted his field with golden sheaves of grain.


The girls cheerfully stacked the grain into shocks.


Empty milk cans stood as sentinels of the past, reminding me of the days of hay loaders, pitchforks, bells on cows, and castor oil.


A school house guarded an old pump.


Children, dreaming about hard candy, joyfully drove to grandma’s house.


Young and old celebrated a wedding.


A lady drove out of a tunnel of shadows and into the evening sun on her way home.


A little fellow was exploring his small world of grass and mama.


It was fitting that this field was almost done since the evening was getting late. We were almost home as well, but not quite . . .


. . . since this tourist had to stop and try his hand at making a shock of grain.


The finished product, though a reasonable look alike, is far from a work of art.


I hope that your trip was a good one. Follow me home and I’ll give you a glass of fresh garden tea.


If you like this why don’t you hit the like button. Don’t be shy. It sure would be nice to see who you are. Come back and visit when you can. We’ll try to have the dishes done so we can sit some.

The Cat’s Meow

The short ride the other morning was the ride that relaxes, the rain that refreshes, the cat’s meow.IMG_2494

The joy of little things barely visible is worth the ride.IMG_2453

Showing his beauty or meaning business?IMG_0025

Hard work makes a beautiful landscape.IMG_2468

Heading to Charm, the little village with a big attitude.IMG_0083

Pony power. Twenty miles to a gallon of oats.IMG_2460

The pause that refreshes.IMG_2253

The quack that quiets.IMG_5723

What the Woodpecker Says

A few years ago I built a peanut feeder. It was mainly built by trial and error. I am still changing the design. I closed the hole on the side. The only way the birds can get peanuts is from the bottom. I thought that having the access hole on the bottom would deter the sparrows and other undesirables. Alas, it was not to be.

The blue jays learned to fly to a shrub about twelve feet away and use it as an airstrip. They take off and fly to the hole and quickly grab a peanut before they lose altitude. The Grackles stab into the hole and poke at the peanuts. They quickly drop to the ground and grab the peanuts before other birds can eat it. The sparrows, oh, those sparrows. Never mind, let’s not think about sparrows.

This blue jay has pretty much learned the ropes.


A Red-bellied Woodpecker enjoys his meal.


Most of the woodpeckers that feed at the feeder are red headed woodpeckers. One morning a red headed woodpecker was sitting on top of the feeder making a huge fuss. Finally my wife asked if the feeder was empty. I knew it was, but I was out of peanuts at the time. The woodpecker continued fussing. The next morning he sat on the feeder again and continued scolding me for my carelessness. Finally I bought peanuts and filled the feeder. All was well. The woodpecker was happy.

About a week later one morning I was sitting by a window in the sunroom when I heard what sounded like a jackhammer on the roof. I ignored the sound, but every so often the jackhammer pummeled the roof. Finally after a really loud drumming right above me I looked up. There was the woodpecker hanging from the gutter glaring at me. When I looked up he flew off. I knew that the feeder was empty again. That was weird. How did he know to come to me to have the feeder filled!