Country Roads “the scenic route”

“Take the country back roads” they say “you see so much more than you do from the highway..”

Sixteen years ago, a group from our area managed to silence the “nay sayers” when they took a team of horses pulling a covered wagon and several saddle horses the entire way from our area to Goshen, Indiana. Twenty-five days and  over six hundred and thirty miles is no small deal! What an adventure they must have had…

This past weekend, I enjoyed traveling with this hearty bunch, retracing their route. And let me assure you, they traveled the back roads of the back roads… The leaves were beautiful as we headed out.. And I was sorry the sun wasn’t shining, but thankful for the moisture and the fact that it allowed me to leave the harvest and my dad with a less guilty conscience.. 🙂


These pioneers are a wonderful group of people, and I loved all the stories they pulled up from their trip.. Pretty sure I have a few sore muscles from the laughter.. The travel was a little more complex since it was “turn here” and “take that road..” and “WOA WOA WOA! We needed that road..” I have more road number running through my head right now, than.. Our worst mistake was a 14 mile in the wrong way… Got a good laugh at one of the men being confident “I remember that brick barn” only to discover that he’d never traveled that road before…


They spent a night camping under the “Pringle Tree”. During the French and Indian War, the Pringle Brothers deserted, and lived in a hollow sycamore in Buckhannon, WV until the need for ammo forced them to return to civilization. They had been gone for 3 years and upon arrival discovered the war was over and they were no longer wanted.. So they married girls and returned to the “Pringle Tree” area.. The current tree is the grandchild of the original.. All three trees have been on the same stump and been hollow enough inside to fit an 8 foot rail.. Local history.. My weekend was full of that and I loved it..


We spent some time on the Ohio River, watching a tug push 15 barges loaded with coal through the lock, and brushed up on our knowledge of how locks work…


We saw many of the campsites this group had enjoyed… They really traveled by faith- with out campsites lined up ahead, just stopping and requesting permission from land owners.. What struck me was the fact that getting in your car and driving to the next town to the motel that had vacancy was not an option… They spent a damp night at this barn..and.. “this may look like a regular barn to you, but I’m telling you, to us it looked like a Hilton..” lol


They cooked quite often on the trail, but also stopped at local “Ma and Pa” type eateries.. So we did too.. Local flare.. The swiss mushroom burger I had at this place was incredible.. But the atmosphere made me think I should’ve parked my Harley out front…


Our stop in Holmes County among the Amish was lots of fun… I even got a chance to connect with some friends there.. So much fun to hit a coffee shop with you, Beth, and your charming family 🙂 I return home with happy memories of Amish peanut butter, sky lanterns, hot spiced apple cider..


It was raining most of the way… This equipment (waiting on some sunshine) was owned by another family who hosted back when… The 16 row corn head had me completely impressed..


You really do see unique things on back roads… Mr Baldy was making a meal off of a frog that had a few tire track over him..


If we commented once, we said 100 times “Look at those leaves..” It was the perfect weekend travel. Indiana had never been so beautiful..


Sunday morning frost…


What a time… As I drove and listened to the journal entries and the laughter and the memories.. I was just inspired.. My mom often quotes “Dreams” by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow

Maybe your dreams aren’t as complex as building a wagon, hitching up a horse and heading out… But it’s good to go on a mission by faith.. And see how God moves.

Dream big! 😊

Fog… Fall Foliage.. Potato Chips.. Puppy pics..

“So Kendra, where do you see yourself in 10 years?” My new-found friend climbed up into the chopper, occupied my buddy seat and poised the innocent question.. And caught me totally off guard.

My initial response was the standard “I guess I’ll wait and see where the Lord leads..” But as I pondered a little longer I said “I don’t think I have goals for where I’ll be in 10 years as much as I do WHO I’ll be.. More patient.. More forgiving.. More of a consistent example of Christ..”

I’m sure she has no idea how often my mind has returned to that question as I spend my time looking at the world through a windshield.. But it does. Where do I see myself at 37.. Or 47? Or…

I don’t know. I have a running list in my mind of things that I’d like to check off one by one by one.. (and as long as I continue to have the inspiration to write- with time- you’ll discover what those are.. 😉 ) But I’m not climbing a corporate ladder. I’m not hoping to finish a degree. What is the long-term vision for KH?

One thing I love about my job is the opportunity to experience things I very likely would not, otherwise. One of my farmer friends got rained out of the field this week, so he and his wife took the impulsive notion to spend the night at Skyland on Skyline Drive. And I provided transportation. Obviously when it rains in the Valley, there’s a pretty good chance of cloud cover in the mountains, and this time was no different. Deborah went with me on the return trip and we were thrilled with the opportunity to drive through a cloud.. But man, it was foggy.. Visibility was so limited, that it was hard to see the car in front of us. But then we’d come to a break in the fog allowing us to see the changing of leaves in the Valley beneath us..

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So I came up with an analogy.. As I look at the future- sometimes I can see fairly clearly what ahead. And it’s beautiful.. But sometimes its foggy and there are twists in the road and you can hardly see the yellow line and it’s uncertain. It is so awesome to notice that there is beauty there in the mysterious silence of this part of the journey. And that the same sun is consistently shining in the Valley and above the fog… And as long as I stay on the road- there’s beauty ahead!

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Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I invite you to join me in giving the journey to our Omnipotent Tour Guide and relaxing in the knowledge that He has everything planned perfectly and there is beauty ahead!

Blessings on your week,


Bonus Pics:


We made potato chips at Uncle Fred’s this week.. What a fun process.. Running the peeled potatoes through a slicer to come up with thin, even slices of potatoes…


Frying the potato slices in an old iron kettle heated with firewood for several minutes in ” fat free” -ha- lard.. until crispy… And..


Adding salt.. or ranch.. or pepper to come up with a one of a kind treat… I love this part of my family’s traditions.. 🙂


All was done under the careful supervision of Uncle Fred’s newest family member.. Lewie… What a sweet pup!!!

So God Made A Farmer

*With credit to Paul Harvey for his work of art.. and too many hours in solitude on a tractor…

“And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said ‘I need a caretaker’. So God made a farmer..”

God said “I need someone who loves to work the ground to the point that during harvest he forgets to eat and doesn’t mind to miss sleep… Who worries when the ground is too wet, yet when it’s too dry- lifts pleading eyes to the sky… Who watches the market with a self educated interest and no matter the rise and fall of prices- heads out in the spring with the same determined enthusiasm… So God made a farmer.


He said “I need him to not be afraid of hard work, or making decisions. Able to make up his own mind, yet willing to listen to the experience of others. To be willing to get up early, stay up late, and still have a smile on his face. Because he’s doing what he loves. Because he is doing the best he can. Because he is living his life “as unto the glory of God” and he has discovered the secret to a happiness- “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life..” So God created a happy farmer.


God said “But he’ll need help. Someone who is a good partner, who fills in wherever. Who is able to send a meal to the barn in 10 minutes because “Sorry- I forgot to tell you, we have men who need lunch..” Who is willing to drop whatever and head to town on an emergency parts run. Who is a listening ear, a stable pillar… And who remains gracious when her well planned day- lays around her in ruins because “could you help..” So God created a farmer’s wife.


God knew that feeding the world was not a one generation need, so He came up with a carbon copy of the farmer. With a lot of the same tendencies and traits, yet a little different. Someone who loves to learn in the shop. Who is outspoken on the playground over what kind of equipment is best. Who is given responsibility at a young age and thrives under his dad’s adoring eye. Who understands that it’s not “Dad’s  farm” but it’s “our farm”.. Confident.. Dependable.. So God’s made a farmer’s son.


But something was still missing. There needed to be someone to bring her doll to the field to ride, and both buddy seat riders catch a nap-lulled by the motion of the tractor, as the farmer makes round after round.. Someone who knows how to pick rocks from the field and or a bouquet of wild flowers. Who pleads “please try on that down cow again” and cries when nothing changes and gently touches the old cow’s head and murmurs “I’m sorry ol’ girl…” Someone who is versatile enough to be comfortable wearing barn boots and yet enjoys dressing up to go out on the town. A spunky sort who isn’t afraid of hard work. One who can come in covered with dust after a day in the field and laugh at her farmer’s tan and say “what a good day”… So God made a farmer’s daughter.


And God took all these, and added some love and a laughter. A few animals, and good dog or two. He threw in some hard times but lots of blessings. Some sunshine,rain, a few rainbows. Added lots and lots of beautiful sunrises and sunsets… And some tenacity because” no matter what happens- we have each other” and called it a “Farm Family”.


And God saw that it was good. 🙂 -Kendra