How deep do your roots go?
I’m from dry land farmers and people who ran small ranches that never made much money. I know the movies have the stories about powerful ranchers who own more land than they can ride across in a day, but that’s not the people I’m from.
My grandparents met at a barn raising in Texas, just over the Red River from Oklahoma. They spent the day together, wrote letters for a year, then he rode back across the Red to pick her up. She had the wagon packed with her hope chest and all they’d need. They were married that day. She was fifteen and he was eighteen. They crossed back over the Red into Oklahoma Territory and started farming.
My dad was their youngest son and he said they looked old when he was born. If he was alive, my father would be a 100 this year.
All this said, sometimes I feel close to the past. Like it’s just around the corner out of reach. I might have an iPhone and an Apple computer, but their blood still flows in me. I’m from farm folks….
Or, so I thought….the blood must be thinning.
My son, who has a master’s in Criminal Justice and works in loss prevention for a national chain, was told he could work from home last month. Three weeks later he bought a farm in the middle of nowhere. My GPS told me I was 31 miles out. Two hours later I’m still circling every County Road looking for him. Who knew two ruts in the tall grass was a road?
I couldn’t wait to see his land, his farm. We traveled across Texas, 10 hours, with three ducks riding in a tub in the back of our van. Once, when Tom stopped fast one of the ducks flew out and landed just behind my sister. She didn’t seem to like the duck eating her hair.
So all tired we pulled into a beautiful, green farm.
My son, whose time outside city lights can be counted in weeks, greets us with a warning that he shot a coral snake this morning.
Coral snake. I start trying to remember that ‘black touch red or black touch yellow’ but have no idea which is a friendly fellow.
I jump out. I have to walk the land! Get back to my roots! They’ve got chickens and ducks. A stream. Not exactly The Red, but too big for me to cross.
The fire ants were not welcoming—enough said.
We let the ducks out and they loved their bath.
Tom thought he’d pet a chicken. By accident, I’m sure, the chicken put a deep scratch along Tom’s arm. This chicken was not a cuddler.
But, we were in Heaven. We were on the land. I had no idea how noisy it is at night. Or how early the sun comes up without heavy drapes.
Then about dawn the first day, I picked up my Apple, curled up in the porch swing and found Heaven.
I’m from the land, you know. I was home.
I hope you’ll feel just that way when you read my new book, INDIGO LAKE. Come along with me on this journey and when you finish maybe you’ll say “I’m from the land.”
When I began writing the Ransom Canyon series, a very dear friend gave me a Ransom Canyon T-shirt to inspire me. It sat by my desk and was never worn. I would like to give that shirt to one of my special readers who might know—How do you get rid of fire ants without killing the chickens?”
Love you all, Jodi Thomas