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Thankful Thursdays #75: where the buffalo roam

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Oh give me a home
Where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard
A discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day
Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard
A discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

If you’ve never heard this song, you can hear the tune to it here.  It’s the state song of Kansas, one I’ve been singing all my life.  And while the skies get plenty cloudy here, and I’ve heard my fair share of discouraging words, I am happy and proud, and thankful that Kansas is my home.

As Dennis and I were driving through Abilene, shopping and sight-seeing, we saw signs like this everywhere:

PFCG?? What does that mean??  Then we started seeing signs that explained a little more…

We finally got the full explanation from a checker at West’s Country Mart.  PFCG means “Pray for Carly Gassman.”  When news spread in Abilene that this high school senior had a brain tumor, people in Abilene came together to support her and stores throughout the city, both individually owned businesses and chains, posted signs to “pray for Carly.”  Abilene business owners and those in surrounding cities pulled together to do a fundraiser for her.  The checker also reported that she’d had surgery to remove 90% of the tumor and she was recovering well.  This story gives me the feel-good sunshiney shivers!  God bless Kansas!  What a wonderful community!

Besides this inspiring example of the small communities and how they draw together to help each other out, I’m also thankful for Kansas in a purely superficial way.  While I’m often envious of more beautiful areas overseas and even within the United States, it doesn’t really take much searching to discover the unique beauty of the plains God created here.  Sometimes you just have to drive a little to get past all the manmade buildings…

Dennis says the mulberry tree should be our state tree because we have so many of them.  This one was in Abilene but we have them right in our own backyard, literally.  We always have to stop and have a taste.

I had Dennis pull over so I could take a photo of this man driving his tractor.  I gave the man a friendly wave as he got closer, and though he was working, he pulled his tractor as far over to the side as he could to see if I needed help or was lost.  See what I mean about our folks here?  So thoughtful!  Though I did feel bad about interrupting his work!

Can you tell what crop this is?

Green (unripe) wheat!  You see a lot of wheat fields in Kansas, as it is our main crop.  We are known as the “wheat state.”

We’re also known as the sunflower state.

Cutest water tower ever?

Sunsets in the country are so beautiful.

Atop the castle at Coronado Heights near Lindsborg.

When you slow down and take it all in, you notice the little things.  It’s times like these, watching a lady bug and ants going about their business, being out in nature, that I really feel close to God.  This makes me want to sing, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.”

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. ~Psalm 19: 1-4

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