Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I live in oil country. This is a pump jack, which brings the oil from the ground. The blue tank is an oil tank. They are all over the place here. Both of Tim's brothers make a living of the oil industry. One is a driller. The other repairs the rigs, builds tanks, etc.

This neck of the woods is also farm country. We have dairy farmers and meat farmers. These rolling hills are also home to a pretty extensive timber industry. I didn't pass by any of those operations today. Maybe another day.

This car looks pretty heartstopping doesn't it? The picture was taken out behind the high school. The seniors will be graduating soon. The car was towed in and set in the parking lot, a reminder to celebrate sensibly. See the blood on the door? There was blood on all the seats, and a dark stain on the floor by the front passenger side. Creeped me out. I couldn't help but say a prayer for the people who had been in that car. Side note: some parents provide the alcohol for their kids' graduation parties. They think that 'kids are going to going to drink anyway', so providing them a safe place to get drunk is the sensible thing to do. I don't believe in that. I think it is enabling kids to make the wrong choice. Providing alcohol to minors will also get your ass in a lot of trouble, jail even.Here is an Amish buggy. I wanted to take a picture of the mother and the little boy and the little girl with her. They were wearing sunglasses with round florescent frames. Mama had green, the kidlets had orange. It looked so out of place with their bonnets and wide brimmed hats, and their somber clothing. I actually did not think that they were allowed to wear bright colors like that, but the kids were so cute that they made me laugh. I did not take a picture of them, so as not to give offense.

See how black the buggies are? They are impossible to see at night. They have flashing yellow strobe lights on each side. It looks like the lights are floating on nothing. You simply do not see the buggy.

The Amish are interesting. They don't own cars, but they will ride in yours. They don't own phones, but will ask to use yours. They don't have electricity, but will use gasoline engines to run their sawmills. A friend of mine knows an Amish man. He roofs houses for a living. He put a roof on theirs not too long ago. Her husband asked him if he would like him to hunt up an air nailer to make the job go faster. The man replied, "No. I think I can come up with one." Turns out he has one. He keeps it hidden. He got in trouble with his sect once for owning a modern convenience. I'm not sure how he got out of it. Probably repented to his group. The thing is, he also owns a cell phone. He keeps that hidden too. My friend asked him why they were not allowed to have things like that. He replied with a smile, "Oh, we're not allowed to be happy." He's a strange charactor as far as the Amish go. Sort of caught between two worlds, the Amish one and ours. He and his wife fight like two cats. Once he commented, 'If the Amish were allowed to have a divorce, I'd have me one of those, too.' I can honestly say that I've never heard of another Amish man quite like him, but I imagine that he's in a hard place. If he leaves the sect, he will be shunned. No one in his family will ever acknowledge his presence again. I imagine that, like any father, he loves his children, and could not bear to think of not being a part of their lives. So he doesn't believe, and and doesn't leave.

Just goes to show you: don't ever think you can judge a book by it's cover.This is an Amish school house. I didn't get it properly centered. The little building is an outhouse. You can just see the side of another one by the telephone pole in the lower right corner. One is for the boys and the other for the girls. You cannot make it out, but there is a black bell they ring for school every morning in the front, on the roof. The other thing poking out of the roof is, of course, the chimney for the woodstove inside.

This is one of 'my' swamps. I once saw a fish stuck in the mud during a dry summer. I waded out to turn him lose, but he thrashed his way out, all in a panic at my approach.

This is what I see, every single day. What the pictures don't tell you is that the wind was strong today, bringing in rain. It was muggy and the breeze felt good. You can't hear the birds singing, or hear the bees droning. You cannot hear the distant thunder. You can't watch the clouds move and change shape. I didn't get a picture of the fox I saw yesterday. You can't hear the bullfrogs croaking, or the geese honking, the bellow of a distant cow. It's a shame, really. It was a dandy day.


Anonymous said...

Bob Barbanes says:

Actually, in that last photograph, one can tell that the wind is blowing very strongly from left to right. There are two clues. Hal will know both of them.

Great post! I don't think those crash-cars make any impact on teens. They just look at them and go, "Won't happen to me!" Because teens are, you know, invincible.

Odd about the Amish...and about any religous sect that preaches one thing but demonstrates (or tolerates) another. "Oh, we're not allowed to own modern conveniences, but we'll happily use yours." Yeaaahhhhh, can you say "inconsistent?" I knew you could.

Kelly said...

Great post! From those first few pix, I almost felt like I was right here in south Arkansas (oil wells, cattle and lots of timber), but we don't have rolling hills like that.

I agree with Bob Barbanes about the crash car (sadly). Same goes for when you show them those examples of how their lungs look after smoking. They do think they're invincible. My husband always says that's why they send young men off to war (he went to Vietnam as a young man).

Interesting stuff about the Amish!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

This was a great post! I think your surroundings look great. Such beauty. You are blessed to see so much of God's country. I loved hearing about the Amish. love ya, Trish

Scotty said...

They're starting to do the same thing here with cars that have been cut open to extract to drunk (and sometimes dead) teenagers - the shock value works most of the time but there will always be those kids who believe they're invincible and it can't happen to them. If it reduces the number of deaths though, I'm all for the shock value - should be more of it, including trips to trauma rooms in hospitals so they can see how they might end up...

jeanie said...

Thank you for a beautiful peek into your day.

The trees and the water tell you about the wind.

Mikey said...

I love, love, love getting a peek into your world. It's so different! I love that you did this post, snapshots of the things you see every day. Fascinating stuff!

Bush Babe said...

I swear I put a comment here today... Blogger is conspiring against us!!! Great post....
More, more!!

heather said...

I was back in PA this weekend and passed a shirtless Amish guy driving a tractor down the road. Not sure what was up with that!

I was working with an Amish dairy farmer once and asked a question about certain cows' milk production. Without thinking he turned to his hidden spreadsheet for the answers. Then he swore us to secrecy about his use of technology to manage the herd.