Matfield Green - Our first years

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"I hate the wind"

Friend, bunkhouse partner, carpenter extraordinaire, and Kansas native Pat Moss hates the wind. His parents lived through the dustbowl in western Kansas and Pat grew up listening to tales of lining the doors and window frames with sodden towels only to find a 1/4 inch of dust inside the cupboards after the storm had passed.

Over last night's dinner of thick bean soup with pasta shells Pat told me the story of being a "single digit kid" in Hays Kansas in 1957 or so, when the Great Plains experienced two years of dustbowl redoux which were only relieved by a catastrophic flood. Pat was down the street playing outside with Sammy Johnson (actually I forgot the name he said, but Sammy will do). Mrs. Johnson, a bit older than Pat's parents and well-versed in duststorms, saw it coming and sent Pat home. "I dawdled and almost didn't make it."

It's 9am in Matfield Green and the wind is kicking up as promised. Given the heads-up by Pat, who keeps a sharp eye on the weather, Pepper and I got our walk in early, heading west out into the open prairie toward the line of hills west of the fishing ponds. Perhaps my favorite thing about living here is the countless walking destinations that don't involve spending money. I can pick out any of many hills and know that even if I walked there just yesterday, the view - and the feeling of the wind on my neck or the sun on my face - will be different today than ever before.

My second favorite thing about living here is that, like Pepper, I can squat and pee whenever the spirit moves me.

So far, I don't hate the wind. A couple of times this week, mind full of Pat's stories and friends' questions about Tornado Alley, I've awoken in the middle of the night thinking that it's a 50 mile an hour wind shaking the bunkhouse. But it's only a particularly heavy train.


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