September 22 – It was so nice here this weekend that we drove to Lone Jack, planning on walking on the road on which the Cowboy Church is located. Our daughter Biz took us there on a weekday once so we could look in the windows and see what it was like in the church. Don’t know how true it is, but she said that everybody comes in jeans or overalls, never dressed up. We talked several times about how Dawg would have liked to run around in new territory, but as we continued walking, we found the traffic was terrific, as they say, and she wouldn’t have been safe. Knowing that we would be walking back the same way we had come, I made my eyes see only one side of the road, so the scenery would be new on the other!
Near the driveway that led to a big farm, the whole bank was covered with honeysuckle; we have lots of that along one of our fences, too, but not in three different colors! There were the usual creamy one, a brighter yellow, and a striking red! All through those bushes, with hardly an empty inch or two, we found garden spiders with grasshoppers they had wound up for a future feast. When I took pictures, I had to feel around with my feet to make sure I didn’t fall off the road into the patch. If I felt myself slipping a bit, I hurriedly scrambled back onto the road.
In one area we found big plot maps with the acreage and cost of each on a big white board. A number of the plots were marked SOLD, so I guess that area that used to be one big farm will now be an area of homes for people who like to move from the city into a rural spot. I couldn’t help but wonder who owned and farmed all of that property at one time–where the now grown-up kids live, and what memories center around that farm. Just a bit farther up the road was another for sale sign, this time the 180 acres would go as one piece.
We saw several old barns, some obviously still in use, but one lonesome building with its big openings near the roof, looking like bleary eyes. Since I have always enjoyed checking out these ancient barns and have taken many photos of those we found while meandering on country roads, this was a real find. Better yet, that barn helped me make another friend! As I was standing in front of the closed cattle gate where the unused road led to the barn, taking another photo, I heard a voice calling out, “Sir, do you need any help? Is everything okay?” Well, being addressed as “Sir” more than surprised me! Turning around, I saw a friendly young guy with a big smile, sitting in his pick-up. Assuring him that I was okay, I told him that Dale was sitting in our green truck on the other side of the road. I explained to him about my love for old barns, and he told me of his acreage up on Lovers’ Lane, the road just ahead of us up the hill. We discussed various aspects of living in the country, how taxes would be going up if one of the small towns around could get a good bit of the surrounding land under their jurisdiction, and a number of other items. Much impressed with his knowledge and care for folks, I was glad to make another friend. We must have talked a long time, because when I got back into the truck with Dale and told him of our conversation, he commented, “Well, I wondered what was taking so long!”
Then the “Cowboy Church.” It was a long building, surrounded by a typical wooden farm fence, with horses grazing in the pasture just outside the church. Cars were driving into the driveway; folks getting ready for the evening services. I don’t know the story of the building, but by its shape and size, I wondered if it might have originally been a horse barn. The church has a web site as listed on the sign at the end of the road. I checked it out and found the name of the pastor, the subjects on which he speaks, and where others of the same group meet in various states.
Speaking of the road, we wondered during our walk of a mile or more one way just what its name was, since it had no signs along the way. At the other end, we found the answer: Casey Road, and Lovers’ Lane, as the young guy had mentioned. He also told us that the name of that road was changed three times since he had moved there eighteen years ago! Maybe some folks didn’t like lovers!
This three-miles-plus walk did not compare to the walks we used to take, mostly ten miles, but often fifteen or even twenty-six, but we had less to do back then, and were maybe, just maybe, a little faster walkers! I have heard people say, “Take time to smell the roses,” but I guess we are just taking more time to enjoy the scenery, to take photos, and to check into history. – CHRIS