If I were a Barn… and other rural thoughts.


“If I were a Barn”

By Jack Jenkins

If I were a barn I’d want to live on a farm, I’d protect the horses, cows, and sheep, before I finally went to sleep. My color would be red with white trim and as strangers passed they want to grin because everyone knows that barns should be red with white trim.

Each year I’d have another coat very much like painting a boat. This would  protect me from the cold, and for all those that wish I’ll bring them into the fold.   I’d repay my friends with sanctuary after a long day of picking cherries.  The weather outside is sometimes cruel, but not if you follow the golden rule.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and someday in the not so distant future, an angel will appear. The offer will be clear, a golden parachute above the farm and all the tools you’ll need to build your own barn.

I sit on the porch after painting the barn with Nancy. We worked hard for a couple days to realize our labors have paid off. Now I look up to the barn and am so proud of another task we completed to make this house a home. It looks like the prettiest barn I’ve ever seen. After living here for a year I can tell you that this barn rates way up there.

Today I stopped by the side of the road to use my app, “Picture this”. The app identifies the plant so that when I look around and people ask I can actually tell them what the plant is. The plant I was identifying was a beautiful yellow flower that are blanketing the fields around us. This flower is the “False Lupin”. This flower is actually in the legume or bean family native to North America. It’s habitat is grasslands and woodlands which would describe the topography of our land perfectly.

I so enjoy the process of learning about where we live. From the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Nez Pierce Indians, and the Dworshak Dam. The dam is the third tallest in the United States on the North Fork of the Clearwater River in north central Idaho.

The Clearwater River was an important piece of the puzzle that Lewis and Clark put together to eventually reach the Pacifc Ocean. And so our learning continues in this magical place we call home.




Sojourns Across the Chasm

learn about yourself experience life

A couple days ago I began another journey. This travel will take me to several of the people I care most about.

Chico is the town I went to college in. It holds a special place in my heart. Now, many years later my daughter Chelsea is graduating and receiving her masters degree. Of course I am very proud of her.

During her time in Colorado she attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and graduated with a pre-law degree. Chelsea was able to take advantage of a program during that time that gave her the ability to attend my alma mater.

Ironically she lived in the same dorm one floor below the exact room I stayed in when I attended Chico many years before. The WUE interstate tution discount program enabled her to receive credit for classes taken piggy-backed onto her existing units taken at UCCS.

Now, after attending the California Northern School of Law she stands ready to accept the fruits of her labor. What a wonderful ending to a scholastic career. Now the hard work begins to determine the next part of her journey through life. This,  away from the purse strings and to a large degree the net that has been provided for her for many years.

After I celebrate Chelsea’s achievement I will proceed from Chico to San Rafael California. This is the home town I largely grew up in and acknowledge as my birthplace. My trip to Marin County will be a combination of joy and sorrow.

The joy will be seeing some people I have not seen in decades along with staying with my best friend, John Greene. I will be attending a celebration of life for John’s mom, Joanne Holt Greene.

Joanne Greene I considered a dear friend. She always made me feel right at home, hosting wonderful parties always with a smile and a beautiful laugh that echoed through-out her home.

Now, one of the last of the old gaurd is gone. We are the older gaurd taking cues from our parents to enjoy the fruits of their and our labor. It is a time to be introspective.  We go down memory lane remembering the best of those times we spent with those we will never see again. It is a heart-felt journey that encompasses the emotional roller-coaster of specific moments that brought us closer to those we will never forget.

A trip like this feels like looking into an hour glass as the sands slowly move to the end of our journey. There are many people on this trip I will never see again. I don’t take this lightly as each person I will spend time with holds a special place in my heart. Every conversation I will play back for the rest of my life like a scene from a movie one frame at a time.

This time capsule I will replay to enhance the joy I feel when I live in the frame of mind of spatial consciousness. That is to be aware of my surroundings adding to the experience and realizing my position relative to those I engage.  I am so blessed to see those I have not seen in so long and to be able to enjoy thoroughly all I will converse with on this beautiful sojourn into the past.

Spring has Arrived

The meadow outside our windows have gone from the straw underbrush of Winter to the vibrant green of Spring. Birds and insects chirping while the bass tonality is executed by the frogs in full voice reveals a change in season.

Deer pass by on their sojourn displaying the white tails of winter soon to be the brown tails of summer. Wild turkeys mate as the Toms fan their tails to appear more desirable. The fan of the turkey tails I’d never seen before and reminds me of the paper turkeys we’ve seen as kids around Thanksgiving. Having no reference point for this display I thought it was more poetic license than the actual picture of a turkey. However, having seen this in real life I can say the picture doesn’t do the turkey justice. It’s magnificence cannot be over stated.

Periodically we are blessed to see the Elk. Such a big and beautiful animal grazing below our sunroom with the evergreen trees and lake in the background. This makes quite a wonderful way to start the day as these animals typically graze around our home early morning or late at night.

Only the moon can illuminate their presence. Light toned fur around a dark fur collar with the rest of the body light toned gives this beast a rather elegant look fully throned in nature. Methodically moving across the meadow in groups up to ten the other animals give them space to procure nature’s bounty.

Wild flowers are slowly poking up through the grass revealing tiny white beads that dot the emerald green meadow. Interspersed among this Springtime collage are blue lupins and the yellow daffodils trumpeting Spring has arrived.

The smell of nature reveals a Jasmine tea like character that mixes a grass like scent with a sweet fragrance. This combination of scents heightens the sensory experience enveloping everything we smell. This symphony of scent  provides an opening act for the beautiful weather to follow.

As a child I only knew that when springtime arrived playtime would increase as the rain decreased and that summer (a respite from school work) was just around the corner.  Today I look a little deeper into the nuance of this seasonal event. Now I think of each plant and flower as a blessing that unveils its short lived beauty in a timeless tribute to the choreography that is nature.

The trees provide a canopy of evergreen leaves with a mixture of majestic soft woven leaves to the spindly pine needles. Each tree is unique unto itself as insects and birds have had an impact on its growth and stature as have the rain and sun displayed in its concentric rings.

Morning brings a smile as something has grown or bloomed revealing another vibrant color trumpeting lifes evolution. Most interesting of all is how the sunlight changes as the sun moves from east to west. Each shadow is a movement highlighting natures bounty or disguising it in the early morning or late afternoon.

Most spectacular of all are the clouds that usually form around sunset. The white billowing clouds add unique design to the sunset color.  Purple, blue, red, and bright orange streak across the sky like a paintbrush weilding its display as time changes its configuration from moment to moment.