Once again the
ranch house opened its arms to us as we drove up the long drive
toward our home. The smell of sweet clover and prairie grass was
healing to me as was medicine to an injured person. The old
meadowlark trilled her minor keys to warn us not to encroach
upon her world. Even that was pleasant. Clouds came across the
prairie sky like locomotives racing to some distant destination.
The expanse and beauty of the landscape always, for all my life,
left me feeling humble and aware of a Higher Power.
If you don't
believe in God it's because you haven't been out in His world to
visit with him. Dad always remarked. There was the richness of
combined conditions where warm gentle breezes on a day like this
day today married with the fragrances of wild flowers. Above all
there was the eternal, uninterrupted, almost holy, silence.
Many a cowboy
working to save a cow and her calf in a driving rainstorm with
lightning cracking noisily close on his heels certainly was
deprived of this silence and might give another reason for being
aware of a Supreme Being.
My cousin, now
the owner, and my uncle, wanted Rodney and me at the old home
place. I can see now as it is in disrepair and falling down, the
reason for this. We would have a choice to soon make but, for
the moment, these grounds gave me security and respite from a
hateful world I never knew existed.
Rhonda had a room
ready and waiting for her. In the dairy barn was found an old
fashioned, cast-off wicker basket of an earlier vintage to
precede the stroller. It was on very large wheels and was hidden
away in the now empty granarie. The buggy was the kind seen in
black and white movies, when nurses were pushing babies about in
After it was
scrubbed with disinfectant, spray painted a pale yellow and
lined with soft green satin I had quilted it made a perfect
bassinet. A long ruffle dropping off the sides hid the oversized
wheels. Simply releasing the brakes allowed the newly created
crib to be easily moved from place to place in the overlarge,
rooms of the house, and this was a plus.
My cousin, Ura
May's old room had been painted a muted, soft, earthy blue and
this is where I put the bassinet. A found desk in a junk shop
was painted the same pale yellow. The flat top of the desk with
a pad gave me a place for changing diapers. Windows of any of
the rooms were never covered with fabric. Only slatted Venetian
blinds were used and this allowed the outdoors to come into the
house during the day. After all these years, all the furniture
has been destroyed or stolen from the ranch house except that
one yellow desk.
If I had visited
a world filled with possibly, unsolvable problems, Rhonda,
Rodney and I were back into our environment where nothing like
that existed. Here were peace, love, and all things beautiful.
Soon the events and damage done to my daughter I felt would only
be forgotten memories. This never happened and in reality was
just the beginning of our trek of close to fifty years for
making major decisions regarding, not only our lives, but for
our children as well.
But then soon it
was to be we would walk away from that beautiful spacious
prairie home to unknown places just as our Dad had done so many
years ago. Why did we? It was because the blood of the Joneses
goes to pioneering and that spirit to have gone with building
this oasis had to push forward to a new world in desperate need
of being pioneered with changes to be made. Our ranch home had
always been there and we believed we would return.
The way disabled
children were treated was sad. The pitiful condition of these
children in the year of 1959 we saw and it was one of loneliness
where little ones were deprived of the love from their parents
and family. However, It came to be a time when many parents rose
up and no longer allowed society to sandwich their beloved
babies behind stark white walls of institutions away from
curious eyes supposedly to protect them. Here was a regime
inside our own country that was worse than the other supposedly
superior race a mad man concieved. We would and did see that.
The shock was to come in contact with rows of baby beds with
bars to hold these sad faced children, who were less than
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