I live in a rural area.   When I take my daily run, I begin on the highway, and go half a mile in either direction before I turn on to a gravel road. The highway is well traveled, and these side roads have some traffic as well.   In my 22-plus years of running along these roads, I have found some interesting treasures on the roadside, but none as interesting as the one I found a few weeks ago.

I have had intermittent trouble with my left knee, and now my left hip is making noise, too. I had a quarter mile left to go on this particular day, and I gave in to the pain.

Maybe I need a new knee,” I thought.

Maybe I need a new hip, too,” I added.

“Maybe I just need a whole new leg.” I left it at that.

Now, I don’t wear my glasses when I run, so I can’t see small things clearly. However, not even 100 yards after I sent up that request,  I ran right by this treasure. I realized I’d better go back and take another gander. It was flesh-colored and only several inches long, so I couldn’t quite visually decipher it.

I bent down to pick it up.

Be careful what you wish for.


It was even the left leg. I guess I needed to be more specific, because it was obviously too small, and a bit battered from the roadside trauma.

Prior to this find, my most interesting roadside treasure was a beautiful blown-glass marijuana pipe. Initially, I left it behind. I didn’t want to be in possession of paraphernalia, which, as I understand, is a crime in my state.

It was still there the next day, so I picked it up. I incorporated it into an art project and gifted it to a friend who was moving to a state where she could be legally in possession.



I recall an article written by a famous TV doctor who told the story of his patient, a woman who, without life-saving surgery, was sure to die. No one had survived her condition without surgery. Her religion forbade such invasive procedures, and her family chose instead to gather around her and pray for her.

This doctor expressed that he was incredulous with disbelief, unable to understand how anyone could deny their loved one this life-saving treatment. Without it, his expertise told him she didn’t stand a chance at survival.

But she did survive. And he reported that he would never again doubt the power of prayer.


It helps me to think of prayer—the kind where we ask for things (my most common form), as a flexing of our spiritual muscles. When we pray—whatever form it may take, it can be an individual, or in this woman’s case, a collective flexing of many muscles joining together, directing their spiritual energy toward one goal.  The more people praying, the greater chance of the petition being answered. Think of it as a group of people lifting a car off of a person, whereas one person may not be able to do it alone.

But asking alone is okay, too. Asking for something in prayer and knowing that some force greater than our own is listening is a gift of grace. If you have ever asked for anything from this divine source, however, you know that your wish isn’t always granted. This may very well be a good thing.

I believe our prayers are always heard, even if they aren’t answered. Sometimes, as in the case of my new leg that was immediately granted, it is apparent that our prayers need to be specific. I should have described the leg I wanted a little better.

I believe, too, that no matter how jumbled and disjointed our prayers may be, the meaning is always heard.


I believe that sometimes, we ask for things that are not what we really need. We think we know what we need, but perhaps we are not ready for it yet. Or, maybe it is indeed what we need, but we need to do a little more work on our own to get there.

I remember many nights of homework with my boys. One in particular stands out. My youngest son heaved his heavy backpack up on to the kitchen counter while I was doing the dinner dishes on the other side of the counter.

“Mom, will you help me with my homework?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said. “But you haven’t even started. You need to do everything that you know how to do, and then I will help you after that.”

He looked up at me with a groaning expression, as if to imply that I would make it a whole lot easier for him if I just helped him from the start, even before he did his part. Of course, it would have.

I was busy doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen, and he had the ability to get at least some of it done. Sure, it would have been much easier for him if I helped him, but he wouldn’t learn that way. Plus, I knew he could get it if he tried. He had the knowledge and the know-how.

I think that sometimes we are able to do more than what we attempt; we have the ability. It is much easier, however, to ask for divine intervention to make it easier for us to reach our goals. But we wouldn’t learn that way. And we wouldn’t be using our gifts and knowledge. Plus, I think God is busy doing the dishes sometimes and we can get started while he finishes them. When we deplete all our energy, when we have utilized the gifts we were given to figure these things out, then I think God steps in.

And, just like I smiled upon my son for putting his resources to work and exhausting them to get closer to the solution before I helped, I think we are smiled down on from above when we do our homework on our own, as far as we are able.


Since I gave up hope, I feel so much better.”

Even though Gail and Suzanne don’t remember, I recall Mom saying this. Now, it needs to be qualified: I believe she meant that it was a relief to give up on changing other people, not to give up hope on a brighter future, brighter because you have done all you can do to make it that way, and you have said your prayers.

The world right now needs hope. If, like me, you are feeling a sense of doom about the current state of our world, it is helpful to remind ourselves that there is indeed hope. We should not give up hope on a brighter future. But right now, we all need to do whatever we can to keep ourselves and others safe; this is our homework right now.

Gail, Suzanne and I are products of Small-Town Kansas. For the last sixty-plus years, our hometown has hosted an incredible festival. The Tipton Church Picnic takes place on the first Saturday of every August. Festival-goers come from far and wide to take place in the various activities that keep our private, Catholic high-school operating. It has always been one of the smallest high schools in the state, but it keeps going strong.

Except this year.

It should be happening right now as I write on Saturday evening. Even though I don’t always go, and we weren’t going to make it this year due to a family wedding that we didn’t go to either, it still breaks my heart that it is not taking place.


Last year’s festival.  The high school is on the left.

The auction that typically brings in over six figures will now take place online, as will the raffles. Without fail, the generosity of the attendees has provided an abundant windfall every year to keep the school doors open. I have hope that, even though it is taking place virtually, it will again prove abundant.

The full-course chicken dinner—complete with homemade pies—will not happen either, nor will the locally famous burgers be sold by the thousands well into the night.



Last year’s feasts, pictures courtesy of Gail.

I consume both, and to honor this, I made peach pies today. Even though they were made from fresh, luscious Colorado peaches, it won’t taste as good as the pie at the Picnic.


My boys are grilling hamburgers and while they, too, will be delicious, it won’t be quite the same.


Gail is celebrating on her own with a cold one in the classic koozie that is an annual souvenir.  Being the gamblers she and I are, we always practice hope in that we will be big winners at the raffle…maybe this year.


I have hope that next year, the Tipton Church Picnic will happen again. I’m going to ask.



There is another small Kansas town that, by its very name, exemplifies the spirit of Kansas. I drove through there on my travels last week.


We are a tough bunch, and our hope and faith will get us through.


Gail, Suzanne and I are aunties again. Late in June, our brother and his wife added to their family. Their son was born here in the hospital in the small city Suzanne and I live in. Initially, both mother and baby fared well, but complications arose. Blake had to spend a week in the NICU, and his mother pulled through after her crisis. I don’t think I’ve prayed that hard in a long time.

Suzanne and I were able to visit with them—minus the baby—in the lobby after passing the COVID screenings. Spending time with them gave me hope that they were going to be okay, because their hope and faith were obvious.

As I waited for them before one of our visits, I picked up a magazine and leafed through it. Inside, someone had left a handwritten message, asking for hope and help with prayer to get through their crisis. Even though I have no idea who it was, my heart broke for them, and I haven’t forgotten about them, haven’t lost hope for them. I continue to ask for help and grace for them, whomever they are.


Asking for help from above and all around is sometimes all anyone can do in the most desperate of times.


I began this post early this week. Mom, in her usual style, found a way to let me know she is still with all of us. I have referred many times to her “pink book,” and when I opened it Friday, she had highlighted the entire title. I think this means she liked the entire passage for that day.


I believe I will believe. And ask. And receive. And continue to hope. Sometimes, the asking is as basic as simply asking for wisdom and strength to know how to use your gifts. I believe this is our homework right now in these crazy times. God is probably pretty busy doing dishes and cleaning up bigger messes than mine or yours, but when we have used all our resources, I believe we will get the help we need.

I believe I should have been more specific when I asked for the new leg. If I had, perhaps I would have been granted the right left leg.

I believe that these tough times will pass, and although we may not be able to be as carefree as we were in the past, there is hope for happiness to return.

Loss in life has taught me that we can endure more than we think we can.  And in the end, we emerge stronger, more faithful, and believers in hope for brighter days.  And those brighter days  will indeed come, but we may have to ask.

And, as Mom and Dad taught us, don’t forget to say thank you.


Ban Breathnach, S. (1995). Simple Abundance.  New York, Warner Books







Yesterday for lunch, I enjoyed a turkey sandwich. For dinner—or supper, as we call it on the farm, I had a juicy burger in a soft bun. I savored a sliver of single crust raisin cream pie for dessert.

Last week, our family had take-home pizza, and we enjoyed every bite. I made a cake for dessert, and today, we plan to partake of a loaf of whole-wheat take-and-bake bread.

All these goodies are made possible courtesy of wheat, the staple crop of Kansas.


Yesterday, after I enjoyed that turkey sandwich, I took off for my annual trip to the harvest field. My brothers had an afternoon of cutting left; harvest took place this year in between the rains. I was worried they would finish before the weekend, but there were a few hours of harvest left for me to enjoy. I haven’t missed a harvest since 1990. It is the high point of the year on the farm, the time of year that brings back my fondest farm-girl memories.

Along with our four brothers, Gail, Suzanne and I grew up on this farm in north-central Kansas. It is now a fourth-generation Kansas family farm, and this heritage gives me untold pride. Two of our four brothers continue to demonstrate stellar stewardship of our family legacy, and I cannot express in words how grateful I am to them for that. Our nephews show promise to maintain this legacy in the future, and this sense of family attachment to our parcel of the Kansas earth is something that will continue to give me a secure sense of home.



The house we grew up in–the house that built us, was over 100 years old when we lived there. It housed us all for many years, but it was time for it to come down. It’s spirit lives on, and one of our brothers lives on with his family in a new house built just up the driveway from where it stood. A garden now occupies that spot, a fitting tribute to the plot of land that grew our family.



At the crest of the hill that slopes down on one’s final mile to our farm, the panoramic view is one that never fails to warm me. It was already 90-plus degrees, but I welcome this kind of warmth, no matter what the temperature is.


Much of our family’s land lies “over west” from our farm, the term we have always used to refer to the farm ground several miles west of our farm. Today, however, the remaining wheat was within view of the farm; I don’t remember a trip where I was able to enjoy the proximity of the farm for my afternoon in the harvest field.   The two combines worked across the road from each other, and the two semi-trucks were kept busy being filled and refilled.


I hopped into my brother’s combine when I arrived; his son ran the other combine across the road. This time in the cab is the best view of the action, as the reels comb the wheat into the header to begin the process of separating the wheat from the chaff.



The tractor-driven grain cart allows the combine to continue cutting without stopping to drive to the semi.  The tractor pulls up alongside the combine, moving forward along with the combine as it simultaneously dumps a load and continues to fill the bin.

A local farmer once told our dad the story of his city-slicker relative who came to the farm for harvest, and, upon observing this sight, commented:

“It’s amazing how that reel pulls the combine through the wheat.”



Amazing indeed if that were how it worked, but it’s more complicated than that. Life is usually never as easy at it looks to the unaware eye, and this situation is no different. In the end, though, the wheat is separated from the chaff, carried to the bin and awaits its turn to be dumped into the truck.

Some of the wheat is stored on the farm in a bin as seed wheat for next year’s crop,


Business decisions between the farmers are made at all phases of the harvest.

and the rest is transported to the elevator down the road.

The other half of my harvest agenda is a trip in the big rig to the elevator.

The truck is first weighed and the driver identifies the account,


Then the wheat is dumped from the truck into the pit.


The hopper is wide open to dump the wheat down into the pit


Where it awaits its vertical trip up into the elevator and is eventually hauled away by train.


The elevator hand closes the hopper, and we’re off for another weigh-in to determine the amount of grain deposited.

And then we head back to the field to do it all over again multiple times. Except this year, there was only one more load remaining. My brother informed the elevator hand he would be back only one more time; their harvest work is almost done this year for my brother, and for most area farmers.

This year, unlike any other year I can remember, I got to savor the sweet smell of fresh-cut alfalfa, as the farmer they hire to swath this beautiful and fragrant livestock feed did his rounds in the field next to the wheat field we were in.


My brothers don’t own a swather; it is one of the few jobs they hire out.

Our younger brother took a panoramic video of our farm from atop the grain bin:



Knowing that my family—and that grilled burger will be waiting for me for supper, I head out after the elevator trip. Not, however, before I make a cruise through our small hometown.

The long hill to town marks the ascent out of the beautiful valley our farm inhabits.


At the top of the hill, four miles away, our hometown pops into view.


The warm memories of my youth flood back as I see the school we all graduated from,


The church we all grew up in,


And our parents’ final resting place.


Our childhood home may no longer stand, but this community—the community that built us—still stands. Despite the demise of much of Small Town America, Tipton, Kansas has continued to survive and thrive as the even-smaller-than-it-was-when-we-grew-up-there dot on the map, but as a community, its members know the importance of keeping it alive.

I will forever be grateful for our beginnings in this town, and to its current members for sustaining its legacy with hard work and pride.


Even though I grew up on a farm, I am helpless to drive a combine or truck. For the most part, our four brothers helped Dad, and the girls helped Mom. I can, however, still make a mean cherry pie and fry up a big chicken dinner on command.

Gail, however, was the Swiss Army Knife who could do it all because she had to. She could probably even figure out how to haul wheat in that big rig if she had to; she learned how to drive a smaller grain truck that is mostly phased out of most modern farm operations. She doesn’t have a CDL that would allow her to legally drive it, but in a pinch, Gail’s resourcefulness would surface. I wouldn’t get near that driver’s seat, but Suzanne reports she did drive a short distance on a dirt road with a lot of assistance from our brother in the passenger seat.

The high-tech combines of today may confound Gail, but I know she handled the older ones with ease.  Both Suzanne and I attempted a quick spin in the combine several summers ago, but again with assistance right next to us in the cab.  Another one of our brothers dutifully and gladly takes a harvest leave every summer from his gig as an airline captain to pilot that behemoth machine, which is much appreciated by our farmer brothers. While he has an autopilot in the cockpit, the combine requires hands-on attention at all times.


Some of the big cottonwoods still stand on the farm,


And the woods behind the house where we explored, hiked, built forts and sometimes hid out still stand.


Our farm-girl heritage still stands within each of us. We still know the value of hard work, we aren’t afraid to answer the call in nature if we have to—our house had one bathroom for nine people, and we know where our bread comes from–and the work involved in bringing it to us.

I have to wrap up and enjoy my Sunday dinner. My Mark-of-all-trades husband cooked up a steak lunch for us—dinner, as it is called on the farm—complete with a loaf of take-and-bake bread.

I know where it came from.








I had planned to write this blog since last summer.  I wanted to pay tribute to our small hometown, this little town that built us; this little speck on the map that is Tipton, Kansas.  I wanted to paint a picture of this little spot that would honor the place where we grew up, the place that gave us roots and not only a strong foundation, but faith, a sense of community and a place we always knew we could come home to. But how does one pay tribute in words to a place that defies explanation and understanding?  If you know about Tipton, you know what I’m talking about.  If you don’t, I will do my best to paint that picture.

For my readers who know Tipton, especially those who live or did live there, let me just say this is daunting.  Just as there are no words to aptly pay tribute to, say, Mother Theresa (a most humble saint), or President Eisenhower (my favorite), I am really not up to this task, but I don’t think I ever will be.  I sat on this idea for almost a year, probably because I didn’t feel worthy.  I didn’t think I could give Tipton the justice and honor it deserves in words.  Early last week, I decided it was time.  I had wasted enough time thinking about it, and it was time to just do the best I could.  It will be next Sunday’s blog, I committed in my mind.

Then, just two days after I made myself that promise, our hometown was on the evening news.

My husband and I were eating dinner, watching the 5:30 news on Tuesday of this week.  It had been interrupted for quite some time due to severe weather coverage around the state, including some in Osborne County, close to Tipton.  Osborne County, where our family farm is.  I have lived in Kansas nearly all my life, and I have only seen one small tornado.  My favorite weatherman was covering this growing storm system with his usual conviction and competence.

“There is a large tornado on the ground five miles southwest of Tipton.”  Our family farm is about five miles southwest of Tipton.  One of our brothers lives there now with his family, having recently built a new home there.

He was no longer my favorite weatherman.  I was no longer hungry.

I wanted to call or text my brother, but I knew they had more important lifesaving measures to take at that moment, and a call from me was not a priority.  We watched the radar, and heard “Tipton” about a dozen times as he continued to track the storm.

“If you live in or around Tipton, you should be taking cover immediately.  This is a powerful storm.  Go immediately to your shelters.”  I now hated this weatherman.

The seconds and minutes ticked by like hours, while I hoped and prayed for what would have to be a near-miracle.  The track of the storm was likely to reach our farm, followed by our hometown.


Selfishly, I prayed a little harder for our farm to be spared than I did for the community.  I cannot deny that.  But, as our community taught us from early on, “We’re all in this together.”

Mercifully, it missed our farm, but then it headed toward Tipton.  I diverted my prayers, 100% full-on for Tipton.


When it was all over, there was property damage, but nobody was hurt.  Thank you, God.


According to Wikipedia and the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 210 residents in my hometown.  It reached its peak population in 1980, when there were 321 residents counted.  We were three of them.

Wikipedia typically profiles any famous people from any town they list.  There were none noted from Tipton.  There were no claims to fame listed for our hometown, just a simple description of this small Kansas burg.

It began as a burg, Pittsburg, to be exact.  Apparently, there was already a Pittsburg, Kansas, so the name was changed to Tipton, after Tipton, Iowa, the former home of a local resident.

This is all news to me.  I am embarrassed that, at age 53, I didn’t already know this.  I should have known this from my youth.  If anyone has any corrections or additions to this information, please let me know.

So, on the surface, Tipton’s just an Average Joe kind of small town.

Except that it’s not.  No way, no how.


If, just like the many potluck dinners one attends in a small town, life can be considered a giant potluck dinner, whereby everyone has to bring their best dish to the table in order to partake, then we learned this from early on, not just on the farm, but in our community as well.

Helping out for the greater good of the family and the community were values that were instilled in us more by deed than by word; quite simply we knew we had to do our part in order to be a part first of the family, then the community.

This lesson has served us quite well, as we know that no matter where we go or what we do in our lives, we must give our best with the gifts we were given.


Both our grade and high schools began as private Catholic schools, as the community was predominantly German Catholic.  When I was in grade school, elementary grades ceased to be part of the diocesan Catholic school system, and the local school district absorbed our school into its public school system.  The high school remains a private, Catholic high school, funded by fundraisers and an endowment program that is well managed in order to provide this invaluable education.

I may be bragging when I say invaluable, but I think I have reason to do so.  Our school continues to be consistently recognized statewide for its math program and our speech and drama department, among other programs that are noted to be top-notch for any school, especially for a small, privately-funded parochial school.

Even when the graduating class has only three members, it still goes strong.

About 15 years ago, due to declining numbers, the public school district that served our grade school voted to consolidate with another school, effectively shipping the elementary graders to the next town.

No way, no how.  The community appealed to the Catholic diocese to re-develop a Catholic grade school, but—as I understand it—the numbers won.  Not enough kids, not enough money.  Therefore, there would be no returning affiliation with the diocesan Catholic school system.

Taking matters into their own hands, the community rallied, and began their own private Christian school.  Keeping the elementary children in the community was paramount, and where there was a will this strong, they found the way.

With some state funding, grants and an endowment of its own, it continues to go strong.  The elementary kids complete their coursework in this new building,


then go on to high school next door in this old building.


All seven children in our family graduated from this high school.  Now, some of our nieces and nephews have already, or will graduate from there too, as well as completing grade school next door.

The Main Street of Tipton boasts thriving businesses, including a grocery store with locally famous sausage produced there, a restaurant, a bank, hardware, library, dance studio, manufacturing company and a service station.



The dance studio was once the grocery store.

Old School Seals, a specialty service providing wax seals, stamps and letter sealing is nationally recognized.  If you head south on Main Street about four miles, you will find Ringneck Ranch, a pheasant hunting ranch that is also nationally famous among pheasant hunting enthusiasts.


I have no words to express my gratitude for the education and upbringing I received in Tipton.  It is an indelible mark of honor, and, as well as the academic knowledge from our stellar school system, the sure knowledge that whatever our gifts are, we have the power and responsibility to bring them to the potluck table of life to make the world a better place.


I can barely stand to put it in the printed word, but our nation suffered another unspeakable loss this week at the hands of a mass shooter.  This time it took 12 innocent lives in Virginia.  The first news reports detailed the horror, but since then, the focus I have noticed is that the community has rallied, insistent that this will not define us. They are reaching out to each other—whether or not they knew them previously—to help each other heal the wounds and move forward.  This is only possible when the human group comes together with a unified goal to move forward, picking up the pieces to start again.

Much of the Midwest and Southeastern United States has experienced unprecedented flooding in the last month.  As human groups are known to do, residents of the areas affected have come together to help anyone who is affected, whether or not they know them.   Humans can be so cool like that.

After the tornado in Tipton Tuesday night, the community rallied.  There were no injuries—thank you God, and no homes were destroyed, but there was damage to property.   Enough damage that those affected required help.  Without hesitation, everyone else stepped up to lend a hand, followed by a meal for all.

The potluck effect once again prevailed.   Everyone pitched in, bringing their best to the table.  The humans in Tipton are so cool.



Young and not-as-young alike pitched in.  This is the potluck effect being taught by deed right here.

I remember when our dad was hospitalized in Wichita after heart surgery. He was not yet retired from farming and it was in the fall at milo harvest time.  Dad obviously wasn’t able to be there, and our brothers couldn’t do the job alone.  Area farmers stepped up with their combines, donating their time, fuel and other operating expenses in order to get the job done.  On the farm, harvest simply must be done when the time is right, or it may not get done at all.  Weather often dictates that, as well as crop maturation.

It’s the farmer’s code; they all know that any or all of them would do it without a second thought when any one of them is in need.  I think Dad got a little teary in the hospital when we told him that harvest had been taken care of.  I’m getting a little teary as I write this—in a good way.



Wheat harvest is the pinnacle of the year on the farm.  I never miss at least a day each year in the harvest field—except the year I spent in Philadelphia.

Last year when I was on our farm for harvest, I took the following pictures of our hometown:



St. Boniface Catholic Church.  We were all baptized and brought up in this church.  Dad walked me down this aisle 25 years ago.  Our parents’ final profession of faith was here at their funeral.


We chose the grade school as one of their memorial benefactors.  This brick honors them in the memorial garden between the two school buildings.



The locally famous grocery store on Main Street.


Looking south on Main Street on a Saturday afternoon during harvest.  All the action is in the wheat fields.


Formerly known as the Knights of Columbus Hall–and still known to me as that–the Tipton Community Center serves as a meeting place for celebrations, fundraisers, family gatherings, funeral dinners and basketball games.


The southwest corner of Tipton.  The building on the right was once our grade school, now it is part of the manufacturing plant.  The tiny ribbon of white road on the horizon is the road to our farm.  


I drove this road west out of Tipton thousands of times on the way to our farm.  Entering Osborne County at this road, there are four more miles to our farm.  It is always a beautiful sight coming and going.


Our family gets together for holidays, sometimes at Gail’s house, sometimes at my house, and sometimes on our brothers’ farms—both on the one we grew up on, as well as our youngest brother’s farm a few miles north.  Our parents moved off the farm and into nearby Osborne in 2000, so our visits to them before they died were in Osborne, not Tipton.  Their funeral was in Tipton, and the outpouring of love and support from the community was beyond words.

I don’t spend a lot of time in Tipton these days, but when I do, the old familiar feeling of home is there.  Claiming Tipton as my hometown always brings a swelling feeling of pride inside of me.

I meet many people in my work, and I often have the opportunity to visit at length with them.  When the “Where are you from?” topic arises, and when they have heard of Tipton as many of them have, a warm smile always shows up on their faces.  And then they proceed to tell me who they know from Tipton, or perhaps that they attend our annual Church Picnic, which is known far and wide as the most remarkable Church event in the area.

My family has been away on vacation for the last several years during that time, so I haven’t been back for a few years.  Nineteen years ago, I was pregnant with our last child.  The due date was announced on my first prenatal visit–August 4th.  There were two things glaringly wrong with this prediction for me.  First, the words pregnant and August should never be used or even inferred in the same sentence.  Second, that meant I would miss the Tipton Church Picnic.  That due date clearly wasn’t going to work for me, so, just like his older brother, my second-born graciously arrived eleven days before his due date.

Thank you, God.  We went to the picnic, baby in tow in my arms—my sweaty arms.  Fun was had by all.  More importantly, the proceeds from this event keep the high school operating.  True to Tipton form, everyone brings their best to the table for this event, whether it is one’s donation of time, money, effort or food—or all four. Without question, everyone pitches in, and another year goes down in the Tipton history books.


As I write, my mind keeps going in multiple directions, continuing to come upon more things that need to be said.  I’m already over my self-imposed limit of 2,000 words, but there is just one more thing I need to say:

Earlier in the post, I used a forbidden word.  A word, I recall from our upbringing both in my family and in our community, that was forbidden.  The “H” word.  I said I hated the weatherman.  We were allowed to hate someone’s actions, but we were not allowed to hate them.  I’m sorry, weatherman.  I don’t hate you.  You were simply doing your job.  You were bringing your best to the table.

Perhaps this simple rule is what makes Tipton so unique.  Perhaps, even though Tipton continues to be a speck on the map, and the population hasn’t yet returned to 300, we know there is no place for hatred.  Perhaps that is why this little town could, still can, and still does.


Thank you, God.