Category Archives: Faith

A Cowboy’s Faith: Fun neighbors on Halloween

“Trick or treat give me something good to eat.”

That’s the threat of ghosts, goblins and every other imaginable getup on Halloween. But it sends them for a whirl with the response: “Sorry no treats it’ll have to be tricks.”

Living in the country, little Halloween visitors are usually few and this year there weren’t any.

The highlight several years though now is when the dairy farm couple from across the section rings the doorbell. It’s usually past bedtime when Keith and Donna come after visiting friends in a 25-mile radius of the farm. All lights were on so they’d know ranchers were waiting.

About 10:20, buzzer sounded, door opened and in came Uncle Sam and his appropriately patriotically attired lady. Big smiles shining through elaborate costume assured it was the dairy farmers who’d hired milkers to get their night off.

Impossible to repeat words of the Uncle Sam song they harmoniously presented. Then the milkmaid asked, “Why did Yankee Doodle Dandy come riding in on a pony?” With no certain answer, just assuming it was sure better than walking.

More than two dozen stops already made, with several more lights awaiting their arrival. Minimal visiting reflected how the elaborate silk red, white and blue outfits came to be.

Donna picked up pieces here, there, yawn, and with scissors, needle, thread expertise put together great semblance to ones pictured. Red stripes on Keith’s white pants were “just painted there.”

Memory’s shy who all they’ve portrayed years gone by: cheerleaders, Roy and Dale, Popeye and Olive, more. A couple other neighbor ladies helped one year for Wizard of Oz. Always with singing accompaniment.

Last year, before dark call informed ice was stopping them, but fortunately back this time.

The jovial neighbors hadn’t made trick or treat warning, but came with their own treats. Costuming, entertaining, visiting were special delight enough, but Donna again handed four big popcorn balls out of her satchel.

That would have been a good day’s work making enough of the evening snacks. Then they had to pack the goodies in the back of their station wagon to be given out.

Oh yes, uptown morning after there were no main street tricks, hay, tires, outhouses like of decades ago.

Reminded of Luke 15:9: “Call together friends and neighbors for a time of rejoicing.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


Help House News: Full coat closet warms hearts and people

By Raylene Quaney

The “coat closet” was open from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 this year with 240 coats being given out. What was left is now out on the floor for those shoppers who are still in need of a nice warm coat for this winter. Adults’ and children’s coats are available while they last. A number of coats were sent to Hope House in Ottawa to be given out there.

Thanksgiving baskets

Those who signed up for a Thanksgiving food baskets are reminded to pick up on their selected day, either Wednesday, Nov. 14, or Thursday, Nov. 15. There were a total of 52 turkeys and 36 chickens available for Thanksgiving baskets. There will not be a giveaway in December as in the past.

Enjoy a soup supper at annual meeting

Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. will be the Help House annual meeting and soup supper, which will be held at the First Baptist Church, Lyndon. If you plan to attend, please call the center and let us know so we have plenty of food available for all. There will be a number of volunteers recognized for their service at that time. We could not open our doors to serve those in need with out you.

It’s good sense to take budget class

The next “Good Sense” budget class will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19. It will be a one-day class. Participants must call to register and stop by and pick up pre-course work. Participants are to bring a snack for lunch if desired and a beverage. The class is free and once completed the participant is eligible to receive assistance with heating or cooling bills. This includes electric, gas, propane or solid fuel (wood). There will not be a class held in December.

Cards of thanks

A number of cards of appreciation go out this month to the following for their contributions to this ministry: EK Realty and e.b. Sprouts, in Lyndon, are collecting food for Thanksgiving baskets; the Lyndon FBLA donated 520 items to the pantry; Overbrook Search Light Club donated 32 cleaning supply items for use at Help House; Overbrook United Methodist Church made a food pantry donation; Overbrook Thimble Club, 43 items for Thanksgiving plus a cash donation; Overbook Fidelis Club, 67 food and non-food items, 12 coats and miscellaneous clothing items.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Always ready to help

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“How are the calves doing this summer?”

“Did the kids go to the judging contest?”

“What livestock is the family showing at the fair?”

Forever congenially interested in livestock and those who cared for them was Albert Morgan.

His recent passing left a void in heartfelt conscientious livestock production dating to depression times.

Equal to Albert’s dedication to livestock husbandry was belief in youth and programs where they could develop. Learn about the industry, but as importantly leadership and social skills.

There were always fond memories of Albert’s 4-H days, showing livestock, earning nationwide leadership recognition.

Soon, Albert’s Hilltop Hereford Farm also with Poland China hogs was producing seed stock demanded over a wide area.

While Albert was classmate to Uncle Ted, personal first knowledge of Albert was when he married grocery co-worker Gayla.

Albert was a middle-age bachelor-stockman called one Sunday to serve as lay minister where Gayla was pianist.

Accompanying Albert’s hymn singing, Gayla admitted, “I set the trap for him.”

Widowed mother of three, Gayla was soon to be Albert’s bride as he became stepdad to Cheryl, Sharon and Mike.

“It was the best day of my life,” Albert always contended.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Safety always comes first

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There’s just nothing to ride.”

How can that be with two dozen horses always anxious to get their noses in the feed bucket?

Of course, excitement adrenalin flowed when the nice lady asked for another outrider in the community historical pageant. Initial smiling consensual agreement then turned into concerned caution. Maybe that wouldn’t really be such a good idea all things considered.

Magnified voices, background sounds, extensive props, live bonfires, other animals, and costumed people create an atypical environment. Especially when dark and chill of the night are added to the equation.

An outsider looking in wouldn’t give second thoughts of what all actually could happen. Especially when seeing other participating horses very relaxed nonchalant to the unique circumstances.

Yet, easily there could be a real catastrophe if a horse decided those were the bogeyman out to get him. Even if a horse just sashayed a little bit with the tight scene layout unthinkable damage could occur.

Yes, the whole play would be caput with serious destruction to the extensively coordinated staging area.

That’s bad, but the horse, other horses and animals, could be readily hurt, too. Much worse is high possibility of injury to so many people, those in the cast and the spectators.

Several of the horses are considered well broke, while some have collected innumerable championships in a wide array of competitions.

Yet, none were considered safe to be a part of the program. Horsemanship abilities of handler can come into play, but that just doesn’t matter with certain horses.

Based on experience, perhaps horse sense, it just wouldn’t be sensible to take the high risks involved.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Only remembering those days

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Sure glad didn’t have to get horses ready and the place cleaned up for a sale and field day.”

For three decades, the second Saturday of October was that annual ranch affair, but thankfully not any more.

Oh, it was an undeniable success and heartfelt romance creating year around excitement, planning and anticipation.

Although there hasn’t been such a special ranch event since 2009, people still wonder: “When’s the sale?”

They even call, email and write for sale catalogs. “Sorry no sale,” but sure happy there wasn’t one this year, and none planned ever again.

Best part about it however is all of the most congenial remembrances so many others have.

Frequently, now a middle-age adult will comment: “I came to your judging contest every year. It was so much fun. I placed first one year.”

Perhaps more significant are the appreciative and fond memories of the sale horses. Last week, a buyer from years ago related, “I bought a gray colt by that Zane stallion. He sure made a good all-around horse. He’s retired now, but will always have a home with us; we call him Zane, too.”

Likewise, questions often are, “Do you still have your mares? Do you have that Hackberry Star mare? I’d sure like to have another colt out of her.”

In reality, it all began as a livestock judging field day following format of the one neighbor-friend Albert Morgan had.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Statement settlement is essential

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Nobody likes to pay their bills.”

That’s not completely true, because the majority of people who buy something expect to remunerate for it.

Sadly there are exceptions when there is never intention to reimburse for what is purchased. In those cases, the buyer still ends up having to compensate. Even if it goes into drawn out proceedings, ultimately lockup.

Quite the opposite realm is those who eagerly pay whatever debt is claimed. Mom was that way; the second a bill arrived, she made payment. There were certain grocery store customers who were slow paying charge accounts, and she didn’t want to be like that.

Immediate reimbursement for statements is commendable, but it may not always be the smartest thing either. One must make certain what has been invoiced was actually ordered.

It’s of more concern now than earlier times with unlawful shenanigans increasingly prevalent in today’s mobile social communications.

Still, bills must be paid or somebody is stealing and another is losing. Plain and simple economics whatever the right definition that’s definitely the way it is.

A Cowboy’s Faith: School days good times

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Some contend no use lingering, yet remiss not to reflect more lifetime happenings. Those following earlier writing about Gordon Morrison have their memories.

Several shared recollections at his 90th birthday party, but personal times keep coming to mind.

First remember delivering groceries to Mr. Morrison’s home and to his in-laws Glen and Clara Maude by Elm Creek.

Then think about him wearing felt stockman’s hat slipping into the grocery store backdoor borrowing eggs. He’d get a 30-dozen crate for vo-ag students to practice candling for poultry competitions.

Of course, FFA entry in the homecoming parade made heartbeat skip. It was a horse built from a barrel that bucked with hydraulic lift power of an Allis tractor. An FFA member, once Dennis Taylor with yellow shirt, blue scarf, mounted waving above the “FFA Bucks To Victory” sign.

Mr. Morrison taught Sunday school for decades but not all seventh and eighth graders learned their required Bible verses.

Old Army barracks shop and classroom didn’t meet safety codes, yet with right instructor served purpose well.

Freshman class totaled a dozen; all farm kids, except one grocery store carryout wannabe cowboy. Everything agriculture was such taught that farming almost got into the genes.

St Patrick’s of Scranton celebrates old and new

View from the balcony of St. Patrick’s Church, at Scranton, Kan., which served its parish for more than 100 years.

One year ago, in October 2017, parishioners of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Scranton celebrated the 100th anniversary of the current church building and 150 years of the parish being in the Scranton community.

Now one year later, the parish is anxiously awaiting the completion of a new church building. If the finishing construction goes as planned, the final Sunday mass in the current church building will be Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. On Nov. 4, the new church building will be dedicated at the 10 a.m. mass. Parishioners will host a lunch after the mass in the Scranton school. Lunch reservations may be emailed to [email protected] or call 785-640-4503 by Oct. 14.

Parishioners will host open house tours in the new church building 2:30-3 p.m. Nov. 4.

St. Patrick’s parishioners are proud to share their Scranton roots and are dedicated to continued participation in the Scranton community.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Teacher’s immeasurable influence recognized

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, Gordie. Happy birthday to you.”

Nearly 100 friends and family from throughout the country gathered in the front yard at the Morrison Ranch.

It was the 90th birthday party for Gordon Morrison. Gordie, to those knowing him from original stomping ground. He’s Gordon to acquaintances, since calling Cloud County home 49 years. But still Mr. Morrison to many students from a 40-year teaching career.

Smiles abounded from not only the honoree fit, vim, ornery like always, but everyone there. First and foremost his wife Janet, ramrod of the fling.

Unquestionably a big ordeal getting the ranch in tiptop shape and planning the country meal. Toughest challenge was spreading the word local to afar.

Not only immediate family, but distant relatives including nephews and nieces nationwide came to Gordie’s celebration. There were nowadays neighbors with decades’ gone-by faculty and chums chiding Gordon.

Former students from the early ’60s at Council Grove through Concordia college classes came to honor Mr. Morrison.

It was certain verification positive influence one growing up a Morris County country boy had on so many. And, deepest appreciation for that.

Covenant made in Korean wartime, Mr. Morrison was to be a teacher. Yet, farming implored his being attempting combined teaching and agriculture professions.

Classroom won out educating students about farming, accompanied by wisdom developing wholesome worthwhile lives.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Finally came around again

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“He has his own office.”

“Again, finally,” one might say. History has repeated itself in nearly 46 years.

“Wet behind the ears,” repeating the familiar cliché, sheepskin in hand, walked into the big block-square highfalutin brick building headquarters.

As the first full-time editor there, very own office was right inside the front door to the right. Big walnut desk, leather rocking chair, personal phone, right up with the big folks, or thought so.

Still for several weeks, then off and on for a very longtime after, always concerned about being fired. Subsided over decades, but came to actuality in 36 1/2 years.

Through that time, locations in the office did change though, at least a handful. When an intern came in, then hired as a news coworker, too, the fancy personal office was shared for a spell. It wasn’t private then, rather cohabited, creating a definite ugh.

From there, several different places in the large main office area became “work station,” with desk, phone and files. There was no privacy for an always loud-talking cowboy, everybody heard every word, and that sure wasn’t good.

Nothing stays the same, fortunately in many situations, and again the powers-that-be assigned another personal office. There were actually quite a few perks with it. Privacy such could close the door, although typically didn’t, yet ample storage space, uptown again. A nice retired woman was even hired to come sometimes to help with filing and organization.

That transitioned again in 10 years or so, back to a desk in makeshift cubicle. Not everything obvious, but loud talker still audible to all others.

Then, the young boss who’d been handed keys to the business was prodded by the bookkeeper, and likely a teenybopper. “All he does is talk horses, kick him out.” And, they did.

A Cowboy’s Faith: No control over weather

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“After every dry spell, there’s a wet spell.”

“A drought has never lasted forever.”

“It’s always rained sometime when it got good and ready.”

“Every drought is followed by rain.”

Those old-timers’ familiar philosophies have sure been proven true again.

Now like it’s continually been throughout time, comments have made a complete turnaround.

A few weeks ago most questioned: “Is it ever going to rain?”

In the past several days none too few have evaluated: “I sure wish it would quit raining.” Others posed it: “Is this rain ever going to stop?”

Then, more than one commented: “All of these cloudy, wet, dreary days make everyone so grumpy. It’s depressing. People are getting stressed out.”

Solution, “We need some bright blue-skied sunny days again.”

Honest evaluation is, “Rain is always better than no rain.”

For the most part, ranchers can’t get too much moisture. It makes the grass grow while keeping fresh water in the ponds, creeks and springs. Dry ponds again have water, some to overflowing.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Go fast then slow

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s a whole lot easier to speed them up than slow one down.”

Real cowboys have insisted that forever about horses seeming lazy until they learn to move out.

Not true of all, but for many once they’ve found out they can run, it’s really fun.

Now, that’s probably not true for the majority of human populations, as most prefer a relaxed attitude.

Again, there are exceptions. A co-op manager friend used to get up at 4 o’clock and run 10 miles before work. As he matured, getup times the same, but Bobby “only” walks seven-and-a-half miles.

That takes about an hour-and-a-half, and he heads for the office to get a head start on staff. The fellow only gets six hours of sleep a night. “Can’t sleep any more than that,” he claims.

Obviously, the ambitious guy is fit, ordering and eating half what everybody else had for dinner when we got together. Yep, he’s hard to get slowed down like many horses once given liberty to go for it.

Some all-around performance horses will gas up, run their heart out and then come back down calm and collected. Percentage-wise that’s not a great number.

Many riders of pleasure horses, those competing walk, jog, lope in the arena, would never let their mounts run. They’re afraid the horses will like it better than the easy going life. It extends so far as not entering classes with any extensive maneuvers where advance speed is expected.

Most trail riders, those going out for leisure Sunday afternoon walks in the park, are the same way.

Help House can now assist with SNAP signup

By Raylene Quaney

Anyone living in Osage County that would like assistance in applying for SNAP benefits will soon be able come to Help House to complete the application process. Ten volunteers have completed the training with Harvesters to be available to offer this assistance. SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that has been known as food stamps. Our goal is to begin assisting with the applications by Sept. 10, 2018. If you would like more information on this service and application process, call Help House at 785-828-3444.

The next “Good Sense” budget class will be held 4-10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19. It will be a one-day class. Participants must call to register and stop by and pick up pre-course work. Participants are to bring a snack for supper if desired and a beverage. The class is free and once completed the participant is eligible to receive assistance with heating or cooling bills, including electric, gas, propane, or solid fuel (wood).

Mobile food pantry dates: Carbondale is 12-1 p.m. the second Tuesday, Sept. 11, at Carbondale Church of Christian Fellowship; Osage City  10-11 a.m. on the third Thursday, Sept. 20, at Osage City Community Center; Melvern, 12:30-1:30 p.m. on the third Thursday, Sept. 20, at Melvern Community Center; Burlingame, 10-11 a.m. third Thursday, Sept. 20,  Burlingame Federated Church; Lyndon, 12-1 p.m. on the third Friday, Sept. 21, at Jones Park on East Sixth Street. If participants can be in line 15 to 20 minutes before starting time, they will be in the counted numbers when it is decided how much of each item each family will receive.  

A Cowboy’s Faith: Demise for those varmints

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The rain must have brought out the ’possums.”

That’s sure the way it seemed after catching another cat food stealer in the live trap.

Just after the rains finally started, an opossum started showing up to eat out of the cat food pan.

Inquisitiveness or greed got that one after he finished off the pan and walked into the cage snare for more.

Uncertain exactly what Mr. Opossum’s demise was, but the foreman took care of getting him out of the steel cage.

Then another one of those pointed nosed ugly varmints figured out where the cheap easy tasty food was, too.

Obviously Garfield and Lioness, the two cats who’ve decided to stay around and work for a while, are on full feed. They’d have to be, or there wouldn’t be food left over in their barn pan after suppers over.

Well, sometime during the night, that second ’possum also walked right into the baited cage and the gate snapped shut.

His cousin, maybe a sibling who would know, sure didn’t give any warning about the hazards of snooping around free food. Both were surely sorry for being such gluttonous freeloaders. Leftovers in the cats’ pan would have been enough for one meal, likely better than they’d find in the wild.

It’s not just at the ranch those varmints are showing up. There’ve been more scampering in the roadside ditches, and several others weren’t “playing ‘possum” in the middle of the highways.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Errors must be admitted

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Making mistakes can have very serious consequences.”

Nobody wants to make a mistake, but there isn’t anybody who hasn’t made a mistake.

Certain errors in judgment carry lifetime penalties. That doesn’t necessarily mean going to jail or even public rebuttal, but rather personal unforgiving regret. Sometimes, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done after the fact, other than have to live with oneself.

It’s contended to just “let it go, forget it.” Easy to say that, but such is definitely not possible in some situations.

“Oh, there’s never any need to cry over spilled milk,” reminders are freely given. So very true many times, likely of most wrongdoings, but some things are just different.

Not the most serious error made in a lifetime of many mistakes, a horse killed itself when tied to pout. Similar training techniques worked well previously, and since, but not that specific time. Forever that sad day is reflected, despite trying to forget and go on.

To make advancements, mistakes must be made. Often it’s a trial and error effort, if one way doesn’t work, pitch it, and try something else. Mistakes might even be as essential as doing everything right.

The most important part of blunders is not making the same slipup again. Again, that’s much easier said than done. Sadly, there are some missteps that are made repeatedly. “Will he ever learn?” others have asked.

Perhaps it’s not learning, or even forgetting, maybe force of habit that is incurable. Yet doing what’s right should still be the objective every time.

Another issue comes to forefront at this point, what is right and what is wrong? Opinions can vary widely, one considers an action correct, and it is viewed the opposite by another.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cure don’t cover it

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Just take a pill, that’ll fix whatever the problem is.”

That advice is prevalent today from whomever or wherever it’s being heard. Be it television commercials, print ads, true friends, family, somebody on the street corner. Even sadly as well from medical professionals, doctors, nurses, and assistants.

Half a century ago for those who had a TV, reflections are that most advertising centered on cigarettes and beer. Some of those were outlawed, even though specific liquors and fake smokes of some sort are being promoted again.

Now, on certain stations, all kinds of medications, mostly what might even be considered miracle pills, are advertised.

For naiveties, it’s difficult to figure out what the drugs are supposed to remedy. Still, almost without exception, there are warnings of seemingly worst consequences from taking the pills.

Well, actually, it’s not even always pills recommended, sometimes there are other methods of getting the advertised healing results. Warnings caution the drugs can cause heart attacks, swelling, headaches, fever, more different hurt, pain someplace else.

Guilty of following directions this time, two handfuls of pills are swallowed every day. Have no idea what most of them are for or called, unlike some who rattle off all the names.

However, there are certain ones that really do work. Legs ache and shoulder hurts take two pills, then sure enough the wrenching throb goes away in just a short time. Can’t help but think it’s imagination, but somehow, someway there’s sure relief for a while.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Service is helping others

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s always best to help others in every way possible.”

That’s regardless whether they seek it, want it, realize they’re being helped or even think it’s unneeded.

Worst of all is when a service offering help, a reminder or a suggestion becomes offensive.

One is reminded: “It’s wrong if you don’t, it’s wrong if you do.”

In the sales profession that’s hit home numerous times through the decades.

Selling is helping. Whether that’s guiding one in the correct selection, finding exactly what is desired or giving advice to increase sales.

Service is the most important ingredient of selling anything. When all is said and done, that’s way more important than the price or the profit.

Many, sadly maybe most, don’t understand it and are out strictly out for the almighty buck. Apparently, that’s why when heartfelt service is given a buyer doesn’t understand the true meaning.

More than a quarter of a century ago, one customer became the best of friends. Every Friday morning, several hours were spent jointly developing advertising campaigns.

It was a work of enjoyment for both and increased that major business’ sales. There was always congeniality attempting to find better, more efficient methods to promote for higher returns.

Then, their management changed and all of the close service work with the previous most professional advertising coordinator went out the door.

Service on this end never altered, likely even expanded if possible, but the new people in charge became offended.

Evidently, they thought somebody was telling them how to do their job rather than helping, serving to expand their patronage.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Laws intended for following

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Rules are meant to be broken.”

Whether that’s a completely accurate statement, it sure is a fact. There might be an exception in some cases, but most rules are broken at some time.

This has been a frequent topic of conversations in recent weeks at horse shows and county fairs. Too many rules interpretation sessions have been called.

Every time, there’s even controversy among those committee members meeting, and decision always makes somebody glad and another mad.

Rules are set as guidelines, instructions, directions, laws, regulations and policy for all concerned with the subject at hand. Hopefully, there would be increased honesty and fairness for everyone, yet that’s not always the case.

Think of what are likely the two most often broken rules, laws, or group thereof?

It’d be nearly impossible to find someone who hasn’t broken the speed limit, at least a little bit. Speculating, most people drive faster than the posted speed limit all the time. That’s a broken rule certainly by definition.

Many people, perhaps most, intend to live by the Ten Commandments, laws for a moral life. Still, most have broken these “rules,” and some on a very regular basis.

Despite frequent broken rules, in reality, usually people just don’t understand exactly what is expected. Or, many times, they have not studied, or even scanned rules.

Summer of 2018 marks Help House’s 15th anniversary

By Raylene Quaney

Help House celebrated turning 15 years old in July, with a huge celebration held July 15, 2018. A couple of our past directors were in attendance, as well as Rev. Robert Conway, who was pastor at Lyndon United Methodist Church at the time Help House first formed.

The day was filled with music that was performed by several local groups. Pat Murray, of Lyndon, led the group “Abound”, then the Praise and Worship team from Community Covenant Church, in Osage City, filled our hearts with some great praise music. They were followed by Wind Strings, this group is made up of members from Burlingame, Scranton and Carbondale – Heather and Ryan Kuder, Mark Hecht, Eric and Katie Pretz. Bluegrass music filled the air. The last group of the evening was Dr. Bob and Rhonda Harmon and their very talented group of musicians playing more bluegrass.

Of course, we had many other activities and attractions during the day. The Kansas Army National Guard set up their inflatable Jousting game, The Kansas Highway Patrol brought in the seat belt “Convincer”, and Mother Goose and Grandpa Pokey were there for the little ones and some of the “bigger kids” as well. The Osage County Sheriff and a couple of deputies provided DNA identification for the children in attendance. Providing information on services and their relationship to Help House were representatives of the Salvation Army, Harvesters, United Way and Drug Free Osage County.

The event kicked off a large fundraiser for Help House. Our parking lot is gravel. It is impossible to clean off in the winter when we get ice or snow, and when it rains it has areas that stand full of water. The gravel is difficult for some of our visitors to navigate with canes, walkers or wheelchairs. The board of directors and our volunteers voted to raise the funds necessary to put a black top like surface on the parking area, and while we are doing this to also install an automatic opener for handicap use. These improvements will cost approximately $15,000. The final total raised on July 15 during our 15-15- 15 Celebration was $7,614.15. This puts us just over halfway to our goal. We would like to thank all who have helped us reach this halfway mark.

If you were not able to attend but would like to contribute to the fundraiser, send your donations to Help House, PO Box 356, Lyndon, KS 66451.

The winner of the $200 meat raffle from Santa Fe Trail Meats was Jane Jackson, Osage City. Congratulations Jane! The raffle brought in over $555.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Consoling lost love’s grievers

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“What can one do when a best friend’s spouse passes away?”

Nobody wants to think about that because nobody wants it to happen.

While serious sickness severity was made known, shock overcomes everyone when actuality befalls. Stresses were heavy on all of the family, of course heaviest to the lovely, always most congenial ailing wife.

Most caring husband, son and daughter bore the torment as their own, perhaps even more painful, certainly heartfelt. Treatments early on showed promise despite side effects maybe not so physically unbearable yet highly toxic for all. Reminded once more anything that is meant to destroy another in whatever form is always extremely hazardous from every aspect.

Remission was even confirmed for a short period, but then overriding detrimental powers returned. Additional medical endeavors were deemed possible, but already proven medications had been exhausted. What would be ahead was strictly experimental, with certain most undesirable physical consequences for the sick and caregivers.

Toughest decision ever was made to forego those seemingly horrible repercussions putting the future entirely into God’s hands.

Knowing the suffering all were bearing, contact was minimized as to not expand their burdens, yet always with most concerned thoughts. A saddest Monday morning call from the family advised of her passing a couple of days earlier. Knowing very few details, specific particulars were answered when the best friend responded to a phone message.

A Cowboy’s Faith: His plan works again

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Just set the GPS, and it’ll give easy to follow directions.”

That was the advice, and there is one of those thingamajigs somewhere, but it has to be programmed to work. That takes a computer guru of sorts to do, and nobody’s done it. There’ve been agitated scowls from family giving the gadget, yet it’s still unused.

For naiveties like certain older cowboys, GPS means Global Positioning System. When working, it gives verbal instructions: “Stop here, turn there,” and so forth.

This is known from riding with others who have such gizmos. Those following orders still often end up far from intended destination.

So back to the old fashioned way: road map. Shyly admit computer advice was also sought, despite it generally being wrong, too.

That printout was complemented with the on-ranch professional truck driver’s advice.  Adding in tad reflection of city driving days gone-by, there was a large black ink handwritten plan of pursuit.

It worked until Exit 16 was Road 77, instead of 235, but realizing that, a turnaround sent back on course. Yep, the next Exit 16B was the one to make a right turn on.

Central Exit was followed by a right hand turn which went back to the ranch instead of where planned. Intuition informed “that’s wrong,” and returned to the main thorough-way soon finding the West Exit.

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