skies because of the dust and awful winds. I pulled in the drive, like I’d done a hundred times in the nearly 20 years I have been part of the family, and I had to stop my vehicle. The tears came and the heartbreak overwhelmed me.
I thought of the old white farm house with the wonderful front porch, where my husband spent a large majority of his childhood in and around. My fondest memory is when we’d stop and see my husband’s Grandma Pauline. She’d always have something sweet to eat and a cold drink at the kitchen table. The home had been around for 100 years and still had a large portion of the family momentos in it. It was reduced to ashes and rubble. All that’s standing is the chimney.
I couldn’t see the barn around the trees, but I again had to stop and sit when I pulled around the corner. The barn. The old barn with its red siding. I remember when my father-in-law had it painted and how proud he was because it looked so good. I remember when he laid the brick in front of the tack room and built a new door for it. My boys explored every inch of it when we worked calves last fall. You could “almost” hear the horses munching in the stalls decades ago when you stood in the center alley. Now it’s just a charred pile of tin.
I realize the house and barn are just buildings. Things can be replaced. But dang, its so hard to see it all reduced to ashes and rubble. To see part of the Scott family history, more than a hundred years, just be gone. Just like that. It’s hard.
We’ve had incredible friends and family offering help, hay and feed and it’s heartwarming to know how much people care. Like I heard an Ashland, Kansas resident on the news this morning being interviewed, it’s just what southwest Kansas people do. Help and survive.
Here is a picture that was taken on Kylene and Spencer Scott’s wedding day in 2009 and the same spot now.
Looking at this picture now, it is not hard to wonder how this land will come back to provide for so many as it has for generations of Kansas farm and ranch families whose sweat and blood have produced for Kansas, our nation, and yes the world as well.
And yet, having seen this devastation firsthand, I don’t wonder about Kansans and our ability to rebuild.
It is in our state motto. Ad astra per aspera – To the Stars Through Difficulty.
In one of the emergency management centers I met Joyce Edinger. When I asked her what I could do to help she said, “The Lord will provide.”
I think that sums it up. The faith of Kansans gives us the courage to rebuild. The courage to come through fire.
Ashland banker Kendall Kay emotionally said, “Senator, we are going to need help. We