Good, clean dirt

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road out to a field
My family will understand why I chose April 16 to launch this Prairie Breathing Room. 

A frequent memory visits me when it’s time for field work.

I am running out into the field, taking my Dad mid-afternoon lunch. He is digging up the field. Gulls and blackbirds are following the black path. He sees me, waves, and stops.

It’s silent now except for the wind that slides down the hill.  We sit in a furrow, shaded by the Allis Chalmers’ tractor tire.

Lunch is a sandwich, nectarine and a couple of Mom’s fresh oatmeal raisin cookies.  Dad pours coffee from the thermos into its lid, and some into my extra cup.

Somehow, dirt always found it’s way into those cups.

“But it’s good, clean dirt,” Dad would say. And I’d watch his eyes—light blue, and his weathered skin, and hope for a few minutes more exactly like this—just the field, the sky, and Dad.

I have not found since, coffee that tasted so much like life.


  1. I remember helping Grandma make Grandpa lunch in the morning with lots of butter. I can imagine those brothers were very similar.


  2. Reminded me so much of Dad…i can smell the ciffee and taste the dirt, too! Kate, you were right when you said those brothers were similar!


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