The second hat, wide brimmed and woven of straw, belongs to a man of the farm, my Grandpa Tanner. How could 30 plus years have possibly whisked by since Grandpa was asking about my first days of teaching? His voice is clear like yesterday. As I slipped into the back door of the farmhouse, I still hear him call, “Come on over here.” He pats his knee. Grandpa sits in his upholstered rocker, a flowered sheet protecting it from his farm dirt. Who cares about dirt? Farms were meant for dirt. Grandpas were meant for fun. I hurry...Read More
Author: Janis Lanning
HATS IN MY MEMORY part 2 — Routine, Nature, and God I pull the blue-striped engineer’s cap down from high in the closet. A dusting of starch covers my hands as I cradle muted shades of blue and cream stripes. The hat is still surprisingly stiff from its last upkeep years ago. I find a wadded Kansas City Star newspaper, dated April 5, 1992, stuffed inside securing the cap’s shape. I rub my fingers along the edges of the tattered bill and accidentally brush starch powder onto my jeans. The denim blue isn’t nearly so bold, nor the white...Read More
HATS IN MY MEMORY — an introduction, part I. Three hats hang in my house, two more in my memory: a tattered blue and white striped engineer’s hat, a wide-brimmed straw hat crumbling from years of wear, a billed John Deere cap spattered with oil, a Kansas City policeman’s uniform hat, and a durable floppy Tilley needing the washing machine. Another head-covering adds a touch of softness to the mix, my grandmother’s handstitched bonnet. I call these my “grandpa hats.” (Well, all but one!) My two grandfathers wore the engineer’s cap and the straw hat while working on their farms....Read More
I reached for my Bible as I sipped the hot coffee. Thank you, God, for awakening me before anyone else is up and about in our busy house. Silence. Where would I begin? My Bible automatically fell open to the tattered edge of a familiar psalm. Psalm 19 spoke to me. Skimming the page, I was drawn to faded underlining and notes; changing colors marking life events and teaching. I smiled as one of my “go-to” verses seemed to pop off the page. Its rich newness juxtaposed itself against the worn paper. “Let the words of my mouth...Read More
Welcome! Won't you pull up a seat by the fire? My name is Janis....