Fortune Found in Fly-Over States

Though you may not have seen much coverage of it on the local or national news, a natural disaster took place last week in the heart of America. Wildfires ravaged through the plains and prairies of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, destroying human life, an estimated 5,000 head of cattle and 1 million acres, as well as homesteads and ranches.

The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

This hasn’t been a popular news story because it didn’t affect the masses living within urban areas, it wasn’t politically fueled and there was no rioting to spark controversy. It hasn’t been on the news because it affected a group of people that – rather than march, protest, loot or cause any disturbance at all – tend to  keep their head down, get their work done because they have a responsibility not taken lightly and typically mind their own business.

Since the devastation set in last week, thousands of individuals in hundreds of rural communities nestled in dozens of fly-over states have rallied together to gather supplies  to assist those farmers and ranchers who lost the very basic tools they need to function as a working operation: feed, fences, horses, veterinary care and more.

Livingston Machinery convoy of hay Wednesday morning leaving Fairview, OK and heading to the area impacted by the blazes. 

You see, there is fortune to be found in these fly-over states.

These no-mans-land

middle of nowhere

fly-over states.

The fortune found is rural Americans.
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Where there are rural Americans, you’ll never go hungry

Do you have a new baby? Rural Americans will stop by with casserole and pie.

A death in the family?  Rural Americans will stop by with casserole and pie.

Did your youngest finally get engaged?  Rural Americans will stop by with casserole and pie.

Did your basement flood with the spring rains?  Rural Americans will stop by with casserole and pie.

Is the t-ball season finally over?  Rural Americans will stop by with casserole and pie.

pie

Where there are rural Americans, you’ll never need a high-tech home security system

Rural Americans have made a reputation of keeping a watchful (nosey?) eye on the community. They’re the first to call you when they see a suspicious vehicle parked over by the shop, sure to ask why the vet truck was at the barn for three hours last Monday and the first to call when they don’t see your daughter’s minivan at the house over Christmas.

vet

Where there are rural Americans, you’ll never “not know”

As long as there are sale barns, kitchen tables, high school athletic games, church bulletins and farm auctions, word will get around. Folks in urban America may have high speed internet and Snapchat but they’ll never have the ability to push a message out  to an entire community faster than the rural American main street diner.

The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

Where there are rural Americans, you’ll never go without

Rural Americans supply the help when needed, sometimes in the form of a truck load of hay, sometimes in the form of a 14-year-old able-bodied son who is willing to work, sometimes in the form of a quarter cup of sugar. Rural Americans give when they can, where they can, and however they can.  

 

producers

There is fortune to be found in our beloved fly-over states, and it is each other. What an advantage we have to live in a world where we don’t have to hire moving trucks because we have friends with trucks and trailers. We don’t have to send Honey Baked Hams from some warehouse 2,000 miles away because we have a freezer full of farm fresh pork and a recipe card from Mary Jane’s Kitchen, 1976. We don’t have to fight life’s toughest moments alone, because we have Rural American neighbors, friends and strangers across the country bowing their heads when prayer is needed most.

We don’t have to search for good in the world,
because we live amongst it. 

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Learn how you can help wildfire victims in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas

20 thoughts on “Fortune Found in Fly-Over States

  1. Very much to the point and true. But, by using the term “fly over states” this again put a negative spin on the positive. Unfortunately the media giants seem to put value on happenings on East and West coasts. There is a lot of area between. This is the comment that has divided this country. Excellent article.

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  2. I’m so glad this is where I live. With good people to help each other in times of need. God Bless all the Family’s that has fire damage, and all the Fire Fighters we could never Thank You enough.

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  3. Haifa, Israel

    I live in Haifa, Israel, half a world away from my childhood home in the Texas Panhandle. I grew up in Dalhart, Texas. And although I’ve lived more of my life in Israel than I did in Dalhart. The memories of this small Texas town and the mentorship and lessons of it’s citizens have never left me. I use them today in my work here.

    I’m sorry, we are not aware of your situation there. The International News Service have not shared your story with us. My cousin in Oklahoma has made me aware of your situation through Facebook posts. And I’m profoundly saddened that I’m not in a position to personally offer assistance. I can only offer you my thoughts and prayers. And say, please always remember you are the heart of America.

    May the Lord bless and keep you. . . .
    May he make his countance to shine upon you. . .
    And Grant you peace. . . .

    Shalom, The Rev. Dr. John Alexander Mendez De Austerias. . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So many ranchers lost their homes and cattle and their animals. Their trucks and tractors are burned and many dogs did not escape the fires.. even the very basic things are needed.. we don’t really understand this until someone loses everything.. the work shops are gone.. the range land is black with over 600 square miles of range land burned in Clark and Comanche Counties in southern Kansas. Thanks for all the donations of alfalfa and hay that has been donated to the ranchers in both counties. Yes, homes can be rebuilt and people’s lives must restart, the towns of Ashland and Protection didn’t burn but Englewood, Kansas burned to the ground almost completely. The federal government needs to step up and declare this part of Kansas as a disaster area so that ranchers can get federal insured loans. I was born in Ashland in 1943 and my family lived in Protection, Kansas for many years. Two of my mother’s brother’s were in business in Protection. Everyone has passed away but the town is still there. I have always thought of Protection as my home town.. it only has about 53o people these days yes, it is small but they have spirit and a whole lot of good people.

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  5. My heart breaks for the loss of life and property and for the hard times the area’s inhabitants will endure. I hope that we can tackle the climate change that makes these fires so dangerous, and keep future generations safe. I hope that we can continue to fund the federal agencies that fought and defeated these fires.

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