June 2005



About Us


Driving from Michigan to Texas

You can click on the smaller pictures and view a larger version. They might take a long while to show up on your screen if you have a slow computer.

Douglas drove us from Michigan to Texas.  We went through Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and finally to Texas.   Our first destination was Littlefield, Texas.  Our second destination was Olney, Texas. We left home on June 16th and arrived back home on the 28th of June.

On the way down we stopped for the night in, Effingham, Illinois and Tulsa, Oklahoma.  On the way home we stopped in Springfield, Missouri and Terre Haute, Indiana.   

Sorry to say, there aren't any people much in this gallery.  I find it difficult for people to want their photo taken.  I wasn't sure the people I was in contact with would want to appear on our web site. I was mostly taking, "home sick" photos anyway.  Now that I know how this works, I hope to stick some photos with people on here some day.   Don't know when it will get done though.  Just keep checking our "photo.htm" page for more picture pages.

Speaking of "home sick" photos... I was "waxing nostalgic" and I got carried away.  The text in this paragraph was the caption to the "Littlefield Sign" photo.  I ran out of room for the whole text so here it is in this paragraph.  It is so exciting to see the Littlefield sign for the first time.  It is also very frustrating.  After such a long drive and being very tired you really want to “be there” already.  If you read my poem “Holidays At Granny’s”, you will know how the last half hour of the drive feels.  This photo reminds me of the smell of cow manure.  At this point the car was probably saturated with the smell.  At one time for me to go back to the “home place” in town was like, “crawling back into the womb”.  Over the years, “home” has ceased to feel as comfortable.  That is a good thing.  There comes a time when we realize that “you can’t go home anymore”.  My mother and stepfather always referred to West Texas as “home”.  (as in, “we are going ‘home’ to see our ‘folks’”)  I always tried to view “home” as where I did the majority of my sleeping in a given year.  I always knew that if, “something happened”, I could always go back.  Granny would have me back.  But then eventually I realized that was not available anymore.  Besides, it is “best” that I see “home” as where I am living now, rather than as some “mythical” place that I long to go back to.


Desk we got at an “estate” sale for $7.50.

Before we left I took some photos of my “old” desk. I decorate the desk with old office supplies and other items. The radio is a British, “Bush Radio Ltd. B.P.90”. It was made sometime after Nov. 1946.

Mississippi River from a Bridge

This was taken on the way home. June 27, 2005. For some reason there is always a certain gladness that hits me when I cross the Mississippi. The time I think of as the "first" time I ever crossed the Mississippi was probably the one summer when I was 12. (1975) Mom and her friend B. took my sister, and I to a bar in Quincy, Illinois for a hotdog. That was probably the first time I ever went into a bar. They were supposed to have good hotdogs. The "real" first time I went across the Mississippi was when we took my stepfather's son back to Kentucky. That happened some years earlier. I barely remember that trip.

Mississippi River Again

Missouri Sign Taken From a Moving Car

I lived in Missouri on and off for 13 years. I get nostalgic a little as we pass through. The first time I saw a Missouri sign would have been the summer of 1968 when we moved to Missouri. I don’t know how many photos of various road side things I have taken over the years. I usually take them from the moving car, with myself seen very plainly or not so plainly, in the side mirror of the car.

Meramec Caverns

I wish it was a “Turn Back! You Missed It!” sign.

Starting somewhere in Michigan there are many signs advertising Meramec Caverns. A good many of them are brightly painted on the sides of old barns. There used to be, (or it is just visible on the way down to Texas,) a sign saying that you have passed the exit and to turn back to get to it. I tried to get a photo of that sign. I either missed it or it doesn’t exist anymore. We didn’t see it on the way home.

Another Meramec Caverns Sign

“Exit Now!”

This is the one you would see before the “turn back” sign.

Oklahoma Sign

Me taking a photo of the Oklahoma sign as we entered the state. There’s lots of nostalgia for me in Oklahoma too. My father was born there. We spent many hours in Walters. My mother’s father was born in Granfield.

Two Photos of Oklahoma Wildflowers

This is what you mostly see from the road. Some people would say it is “miles and miles of ‘nothing’”. It does get monotonous a little bit. But it sure is “prettier” than some of the urban landscape around here. These photos have to have been taken in Oklahoma. I could have “sworn” that they were taken at a rest stop between Littlefield and Olney. They were taken June 18th and they are on the roll before the “Texas” sign. There is no physical way they could have ended up on the roll “before” the sign if I took them after that time. So they have to be Oklahoma. (I have another roll of film which I have a photo that was taken BEFORE some of the ones numbered before it. It is numbered as one of the later photos, yet it was taken before some of the photos that come before it. I hope this is making sense. This photo is numbered on the negative as a “later” photo. It should be numbered with the earlier photos. I do not know how that happened but it did.)

Texas Sign

I am near home when I see this one. I don’t start to get excited yet. Texas is a big place. We still have a long way to drive. Besides, when you hit Texas you are not on the “Turnpike” anymore. All the good rest stops (toilets) disappear quick. Then we know we will pass the world’s largest feed lot (moo) when we pass Hereford. (pronounced Herferd not Heraford or however it is pronounced in the U.K.)

Three Spectacular Views of Texas

There is this very grand and wonderful rest stop before you get to Amarillo. We took some photos of the landscape. I am sure it is a popular photo stop. Sometimes I mess being able to look out the window and being able to see for miles. It is much more difficult to see upcoming weather (storms) living here in the city.

Littlefield Sign

This is one of the first signs with Littlefield on it, that we came to on our journey. This is the photo that I stuck the caption, near the top of this page.

Littlefield City Limits

A population of only 6507 this is a small town. There are towns left in the U.S. which are smaller yet. A lot of towns are “drying up” though. I remember a very vibrant downtown to Littlefield back in the 1970’s. My mother of course remembered more prosperous times than I did. Of course the whole culture and economic structure of the U.S. peaked sometime in the 1950’s. You really notice that when you visit towns like Littlefield. I find it a little bit sad.

My Grandfather’s Farm Outside Littlefield

I was trying to get some photos that showed the texture of old wood. Then there were rabbits. Most of these are “home sick” photos. I am not sure when I will ever get back to the place. With this one I tried to show the interesting pattern of the wood of the collapsing roof. I don’t know what they used to do in this building. It may have been where they kept pigs? I have no idea what the piece of equipment is in the foreground.

Another View of the Building With The Collapsing Roof

I was hunting for old bottles inside this old building. The wood has very interesting texture. It is too bad all the old wood of the falling apart structures cannot be salvaged for new construction. I know people in England were using our old falling apart barns for their wood floors. Then some people use old barns for houses.

“Our” Little House On The Prairie

A little fixer-upper. This is the house that my great grandparents lived in. My grandfather lived there when he was young. This house began as a two story house. I have a photo of a house that was basically identical to this one. It still has its top story. My great-grandmother decided that she didn’t need the top floor anymore so she had “them” take it off. (I am not sure exactly who, “them” was.)

Another View Of The House

I have more pictures of this house. Sadly, I don’t have any of the inside. One of these days, I hope to get more photos of my favorite places onto this site. Someone gave us a scanner and I will have to scan some in OR have our photo shop put the photos onto disk. I have most of the negatives. It pays to hang onto photo negatives!! This house makes me think of what it must have been like to live in West Texas say, during the 1930’s. Someday I will have to write a story that has been brewing for a long time. I have another one I am working on at the moment.

The View From The Farm looking South West Towards Town

You can barely see it, but Littlefield is the thin line of buildings on the horizon. If you can imagine seeing it at night, as you drive along, it is just a string of lights on the horizon. I describe such a sight in my poem, “Holidays At Granny’s”.

The Field South Of The House

I think they planted peanuts in this field this year. My grandfather said (at least as far as he knew) there hadn’t ever been peanuts planted on the farm before. Normally there’d be cotton growing in this field.

Table Of Antlers

My uncle is an auctioneer and you are apt to find all sorts of “interesting” things laying around the farm.

One View Of The Hen House

One of my favorite all time songs, is “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens”, by Louis Prima. What’s a farm without a chicken coop or hen house? “There ain’t nobody here, even chickens” anymore. My grandfather was telling me how his dad had to put windows in his hen houses. They are mostly broken out now. I would think that having sunlight and fresh air would be beneficial to raising chickens. I could be wrong. It is not like I have a degree in agriculture or veterinary science. I do not know the latest scientific methods for raising poultry. I guess you could say, that I haven’t learned the “fowl language” one would need in to raise chickens. Ha!

Inside The Hen House

This is a view of the "contraption" where the hens nested or "roosted". (As you can tell, I am not "skilled" at "fowl" language.)

Ladder Stairs Inside The Barn

With the photos in the barn, I was trying to get pictures of the wonderful wood. I have some older photos of the outside of the barn too. Then there’s more of the inside.

Doorways Inside The Barn

I think the square room once held my great granny’s bed. This barn was once certified to hold grain. I don’t think it was ever a barn that held animals.

Inside The Square Doorway

This photo makes me sneeze to look at it. There are what appear to be feathers and pigeon “mess” on the floor of it. I just like the way the wood looks. To me it is very beautiful. It has a “beautiful patina”.

Can You Spot The Rabbit?

There is a rabbit in this photo.

Two photos of just the rabbit from the other photos.

The rabbit is in this one too. I tried to get a photo of two lizards who were fighting. Or were they being friendlier than that? Anyway, they were more afraid of us than we were of them (as my Granny would point out about insects). We disturbed their fighting or loving whichever it was. They scampered off before I could get the camera out.

Rest Stop On Way To Olney

If I remember correctly, this was at one of those “new” rest stops that has a storm shelter with it. The view was stunning yet again. That is, it was stunning if you hadn’t minded seeing the same sort of view for the last hour or more.

Another One Of The Stunning View

I was told that this sort of land was once the ocean floor. So I always imagine that this is something like how the ocean would look without any water in it. Somewhere along in here our ears started to pop. We were loosing altitude. West Texas is a higher elevation than North Texas where Olney is. How high is high? I don’t really know off hand. But it does make the ears pop or hurt in my case.

Olney Another “Home”

Olney, Texas, population 3396. This isn’t the best photo. I tried to get it too late, it was getting dark. Procrastination doesn’t pay! I took this one after we had been in Olney a while. I have been to Olney, Maryland once. That was on the way home from my brother in law’s wedding. I want to visit Olney, Illinois and Olney, England too. They have a famous pancake race in Olney, England.


This could be my stepmother welcoming us “home”. Actually she is going into the house after a hard day of work outside.

Samantha’s Shoes

Our niece Samantha “decorated” a pair of flip flops with bandannas. She needed to tie them up with beads. She didn’t have any beads.

Mural In Graham, Texas

We went to Graham One Day. It was fun. I took some photos of the down town area for “inspiration” for my radio drama. My radio drama has a “town square”. I thought having pictures of a “town square” to look at might help me finish the drama finally. I just realized that the whole side of this building is a “trompe l’oeil” mural.

The National Theater, Graham, Texas

This one is full of coincidences!!!!

This has the distinction of being the only __________ in the nation or west of the Mississippi. My stepmother couldn’t remember exactly what it was. It is on the “National Register of Historic Places”. Why, I don’t know. Anyway, it looks nice. Next door is “The Last Pizza Show”. We aren’t too far from Archer City, which served as “Anarene”, when they filmed, “The Last Picture Show”. Funny thing these buildings are on “Oak” Street. The town in my radio drama has an “Oak” Street that is very much like a “Main” Street. I had no idea that one of Graham’s “main” streets, was “Oak”. Then my radio drama sprang from conversations I listened to during the time they were filming “Texasville” in and around Archer City. Especially “inspiring”, were the conversations I overheard while I waited as my sister was having her hair done in Wichita Falls.

What We Came Home To

This is how the pumpkins looked when we got home. Thank you Maruta!! Those are raspberries (yuck) behind the pumpkins along the fence. There used to be a lot of mint there. The tall fluffy plant in the corner of the pumpkin patch is a variety of lettuce, which is going to seed. I will have to pick it and eat it next year. This is a volunteer from last year. (Which was probably a volunteer as well? I planted it once, but can’t remember when off hand.) And, no it is not “ice berg” lettuce!!!!

You Mean It’s Not Parsley?

I was trying to baby along parsley I had planted in this patch. I forgot that I tried to plant Queen Ann’s Lace. I wondered why the parsley was growing so tall as we left for our trip. I assumed it was “going to seed” like the sage was. No! When we got home, it looked like this. All white and fluffy like, Queen Ann’s Lace or Wild Carrot. (Daucus carota)

St. John’s Wort?

I believe this is St. John’s Wort. (Hypericum perforatum) I had to look it up online and in my herb books in order to figure out what it was. If it isn’t St. John’s Wort, let me know. I don’t know how to take it for depression. I think if I remember what I read, there are other uses for this plant. It isn’t on the list that the Queen Ann’s Lace is. It is prohibited to sell seeds for the Queen Ann’s Lace in Michigan. To the left of the yellow flowers, is our “wild” rose bush from the 40 acres “up north”.

Some Sort Of “Wild” Strawberries

At the back of this photo near the brick wall of our house, are some “wild” strawberries of some sort. We have three varieties of “wild” strawberries or strawberry like plants. They all bloom at different times. These here came from “up north”. They bloom latest. They were blooming as we left. There were some blooms when we got back. These had a yellow flower. One variety if not both of the other two, have a white flower. They all have tiny berries. Some but in one of the varieties the berry is different. The leaves are different sizes and shapes between the three of them. I am trying to identify these berries.

Close Up Of This Variety Of Wild Strawberry


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