Sunday, August 13, 2017

Buxton: Remembered, Reclaimed, And Restored

From 1895 till around 1920 the coal mining town of Buxton had a population of 7,000 to 10,000 people. It was located east of Lovilla on the Mahaska-Monroe County line. Although it was known for being mostly colored folks there were European and Asian immigrants as well. The town has been remembered for having no segregation which was unusual for that time frame. History remembers folks being taken care of. Buxton was a company town. They had homes, schools, parks, a YMCA, and many stores. The companies security guards acted as the police force. The Monroe Mercantile Store opened in 1901 and employed 100 people till it burned down in 1911.
Last Sunday afternoon while on a ride with Donna and Arlin looking at crops we happened onto this has-been town. There are remains of about 4 old buildings. The grass around the area was neatly mowed. Most of the rest of the town is now forest or farmland.   
As we were driving from Lovilla to Pleasantville we crossed North Cedar Creek and saw this covered bridge in Marion County built in 1894. It was bypassed by a Missouri crossing in 2011. It is now private owned and has been restored.
Jackson and Malaki came across this old 4-wheeler in the machine shed across the road that their older cousins used to ride. They rummaged everywhere looking for the seat. A most important part in their little minds. Then came the endless question of asking if we could fix it. Kurt told them it needed a carburetor. That was their new word for the rest of the day.
The corn around here is dying meaning harvest could be just three weeks away. So different folks are in charge of getting different pieces of equipment ready. Andy is in charge of Flames. The crew is helping him replace brakes. Jim will be getting in grain trailers Monday.
A requirement for CRP acres that have been reentered into the program is that they be mowed after August 1. So we have been busy mowing acres for others. This field was tall and ugly.
However Ryan and I reclaimed the field back from the Indians and got it mowed. We cleaned off the mowers before we headed home.
2017 will be a year remembered for a number of things. It will be remembered for BJ and Cassia and family losing a home. However it will also be remembered for building another one close on the same yard. Jeremiah (builder), Brett (cement), and BJ are staking out the new basement.
2017 will be remembered for being dry, especially in our area. The cracks in the ground are large enough to lose a pliers as the old timers used to say. It takes a dry season to appreciate all the many years that rain so faithfully came, many in just the nick of time, over the past years. The corn crop yield is determined due to it's maturity. We should have ears start to black layer (meaning the kernels are finished) by late next week. The soybean plant pods are drying up and falling on the ground. Since pod development on soybeans are continual a rain would kick them back in gear however we are quickly running out of growing season as beans decide to mature based on sunlight hours and length of days. 
As we were mowing CRP acres near Eddyville yesterday afternoon I noticed the Muchakinock Creek in that area was basically dry. This creek starts just north of Vermeer's near Pella and empties in the Des Moines River on the north edge of Eddyville. Although it may have happened before I have not seen this creek down to a trickle in the 40 years I have lived on this side of town.
Since we were having folks over for supper Wednesday evening and since our rock road is about two inches deep in dust Karl spread about 8 loads of water out of the pond for dust control. Water also reactivates the dust control already put down in front of our yard.
I didn't get a picture during supper Wednesday. However I enjoy this pic and would like to share it. We enjoy each others company getting ready. Helping each other out for a common cause rejuvenates friendships. Grandson Ethan is on the ladder. Kasey, Andy, and Pablo are helping. Kurt is watching. :) Just kidding. Again, Kudos to Jan who planned and prepared food for around 100 folks more than we have ever had before. And again, the amounts she prepared turned out just right.
Our evening was a success. Our goal is appreciation and fellowship. If you think about it fellowship happens around food. We serve coffee time when folks come to visit our home. Business folks often bring over breakfast pizza or donuts at 7 am when wanting to catch us in the shop. This morning the extended Terpstra family is getting together here for church and a reunion and again Jan is planning a meal. Food was also the center of get-togethers in Bible times. Remember Martha telling Jesus to have her sister Mary help her in the kitchen because they had so much company. Remember the disciples asking Jesus where they were going to find so much food when 5000 folks and again later 4000 folks were following and Jesus said to feed them. Remember Jesus used the last supper to explain to His disciples he was going to be killed by church leaders. The young folks below are Olivia, Hanna, Moriah, who I like to call Gracie, Johanna, Ki, and grandsons Ethan, Cody, and Gideon.
This is Alex, Jim, Pablo, Kasey, Andy, Matt, and Ryan got left before I could get a picture. Many of these guys have other jobs and help out part time. They are positive and see work often without being asked. Many folks look for the worst in people. These guys see the best in people. Who do you suppose is happier? These guys are a joy to be around and feel like family. At the Willow Creek Leadership Summit Friday a speaker said to hire folks that are better at things than you are. He also said not to hire folks you need but that you're going to need. These guys are helping our family get to wherever  God is planning on taking us. This harvest season will be different however I'm looking forward to it.
As much as we imperfect earthly fathers love each and every one of our children our heavenly Father loves His children down here on earth more than we will ever know. Just like Buxton God knows no segregation. He doesn't base His love on our performance. So often we forget Him, only talk to Him when we need something or are in trouble, and fail to surrender our accomplishments to His credit and glory. Still God takes our hand and says, "I'm not beside you to take your troubles away. I'm here to help you through them. The One that made us remembers us, reclaims us when we walk out, and restores us for the future plans he has for us.

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