In keeping with the theme, Travel Journaling, for the month of June in the Documented Life Project, I used my trip to Kansas as inspiration for the art challenge of “recording memories”. The journal prompt for that week was “taking the road less traveled”. If you have ever driven through Kansas, you will find many roads less traveled. Kansas has the ranking of being #1 in the USA for having the most gravel roads. There are 78,000 miles of gravel roads in the state, or to put it another way, 58% of all of their roads are gravel roads. My grandparents lived on a farm on one of those gravel roads, many miles from the main highway. I remember as a child thinking that my grandpa drove so slo-o-o-o-w-ly on those roads. As an adult I understand why!
Through the years I remember hearing the story many times about the first time my dad came to visit my mom at her parent’s farm in the early ’50s. My parents met at college, so mom must have been home on a break. She gave him instructions to the farm, telling him to turn left off the main highway at the windmill. My dad counted about a dozen windmills after he left the closest town. He wasn’t sure where to turn, but he must have finally picked the right one because he showed up at her house. (And I’m not sure a cell phone would have helped had they existed because I had very little cell phone coverage in that part of Kansas in 2015!)
Mom and I drove down that highway and the windmill still stands. We took a left onto the gravel roads and drove to the old farmhouse (still standing and lived in by new owners.)
I painted a watercolor picture to record the memory of the windmill story.