Since the passing of my father three years ago (2012), it has been a struggle looking after the family land in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma.  Going on its third generation, this land was purchased by my grandpa and grandma in the 1940’s.  While two of my dad’s siblings are still living, they are in their elder years now.  So the time has come that my generation tend to the land.

My husband and I have been making numerous trips to Oklahoma in an effort to beautify the land.  And I will use this page to post pictures showing the challenges we have been facing in our attempts to accomplish our goals.  When at times it seems as though we do not have the equipment or the means to get the job done, God unexpectedly places in our path just the right people who graciously provide us the way.  We are truly thankful.

Pontotoc County (Winter 2015) Pictured above is me standing at one of the entrances to the property a few months after the loss of my father and before the work officially began.  This is the section he looked after, and as you can see, the work looks manageable.

026
025 The other sides of the property, however, are difficult to enter, though somewhat easier in the wintertime.  We had the land surveyed, and we went on a hunt to find all the survey markers.  Pictured above is one of those so-called markers.

cellarThis is the family cellar.  What on earth are we to do with it?  I imagine my grandmother spent her fair share of time in this cellar.  I, however, plan not to spend a single moment.   I’m having visions of venomous snakes as I type this, even though I have yet to see one.

001 (2)Strangely, a monsoon seems to have hit Pontotoc County this year (2015) which left some of the land flooded and the grass/weeds difficult to maintain.  Though we mow much of the land approximately every three weeks, we have encountered this high grass at every visit.  The poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac have been horrendous, as have been the heat, chiggers, and ticks.  It has been our mission to conquer it all!

001Flooding on one of my favorite serene spots.

Cutting trees

 While I mow, he cuts trees and burns ’em up.  We make an awesome team!

006(May 2015)  Pictured here is a culvert at our creek (see two posts near road).  At each visit, the roadway has gotten narrower and narrower at the culvert due to erosion caused by the floodwater.   Several weeks ago, a county dump truck came down our road to pour gravel.  The driver didn’t make it across the culvert.  Rather, the truck overturned and landed in the creek, pouring the load of gravel into the creek as it fell.   While the truck was a loss, the driver was not hurt but only shaken.

BridgeOh, what a difference!  When we arrived in August 2015, the culvert had been fixed.  And it is twice as wide.  Pontotoc County was one of many counties in Oklahoma approved by FEMA for federal disaster assistance, and our road was near the top of the county’s list due to the dump truck incident.  The county commissioner even offered to clean our treeline while the equipment was there, and we accepted his offer.  Things are looking good!

Vulture  Vulture  Vulture  Vulture

(October 2015)  We spent Halloween weekend in Oklahoma this year.  And upon arrival to the farm, we discovered that a couple of vultures had set up residence in our smokehouse.  While one flew away during our stay, the one pictured above remained in our presence.  He seemed to have befriended us.   My first thought upon seeing him was, “Egads!”  But I soon realized he was quite friendly, as I am sure he realized about us as well.  We came to the conclusion that he was unable to fly for whatever reason, as his mate kept watch over him from a tree.   I now have a new fascination with vultures.

Dr. Seuss tree DSCN4399

With the help of a couple of cousins, we took down a “Dr. Seuss looking” Hackberry tree, pictured above.  From which we ended up with a nice pile of wood.  Pictured below is a new barbed wire fence which we installed about three weeks prior.

Barbed-wire fence