Well Winter finally raised its head and it is White outside. It came just as lovely and perfect as can be. We are not used to snow without wind. It lays on the wheat and pastures giving a nice shot of nitrogen as well as moisture. Now we have been lucky with a relatively mild winter. But Kansas can turn on you in an instant.
Now lucky for us February is such a short month and we can get a glimpse of spring ahead. Of course this means tornado season is on us. It is funny how people who have not been in Kansas have this notion that we all get blown away by tornados. Greensburg probably brings this outlook the most. It is a fact of life that we have spectacular storms and there are tornados. I have had California people ask me how we can stand it here with all the tornados? Then I tell them "80% of Kansans will never see a tornado in their life, but how can you stand California because you shake, burn, and slide and that effects everyone there"?
I recently attended, and was on the planning committee of, the BIG RURAL BRAINSTORM. I was with 200 people from all over the state trying to think outside the box about how to go back home with new ideas that can be put into practice right away. Things that make living in rural and small town Kansas better. And there were a lot of ideas. Many towns or areas had specific problems and were looking for inovative solutions.
The host organization was the KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATION. Director Marci Penner and assistant Wendee LaPlant did a bang up job of creating and running this first time event. We do not even know all the good that is happening as result of this. Time will see if we hit our target. The conections made and resources discovered are going to make a great difference in Kansas.
The KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATION is unique to Kansas. Not another state has a group like this. They have a festival every year that spends two years in the same town then rotates to another part of the state. It is a showcase for everything Kansas. It has all the tourist attractions, regional interests, entertainers, Kansas made products, and the group known as the KANSAS TRAVELERS. There are members of the Travelers that make an effort to see everything about Kansas, take day trips, help small shops and cafes, many go on quests. One member is starting a quest to eat a Sampler Standard handmade Chicken Fried Steak in every county in the state.
If you are outside of Kansas you should consider looking at starting a Sampler foundation for your state. It is unbelievable all the things that the Foundation has done over the years to make rural and small town life better.
Well here is looking for spring. Hope Global Warming kicks in pretty soon.