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  • Last modified 245 days ago (Feb. 20, 2019)

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ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: An exciting week in Ramona

© Another Day in the Country

Well, it was an exciting weekend in the greater Ramona area, in spite of the snowstorm that threatened to ruin everyone’s plans. However, who, pray tell, would let a little snow waylay your plans or stop progress?

Every year, the Brunner Bull Sale takes place right around now. It takes a lot of planning to pull off an event like this with pens full of prize bulls on the auction block, and people from all over Kansas and a bunch of other states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri buying these fine animals to embellish their own livestock at home.

Isn’t it amazing to know that Marion County and folk born and bred right here produce these fine animals that will influence the beef consumed at American tables for generations? Sometimes you think nothing very amazing is happening in and around Ramona, population 100 plus or minus.

The children in my art class at Centre School learned about Wassily Kandinsky on Friday, while the snow was sifting down outdoors. I was surprised that school hadn’t been canceled because of the weather. It was a good thing that we carried on because I’d spent hours accumulating supplies for a Kandinsky art project.

Did you know that Kandinsky is the father of abstract art? Have you ever seen any of his work? The kids hadn’t. It’s not the kind of thing that might hang on the living room wall or get discussed around the kitchen table at supper; but Kandinsky — dead since the 1940s — has now made himself known to a part of Marion County, a future generation.

The kids cut out shapes in bright colors and began assembling some abstract art of their own.

“Once you embark on this project,” I told my students, “I’m not going to suggest any corrections on your art piece, like I usually do. You are totally in charge — it’s abstract art — your creation.”

They canceled school as soon as my last class was over, which sent the whole school home and parents, I imagine, from all over the county scurrying home early. That’s the power of a weather front.

That weather almost cancelled Jessica’s annual Valentine brunch for “the girls.” Last year, it had to be called off because of snow.

“If it happens again this year, I’m done with this Valentine’s day business,” my sister announced.

An amazing proclamation because Valentine’s day is her favorite holiday.

She was mad at the weather for interfering with her plans. But the girls, like the postal service, vowed that “neither sleet nor snow,” would keep them from coming to Ramona Saturday for brunch.

“The girls” are the remnants of some women we met years ago, shortly after we arrived in Ramona. They are all artists, in one way or another, and met each other by happenstance.

One of the gals is a retired art teacher who sells her ornate crosses at a shop in downtown Lindsborg.

One was a lawyer and made jewelry in her spare time. Another made life-size ceramic sculptures and lived in McPherson.

One came from Salina and grew these huge kettle gourds and painted them, selling the finished product for lots more than I could afford.

One did watercolor and had a fascination with chickens. Another loved cooking up delightful concoctions and feeding them to friends — she thought she wasn’t an artist, but she is!

That’s how it all began. There are four of us still meeting regularly. We’ve been together through illnesses and deaths, graduations, awards, lost lovers, pets dying, sickness, and health.

“I don’t know what I’d do without you gals,” Phyl said as she presented us with coffee cups for Valentine’s day that had pictures of slender, beautiful, lithe, young, artsy girls painted on the side of the cup and a heading that read, “Wonderful Wacky Women.”

“Arsty, that’s us,” we all laughed as Jess poured another cup of tea and I brought out the tea sandwiches.

We, the California sisters, were remembering the days when we first moved back to Ramona and we used to do an annual tea party for 100 women, plus or minus. What fun we all had.

It was fun planning the delectable concoctions, theme, and sending out invitations. Anyone could come to Ramona for this event, and we hoped it would spawn friendships and create more community events — and go on forever.

What those tea parties created was lots of lovely memories. After quite a few of these miraculous occasions we realized that we hadn’t been able to sit and chat, we hadn’t had time to laugh at the stories told around the table, we hadn’t even had a cup of tea because we were so busy cooking in the kitchen.

I’m happy to report that it was different Saturday. Everyone brought something delicious to the table. It was just “tea for four” in Ramona, on another day in the country.

Last modified Feb. 20, 2019

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