William Jennings Bryan Oleander

Oleander on the Taste of Winter Onions

Nov 2, 2019

Folks, Claude Anderson and I were sitting in the Here, Kansas, Co-op, talking about the prospect of the next winter wheat crop.  We can already see the skim of green on the fields, and, like the local farmers, we have our hopes. 

You never know who might wander into a place like Here, Kansas. 

Oleander As Gardening Hits a High

Jun 13, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Folks, last February I was paying attention.  When all the other old coots at the Here, Kansas, Co-op were drowsing through the cold, or standing at the window listening to the sleet skitter along the glass, or contemplating their next move in checkers, I was watching.  Because I knew exactly what would happen in July.

Heat and Wheat

Jun 13, 2019

Well, folks, one morning I woke up to a completely still morning in Here, Kansas.  No birds, no insects, no wind brushing the curtains through the screened windows, no cars driving by on Kansas Street.  Iola Humboldt stirred beside me.

"Listen," I said to her, "what do you hear?"

"Heat," she said.  "When it's this hot, things are still.  When it stays still, you know it's still hot.'"

"We're not staying still," I said.  "I've got plans.  You don't hear any cars in town because everyone in Here is off driving the roads, enjoying the excitement of wheat harvest."

Oleander's Home on the Range

Jun 13, 2019

In Here, Kansas, we citizens gather together every 4th of July.  We don't call it an Old Settler's Reunion, because everyone in Here is already old, and we live here year round.  In fact, it's a reunion of the young and restless:  for all our kids and grandkids gone off into the world to find something better than Here, Kansas.

Oleander on Voting I.D.

Jun 1, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Folks, how many of you plan to vote in November?  How about having to show that ID?

Claude Anderson is trying to get me ready.  He reminded me of the time, last year, when I woke up, threw on a pair of overalls, and spent the entire morning padding around the house and puttering in the garden.  Iola Humboldt fixed tomato soup for lunch, and I spent the afternoon reading on the porch, talking to my grandson on the telephone, visiting with neighbors as they walked by.

May Day Bouquets with Cowboy Poetry

May 4, 2019
Jim Hoy / Facebook

Folks, when I was a boy, we gave May Day flowers to everyone we could find home on the first of May.  Well, I don’t have flowers, so I decided this year on a different kind of bouquet.  Words. 

Five-Skip Rocks

Apr 20, 2019

Folks, when my great-grandson came to Here for a visit I took him for a long walk at the Oleander home place along No Mile Creek.  He needed some outdoors, to keep from moping.  You see, his dog Scooter just died, some kind of tumor.  He knew my old cat died.  He knew I wouldn’t be getting another.

Gardening - Even If It's Late

Apr 6, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Folks, used to be I’d plant potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day even if I had to get muddy doing it.  This year, I was lazy.  Or was it tired?  Or was it just plain old?  Mabel Beemer stopped by my house with a little verse:  "Spring is sprung, the grass is ris',/ Wonder where Oleander's garden is?"

"Lordy, Mabel," I said, "I've been busy.  Iola and I had company.  Then we did a bit of traveling.  And I’ve got a complicated tax year.  And our cat named Balanced Budget died."