Wednesday, June 24, 2015

On to Red Cloud

So then it was a short drive to the Nebraska border and crossing over into the small town of Red Cloud. The first thing was seeing the Willa Cather prairie. Oh golly, pictures can’t capture the vista that is there! I saw rolling land, again lush green grasses due to rains, and I stood outside the car and felt the air blow and brush my face…heard nothing but birds and maybe occasionally a whish of a car passing on the road. I stood and let my mind picture the settlers ease into this land from foreign countries and many from Europe and Scandinavia. They dug holes into the sides of this land and built soddies and life was hard! My mind also saw the Red Man and how he rode the plains in freedom and peace…then he watched others encroach on his homeland.

Love Willa Cather and her life story! I am still working my way through her works. I recently read Lucy Gayheart. Enjoyed it and was shocked by some of the themes Cather wrote about so early in the 20th century. My two favorites are Death Comes to the Archbishop and My Antonia. Oh wait and then there is Sapphira and the Slave Girl written in the 1940s but full of contemporary issues. Cather’s books are classics but don’t be afraid to give them a shot!

The town of Red Cloud only has about 1000 people. We ate a hamburger lunch, walked the short streets, felt the settings of her novels! I bought too many books and videos and such in the Opera House gift shop where tours of town started. This wasn’t my first time here. I just love being on the land Cather walked.

                                  Harding House that appeared in Cather's stories. Now a bed and breakfast.

                                                     Cather's childhood home.

DH fell in love with a border collie here. Black, white, friendly, and wearing no collar he could have used a bath and a meal. We discussed bringing him home. He followed us and into the Opera House upsetting some fine ladies. He went right back out and was gone when we came out. Even late in the trip we discussed driving back to Red Cloud to pick up Gravy. Yes we named him and thought when we called Biscuit in we could call for Biscuit and Gravy!!!! But he was large and would take a big commitment, and it wasn’t fair to Miss B who had issues of her own since being abandoned. We came home without Gravy and with a heavy heart…but you can’t bring them all home.

The landscape gradually changed after Red Cloud. We moved
north towards the Black Hills, home of the Sioux. We used Highway 80 to speed across to North Platt where the Platt River was spread everywhere due to flooding. A night dodging tornado and golf ball sized hail made for poor sleep. We started the next day tired, but we pushed onward.

                                                         A Nebraska sod house.


Susan said...

Cather's home looks so cozy and neat, Claudia. It must have been thrilling to see it in person. You really have covered a lot of ground! This is exciting. Susan

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