So I’ve been a little absent from my own blog because I had a major life-changing event. That’s because six weeks ago, this conversation happened:
Historical Society Director: Would you be interested in a job managing the museum? Me: Would I get my own keys?
And two weeks later, I was unlocking the doors to my new home away from home, the Old Depot Museum, an 1888 former Santa Fe train depot that’s now dedicated to telling the story of Franklin County, Kansas.
The Old Depot Museum in Ottawa, Kansas.
I’m completely in love with the place. The artifacts. The history. The model trains that zip through an interpretation of 1951 Ottawa. Even the farm implements, even though I have no idea what most of them do. (Yet!)
My husband will be out of school soon, and we’ll be back on the road visiting other amazing places in Kansas and blogging about them. And should you find yourself passing through Franklin County, Kansas, visit the Old Depot Museum!
Kansas is ablaze with prairie fires right now as the farmers and ranchers are preparing their fields for rebirth. Unfortunately for my asthmatic self, I’m stuck inside instead of trying my hand at paying homage to photographers like Larry Schwarm or Dave Leiker by creating a pastiche of their amazing images of this prairie rite of passage. Taking pity, Jim took me for a quick ride around town so I could escape the house.
We drove through Hope Cemetery, which was hazy with prairie fire smoke.
That haze in the background at Hope Cemetery isn’t fog. It’s smoke blowing in from the prairie fires.
And then, for the first time, we followed the gravel road past the cemetery, where we found a pretty view of the Marais des Cygnes River.
An old railroad bridge crosses the Marais des Cygnes River west of Ottawa.
The Marais des Cygnes River west of Ottawa.
The forecast calls for thunderstorms this week, which will wash away the smoke. In the meanwhile, I’m hiding in the house again.
Here is a synopsis of Kansas weather these past two weeks.
February 14: The pond at the Traylor Zoo in Emporia is thawing and happy ducks are waddling through the snow and ice to swim and bathe in the water.
February 19: Ottawa is hit by a thunderstorm, which drops pea-sized to nickel-sized hail. Thanks to the piles of not-yet-melted snow, much of the hail sticks around for hours.
February 20: Large rain clouds drift over the snow-free hills along I-70 near Topeka.
February 25: Jim and I attend the National Weather Service’s annual Storm Safety and Spotter Training event in Franklin County. Audra Hennecke did an amazing job talking about the events of the past year. Most interesting takeaway: helmets should be part of your emergency preparedness kit. After talking about tornadoes for 90 minutes, we left Celebration Hall to find snow.
March 2: After hours and hours of sleet, Ottawa is getting more snow.