These Things I Know For Certain

I don’t claim to know very much,
but these things I know for certain.
Hymns sound best when sang outdoors,
and old bed sheets make the best curtains.

Coffee tastes best from a percolator,
with canned milk, rich and creamy.
Fresh bread smells like heaven,
sliced thick with butter, hot and steamy.


The eggs and tortillas kind of take center stage here, but note the enamel percolator on the warmer. Side note: everything tastes better when cooked on a wood stove.

Sheets feel delicious when dried outside,
they capture the smell of the wind.
While on the line they make a great tent
for kids who are playing pretend.

Lipstick and dresses look good on the ranch,
although practical, they really are not.
Neither are flowers, but yet they still bloom
atop my fridge in a hand-painted pot.

Soft dirt belongs between my toes
when the air warms up in the spring.
Lilacs make the sweetest perfume,
better than a sample in any magazine.

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Yes, I realize the blooms pictured above are wildflowers, not lilacs, but I thought they were so pretty and wild and wonderful that they deserved a photographic representation in this poem.

My cheek rests on my husband’s chest,
when I lean into his strong embrace.
I can smell dirt and sweat from his work,
and feel his shirt snaps press into my face.

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It has been pointed out to me, more than once and usually by my husband, that I am short. When I disagree, Jim says “You think you’re big? Good for you.” And he means it. He’s supportive like that.
Freedom lies just beyond my front door,
when I step out into God’s open country.
No locked gates, crowds or traffic,
just the cactus, cedar trees and me.

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This is where I live. What a great backyard, right?


8 thoughts on “These Things I Know For Certain

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  1. Loved this. Jolyn, I lived like this when Mike and I were first married. I cooked on a wood stove, had nothing but wood heat in the house, one bathroom for six people, ordered the kids’ school clothes from the Sears catalog or sewed them myself, went to Yreka once a month at the most, Medford maybe twice a year, grew all our own vegetables and ate our own beef and chicken, did huge canning and freezing every fall. We still live that way somewhat – I’m still hanging my clothes on the line whenever the weather is good because of that heavenly smell. It’s one of my favorite memories from my childhood – helping my grandmother hang clothes on the line because she didn’t own a dryer.

    What I enjoy about your posts is your positive attitude toward your lifestyle because many women of your age would be horrified to live that way. You recognize the spiritual benefits of living close to the land, of living with the rhythms of the seasons, and of appreciating a good man. May the Lord bless you and your family.

    Lynne >

    1. Thank you so much, Lynne! I’ll admit that when we first moved to these remote cow camps in Arizona, I was very much opposed to it. I have gradually learned to love and even prefer it, though! Sometimes, my posts are so positive because I am reminding myself why in the heck I’m living like this 🙂 I love that my kids can run wild, though, without fear of kidnapping or being run over by a car. And they both love helping with the clothesline, it’s funny!

  2. Beautiful description of such a blessed like simple and wholesum ! Describes a lot of my feelings here on The Broke 4 homeplace! Thank you for allowing your posts to be shared! Love reading them!

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