Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
A blog that strives to be firmly rooted in the Great Plains but often rambles and wanders across the map of topics.
Smells like rural America
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By Brandon Case
Brandon Case has spent the majority of his life living near the 99th Meridian, an imaginary line used for mapping purposes that circles the earth and runs through the North and South Poles.
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By Brandon Case
May 24, 2013 12:35 p.m.

When the wind blows just right from the northwest and windows are opened to let in the cool night breeze after a warm spring day, Pratt residents may catch a whiff, or more, of the feed yard out by the airport.
I don’t necessarily savor the smell, which some call the smell of money, but I have come to appreciate what it means. As I tell Kathie, my spouse, when our noses alert us to the wind’s direction, it means we’re living in rural America. Incidentally, the Pratt Feeders smell is definitely preferable to the chemical smell that sometimes drifted in from a factory north of Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita, where Kathie used to work. She described that smell as “worse than boiled shoes.”
When wind blows that recognizable smell into town, it reminds me that someone is earning a living by the sweat of his or her brow. Also, a friend of mine once told me that this is not just any manure which we produce in Pratt County. He said that the manure from Pratt Feeders is used to keep the fairways green at the finest golf courses. I haven’t been able to verify this, but, if that’s the case, it must be primo stuff.
So before I run this topic into the ground, let’s get back to the roots of this blog. That is, it’s great to be living in rural Kansas, where within a short time we can drive, cycle, run, or even walk outside of town to enjoy a magnificent prairie sunrise or sunset, perhaps even hearing the fading song of a meadowlark or trill of a blackbird. Rural living affords ample opportunities for peace and quiet, which are essential for recharging our batteries and de-stressing in an increasingly noisy, frantic world.
So, the next time that familiar smell comes drifting into town on a northwest wind try to smile and remember that there’s more to it than meets the nose.

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