Monthly Archives: December 2017


Some photos by Jonathan Lein

I’m a prairie girl, I love the prairie; I feel the emotion of the prairies from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. And I am a writer who has written stories set on the prairies. I’ve been waiting to see this Prairie Preserve since my son and his wife moved to Oklahama. Oh I’d love to walk the trails. Not this time…next time.

This preserve in northeastern Oklahoma is the largest unplowed protected tract that remains of the tall grass prairie (39,650 acres), once 142 million acres stretching from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. To me this area is a national treasure. These are the vistas that greeted the first settlers in many states, including my great grandparents. I love to study the grasses and wildflowers of the area. On a cool November day, the place is not colorful but still calming and quiet. And the wide open vistas soothe my heart and soul.

At the visitor’s center I saw the big bluestem, switchgrass, little bluestem and Indian grass that are so prevalent on the prairies of the past and this preserve today. Burning helps to control invasive species.

On this day we saw the buffalo up close. They are impressive beasts.

What did my granddaughter like best about her trip to Pawhuska, Oklahoma? Not the kitchen toys at the Merc, though they were a hit. The buffalo were her favorite of the day.


The Mercantile
Some photos by Jonathan Lein

Affectionately called “the merc”, the store is located in a beautifully rehabbed building in downtown Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Recently, I was lucky enough to visit.

Come along for a brief tour.

Lots of good food offered in the Deli section. We missed eating there because the line was so long. I’m sure it’s worth the wait. Other food in Pawhuska is also delish.

Upstairs a room to rest a bit and a bakery. Yum!

I didn’t go home empty handed, even with a plane to catch, but next time….. Can’t wait!

Mail order is available. The website is

Shop online at



The newly renovated library is truly a 21st century library with an attached parking garage and a Starbucks inside.

The impressive Peggy V. Helmerich Staircase serves as a backdrop for the Peggy C. Helmarich Distinguished Author Award and other large-scale programs.

The Children’s Area is large bright and colorful, filled with books and inviting developmental activities.

My three year old granddaughter was nearly beside herself with excitement describing the level and entry she wanted us to use to access the library. And when she was inside, oh my! She could not be contained.

And, yes, there is much more!