As a child I recall the sound of the whirling windmill on our farm, driving the pump shaft up and down to draw water from the ground into a large round metal tank for the dairy cattle. But it was more than just an essential farm fixture, it was a place of imagination and adventure.
We would often climb part way up to scout the area for Indians and outlaws, and in the winter leap from the lower braces into snowdrifts below. When we had cattle, we would release the brake to let wind pump water into the tank. More than once we refreshed ourselves its cool water after a hike along the river woods.
When the cows were sold, the brake on the windmill was set and hence it has stood stoically for decades, enduring storms, winters, and summer’s heat. Little worse for the wear, it continues as sentinel over the plains and a companion to sunflowers.