Karen here: I’m out of the country this week (more on that to come in a future post), so I invited the lovely and talented Regina Jennings to fill in for me today. Regina and I roomed together this summer at the RT Reader Convention in Dallas, and we had a blast. She even got me to do a little two-steppin’ at one of the western romance sessions. Only for you, Regina!
No Other Place on Earth…
I like to travel, but traveling would lose its charm if every location were similar. Would you spend valuable vacation time to travel to a distant Wal-Mart or eat at a remote McDonald’s? Not unless you are a hardcore shareholder, I’d guess.
The point is that we crave uniqueness. What about this place makes it different? Atmosphere, ambiance—we’re looking for some sight or experience that we can’t find anywhere else.
And sometimes you don’t have to travel far from home to find it.
Last Thanksgiving my family rented houses in Medicine Park, Oklahoma. Tucked near the base of the Wichita Mountains, the area surrounding Medicine Park is startlingly different from the grassy prairie just a few miles away.
Medicine Park is a tiny town that claims fewer than 400 residents, but almost anyone in Oklahoma can recognize it from a single picture. What do you see that makes it unique?
You guessed it, didn’t you?
Although not a big resort, and definitely not an expensive destination, Medicine Park has a unique claim to fame – naturally occurring red granite cobblestones. These uniformly shaped stones are found in nearly every structure in town, making it instantly recognizable. The Chamber of Commerce didn’t have to create an expensive ad campaign to come up with a trademark. Instead they just used what God left scattered on the ground to give them distinction.
Sometimes we discredit the common, don’t we? We distance ourselves from our roots or our natural voice because it’s too familiar. We want to be new, flashy, sophisticated. We walk away from the tools and materials that are readily available. But not the good folks of Medicine Park.
Poor Paris had to build their Eiffle Tower, San Francisco their bridge, but the people of Medicine Park found what made them special in their own backyards—something practical that they could put to good use.
And maybe we just need to pick up and use the gifts God provided especially for us, because there are plenty of ivy towers and glass-encased skyscrapers already. Don’t be afraid to be different, even if it means having a bumpy, cobblestone exterior—rare and beautiful.
Available December 1, 2015:
After helping her grandfather at their Boston auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers she’s accidentally sold a powerful family’s prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the furious family, her grandfather tracks it to the Missouri Ozarks and makes an outlandish offer to buy the local auction house if they promise not to sell anything until he arrives.
Upon their arrival, however, they discover their new business doesn’t deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its manager, ruggedly handsome Wyatt Ballentine, is frustrated to discover his fussy new bosses don’t know a thing about the business he’s single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more cattle than they can count–but no mysterious painting–Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and salvage a bad situation getting worse.