Tequa Creek

Certain stretches along I-35 have become quite familiar these past two years, especially the 160-mile stretch between Kansas City and my hometown of Hillsboro, KS. I can’t say I always enjoy this three-hour drive, but I do enjoy the part of the drive when I look up and see the sign for Tequa Creek. The only time I miss out on seeing this sign is if I’m asleep (and not driving of course).

Often I’ll be lost in thought or caught up in the music I’m listening to, and then all of a sudden, without even actively looking for it, the sign appears. I can’t name or describe many others signs along this stretch of the interstate, but for some reason I always notice this one.


I did a search for what Tequa means and the only thing that comes up is tequila.

Each time I look up and see this sign, which is close to the half-way point, it’s like the horizon opens before me in a new way and I start anticipating where I’m going rather than where I have just been. For example, when Jesse and I were gradually moving into our new home in Kansas City, I would often spend the first half of the trip to Kansas City thinking about the people and relationships we were leaving behind and then, once we passed Tequa Creek, I found myself feeling hopeful and energized by what might become of our transition to Kansas City/Rainbow.

This opening of horizon and heart continues to happen today whether I’m traveling north or south. Tequa Creek continues to be like this invitation on the horizon calling me to turn my attention in a slightly new direction.

My recent travels along I-35 (three weekends in a row!) have been especially important because it’s given me several opportunities to see my parents in my home town of Hillsboro.

Home sweet Hillsboro home

Home sweet Hillsboro home

In October my dad suffered a mild stroke. Thankfully my dad expects to have a full recovery and yet, we in the family recognize that this stroke is a game changer of sorts. There is now a cloud of concern that hovers over their/our life. I have all the confidence that my parents will create a new game plan post-stroke, but that might take some time and patience, and will be accompanied with a certain degree of worry.

I was aware of my own worry as I made my way north to Kansas City this past Saturday, but as usual as I passed the sign for Tequa Creek, and I felt my attention shift ever so slightly. The horizon once again opened before me, causing me to keep yearning with them for what might be, rather than only worrying about who or what is lost, who or what has changed.

In closing I’ll share a song that has been meaningful to me as I’ve traveled these roads over the past two years. I told the creator of this song Ben Regier that this song leaves me in a puddle of hopeful tears every time I listen to it. This track sung by Bethany Amstutz Schrag is a rough mix from the soon to be released album by The Book of JEBB.

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7 Responses to Tequa Creek

  1. Cliff says:

    I also travel by this creek many times looking after my parents. I wondered about the origin of the name. Thanks.

  2. Tequa says:

    I am named after the name sake of this creek. My mother tells me there used to be a sign that outlined the story of a Cherokee Indian maiden named Tequa who was on the trail of tears. Her tribe suffered famine and her father among many others died. He was the chief. At the Tequa Creek, she made a decision not to follow the trail any longer, but instead to follow the river, north, to freedom. I am told she, and what was left of her tribe successfully travelled to Canada where they lived out their days. The name as I have been told means: “free and flowing spirit (water)”. I have always wanted to travel to the creek to see if there is still any posting with more details of it’s namesake…it is cool that when you travel by the sign you distinctly feel a “shift in direction, opening of horizons…”

  3. wmenns says:

    I also look for this creek each time I travel I-35 (you get two chances since you cross the creek twice). I love the sound of the name … Tequa … it just makes me smile. I too have searched for the origin of this name with no results. I crossed Tequa creek 8 times in the past week so had to search again … hence my post here.

  4. deryll says:

    As usual my eyes are baptized/washed.

  5. Ransom and Mary K. says:

    OH————-do let us know when the Album by Book of JEBB is available…!!!

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