A small town with a big heart
Ten a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. My kitchen was busy with chopping, mixing, and baking. There was much to prepare. Amidst the frenzy that accompanies a holiday, I had forgotten cranberry sauce and marshmallows for the big feast that afternoon. Friends and family were coming at 11 a.m.
From so many miles away, the wind turbines don’t look like anything special. They’re little dark grey toothpicks with tiny Mercedes-Benz Y’s rotating, rotating, rotating at the same monotonous pace, sluggishly trudging through the thick summer air. In fact, they look spectacularly inconsequential. If they weren’t the only departure from cows, telephone poles, flatness, greenness, and more flatness in the last 100 miles, I wonder if I would have noticed them at all. Mentally, I let out a grand, lip-fluttering sigh. I say “mentally” because I don’t want to disappoint my dad sitting next to me, driving the car that carries us through western Kansas—not nearly fast enough, I think—with an incredibly put-out, roll-of-the-eyes, and who encouraged me to accompany him on this business trip to see the “awesome” wind turbine farm outside of Montezuma. After roughly three hours of driving, the trip has reached its climax and the denouement: a tour of a cotton factory and a four-hour drive home, looms amidst a cloud of disinterest and self-pity
Good Fences, Good Neighbors ... Maybe
Photo by John Cyr
You can straddle the fence, fence yourself in, drool over the grass that’s greener on the other side, jump the fence and whack the ball over the fence to bring the fans to their feet.
It seems as if there’s a bit of fence wisdom for any situation. Robert Frost cautioned, “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.” While Will Rogers is blunt about what a fence can tell you about character. “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
A Short Cut to Kansas
It's a secret that some truckers know: a back door that gets you from Manhattan to Beloit about 20 minutes sooner than Highway 24, a bit less stressed by traffic, and entertained by some of the prettiest land in a state full of vista after vista. Easy for Kansans to miss the turn and the beauty. After all, you grew up in the midst of it.
Brothers, Hills and the Way Home
My brother’s red Monte Carlo coupe glides west on Highway I-70 towards Wichita. He has picked me up in Manhattan, where I attend K-State, on his way from Lawrence, where he attends KU. It's Saturday and we’re both going home for the weekend.