The Joys of Autumn

The Joys of Autumn

I think that every year that Rodney and I were together…five years dating and fifty-nine years of marriage … we exclaimed how much we loved fall. Mostly it was the colors of the trees, but in many ways  just the feel of the air overwhelmed us. I went for a long walk yesterday and became entranced with the trees and bushes along the way. I don’t think there is a way that one can live through weather and colors like we are having right now and not become entranced. I did realize that it all made me miss Rodney that much...

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Autumn Days

Autumn Days

The windows of my apartment look out over the Courtyard. There is only one real problem of living in this retirement community — there just aren’t any birds to look at in our Courtyard. But this morning when I looked out my bedroom window I was stunned to see so many colors in the trees. I suppose having that beautiful color take the place of birds isn’t too bad. Maybe that is just a sign of aging…shifting from one exciting view to another. Anyway it is stunningly gorgeous for a day or two to have four different colors so close. There seems to be no reason to rush to New England to view...

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Traveling Across the Pacific

Traveling Across the Pacific

In January 1983 Lyn Mathews, the wife of the Dean of the Institute of Cultural Affairs asks me to go to the Kingdom of Tonga in the Pacific to participate in the Pacific Training School. I pause for a minute, ask her a couple of questions and then say, “Yes.” I want to die. Seasickness incapacitates me. 150 miles of open ocean exists between me and the island of Vava’u in the Kingdom of Tonga. As the ferryboat Olavaha tosses and pitches, I concentrate on keeping my stomach calm for the next eighteen-hours My destination is the Pacific Training School, a community leadership school at Siu’lkutapa College on Vava’u. I am one of the non-Tongan staff who will work with the local staff to share methods of community development. We will teach the participants how...

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The Wonder of Childhood

The Wonder of Childhood

Smooth roads, bumpy holes, rocks in the middle of the road and straight, unspectacular paths guide me for eight decades.  How do I talk about faith in my life? I have lived a long time and I want to pause and think about that. It all began long ago, in March 1931. “Life is amazing” resounds through my brain as I look back through the years.  I can’t believe that our family didn’t suffer more. My parents met at Fairmount College (now Wichita State University) and moved to Arkansas City after Ranney-Davis Mercantile Company offered my Dad a job. This was a new type of industry. Wholesale groceries had not been a category very long. My birth in 1931 coincides with the global depression. A small red brick house on North 4th becomes my first home after my birth in...

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