Life is an Ongoing Journey

Life is an Ongoing Journey

I sit at 31,000 ft. looking out the window of a Boeing 737 aircraft. All I see are wisps of white cloud patches miles below me. Their scalloped puffy surfaces look like welcome mats to bounce across. We’re flying home after two weeks of watching a perpetually changing Atlantic Ocean. As I sat at a computer writing stories of my life, the waves constantly changed shape and color. My writing colleague and friend seemed to produce stories faster than I did. Also I try to keep from sulking as her life stories sound so much more profound than mine. I remember that life is a journey. Life is filled with smooth roads, bumpy holes, rocks in the middle of the road and straight, unspectacular shots. We watched the television play out a symbolic memorial process for a...

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The Snowy Christmas

The Snowy Christmas

The Christmas of the big snow! Who can forget it? Presents and turkey took a back seat that year of 1967. We board the Santa Fe’s Texas Chief in Chicago and wake the next morning in Kansas. A world in dazzling white greets us. As we leave the train we exclaim, “Where is Grandaddy? He always meets us.” We find a phone in the station. Grandaddy’s car stuck in the snow meant several hours of waiting at the Osage Hotel. A taxi takes us into town and we mostly squirm and look at our watches. Grandaddy’s neighbor finally manages to plow his driveway and we are rescued from boredom. The translucent landscape beckons as we drive the three miles east of town to the grandparent’s hilly pastureland. The kids Ben, thirteen (now sixty-three), Tim, eleven (now sixty-one) and...

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Discovering the Amazing Black Hoof Park

Discovering the Amazing Black Hoof Park

An afternoon appointment in Lawrence means a time to do some exploring on the way there. Black Hoof Park has been mentioned as an interesting spot. Exploring on the internet, I discover where this park is. My internet hunt leads me to the west end of Lenexa…perfect for a stop on my way to Lawrence. Off I go… Google Map directs me to a south-west street down through Lenexa which takes me to 95th street. The 160 acre Black Hoof Park on the west end of Lenexa includes diverse wildlife, trails, a picnic shelter, and playground. Lake Lenexa holds the center of my sight as I pull into the parking lot. After I choose an area as far from the playground as possible, I park, hop out and head down toward the lake. A paved trail next to grass still wet from the...

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Sitting on the Deck

Sitting on the Deck

To sit on Ben and Tina’s deck is magic at any hour of the day. Such a wide expanse of grass, trees, shrubs and flowers. And across the wire fence looms the woods. Birds of all kinds pop in and out of the yard from the woods with seven feeders of various kinds calling them in. The Baltimore oriole — male and female — early in the week swished from one feeder to another. But they have taken their beautiful orange and black off to the woods. Other birds flitting in to first one feeder and then another are numerous. Downy, red bellied, and hairy woodpeckers come and go. The pileated woodpecker appears once or twice a day. Chickadees and white-bellied nuthatch pop in and out. A couple of blue jays come and go. The cat bird with his smooth grey body,...

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Celebrating with Creole

Celebrating with Creole

December 29 I celebrate my third evening of family dining with my second grandson and his family. We drive to downtown St. Paul and Jeffrey says, “We are going to Brasa, the city’s top-pick of kid-friendly restaurants.”  We pull into the parking lot and see the rooster symbol behind the name, Brasa on the front of the building. Five of us unload (Christy, Aurora, Teegan, Jarvis and me) and wait for Jeffrey to park the car. As the door opens tantalizing smells waft across our path. We are fortunate we’ve arrived a few moments before several other families come through the door. Brasa doesn’t take reservations, but we only wait a few minutes before we are led to a table for six in the back corner of this rather small restaurant. Every...

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A Magical Christmas Evening

A Magical Christmas Evening

As we turn off the freeway into downtown St. Paul the magic of lights twinkle before our eyes. Ben pulls into the first spot of street parking across the street from the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and exclaims, “Rock Star parking.” Seeing the Ordway on our left and Rice Park to our right the spirit of the season fills me anew. I carefully step over a pile of ice on the curb. White lights cover the forest of trees in the park. In their midst a tree covered with blue lights “towers as tall and bright as the iconic Rockefeller Center tree in New York City.” In 2014, Ben, Tina and I stood in front of the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City. The hundreds of people also viewing the tree and ice skating rink somewhat hampered my...

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