Sunday, November 22, 2009
This year I have heard more about an “Attitude of Gratitude”. It is tough times for people and families, but there is a glimmer of promise in keeping a cheerful heart and a smile on one’s face. Perhaps it is a time to count blessings: those little miracles that come in the form of a friendly waved or a small courtesy by a stranger who lets you go before them in the check–out line at your local grocer; a surprise gift of friendship, just a telephone call away or a knock on a forgotten door. Perhaps it is a hug from a stranger.
On our motorcycle ride through New Mexico, we looped down past Shiprock and rode Red Rock Indian Highway 13 toward our destination of Chinle, Arizona and the Canyon De Chelly National Monument. Just over the border in Arizona is the Red Rock Trading Post. It was hot and dusty, typical day in the desert Southwest and our group of eight motorcycles pulled in and parked along the front of a low, plain log building with a covered front porch. Most of the bikers converged upon the air conditioned premises, others sat on wood benches on the porch; I prowled the edge of the parking lot next to the highway, trying to get photographs of the strange and beautiful landscape.
An older Navajo woman got into her car with a young boy and then abruptly she got out. She approached me and we struck up a conversation about her daughter and her daughter’s love of motorcycles. Her son-in-law had been killed in Iraq and they had ridden a bike together. Now, her daughter rides alone on her own bike and she was going down to Durango to have his imprint (picture) put on the front of her bike. For the last two years, her daughter (who has two sons – one in 4th grade and one, a freshman) rides in the “Run for the Wall” event to Washington D. C. She also told me that she helps her daughter with several event motorcycle rides throughout the year. The woman was on her way to work in Farmington, New Mexico and had a long drive with her little grandson, but before we parted, she opened her arms wide and gave me a great big hug!
My dear husband and I hope that you and your family will have a wonderful, thankful holiday this Thanksgiving. By the way, the Run for the Wall Mission Statement is to promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world. Check it out at http://www.rftw.org/. They ride right through Wabaunsee County on Interstate 70 every year! Take care and God bless you and your loved ones! Vicky
Monday, November 9, 2009
Every Thanksgiving Holiday is closely associated with food and family. I prefer not to cook such gigantic meals as our lives wane. As we get older, I prefer doing anything else other than cooking. The company of friends and family has become more important than preparing mass quantities of food that is consumed in 30 minutes or less (i.e. Coneheads). Although I have tried several alternatives, our family traditions still remain intact over the years. My daughter prepares basically the same foods for her family that I prepared for past holidays, which is similar to what my mother prepared and my grandmothers prepared.
I have experimented with alternative fare. One year, in 1989, we had Chinese Stir-Fry. It just did not go over very well. Another year, our family ate at one of the finer buffets offered in
It’s not about food; it is about family and the reason we are here. Our lives are but a breath in time and we should surround ourselves with good memories of family and friends. Sometimes we don’t have the family or friends, but it is possible to be thankful for the gifts that God has given us: a great country, a freedom that no other group of individuals enjoy (A BIG thank you to our Veterans and Troops); plenty of food (even if we don’t have much, we have more than any other nation of peoples); a freedom of choice in what we believe and that we can move about, via motorcycle if we choose, whenever and wherever we wish. My wish to you this Thanksgiving Season is that you are surrounded by your loved ones (or friends) and that you are truly blessed by the maker of all. Happy Thanksgiving (even if it is a little early). Vicky
Monday, November 2, 2009
My dear husband and I were not able to attend the Children’s Costume Parade that was in the morning. I understand that the event was well attended and Paul Langley was a delight to the audience. My dear husband and I both had prior engagements, but we returned early in the afternoon to wander through the maze of vendors, visiting friends, admiring the unique costumes of the children and snacking on some our favorite “fair” foods.
Precisely at 2:00 PM, 1st grader Master Coursen sang the National Anthem to officially open the Fall Festival Parade. He was quite exceptional, singing the entire anthem from memory. Then students from the Mission Valley High School performed the duty of Color Guard, marching in front of their police escort (lights on!) through downtown Eskridge followed a two-team, draft horse-drawn wagon carrying Parade Marshall Otis Menfee along with members of his family. Following the wagon were floats representing the Women’s Methodist Union and from several businesses including the “Library Van” decorated by the Pottawatomie/Wabaunsee Regional Library Staff (“starring” several new books). The noisy Fire Engine (sirens on!) was driven by a Volunteer Fireman and, of course, Mayor Cory Lowe driving the Eskridge Lumber “Wagon”.
My dear husband watched as I dashed about grabbing candy thrown during the parade. Later, I played with our neighbor’s new chocolate lab puppy while the young owner raced for the sweet treats along with many other school-aged children. The day was a perfect for watching a parade while eating funnel cake; the temperature was around 72 degrees with the sun shining brightly on the festivities.
In just two, short weeks, the Gateway to the Flint Hills Coalition Pride Boosters sponsors the Wabaunsee County’s 11th Annual Veterans Day Salute in Eskridge on Wednesday, November 11, 2009. The schedule of events begins at 8:30 AM and culminates with a lunch at the Eskridge PRIDE Community Center. Look for the brochures around local businesses! And say “Thank You for Serving” to a veteran this year. As always, God bless you and your family. Vicky
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Later, my husband and I stayed in Dodge on our way to points west and southwest on several of many Great American Adventures. We always found time to do the tourist-thing, visit Boot Hill, the Long Branch Saloon, and the museums; even discovering some great restaurants with our motorcycle friends and it was no different this year when we stayed at Dodge on the first night of our trip to New Mexico and Arizona.
It was hot and day, a typical western
Early the next morning, we left our hotel and
For a brief moment we were caught up in the peaceful sounds of an empty
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Rain it did, a total of 4 inches of the wet stuff pouring down beginning at sunset and all night long. Sigh, the little Lake Wabaunsee was full of water and now, when I drove over the Maple Hill Creek, it was roaring near flood stage: a mini-mighty muddy Mississippi.
Now, this little photograph was taken of Mill Creek after a beautiful ice storm in January 2008.
It was a busy day starting at 6 AM and I didn't get home until 7:00 PM. I think I drove over 150 miles for the PWRL Library from St. Marys, to Wamego, then Alma, and Alta Vista Mini Library. I visited with Doris M. who has been fill-in librarian; she is retired and such a sweetie. Then, I raced over to Eskridge to meet Shirley P. where she picked up the Harveyville Mini Library stuff from me... After working until 5, I drove the mini-van back to SM and got my car. Whew, what a day.
I watched an old movie, a nice movie, with Robert Montgomery, "Here Comes Mr. Jordan". He played Joe Pendleton a boxer who died before his time. I loved it; it was wonderful.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
And you know what greeted us? My two lovely, very spoiled cats had a big party while we were gone. Yep, they invited their friends over and trashed the house. Little bitty pieces of blue gritty litter was tracked all through the hallway in the utility room and the back hallway. The rug that covers the threshold of the entry way to the utility room was flung across the hall and folded up against the back door, covered with grit. Pieces of litter were tracked into the back bedroom (at least it wasn't on the bed) and throughout the kitchen. Kitty food was at a premium... they would have starved if we were a day later. They have a two quart automatic feeder. That was almost empty as well as the second one-quart bowl next to the litter box. AND the water bowl was messy and looked like one of the partiers washed their little paws in it.
So, for an hour I cleaned and vacuumed and washed, then refilled the water bowl and cat food bowl all the while each kitty whined and cried. Then, at 8:30 PM, bedtime they both snuggled up and slept by my side, promising they would never invite those bad cats again.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
My dear husband and I enjoyed the visit of our daughter and her husband over the weekend. We celebrated my father’s 80th birthday with a family dinner at Silver Lake Restaurant; attended the 4th of July picnic in Eskridge, Kansas on Saturday; did a little geocaching at the Eskridge Cemetery; found a little dog named Pugsley and was instrumental in getting him back to his mistress; sorted through baby things (no I am not a grandmother); watched a fantastic fireworks display at Lake Wabaunsee; and stayed up to 1:00 A.M. listening to our neighborhood revelers’ fireworks! Needless to say, Sunday was as busy, but the evening was pleasant enough for a motorcycle ride over to Alma.
We did take a leisurely ride around the perimeter road of the lake early Saturday evening. Cars were everywhere; motorcycles were everywhere; and the golf carts monopolized the roadway and the smell of gunpowder filled the air! Additionally, our little neighbor (named Ray), who came by our house on his big-wheels trike, said that the cops were giving tickets to a lot of people. Sure enough, the Sherriff’s Patrol was on duty, watching for speeders and golf cart violators. Yep, the most traffic at the lake and on the lake that I’ve seen in quite a while.
But it was fun! I hope your holiday was fantastic and safe. Until next time, take care and God bless you and your family! Vicky
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
My dad has been riding for over 50 some years. I remember riding with him at the age of 5 years old. On the 6th of July, he will turn 80 years young and yes, he is still riding every day. We eat breakfast together about three or four times a week. I with my iced tea and him with his coffee buddies telling stories and kidding around. My dad proudly rides around 50 to 100 miles every day. One of the local bikers call him "The Million Mile Man". Sure is; his 1990 Harley has over 225,000 miles on it and just this past winter he finally had a new engine put in it; had it rewired and he says it runs like a top. Gotta love those mechanics at Topeka HD!
Although my husband's bike only has 125,000 miles on it (it is a 1999 HD), we keep on plugging the mileage. He will turn 60 years old this fall - while we are on our trip with the OZ HOGS to points south and west, then south and west....
Sunday, May 31, 2009
This is a picture taken from our yard. Each spring we have a pair of oriels returning to hatch a new group of babies. While robins sustain the hazards of Whitey the cat, these lovely creatures stay in the trees.