Sunday, October 17, 2010

Last week.... A Late Posting.

Wow! The weekend has flown by and it is now Sunday evening as I pen this missive. It will be the start of another work day in less than 12 hours, unless of course you are retired (which I am definitely not).

My dear husband and I attended a wedding Sunday afternoon in which he officiated the ceremony. Our relationship with the groom’s family is long standing. I have been a friend of the groom’s sister for over 30 years and my dear sweet husband officiated at several weddings and a few funerals over those three decades. It is surprising how large the circle of friends has become and how intertwined the relationships. In fact, we met several people from Wabaunsee County who are friends of the bride!

Ronnie Berquist and his lovely fiancée, Judy, were married Sunday afternoon, October 10, 2010 in a ceremony at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge in Topeka, Kansas. I think the date will be easy to remember: 10-10-10. Ronnie won’t forget their anniversary! Ronnie’s son, Dusty, was married last month to his fiancée; his other son, Brian, will be married next spring to Kim, the daughter of another friend! Additionally, Ronnie’s nephew Alex will marry his fiancée in the spring. I think there was collaboration on the engagements! A nice article and photograph appeared in the Topeka Capital-Journal on Sunday, September 5, 2010.

We had several good laughs about my dear husband “marrying” somebody. My friend reintroduced my husband to Kim as “Hal married your brother”. Kim got a quizzical look on her face until my dear husband clarified that he performed the ceremony and was actually married to me!

After the wedding and the wedding supper, we said our goodbyes to the newlyweds and our friends. On the way home we drove through the neighborhood where we used to live near Lake Shawnee. Over 16 years ago, it was a newly developed subdivision. The four trees we planted in our yard had grown tall and graceful, shading the lot. The locust tree, which my dad had saved by pruning out the dead top when it was about two years old, stood majestically next to the street. The huge flower bed that my dear husband built for me from decorative timbers is full of mature plants and shrubbery. Our split-level ranch house was built with a brick-edge on the front. The new owners added a red brick finish and covered the siding with vinyl of the same color as we had originally painted it. We had some good memories there, rearing our daughter and starting our marriage. It was a pleasure to see it mature along with the neighborhood.

We were surprised later, as we stood in line to check out at the local hardware store. The gentleman who lived next door to us in the old neighborhood was in line behind us and we struck up a “catching up” conversation. A nice way to end the day!

Until next time, we hope your memories are as pleasant as ours have been. Take care and God bless y’all. Vicky

Sunday, September 26, 2010

View from the Back Seat

Sometimes it seems that a ten-day motorcycle trip is not long enough when you want to see and do everything on the way to wherever you are going. Our ultimate goal this year was two-fold: tour Upper Michigan and visit the Mackinac Island and take a ferry ride across Lake Michigan from Ludington, Michigan to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home of Harley Davidson Motorcycles! Since we haven’t been to Milwaukee, it was highly anticipated.

Although we had a slow start on the first day of our vacation, we arrived at our hotel in Waterloo, Iowa around 5:00 PM. It had been a very warm day, but the ride through the heart of corn country was beautiful. Rows of corn covered the countryside; the only change in scenery was the change in crops – soybeans!

Later that evening after everyone had unpacked and freshened up, we walked across the hotel’s parking lot to the Highway 63 Diner. Twenty eight people from Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska who had ties with Topeka Harley Davidson ate dinner together and then celebrated the birthdays of two people on the trip. With the appropriate group sing of “Happy Birthday”, the honorees indulged in chocolate cake (with candles).

In the last twelve years, this year was the first time anyone had an accident on the Great American Adventure sponsored by Topeka Harley Davidson. Every motorcyclist shudders when they hear that word. Early Saturday morning, three couples from Topeka were on their motorcycles traveling on Interstate 70. Just east of Cameron, Missouri, the rear tire of one of the bikes had a blow out. The rider was able to pull the bike onto the shoulder of the highway. They had slowed down to 15 miles an hour when the bike flipped, tossing the riders into the ditch. Both were shaken up badly, bruised and scraped up a little, but the passenger (wife) broke two bones in her hand. The ambulance arrived an hour later and took them to a hospital in Liberty, Missouri where she had emergency surgery. The other couples stayed with them and then returned to Topeka later that evening.

We shared the news with the remaining twenty eight motorcyclists that evening. It was a solemn reminder that “There, but for the grace of God, go I” (John Bradford, 15th century martyr). Until next time, may God bless you and your family during this beautiful fall season. Vicky

Monday, September 13, 2010

Great American Adventure XII -2010

My dear husband and I returned from our annual motorcycle ride with the Oz Harley Owners Group (OZ HOGS) of Topeka, Kansas on Labor Day, September 6, 2010. It was a ten-day journey to Upper Michigan that had perfectly warm weather for riding motorcycles in the Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan areas. Actually, the temperatures stayed around the upper 80s and lower 90s for the majority of our 2,700 mile adventure. We were sprinkled on a little bit somewhere in Michigan and it stopped right after we put on our rain suits. Twenty eight friends/members of OZ HOGs traveled with us, leaving at their own time, riding in small groups and choosing their own routes. However, we stayed at the same hotels and frequently shared meals together. It was a wonderful experience, but after our trip I was ready to settle on the couch for a long sit-down after we returned home on Monday afternoon.

We left behind beautiful Lake Wabaunsee and the Kansas Flint Hills on Friday afternoon, August 27, and stayed the night with our friends in Falls City, Nebraska. The plan was to get up quite early, 5:00 a.m., have a relaxed breakfast and leave at 6:30 to meet another couple in Hiawatha who would ride with us. The bikes were all packed and the gas tanks were full. All we had to do was dress, eat and get down the road.

It was a beautiful, quiet morning as we buttoned up the house and locked the doors. Even the best laid plans go awry. The battery on our friends’ motorcycle would not turn the engine over. It was stone cold dead! So, at 6:30 a.m. on the quiet cobblestone streets of sleepy Falls City, three grown adults pushed a big Screaming Eagle Harley, its rider and ten days of travel gear. We hoped to push-start the bike. After several attempts and three blocks later, the bike wouldn’t start and we were exhausted. The two men resigned themselves to jumping the bike from the truck. Success! We were on our way! At least to Joplin, Missouri where the Harley Davidson Dealership put in a new battery and did a little adjustment to the rear brakes on our friends’ bike.

We had a great morning riding the back roads to Joplin. The blacktop curved through miles and miles of farmland filled with corn that would be ready for harvest about the time we returned to the state. Our friend took a short cut, - no time for joy riding! – and we met them at the dealership. The people there were great, loaning us their new custom HD truck so we could go to breakfast. We found a Cracker Barrel and dined in style and then returned to the shop. It was noon when we left Joplin, Missouri, but it was a fine day for a ride to Iowa!

While our trip got off to a slow start, it was a wonderful time! Unfortunately, I missed the newspaper deadline for submitting the article last week as we were on a 426 mile detour to Indiana. I will tell you more about that later, but wish to thank you for your patience! Until next time, take care and God bless you and your family! Vicky

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring 2010

It rained all day yesterday and the many of the creeks of Wabaunsee County are so full that they are overflowing. The creeks are running deep and muddy from the run off in the Flint Hills. The water of Mill Creek and its tributaries tumble violently toward the Kansas River, which will then empty into the Big Mo (Missouri) at the far eastern border. The never ending flow yearns for the mighty depths of the Mississippi and will deposit the good black soil it churned up from the topsoil of Kansas onto the Delta. Good things grow there because of the earth washed away by the rain in Kansas.

When I crossed the Kansas River bridge this morning at Maple Hill, the river was fast and violent. Huge bloated bodies of long dead trees floated awkwardly down the river, dragging and jerking across the submerged sandbars, bumping along in the raging waters like blind men. Imagine the amount of water it takes to move those monstrous trees.

I am sitting near an open window tonight. The evening air is cool, lightly floating across the warmth of our living room; the outside sounds mix with the soft electronic pulses from our television. It is dark and the sun has set. At 8:30 PM, the house is starting to cool. Our cats are perched on the back of the sofa, snuffling at the fragrant coolness filtering through the screens.

The birds are singing evening songs to each other. Soon they will fall silent and tuck their heads under their wings until dawn and then the night sounds will start: coyotes will yip and talk to each other across the valley; dogs will bark for their masters; cats will prowl and visit at the window, growling at our curious kitties in the windows.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Count of Monte Cristo

I repair books at the PWRL, in St. Marys Kansas.

Today I repaired the Count of Monte Cristo. A quote from the book by Alexandre Dumas, from the closing quote of the main character, Edmond, when Jacopo shook his hand and tearfully asked, "Will we ever meet again?"

"My friend," said Edmond, "only God knows what the future will bring. And until He decides to reveal that future to man, man must simply wait and I did for so many years...wait and hope."

Therefore, my beloved friends, wait on God and hope for the future. All will work out as God has planned, whether we know the plan or not.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Eagle Days at Lake Wabaunsee!

Through the trees this morning, we saw an immature bald eagle hunting on the ice at beautiful Lake Wabaunsee! It was cloudy today, with ice on the lake with plenty of open water as well!

Roosting in a group of trees, we saw three mature bald eagles; on the ground, another immature eagle and on the ice, two more immature eagles. A pair of eagles raised their young at Lake Wabaunsee last summer...

Early this afternoon, the two adults were feeding on their catch, sitting on the ice at the lake; still hunting in the open water on this chilly afternoon.

Note! If you click on the pictures, you can see the full size photographs are much more clear than what you see here!