Beautiful Freedom

Americans will celebrate their freedom on the Fourth of July.

I recently returned from a road trip to the mountains, which included a morning drive up Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. I felt the same wonderment I did when I first saw those majestic mountains.

Fifty years ago, I traveled by Greyhound bus across Kansas. This trip, John and I drove a van with one of our daughters and three of our grandchildren. I’m happy to report we were in the van nine hours before the words “get your arm out of my space” were spoken. I’m sorry to report the question “are we there yet?” was first asked only two hours into the trip.

I spent a summer during college working in the Rockies and after work, enjoyed hiking, horseback riding, and making memories with friends. I spent my recent time in Colorado making memories with fifteen of my immediate family members.

America is beautiful, and its people are free. I pray it remains so, and I pray my grandchildren’s grandchildren will have opportunities to make memories in the Rockies.

Thank you to those who have fought and died for our freedom.


Too Old to Learn?

Researching, writing, editing, and printing our book, Cameos of Courage, provided excellent learning opportunities, albeit frustrating opportunities, for Collette Reichenberger and myself. Marketing the book also provided learning opportunities—or perhaps demonstrated how much we didn’t know about marketing.

For example, I now know if I search the Internet for possible markets for our book, I need to read all the information provided on the home pages of the possible markets. Frankly, I was embarrassed the day I called a museum in Lawrence, Massachusetts. While she sounded nice, the lady who answered the phone didn’t think the patrons of the museum would enjoy reading about the Bleeding Kansas years. (Although the book is set in Kansas, girls and boys in any state who are interested in our nation’s history will enjoy the book.)

If anyone in Lawrence, Massachusetts, wants to purchase the book, it is available on Amazon. If anyone in Lawrence, Kansas, wants to purchase the book, it is available at The Raven bookstore.

The learning process continues…our second book, Cameos of Strength, will be available in November.

Grandparents vs. Soccer

I did not participate in organized sports in high school nor did I pay enough attention during boys’ games to learn the rules. As a parent, though, I have watched many hours of football, basketball, and baseball games. I have an idea of their rules. While I have watched my grandchildren play soccer, I have only a vague idea of its rules.

Recently, John and I watched a young grandchild’s soccer game. Her parents had quickly, I mean reluctantly, consented to us taking our young granddaughter to her game. With three children playing on three different teams, their soccer season had been long with numerous practices and games.

“Where is she?” I asked John.

“I don’t think she’s on the field,” he answered.

“Well, she’s not on the bench,” I said.

Alarmed we searched the other fields. There were no fewer than 1,000 young children on the five soccer fields, and each child wore either a red shirt or a blue shirt. Where was she? How could her parents have trusted us? We panicked and struggled to keep up with the coach as we ran down the field alongside him.

“WHERE’S KATHERINE?” John yelled.

“SHE’S THE GOALIE,” the coach growled with a frown.

Well, yes, we were embarrassed…but relieved.

What to Do?

Recently, while sorting piles of papers in an effort to reduce their numbers, I found several uncompleted “to do” lists. Not all items were crossed off the list, but I suspect I did get the menu planned, the groceries purchased, and the bathrooms cleaned.

I have no memory of making to do lists as a young child. At some point in time, though, life got so busy, or my memory got so bad, I acquired the habit. I liked the feeling of accomplishment a completed list gave me. Oh sure, when my children were younger, I didn’t always have time to write a “to do” list. However, it didn’t matter because if I had a spare moment or two, I just did laundry. The baskets of clean, unfolded laundry proved I had a productive day.

I still make “to do” lists, but now they are more detailed. Some days I even write do laundry on the list–I’m sure it is an age thing.

A Mysterious Light

In a dream world I live on the top floor of a skyscraper with a view of the lights of a large city. Life has not yet allowed me to live in that world. So when I accompanied John on an out-of-town trip and found myself on the 17th floor of a hotel with windows overlooking only a river and city lights, I pretended I was in that dream world.

“Let’s not pull the drapes. I want to enjoy the night lights of the city.”

“Whatever,” John said, exhausted from a full day of continuing education classes on the Internal Revenue’s tax code.

The room glowed from the lights, but I, too, soon fell asleep. I awoke when a light flashed in the room. I did not move, but the light did not return. I again entered dreamland. Throughout the long night, I was often awakened by a flashing light.

Before daylight, I gave up, investigated, and discovered a motion nightlight carefully placed between the night stand and bed. Apparently, as I often sleep with one foot out from under the covers, I, myself, had activated the nightlight throughout the long night.

Night two? Well, I pulled the drapes, unplugged the nightlight, and slept tight.