The surprises just kept coming.
When I moved in with Peter a few years back, I brought my clothes, a few books, and some artwork. I rented out my house, gave away my furniture, and everything else was consigned to “things I’ll deal with later,” a pile which—mysteriously—did not shrink with time. These stacked plastic boxes were still in my barn, still waiting for me, long after I’d forgotten what was in them or cared.
But I am going to put the property up for sale and it was time for a reckoning with the barn. It took two dumpsters, four days, and two hardworking guys from the appropriately named, “Git-er-Gone Junk & Clutter Removal,” to see it to the end.
And, yes, I did think, “Why not just dump it all, sight unseen?”
But then, what to do with all the surprises found in the boxes of photos and letters and trinkets? Obviously, most of them would be thrown away, recycled, or given to the thrift store. But what about that piece of blown glass from Norway, the postcard from grandpa when he served overseas, the bright red wool jacket handsewn by my aunt that was still stylish. Anyone who’s done this knows—it’s not that easy.
So, I piled a few boxes in my car (“kicking the can down the road” Peter called it, “saving my sanity,” is how I described it) to sort through after everything else was out of the barn.
Yesterday I sorted through a box entirely filled with letters. I discovered that I had saved every postcard and letter I had received since childhood. No, I did not read every one. It turns out that descriptions of what happened in school or how someone spent their vacation makes for extraordinarily dull reading forty years later. But I sampled a few letters in each of the neatly stacked piles that filled the huge storage box before I put them in recycling.
“Oh my gosh,” I kept saying, “I had forgotten about that entirely.”
I forgot my younger sister wrote to me with such regularity when I went away to college. I forgot friends I’d spent a summer with and never saw again. I forgot the letters sent by a friend after our little high school group went off to college and he was left alone, still living at home.
I’m living in the Twilight Zone, he wrote, and don’t even have Rod Serling to comfort me. To the obvious response, “Meet new people,” I can only remind you of the great difficulty I have in doing just that.”
But, I have a solution, the letter went on, I’m going to marry a princess of some European country that they forgot to tell us about in 11th grade. Maybe it didn’t fight in either of the world wars, or is really small. Anyway, I going to find this country, marry this princess and show all you women a thing or two. So there!
My heart hurt, reading this forty-year-old letter. I wondered if I wrote back. I hoped he was doing well. Then I realized, (unlike forty years ago) this was relatively easy to determine. I logged onto Facebook.
And there he was, looking remarkably the same—but with a smiling dark-haired wife and two grown daughters and what appeared to be a very happy life.
As the last pile of letters went into the bin, I stood still for a moment and smiled—with dusty hands and a full heart. “You didn’t need Rod Serling after all,” I thought.
Till next time,
When my husband, Peter, and I met, we each had a dog. Peter had a collie named “The Pretty Boy,” (Yes, “The” was part of his name) and I had a pound puppy, part golden retriever, part border collie mix named “Milo.” The Pretty Boy died... [More]
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Turner, Philip Russell II, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Patton, Amanda, driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Ramey, Tyler Ray, failure to stop or obey railroad crossing signal, fines $195, court... [More]
On May 15th, Vance Diamond Halsey appeared in the Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney, Christopher Rohr, Colby for sentencing in the matter of case 2019-CR-03. Halsey was charged with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer on March 12, 2019, ... [More]
May Traffic Report Thomas, Dyami R, Bellingham, Wash, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Araujo Pompa, Almedio, Coral Gables, Fla, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Lennon, Jake Owen, Pittsburg, Penn, driving 93 mph... [More]
James Manuel Phillips, Gardner, Colo, driving 77 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $57 and court costs $108. Kenzie Marie Spreier, Colby, Kans, diving 80 in a 65 mph zone, fines $75 and court costs $108. Erick Edward Jarosz, Canon City, Colo, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]
Jonathan Brandon appeared in Wallace County District Court on April 10th, 2019, with his court appointed attorney, Steve Cott, Garden City, for sentencing in cases 17 CR 51 and 17 CR 58. Each case charged Brandon with Distribution of Methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a school,... [More]
Chandler, Garrett Scott, Pueblo, Colo, driving 75 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $69, court costs $108. Palmier, Joshua Quayshun, Birmingham, Ala, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $99, court costs $108. Chavez, Brenda Icilice, Denver, Colo, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]
On March 13th, 2019 Charlene Valdez appeared in Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney Leslie Beims, Goodland in the matter of case number 2017 CR 42. Valdez had been charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, within 1,000’ of a school,... [More]
Chandler, Garrett Scott, of Pueblo, Colo, cited for driving 79 mph in a 65-mph zone, ordered to pay $65 in fines and $108 in court costs. Palmier, Joshua Quayshun, of Birmingham, Ala, cited for driving 84 mph in a 65-mph zone, ordered to pay $99 in fines and $108 in court... [More]
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Happy Birthday Dorothy Bussen
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College-bound students will soon have another great reason to choose Fort Hays State University. Already the most affordable university in the region, the university will offer, effective Oct. 15, 2019, four new scholarships with award levels ranging from $15,000 to... [More]
The window display at the Senior Center has been changed from items representing School Days of the past. These items had been the subject of conversation over the past month about the ‘good ole days’. Stop by and check out the new display of beautiful... [More]
If you would like to continue harvesting frost-tolerant crops such as kale, collards and Brussels sprouts, you can do so with little or no effort. These crops are tolerant of cold, sometimes surviving temperatures down to 20 degrees. In fact, their flavor... [More]
Bring your Halloween costumes and ‘Trick or Treat’ the Prairie Museum of Art and History spaces on Saturday, October 26 during the annual ‘Boo at the Mu’ fall celebration, taking place between 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the museum – 1905 S. Franklin Ave.,... [More]
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The Smoky Hill Trail Conference weekend is here, and we are excited to host folks from all over Kansas, Colorado and beyond! The theme of the weekend is “Fort Wallace - the Fightin’est Fort on the Smoky Hill Trail,” and presentations will explore the events,... [More]
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The Fort Wallace Memorial Association is truly excited about the upcoming Smoky Hill Trail Conference taking place on Friday, Oct. 18 - Sunday, Oct. 20. This year’s conference theme is “Fort Wallace - the Fightin’est Fort on the Smoky Hill Trail.”... [More]
For anyone that loves history, the upcoming Smoky Hill Trail Conference is not to be missed! This 2019 Annual Conference is being held right here at the Fort Wallace Museum, on Friday, October 18th through Sunday, October 20th. The title and theme for the Conference is... [More]
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Here at the Fort Wallace Museum, we are gearing up for the “Trails to Rails” 2019 Summer Exposition, coming at us on Fri-Sun July 12-14, 2019. Once again, collaboration is the name of the game - this time, we will tell the story of the climax of stagecoach travel... [More]
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