My husband, Peter, and I have settled into the little house we are calling home for a month in southern Spain. The house is old and quirky—but I’ve come to believe that all homes are quirky in their own way.
Whenever I spend time in another person’s home, I realize there are a lot of different ways of doing things that would never have occurred to me.
When I was young, my family would drive to visit my great-grandmother. She had a neighbor named Mrs. Johnson (I never learned her first name). Mrs. Johnson had a pug and when I uncurled the pug’s tail, he caught sight of it and chased it until he was exhausted. This was endlessly entertaining as an eight-year-old. But my other vivid memory of visiting Mrs. Johnson was the way she ate pears. Mrs. Johnson took the pear and banged it on the table—side to side and top to bottom—until the whole pear was soft.
“Why are you doing that?” I asked.
“Now you can eat the whole thing—just pull off the stem and spit out the seeds!” she told me. It turned out I’d been wasting a lot of good pear, but that stopped under Mrs. Johnson’s tutelage.
“You shouldn’t bother that old woman!” my great-grandmother scolded me after an afternoon of eating pears and watching the pug. It didn’t occur to me until later that my great-grandmother was at least a decade older than Mrs. Johnson. (It didn’t occur to me until much later yet that this might be my great-grandmother’s way of saying she had missed me.)
While visiting my grandpa, I watched as he cut up his apple, removing the core and eating the apple in slices. I started cutting up my apples and never went back.
“He only did that because he had dentures!” my mother told me, years later. I have good teeth, but I still believe it’s a better way to eat an apple.
I recently watched my cousin, Melissa, make a salad. She chopped up her lettuce like coleslaw.
“Why are you doing that?” I asked.
“It’s easier to eat and mixes with the other stuff better,” Melissa explained.
“Why haven’t we always chopped up our lettuce?” Peter asked me, after it became our new way of doing things.
This is what I like most about travel. It is nice to see the sights, but it is the small things, the “why didn’t I ever think of that?” things that interest me the most. Why don’t we slice up tomatoes and cheese and have them for dinner? Why don’t we buy olives in bulk? Why don’t we have one long pillow instead of two short ones? Spending time in another home makes me examine things I would never look at twice. I see the familiar with fresh eyes. I take less for granted. Travel forces me to realize how little of my life I actually think about and how much is done on autopilot.
Returning home, I might do a few things differently but, more than anything, I am filled with a new appreciation for all I have—all the things in my life I have neglected to notice, all the sweetness I’ve taken for granted.
Yesterday I bought some fresh pears at the market. Cutting up a pear in my quirky little temporary home in Spain, I suddenly remembered Mrs. Johnson. I picked up the core and ate it. It was sweet and delicious.
“Mrs. Johnson was right,” I thought, “I’ve been wasting a lot of good pear.”
Till next time,
My husband, Peter, and I are returning from Spain by boat. The whole idea started when Peter read a book about the sinking of the Lusitania. “That sounds like fun!” Peter told me, as he read. “Death at sea?” I asked. “No, the part before... [More]
I lost a feather the other day and I understand this does not qualify as news. But I want to say—for the record—that this was a really nice feather. I paid good money for it and pinned it to my favorite blue hat. I wore that hat out for a walk, one evening, when... [More]
“I like the edge season!” my husband, Peter, said, as we watched the moon rise over the mountains and felt a chill breeze rise with it. As far as I know, Peter invented this expression. He might have meant the “season’s end,” but I like the idea... [More]
My husband, Peter, and I are spending a month in Spain and we have left our worries behind. As a result, we have had to come up with new, temporary worries to occupy us until we get back home. Peter ran out of lotion and for several days used something he found in the house... [More]
First, I noticed the owl. “Peter! Did you see the owl?!” Our last Airbnb in Spain had a ceramic owl. So, when I found a similar owl—in a similarly inconvenient location—I took it as a good omen. “What owl?” my husband, Peter,... [More]
My parents live in a cabin deep in the north woods. I know this sounds like the start of a fairytale. Sometimes it seems a bit like one. There are bear in the woods. Deer run in herds. The seasons are far more pronounced and extreme than those I am used to. After a day... [More]
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]
Peter and I are packing for our annual trip again. My husband, Peter, is retired and I write, so we are able to travel now. Getting married late in life, this might have posed some problems because Peter is exactly the opposite sort of traveler I used to be. “I’m... [More]
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]
The Wallace County Rec organized the 2nd Annual Fall Fun Day on Saturday. Activities included a 5K Turkey Trot, bounce house, free matinee sponsored by the Lyle Finley Trust, a soup supper sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance, and wrapped up with s’mores with the... [More]
Wallce County residents enjoyed a community Thanksgiving dinner at the Senior Center. Thank you to all those who helped prepare the delicious meal.
As we move into the month of December and begin the Match Month fund drive, the Wallace County Foundation would like to recognize past contributors. As a reminder, the fund drive is part of the Dane G. Hansen Matching Grant Initiative and is used as a way to build a sustainable... [More]
11-01 One inmate transferred from SH Co jail to GL Co jail 11-01 S.S. ambulance paged out 11-02 One arrest for DUI—placed in WA Co jail 11-03 S.S. ambulance paged out 11-03 S.S. ambulance paged out 11-03 ... [More]
The highly anticipated visit of Union Pacific’s Big Boy 4014 brought a large crowd to Sharon Springs, where it stopped for the night. The excitement filled the streets of Sharon Springs with cars bringing those anxious to get a glimpse of the steam engine. ... [More]
The Sharon Springs Public Library held a dedication event for their latest additions to the library. This library has been blessed with so many generous donations from some wonderful people in our community. Milford Becker made the new building a reality with his endowment. ... [More]
The public is invited to participate in a Mental Health Forum from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Bird City American Legion Hall, 107 W. Bressler. Anyone from the entire northwest Kansas region who is interested should attend, especially school faculty,... [More]
The Hansen Foundation recognizes that residents are the most knowledgeable about the needs of their own communities. Providing the opportunity for a community to create or build a sustainable pool of dollars that would be available to meet ongoing and future needs enables community... [More]
In 1865, David Butterfield raised money from New York investors to create Butterfield’s Overland Despatch Stage Line along the Smoky Hill Trail - the shortest route from commerce centers near Atchison, Kansas to the gold fields near Denver Colorado. In 2019, Butterfield’s... [More]
On Saturday, the Fort Wallace Museum welcomed author Chuck Warner and his wife Karen to the Museum to discuss his new book “Birds, Bones and Beetles,” about his grandfather Charles “Bunk” Bunker, who was a KU Naturalist that explored Wallace County and... [More]
The 2019 Smoky Hill Trail Conference held at the Fort Wallace Museum is now in the rearview mirror! The event hosted 75 folks, including several national names in Western History research, as the role of Fort Wallace in Trail history was explored. Tours, lectures, networking,... [More]
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]
This Saturday night, we are delighted to welcome Rachel Garcia and Thu Tran “The Singer and the Songwriter” to the Fort Wallace Museum for an evening of live music at 7pm as part of the High Plains Public Radio Artists Series! The Singer and The Songwriter is the... [More]
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]
As fall arrives, the Fort Wallace Memorial Association is looking forward to another season of events and programming. On October 18-20, the Museum is proud to host the 2019 Smoky Hill Trail Association Annual Conference. This organization connects communities,... [More]
©2019 The Western Times. Powered by Pixel Power Haus.