The Postscript - Sep 5, 2019 - Blessings in Disguise

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They say that blessings come in disguise. 

If so, my blessings are poorly disguised. They show up wearing false noses and funny eyeglasses and are instantly recognizable unless I am being completely thick-headed—and it is astonishing how often I am. 

I had a really bad year a few years back when I lost my husband and my job and my home in rapid succession. All of this happened while I was living in Nigeria (which was not great to begin with). I realized immediately that this was very bad news. But I also figured out, pretty early on, that I had been given an opportunity to start my life from scratch. Nearly every day since I hear of someone else who has overcome tragedy, a dreadful illness, a setback, or disappointment in their life and found new meaning and purpose as a direct result of their terrible experience. 

Somehow, it is almost harder to live with unexpected good news. “What the heck?” I say. “I wasn’t expecting this!” 

Part of the challenge of navigating changes at mid-life is that they don’t seem to follow any sensible trajectory. When I was in my twenties, things seemed to move slowly, but in an expected way. Thirty-plus years later, my life hopscotches from one thing to the next in a way that can be disorienting. 

I started writing in earnest at age 50. I sold a book, started this column, and now am making plans to tour a show (with a musician!) that features writings from the book and the columns. It has all happened so quickly, I find myself feeling stressed and out of sorts. 

“What was it I was supposed to be working on?” I ask myself, as my attention gets divided and diverted and drawn to something else. I worry that I am missing something. I worry that I am not paying sufficient attention. How is it possible I am getting anything done without working like mad to do it?

Part of this, I am convinced, is because I don’t actually have to start from scratch, as I thought I did—at least not completely. By middle-age, we’ve all picked up a skill or two—even if it doesn’t always feel that way, even if those skills look quite different from the new thing we’re trying. It’s amazing how transferable these skills turn out to be. 

I call this getting “credit for time served,” and it’s a wonderful thing. But it makes me feel a little woozy sometimes. 

The cure for the dizziness and anxiety and disorientation is, like most things, surprisingly simple. I just have to remember to be grateful. Here I am, well past the beginning of “middle-age” starting something new and fun and exciting. The reason I get to do it is not because I deserve it or have worried enough, but because the world is filled with new, fun, exciting things. And for this I am very grateful. 

I take a moment to remember that I have far more blessings than I could ever recognize. Nearly every time something does not go the way I expect, the result ends up better than I could have imagined. Nearly every disappointment I encounter ends up opening up a possibility I would never have had the courage to consider. 

Now, instead of panicking, I am working to train myself to recognize these blessings when they show up at my door. 

“Oh, it’s you!” I want to say to them when they show up, wearing yet another unexpected, slightly preposterous costume. 

“I’d recognize you anywhere.”

Till next time, 

Carrie

POSTSCRIPT

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The Postscript - Nov 14, 2019 - Temporary Worries

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]

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The Postscript - Nov 7, 2019 - Good Pear

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,... [More]

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The Postscript - Oct 31, 2019 - More Owls

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]

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The Postscript - Oct 24, 2019 - An Autumn Tale

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]

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The Postscript - Oct 17, 2019 - The Kind of Dog I Am

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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The Postscript - Oct 10, 2019 - Slow Travelers

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]

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The Postscript - Oct 3, 2019 - Blooming Late

I realized that I might be a late bloomer—a little late, naturally. I love hearing about proteges: the five-year-old drummer or the sixteen-year-old activist. I love hearing the nine-year-old who sings like an old soul and reading about the 14-year-old who just completed... [More]

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The Postscript - Sep 26, 2019 - Forever Home

“The septic guy can’t find the cover, call him,” was the message. I’ve been getting a lot of messages like this since I decided to put my 100+ year-old farmhouse up for sale.  I haven’t lived in the farmhouse for years now—not since... [More]

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COURT

Traffic Court up to September 2019

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]

Wallace County District Court Sentencings

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]

Traffic Court for May-June 2019

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]

Traffic Court for April 2019

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]

Brandon and Fugate Sentenced

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]

Traffic Court reports Apr 11, 2019

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]

March District Court

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]

Traffic Court reports for February

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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NEWS

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USD 241 Celebrates Red Ribbon Week

USD 241 celebrated Red Ribbon Week Oct. 23 - 30. The Red Ribbon Campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation. Grades K-5 focused on making Really Excellent Decisions. One of the week’s activities was a Red Ribbon Coloring Contest. One winner... [More]

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Operation Christmas Child Drop-off November 18th - 25th

The United Methodist Church Church, 520 W. Sixth St., will be among 5,000 U.S. drop-off locations collecting shoebox gifts for needy children overseas during Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, Nov. 18 – 25.  Operation Christmas Child is a... [More]

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Wallace County Seniors Selected as NWKL All-League Volleyball

Congratulations to Wallace County High School senior volleyball players Haylee Hennick (second team) and Aubrey Kuhlman (first team) for being selected to NWKL All-League Volleyball! In addition, Colby Community College announced rosters for the Annual Northwest Kansas All-Star... [More]

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WPAA to Feature Derik Nelson & Family

Back by popular demand to Western Plains Arts Association is Derik Nelson & Family. The family will perform “Season” with beautiful pictures and velvety harmonies, at 3 p.m. CST, Sunday, Nov. 17 at the Cultural Arts Center, Colby Community College, 1255 S. Range... [More]

How does your garden grow? - Do a Soil Makeover

If there is one foundation of gardening success, it is the building and maintenance of healthy soil.  Now is the time to figure out what amendments, if any, your soil needs. About 45% of garden soil is some mixture of sand, silt and clay; ideally it would also contain... [More]

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The Rec Roundup - Nov 14, 2019

The Wallace County Rec has been a busy place! We just completed the Walk/Run Wallace County Challenge; can you believe that 35 participants logged 7,276.92 miles over a 9-week period? Together participants traveled across the United States, came back, & made it over halfway... [More]

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Election Results

459 registered voters (42.23%) turned in ballots for the 2019 general election. In the race for Sharon Springs Mayor, Patrick Gibbs received 109 write-in votes, Will Walker had 85 votes and Julie Samuelson received 36 write-ins.   There were 2 positions available... [More]

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Exhibition Dart Play for Upcoming Dart League!

Attention all dart players! Dart League will be starting soon. Exhibition Dart Play will take place on both November 12th and November 19th at the Sharon Springs Golf Course Clubhouse at 6pm. You do not need to be a golf member to play darts – EVERYONE is welcome –... [More]

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BUGLE NOTES

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Bugle Notes - Nov 7, 2019

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]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 31, 2019

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]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 17, 2019

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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Bugle Notes - Oct 10, 2019

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]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 3, 2019

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]

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Bugle Notes - Sep 26, 2019

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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Bugle Notes - Sep 19, 2019

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]

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Bugle Notes - Aug 15, 2019

In mid-August of 1869, Fort Wallace found itself in a time of transition. Some of the more immediate dangers from Indian attacks had receded, but other obstacles such as disease, and the elements still created great challenges. The building of the Kansas Pacific Railway was still... [More]

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