The Postscript - Aug 22, 2019 - Second Sunset

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I spent the last couple weeks visiting my parents. 

I’ve been lucky in the parent department. It’s fashionable to recall some pivotal incident that occurred when we were eight and extrapolate how every difficulty experienced in our life since is a result. But I’ve never seen any truth to this in my own life. I was really happy when I was eight—and I give my parents full credit. 

My life is very different from my parents’ life. Still, they have always been supportive and have always at least pretended to be interested in whatever I was doing as I careened from one career to the next. When, in my fifties, I started to write, my parents were characteristically enthusiastic, with only the occasional exception (perhaps when I wrote in a column how my mother used to garden in her red bikini). 

They have always lived a life they enjoy and are proud of, and have encouraged me to do the same. Now in their eighties, my parents still inspire me. Most recently, it was at sunset. 

My parents live in a cabin high on a hill overlooking the lake, so you have to climb a lot of steps to get from the cabin down to the shore. My father built the steps down to the lake. In the middle of the climb, there is a bench where (my dad insists) there is a good place to admire the view. (It happens to also be a good place to rest on the way up—but I’ll let him stick to his story.)

Almost every evening, my parents find their way down to the water’s edge. They take a seat on the dock and watch the sun set across the lake. They listen to the loons call to one another across the water and watch the clouds turn pink as the sun disappears in the evening sky.

Then they do it all over again.

Because the cabin sits so far above the shore, when they climb back up the hill, the sun is no longer below the horizon but just beginning to set again—a second sunset. 

So, my parents take a seat outside their cabin and watch the whole thing all over again—from a different perspective. I tell my parents I admire the life they have created for themselves. They have this great cabin, fun friends and neighbors, they bike all summer, ski all winter and, at the end of every day, they get an extra sunset.

I’d like an extra sunset.

By middle age, I thought I could already see the sun going down. I figured I knew, more or less, how the story ended. It turns out I was wrong. 

Today, I am doing things I never dreamt of doing fifteen years ago, things I never imagined I could do. But now, as I scramble up the hill in the end-of-the-day light, I realize how much there is to do in the late afternoon, how much is left to see. I’d feel a lot sillier if I were the only one panting up the hill, but I have a lot of company. All around me I see folks looking for that second sunset: picking up paintbrushes and pens and college degrees, trying on new haircuts and new beliefs. Sometimes it’s a little embarrassing—but we don’t really care. 

Like my parents, we’re just grateful to get this extra sunset. We’re so glad the sun hasn’t gone down after all. We just needed a different perspective. We just needed to get to higher ground. 

Till next time, 

Carrie

POSTSCRIPT

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The Postscript - Feb 27, 2020 - An Awful Lot of Cheese

My husband, Peter, likes buying in bulk.  Peter hates paying shipping fees. He never wants to run out of anything and he loves a bargain. This is why we buy coffee in enormous bags, crackers by the case, nuts and raisins ten pounds at a time, rice in 20-pound bags, and beans... [More]

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The Postscript - Feb 20, 2020 - Raising the Roof

The roof fell in on the church I started attending The collapse occurred after I’d been coming only a couple of weeks. While I have not always been a regular churchgoer, I thought this was kind of an over-the-top response to my unexpected appearance in church.  The... [More]

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The Postscript - Feb 13, 2020 - Romantic Impulses

I was looking at my hair in the mirror. “I think I might need a touch-up,” I noted to my husband, Peter. “Hmmm,” Peter replied, without looking up. (Which means, “If you think so honey. I honestly believe you might be able to hold off a week!”... [More]

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The Postscript - Feb 6, 2020 - Mouse Vomit

Last week I started doing something I’ve never done before. I started writing fiction. I realize this does not sound shocking since I’m writing every week. My husband, Peter, says I write fiction all the time—every time I write about him. But the truth is,... [More]

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The Postscript - Jan 30, 2020 - Learning to Whistle

My sister learned to whistle at age two.  She was precocious in other ways as well. She knew how to read by the time she started kindergarten. She demonstrated a physical dexterity I never did. She was much more talented at the piano. But it was the whistling that really... [More]

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The Postscript - Jan 23, 2020 - The Cigar Box

I spent the weekend in New York City.  I hadn’t been to New York in quite a while. I was performing at a theater conference and so was traveling alone, without my husband, Peter.  New York intimidates me—as all big cities do. I am not a nervous traveler,... [More]

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The Postscript - Jan 16, 2020 - Unexpected Cowboy

I want to start out by making it clear that I have nothing against cowboys.  One of the new developments in my life is that I recently got a manager, Bob, to book performances of my writing. I’ve never had a manager before, so I didn’t know what to expect.... [More]

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The Postscript - Jan 9, 2020 - A Night at the Funeral Home

 “What do you think?” my husband, Peter, asked about the link he’d sent me as we prepared to head home from the holidays. “The funeral home?” I asked. “Yeah, that one.”  “I thought it was a joke.” “No,... [More]

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COURT

Traffic Court September-December

Forman, David Scott, Miami Fla, driving 78 mph in a 50 mph zone. Fines $177 Court Cost $108. Hagan, Audrey Ann, Columbia Mo, driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone. Deferred. Court Cost $108. Pfeffer, Samuel Tyler, Sharon Springs, Reckless Driving.  Bench Trial – Not... [More]

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]

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NEWS

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Coyotes vs Wildcats

The Weskan Coyotes hosted the Wallace County Wildcats in a first round game of the regional basketball tournament, held in Weskan on Monday, February 24, 2020. The Wildcats won the game by a score of 41-39 and will play St. Francis in the next round of the regional tournament.... [More]

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Wallace County Spelling Bee Held In Sharon Springs

Icy road conditions caused a 2-hour delay for Wallace County Schools on February 20th.  By 10:00, school was in session and the grade school students were gearing up for the Wallace County Spelling Bee. After a completing a practice round, 45 children from kindergarten through... [More]

How does your garden grow? - Pruning Neglected Fruit Trees

Pruning is perhaps one the most feared of all gardening tasks, but pruning is vital to maximize production of fruit and the lifespan of the tree. Ideally, a fruit tree should be pruned at the time of planting, and every year thereafter. A tree that has lived for some years without... [More]

World Day of Prayer set for March 6, 2020

World Day of Prayer is an ecumenical celebration of informed prayer and peaceful action.   Join in the prayer service written by the women of Zimbabwe, who write us to explore Jesus’ encounter with a person who, although positioned for healing, does not act upon the... [More]

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Census Participation Part 2

Federal funds make their way to Northwest Kansas in the form of lunches children eat at school, Medicaid dollars paid for nursing home care, road and bridge projects and a variety of other ways. The level of federal funding many of those programs and services receive is directed... [More]

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Weskan Community Building Starts To Take Shape

The Weskan Community Improvement Association is excited to introduce the Weskan Community Building: a place for community members to gather for events as small as a baby shower or as large as a wedding reception. This building will also come alongside the newly renovated Weskan... [More]

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Quilts Of Valor Foundation

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. The foundation is a national organization founded in 2003 by “Blue Star” mom Catherine Roberts.  Thousands of... [More]

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23rd Annual Heath Fair

The 23rd Annual Wallace County Health Fair was held last weekend at the WCHS Commons Area. Many area residents lined up for blood draws as early as 7 am.   Breakfast items including rolls and juice were available, which was particulary handy for those who had fasted... [More]

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BUGLE NOTES

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Bugle Notes - Jan 30, 2020

One hundred and fifty-four years ago, the beginnings of what would become Fort Wallace had been established on the bluffs two miles east of Pond Creek Station and south of the Smoky Hill River. Established by order of General Grenville S. Dodge on October 26, 1865, Camp Pond... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Jan 16, 2020

This Sunday, the Fort Wallace Museum is looking forward to hosting Greg and Cee Heller from Kannapolis for the screening of the new documentary film “Fort Harker: Gateway Post to the Frontier.” Please join us at 2:00 pm MT for the 45-minute film, followed by discussion... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Jan 9, 2020

Happy New Year! The Fort Wallace Memorial Association is looking forward to a fun and full 2020; we invite everyone to join in and help make it our most successful year ever!  There are two ways to join our organization. “The Fort Wallace Memorial Association”... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Dec 12, 2019

Christmas arrived at the Fort Wallace Museum this past Sunday, with the annual “Candlelight Christmas” service, followed by a festive gathering inside the main building. The 1888 Bethany Lutheran Church was filled to capacity for the traditional service. Worship was... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Dec 5, 2019

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]

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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]

More Bugle Notes