I glanced up as the bells rang to herald new customers walking into the used clothing store. I was looking for a pair of warm dress pants. Visiting my parents in Minnesota, I had forgotten entirely about the possibility of extreme cold and the idea of going out that night in tights and a skirt seemed preposterous.
Luckily, I found a like-new pair of black jeans with just a little sparkle on the pocket for a good price. I was wandering around the store with these jeans in my hand—just in case I saw something else that I might need—while I waited for the line at the check-out counter to get a little shorter. Maybe I could find a silver jacket, I thought, that would look nice on a cold winter night.
A woman and man had parked their pick-up outside and come into the store. The woman marched in a determined fashion to a rack in the middle of the store. She was a heavyset woman and it looked as if she had located this rack on a previous visit. She approached with a grim determination.
She and the man she was with were standing in front of the rack of dark colored clothing as I slipped by with my sparkly jeans in hand. The woman was holding out an article of clothing for the man’s inspection.
“They’ll all be wearing sparkly clothes,” she said, sounding dejected. “This is just black… not sparkly.”
I almost said, “Sparkles are fun!” because they are—and because she sounded so sad that I wanted to say something to cheer her up. But I realized this was probably not the right thing to say so I stood silent, my back to the couple reviewing the unseen, unsparkled outfit that I suspected was going to be worn very soon.
“I think it will look good,” the man said—rather unconvincingly, I thought.
The woman stood silent, holding the black garment, visualizing (I am quite sure) a room full of happy women in sparkly dresses.
She sighed. “Okay. Let’s go.” She took the black garment to the front counter without trying it on and moments later they were gone. They whole transaction took less than ten minutes and seemed completely void of holiday cheer.
I went home with my sparkly jeans and wore them out that night with an old friend. We stayed up late, laughing at the crazy things we had done together over the years and sharing crazy plans for the new year. But, after he was gone, for some reason I thought again of the unhappy woman I’d seen earlier in the day.
I wondered where she had gone, where this room of sparkly women had been and if the black garment had pleased her once she had finally tried it on. I suddenly felt unreasonably sad and wished that she had found something with sparkles on it—something silver or red or gold or green—something that would have made her happy and excited to greet the New Year.
There are so many expectations at this time of year. Sometimes it’s too much. Sometimes it is just too hard.
I watched the snow begin to fall and was filled with terrible feeling of tenderness and gratitude and a desire to try—to try a bit harder this year. I am going to try to be kinder. I’m going to try to slow down. I’m going to try to feel all of it in this new year—even the parts that hurt.
Maybe those in particular.
Till next time,
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
“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]
I went with my parents to get a Christmas tree. All the trees were wearing hangtags shaped like bells and all the bells had hand-lettered names on them. At first, I assumed these trees were spoken for and the names indicated the person who had reserved the tree. Then... [More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Because laughing matters, Jay Cady and his wife Leslie Seifert-Cady of Mission, Kansas will perform their show “Laughing Matters: juggling and other nonsense” for Western Plains Arts Association at 3 p.m. CDT, Sunday, March 1 in Quinter. The venue is the Quinter High... [More]
Census Participation Important to Area Representation In March, mailboxes across the country will bring an opportunity that only comes around once in a decade – the chance to be counted during the U.S. Census. Getting a complete and accurate count of all the people... [More]
The Kansas Bankers Windbreak Award is given each year by the Kansas Bankers Association cooperating with NRCS, FSA, Extension Service, Kansas State University, State Conservation Commission and the Wallace County Conservation District. The award is presented each year to stimulate... [More]
The Kansas Bankers Soil Conservation Award is given each year by the Kansas Bankers Association cooperating with NRCS, FSA, Extension Service, Kansas State University, State Conservation Commission and the Wallace County Conservation District. The award is presented each year... [More]
What a wonderful "ride" it has been these last 16 years. The support of this community and of neighboring communities has been such a blessing...the beautiful vehicles and their owners, delicious food vendors, craft vendors and most of all..YOU! You the car show enthusiast who... [More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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