Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hot wheels, chilly morning, warming words

'Twas Christmas morning at our house. We make a special request to the Big Man to make a special drop off a few days early at our house. He graciously complies.

I heard the first footsteps making their way down the hallway towards the Christmas tree at five minutes past six o'clock. "He came. Santa came," were the whispers that followed. Precious.

I had programmed my coffee pot to begin brewing at fifteen minutes past six o'clock. The present opening proceeded at sixteen minutes past six o'clock.

Thank goodness we open presents from youngest to oldest, because Nell had already begun to unwrap her presents at this point. And although the present situation looks a bit skimpy, scroll down to see the over-sized and under-priced goodies Santa left behind in the garage. (Santa worked miracles with the prices he paid for these gently used wheels.)

I insisted we wait until exactly ten o'clock this morning to take the first test drive, because by then the temperature was 25 degrees. Perfect weather for cruising around the yard.

I realized boys must come from the womb knowing how to drive anything. Tucker expertly maneurved around the yard; Noah crashed into three bushes and completely demolished a plastic Sesame Street scooter parked by the shed.

The power wheels were chilling fun for the kids, but I was most eager to give Brent a special present. I tried something new this year and wrote him a poem. I printed it off at home, found an old mat, repainted an old frame, and wrapped it up.

The inspiration came two weeks ago as I was recovering from hip surgery. The kids were away at Grandma's house, leaving Brent here to help me get around. It's rare these days we have any time alone, and somewhere amidst my pain I found inspiration.

The gift was a semi-success. First, it got lost in the excitement over the kids' toys. Secondly, he thought I found the poem online and printed it off. After a third read, he thought it was perhaps insulting. By the fourth read, and lengthy explanation, I think he sensed the sincerity.

I'll let you decide for yourself...

Sometimes it's hard to see the man behind the daddy
Tangled up with our toddlers
Hidden in a game of you can't find me

Sometimes it's hard to see the husband for the father
Lost in a game of t-ball
Or up to his elbows in bath water

Sometimes it's hard to see the spouse for the provider
Buried in a job
Forgoing his own desire

But today I caught a glimpse of the man I've missed
His humor, sport, love, support

My eyes were lost to a place years ago
Where I took that first step as God whispered, let go

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I don't do Bunco

I don't play Bunco.

Never been much of a game player, really. Unless, the game involved a ball, a court, and the chance to push around that girl from a few miles down the road whose blond, bouncy pony tail made me crazy. Then, I guess you could say, I was a bit of a game player.

Board games. Dice games. Gambling. Just not my sport.

And since the opportunities to lay a solid "box out" on a blond nemesis are slim post thirty, I choose to steer clear of the game playing scene.

Instead, I put in a few hours once a month on the local economic development board. A far reach from my preferred sport, but an investment of time that goes much further than a victory at the end of the night.

I just returned home from said meeting. Four women; counting an honorary high school board member. Eight men. Yours truly holds the gavel. Sometimes I think they - the old men - look right through me; and other times I consider rapping the gavel on their gray matter.

Tonight, the agenda covered a variety of topics, but none so compelling as a new wind farm development set to unfold in the northwest portions of the county.

At present, the largest wind farm in the state sits atop the northeastern townships of our county. The project discussed tonight, would become number two in the state.

The development of wind energy here - on the open Kansas prairie - didn't easily sweep across the Plains. It was welcomed by some. It remains unforgiven by others.

Someday, when the winds have settled, I will tell stories about the biggest wind farm development on the Kansas prairie. I was fresh out of college, and my first job gave me a front row seat for all that unfolded in this great story. Lasting impressions of how I have come to further understand the prairie, the rancher, farmer, Kansas, energy, government, private development, and the endless ways our lives, and livelihoods, are tumbled together.


For now, my role as a volunteer board member no longer affords me a front row seat. But I remain informed, engaged, and have the opportunity to impact decisions and actions for those in the front row.

That's a helluva lot more than a night out at Bunco will get ya.