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Showing posts from December, 2009

And May All Your Christmases...

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It happened. We had a white Christmas this year. In Kansas, that is more rare than one might think. I can remember only one or two in my lifetime and never six inches or more. The Blizzard of '09 caused a myriad of logistical problems for families across the state, but by Christmas Day it had all settled down and most people were celebrating safely with their family. Whew!

The left photo above depicts the side yard of our humble abode, covered in the nasty stuff. Our Christmas celebration at Grandma's house is the photo on the right. Clockwise from left are: Marilyn (Mom), Rachel, Drew (our new son-in-law), The Hubster, Sarah and Derek.

December 25 turned out to be a fun, relaxing day. We packed up all the gifts and food and drove to my mom's that morning. I think she enjoyed watching the kids open all their presents. It never gets old for me, either. We watched "Mixed Nuts" together after dining on a sumptuous holiday meal.

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I got out yesterday morning and scoope…

Meet Your Neighbor

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Note: I wrote this article several months ago for another publication.

Although he was born and raised in a small town in New England, Grant Williams has come home to Arkansas City. The admitted baseball fanatic is a devoted husband to the lovely Bernice and father to four grown children, stepfather to three. Williams has traveled the world and worked a multitude of jobs only to settle here after retirement to live the thoughtful life of a poet and author.

He speaks humbly of his work, listens closely and watches life unfold around him. And then, he writes. Every day. A large portion of Grant’s poems are about love, particularly his devotion to his wife, but he has penned volumes about sports, family, children, issues and our town. Williams seems to absorb emotion from life and the activity around him, and then processes it into meaningful tomes.

“I love to write because I love to read,” the author muses. “Once you have something in print, you have to say, ‘I’m an author.’ You have to t…

Fa La La La La

If I'm not in the Christmas spirit yet, I never will be. I have attended three Christmas concerts in the last six days. The Ark City High School Winter Band Concert last Tuesday was a festive start to the week. Hans Judd directs a large and robust band program at Ark City Middle School. The 6th, 7th and 8th grade bands each brought three selections. I was impressed by "Duel of the Fates," a John Williams' tune for the Star Wars trilogy.

The ACHS Concert and Jazz Bands were in fine form with "DeerPath Dances" and "Arranco." These groups are helmed by Chris Van Gilder. I loved the percussion ensemble's rendition of "Carol of the Bells." It was a complex and well-executed piece. Conner Coldwell and Cameron Crabtree, friends from church, are members of the percussion section of the high school band.

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On Sunday afternoon, the Cowley College Music Department presented their Christmas Vespers Concert. It was a spiritual, mesmerizing oasis i…

Playing Possum

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We have had a new visitor to our food bowl of late. This rather brazen possum has been a regular for the last several afternoons. That's right, he doesn't wait until cover of darkness. Since we live near the river, we do get the occasional skunk or possum. The above photo doesn't give much of a sense of his girth. To give you some perspective, our largest cat is 13 pounds, and this possum is larger. Yep. The wildlife of Ark City!

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Our church is hosting a lot of fun activities during the Christmas season. Caroling is on tap for 7 p.m. this Wednesday, weather permitting. Missionary Baptist Church always visits all the area nursing homes to bring a little Christmas cheer. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served at the church following the singing. On Sunday, 12/13/09, after morning worship, a holiday potluck dinner will be served.

The perfect ending to this special Christmas season is our Youth Christmas Program, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, 12/20/09. We have the best and brightest…