Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday May 30, 2008...Reunion

Any young people out there who happen to be reading this can't imagine how fast the years slip away. I'm still the same young man inside that I was many years ago. The body has changed with the years, but the mind is still young and inquisitive. It seems only yesterday that I was a young man of 18 graduating from high school and starting out in life. The years between then and now are filled with experiences, bad and good, that have molded me into the man that I am today. But, the years seemed to fly by in just moments and I am still that same young man, with just a lifetime of memories thrown into the mix. I have lived and loved and worked and played and enjoyed life fully over the years and now that I've reached retirement, I look back with satisfaction on where I've been and what I've done and who I have become. I may not have followed the path I set out to follow or accomplished the goals that I originally set, but life brings adjustments and acceptance and here I am today as I have become.

We are discussing our 50th anniversary of high school graduation. It can't be 50 years! It was only just the other day when I and my friends graduated. We were so glad to be through with high school and ready to set out upon our next adventure. We were top dogs of our times and ready for anything. I'm really looking forward to seeing many of my friends that I haven't seen since then. I'm curious if they are still the same or if life has changed them. I don't mean externally, we have obviously all grown older and our bodies have altered - I mean internally whether these friends still have the same outlook on life and the same exuberance that they had then. I'm sure that some of our friends have passed on and we will miss them, but we will celebrate the fact that the rest of us have endured and survived and have returned one more time to be together. We can share in the joy of some of our successes and accomplishments. We can commiserate with those of us who have faced and survived tragedy. We can laugh together over our foibles and smile together when we speak of our families and our adventures.

Hopefully, the years will fade away and the friendships that we once had will rekindle, if only for a moment. It will be bittersweet and heartwarming.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday May 25, 2008...Control of election

28% of Americans approve of the way Bush is running this country. That's a low percentage, but if it is an organized and active percentage, they still have a chance of controlling the election. Let's say that we only have a 50% turnout for the election because people are disgruntled and have given up. In that case, if the 28% all turn out, they will win the election.

We need to make sure that the 72% who disapprove of the way the country is being run all turn out to vote for the candidate of their choice and keep the election a fair and honest forum.

In Kansas City, over the years, we have seen organized factions who make sure that their voters are escorted to the polls often win elections when there is a poor turnout. The same thing for years was the rule in the rural south where minorities were discouraged from voting and the voting was controlled by organized blocks of white voters. Let's hope that the same scenario doesn't hold for this next national election.

As long as there is a sizeable turnout and the election is a fair sampling of what the majority really wants, then it will be acceptable.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday May 15, 2008....Green is good

I've been away for awhile. Down in the desert Southwest. It was sunny and dry, but cool to moderate temperatures. New Mexico is mostly high desert with mountains scattered about. It took awhile to adjust to the higher elevation. Rio Rancho, on the northern side of Albuquerque is about 6,000 feet above sea level. It's a growing community along the Rio Grande between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. A very nice community, if you like sun and dry. I grew up in Missouri where it's moist and green and lush this time of the year. Since I got back, I've had to mow the grass several times and it still keeps growing. We've had a lot of rain so far this year. Down in Rio Rancho, they had rain in February and a few sprinkles since. Nobody has grass, it's mostly desert plants and landscaping of rocks and bushes. Those kinds of yards take very little maintenance and no mowing. But everything down there is brown and dry except for trees and bushes. It's not lush and moist like Missouri. I guess you have to adjust to the different climates. In the desert they don't get much snow in the winter and most of the days are sunny, but when the winds come, there is little to stop them and they can really blow down there. We have tornadoes here in Missouri, but they are seldom and scattered. In New Mexico they have high winds and dust across wid fronts that will blow over trucks and close the interstates. I guess you have to adjust to the climate. We lowlanders who live at 800 feet have a hard time adjusting to the higher elevations. It takes awhile for your internal system to adapt to the thinner dryer air.

I guess it's all in what you get used to. If you were born and raised on the plains of Kansas, like my dad, you miss the wide open spaces. I like the green forests and luch green lawns of Missouri and the changing of the seasons. I'm glad that people like where they are, that way we don't all end up bunched together in one spot. Rio Rancho is a nice place to visit. Missouri is a nice place to live.