Sunday, December 31, 2006


Thoughts on the Ending of 2006

The end of the year. A day filled with the surprise of a snowfall. The end of the year, the shortened, brief days, hectic and busy and all of a sudden, the last day of the year. The last day of the year always makes me sad.

It has not been a bad year at all. God continues to bless me with good health and vigor and meets my every need. But I have not had a tremendous sense of peace this year. I keep asking myself, "is this all there is?" Can I be content with what I have? Is there more?

My biggest complaint is that I am alone. Most of the time, this does not bother me, as I have been alone before in my life. But now it is by means of an empty nest. I tried to prepare myself for it years ago. Nothing really helped.

So I ask myself, do you think you want to find a man friend? That scares the holy crap out of me. So, after much contemplation, I decided I need a closer friend/friends. I have some wonderful and caring internet friends, and some I am in touch with on a daily basis. And I work with 9 other women, with whom I am friendly, but we have to be in each other's company for about 7 hours a day, so we are eager to say goodbye and see you tomorrow, or have a good evening, or a great weekend...but we do not carry the friendship into our home life. It is an 'at work' friendship. I am becoming more aware of the fact that to have friends, one must be a friend, first. I feel like I have failed at that. Or my cup would be running over with friends.

I have never been one to make New Year's resolutions, but tonight I have a few:

1. I resolve to become a better friend.
2. I am going to work at being happier.
3. I pray to always have a thankful heart.

Saturday, December 30, 2006



One week ago today was a memorial service for Henry Linck, a local guy who died in Iraq recently. The Phelps family from the Westboro Baptist Church out of Topeka were here protesting. I posted my experience on another blog, and I will copy and paste what I wrote here...

This was the scenario...the memorial service was scheduled to be held at the American Legion, right next door to the National Guard Armory, about two blocks from the highway that runs through town. The Phelps had sent our city attorney a 30 page document outlining their demands for protection during their exercising of their rights as American citizens, to protest. They said they would be in town between 12:15 and 1:00 pm. The city suggested a spot about a block east of the armory on a main road, where they could safely protest. Evidently, when they saw the spot upon their arrival today, they demanded to be allowed to protest on the highway itself, exactly one block south of the armory. When I drove by on the highway, I saw two adult males holding signs that said either, 'Your Sons Are in Hell' or 'God Hates Gays' or one other one about America being the home of terrorists. I saw one adult female, whom I believe was actually one of the Phelps, and also about four children. I found a parking spot and walked up to the armory, which was surrounded by motorcycles and guys in black leather...The Patriot Guard. They all had flags mounted on 6' poles, behind their bikes. Many other folks stood with them, both young and old, some waving smaller flags. I asked if it was ok to stand with them, and was told, sure, come on I stood on the very corner closest to the protesters, as I was curious what might happen. The group of protesters did not even look our way. At one point, the female began screaming/singing...a cop came by and said she was 'singing' but that even up close he could not understand the words. At precisely 1:00 pm, they put down their signs, walked over to a 9 passenger van, and left town.The Patriot Guard is made up of bikers from all over the midwest. I saw jackets with the names of towns as far away as KC and Lincoln, NE, and one guy even had one on that said, Kentucky. At one point, the apparent leader of the Guard came by and spoke to the group I was standing with, and he said the reason why the Phelps left so abruptly, is that with all their legal shenanigans, they demanded protection for exactly 45 minutes, and after that, legally, they were on their own, and they did not want to take a chance of anyone suing them, so they hit the trail. He also said how pleased he was that so many town people came out to support and stand with the Guard. He said he liked to call it the rebirth of patriotism in America. The Guard leader had a very interesting little patch on the back of his black leather was an American flag with the words, "Try burnin' this," below it.The memorial service was broadcast on loud speakers so the Guard and those standing with them could hear it. Afterwards, the bikers paraded on their bikes through town, and then came back for a luncheon with the family of the soldier at the Legion.My personal feelings? When I walked up and actually saw about a hundred flags waving in the gray, chilly air, I got all choked up and began to cry, and could hardly speak when I got close enough to ask if it was ok to stand with them. I was impressed with the Guard's quiet dignity and strength. I overheard one man standing with his son, tell some newcomers that they prefered to concentrate on the soldier and the family and not on the protesters. I heard many references to the fact that the soldier that died was fighting for the protesters' right to stand and protest their government and their hatred of gays, as well as for whatever other reasons this 25 year old found himself in Iraq, the object of a bomb. I was torn with wanting to stage my own anti protest of the protesters, but for some reason, no one did that at all. Basically, everyone ignored them. People were driving by constantly, some stopping to give the Guard plates of Christmas cookies and cups of hot coffee, or honking or clapping, or rolling down their windows and saying, 'thanks.'All in all it was an interesting experience, and although the hatred I could feel emanating from the Phelps was shocking and ugly, I was glad to be standing with all those that was pretty cool.