Last Week’s Good Things


The days were cool and crisp this week. The trees are really sporting their fall colors. For me, it was a very good week making for an easy post to put together. It starts out in an unusual way, but it certainly supports the theme of this blog.

An exceptional Obituary

I acknowledge that it is a weird habit. We continue to get the daily local newspaper and my day does not start out correctly unless I work through it. Admittedly, I do not read everything thoroughly, but I give it a good skim and read those items that interest me. One part of the paper that I always give a good skim is the obituary section. I have talked to others who also do this, so I know I am not alone. I do not necessarily look for people who I might know, but that has sadly happened. What my eyes gravitate to are the longer write-ups or a eye-catching photo. Last Sunday, I totally came across a gem. The picture showed a grandpa with a child on his knee. Cute photo; check. The write-up was lengthy; check. The content was the best ever. Of course, losing someone is a very sad thing. The best way that I find to work through that loss, however, is to keep the happy memories close. The Brown family reigns on this front. When an obituary starts out “Bill Brown finally stopped bugging everybody on October 15, 2013” and moves on hilariously from there, you know that you are witnessing a life well lived!



House Celebration

don house-2This week marks twenty-five years of living in our dear house. I remember how exciting move-in day was. We rented a U-Haul. Friends helped us move the few pieces of furniture that we had. We paid them with thanks, beer, and pizza. Over the years, we have managed to acquire furniture enough to fill the rooms. What has been the biggest addition to our home over the years is regularly filling the rooms with people we love. Last night we happily celebrated the years with many old and new friends. Brisket and Macaroni and Cheese seemed like the perfect accompaniment to such a comfortable evening, and it proved to be a perfect choice. Because it was such a beautiful fall day, the patio held the homemade beer, firepit, and festive lights. Starting at 6 PM friends started arriving. Our last friend left before the clock struck 1 AM.


It is hard to summarize such a night, but it did include arriving visitors being greeted by a cinnamon and clove scented jack-o-lantern designed and created by Ali and Jose, a beautiful martini bar created by Micaela where Kristin was introduced to her first “big-girl” martini, an adorable baby Elsie who charmed everyone and showed an inspired love for mac cheese, Kathie in a dirndl, a story from Scott about the maple trees of Baldwin, Kansas, Don’s beautiful pastel of our house, Melissa arriving proudly with a book that I had lent to her many years ago, a giant Corona bottle pinata inspired by Jose that was bashed with a golf club and offered treats of candy and mini tequilla bottles, a salted caramel snickerdoodle from Laura and almond cookies from Tracy that were mouthwatering, Jim demonstrating how to mix an old fashioned; a Tigers loss and a Cardinals win, and ending the night laughing at YouTube videos of talking dogs and make believe football teams. Once again, I feel particularly lucky.

 Visitors from the South DSCF7636

When we decided to have the house party, Ali said she would try to come. As the time got closer and she prepared to make her reservation, Ali and Jose were an item. Bravely, Jose made the trip from New Orleans to Kansas City to be initiated into Ryan world — super-sized. We broke him in, as any good Kansas City host would do. We fed him tons of food: Bryant’s for barbeque, Lidia’s for pasta; Anton’s for deliciousness. We engaged him in a heated Catchphrase battle. Finally, last night he got to experience Ryan party time. Report filed: Jose is a pro. Seeing Ali for an unanticipated weekend, and being able to meet and get to know Jose has been a treat. As I wrote a couple weeks ago when we visited Sam and Jean, as a parent the thing you want most is to see your children happy. There has been much laughter in the house this weekend.


Obligatory Chiefs comment. The Kansas City Chiefs are the winningest team in football!  On Sunday, thanks to Ivan and Janet, we got to spend a beautiful autumn afternoon tailgating in the parking lot of Arrowhead and then watching the Chiefs beat the Houston Texans. We typically go to one game a year and I have a hard time remembering the last time that I saw the Chiefs win a game. It has been a long, hard, cold spell for Kansas City sports. This year, however, that has changed. We have a new quarterback and a new coach. The team is winning; the fans are believing. The stadium on Sunday was awash in red. As each member of the team emerged onto the field as they were being announced, they just looked so psyched. They felt the love. The win wasn’t as easy as was expected, but it was a win. The mood leaving the stadium was giddy jubilation.

Bombadil  bombadil

I haven’t bought in new music in a few weeks. This week I happened upon the new album by Bombadil and I am liking it very much. Bombadil is composed of four guys – three of whom went to school together at Duke. The songs on Metrics of Affection range from acoustic beauties, to accapella story songs, to down home foot tappers. Their voices are good. The flow of the album is solid, and it wanted me to look them up to see what else was going on with them. The album opens with a song called Angeline that has some funny rhymes and really holds together. There is a pretty, romantic song called You Can Have Me that is followed by a beautiful piano solo.

you can’t have everything you want

or even sometimes what need
even if you need it desperately

but, apple blossom, if i could, 
i’d carve a shuttle out wood,
and fly us out beyond the breeze.

all alone except for stars,
i would wonder how you are
the most beautiful of things

I have enjoyed this new music very much this week!

It was a wonderful week which left me with amazing memories! I hope that you made some good memories too!



6 thoughts on “Last Week’s Good Things

  1. I went to some friends’ combined double birthday and Halloween party. It went very well, and my gift sense came through again.

  2. Congrats on 25 yrs on Rockhill! I was just thinking of the halloweens we spent together with the kids(I think I left them with you one year!) if I knew about the celebration we would have loved to relive all the crazy fun times we had in this house!!

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