Last Week’s Good Things


apr6It was 80 degrees in Kansas City on Saturday. It was a day that I should have had the top down on my car, mowed the grass, planted something, had a drink on the patio, or washed my car. I didn’t do any of those things, but here are some other good things that happened during the week.


1. Union College wins the Division I Hockey Championship – Little Union College in Schenectady, NY is where both Dan and I went to school. It is an idyllic little liberal arts school in the middle of a very working class town. It is known much more for academics than sports. But this week, the Union College Dutchmen (yep, you read that right), plowed past Boston College and the University of Minnesota to be the victor of the Frozen Four. Saturday night, we had friends over and watched the game over cocktails and locally made kielbasa. That’s the way it should be done.

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2. Flowering Kansas City – I always think that there is one week in Kansas City that outshines all others as far as showing off its beautiful nature. Maybe there will be better, but it is going to be hard to beat last week for the best. Magnolias, Bradford Pear, Forsythia, Redbuds, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths! Even the dandelions looked bright and cheery. Well done nature!

3. Pattie Mansur wins a school board seat! – I met Pattie when her daughter became a member of my Girl Scout troop. It was such a gift to me to become acquainted with such a caring and fun family. There are always people in your life that you know you can count on. That is the Mansur family. Even though Girl Scout days are long past, I  still run into Pattie occasionally. We always eagerly catch up. When she announced that she was running for school board, I was so excited for our city. This week, voters came out and elected a wonderful advocate for all of the children of our city.

s4. S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst – I love to read and I love pretty books. When those two elements are combined, it is more than delightful. This week I finished reading S.. I can’t really adequately describe what an amazing book this is. There is marginalia of several different colors snaking its way around most every page of the book. Tucked inside you will find mass cards, napkins with maps, letters, code solvers … You just don’t know what is next. I must say that I enjoyed the experience of reading the book more than the book itself, but that is not really fair. I know he is J.J. Abrams, but the fact that publishers still gave the okay for this makes me optimistic about the future of book books.


5. 10,000th Blog View – Early this week, someone clicked on my blog for the 10,000th time. That is pretty cool to me. It is not the sign of a hugely successful blog, but it is a sign that many of you read what I write and choose to come back. There are weeks that I don’t feel like posting this or anything. I usually convince myself that my being there is both good for me, and for the people who might read it and recognize good things that they otherwise may not have. Thanks for being part of my second 10,000!

Have a good week and be aware of the good things!



The Things We Sit On

Yesterday, a long overdue task was accomplished. Thanks to a Groupon, we got our living room furniture cleaned. For a reasonable fee, our couch and two chairs now look a whole hell of a lot better. Watching the guys vigorously brush them prior to the cleaning, however, was horrifying. Blech!

But this all got me thinking about the different furniture that we have had during our years of marriage. When we got married, we had just graduated from college. We spent the summer in Schenectady – still working our college jobs – before we headed to Missouri for Dan to start law school. When we left, I don’t remember that we brought anything from the college apartment other than clothes and books. Our bed had been a twin bed on a board elevated by four cinder blocks. The dresser was a thrift store throw away. That was all we had, and I think we left it all left behind.

On our way from Schenectady to Columbia, we stopped in Sinclairville. There we picked up the U-haul and our furnishings. We got the maple double bed that had been mine growing up, and which had been my father’s when he was a boy. The bed was a little quirky in its antiqueyness. It didn’t quite fit modern day boxsprings, so you had to have the boxsprings precariously balanced on the edge of the frame. If you got too rowdy, it would plop down into the slats and your mattress than would have a pretty significant slope. It didn’t matter. It was a huge step up from a twin on a board. Rounding up our haul was a four drawer dresser that was also a family piece. We got my growing up desk, which was something that I saved many allowances to purchase with my own money. We had four peach crates full of albums and books. Beyond our wedding presents and several more boxes of books, I think that was it.

Because Dan had come down with mono on our honeymoon, we recruited one of his high school friends to help us move into our new apartment. We walked into our new digs for the first time on the day we moved in. It was right across from the bus station – had gold shag carpet – and it became the first home of our own. Our furniture was just right. The bedroom was too small for our double bed, so the bed went in the living room and became the main sitting space. The kitchen was about a 4 foot by 16 foot galley, so our one piece of new furniture – a kitchen table with folding chairs, also was in our main room. Rounding out our space were the peach crate/tables that held the record player and a few pretties from our wedding. I can still see that place clearly.

Since that first space, we have acquired more space and more things. After law school, we moved to Kansas City and into a brand new apartment complex. It was then that we bought our first couch. It was a blue sturdy sofa bed. We also now had a rocking chair that would be useful to rock the new baby who would soon be joining us.

We bought our house in 1988. The blue couch came with us. We picked up some more chairs.

The furniture that we have now is third generation. In between the blue couch and this, there was a leather furniture period.

When we go to museums, Dan always balks at the “rooms with furniture” displays. I really like them. I think that one of the reasons is that it does bring me into the world of that time. It is the same thing I do when I think of a particular piece of furniture that was in my growing up home, the home of someone I know, or my own home. For my own home, I can picture rooms and the times. I can bring back holidays and just hanging out days. We may not pay much attention to them most of the time, but the things we sit on play their part well.