In "Splashes of Joy," Barbara Johnson said, "The glory of each morning is that it offers us a chance to begin again."
Christmas came and went. The New Year is here, and we are near the end of January. Time flies by.
I didn't get my annual Chistmas letter written this year or send out any cards. My New Year's goal is to send my yearly, greetings now to the wonderful people in my life. I decided it can be done anytime, it doesn't have to only be at Christmas.
I didn't expect to be spending New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in the motel. When I woke up Dec. 31, I looked out the window to see snow falling. A beautiful snow, not a wind-blown blizzard, but I knew I needed to go to the motel, so I called the post office to hold my mail delivery and packed my suitcase.
Where I live, it easily can drift my driveway shut and become impassable. After the snow stopped falling, the main city streets had been cleaned and the country roads had been cleared, but I didn't know if I could get in and out of my yard. I called Steve, my country neighbor, asking him to check the condition of my yard and driveway. The snow was deep, so Steve made a track for me to follow using the four-wheel drive. I'm so thankful for his help. There have been times in the past he needed to bring his tractor to open a path. When I got home, I cleaned off my steps and the walkway to the house.
Memories of past winters living on the farm north of Ellis came to mind. Jim and I lived there since 1960. In fact, our son Steven was born Jan. 11 that year. I remember Jim rushing me to the hospital. I ended up staying there for a week because it stormed and Jim couldn't get back to Hays. He helped my dad feed the cattle each day waiting for the country roads to be opened for travel.
Year after year, snows came. Jim would clear our yard with his Oliver tractor that had a blade but no cab; it was a cold job. We milked cows, a job that had to be done no matter what the weather was like. When our children were old enough to drive to school, they had a hard time making it up the hill. We didn't have four-wheel drive then, so they added sandbag weight in the trunk of their car to help them get out.
My snow memories are many. We made it through the winter each year, thankful for the moisture the snow brought for the good pastures and crops the following summer.
I'm not complaining about the snow now. We are in desperate need of moisture. It's just different now that I'm older and alone.
I've made a list of people to be thankful for. The paperboy and mailman -- we always expect the paper and mail to be delivered. The city and county workers work long hours clearing the roadways and streets so we can reach the places we need to go. We also expect businesses to be open, such as service stations and restaurants. We shouldn't forget the fellow who cleans the parking lots and all those who have to get to work to serve us. I wonder if we ever think about the many people who work during a snowstorm and the many things we should be thankful for. Let's not complain.
I also appreciate the radio and TV announcement about closings and cancellations. At this time of year, we should plan ahead, refill prescriptions, stock up on groceries and have the car filled with gas.
There have been times when my car door was frozen shut, and guess where my de-icer bottle was -- inside the car. I have to remember to take it into the house. The de-icer helps when the car windshield is iced over, easier than chipping away in the cold.
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Groundhog Day is Saturday. Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow this year? Will we have more winter?
I want to invite you to the annual Groundhog supper beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday at St. John Lutheran Church, north of Ellis. Freewill offering for all you can eat of sausage, pancakes and scrambled eggs. Hope to see you there.
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It is hard to believe the Generations page was started in November 2002. That was 10 years ago. Harry Watts will be missed by so many. He was part of all our lives in the community. I thank Harry for inviting Jim and I to be a part of the Generations page committee and The Hays Daily News for giving us a chance to find out we enjoyed sharing our stories with the readers of Page 5.
May each day of the New Year bring you things to be thankful for, and remember each morning you have a chance to begin again.
Opal Flinn is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.