Enjoy the weather while we can
On certain days, at certain times of the year, I can't think of any place I'd rather be than home in Tonganoxie. Recently we've been having those kinds of days, with the sun coming up over mist-filled bottomlands to shine through trees still full of green leaves, all to the tune of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stranger Creek is moving slowly, but moving just the same, and on many early mornings out east of town along Old 40 (County Road 6) you can see the die-hard fishermen on its banks, enjoying both the quiet and the chance to pull in a big catfish or two near the bridge.
People with fall calves can stop and lean on the fence to watch the youngsters playing, and folks who like walking outdoors in the mornings for exercise have gotten back to their programs now needing a jacket when they start out in the dark of early morning.
Those who know me well know I hate the cold and have a tendency to whine about how much I love and miss - the ocean , but on days like these I am happy right where I am. To be able to say that is such a plus, I think. And I might note, I don't stop to think about that nearly often enough.
The weather for football games at the high school on Friday nights has been perfect, although some of the players I know are wishing the temperature would drop substantially to cool them off.
From the bleachers, however, where we do little but watch the game, eat the food from the Project Grad stand and gossip, you couldn't ask for better.
As I sit here working this morning I am still amazed by the traffic along Fourth Street and the number of people coming in to visit us.
These things alone tell me Tonganoxie still has its heart its central, driving force.
I could describe to you other towns, similar in size to Tonganoxie, where the old downtowns are empty, the local streets void of traffic of any kind, let alone people walking back and forth, until after business hours.
After 5 p.m., when all the commuters come home to those empty towns, they stay inside until the next day, when they leave again for the city. Although Tonganoxie certainly has many commuters, it still has local residents who live and work here. People don't hibernate in their homes, and school events are packed.
While I work this morning I can see two pieces of blue sky to the north through my windows, and that blue is so intense, - so nearly turquoise in shade that it doesn't look real.
The view through those windows could be two paintings of vertical scenes titled "Small, Midwestern Town in the Morning," by an artist fond of both the Impressionist and Realism schools.
Appreciation is the key, as it must be for all there is to offer here at home. Let others grumble about the limitations of a small town and middle America.
Run to the city when you must, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses in our back yards while the weather is perfect and everybody's out and about enjoying it.