Archive for Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Shouts and Murmurs: New Year’s projects near and far

January 7, 2004

Now is the time to plan for the new year. At my house I'm renewing my Latin studies. Five years ago at KU, I took a beginning class in Latin and became hooked. The next semester the intermediate Latin class didn't fit with my schedule, and after that I started working at The Mirror.

It has since been my desire to return to studying Latin.

Several months ago, a woman who lives in another part of the country e-mailed to say she had posted on her Web site one of my stories from The Mirror.

In looking up the site, I learned that the woman is also involved in a group that teaches online Latin classes -- for free.

It didn't take long to learn that the next beginner's class would begin Jan. 4. And so, for me it's back to making flashcards and drilling myself on the Latin vocabulary and conjugations at night.

It's a yearlong, loosely knit class in which participants can opt out at any time and start again with the next session. Surprisingly, of the 40 or so who have registered for the class, about a dozen are home schooling parents who want to tutor their children in Latin. And, several of the participants are from other countries, including China and Brazil.

My youngest son, who is accomplished on the guitar, asked me what is it about Latin that I find so intriguing.

In a way, that's a mystery to me as well. I could only best explain it with words that he, being a young musician, would understand -- Latin has a rhythm of its own -- and to those of us charmed by Latin, it's like music.

vvv

The Tonganoxie Veterans of Foreign Wars and the women's auxiliary have packages ready to mail, but too few military addresses to send them to.

Connie Putthoff and Connie Hutchinson, along with other members of the VFW organizations, have been collecting items to send to area men and women who are in the military.

Putthoff, who recalls participating in a similar campaign during the Vietnam War, said that neither she nor Hutchinson has any relatives serving in the military right now. But Putthoff said she knows how much the packages mean to those who are overseas.

Just last year she ran into a man who recalled receiving packages from Tonganoxie during the 1960s.

"This is a thing we need to be doing -- showing our support for the servicemen," Putthoff said.

Among the items ready to send are 100 packages of sunflower seeds, toothpaste and toothbrushes, Skittles, chewing gum, decks of cards, books, puzzles, soap and baby wipes.

Putthoff asked that anyone who knows of area men and women in the military to call her at 845-2905, or Hutchinson at 845-2202, with their addresses.

"I've got it all in my family room," Putthoff said. "We don't want to miss anybody."

vvv

Just when it seemed my parents were getting set in their ways, they've up and surprised me.

After almost 50 years of living in a house with no garage, and scraping ice off the windshields in the worst kind of weather, they've finally decided to build a carport.

All I can say is, go for it Mom and Dad -- it's about time!

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