Shouts and Murmurs
Taking stock of Kansas in March
How to create a malcontent.
Rule number one: Take her to the beach.
I've always loved Kansas. I've been a Kansan all my life. My parents, and some of my grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents, at one time or another, were Kansans. For as long as I can remember, Kansas, and the Tonganoxie area in particular, is the only place I've wanted to live.
But last month, in visiting Miami Beach with Mirror publisher Caroline Trowbridge to attend an Inland Press Association convention, I found another favorite place to add to my very short list -- the ocean.
I must be one of those people who could literally walk barefoot up and down the beach every day for the rest of my life. The sound of the ocean, the wash of water splashing around my legs, the array of shells, the smell of the sea, the ocean breeze, the salty water, the velvety soft humid air, the feeling as if you're standing there gazing upon the vastness with nothing but water between you and Europe, is unparalleled. And then when you think about the world below the sky -- the depths of the ocean -- it's enough to put someone like me in awe.
We were only there from Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning. It was long enough -- I missed my family. Yet it wasn't long enough. On my computer desktop is a photo of the beachfront hotel's ocean view.
With the click of a mouse, the ocean view comes back to me in turquoise waters topped with azure skies.
Yes, I guess it could be said that even for a die-hard Kansan like me, the Sunflower State will never be the same again.
That admitted, it's time to celebrate our Kansas springtime's approach.
March began last week in the most typical of ways -- with strong winds that buffeted treetops and sent plastic sacks volleying in the air.
The mid-40s temperatures and rainfall were a welcome respite from the single digit days of the month before.
On Tuesday of last week, the same morning I saw robins in the back yard, the tips of crocus and daffodil leaves poked through the damp layer of dried autumn leaves. My mood was whimsical as I walked down the driveway to get the morning papers -- after all, (and especially after recently having been to Florida) I realized spring is a time of rejuvenation -- warmer days would soon arrive.
Springtime is when the prospect of getting dirty in the garden comes to mind -- the joyful days spent digging in the dirt, the awe when flowers planted from seed begin to bloom.
It's when intense days at work are followed by evenings that wind up with a long walk, and time to take a seat on the backyard swing my husband built as together we watch the sun set.
Sunday afternoon my husband and I walked to the top of the hill behind our house. Blustery winds sent our hats flying when we were in the open, but in the sheltered areas, it was a picture perfect day -- birds singing, blue skies, warm air -- the promise of another spring's approach as we enjoy our time together. In fact if the truth be realized, it was enough to make a Kansan appreciate -- whether there's a longing for the ocean or not -- what she's got.