Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Miracle

There are only a few moments in my past I remember vividly. Our marriage ceremony was beautiful. Certainly, the births of our children were life changing.

Dan and I as well as Marc's parents were there soon after our first grandboy, Aaron was born. Doug and Drue have always been in Colorado. My favorite memory with their childbirths was when I happened to call Doug to see if Drue had gone into labor. They were flying down the road to the hospital. Doug said the pains weren't too bad. I heard Drue in the background yelling something that made me think they were. If I remember right, Carly was born within a half hour after arrival at the hospital.

This week, I was very much a part of another birth. I was in Salina to help out with the two boys. The day started on Tuesday with a call from Kim around 8:30 am. They had induced her labor earlier in the morning and she was pleased with the progress of the contractions. She wondered if after I took Aaron and Adam to Bible School, I would want to come up to the hospital to see her and Marc.

I said, "I'll be there!" Our policy has been with the birth of all our grandchildren that we participate as invited. I am in agreement with that as I think that day, hour, even second belongs to the parents.

I delivered the boys and arrived at Salina hospital at about 9:20. It was about 9:30am when I lightly knocked on her door. Marc called for me to come in. What a shock! Kim was fully dilated and already been given the lovely pain inhibitor. I said hi and she said hello. She had a odd look on her face and I wasn't surprised when she said, "Go get the nurse!"

I stepped out while they checked. Then the floor erupted. Little tables were being wheeled around and I heard someone say, "Call the doctor, quick!"

I waited outside the door, but was only there a short time as little Evan Daniel was born at 9:38 am. I was back in the room just a few minutes after he was born. There was an aura of beauty and stillness even with the activity surrounding the birth. It was lovely in a way that cannot be described.

Kim was up and about by afternoon and Evan pooped and peed by 1:00. I commented to the boys that Evan already had a dirty diaper and Aaron (eight years old) said, "No wonder. he hasn't pooped for nine months."

Well, I am back to reality now. Back home to Dan, the mail and my life including posting on this blog. Thank you for letting me share in word and picture.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Symphony in the Flint Hills 2007

Sky and prairie, wildflowers and butterflies, historical and contempory, beautiful music. Horses riding into the sunset.

Scenes from a movie?

No, scenes from Kansas.

More specifically, Symphony in the Flint Hills, Second Annual Concert 2007, Wade Pasture, Wabaunsee County, Kansas. The concert is a partnership of the Trusler Foundation, K.T.Wiedemann Foundation (current owners of the concert site), and numerous other sponsors. It is a Kansas jewel.

“Breathtaking” was overheard most often among the 6,855 ticket holders and volunteers in attendance. Our friends Jeanne and Denny as well as Dan and I agreed.

The drive to the Wade pasture took us through Eskridge. The whole town must have been on main street. We could have spent time there looking at the exhibit of pictures of the Flint hills published in a recent edition of National Geographic Magazine. Wishing to secure a good spot for the concert, we pushed on down several miles of gravel roads to the concert site.

According to the Symphony in the Flint Hills 2007 Almanac, the Wade pasture is named for Achilles B. Wade, a Lawrence businessman and member of the proslavery “Bogus” Legislature of 1855. The pasture has retained his name.

As we began the three quarter mile walk to the concert site, the beauty of the location was immediately evident. A long view down a classic Flint Hills vista with several horse riders in the distance, wildflowers with butterflies up close and the smell and feel of a fresh summer breeze all together in a perfect late spring day.

Upon arrival at the site, we staked our claim. The program was a mere $2 and well worth the purchase. We studied the numerous choices for educational forums and entertainment. We opted for the tent with programs about traditional and current Flint Hills ranching and stewardship practices. Actual people who live the day to day ranch life shared dialogue and answered questions. Cowboys are colorful and have wonderful stories.

As the concert time drew near, we purchased our pulled beef and pork sandwiches, baked beans, potato salad and slaw. We were amazed that in the remote hills of Kansas, we would enjoy such delicious food.

Flags carried by current Ft Riley soldiers dressed in dragoon attire and on horseback, began their journey across the valley and progressed to the concert site. Almost total silence made the scene very touching.

The anticipated concert began. The sound system was superb even to the point of hearing individual instruments. A highlight was the solo of Orange Blossom Special by Marvin Gruenbaum. I felt privileged to hear this familiar blue grass standard played by a professional musician and backed by a full orchestra. Another favorite was Buckaroo Holiday from Rodeo by Aaron Copland. All selections were timely for the setting and melodic to an untrained ear.

Almost as if on cue, with the beautiful notes from Finale from Dances With Wolves Suite by Barry, the orange and yellow sun began to slide into the distant Wabannsee County Kansas Flint Hills.

Symphony in the Flint Hills

Click on picture for slide show of the event.

My friend Peg has more here.