Friday, October 05, 2007

In the movie “Sideways” Miles refuses to drink Merlot. His wine of choice is pinot noir. I liked the movie just because of the wine talk.

Speaking of wine, it is time for a little taste of Missouri vineyards and their Oktoberfest. We usually do this trip with another couple or a group. This year Dan and I are enjoying the long weekend in Missouri by ourselves.

We are thinking of taking our bikes and stopping by the Kathy Trail at Rocheport. We hope to be at our favorite winery in time for the KSU-KU game.

Back to the movie Sideways. I will probably be more like the character Jack. In contrast to Miles’ sophisticated preferences, Jack would throw back a glass and say, “Tastes good to me.”

Check back Sunday for a full report on the status of the Missouri grape.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Stop to talk

Tonight I ran to town after the mail route. Dan has almost exclusively taken over the grocery shopping, but I needed a few things and he was busy.

I arrived at the store around 5:00 pm. Much to my dismay, it was crowded. As I maneuvered up and down the isles, it struck me how many were on cell phones

There were young professionals walking, talking and grabbing a few things maybe setting up a date.

Young people, obviously shopping for someone at home, talked while looking at the shelves.

A high school age boy at the check out unloaded his groceries, scanned his credit card, signed, and bagged groceries all the while carrying on a conversation on his cell.

As I was leaving, a young man was coming in. I was struggling with my bags, but just as I looked up, he said, “Hello.” I said, “Hi.” Except, when I looked a little closer, his eyes were focused off in the distance. Of course, he was talking into one of those blue tooth ear things.

I was putting groceries in the truck and several drove by talking on their phone.

I do appreciate Dan calling me from the store to see if I need something. Also, I know he will have it on if I forget. I wouldn’t ever consider not having one with me on the mail route.

Cell phones are a part of our world. It seems to me we should stop when we talk, though.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Class of '62 Rat Pack

The Class of 1962 met at the Chapman Golf Course, a very nice facility for a town of 1,300. Many gathered earlier on Saturday to watch KSU beat Texas. By the time we arrived from Ellsworth, 50 plus miles west, most were already in the celebration mode. Dan’s class was small, around 86 graduates. About a third made it to their 45th reunion.

Brookville Hotel at Abilene catered their signature fried chicken dinner. We ate and talked, talked and ate. There are doctors, engineers (railroad and professional), nurses, farmers, and everything in between in Dan’s small but successful class. Since I also graduated from Chapman two years later, it is a reunion for me too.

A brunch the next morning meant most left by midnight. We were in our Roadtrek so we stayed right there on the parking lot. After everyone left, we decided to move over by a row of hedge trees thinking we would be out of the wind. It turned out to be a good spot, so we thought. We slept soundly.

It was around noon when we finally bid goodbye and climbed in the Trekker to head for home. It would not start. The starter was working, but it would not fire. There was nothing to do but call my brother. We drove his one-ton farm truck home, so the local mechanic could check the Trekker Monday.

The mechanics called Monday evening reporting they replaced two parts. It still would not start. They were frustrated and I was upset. The van has less than 30,000 miles. It should not be broke down.

Tuesday midday Dan called me on the mail route, “Guess what, they fixed the van and you will never believe what was wrong.”

Hidden behind, they found fresh leaves, pieces of a hedge ball and a chewed wire. While we sat under the hedge trees, an opportunistic pack rat found his perfect winter home.

Monday, October 01, 2007

More on Ellsworth

It was a treat to meet my blogger friend, Peg, over the weekend. She introduced us to her family and I felt I already knew them as would any of her faithful readers. We circled our wagon in her driveway. We’ll be back.

Ellsworth sponsored the Great American Cattle Drive as a fundraiser for their Drover’s Museum planned for the city’s signature building on main street. It shows forethought by city planners. Ellsworth has a colorful history of cattle drives and drovers who worked them. In addition, the city is a short distance south of I 70. I think it would be a tourist destination for families traveling through Kansas.

Ellsworth also has a cave*. As you see by the picture, two or three shops had a underground street. I am sure there are others beside me who are interested in the cave’s history. Was it protection from elements or a place for men to gather? Or, perhaps, an idea brought from European immigrants.

* I grew up calling the rock-lined, dirt floor root cellar on our farm a "cave." We kept the eggs down there because it was cool. Perhaps a clue as to why the caves were constructed on the prairie.

The Great American Cattle Drive

If your computer will not show this video, click on this link to go directly to the YouTube site.

The Great American Cattle Drive, Ellsworth, Kansas

Peg has more pictures of the Cattle Drive.