Free Falling

How’s your summer going? Mine’s shaping up pretty well so far. And so are the two most important women in my life. My wife and daughter have been my evening walking buddies, and we are all reaping the physical benefits, even though we are forced to stroll on the streets due to a lack of a walking/biking path in our fair city. I heard a rumor some city officials are working on it.

So, what else is going on? I have to admit I was a bit unhappy by something I witnessed one of the community’s youth do the other day. I was sitting on my front porch when the teen dropped a McDonald’s sack out of the window of her car as she drove by. I felt like picking it up and taking it to her house, then throwing it into her car window.

Listen, young people, you are the ones who will eventually inherit your hometown. Don’t treat it like a giant trash bin. It doesn’t take all that much effort to dispose of your refuse properly. We don’t want Hillsboro looking like a giant Wal-Mart parking lot.

Wet enough for you? Early in the spring, I was hoping our area would receive enough rain to not only douse the drought but also fill all the ponds and lakes. That wish has certainly come true, and I have enjoyed the damp summer so far.

I’m thinking, however, for the farmers’ sake, it’s time to turn off the water works for a while. Let’s get that wheat in the bin. And, let’s get that Washington Street project finished so east/west traffic can flow smoothly again through Hillsboro.

The rain is needed much more by our neighboring state to the west. Colorful Colorado has become a tinderbox.

Speaking of fighting fires-we were, weren’t we?- I caught a glimpse of a familiar face on the news the other night. Bob Ratzlaff, Goessel High School class of 1978 alum and a Wichita firefighter, has headed off to battle blazes in the mountains. He was featured in a short story on KWCH, Channel 12.

I learned a valuable lesson the other day. Don’t run your weed whacker under a mulberry tree this time of year. The results can add some real flavor and a whole lot of color to your day.

I’ve appreciated the help my 12-year-old daughter has provided in the lawn-mowing department this year. She does a nice job with the riding mower, though she still leaves the occasional yard ribbon that I have to touch up. But, my philosophy is that anything she cuts, I don’t have to. Besides, it gives her some experience operating a motorized vehicle.

In just two short years she will be eligible to drive a car. In the mean time, we’ll keep working on those turning and backing skills.

I read in the paper the other day that President Bush and his crew have finally been forced to admit that global warming is taking place, but they don’t plan to do anything about encouraging less pollution. That, apparently, might cost a few jobs.

I’ve got news for those in Washington: when Los Angeles and New York City are under water, employment figures will likely suffer at least a slight setback.

And, by the way, we can all breathe easier because the government is becoming concerned that tobacco companies are targeting children and teens with their advertising. Duh. All their old customers are dying, even though the cigarette pushers still won’t admit that their products are bad for our health.

I also read in the paper that soccer is becoming more and more popular in the United States. The writer pointed out there are many, many children taking up the sport. The evidence, he said, is the number of kids participating in Saturday morning leagues in towns-other than Hillsboro-all around the country.

He also said we are getting better at it. I tend to agree. After all, this is the first time in history the U.S. team has advanced beyond the first round of the World Cup, undeniably the largest sports spectacle in the world.

Finally, I was skimming through a book of witticisms by comedian George Carlin at the bookstore a couple of days ago. Among other things, Carlin wondered if people climb Mount Everest because it is so difficult, why do they always take the easiest path? Good question.

Enjoy your summer.

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