Random thoughts to start fall

Some random thoughts as fall finally shows its face in central Kansas:

My advice to everyone is to avoid bruising your ribs if at all possible. I fell while running about a month ago, and I am still hobbled by the damage I did to my right side. I am back on the road, but I am definitely watching every step I take.

It is amazing how quickly things dried up in September, at least in this part of Marion County. The landscape looks much more like it typically would at the end of summer, so the suddenly dry grass doesn’t bother me. We’ve had a bit of rain lately, about a half-inch three different times. Farmers, would you rather have three smaller rains in two weeks or one 1½-inch rain?

The state of many of our trees has given me pause lately. Leaves have been falling even before they can turn color. Evergreens are becoming “never” greens. Is this a symptom of climate change or just a weird weather year? I know beetles have been an issue in recent years for some species. I just hope we are not going to lose significant forestation.

How about all the improvements made to Hillsboro’s infrastructure in the past year? We have had to put up with a lot of inconvenience, but I would recommend driving around town on the new streets. There is definitely a different feel to some of the neighborhoods, thanks to the curb and guttering. Once all the construction is finished, our little city will be much improved. I do feel sorry for people trying to get across town lately. Hang in there.

Another fun community upgrade is the addition of the new disc golf (please don’t call it Frisbee Brand Flying Disc golf) course on the west side. I have to admit I am addicted to the game and own going on 10 flying projectiles to prove it. Jerry and Mickey, whose last names will remain unmentioned to protect the identity of their innocent spouses, deserve a lot of credit for introducing us to the game by creating the course. Go out and give it a try. Mark Twain famously said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” I say, “Disc golf is a good walk with an added purpose.”

I was talking to someone the other day about the way Hillsboro’s downtown has changed over the years. He had moved here fairly recently and was somewhat surprised to find that we once had two “dime stores,” two lumberyard/hardware stores, at least two and sometimes three family restaurants, a couple of family-owned burger joints, a bar, a coupe of fabric stores and two clothing stores. When I first moved to town in 1980, there were dealerships for Ford, General Motors, Dodge-Chrysler-Plymouth and even American Motors, where I bought parts for my 1974 Gremlin X. Man, I wish I still had that car.

Patrick Mahomes has quickly become the NFL’s darling quarterback, and deservedly so. He is a magician on the field and, so far, has remained humble in the face of all his fame. He and Travis Kelcy are as dynamic a duo as pro football has seen in a long time.

I really miss playing in a musical group. Since the “disbanding” of my most recent tuneful team, I am without a regular clan with which to jam. If anyone out there is interested in getting together and playing some bluegrass/Americana/folk music just for the fun of it, give me a shout. I’ll try to work it in between disc golf outings.