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On The Bricks Archives

Monthly Archives: July 2014

July 23, 2014

There are some weeks that go by and you just sit back and say, “wow.” Thank goodness this one is almost over. I can only take so many wows.

Monday night John Board spoke at our first Wit and Wisdom Evening. It is a casual, great catered meal, with one speaker. Our chosen first speaker was John Board. And I have to say, the committee chose well. He entertained and made us thought with the topics of his short talk. We laughed and we thought. And at the end one of the people at my table commented how much they had enjoyed the evening.

First, you can’t go wrong when you have Virgil Gibson catering. Even if you weren’t impressed with the fabulous meal, once you got the puffed pastry with strawberries, chocolate sauce and whipped cream, you would have been happy as a sugared lark. And, no, I have no idea what a sugared lark is, but I’m imagining it’s very happy.

The company was great. Dick Jackson, Bob and Phyllis Anderson, Dave and Sharon Petty, Sara Richter, Dean Kear, and all were just good company. Four of the Alma and Upward Bound kids were there to help by setting up, cleaning up, and serving. They also got to enjoy the meal and hearing John speak.

There is something right about the kids hearing the community elders talk. I felt good about being a part of it.

And it raised funds for Main Street Guymon programs.

Helpful and good. Awesome. A great way to start the week.

Then on Tuesday we filmed the August On the Bricks TV Show with PTCI. I had some great people there for the taping including Dylan Portillo and his family, Kayla McCarter who is such a dedicated Main Street volunteer, Jennie Watkins, and Reyna Ochoa and Jaime Guerrero. They sat there while I interviewed the first person, Fidel Lual. Oh my. Fidel is such a kind and giving man who has had a harsh life that none of us can even comprehend. But through all those hard time as a Lost Boy of Sudan, leaving his family at age 11, living in refugee camps, terrible hardships, finally coming to America and having to learn so many new things (like running water as an example), today he is happy and the father of two kids and the husband to a beautiful lady.

And Fidel softly answers questions about his history and then about how he appreciates where he is and what has been done for him. He thanks his employers for his good job and he tells everyone thank you for coming to the Azuma festival last year and letting this share part of their African culture with us.

And Fidel is there to invite everyone to Azuma this year on Aug. 10.

As he finished talking, I looked at the faces in the room and I could see the admiration in everyone’s countenance. Fidel is one of those people that you know God has blessed you just in being able to know him. Oh, I’m sure he’s not perfect and I bet his wife gets irritated at him and someday he will embarrass his children. That’s just a given. But Fidel is exceptional. I hope you get to meet him. You, too, will be blessed if you do.

Then we had another fund raiser, a drawing, that finished on Tuesday. That was for 10 meals at either / or Urban Bru or the Pub on the Bricks. We made over $600 for Main Street and we got to promote two of our Main Street members. How good is that?

But once again Main Street volunteers stepped up and sold tickets. And they did it with a grin. I thought Jezebel DeLaGarza – Muniz was going to hurt my ear when I told her the winner – because she had SOLD the ticket to Eloy Montanez! Now that’s funny. She was so happy because one of her ticket buyers won. What a hoot. I think Eloy was happy, too!

All these people working together to make things happen in our community. I love it. Oh, and John Board even insisted on paying for his meal. What a guy.

I love the people of this area. They’re the best.

And I appreciate all of you that help, that participate, and those that have positive attitudes. But most of all I appreciate Fidel because he reminds me of all the things that I have to be happy about.

And I am so thankful that I get to work at the PBR on Saturday. I think if I keep saying it, by Saturday I really will be!

See your happy face on the bricks!

July 19, 2014

My mother had a birthday last week. She’s had quite a few birthdays, but she is far from old. She can outwork me, but she hasn’t been able to outwit me in a long time. Of course, that’s just my opinion. She might not agree.

I don’t know about you, but my parents weren’t perfect. And they’re continuing in that vein as we grow older. But they did the best they knew how with what they had. And with what my brother and I gave back, I suppose.

We need to try to be the best parent we can be with our kids. And we need to understand we’ll never be perfect. Nor will we have perfect children. Any of us. I don’t care what you tell the teacher, your child (and mine) can be a poot. Any day.

Try to learn more about parenting, or any other skill that you need. In the July Rotarian magazine one article said, “More information doesn’t make you love your children more, but it can help you take care of them better. Awareness of sanitation methods, which humanity learned as the result of devastating plagues, is our best defense against disease, yet many parents do not teach basic hygiene habits to their children.”

Quit letting your kids be little pigs. Have them wash their hands. Yuck. Cripes, we have running water nowadays. We have no excuse.

Talking to mama about a house we read about that had a dozen bedrooms and 24 bathrooms, we were aghast. That means a separate bathroom for each person if there were two people in each bedroom. Crazy. And mama’s husband says, “I have to wait for you all the time to use the bathroom and there’s just two of us.” Really? Go to the downstairs bathroom and quit complaining.

So I have to one – up. We had six people and one bathroom when the kids were growing up. And we really did ok.”

Then mama says, “We had four people and no bathroom. Or running water.” OK, you win. She does still outwit me. Dang.

Anyway, this Rotarian article also goes on to say, “History teaches us that the world is much bigger than our personal experience. Just because your family treats women with respect doesn’t mean everyone does. Just because you’ve never seen a gay teenager beaten doesn’t mean such horrors don’t happen. The great benefit of history is that it teachers us more than we could ever learn through our own lives. We have the collective experiences of millions of people, and the lessons they’ve learned. But all that wisdom is for nothing if we don’t pass it along.”

So learn something.

And pass it along.

Let’s work at not being so stupid.

Benjamin Franklin said it well, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

Rise above stupid.

Heck, rise above normal.

Read a book. Learn something new every day.

Share it and you’ll have smarter friends, too.

Quit spending time with friends that talk about the same thing every time. Or make a pact to get past there. Crawl up out of the gutter. We all should.

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” Maya Angelou wrote those words. You should learn something about the horrific things that happened to this amazing and revered woman. It will make you appreciate your life more.

There are several things approaching the amazingly appreciated in my world this week. Linda Hill Crop Insurance is appreciated for her sponsorship of the Guymon Farmers Market. And each Saturday morning I see people loving the market. They probably appreciate Linda Hill and her staff, too. Well, except for Markie Kidwell who got there too late on Saturday to get a loaf of Reyna’s jalapeno cheese beer bread. Sorry Markie. Lots of people seem to appreciate Reyna’s bread!

And Main Street Guymon has their first child daycare member! Children’s Garden Daycare has joined and we all appreciate Shaunda Williams and her people. Even the kids. And kids sometimes are harder to appreciate. Well, for me. Probably not for Shaunda.

If you’re interested, they are remodeling the daycare and they currently have some positions open for kids. They also accept drop – ins for all you moms that are trying to be better moms.

“We are fun,” Shaunda said to me in an email, “LOVE kids, and want to provide a home – like atmosphere.” I’m proud they’re part of Main Street Guymon.

Don’t miss the Healthy Moment on Thursday, July 24, at Play Like A Girl Gym from 5 – 6 pm. There will be healthy snacks, blood pressure checks, a demonstration from Play Like A Girl, plants and herbs from Mary Long (gardening is healthy and so is the Farmers Market where Mary Long is each Saturday morning). You also come by and will have a chance to win $100 in the drawing at 6! Be there. We would love to see you.

See you on the bricks. Appreciate all you do for our community, too!

July 15, 2014

I recently read this little sign thing that made me laugh. “I don’t like morning people … or mornings … or people.” That’s not me but we all know someone that seems to live that way, don’t we?

It isn’t a good idea to be the grouchy one that everyone “unfollows” on facebook because you continually whine. It isn’t a good idea to be the one everyone leaves the room when you come in because you only say negative things. And you’re not going to have many friends to go out to eat with if you don’t get rid of our sour attitude.

Whatever is making you grouchy is either something you need to accept or fix. And I promise what you’re going through, there are people with worse problems that aren’t taking the world and their friends and family down with them. Get a grip. Get over yourself and just get things done.

Bad days happen. Bad weeks happen. Bad years happen (I remember when we lost both crops in 1980 and had three babies … not a stellar year). But that doesn’t need to make you want to make everyone else unhappy with you.

Act happy and pretty soon you’ll start feeling happier.

There is always another way to look at things. Reminds me of the little story. The patient says to his doctor, “The problem is that obesity runs in our family.”

“No,” replies the doctor, “the problem is that no one runs in your family.”

Speaking of families, I had a family reunion in Colorado in June. A clan gathering. With 36 first cousins, many of whom are very prolific (Johnny wins that award with his 11 children), the gathering usually has a large number of people there. And many of them are large. Or at least tall. Let me just say that we can certainly fill up a room better than most families.

Crazy is a relative term in my family. Our family puts the FUN in dys-FUN-ctional.

Yeah, I bet you wish you had been there. It’s a hoot. We all tend to think we’re pretty funny. And we do have storytelling time. About each other. There’s nothing like it. Fun times.

It isn’t easy being a Grantham. We have certain expectations of one another. But then it’s easy because we accept one another despite the fact that we cannot live up to all expectations. It’s a nice place to be.

A few other nice places to be include the Children’s Health Fair on July 17 at the Activity Center from 3 to 6 pm; the Wit and Wisdom Evening catered by Virgil Gibson on July 21 at 5:30 pm at Pioneer Hall (but your $20 tickets now because only 36 are being sold); and don’t miss the Healthy Moment at Play Like a Girl, 116 E 6th Street, from 5:00 – 6:00 pm and you have the chance to win $100 in Main Bucks if you attend.

And the PBR, professional bull riding, is July 26th! That is going to be a great event. Be sure to be there.

Azuma: An African Celebration is Aug. 10 and going to be another fantastic afternoon.

And BE AWARE that the Guymon Shopping Tournament is just around the corner and someone will earn the right to take home $1,500!!!!!!!

See you on the bricks!

July 10, 2014

Had a conversation with a friend this week and we were talking about success. What is the gauge for success? I don’t believe that it is the amount of money you earn, the fancy car you own, or any other material things. I tend to think that if you’re taking care of your business, being responsible for those that you are accountable for, being a good person who is kind to others, then you can be considered a success.

As a profession, a bad doctor is not as successful as a great waitress.

A great preacher is not a success if he does not take care of his family.

A professional athlete that only considers himself is only a good athlete, but not a successful person in my book.

And that is a bit harsh. Because there are no perfect humans left on the earth. But we can keep trying to be a better person, a better employee, and a better parent or aunt or son.

Then that leads to what Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Another good point.

Through working with some of the OPSU Upward Bound kids, I met Jocelynn Avalos. She job shadowed me, which means she helped do all sorts of things that I have not taken the time to get done. She was wonderful. And she sent a thank you note that I hope she doesn’t mind if I share …

“Although I did not know you before, seeing all your accomplishments gave me the judgment of you being a successful person. When I spent more time with you I realized that not only were you successful, but a caring and amazing person as well.

“I enjoyed making your day a little easier, completing your tasks. Your words of advice are cherished and taken to heart. Thank you for listening and your amazing hugs.

“I appreciate you allowing me into your workplace and everything you do for our community.”

It made me tear up. She is the one who was helping as a volunteer. I was the one being helped. She is the one that listened to the old woman talk and talk. I was the one that had a listener giving me attention. And yet she is the one who said thank you. She is the one that deserves the thanks.

Reading that makes me want to act better. Be kinder. Not to cuss so much. You know all those little things we do and don’t admit …

Then I remember Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” So then I have to admit, Jocelynn and I are both a success, together. And I was blessed several times over.

What have you done lately to be a success?

What have you done to help another be successful?

We’re very busy working on Azuma: An African Celebration for August. All those committee folks and volunteers are going to bring us another fabulous and wonderful celebration of Africa again, this year on August 10. Mark it on your calendar.

Recently in our Rotarian magazine the President, who is from China, I think, said, “In English, you say, ‘It is better to light a single candle than to sit and curse the darkness.’

“… There are so many people who need help. Many people look at this and say, ‘There is nothing I can do.’ So they do nothing – and nothing changes.”

If it’s time for a change in your daily world, make it. And remember that opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Get after it.

And I’ll see you on the bricks!

July 7, 2014

It’s been a full week! Full of fun, for sure. Last week we had our Main Street Guymon Taco Dinner and Bingo Evening fund raiser. It went really well. I am so grateful to all those who worked and planned, made salsa and desserts, those who came. And especially to the Guymon Swim Team.

The Swim Team came and ate tacos and then played bingo. They made up a very large part of our crowd. I hope they had fun. We sure were proud to have them there. Makes me think I might have to go to a crazy swim meet!

But to make it even better, Bianca Hernandez was a young swimmer that won $23 in Bingo. She donated the money to the Guymon Gators scholarship fund. This is a scholarship that goes to a swimmer based on academic achievement and leadership ability.

Bianca, whether she wins at the swim meets or not, is a winner.

Her parents should be proud of their daughter. I am and I don’t even know her!

So on my Fan List (which includes the Denver Broncos and OKC Thunder) I now add the Guymon Gators.

Talk about being a fan, I just read the book “Winter Garden” by Kristin Hannah. It was so good that over the weekend I looked for others from the author. And found one! You know, I bought two sacks of books at the Used Book Store … and never got past the first aisle. There are some things I can really do well and buy books is one of them.

Here are a few things to think about … 1. If you have kids that are acting bored and have all their chores done, consider the YMCA Day Camp. There are weekly rates. Call 468-YMCA to get that moving!

2. Do you need help hauling trash off? If you do, call Main Street Guymon at 338-6246. We do appreciate donations, but there isn’t a charge.

3. The Chamber of Commerce Golf Scramble is July 12. You need to have a team in it! Support a wonderful organization … call 580-461-2655.

4. Also on July 12 is the Women’s Ranch Rodeo. This is going to be great! Call 580-651-4510 for more information.

5. The Professional Bull Riding event is July 26. That is going to be some sort of fun! You can get your tickets at the Chamber, all PTCI locations, XIT For and Hart Dodge in Dalhart, Crazy House in Liberal. Don’t miss this one!

6. And for runners, you need to sign up for the Aug. 2 Green Jean Run. It all goes to a good cause.

Now, your goal for the week (if I can be so obliging as to assist with setting your goals) is to decide to be happy this week. Abraham Lincoln said, “I have found that most people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” My dad told me that “Happiness is a decision. It doesn’t matter what you have or who you’re with, you can decide to be happy.” My dad and Abraham Lincoln seem to be a lot alike. But my dad doesn’t have a beard.

Here’s another one. Be a beautiful person. The sign of a beautiful person is that they always see beauty in others.

See all you beautiful people on the bricks!