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On The Bricks Archives

Monthly Archives: April 2019

April 30, 2019

This month has been filled with blessings. Over 750 volunteer hours reported in and who knows how many done without me knowing. It is daunting. It is glorious. To have so many people willing to give time just to make their community look better, just to have some pride in our town, is amazing.

But through the month, checking places that need cleaned up, checking them after a crew goes to them, my eye started being drawn to trash. Yes, I noticed the water bottle that someone tossed out or it blew out of the back of a pick up. Yes, I wondered why the shop owner didn’t take those 20 steps and lean over and toss it. Yes, I found myself being a little critical at times.

Last Saturday, after handing out vests and trash bags and talking about places to go and clean – up, I drove to Goodwell to watch the OPSU Aggie baseball team win their last home game of the season. The weather was perfect. The company sitting by me on the bleachers was interesting. It was a great day. My mind was filled with happy thoughts, my face had a smile.

Then I drove on home and as I approached my house, the community clean – up trash filled mind came back. I saw it. My house was one of those that I wondered why someone didn’t take the time to mowed. Yeah, it was me.

Those moments are just harsh. They make us remember that there are times we do and are the very thing that we are working against. So, I got my rear end in gear and got a check to who does my lawn. The very day, I lawn was mowed and I had a lesson.

When we’re feeling critical, we might need to take a moment and consider our own story.

And while we’re talking about trashy stories, let me share a few.

A group of high school kids, under the leadership of Teri Mora, had two hours set aside for clean – up. They divided up and went to several areas. If they finished before quitting time, 11 am, then they went to the area behind Wall’s. That hill catches all sorts of trash. We have lots of wind and much of it deposits trash there on that hill.

At 11, the crew leader called out that it was quitting time. Most of the kids said they would leave when the job was done. And they stayed another 20 minutes and finished the job.

Those are the kids that I want to hire. They are the ones I want on my team. This work ethic why there are times we see greatness in our town.

How about the fact that my mom and her husband, 81 – years – old and over 85 – years – old, came and got trash bags and picked up trash on Highway 136 south. That can make a person feel guilty for not getting of their duff for an hour.

And Evlyn Schmidt, a retired librarian who came in with three different groups and picked up trash. Or maybe it was four groups. Anyway, she put in a lot of Main Street Guymon time in April.

What a great month. Over 750 hours have been turned in thus far on community clean – up and I know there were a lot of other people who did the work but didn’t feel inclined to tell me. There were businesses that paid their employees to do some of this community service. There were others that did the work on their property that needed done. What it amounts to, no matter how it got done, things are looking better around here!

Take a walk around your place and see how it looks. Tell those you saw working at it that they did a good job. And thank you to all of you. You make me proud.

And remember, the wind blew since we picked up trash, so some has been rearranged. Let’s not wait until the September Community Clean – Up to pick it up!

While you’re on the bricks, take a look at RC Party and More’s building façade at 5th and Main. Looking good. Looking good.

See you on the bricks!

April 27, 2019

There are some sayings about procrastinators and the art of procrastination that make me laugh. But working with someone who is a procrastinator doesn’t make me laugh. Or even grin. And procrastinating myself about something can certainly raise my level of anxiety.

The March Toastmaster magazine had an article giving advice for us when we do procrastinate. This advice makes a lot of sense.

Mel Robbins, a motivational speaker, has a Five Second Rule. That rule is that if you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within five seconds or your brain will kill the idea.

Neuroscientists have found that people have about a five second gap between a stimulus and the way they typically respond to it. She believes it is within that gap that we have the power to change our lives.

“When you decide to do something, count back 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1, and immediately take action. The more you do that, the more your brain gets wired for action and the less you’ll fall victim to your mental resistance.”

Instead of hitting the snooze button in the morning, Robbins counted down five seconds and propelled herself from bed. She did it again and again over the coming days and discovered she had a brief window of time before her mind killed her positive thoughts.

She believes if you don’t start doing the things that feel difficult or uncomfortable – if you simply wait around for motivation to strike – you’ll wake up a year from now in the same place.

Robbins had several other suggestions with the Five Second Rule. If there is something that must be done, now: concentrate. Eliminate distractions like social media, email, text, or phone calls (forward calls to voicemail or turn off phone apps and notifications) and focus on the task at hand.

If there is no obvious urgency with a task and it can be moved back, do so. You can purposely procrastinate responding to emails and set a time later in the day and answer them in a batch. Or on a bigger scale, put a freeze on hiring new employees after an unexpected change in corporate leadership.

“Robbins and other experts say setting limits on technology use can increase energy, sharpen our focus, and boost our daily work output.” Robbins herself says one of the most powerful changes she’s made in her life is to leave her phone in the closet at night to recharge. “No more keeping the phone by the bed so I can scroll through social media or answer work emails before bed or first thing in the morning,” she said. “I sleep so much better now and feel energized in the morning.”

The time of the day your mental ability peaks and you’re most productive is your “Einstein Window.” Save your most important tasks for these windows.

Taking a moment and backing away from work can improve your focus. A walk outside the office, ten minutes of checking in with another person can help recharge for challenges ahead.

And use accountability measures.

These are some suggestions from that article that might help us to accomplish some big and small goals.

And never forget the great quote by Ellen DeGeneres, “Procrastinate now, don’t put it off.”

Pioneer Day week has begun, and I love this time of year! The town looks wonderful this year with all the community clean – up that has happened, the streets are freshly painted, and the grass is green. I believe pioneers are the perfect people to celebrate here. Some are descendants of folks who left their home and settled here, and we have people who just recently did so. All pioneers in their own right. Strong people. Brave people. Adventurous people.

Don’t miss whichever part of Pioneer Days is your favorite. I love the Saturday morning free breakfast. It takes place at the commercial building on the fairgrounds early in the morning. There are so many good things happening, the parade, the carnival, the Old Timer’s Registration (and you don’t have to be old to be an Old Timer … just 50 years in the Panhandle area or so) and they have free doughnuts, the mercantile, rodeo, Rotary BBQ, the boats and train at Thompson Park, and so much more.

See you on the bricks!

April 23, 2019

Readers Digest is a magazine that condenses stories and reruns them from other places. I read last month’s Readers Digest and I’m going to give it a whirl to condense the condensed story … hoping you enjoy it as much as I did.

Angela Peter’s rolled her wheelchair into a nail salon located at the Walmart shopping center in Michigan with the idea of bedazzling her fingers. But Peters, who has cerebral palsy, was turned away. The salon (not owned by Walmart), she says, told her they were afraid it would be too difficult to properly paint her nails given that her hands shook.

Watching Peter’s disappointment a few feet away was a Walmart cashier about to go on her break. Ebony Harris, 40, later said, “She’s a girlie girl. She’s just like you, me, my daughter, anybody. She wants to look pretty. So why can’t she?”
Harris, who had a break from work, approached Peters and offered to do her nails. They went to the beauty aisle where they bought a bright blue nail polish. Then they went to a neighboring Subway, found a table for two, and Harris gently took Peter’s hand into hers and began painting her nails.

A fellow Walmart employee stopped and suggested to add a little extra zing. So, they added some glitter polish.

Subway employee Tasia Smith watched the gentleness displayed by Harris while the two chatted as if they were old friends. Smith wrote about it on Facebook and said, “Thank you to the Walmart workers for making this beautiful girl’s day!”

There are so many ways that this story makes me have faith in humankind. We all have opportunities like the one presented to Ebony Harris, but we don’t all take advantage of them. Ebony Harris is a hero, in my book.

Another personal hero is my mother, Paula Lucas. She and her husband, Bob, came by yesterday and got some trash bags and went out and spent an hour picking up trash on the highway. My mother is 81 and Bob is at least five years older than she. Yeah, that’s impressive, you have to admit!

Don’t miss the OPSU Rodeo this weekend at the Hitch Arena on Sunset in Guymon. It’s free admission and there are some exceptional OPSU cowboys to cheer on. And they’ll probably be winning, too!

Hope your Easter was blessed with wonderful family and friends.

See you on the bricks!

April 17, 2019

Today it took two hours to get Community Clean – Up photos arranged and the information from the different crews doing litter pick – up and other work organized. That is amazing. Yes, amazing that I work so slow, but also amazing that we have so many people working to clean up Guymon and get ready for company (OPSU Rodeo on April 25, Pioneer Days the first week in May, and the Five State Motorcycle Run on May 11).

It is Spring and there is some serious Spring cleaning going on.

This is a public thank you to all of you that are pitching in and giving an hour or two, who are willing to put some sweat equity into the community. There are churches, businesses, individuals, and groups all doing something and expecting nothing back in return.

In fact, this month and every other month, you can call the Seventh Day Adventist Pathfinder Club if you are over 60 and need help with yard work, house cleaning, or other odd jobs. Call Pastor Lian at 405-896-0463.

There are some things to think about when you do trash pick – up. First, you’re a lot less likely to toss trash out if you’ve spent some timing picking it up. That is why it’s a good thing when you have the young ones go with you on your trash quest. Second, it makes us notice things that we see every day but have stopped actually noticing.

It is just a good thing, every way you look at it.

Blessings to each and every one of you that has helped in the Community Clean – Up!

Time to share a few things I’ve seen recently. This is on a shirt that I saw in a catalog. “Gym? Never heard of him.”

Now that made me laugh. And laugh. I just laughed again when I typed it.

A few pages later in the catalog was this winner: “Well, to be Frank, I’d have to change my name.”

Good one.

Here’s a little piece of trivia you might find interesting. Found this in Readers Digest. “Donnie Dunagan joined the Marines when he was 18, did three tours of duty in Vietnam, won a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts, and finally retired as a major. Yet in his 20 + year military career, he never told anyone about his connection to one of Hollywood’s quintessential tearjerkers. When he was six, Dunagan was the voice of Disney’s young Bambi.”

Hope you’re enjoying the Spring weather and the beautiful Redbud trees.

Here are some things going on around town that you might want to know about:

Jim Norris is selling chances on 10 pounds of beef tenderloin, 16 pounds of beef rib eye, a box of St. Louis pork ribs, and a 10 – pound box of pork chops to be given away in four different drawings. The proceeds of the drawing go to the Love Does project that helps pay for lunches for kids in school whose family has gotten behind. We all know that education takes a back seat when you’re hungry. And being embarrassed by the free sandwich is tough on kids, so Jim takes it upon himself to help those kids out without knowing who they are or them knowing who has helped. Tickets are $5 each and you can get them at Main Street Guymon or call Jim at 580-651-1018 for a ticket or two. The drawing was going to be on April 12, but that date has been extended.

Speaking of food, the Learning to Live Life with Diabetes Support Group meets on Monday, Apr. 22, at 5:30 pm in the beautiful Heritage Community Assisted Living Facility at 501 NE 15th Street. If you’re wanting more information, call Amanda Crawford at 580-338-3186.

Did you miss getting your high school diploma and want to go for your GED? There are free classes (although the GED test costs $136) in Guymon at the Academy School North Building, 712 N. Academy. This Adult Basic Education class is offered through Oklahoma Panhandle State University. To learn more about it, call 580-349-1552 (English) or 580-349-1538 (Spanish).

Hope all is good with you and yours.

See you on the Bricks!

April 10, 2019

I am 59 years old. When I turn 60 years old, I should be welcoming my sixth grandchild. I will also be celebrating, on that day, my father’s 81st birthday. So, to me, September 2 is a day that I look forward to. It is a day to celebrate. It isn’t a day to lie about how old I am.

Why are some people ashamed of having lived for so long? This is a question addressed in a Dec. 2018 Rotarian magazine.

The article was interesting.

“America has always been a country that celebrated youth. According to one study, it was around 1880 that attitudes toward older people started to become significantly more negative.” They seemed to believe it was partly due to the “medicalization” of old age, as well as the growing portion of the population over 65. Youth worship has increased since the end of World War II.

We are bomblasted with jokes about declining looks, declining memory, and declining reverence. Where in the past the love of youth was tempered with a respect for age, the respect seems to be going downhill.

“Now we think of aging as simply an inexorable decline that ends in death,” tells the article author, Frank Bures. “And our fear of death has become pathological.” But Bures says we can decline to decline.

“Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer took a group of eight elderly men, measured their biomarkers of aging, then took them on a retreat to a location she had decorated to look and feel like 1959.

“After living for a week in a world that looked and felt 20 years young, er, Langer measured the participants’ biomarkers again. The men were found to have improved hearing, better memory, more grip strength, and increased joint flexibility and dexterity. They were taller and their fingers were longer. More than half of them were smarter. In photos taken after the study, the participants were judged, by impartial observers, to be younger than in photos taken beforehand.

“Much of what we fear about aging – such as losing our hearing, eyesight, mobility, or memories – may actually be caused in part by our belief that we will lose those things.

“One study led by Yale School of Public Health psychologist Becca Levy found that people who hold a negative view of aging die an average of 7.5 years before those with a positive view of it. Another study found that women who believed they were at risk from heart disease were 3.6 times more likely to die of heart attacks than women with the same risk factors who believed they weren’t.

“Levy found that by subliminally giving older people positive aging stereotypes, after just four weeks, subjects showed improved strength, gait, and balance. Positive beliefs about aging can have a wide range of health benefits in addition to increased mobility: better hearing, memory, and cognitive function.”

So, let’s cut out the old age jokes. Levy says that we need to question our assumption that youth is the best tie in life and that everything after it is worse. The truth is that there are good and bad things about every stage of our life. We should be getting less foolish as we get older, less self – absorbed, have a richer perspective, more experience, and more great memories. She says, “We can choose to see ourselves as rotting or as ripening with age.”

Let’s choose ripe.

Talk about ripe … the Guymon Lions Club has been working for this community for decades. And they are the first group to report their community clean – up work this month. What an awesome group of people. They’re certainly a great part of who we are in Guymon.

So, what’s coming up that fun?

The Little Mermaid is at the Guymon Community Theater on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The sold out on Sunday and so don’t tarry on getting your reservations! Their telephone number is 580-338-0019.

April 13 is a full Saturday. The Ready Group gathers at 10 am in the First Christian Church and their special guests this month is the Alma Folklorica dancers. That’s another great group that is part of our uniqueness here in Guymon. This group of High School kids are under the direction of Teri Mora and learn more than just dancing. They are there for many community activities, helping out.

That same day is AggieFest at OPSU, a special event that they want their alumni to attend. Lots of various events, including a football scrimmage at 10 am. Music and fun in addition to football.

That afternoon is a Mother Daughter Tea at the Nazarene Church, 2 pm. Call 580-338-3553 for more information. It’s $5 a person to attend.

We also have a group of Nazarene Youth who are planning to do their community cleaning that morning of April 13.

A few Easter dates coming in include April 18 for the Easter Egg Hunt and Coloring at the Guymon Public Library. And April 19 is the Easter Egg Hunt at Heritage Community at 2 pm.

Come by the Main Street Guymon office on Friday at from noon to 1 pm if you would like to learn more about volunteering opportunities in Guymon. And while you’re here, pick up a ticket for the OPSU Women’s Basketball Fund Raiser BBQ plate to be picked up on April 20 for $10 or a $10 drawing for lots of great pork or beef, a fund raiser for Love Does (helping kids who are behind with their school lunches).

Lots to do! Lots of opportunities to help! Lots of ways to have fun with friends and family.

See you on the bricks.

April 5, 2019

Volunteer clipartYou can be a gift to your community.

Every person that gives of their time to do something good for their community or neighbors, with no expected return, is a gift to the community.

Most volunteers begin their work as a volunteer by being asked to help on a project. Often times they are voluntolds, being told to help by family members or employers.

But what usually happens is that a person learns how good it feels to be a giver. They learn the feeling of accomplishment when a project helps someone out. And they learn to appreciate what they have when they’re working to help where help is needed.

Some have missed that chance of being told or asked. Especially those who move into a community and don’t know the organizations that they can help. Some have been helping in some ways but would like to expand their focus into more areas.

Whatever your thoughts are on volunteering in the Guymon area, you have chance to ask questions and learn about opportunities here where people can help. It might be helping at a one – day event or being on a committee that plans an event or helping with some of the traditional events that always need helpers. You might also decide to join a club or organization that works at doing things all year long. Those organizations might be the community theatre, helping run the Lions train at Thompson Park, or just a two – hour stint helping at the Iron Thunder Motorcycle Run banquet.

Come to the table for the discussion on Volunteering at the Main Street Guymon office. It’s scheduled for the lunch hour, noon to 1 pm, on Friday, April 12. Attending will not mean you’re automatically committed! You can call Melyn Johnson at 580-383-6246 for more information.

April 1, 2019

We usually don’t see the whole picture.

This is a little story I read that sort of puts that in focus. I have no idea if the story is true or if it was made up to make a point. No matter, I like it.

“One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one of his older deacons to lead the opening prayer. The deacon stood up, bowed his head, and said, ‘Lord, I hate buttermilk.’

“The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going. The deacon continued, ‘Lord, I hate lard.’

“Now the pastor was totally perplexed. The deacon continued, ‘Lord, I ain’t too crazy about plain flour. But after you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em in a hot oven, I just love biscuits.’

“’Lord, help us to realize when life gets hard, when things come up that we don’t like, whenever we don’t understand what You are doing, that we need to wait and see what You are making. After you get through mixing and baking, it’ll probably be something even better than biscuits. Amen.’”

The big picture.

Life is more than today, so don’t get too set on what’s happening today. Have faith and look ahead to tomorrow. Enjoy today, but don’t let today mire you down.

We’ve got a survey out on the Main Street Guymon programs so that we can see just which programs the community really does care about. It is pretty senseless to keep ones that the community doesn’t like. We have over 100 returned at this point, which isn’t very many considering our population, but it is 100 more opinions than we had last month.

It would be a help to us if you would take the survey. Just email me at Director@MainStreetGuymon.com and I’ll send you the link. There are 24 questions and it takes about 4 minutes to do it.

Another opinion that you might need to think about giving is the election on April 2. We are lucky to have an abundance of candidates. Make your opinion count and vote.

This weekend is also the first weekend of the Guymon Community Theatre production of “The Little Mermaid!”

It’s a good day to be living in the Oklahoma Panhandle!

See you on the bricks.