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On The Bricks Archives

Monthly Archives: May 2019

May 30, 2019

My Uncle Clyde’s funeral is Saturday and I’ve been asked to read some memories of his childhood that he wrote in 2006. My dad is also speaking, so we have been reading a little in the family history books. It’s been interesting.

One of the things that Uncle Clyde talked about was his attitude about work. He worked road construction early on and was often first hired and last laid off. He said that “after the major job was done, other guys would sit around, but I would keep busy … even if it was just picking up nails. So, the bosses kept me on longer.”

It made me remember the only big chastising I got from my father. We were laying rock and I was a sophomore in high school. My job was to make the concrete. It’s hard work, shoveling sand and cement into that little mixer, shoving it into buckets and carrying it to Papa. At one point, Papa asked me to do something and I just wilted, saying, “I can’t.” I was so tired.

He stopped working … and he had been working twice as hard as me … and said in a very stern voice, “You are not allowed to say, ‘I can’t.’ You say, ‘I’ll try.’” I had done something unacceptable to my kind and caring father. That day made a real impact on me.

And last week, one of the cousins posted on Facebook about Grandpa Grantham (Papa and Uncle Clyde’s father) and how when he said the prayers before a meal he always started his prayer, “Dear Lord, thank you for our work.”

Generations of my family have been impacted by Grandpa Grantham, a young married man and father during the Great Depression. This morning I received a group text from my eldest son, who is a mechanic for a gas company. The text was accompanied a picture of some big motor.

He wrote, “Man, I love when things go smooth and I can drop in a new piston first shot! It’s a beautiful morning!”

His sister texted back, “… since you’re a hard worker.” She was proud of her brother.

Thank you, Lord, for our work and for family that appreciates the blessings you give us in so many ways.

Now, I really need to get to work and get something accomplished today! Grandpa Grantham and Papa need to be proud, not disappointed in me!

Hope you enjoy your work today.

See you on the bricks.

May 23, 2019

One of my daughters gave me a book entitled “Between Me and You, Mom” and it has a bunch of open – ended questions to answer. The questions are ones that bring out things your kids might be interested in known about you or about what you think. Some of the questions were pretty thought provoking and took some time to answer.

As I went back and read what was asked and my answers, I thought that these would be good things to bring up in conversation between parents and kids. So often we think we know so much about someone, but the truth is that there is so much more to everyone.

So, one of the interesting questions was, “What interests and characteristics have you seen in me (your children) that you also had once upon a time?”

Every one of our kids has some of the same qualities as we, their parents. And when we find commonalities, then it’s it seems to be an easier relationship.

That question was followed by, “What characteristics do you think you and I share now?”

We can even bring in the grandparents as part of the conversation, if we want.

The next question was, “How do you think we are different?”

When I answered this one, I had to admit that my eldest son, Justin, has more patience than me and I always wish I was better at that. Missy is so happy to be at home; she loves being home and I wish I didn’t have such a wandering soul sometimes. I love how stable she is for her family. Lucas is such a researcher. I admire that in him because he goes to gain knowledge whereas I pretty much prefer to just be entertained. Lisa is very compassionate, and she has a willingness to DO something with her compassion. She acts out her compassion, helping people by cooking or babysitting or painting or visiting. That takes guts and energy.

Those are things that I should tell my children that I admire those qualities. We forget to tell our kids, too often, what we love about them. I’m pretty good at telling them what I think they’ve done poorly, and I should be just as diligent in telling them their good points.

And then there is the big question … “What do you think is my best quality?” Boy, this is one we need to tell our kids. They may not even realize we have noticed.

My eldest, Justin, is very accepting of people and their differences. He’s also opinionated, and I pray he doesn’t become so much more that he loses this acceptance. He has been a friend of the whole world for most of his life.

I respect Missy’s love of teaching. She loves helping people learn and bettering themselves. She nurtures all who let her and when we don’t, it can hurt her feelings. She was born to help people along their way.

Lucas’ best quality, in my opinion, is his intensity. I can also be his most irritating at times. To be around someone who lives life with such intensity and passion reminds me to never forget to live.

Lisa’s best quality is her earnest and fair honesty. She loves life and all that goes with it. It is heavenly to be part of her reality.

To be fair, I have three in – laws that deserve to know the same things. I am going to work on doing that because I have been very blessed with the folks my children have chosen to marry.

Then to book poses the question, “What do you think is my not – so – best quality?” I’m not going to share all my answers there, but I do have to repeat what I wrote about Lisa. “Lisa being the matchmaker for every stray dog is an emotional roller coaster for her.” So, it’s not my favorite quality because it is so hard on her. I do think it’s a good thing for someone to do, though.

And lastly, “So far, have I turned out pretty much the way you expected I would? Any surprises?”

So, maybe this little books questions have raised some topics you could visit with your kids about … they could be interesting!

The recent graduation cards could hold a few of these types of comments in them. Hope you’re all enjoying the graduations with your family and friends.

Support Group for Diabetics is at the Heritage Community Assisted Living facility at 5:30 pm on May 27.

Family Game Night at the Guymon Public Library is May 28 from 5 to 7 pm.

I read in the newspaper that the Carson and Barnes Circus will be at the fairgrounds on May 30 with shows at 4:30 and 7:30 pm.

Friends of the Library Afternoon Friendship Tea with Author Jodi Thomas is June 1 at 3 pm in the library.

Some fun things coming up to do in Guymon!

See you on the bricks.

May 13, 2019

April 2019 has gone and the official Community Clean – Up month is over. The community worked hard to spiff up a little and get ready for company coming to town. The number of hours reported back to Main Street Guymon on clean – up hours is 825.5.

“This is the number of hours turned in to us,” says Main Street Director Melyn Johnson. “I am sure it does not include everyone’s extra efforts to pick up trash, mow, plant flowers, paint, and whatever else they’ve done. So, this is a great turn out.”


Evlyn Schmidt, a retired OPSU librarian, worked on four different crews during the Community Clean – Up in Guymon. She was probably part of the reason each of those groups joined in the trash pick up during the month of April. The Main Street Guymon Board of Directors appreciate the volunteers who make the programs, such as the Community Clean – Up, possible. Were it not for our volunteers, we would only be an idea. View all photos on Facebook.

Many businesses got into the groove and joined, including

  • Bank of the Panhandle,
  • Memorial Hospital,
  • PCHC,
  • PTCI,
  • Top Hand Western Store, and
  • Verizon.

Others have said that they’re still planning to step up in May!

School groups really stepped up. They include, from OPSU, the

  • Science Club,
  • football players,
  • HALO (Hispanic American Leadership Organization),
  • PBL (business club), and
  • OPSU Upward Bound.

Guymon school groups included the

  • Alma Folklorica Dancers,
  • GHS BPA (business club), and
  • junior high students.

Several church groups pitched in, too.

  • The Connections Church,
  • First Christian Church,
  • Nazarene Church youth,
  • Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispanic church,
  • Seventh Day Adventist Pathfinders, and
  • Victory Center youth all helped.

The largest group of helpers involved the local organizations such as

  • Boy Scouts,
  • Girl Scouts,
  • Glasswing Garden Club,
  • Guymon 4-H,
  • Junior 4-H,
  • Lions Club,
  • Recycle Guymon,
  • Rose Garden Club,
  • Texas County Democrats, and
  • YMCA.

Some local individuals worked and cleaned up on public lands, too. Those that send in their time included Linda Burke, Vonda Wilkins, Jim Norris and crew, Bob and Paula Lucas, and Jill and Mac Johnson.

Several people need to be recognized for their efforts, although everyone who participated (whether turning in hours or not) should be commended. Evlyn Schmidt, a retired librarian, helped three different groups pick up trash and was given the Main Street Guymon Vital Volunteer for her work. Teri Mora brought in three different groups from OPSU and the high school that put in a huge number of accumulated hours. She is also one of the many who has been a part of this program for almost ten years. Bob Lucas is over 85 years old and picked up trash along Highway 136 South.

“The people inspired me,” says Johnson. “They just do what needs to be done and it’s not for the pats on the back or for any other reason that it’s the right thing to do. They are what make this a great place to be.”

The volunteers picked up trash or did other clean-up along all the highway entrances coming into Guymon, along Main Street / Highway 64, at the county fairgrounds, at all the community parks, along the railroad easement in town, at the airport, along East Street, down some of the alleys, on the school campus, around the hospital, at the nursing home, Kid’s Inc. ball fields, at the rodeo grounds, at the post office, at the Y, and other areas.

“Thank you to all who helped,” said Johnson. “And thanks to those who are still working on some of the clean – up projects in May. You’re all community heroes!”

May 11, 2019

Reading is a joy to me. Having a good book in hand can make any day bearable. Books are an adventure to be taken, facts to learn, and experience to aspire to.

Books are my friends.

Friends that don’t talk bad about you. Friends that don’t expect you to do things that are difficult for you. Friends that don’t require your undivided attention. Friends that don’t talk down to you.

Books are safe.

My mama read to me when I was young. The kid’s dad and I read to them when they were young. In fact, their dad would be so animated reading to them, everyone sitting on the little twin bed, that it is a favorite memory of those days. You can hand down the love of books.

We read to all four of the kids, but not all read books the way Lucas does. Yet they know of books and have seen the joy they can bring.

There are many things that we hand down to our kids and grandkids. Not just the DNA things like eye color, big hands, curly hair, but how we react and act to certain instances.

Our children can learn to take responsibility for their own actions from us.

Our children can learn how to treat others from us.

Our children can learn how to show respect from us.

Our children can learn a good work ethic from us.

Our children can learn how to eat without making noise or being gross from us.

Our children can learn how to be clean from us.

Or they can learn other things.

No matter how many kids we have, each will take the same lessons and turn them into their own person. But we are an important part of the root of these choices. And yet their choice is what they follow is their call, their responsibility.

And my mistakes are not the fault of my parents.

It’s a harsh day when we realize this, but it’s the day that begin to grow into the individual humans we are. It is also when we start to realize that our parents did the best they could at the time. And when we are the parent, we also won’t be perfect. I shudder, remembering some of the mistakes I made as a mom. But we do the best we can at the time.

Mother’s Day just passed. I hope you could focus on the good things about your mother and grandmother and about the good things that they gave their children. I hope you were able to let the regrets rest that day.

And for those who had children, I hope you had a blessed Mother’s Day.

For those who love someone as a mother, I hope you had a blessed Mother’s Day.

For those who have stepchildren, I hope you had a blessed Mother’s Day.

For those who have a pet that is their child, I hope you had a blessed Mother’s Day.

For all the Godmother’s, I hope you had a blessed Mother’s Day.

And for all those who have buried a child or not carried a child full term, my prayers were with you on Mother’s Day.

See you on the bricks.

May 10, 2019

I hear so much about leadership, being a leader, developing leadership skills, and all that stuff. Never has there been a How to be a Follower class, has there? I guess because that’s just easy to do. But there should be a class on How to be an Excellent Helper. That isn’t so easy.

And then you learn that being a great helper is one of the aspects of leadership.

This can be so confusing.

In a recent Toastmaster magazine, an article said, “Great leaders last because they lead themselves first.”

Seems to only add to the confusion, so I read on.

The writer says there are five traits to outstanding leadership. The first one is the “head,” or the brain, but specifically, learning. We need to keep learning to make better decisions.

“When we stop learning,” writes Mohammed Murad, “our brains start deteriorating, as do our leadership capabilities. The ‘head’ in leadership entails a relentless thirst for knowledge … leadership requires balance, not only in gaining knowledge but also in being levelheaded in decision – making. Balance helps us carefully weigh possible outcomes or consequences of decisions we make.”

He says the second trait is “heart. It takes a strong heart to take risk …. Yet risks that are fortified with knowledge and with balance from the head become calculated risks.

“For example, Mahatma Gandhi took a huge risk when deciding to lead India’s non – violent protests against British rule. His heart was drawn to leading change, yet he wasn’t acting impulsively. His actions were based on the knowledge he gained while studying law in England, along with his experience …

“His knowledge, coupled with his legal background, turned his calculated risk into one of the greatest leadership journeys in history – one that led India to independence and inspired peaceful protest and civil rights movements for years to come.

“In addition to his passion and knowledge, Gandhi used another aspect of the heart: empathy. He cared greatly for those he wanted to help. Taking a risk and focusing purely on goals, without regard to people, deprives leaders of a crucial element – loyal followers, who believe in the goal and in the leader.

Health is the third trait. “Health is often neglected by some leaders, who think they lack the time to tend to their own well – being. It is flawed thinking to believe that achieving goals is the utmost priority without considering how both the head and the heart will weaken without physical and mental health. A holistic approach needs to include the three main elements of attaining physical health: nutrition, exercise and sleep.”

Fourth is humility. “Successful leadership will only be attained if followers feel genuinely appreciated and treated with respect. That achievement begins with respect for oneself.

“Only humble leaders can be generous in giving due credit to whomever deserves it.

“Humility requires being a good listener, a trait that conveys a person is caring and is comfortable putting other people first. Leadership begets more leaders. Outstanding leaders treat everyone else as if they are also leaders or leaders waiting to emerge.

“Humility is often confused with passivity or meekness. This is not true. A leader can be humble but also aggressive in achieving goals and taking risks.”

The fifth trait is happiness. “We have many reasons for wanting to better lead ourselves or others, but the true and ultimate reason to lead is to achieve happiness…. To find our leader within ourselves, we must remove our self – doubt, along with the tendency to doubt others, and be confident.”

If happiness is the goal, then we should all aspire to become leaders.

I don’t know about you, but I need to work on number three. Badly. It is time for me to “quit dinking around” as my dad would say. Is there one of those traits you are thinking you need to concentrate on for a bit?

Interesting. And still a little confusing.

I hope you all had a wonderful Pioneer Days. It sure looked the class reunion was having a good time. And for those who have been attending graduations, I hope each of your graduates have a blessed ceremony and time.

We have had lots of visitors this past month. There’s also the OPSU rodeo, the Five State motorcyclists and the bronc school participants. For each of you that helped welcome our visitors, thank you!

Catch you on the bricks!