Category Archives: Daily Life

Remembering high school

Five years ago, I was inducted into the Lee’s Summit High School Hall of Fame.

As I near the unbelievable thought of a 40-year reunion of high school classmates later this year, I keep thinking of that visit back to LSHS in April 2014.

I was surrounded by love that evening.  My sisters and their spouses, my father and step-mother, treasured music teachers from my childhood, my high school guidance counselor, a few old friends.

Here’s the blog entry from five years ago:

35 years later….

This week’s menu

Back the menu-making for a couple of weeks before traveling again . . . .

Sunday, 9 June (sourdough day)
Homemade buttermilk biscuits with homemade jam and marmalade
I’m craving Tex-Mex for lunch
Chicken in a white wine/lemon sauce, couscous, salad

Monday, 10 June (make a vanilla cream pie)
Bacon and eggs and fresh sourdough toast
Ham salad and fruit
Dinner with my sister Beth

Tuesday, 11 June
Bacon and eggs and toast, fruit
Lunch meeting at the office
Brisket, Dauphinoise potatoes, salad

Wednesday, 12 June
Bacon and eggs, fruit
Ham on sourdough toast, fruit, pie
Brisket and such

Thursday, 13 June
Sourdough French toast, fruit
Leftover chicken, pie
Brisket, beans, and a cooked apple

Friday, 14 June
Sourdough French toast and bacon, fruit
Lunch on the run
Steak, salad, and pie

Saturday, 15 June
Sausage roll and eggs, fruit
Lunch with a former student at Southwest Diner
Brisket, beans, salad

Grocery list:

  • Brisket
  • Lard
  • Potatoes for fries
  • Apple
  • Chicken
  • Yogurt
  • Tonic water


My latest trip to Morocco included some souvenirs.  The handmade pottery plates will arrive in a few weeks, since I had them shipped.  But the new pillows came home with me.

I stuffed these pillows and sewed up the openings this week.

The Greek evil eye pillow in front came from Athens three years ago. Behind that is the new pillow from Morocco.

These are substantial pillows — heavy wool, made by hand on a loom, by Berber women.  Or so I was told.  In any event, I like them!

Learning to swim

I have said for decades that I am God’s most un-athletic creation.

Witness: somersaults were difficult for me.  Coach Lang told my mother (I was in 8th grade) that I had the body of a 40-year-old, even though I was 14.  Last one picked?  Always me or two other guys in my gym class.

Years of therapy have helped me overcome the emotional trauma.

And then last week, traveling with Kevin, I got to reminiscing about learning how to swim.

We lived in Hannibal.  The YMCA was across the street from Fifth Street Baptist Church where we attended.  I have a dank recollection of an even danker basement pool, and swimming lessons.  Unsuccessful swimming lessons.

We moved to Lee’s Summit in 1971.  Either that summer or the next, I was yet again enrolled in swimming lessons.  Beginning lessons, mind you.  Lee’s Summit Municipal Pool, corner of 291 and 3rd Street.  The lessons were unsuccessful.

I splashed in the pool well enough.  And I dog-paddled brilliantly.  And the diving board was not a problem if I could hold my nose when hitting the water.

The problem: I hated getting water in my nose.  And I still do.  Just this weekend I sniffled while showering, got some water in my nose, and went to a paroxysm of hacking coughs.  So, the freestyle stroke was a problem.  Put my face in the water?  Not on your life.

The next summer dawned, and Mom again had me in lessons. This time at White Ridge pool, a private pool in the White Ridge subdivision on the other side of town. And thus it was that, as I finished 6th grade, I took swimming lessons for two weeks before the beginning First Baptist Church vacation bible school. The teacher was patient and kind, and knew what to do with awkward, un-athletic, no-nose-in-the-water pre-pubescent types who later turn out to be decent swimmers, but who would rather be playing the piano.

And I passed beginning swimming lessons just before turning 12 years old.

1973. My mother made that jacket for me out of pure polyester double-knit.