By Doris Schroeder
This morning the late December sun is shining on our white, glistening front porch that faces toward the north. It is again a sheet of ice. Early in the morning I took my “picker-upper” and pulled the morning paper into the house, hardly daring to step out on the slick porch and falling down. Yesterday the paper never even arrived because of the ice and I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw it this morning.
Winter in Kansas is ever changing through the years. However, the comfort of a warm house, the cup of hot coffee or green tea is always around to comfort us. That is, if the electricity is still on. This year we haven’t lost it even once and we are so grateful.
By this time we have welcomed a new year into our lives, and wonder what this one will bring. Every year seems to bring more and more alterations to our way of life. I recall younger days when change came about more slowly. In the early days I remember writing with a scratchy ink-dipped pen. As I entered high school, the ball point pen arrived and I marveled at the ease of which I could pen my assignments. Then I was introduced to the typewriter and breezed through my papers… well, almost.
Finally, as the years flew by, the computer made its debut, and although I was skeptical at first, finally succumbed at the insistence of our youngest grandson, Mike. Now I wonder how I ever managed before its existence.
But then, those were just physical things. By the time I went to high school, I had had to change schools seven times because of my family’s moving. I ached to stay in one high school all four years and when it was possible I loved it.
Attending Buhler High did not come easy by any means. My freshman year, I stayed with my little Grandma on Buhler’s Main Street…Anna Lange. She could not speak English so we used sign language. I enjoyed the sounds of the little town of Buhler…even the sounds of Leroy Esau practicing his trumpet down the block every early morning, the chatter of my girlfriends as we’d talk about our latest crushes in school, mostly short-lived.
We had no patrols, no checking for guns and firearms, no questioning about the use of drugs. Life was nice and simple. The absolute worse thing that could happen was to be called into the principal’s office and be scolded by Mr. Stuckey. Of course, the ones who suffered through that were mostly the boys as we girls never even thought of doing anything that was not right! Well, let’s say, most of the time. We might get scolded just a bit from our Home Ec. teacher for talking too much and not getting our sewing done, but even that was done with a hint of a smile!
There was, however, one huge no-no if we took English or Literature under Esther Pankratz. If anyone was so brash as to chew gum in class, we all knew what would happen. The offender would be greatly embarrassed as Miss Pankratz sent
the wastebasket sliding down the aisle to stop at precisely the spot where the culprit sat. They would then sheepishly spit out their gum into the container.
I must hasten to add, however, that Miss Pankratz was one of my favorite teachers. As she read some of the literary selections, I remember looking out the open window of our classroom and imagining the events she read about.
All through my growing up years I absolutely loved living in the United States of America. Almost all the people I met growing up in different parts of our country, seemed to have the same feeling. Although not everyone was a Christian, they at least respected God and each other, and life, to me, at least, seemed great. It is so sad to see the changes that have come to our country. Children are not taught the history of the United States as we were at one time. The God who created this world in order to guide people and help them, has been left out in the cold. People have become more self-centered and it is sad.
We are very fortunate we can have the help we need if we depend on the One who created us and are part of his family. If we do that, we can take the world changes that occur because our God never changes!
Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at [email protected]