I acknowledge some irritating little observations running through my brain and I think I am going to just lay it all out and see if someone will tell me why people do what they do. (I have been known to get a response when I ask that question!)
I know this will make me seem really old (which I am), but does anyone else notice the plethora of plastic bags stuck on trees, barbed- wire fences, trees, shrubs, sign posts, trees, telephone wires, and any other thing that juts out of the earth? We never used to see this stuff, did we? We carried our groceries home in paper sacks, which were eventually inserted in kitchen trashcans. Sacks in, sacks out. And since they were so full, they didn’t blow across the wide-open spaces. If I bought a coat or a dress, the salesperson usually put it in a box with the store logo in big print. No plastic bags. (Of course, I imagine whole forests died to be sure that box and logo were available for me to carry home my purchase.)
But ours was a world without Wal-Mart and Dillons and their plastic sacks. It drives me crazy to see them whipping in the wind impaled on a branch or something. I wonder how they get away?
Another thing I frequently notice is the condition of flags. Yup, right here in Peabody and the surrounding area we have some really BAD examples of how to display, not only Old Glory, but the Kansas flag and others that represent the men and women who serve us in the armed forces and our emergency services. In the interest of being a good neighbor, I am not going to point a finger at specific homes or businesses. I expect that if you leave your house, business, or school and there is a long, ratty, flapping piece of flag blowing from your flagpole, you surely know that you need to either take it down or replace it. And I mean it when I mention “your house, your business, or your school.” Look at your flags and do the right thing.
Yes, I am probably picking on you. Fix it anyway.
And finally, I had a wonderful message on the answering machine at home that I want to share with you. Opal Craney called to tell me that her grandson and his family drove from the East Coast and back for the holidays. They had a wonderful trip with no trouble except at Emporia! Oh gosh, oh gee! Why am I not surprised? You may remember that in July I had a devil of a time finding my way to Kansas City because there were no signs spelling out the convoluted trek I had to make. I offer my sympathies to Opal’s grandson and his family. Wouldn’t you think with all the trouble our state has attracting visitors and tourists, we might make some sort of attempt to create a “traveler-friendly” stretch of construction zone highway? What a concept.
The Youngest Daughter has moved back to Peabody from Nashville. Luckily, I no longer need to make that trip to the airport in Kansas City. But imagine all the travelers that head off in that direction who don’t know that they need to take the road heading in the wrong direction? Wouldn’t you think the Governor or someone at KDOT would have read my editorial back in the summer and made some corrections? Or just posted a sign?
Here is a helpful hint for you … after that newspaper came out, a recent PBHS graduate who lives in Emporia sent me an e-mail to let me know that in the future if I get stuck I should just call 911 and they would get me on the right road. She got a big chuckle out of my tale, but said I wasn’t the only one. They hear of professional tractor-trailer drivers who find themselves in a residential neighborhood or headed to Omaha without knowing how they got there.
So, get with the program, Kansas Department of Transportation. And get with the program if you have a ratty flag. And don’t throw your plastic sacks out across the landscape. Please!
— susan Marshall