Category Archives: Friends

#Schummer14: Day 27-28 recap ~ the end of Summer of Schnyder 

#schummer14 driving home midwestOur last two days of the Summer of Schnyder (#schummer14) road trip were spent driving through familiar territory – from Cincinnati, Ohio, we went across Indiana, Illinois (which we passed through at the beginning of the trip, although farther north) and then into my home state of Missouri and finally Kansas.

We arrived in my hometown of Columbia, Mo., on Sunday afternoon in time to have dinner with my step-dad, my nephew and his wife and my sister-in-law at G&D, a small, family-owned steakhouse that opened a year before I was born. I remember having meals here every Friday night with my parents and aunt & uncle in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Since I wasn’t sure exactly when we would get to Columbia, I didn’t make plans with anyone ahead of time, I just texted a few people on my way into town. I was able to see a couple of friends briefly but it didn’t look like my schedule was going to work out with my dad, who lives about an hour northwest of Columbia. It turned out he had a doctor’s appointment in Columbia on Monday morning so he wouldn’t be home for us to stop by and see. Since he doesn’t have a cell phone, it would be hard to coordinate in the morning not knowing exactly how long his appointment would go. I talked to him on the phone and we just decided that I would get back in the fall and see him then.

When I woke up Monday morning, it was bothering me that I wasn’t going to get to see my dad. So I told Lee I wanted to just drive by the doctor’s office and maybe if it wasn’t a real big place we would see my dad’s car and we could wait for about 30 minutes to see if his appointment went quickly. We were trying to time leaving the hotel with when my dad’s appointment started. While we waited, Lee made a phone call to turn our cable back on. It should have been a quick call but Cox Communications made it a difficult process and transferred Lee to two people. Finally, I told him we needed to go so we would have to chance the call dropping as we took the elevator (it didn’t). We headed to the address of the doctor’s office and as soon as I turned the corner I see that it’s right next to one of the huge hospitals and there are huge parking garages and multiple buildings. “Well, there’s no way we will find his car here,” I said, as I turned by the building to turn around and head back out. As we drove by the building Lee spotted my dad standing outside waiting for his car to be brought to him! What are the chances?!? Lee jumped out of the car to go tell my dad we were there and to coordinate where we could meet up for breakfast. Getting to have breakfast with him made my day!

On the way out of town we drove by Memorial Stadium, home of the Missouri Tigers. I couldn’t believe how much the renovations during the off-season have changed the profile of the stadium. Can’t wait to catch a game there this fall!

After breakfast we drove home to Wichita. As a sign that we weren’t yet sick of each other, we actually took the long way home. We’ve never done this before and I highly recommend getting off the major highways in Kansas, either if you’re a Kansan or a visitor passing through the state. We followed part of the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway from Emporia down to I-35 just east of Wichita. It was a beautifully, sunny day and it was nice to not feel like we were in a rush to get where we were going, even after 28 days in the car together.

#schummer14 driving home midwest

<photo> A sure sign we were getting back to the real midwest — Sonic drive-thrus!

#schummer14 driving home midwest

<photo> I didn’t catch a photo of the super moon in Columbia but the sky earlier in the evening was beautiful.

#schummer14 driving home midwest

<photo> Me and my step-dad Charles.

#schummer14 driving home midwest

<photo> Me and my dad, Jim.

#schummer14 driving home midwest

<photo> Flint Hills of Kansas.

#schummer14 driving home midwest

<photo> Reflection of our vehicle.

#schummer14 driving home midwest

<photo> Lee driving us the long way home through the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway.

~~~

#Schummer14 – Lee & MeLinda Schnyder are turning their home in Wichita, Kan., over to a friend and taking a month-long road trip. They’ll travel from Kansas to Ontario and Quebec, Canada; then through Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The trip home will include stops in Ohio and Missouri. Beyond the blog, you can follow #Schummer14 on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Also posted in College, Family, Lee, travel

I found a time capsule in my basement

birthday_card_30I opened a time capsule today. It wasn’t an intended one, but it sure took me back in time about 12 years.

The capsule was in the form of a cheap, white plastic bag that was buried inside a cardboard box that once crated a microwave.

I was looking for a camera lens box that had important warranty information on the lens. I opened the large microwave box, sitting atop a wardrobe that my grandparents once owned, thinking maybe it contained a bunch of smaller boxes. Instead, I found a hodge-podge of decorative tins and other reusable containers, and the plastic bag.

For some unknown reason, I’d stashed the cards from my 30th birthday in this plastic bag and then it ended up in this box in our basement.

The most interesting part of this find is the story that it painted of my life then – on Aug. 6, 2001 – and how that moment in time highlights what has happened in the world and my life since. That’s the point of time capsules, right?

Finding and reading the cards made my mind go back to 2001 and all night I was thinking, “If I only knew then what I know now…”

I thought it would be interesting to share the inventory of the bag along with commentary.

Then: A birthday card signed by about six of my immediate coworkers at Raytheon Aircraft, my first job in aviation and my first corporate public relations position.
Now: Well, I quit that job about two weeks after getting that card! I wasn’t happy with what I was doing at work and turning 30 made me realize life is too short to waste it doing something you dread every day. My last day was Sept. 7 … I was celebrating my new freedom the next week by visiting friends and family in Columbia, Mo., when 9/11 happened.

Then: A birthday card from my mom and stepdad, Charles, signed “We love you!”
Now: My mom passed away in 2006. I still get a card most years from Charles, and he usually puts a sticker or six on the envelope and that makes me smile.

Then: A birthday card from my dad and stepmom, Pat.
Now: One of the few actual cards I get in the mail today comes from my dad. I love getting that kind of mail.

Then: A birthday card from my oldest brother, Roy signed “Have a good one.”
Now: Roy died in 2003.

Then: A birthday card signed by my nephews Cory (11) and Zach (15). It cracks me up that they felt the need to sign their last names too :)
Now: Cory graduates from Mizzou next spring. Zach is married, just bought his first house and is graduating in just a couple of months from Columbia College.

Then: A birthday card from my in-laws, Toba and Fred.
Now: I still get a paper card from them and they always make dinner for me on or around my birthday.

Then: A birthday card from my Aunt Linda and Uncle Skip.
Now: My aunt passed away in 2009 and my uncle in 2011 – both from cancer. How is it that I still remember their phone number but I can’t remember my current bank login and password?!?

Then: A birthday card from my long-time, close friend Dave, who I went to grade school with but didn’t really become friends with until the college years.
Now: We went from texting every day to no texting or talking at all. Remember that rule about not loaning money to friends. Yeah, I thought our friendship was strong enough to prove that wrong but it wasn’t. It’s a good rule.

Then: A birthday card from my college friend Jodi that included an invite to come visit her in Springfield, Mo.
Now: Jodi still lives in Springfield, and I went to visit her several times there last year. I’m meeting her and our friend Kim in Kansas City this month.

Then: A birthday card from Morgan, one of my longest Wichita friends.
Now: Morgan still gives the funniest, craziest birthday cards and gifts. And she mails me really funny postcards throughout the year.

Then: A greeting card to my dog from my mom’s cat with a written inscription of “Astro: love ya!” and signed “Sampson.” I think we both know who really signed the card.
Now: Both pets have passed away.

~~~

There you have it – the contents of the time capsule 2001: The Year MeLinda Turned 30. Oh, and there was a Mizzou garter in there too. That might be another blog post …

Also posted in Family, Randomness, Weird shit that happens

Remembering that I forget my birthdays

10th birthday

My 10th birthday celebrated with friends and family at Cosmo Park in Columbia, Mo. I’m in the middle back, striking a pose.

Birthdays make me stop and really think about how I’m spending my time. That’s why I quit my job just a few weeks after turning 30 … and quit another job a few months after turning 40. Both times I didn’t have another job lined up yet.

The milestone birthdays seem to move me beyond thinking and into taking action. They put me in the whole life-is-too-short-to-not-be-doing-something-you-really-enjoy mindset.

Today I’m just turning 42, so there won’t be any monumental announcements. Plus, I couldn’t just up and quit on my current boss {I can’t quit myself!}.

Overall, though, my memories of birthdays are lacking and this bothers me. I recall very few specific birthdays. It’s not that I don’t have great birthdays to remember, I’m just lousy at recalling details of what presents I got, who helped me celebrate, what flavor cake and ice cream I had, etc. I wish I could look at a knickknack in my home and remember that my mom gave me that for my XXth birthday. I can’t.

Does anyone else have this issue? Do I just not pay enough attention to life?

Since my birthday fell outside of the school year, most of my K-12 celebrations were with family and a few friends. Birthday parties during my grade school years were often at Cosmo Park in Columbia, Mo., and usually involved picnic-type meals, sheet cake, presents and a small group of friends along with my family. I don’t remember specific years except for the two that I can find recorded via Polaroid camera: my 10th in 1981 and my 12th. {Mom – photos of only two of my birthdays? I know I was the fourth child but I WAS the only girl and I know technology was zipping along in the 1970s and 1980s.}

I do remember another birthday but not the year: my dad and stepmom stopped by our house early in the day and gave me a rocking chair and a Holly Hobby themed cake. I remembered they told me to keep it forever and share it with my children. I got confused and refused to let my mom serve the Holly Hobby cake at the park – I thought I was supposed to keep it forever! We froze the cake and when I told my stepmom this later, she wasn’t too happy they’d spent good money on a cake that nobody ate. I’m pretty sure that was the year my parents stopped saving money for a college fund.

In junior high and high school, the get-togethers were usually outside at our house or my aunt’s house – a family barbeque with a couple of close friends joining us.

As an adult, I’ve been fortunate to have great coworkers and friends who have always made me feel special around my birthday – whether it was on the actual day or near it. Going out for lunches, getting drinks after work or having dessert – I just don’t recall all of the details of who, where and when.

Lee always plans something fun for my birthdays, from a simple dinner out with the two of us to a marathon day at the movie theater to surprise parties. Unfortunately, I only recall a few specifics.

Here’s a little experiment, I will start with last year and work backward to see how many of the 41 birthdays I can actually remember.

41 – had a layout lunch with Kate at our friend Morgan’s pool … but I can’t remember what Lee and I did that night. He doesn’t remember either, which makes me feel a tiny bit better. Also had drinks that week with a group of friends.

Birthday drinks with friends in 2012.

Birthday drinks with friends in 2012.

40 – was in Boulder, Colo., with Lee. Celebrated with friends in Wichita a few weeks earlier by attending Cattleman’s Ball, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

40th birthday

Celebrating my 40th birthday with friends by attending the American Cancer Society’s Cattleman’s Ball in Wichita in 2011.

39 – went out with friends Holly and Jason to a bar, where a really drunk lady convinced Holly and I to sing backup to her singing Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ‘n Roll. I held the mic as far from me as I could and it was still bad. Real bad. Ask Lee.

38 – was in Banff, Alberta, Canada on an incredible hiking trip with Lee, who scheduled a massage for me that day. We also had an awesome steak at a restaurant that night.

36 or 37 – either the first or second birthday after my mom passed away, my Aunt Linda called Lee and said she wanted to drive out from Columbia to surprise me for my birthday that year. Lee told me we were going out to meet friends he works with for dinner and drinks. We got to the restaurant and then my aunt, uncle and my stepdad walked in. I started crying. It was the only time my aunt and uncle had come out to visit me since helping me move to Wichita in 1994 so it meant a lot to me. They both have since passed away.

35 – my mom sang happy birthday on a voicemail to me, which I kept on my phone until I accidentally erased it a month later. That fall (2006) my mom passed away. I wish I still had that voicemail.

33 – Lee invited several of my high school friends I still stay in touch with to come out to Wichita. They showed up and he made me think that was the only surprise. The second surprise was a party that night at our house with my out-of-town friends and my Wichita friends. (I only remember the year because there are photos!)

huge pizza

Lee ordered the Superdome 29″ pizza for my surprise birthday party one year.

Early 30s – One year Lee took me to a jewelry store and showed me three pieces he’d picked out for me to choose from for my present. That was a lot of fun and he did a good job selecting.

Early 30s – One year Lee planned a surprise overnight stay at one of those murder mystery bed & breakfasts. He said we were just going to our visit our friends Holly and Jason but when we got there, we all went to Oklahoma. He even had to pack funeral clothing for me and miraculously he picked the black dress from the closet that actually fit me!

30 – Lee had to cancel a surprise visit from my parents that he planned for the weekend before my birthday. I was working for Raytheon Aircraft at the time and Saturday, Aug. 4 was the day the machinists union was voting on a new contract. My boss dispatched me to spend my Saturday at the Salina manufacturing facility in case the machinists voted to strike and they needed a company spokesperson on-site.

Either that same year or another year close to this one, Lee & I drove to Kansas City to goof off for the weekend, and when we walked in to a casino my parents were there. Lee had asked them to come over to surprise me!

Mizzou-themed birthday cake.

Mizzou-themed birthday cake.

21 – went out with family for dinner and a couple of my friends came along, then my friends and I met a larger group of friends out at Déjà Vu. I think that’s the night I took a shot of something purple, threw it up in the ashtray and was good to go! I remember my friend Kim got me this cool artsy T-shirt that said “It’s a dog eat dog world” and it had a dog eating a hot dog on it.

20 – This was right before the start of my junior year at Mizzou and the guy I was dating was being a jerk so at the last minute I had nothing to do on my birthday. I was sulking at home and my girlfriends made me go out. A friend who is one year older than me was turning 21 so I kinda crashed dinner with her and her parents at a restaurant downtown. I made up with the guy the next week and I remember he gave me a turquoise stone necklace.

19 – The summer between my freshman and sophomore year at college, my friends and I were playing a ton of racquetball at the outdoor courts on Mizzou’s campus – like every night for several hours. We met a group of guys at the courts that we started hanging out with. One of them asked me to go out a couple of times and it happened to be around my birthday so he made dinner for me at his apartment. I can’t remember his name but he was from St. Louis. I remember one of his friends was named Dax. And another of his friends wore those colored denim shorts – he had a pair in what seemed like every color.

16 – I remember my brother Roy sent me a check for $100 and I thought that was awesome! I think I bought a Swatch watch.

12 – My group of Benton Elementary School friends went swimming at Oakland Pool then came back to my house for food and games. I mainly remember this because there was a photo taken of me that my family used later in life to embarrass the crap out of me. I’m over it now so I’m posting it here. (fyi: I’m Facebook friends with a couple of folks in the photo!)

12th birthday

That’s me second from the right after having my 12th birthday at the local swimming pool in 1983.

10 – This was the Strawberry Shortcake year, I only remember because of photos that we still have. Looks like it was a party at Cosmo Park. In one photo I’m holding this guitar toy that I remember my brother Roy got me. It didn’t work though so we had to return it. I’m sure that’s the same year I got my Strawberry Shortcake wristwatch, which I still have.

Me and my brother Roy, and my Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake on my 10th birthday in 1981. (also had on a Strawberry Shortcake wristwatch that you can barely see...and I still have it!).

Me and my brother Roy, and my Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake on my 10th birthday in 1981. (also had on a Strawberry Shortcake wristwatch that you can barely see…and I still have it!).

1 – no, I don’t really remember this but there is a photo of a cake with my name on it along with several other family members’ names. The family used to have larger get-togethers at the end of summer and celebrate everyone whose birthday was within a two-month timeframe.

My first birthday cake -- 1972

My first birthday cake — 1972. My brother Roy is holding the cake.

~~~

Well, that experiment makes it look like I missed my entire 20s! I was mostly sober but still I remember very little about those birthdays.

So I’m officially taking back my stance on social media. All those times I’ve said, “Damn, I’m so glad Facebook and YouTube and Instagram didn’t exist when I was a kid because I certainly would have embarrassed myself or made myself unemployable!” – nevermind. I’d risk that to be able to look back through my or my mom’s Facebook timeline to see a photo of the Holly Hobby cake {in the freezer}, my family gathered in our yard on Mexico Gravel Road for my 16th birthday bbq or me with a group of friends celebrating one of my college birthdays.

If anyone out there remembers something about one of my birthdays that I don’t, let me know!

 

Also posted in Family, Lee, Randomness

Trip Guide: Sea Life Kansas City & Legoland Discovery Center

Sea Life Kansas City aquarium

On our trips across North America, Central America and the Caribbean, we often seek out zoos, aquariums and other opportunities to get up close with wildlife and sea creatures. So when I heard an aquarium had opened in April 2012 in Kansas City, Mo., I was happy to finally have an aquarium to visit within a three-hour drive from our home in Wichita, Kan.

Then I found out it was a chain … and I have to admit that I was a little deflated. Well, I shouldn’t have been an aquarium snob! While it’s not going to land in the Top 5 of U.S. aquariums, Sea Life Kansas City is a great addition to our region. It allows children and adults to experience regional fresh water displays representing the Missouri and Mississippi rivers along with Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean exhibits filled with sharks, starfish, seahorses, rays and lots of fish, of course.

This summer is the perfect time to check out Sea Life Kansas City at a discount. See the section at the end of the post for coupons that offer buy one get one free admissions.

Just don’t go into Sea Life expecting a full-day experience that you could get at Chicago’s John G. Shedd Aquarium. While you’ll find 25,000+ creatures living at Shedd, you’ll see 5,000+ at Sea Life Kansas City. But that makes it a manageable place to visit when you have as little as 1-2 hours. You can make it a longer visit if you stop to read all of the well-done wall and digital displays, complete the interactive quizzes or catch a feeding or talk.

My visit was with my friend Nikki and two of her daughters: 1-year-old Sara and 4-year-old Rachel. Both girls were captivated with the short viewing levels and underwater tunnels. Rachel loved the touchpool experience where she learned about starfish, climbing in the creative displays that often gave her a view of being in the tank herself and, of course, the playground just before the exit of Sea Life.

Sea Life Kansas City Gertrude Turtle

I enjoyed seeing Gertrude, a young green sea turtle who moved into the main Ocean Tank in February of this year from her home at an aquarium in Florida. She was rescued in 2011 when her two front flippers were found tangled in fishing line causing them to fracture. One flipper had to be amputated and the other is fused, meaning she can’t swim fast enough to flee predators and won’t return to the ocean.

{fun fact: Gertrude is 5 years old and weights 45 pounds. She is expected to live to be 80 years old and could grow to 400 pounds & 5 feet long when full grown.}

Here’s a really sweet three-minute video about Gertrude and her flight on Southwest Airlines to her new home in Kansas City.

Another rarity in the same Ocean Tank is Rhina, a Bowmouth Guitar Shark that has a head shaped like a stingray on a brown body with white spots. Sea Life says there are less than 10 aquariums in the United States that have the species, making it known as the panda of aquariums.

We were told both Gertrude and Rhina don’t always swim in the most visible areas, but we saw both of them every time we walked by the Ocean Tank.

Sea Life Kansas City shark

So about the “chain” issue. There are more than 35 Sea Life aquariums in the world. In addition to Kansas City, other locations in the continental U.S. are: Carlsbad, Calif.; Minneapolis; Phoenix and Dallas/Ft. Worth. Sea Life is operated by European-based Merlin Entertainments, which also operates Madame Tussauds celebrity wax attractions and Legoland Discovery Centers.

That explains the Legoland housed in the same Crown Center location as Sea Life Kansas City. The girls weren’t quite the right ages to fully enjoy Legoland, and it’s not a place I would go without children. There was a really interesting section called Miniland. This was a room made up of miniature versions of 20 landmarks unique to Kansas City, like Arrowhead Stadium and Crown Center, and it had a cool Wizard of Oz display, too.

{fun fact: It took 20 designers and model builders six months to construct KC’s Miniland, which contains 1.4 million Lego bricks in addition to working fountains, moving vehicles and sound effects.}

Legoland Discovery Center Kansas City

Saving money on tickets

Normally, you will receive the best prices on admission to either Legoland or Sea Life or combo tickets by purchasing your tickets online ahead of time. For example, walk-up prices for Sea Life are $20.78 for adults and $16.40 for children 3-12. Online prices are $16.40 adult and $12.03 child.

However, there are a number of coupons out there right now that offer even better deals:

  • The best I currently see is through the Kansas City Star. Through Aug. 25, 2013, you can use the promo code to get buy one full price admission, get one free. You can use the code for up to four complimentary child or adult admissions with four paid adult admissions. The discount can’t be used online or for pre-booked tickets, you have to get the discount at the ticket counter. Here’s a link to the coupon: http://www.kansascity.com/static/images/sales/splash_pages/sealife/sealife_coupon_0613.html
  • KC Parent magazine has a coupon that is valid through Nov. 24, 2013, but the terms are a little different – it’s for a free child ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket at full price. Here’s the link: http://www.kcparent.com/061613_KC_PARENT_MAG_AD.pdf
  • Home Depot is also offering the free child with purchase of adult ticket discount and it’s the only one I see that allows for online ticket purchases. Details are here: http://www.merlindeals.com/thehomedepot

 

For more information visit the aquarium website or they also have news along with contests/promotions on their Facebook page. You can find Legoland at legolanddiscoverycenter.com/kansascity/

Below are more of my favorite photos from the trip.

Sea Life Kansas City aquarium

Sea Life Kansas City aquarium

Sea Life Kansas City aquarium

Sea Life Kansas City aquarium

Sea Life Kansas City aquarium

Sea Life Kansas City aquarium

Sea Life Kansas City aquarium

Sea Life Kansas City aquarium

Sea Life Kansas City aquarium

Sea Life Kansas City aquarium

Legoland Kansas City

Legoland Kansas City

Legoland Kansas City

Legoland Kansas City

Sea Life aquarium Legoland Kansas City

Also posted in Photography, travel

Lessons learned on Valentine’s Day 1992

I learned a couple of valuable lessons on Valentine’s Day in 1992.

I was a 20-year-old sophomore at the University of Missouri. D.T. was also a sophomore, but he was about 8 months older. It’s not a huge age difference but significant because it meant he had turned 21 years old the past December and was now able to go to bars … without me.

Mizzou campus

We’d been dating about 18 months and this was my first long-term relationship, unless you count my torrid affair with J.V. that spanned fifth and sixth grades at Benton Elementary {lots of intense dates at the Skate-or-Bowl in Columbia, Mo.!} <– sarcasm font goes there

It was not a super serious relationship – we did spend much of our limited free time together and we didn’t date other people. But I don’t remember ever thinking about marrying him. I don’t really remember thinking any farther than plans for the next weekend.

I was going to school full-time and working a part-time job to pay my way through. Also, as part of my coursework in the news-editorial sequence in the School of Journalism I had a full-time beat covering the Columbia College men’s basketball team for the Columbia Missourian, the city’s morning daily newspaper.

Just painting the picture that I was busy and D.T. wasn’t my reason for being or anything.

So when it was brought to my attention by a third-party that my relationship with D.T. wasn’t quite as exclusive as I thought it was (that’s where access to bars came into play), I wasn’t very happy. I broke things off. I’m pretty sure I was the first person to say: “ain’t nobody got time for that”  – long before Sweet Brown made it famous.

D.T. wanted to talk and explain what had happened. I didn’t want to listen.

A few nights later, on Feb. 13, he showed up at the newspaper and caught me at the door when I returned from that night’s game. I told him to go home, I needed to write my article for the next morning’s paper. When I came out several hours later, he was still there –  teary-eyed and shivering from the cold. I told him again that I didn’t want to talk. I got in my car and drove off.

I remember looking in my rearview mirror and seeing him standing in the middle of the road with his hands up in the air in exasperation. There are just some images you never forget.

I went home and struggled to clear my head; I eventually fell asleep. The phone ringing was what woke me up. It was a call from the ER telling me that D.T. had overdosed on pills and they needed to know if I’d seen him recently and if I knew anything about his condition when I saw him – had he been drinking, did I know what he might have taken, etc.

I couldn’t help, I hadn’t been close enough to him the night before to notice anything.

I rushed to the hospital that Feb. 14th morning. And I was there every day after – some 30-plus days. D.T. was in a coma the entire time and eventually his family took him off life support. He passed away during spring break that March.

Why hadn’t I let him talk? What if he would have given me a clue of what he was thinking of doing and I could’ve prevented it.

Why had I been so angry with him when it wasn’t that serious of a relationship? What if I’d told him it was OK, we’d both move on, we’d both be fine. He could have turned his focus to his other issues.

All of these ‘what ifs’ nearly broke me. I considered dropping out of school. I considered a lot of things, none of them good.

But the people closest to me picked me up and helped me see that this wasn’t all about me – it wasn’t what I did or didn’t do that caused him to overdose on a prescription medication he was taking for epilepsy. D.T. had other issues going on besides our failed relationship.

That spring, my editor at the newspaper assigned me to be the beat writer for the Missouri football team the next fall. It was a coveted assignment (even though, yes, it was during some bad years of football at Mizzou). It gave me something to look forward to. That is probably the one thing that kept me in school. And being in school kept my mind busy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The sports crew from the J-school and the Columbia Missourian, circa winter 1991. In fact, D.T. was at this party and he may have taken this photo because he wasn’t studying journalism and he didn’t know any of this group. The sports editor I mention in this post, Paul, is the third from the left in the front row. I’m in the middle in the back, standing on a chair because I definitely wasn’t as tall as our assistant editor, Jim, standing to my left!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So what lessons did I learn that Valentine’s Day?

  • just be willing to listen
  • sometimes you have to forgive someone for hurting you or disappointing you – more for your own good than for their benefit

That last one, especially, has come in handy through the years when close family members repeatedly disappointed me by not reaching out to me as much as I wanted or by not showing the support I wanted during some of the biggest moments of my life. Based on that lesson from my last moments with D.T., I chose to keep those people in my life – at a safe distance – instead of writing them off and not talking to them again.

I didn’t do this for them, honestly. I did it so that if something happened to them, I would have fewer ‘what ifs’ and, hopefully, no regrets.

Also posted in College, Family Tagged , , |