The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


If I could go back….

Ever think about what you would do differently if you could go back to high school?  

Man, every time I visit Goodland I go back to my teenage days.  What would I change?
1.  I would never have hid a note in a certain gorgeous boy’s locker telling him his girlfriend was a dip and then undeniably describing myself, but signing the note anonymously.  Lord, have mercy was I a retard.
2. I would not have stolen my parent’s van on a muddy day to go pick up my friend Tina to cruise Maine Street and then get it stuck in the ditch and have to run home in my white penny loafers to call Tina and make up a whopper of a lie to her dad about why I was driving in the first place.   And could he please come try to pull me out?  Oh, I was in 8th grade when I did that and I’d been taking the van out for little test drives unbeknownst to anyone for about a month before I decided it was time to cruise with a friend.   Tina’s dad couldn’t get his truck down the road as far as I drove the van.  My punishment was to pay for the tow truck and clean all the mud out of the van (because I tried digging the darn thing out with my bare hands before I gave up.  I got mud all over the driver’s side) and my dad threatened that I might not drive again until I was 21, which was like cutting off a limb to me.  
3. I would bolster my wit and courage, unfortunately that didn’t happen until I was in college.  But, there are things I would love to have said to people if I’d only had the guts.  I don’t mean being hateful I just mean standing up for what is right and justified and shutting down the loud obnoxious mouths.  Like the time I was in MacDonald’s a couple years ago and this big-smoking-loud-tattoo laden woman was talking on her cell phone and cussing up a storm in the play area.  Not that being forced into a play area doesn’t already make me a little on the edgy, but I looked at her and said, “Hey!  Do you mind?  There are kids in here that don’t need to hear that kind of language!”  and she looked at me and said……oh, sorry.  I know!  I shut her up!  Ooooh, I feel a cheer comin‘ on…  THAT’S RIGHT UH-HUH SAY IT AGAIN, GHS!

Which brings me to my next regret..
4. I would not have been a cheerleader.  Good God!  Rechelle just went into cardiac arrest.  Seriously though, I look at my cheerleading pictures and think, what the hell April, what the hell?  Did I not realize I was six feet tall?  I should have played sports.  Do you know how many coaches and parents asked me why I wasn’t out on the court?  They were embarrassed for me.  I guess I had something to prove.   And I can dance and I’m not afraid to dance in front of people, but I feel awkward and self conscious on a basketball court.  Well whatever,  now I have a daughter that can play any sport with grace and confidence and has stamina and will power, but she can’t dance a lick, I mean she refuses to try and shake her hips.  It’s unfortunate and admirable all at the same time.  I guess I’ll live vicariously through her while I look out the corner of my eye and criticized the weak arm positions of the cheerleaders.
5. I would have studied.  I can’t even say I would have studied harder, because I never studied for anything.  What a blow it was when I got to college.  I was so unprepared.  Listen to me kids, go for the gold while your young!  STUDY HARD!  Geesh, I wasted so much time.
and this is why….
6.  I would not have dated Tim, Tony, Chris, Pat, Rex, Brian or any other guy I may have dated in high school but can’t remember.  Because I never acted like myself around any of them and they were all way too freakin‘ SHORT!  Sorry guys.  Errr, what a waste!  Why couldn’t I have my 38 year old brain in place when I was 15?  Why?
7. I would have spent more quality time with my friends and my family.  I would love to go back and have one day a week with my grandparents.  They only lived 17 miles away and I would go months without talking to them.  That is a crime.  
You know what?  I think that’s it.  I’d like to say I’d go back and change my hairstyle and make up choices but then I’d probably look even more like a freak, not that a teenager with the brain of a 38 year old wouldn’t be freaky.  Oh, but wait.  When I got to college I stopped curling my hair and wore very little make up and one of my sister’s good friends saw me on campus and said, “Hey, April.  Wow!  You are so much prettier than you were in high school.  You look better with no make up.”  sigh.  
8. So, okay I’d go back and chuck the hot rollers and the Mary Kay eye shadow trio.

Cruisin’ Maine

When you live in a small town there’s not much to do on a Friday night. Unless you have a car and a few friends. Then you can ‘cruise Maine’. And yes I’m spelling it like the state of Maine not Main, that little fact confused the heck out of my city-boy husband.

So, let’s hit the bricks! Let’s cruise!

Goodland, Ks has a beautiful red brick Maine Street and some pretty nifty buildings. Check out the art deco. This is the telephone building…I think.
This is the old First National Bank building. When I was in high school it was The Family Bookstore. I worked at the bookstore and loved every minute of it. I got to do all the window displays which were primarily made up of Precious Moments figurines and these strange little gnome creatures that people loved to collect. The owner’s of the store were two older women that I adored. Now the building has succumbed to the fate of the times and it stands empty with a for sale sign on the door.
This is the GAC, the Goodland Activities Center. It opened when I was in 8th grade. My parents refused to let me get a membership. I could only go play racquetball when I was invited by my boyfriend and then I was too embarrassed to really show my skilz because I might mess up my hair or start to sweat. Needless to say he didn’t invite me more than a couple of times. So I broke up with him, hmph!

Workin‘ at the car wash, at the car wash, yeah!

Remember that little car cartoon? He would turn into a hot rod and save the day. What was it called? I know someone reading should know. This is no longer a car wash, but that painting has been up there for as long as I can remember.

Okay, this is the Administration Office for USD 352. Tell me that’s not the cutest thing you ever did see? It sits on Maine Street across from Central School. Rechelle and I both felt that Central School was the coolest elementary school in town…..we didn’t go to Central.

Good Lord. Daylight Donut. I only have two things to say about this place and only Goodlanders will understand what I’m talking about.

Daylight Dave
Donut Run
Well, okay, donut run is pretty obvious. But Daylight Dave? There was only one of him and I don’t think I need to do much splainin‘ about DayLIGHT Dave.

The movie theatre. This little place is so cool. We used to go to the movies on Tuesday nights because they only charged 2 bucks. Two Buck Tuesdays. Cruisin‘ Maine and going to the movies was about the only thing to do….well….except….parking. Not that I would know anything about going parking, as far as my parents know, I am still a vestal virgin. My children are immaculate conceptions. That’s my story and I’m stickin‘ to it.

This used to be Collage Limited. The creme de la creme of dress shops. My sister and I would press our faces against the windows and beg our mom to go in and try on every outfit in the store. One side was for women and one side was for kids. Collage Ltd. was the only place in town you could buy Estee Lauder make up. But the most fascinating thing in the store was the large bins of potpourri. They had potpourri made out of dried rosebuds that I considered the most beautiful concoction on earth.

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got from Maine St.

I’m off to church to repent of my parking violations…ha hahahahaha. Oh, I’m crackin‘ myself up, parking violations. Get it? Never mind.

The Puppet Factory

Whenever I say, “The Puppet Factory” I sing it to the tune of The Adams Family. Try it.. The Puppet Factory…duh-duh-duh-duh..snap snap…duh-duh-duh-duh..snap snap..
On Tuesday I had to wait at The Puppet Factory for the Fed Ex man to arrive through that big metal door.
You would think that waiting for over two hours in a place surrounded by puppets would be amusing.
But, the longer I was there, the creepier the place seemed. I mean there are heads in plastic bags. It’s like CSI Puppet Edition.
Look at the sign my mom has sitting close to her desk. She must light the candle and say a little prayer to Jim Henson when things start to get a little to wacko for her.
I waited and waited and waited. And the puppets they stared at me and I think some of them moved when I wasn’t looking.
Check this guy out. Trying to look all innocent like he’s not trying to come out of that box and strangle me.
Hey hombre, I see you trying to look all I didn’t do it. Why are you looking at me? And shut your mouth!
The blond bodies. It was too late for these girlies. They’d been bagged and boxed. Sorry girls.
What the? Who wouldn’t be creeped out by this? A purple body thrown on top of a heep of animals, that ain’t right. This needs serious investigation.

And then this happened.

I gotta get outta here.