Tag Archives: Wichita

Tent City Fireworks

The temperature is 98 degrees. The ground is bone dry. Dust clouds follow in the wake of trucks rumbling across the gravel parking lot.

tent city fireworks

tent city fireworks

It rises out of this flat, summer plain. A white top palace reaching for blue sky.

tent city fireworks mecca


Inside, a mecca to The Revolution. A bow to the Second Amendment.

where the fireworks live

where the fireworks live

This is where the fireworks live.

fireworks giant firecracker

giant firecracker

We’ve never seen such a thing.

fireworks untied we stand

united we stand

Fireworks were outlawed in our former cities, and they’re restricted in Wichita. This, however, is The County.



Country clubs and municipalities will put on their own shows.



Still the citizens’ pride is in everyman’s display.

don't forget the roman candles, love, grandma

love, grandma

We’ll survey the land and watch the night sky—east, west, north, south.

fireworks basket

our basket

We’ll light our own salvos of independence.

fireworks pack

boxed set

“We are Americans!” we’ll say with each spark. “And we are free!”

thank you

thank you

Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate His rule with trembling. Psalm 2:10-11 NIV

Firework by Katy Perry.

How did you celebrate Independence Day?


Filed under America

Westward Expansion

October 6, 2011

Uncertainty is no place to call home. Relocation is no picnic either.

As many of you have guessed, we’re moving this show to Wichita.

The man and his wife. The boy and the dog. The MacBook Pro (God rest your soul, Steve Jobs) and the blog.

There’s relief in making a decision. There’s also apprehension, excitement, hope and loss.

Responses have rolled in from across the blogosphere.

Here’s the Diehl is wondering what’s the deal through tears. Mine and hers. With strains of Green Acres playing in the background.

The would-be stand up comedian asked if I know Kansas is not in North Carolina.

A lifelong friend assured me she always wants the best for me. How comforting, humbling and cool is that? Makes me want to break out in Count Your Blessings. Then cry some more.

Another lifelong friend wrote the most amazing sunset she’d ever seen was in Kansas. Suggested My Antonia by Willa Cather. Done.

arch base

Ms. Moderation dubbed me Carolina Cowgirl, a title I adore. If the blogging thing doesn’t work out, there’s always rodeo. Or clogging.

Pinke Post wasted no time doing what she does so well. Connecting me with her people on the ground in Wichita. The woman is a rock star.

And Cuisine For All sent sage advice. Don’t worry. Take time to absorb the changes. You’ll be fine, she wrote. She’s ventured far from her homeland. She should know.

Traveling With the Jones has logged enough miles to know too. Told me to embrace change. Enjoy the ride. And just think of all the new material for posts!

My faithful friend who shall remain anonymous assured me Cowtown is not in Kansas because it’s in Texas.

And a fellow Southerner in exile in the Midwest told me you can raise a southern gentleman in Kansas. “It’s about values,” she said. “The expectations we have for and of them, saying ma’am and sir and being able to shuck an oyster.”

There are many other words of treasured wisdom, prayer and encouragement. Read more on Tuesday’s post. Add your own if you like.

under the arch

One more here, in the gentle eloquence of Via Peregrini:

Our souls are quite particular in where they find their homes. Yet, sometimes, they find in the new, the unexpected, something for which they’ve longed and you’ll discover that you can’t imagine life without that place, for that time.

Our years in St. Louis have taught us the history of westward expansion. Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Lewis and Clark pushing across North America in the spirit of discovery.

Those who followed their path west were filled with dreams. Pioneers, farmers, soldiers, cowboys, gold miners, gangsters, hippies, writers, artists, entertainers. None of them had the luxury—the blessing—of toting a virtual community along. None until this latest crop.

We’re headed west. I hope you’ll join us for the adventure.

Send me Your light and Your faithful care,
let them lead me;
let them bring me to Your holy mountain,
to the place where You dwell. Psalm 43:3 NIV

In a big country, dreams stay with you

pink hydrangea

I hate cancer.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Our masthead dons pink to show support.

Honor survivors, those battling the disease, and those who’ve lost loved ones in the fight. Pray to end this and all cancers.

Thank you to And Cuisine For All for the idea.


Filed under America, faith, life


Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, image from fanpop.com

“Where?” I said.

“Wichita,” said my husband. And so it began.

The small successful company where my husband works has been acquired by a big successful company headquartered in Wichita. And they’ve offered him a job he really wants to do. In Wichita.

That’s Kansas. The state, not the band. Dorothy’s home turf before the tornado whisked her away to Oz.

All right. To my Midwestern friends, please excuse the sarcasm.

The Midwest is a mighty fine place and I understand why you like it, especially if you were raised here, went to school here, or got married here. That’s precisely why I like The South.

I’ve been very open about my desire to move back to The South and raise a Carolina boy who grows up to attend a fabulous University in an enchanted place called the Triangle. Wichita doesn’t fit into that plan.

Back in August when I posted Welcome to the Wild West, I boldly wrote: To the west, young woman, as far as this horse will take you.

That was figurative. I didn’t mean to actually go west.

Wichita doesn’t have a J Crew store. According to Wikipedia the city’s nickname is Cowtown, although my husband disagrees. He says Dodge City is Cowtown. Can you feel my pain?

However, we visited Wichita to discover the people are kind and welcoming. The schools and houses are great. And I’d have a chance to become a real cowgirl.

My husband is excited about the job. His mentors are positive. Lots of people move, they say. We shouldn’t worry about our son. He’ll adjust to it fine.

“Did you tell them it’s not your son you’re concerned about?” I said as my head fell to my keyboard. Crash!

We’ve relocated twice before. Vowed never again to follow companies around the country for jobs in states that don’t have ina at the end.

East coast, please. Thirteen original colonies, south by southeast. Lakefronts are beautiful, but they’re not beaches. I miss my family, my ocean, my people.

When my husband first mentioned Kansas, it took all my strength to pull my hair up into a ponytail and run to the mall. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Where else does a Gen X girl go when in flight?

surprise lilies

As I brushed and gathered the locks, silver strands shined through winking at me like tinsel. I’m an adult. Have to act like one. Be thankful he has a job.

So does blogger girl put on the brave Midwestern face? Spit and shine her attitude? Think of this as a new adventure?

Or does she kindly, with the sweetest tea accent she can muster, decline the invitation to dance, hike up her hoop skirt, and get back to where she once belonged, bless her heart?

Gotta love a good cliff-hanger.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NIV

Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles.

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Filed under America, family & friends, life