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It's Dark Sometimes

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“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
- Martin Luther King Jr

Have you ever met the person who lives a long beautiful life and dies surrounded by their loved ones? 
I think that is awesome. 
In truth most of the people I know who died were younger. 
My great aunt just celebrated her 101st birthday. She was the youngest of eight. They are all gone now except for her. They did everything together. They married, had kids, planned on living long lives. But then one day, one of the youngest died first. She had a blood clot and was gone. Why? 
Why do young people perish? How do some of our parents who became more like children, die and leave us with such confusion?
I don’t like death. I don’t understand it. I don’t get to say goodbye. I can’t fix things I did wrong. And of course my dream would be that some of them would apologize. But that doesn’t happen either. 
I seem to be able to cry if a celebrity who I never met passes but in my own family I find it hard to shed tears. 
They say there are five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I waiver between denial and anger. And a whole lot of “if onlys.”  
So many people I know are going through many different types and stages of grief. And while I love to offer wisdom, I have none. 
Death is hard. It’s final. I can’t take it back. There are few things that comfort me during these times. One is a Pearl Jam song called Just Breathe. “Yes I understand that every life must end. Did I say that I need you?
Oh, did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t, I’m a fool you see…
Hold me ‘til I die, meet you on the other side.
The other is a reminder that I have no idea what happens when we die. I believe we become whole, healed, filled with joy. 
But I can’t touch that here. And so many things in this world make it scary to be a parent. Each time I let my daughter go a little, I don’t know what will happen. I pray, I hope, I worry. 
If you are facing a death that was complicated, if there are no Hallmark cards that help you understand, maybe us sharing with each other is a way to lift each other up. Maybe we won’t feel so alone.
I have never been one to hide my emotions. But I think God used that for His good. 
When I had a friend read my column she mentioned it was pretty dark for my usual content. But maybe life is really dark sometimes.
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
- Martin Luther King Jr
When I sit outside and watch the bright stars in a dark sky, I feel closer to God, more connected to the universe. 
Maybe our loved ones are here with us in spirit? Whatever the answer it is a reminder that we don’t always get second chances in life.
Maybe it’s a reminder to gather together over a meal or to get together under the stars, laugh and share stories around a campfire.
When was the last time you hung out with some friends and just let loose? I will be honest, it’s been a long time for me.  
Life is too short and too precious to  just work all the time!
My daughter always asks when we are going to stop and have some fun. On all my lists of things to do, I think it’s time fun was added to the list.
How about you?
Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV says - a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

OPINIONS

Never Not Be Afraid

Here we are at the end of February. What are you going with your bonus day?  The weather in western Kansas has been wild. 78, 17, 65, and blowing, then snow.  When I spent a couple of years traveling the country, I enjoyed the different climates. Eventually I tired... [More]

The Trouble with John

It’s going to be a beautiful 70 plus degree day in February as I write this. As soon as the paper goes to print I am spending as much time outside as possible. Days like this should be savored.  There is one week left of February. Sometimes I think February is the... [More]

On the Horizon

February is half over. The sun is shining, the wind is at bay. Spring is just around the corner. For us basketball season will end this weekend at my daughter's tournament.  Spring means a lot of different things to people. To me, it is the start of fair season.  In... [More]

A Better Team

I had a discussion with someone out of the area about what community journalism means. It was interesting because I believe it is dependent on where you live. Wichita has television news channels, a daily newspaper, websites, social media pages, and staff.  In our small... [More]

Sun is Shining Bright

I am writing this on the last day of January. The sun is shining bright which is a rarity lately. But I thought about how the sun shining with moisture on the ground is a completely different scenario than the sun shining when the ground is desperate for a drink.  That led... [More]

Five Things

If I described the climate here as cold, wet, foggy, with snow packed, slick, icy roads, you would not picture Syracuse, Kansas. Yet here we are. If you aren’t driving in it, it really is quite beautiful. And I am excited for the moisture on the planted wheat.  It... [More]

Lend A Hand Up

How crazy is this weather? Between the blizzard and the cold snap, the promise of 40 degree days feels like spring is here! The kids had two days off then this week we had a two hour delay at school. But the extreme temperatures caused a few hiccups in our lives. Our dogs couldn't... [More]

Grateful

Getting home after being on the road for so long feels incredible. I woke up in the middle of the night wishing I was home only to realize I was in my own bed! A blizzard came through and while I love my daughter’s school I was grateful for the couple of days off. ... [More]

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SPORTS

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STATE GOLF RESULTS

State golf on Monday had the Varsity Bulldogs miss playing in the finals as a team by one stroke. They finished seventh out of twelve teams.  On Day 1, Brody Keller shot a 92 missing day two by two strokes. Ian Brummett shot a 95, Mason Scott  and Johnny TeVelde shot... [More]

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JH BASKETBALL WINS

Junior High Boys Basketball A, B, and C teams travelled to Elkhart on Monday, November 21. The A team won 41-34, B team won 26-21, and  C team lost to Elkhart 13-20. Head Coach Vance Keller said, “Elkhart was a tough win for both the A and B teams but both grinded... [More]

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LADY BULLDOGS BORDER WARS CHAMPIONS!!

The Lady Bulldogs were undefeated during the Border Wars, defeating Eads on Friday, 42-7 and Walsh on Saturday 62-5, bringing their record to 3-1. But the winner wasn’t announced until Tuesday evening. Syracuse Athletic Director Josh Johnson explained, “It came down... [More]

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JH Basketball Season Underway with JH Boys sweeping Lakin

Monday night at home at the Herndon Gym, the Junior High boys swept Lakin! Head coach Vance Keller said, “We’re a young team with only six eighth graders and 12 seventh graders. We’ve had six total that started the season with injuries so we haven’t had... [More]

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Senior Night Volleyball

Three Syracuse High School volleyball seniors were honored on Tuesday, October 5, during the volleyball tournament at Syracuse.  Kaetlin Thomeczek, daughter of Joe and Dami Thomeczek has played volleyball since the third grade, playing with Syracuse Youth Activities Association... [More]

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HS Track

Head coach Steve Navarro said, “The coaching staff has really enjoyed working with this group of kids this year. They have been putting in hard work despite some less than stellar conditions for practice and meets. We are excited to see what they can do now that we are... [More]

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SHS SPORTS WRAP UP

Baseball: The Bulldogs faced the Goodland Cowboys at home on Thursday, April 8, losing game one, 2-22 and game two, 1-17. Head Coach Dustin Doze said the Bulldogs really struggled throwing strikes again and they had too many errors. We need to clean things up if we want to... [More]

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Spring Sports Start

One year ago, athletes and coaches were beginning practice for their spring sport, some practicing during spring break, others enjoying the break from school. Soon they found out their break was extended a week, some with great joy, others with apprehension. Then came the unfortunate... [More]

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NEWS

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RAGING FIRE BRINGS COMMUNITY TOGETHER

The call came across the radios of a fire in northwest Hamilton County, near County Road L and 7. Fire trucks raced through town, sirens blaring. Farmers loaded up water trailers, tractors, disks, and a community banded together to help save Daryle Lewis home as well as keep... [More]

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SHS ALUMNI RETURNS TO WESTERN KS

“Being back in a small town is the single most enjoyable thing so far.  The city it not as much fun as what it’s made out to be, at least once you have kids!"   Thomas Eddy DPM, son of Kent and Melanie Eddy, has returned to western Kansas, living in... [More]

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Schwieterman Wins YFR Award

Scot Schwieterman, a local hay and forage producer was named the Young Farmer and Rancher of the Year at the Kansas Farm Bureau YF&R Leadership Conference in Manhattan February 2-4.  The conference is designed to provide educational and networking opportunities for young... [More]

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A NEW EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY COMES TO SYRACUSE

“Now I can learn right along with my child and know how I can help him to read.”   The Bulldog Cafeteria was the site for joy, laughter, and a trial run for a new educational opportunity when Syracuse Elementary School opened its doors to 25 families for Decodable... [More]

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Maria's Family Restaurant

Local people, local atmosphere, local family establishment. Owners Mario Moreno and Maria Leyva want the message out that Maria's Family Restaurant is open for business and ready to serve the community of Syracuse. Mario is the Safety Supervisor at Fullmer Cattle Company. For... [More]

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LOCALS MARATHON FOR THE BIRDS

While some may think running a marathon is for the birds, three local residents. Elizabeth Thomeczek, and Colten and Magen Soelzer took it to a whole other level and did in fact run the “For the Birds” marathon in Hilo, Hawaii, December 17, a race which supports... [More]

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STULTZ: AMERICAN IMPLEMENT TECHNICIAN OF THE YEAR

Ben Stultz, 2010 SHS graduate has been named John Deere’s Technician of the Year for 2023, working out of the Syracuse location. In addition, he is one of American Implement’s top contributors to their internal Technical Communicator team, and one of American Implement’s... [More]

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A Look Inside

It's on everyone's mind, "How is the Hamilton County Library's expansion project going?" I sat down with Library Director Amy Brucker to get some details. They broke ground in late July. While weather did not cause delays, the delivery of the structural steel in November did.... [More]

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OBITUARIES

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Ron Seybert

  Funeral services for Granada, Colorado resident, Ronald Seybert, will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly, Colorado with Pastor Kathy Leathers officiating.  Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery. Visitation will be... [More]

Robert Wagner

Mass of Christian Burial for Robert Wagner will be held at 10:00 a.m. and Recitation of the Rosary at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 6, 2024 at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church in Holly, Colorado. Reverend Mario Jose Parlingayan, S.S.S. will officiate. Interment will follow in... [More]

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 Dallas Wayne McNitt

Born March 6th, 1932 in Syracuse, Kansas. Passed January 28, 2024 in Fort Worth, Texas.  Dallas lived in Syracuse, Kansas, until joining the US Army in 1951. Returning to Syracuse after the army, he met his future wife, Phyllis. They were married in 1954.  Dallas... [More]

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John “Butch” McCracken

John “Butch” Charles McCracken, 84 June 28th, 1939 – February 2, 2024   Funeral Services for Holly, Colorado resident, Butch McCracken will be held at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly, CO on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 10 am with Pastor... [More]

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Raymond Walters

A Memorial Service for Raymond Walters will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, February 8, 2024 at the Bent County-Las Animas Cemetery Elder Chapel in Las Animas, Colorado. Raymond J. Walters was born on March 20, 1980 in Aurora, Colorado to William Walters and Rose “Wendy”... [More]

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Greysen Ray Holmes

Greysen Ray Holmes, 22 months old, is the son of Collin and Ashley (Myers) Holmes and has an older brother, Nathan Alexander Holmes, 3 and a half years old. Greysen is such an amazing young boy who loves following his brother around, running around and getting into things.... [More]

Ben Cook

Ben Cook, cremation has taken place and services will be held at a later date. Benjamin Ray Cook affectionately known as Ben, was born in Syracuse, Kansas on January 25, 1983 to David and Terri (Eckas) Cook. He departed this life suddenly on January 12, 2024 at the age of 40.... [More]

Loretta Mae York Watson-Connor

Loretta Mae York Watson-Connor, 82, passed away Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at the Hamilton County Hospital ISB in Syracuse, Kansas. She was born July 29, 1941 in Leoti, Kansas the daughter of Dempsey & Leona Connor. Loretta grew up in Syracuse and as a child she enjoyed... [More]

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