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The Purpose of Life

It’s October. It’s almost Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
I love this time of year when it’s a little cooler, the biting black flies start to die off. 
For the first time in our lives, and our 4-H sheep project, we are going to keep animals longer and enter a couple fall/winter shows.
 I am a show mom. That makes me laugh and smile. I think back on my life and farming and sheep and western Kansas were never on my radar. And while it is plenty of work, I have never been happier. 
  I look back on the twentysomething New York City girl who wasn’t happy with the direction her life was taking. I am happy to report she worked hard, tried a few different things and found her place. If you told me then that place would be a farmer’s wife, a mom, and a woman who helps care for sheep, I would laugh.
  I like serving in our community and I like my work. 
When the mayor of NYC came out last week saying NYC was better than Kansas because they have a brand, I shook my head. 
Keep your brand, we have sunsets. We have people who work hard to help others.
Every day I drift farther away from my old life and I am ok with it. 
 I saw where there is a $1600 a month apartment that’s the size of a closet. The twin bed is wall to wall with a small night table. No kitchen and a shared bathroom.
  If I have to choose city or rural life, I choose rural every day of the week and twice on Sunday. 
 I like visiting cities - seeing historical landmarks, visiting art museums, eating the food, and seeing friends and family. It’s an opportunity to see many different cultures and explore life beyond our world here. 
 But I choose western Kansas to live. I choose people, kindness, agreeing to disagree with others while preserving relationships. 
  I like space. I like quiet. I like the slower pace. I like livestock. I love our barn and our sheep. 
When you decide where you are going to invest your money, time, resources, I hope you find joy in it. 
Last weekend the town of Syracuse was bustling with homecoming, a cross country meet, a fly-in, and a play day at the rodeo arena. Not to mention all the people who were out of town for HS volleyball and our recreation leagues, weddings, vacations, and livestock shows. When you think of all the volunteers and countless  hours our small town puts in to host events like these, it can be overwhelming. 
So for a moment I want to say thank you. Thank you to anyone who helps, sponsors,  volunteers, coaches, chooses to support, invites a friend, looks out for someone. A small town is only as good as the people in it. We have some great people. And you make a difference. 
  And if you aren’t involved, there is always opportunity to help. 4-H, booster club, sponsoring, volunteering to name a few. When I look at the world today, I think it’s desperate for more coaches, teachers, guidance. I think the way to help is to get involved. So I hope you can find some way to lend a hand. We can always use more workers and more supporters. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
 I hope you live well.

OPINIONS

Gratitude and Change

I am writing this as the western Kansas winds blow and gust. The trees shake. I hear the howling which makes it sound colder than it is. I am about to leave for a couple days to a publishing conference in Colorado Springs. I am leaving my family midweek to figure it all out... [More]

Zen and the Art of Life

Happy Thursday! Looks like temperatures will be in the upper eighties and sunny this weekend.  Exciting for many who want to get out and enjoy the weekend, less exciting when you are looking for rain in the forecast. Interesting isn't it how we view our circumstances? Something... [More]

Everything's Gonna Be Alright

It's April.  April showers bring May flowers. Showers are forecasted later this week. Nice gentle rains are always welcome here.  I had a phone call with a woman who ended the conversation saying, "I appreciate your candor." I had to laugh. I am not the best at many... [More]

Surrender

I was struggling this past week as I remembered my parents anniversary, however short was March 31. And I remembered how they couldn't communicate or get through the hard times.  As I was growing up I often heard my father say, "Everyone you meet turns to %$^#." I will let... [More]

A Dynamic Shift

It's spring! Our lambs are in the barn, there is more daylight, and we are in the last nine weeks of the school year.  I am my usual self - exhausted, excited, and overwhelmed with things that need done.  At one of the community meetings I attend, someone mentioned... [More]

Opportunity disguised as discomfort

On Tuesday morning I packed up my daughter and we headed east for Kansas City. The trip with stops took about seven hours.  I managed to find and get behind every semi on two lane roads.  The interstate got busier as we moved east. I was nervous because I haven’t... [More]

Unstoppable

She was unstoppable not because she did not have failures but because she continued on despite them   - Beau Taplin My daughter asked me about the word criticism. We discussed it. I mentioned how growing up I quit at the first sign of discomfort. I quit at the first piece... [More]

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]

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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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SCOULAR DONATION HIGHLIGHTS COMMUNITY NEED

In the last year with food prices and inflation rising, food pantries are being strained more and more.  According to Lora Horton, the need outweighs the product.  "Right now we are okay but we could always use more. With COVID money, we received monthly boxes of commodities.... [More]

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ANNUAL TOURNAMENT BRINGS BUSINESS TO AREA AND CROWNS LOCAL CHAMPIONS

The annual two day Syracuse Youth Athletics Association basketball tournament was held last weekend, and it was great for the community businesses. Black Bison Pub owner Janet Thomeczek said, "It did so much for our business. We haven't had a weekend like that since Christmas!"... [More]

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LOCAL KSU ALUMNI GROWS KS BILL SNYDER WHEAT

Retired Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder was honored at a luncheon on March 14 at the Kansas Wheat Alliance (KWA) headquarters, Manhattan. While one would think the talk might have been about football, Coach Snyder was responding to the honor of the naming of a hard... [More]

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FFA - MAKING THEIR MARK

The Future Farmers of America (FFA) Creed begins, "I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds." Our local FFA chapter is putting that into practice with building, giving, learning, and partnering with the community.  The Local FFA... [More]

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King Completes 2,000 EagleMed Flights

McVey added, “Western Kansas is fortunate to have a nurse as intelligent, dedicated, and kind as Patty King, I sincerely hope Patty makes 2000 more flights, she is truly one-of-a-kind.”  As adults, we ask young children what they want to be when they grow up,... [More]

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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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OBITUARIES

Ed Crum

Graveside services for Ed Crum will be held at the Holly Cemetery in Holly, Colorado at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, April 13, 2024.  Per Ed's request there will be no visitation. Edward Dean Crum was born on July 31, 1949 in Lamar, Colorado to Clifford and Lucille (Frazer) Crum.... [More]

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Jimmy Ray Dowell

Jimmy Ray Dowell, 73, passed away peacefully on April 5th, 2024 at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka Kansas with his family by his side. Jim was Born on September 2nd 1950 to Charlie and Gaylene (Schockey) Dowell of Syracuse Kansas. He married Loveta (Lindsey) on August 13, 1972... [More]

William “Bob” Crum

Graveside services for Holly, Colorado resident, Bob Crum will be held at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, March 28, 2024 at the Holly Cemetery with Military Committal Rites provided by Holly VFW Post #4281.  Per Bob’s request, cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation.... [More]

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Erma Westblade

Erma Baker Westblade, 95, of Salina, KS, passed away Friday, March 22, 2024, at Pinnacle Park Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. She was born January 26, 1929, in McClure, Pennsylvania, daughter of the late Charles K. Baker and Lillie (Lepley) Baker. On August 14, 1965, she... [More]

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Diane Bever

Funeral Services for Holly, Colorado resident, Diane Bever will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 23, 2024 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly, Colorado with Pastor Ian Blacker officiating.  Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery.  Visitation for Diane... [More]

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Richard S. Everett

Richard S. Everett, age 80, died Sunday, March 17, 2024, at his home in Johnson, Kansas. He was born on February 15, 1944, in Dalhart, Texas, the son of Gerald Thomas and Elizabeth (Rawlins) Everett. Richard grew up in Clayton, New Mexico, where he graduated from high school.... [More]

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Shaun Frieary

Shaun Patrick Frieary passed away on March 15, 2024 surrounded by his family.  He is survived by his mother Betty Pryschlak, his step-father Stephen, his brother George Frieary, and his daughter Hailey. A family memorial service will be held in New York state. Shaun was... [More]

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Harold Richard Grinstead

Harold was born to Hazel and Harold Grinstead in Ordway, Colorado in the local hotel. He grew up in the southwest Kansas area, graduating from Coolidge High School before attending Lamar Junior College. He helped start the rodeo team and host the first college rodeo while at... [More]

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