Monday, September 27, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

     I can't remember the exact number of Mustangs we counted during out ten day Hawaii trip, but it was an impressive amount. Ems, Carmel, Tabitha and I were very faithful in our counting. If we happened to be separated for different activity, the first thing we would do when we returned to the villa was tally our counts together. When we each picked out which color Mustang we would drive, we took the decision very seriously. We even made sure to get our picture with a nice flashy red one. (My sincerest apologies to the owner of this car - in defense I believe one of us did protest against sitting on a stranger's car)
     After we left Hawaii, Mustangs were only merely a token by which we could remember the best vacation we had ever had.
     When Paden and I started looking for a more fuel efficient vehicle (not to mention one I can see out of), a Mustang was the last one either of our minds. To me a Mustang meant luxury, it meant Hawaiian warmth in the dead of winter, it meant windy roads by crashing shorelines, it meant driving with the top down and letting wind mess up your hair. These are not typical attributes of my daily life. Or so I thought.
     When we spontaneously decided to take a trip down to Wichita and visit the Morgan family while looking at a few cars, a Mustang was definitely not on the list. There was a some Japanese car starting with Mitsu at the top of the list. From what we saw on Craigslist, it looked like a steal of deal. Apparently it was, because it sold before we hit the road. There was also an adorable little white Volkswagen convertible that, according to Jeremy Morgan, would have threatened Paden's manliness. Oh, and there was this sweet Suzuki Sidekick. It was electric blue and looked like a ton of fun to drive. Then there was a 1990 Honda Civic at a mechanic shop that somebody never picked up. The only one we actually looked at was the Honda civic. But no air blew out of the vents and the passenger side door didn't close all the way. Seeing as we were not in a hurry to buy a car, we let that one go.
     Back at the Morgan's, while Linda prepared some delicious tacos for lunch, Paden called about a few other cars. It is amazing how many people won't answer their phones. Finally, we got a callback and it was for the Mustang. His first reaction was to comment on how hideous the car was. But the price was rather attractive.
     The man selling the white 1990 4Cyl Mustang clearly had an eye for beautiful cars. I didn't know a car could be so beautiful till I saw the Corvette in his garage among other fancy looking cars. Nestled among these beauties was our Mustang. It was love at first sight for me. It was clean, inside and out - even under the hood. Maybe it's not the sporty red, convertible Mustangs we counted in Hawaii, but maybe it is the name that counts after all.
     I never believed I would actually drive a Mustang; perhaps this just goes to prove: be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

To Begin with...

The Little Apple is a awesome. Most people who live here will attest to how much they love it. After all, it's small enough for traffic to be no concern and big enough to have a Super Center Walmart. There are two things that drive this town to be the hot spot it is. One is the large military base a few miles out of town. (I've been learning military lingo) Second is the college - more specifically the football team. Purple is the predominant color in this town because purple is the Wildcat team color. Last week we had to get a new laptop and yes, they sold it in Wildcat purple. The house without a purple wildcat mailbox is the odd one out. If you drive by campus one in every five people will be wearing a purple shirt. The Homecoming game sold out at over 51,100 roaring fans all wearing purple (okay, some wore white). Half of the clothing section in Walmart appears to be devoted to purple. If you like purple, you really should move here.

People in this town are very friendly. Actually, Kansas people in general are very friendly. If you are driving on the back roads and pass another truck, they will  wave at you without fail. Walmart people in the checkout line may be painfully slow, but they are easy to engaged in pleasant small talk.

Oh, and to be girly for a moment, people in Kansas dress with a lot more style than people in Idaho did as a general rule.

Another great thing about this place is their thunderstorms. In the past three months we've been here, I've seen more thunderstorms than I have in my entire life combined. One particularly memorable one was when I was driving to work at 6:20am and watched the lightening streak form spiderwebs over the entire sky. Very impressive.

Speaking of natural beauties, when Paden and I first drove to Manhattan KS in June, we were greeted by more fireflies than I ever knew existed. Entire fields on either side of us twinkled with their blinking lights for mile after mile. When one was unfortunate to meet its demise on our windshield, its remains glowed for quite some time. I haven't seen that many again, but they are plentiful around here. I think the north west would be greatly improved by their presence.

Lest you begin to think KS is paradise, let me tell you about another kind of bug. My first meeting with the chigger was, ironically, while performing the good deed of helping a neighbor move into an apartment in our building. Hot weather is the norm here, so naturally I was wearing shorts and flip flops. Bad idea. When the Bible speaks of the worm that never dies, I'm pretty sure if you researched it, you would discover it is referring to the chigger. After first being bitten you might be tempted to think a chigger is not so bad. The itchiness is not even as bad as a mosquito bite and goes away sooner. But the story does not end there. When that little bugger bit you, it left its eggs buried in your skin. Yeah, I know. Creepy and oh so gross. About two weeks later, all of the sudden the itching is back with a mighty vengeance. This is the kind of itching that drives you crazy. No mosquito bite can even compare. The desire to itch permeates your every waking - and sleeping - thought for a full two days. Yeah. The fireflies may be beautiful, but the chiggers are fearsome.

You may appreciate a fine display of lightening or fireflies, friendly people, and even a bright, obnoxious shade of purple, but before coming here you must be ready to face the chigger.

You have been warned.