Contrary to what you may have inferred from my previous posts, I do not believe that growing up in Cedar Vale was negative for me. I have many happy memories of CV and the people there. I would not trade my experiences for any other. I like the people and atmosphere, but I would probably not consider moving back because of the wonderful setting that I am in now.
I was privileged to have most things that money would buy, as my father had figured out in his later years how to make more than just a living. I knew that I had more spending money than some of my friends, but I did not believe that we were rich or wealthy. Looking back, I know that we were “well off” and that I was lucky to the “late” child in the family.
One of the good things about small towns is that school class sizes are smaller and you can get more individual attention. Of course, that also comes with reduced choices of subjects. High school was not a waste of time for me as I really enjoyed many of the classes and activities. However, it did not challenge me very much … except for Spanish (irony now!). This was a big problem when I got to
I never though much about what was lacking in CV as I had use of a car and could drive to Ark City, Winfield, or Wichita for anything that we did not have. Electronic parts were ordered from
I probably enjoyed the time in CV from age 7 through 14 the most. When I was 7, we moved to CV from the farm. As I have mentioned, I had my own playground with a “ranch” at the edge of town.
I have fond memories of Margaret Robinson (Kennedy) and the “extras” that her family provided to myself and the others in our class. Margaret’s folks paid to have an instructor come to their house to teach our entire class to dance. What little I know about dancing came from that experience. They also built a tennis court where I spent many hours playing. It was the only tennis court in CV. I also used to go to her house early on Saturday mornings to watch TV, before we had a set at home. Her mom was always patient with me, even though Margaret might still be sleeping.
Another good thing about CV is the hunting and fishing opportunities that I took advantage of while growing up. I no longer hunt or fish but the memories are good.
When I was growing up I couldn’t figure out why all of the good, church going people would loudly proclaim love, peace and forgiveness on Sunday and exhibit very different behaviors on the other six days of the week. Later, a pastor asked my why I didn’t come to church more often. I said; “It seems that many who come are hypocrites.” His reply was; “Come on down, there’s always room for one more!” How true.
Those who have gone through a divorce or other tragedy often find that those individuals thought to be close friends disappear, while others who may not have been close now befriend us in great and unusual ways. This has happened to me, not only later in life, but in my experiences in CV both with teachers and individuals that my father helped greatly, but who later refused to help me in the smallest of ways. I have become stronger and less dependent on the support and opinions of others because of this. As I expect less from people, I often am pleasantly surprised when I receive more.
I have spent a lot of time in independent spiritual study and I have found that which is true for me. One definition of “truth” is “a consensus to reality”, so whatever you believe is OK with me. Some might say I have become “enlightened” and words often mean what they say. However, I think the most important thing that I have learned and wish to pass on is this: “Both before and after enlightenment, one must cut wood and carry water.”
I wish a happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year for each of you!
Jay D. Mills – Volcan,