This past weekend was a time of celebration for our country.
Such festivities were evident as bright, colorful lights filled the night skies and firework remnants littered the roadways and yards.
It was a good weekend, but I didn’t really celebrate Independence Day.
I celebrated having a place to live.
Now, I wasn’t homeless, but I have been living with my parents since I graduated from Wichita State last May.
As much as I enjoyed spending a couple months with my high school roommates, I am stoked to be able to say I live where I work.
I am going to save a bunch of money on gasoline, and my house is really nice.
It has hardwood floors, two bedrooms, a porch and a two-car garage.
Compared to the apartment I had prior to leaving Wichita, this house is far superior, and I loved my apartment.
Of course, the attribute that seems to make me prefer my new accommodations more, though, is the porch.
I had a balcony in Wichita, but it wasn’t very useful because if you were to sit in a chair, you couldn’t see over the top of the railing.
However, the porch I have now is nearly perfect. There is a porch swing and the edge is low enough to see over while being high enough to serve as extra seating.
Sadly, though, now I am going to have to mow my lawn, which I enjoyed not being required to do in Wichita. That’s OK, though, because it is worth having enough space to live rather than sharing every inch of space with hundreds of other apartment residents.
My friends and family have been over, and they all think it is a really nice place as well.
Soon, I am going to secure a grill and have a barbecue because I have never been able to host on of those, and once I get a grill, I will have everything a household needs, except for a washer and dryer.
I can always just spray my clothes with a water hose if I get in a pinch, or I’m sure my high school roommates would be more than happy to let me use their facilities.
Maybe they would even scare up a meal for me.
First Independence Day Coverage
Between helping my brother and father move my furniture into my house, though, I did attend a few Independence Day events in the area.
It was the first time I have had to cover such celebrations, so it was very interesting to look at them from a purely news prospective.
On July 4 I went to Galva to spend time with family and friends and provide musical entertainment for a street dance, but then on July 5, I went to Inman.
I had a good time.
I ate baked potatoes with chili, watched a professional fireworks guru set up the pyrotechnics and I met some really cool people.
The highlight, though, was getting to go on two rides – on in a carriage drawn by Clydesdales and the other in a plastic barrel pulled by a lawn mower.
It was a lot of fun, and it inspired me. All I need to do is convince my brother to help me create a barrel train like the one they had in Inman.
Then I can drive it around in circles in my backyard. I did mention I have one of those now, right?
Family Tree Has Many Branches
Last Sunday I attended a Vogts family reunion in Moundridge.
It was a very educational event.
I knew and recognized a lot of people there, but until then, I didn’t know I was even related to them, although it did help further my belief that I am related to the majority of McPherson County.
That is kind of sad that I didn’t know my own family, though, and I felt bad at first.
However, then Bert Schrag mentioned that she didn’t know two families that were in attendance, and since she is much more knowledgeable about the family tree than I, it must be quite embarrassing for her.
I’m sure, though, that she and I both will attend next time and not be so caught off guard.
Besides, getting a little red in the face is worth the incredible amount and variety of food that was available.
That is one thing about being a Vogts. We all like to talk, and most of us can cook.
Hopefully I figure out how to really work in the kitchen soon. After all, I have a kitchen now, so I can practice.
Bob Has A Hippie Bus
Recently I ran into an old college friend from my days at Hutchinson Community College.
His name is Bob, and as usual, he had himself crammed into a pair of women’s jeans with his hair long and unruly.
I asked him what he was doing nowadays, and he said he had a bus.
At first I waited for him to continue, but when he didn’t, I asked him if that was it.
He said he had a bus and he was preparing to drive a band across the country as they go on tour.
According to Bob, this band is from the south, and he met them randomly. He told them he had a bus, and they enlisted him as a driver for their tour.
So for the next few months, Bob will be driving a band around the United States in his bus.
Of course, since it is Bob we are talking about, it isn’t a normal bus. It is, as I understand it, an old school bus, and he has converted the engine to run on diesel and cooking oil.
Silly hippie, next thing he’ll be doing is recycling his food.
That may sound crazy, but it is happening in San Francisco, according to Time magazine.
I’m all for a cleaner environment and alternative energy sources, but really? Old food?
At one time in my life I tried to become more like Bob, but I guess I’m really not cut out for the hippie lifestyle.
It’s easier to fill my vehicle up with gasoline; instead of doing as Bob does and attempting to “find” cooking oil to power my ride.
Good luck, Bob. I think you’ll need it.