After a couple weeks without writing for my column, I’ve had a lot of experiences that I could write about. I’ve been to my first NFL game, made my first trip to Nebraska, read about the role of policy in city government, won tickets to WWE Live in February, and witnessed an incredible Vespers worship service at the Presbyterian Church.
I’m going to assume that there will be enough ink spilled this week on the policy issue, so I will let others write about that. I will also assume that only a handful of readers want to hear about my inaugural visit to Arrowhead Stadium (It was awesome!).
I’m going to further assume that even less people want to hear about WWE Live (Does Hulk Hogan still wrestle?). So that leaves Nebraska and Vespers. I can’t put into words how great Vespers was so I will have to simply say it was incredible.
I guess we are left with Nebraska. You might be wondering how one can live here this long and never visit Nebraska. Or you might be wondering what one can write about that is interesting in regards to Nebraska. Having never been there previously, I’ve always pictured it as being a cold, windy, snowy place. For my first venture into Cornhusker territory, they were kind enough to bring in a cold front that delivered strong winds from the north and about six inches of snow before it was all said and done.
From south of Lincoln to Fremont we drove about 45 mph in snow. While driving on I-80, we were on the tail end of a line of cars that all of a sudden began hitting their brakes and sliding all over the freeway. The cause? An individual driving their car about 25 mph. I made the comment to Dani, “That person is driving dangerously slow.”
My daughter, having never heard that phrase before, asked, “How can someone drive slow dangerously?”
This led to an explanation about the flow of traffic and being confident and cautious. As I navigated the snowy roads and gripped the steering wheel with both hands, my mind began to ponder whether or not we can move dangerously slow as a community. The answer is, of course, yes. There has to be a balance between caution and advancement, because if we aren’t moving forward, we are moving backward; nothing stays the same.
What would it look like for Marion to be a community moving forward responsibly? Perhaps the number of students requiring free or reduced lunches would decrease because better jobs are available for their parents. Perhaps storefronts like Duckwall’s and what I think used to be a hardware store would again be active businesses.
Perhaps our young people wouldn’t write that Marion “sucks” on Facebook and Twitter. Perhaps we would find that there is a lot more that we agree about than we disagree about.
As 2011 comes to an end, let’s put it behind us and move forward together.