Going to Kansas

The train is moving again. The glorious sounds of the engine meshing with the blurring of the landscape as the Amtrak rushes, backwards from my seat position, through the countryside of Michigan, the lush forests, farms, and hills of an old land that reflects the early days of the state and even the country, when cities were few and far.

We’re packed up and ready for another trip down to Olathe, Kansas. This would be the 5th or 6th time that the family is headed down to the Heartland to see the youngest sister and her significant other, the first time being in the summer of 2014 when we visited the University of Kansas. Kansas is still quite new to us as we have only scratched the surface of it, having only been near the border cities and not into the deep part of the state.

The conductor checked my ticket again today, as he always does, scanning it and giving it back to me where I place it back in the top compartment of my luggage bag.

Because of Kansas, I get the song “Dust in the Wind” playing in my head, and eventually on my computer. It is a song symbolizing our short time on this earth, that in the end we are just made up of earth stuff, living our lives and then being recycled back into the environment, continuing the cycle. We rent a period of time here to do as much as we can, to explore and learn about our history and what is beyond our imagination. The band is actually from Topeka, Kansas and released “Dust in the Wind” in 1977. The title comes from a passage in the Bible by Ecclesiastes:

I reflected on everything that is accomplished by man on earth, and I concluded:

Everything he has accomplished is futile — like chasing the wind!

In the end, everything we do, all the money we may or may not have, doesn’t matter one little bit, because all of it doesn’t go with us. The only thing we can hold onto are our hopes and dreams and to believe that there is more to life than just living and dying.

It sure is a big break from me playing video games for many hours straight, only getting up once in a while to eat something or use the facilities. I’ve become so addicted to playing Batman: Arkham Knight, the explosive finale in the Arkham series of games. Probably one of the best games I’ve played in a while, besides Skyrim, which is why I’ve had a hard time putting it down, because there is so much to see and do. From what I know so far, near 90% completion of the game, it is the ending stories of several high profile criminals in Gotham, and they all get locked up in prison, though I’m not sure yet if they escape or get released by some outside help.

For now, I continue to listen to the train’s whistle as it rumbles down the track. The usual route is stopping in Chicago at Union Station and then taking a bus to Wisconsin, but that is not the case this time. It will be a longer train ride to Lawrence, Kansas, going through a lot of flat farmland in Illinois and Missouri. It sure is a lot better than driving down there, which is what we did the first time, staring at boring scenery for hours and hours, but I remember it fondly and cherish every moment of it.

Lush

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GOAT

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There is no doubt about it now. The stats and on field performances tell it all. Tom Brady is the greatest of all time. With 5 Super Bowl rings, the first quarterback to fill one hand, and owning more records than the avid record collector, he has earned his spot atop the football mountain.

The New England Patriots epic comeback in Super Bowl LI was one of the greatest moments in sports, right up there with the Chicago Cubs World Series championship. After they were down 28-3 and struggling offensively, I didn’t think a comeback was very possible but little by little the Atlanta Falcons defense was worn down and eventually turned to Swiss cheese. Tom Brady proved he deserves the title of GOAT by marching the Patriots 91 yards down the field to tie the game at 28 and then send the game into overtime, the first in Super Bowl history, and then drove them 80 yards in a hurry to score the sudden death game winning touchdown. The Patriots never led in the game; when they scored in overtime, the game was instantly over and no time passed. An extra point wasn’t needed so the final score was 34-28.

 

Reflections

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Would I still recognize you

Long ago turned to stone

Turned to the shadows

Of a world passed away

But you’re still there

The same face but old

Rearranged

 

 

Recognize

Restaurants

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I can never resist the good feeling that comes with sitting down at a nice restaurant, particularly one with a good atmosphere and design.

Marathon Runners

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Life is a marathon, not a sprint

Full of ups and downs that take your breath away

You won’t reach the finish line in one night

But you can definitely start toward it today

Marathon

Soaring Wings

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Someday, I’ll have the wings to fly,

High above the clouds

But for now I am firmly grounded,

A mortal being,

Of flesh, blood, and bone

Someday

Queen Bee

That honeycomb farm

The bee definitely stings

But the honey is sweet

Crossing