Hello, dear readers — I’ve got a smattering of thoughts to share with you this week, so I’ll just get right into it. I hope you all enjoyed the snow, I’m quite sorry to say I missed it!
The past week was another absolute whirlwind, with a trip out to see my husband’s family in Colorado and California. We enjoyed the mountains and the beach, ate our weight in homegrown oranges and of course, had lots of great moments with family before John heads to South Korea for a one-year Army assignment.
We met our newest dog nephew in Denver (Louie the Golden Retriever) and human niece in San Diego (noisy Natalie Isabella), spent quality time with my in-laws in Huntington Beach, visited John’s 93-year-old grandfather in Sacramento (he’s been in and out of the hospital lately) and caught up with old friends up and down the West Coast.
I also had the joy of watching the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV against the San Francisco 49ers — while I was in California. As long as I can remember, the Chiefs have always been terrible, but for Kansans, they’re all we’ve got (NFL wise). To watch them come from behind and take the title as the nation’s best team was such a great moment. I was proud to be from the heartland.
Thanks to coffee and comfortable shoes, I made it through the trip, though I was pretty exhausted by the time we got home. I should note that home these days isn’t so much a tangible place as a space in time in which I know I can take a breath — i.e. knowing I don’t have to get on an airplane or even take a long car ride for at least a month makes me feel at home.
By the time you read this, however, I am hopefully literally at home in my new rental house in Wichita, Kan., as I signed a lease last week and spent the weekend unpacking and organizing all my earthly belongings.
We all know that moving is not for the faint of heart, but especially for those who choose to rent homes. You would think after nearly 15 years of renting spaces of all shapes and sizes, I’d have this down, but it never ceases to amaze me how things can go so awry.
Let’s just say I was promised a clean house, and I was handed a sty. I’ll spare you the details, but six hours, several containers of Clorox and a lot of elbow grease later, my saintly mother and husband had helped me sanitize the place from top to bottom.
So far, 2020 has already been full of ups and downs — for me and for so many people I know.
We all at The Constitution received some sad news last week: our dear friend and fellow reporter Grace Leonhart died after suffering a stroke early this month. Grace was optimistic, generous and kind; she graciously welcomed me to Lawton and to The Constitution newsroom my first week in town last summer. She had a sweet smile and an unbridled laugh that filled the room, and five minutes with Grace always left people feeling encouraged and special.
Each Wednesday in her Cook’s Corner feature, Grace shared stories from the kitchens of Lawton’s favorite cooks and bakers, giving them a chance to spotlight their favorite recipes and family memories. I looked forward to reading them each week, as I know many of you did. I know Grace was beloved in the Lawton community, and her beautiful soul will be deeply missed.
I am thankful our paths crossed and I will never forget Grace. I want to take her spirit with me into new and challenging situations, to look for the good, give generously and love well. I hope you’ll join me in honoring her legacy.
Hannah Maginot is a part-time features and area reporter for The Lawton Constitution. Send her story ideas from your neck of the woods at email@example.com.