I am grateful to be living safe and sound in Platte County, in Middle America, where the country or the town just a short ride from wherever I am. We live in a place where you can pick your type of town, too. There’s lake living such as Houston Lake, Riss Lake, Weatherby Lake or Lake Waukomis. Modern suburbia abounds. The heart of old Kansas City is minutes away, but so are the colorful old small towns of Parkville, Weston, Platte City and others.
I am not a refugee hauling all I own on my back, traveling often in the open, not knowing where my next bed is. For that matter, I don’t have to wonder where my next country is.
I need not fear living in cultural isolation. My household economy is not great by American standards, but compared to troubled parts of the world, I live in luxury.
Our electric power blinks off now and then but only for short times. Usually, we can count on it. The tap water is drinkable. We have no water shortage.
I made a grocery store run on Monday. Thanksgiving has come and gone but you can still by a heaping big turkey for the price of a fast-food lunch for two. Plenty of everything is on the shelves and in the coolers for everyone.
Now I won’t say that groceries are cheap. Anyone who doesn’t think that modern food prices sting does not live on moderate income or else they don’t do their own shopping.
But at least we don’t have scarcity.
And now comes the season before Christmas week. They’re like two different things.
The weeks of worry that you’ll get behind on everything you know you need to do to be ready for Christmas. Then comes the actual week of Christmas, where the jingle and jangle has been going so strong it almost feels like a permanent season.
Then it passes, and poof, a year is gone.
This season before Christmas is when you can make hopeful wishes. I have a few. Maybe next year I’ll dine on a wild turkey harvested from Platte County woods. Although I need to wish for more time to hunt and better luck to make that happen.
Oh the joy for completion of road and bridge repairs on Interstate 29 that practically paralyzed commuters into the city during this past summer. But please Santa, see if in your magic pack you can find plans for a new highway interchange system in oft-clogged downtown Kansas City. We’ll settle, though, for fresh pavement on I-29. See, too, if the elves can work some magic on state leaders to come up with a working highway funding plan. Ours is tattered.
Please Santa place under the Christmas trees at city halls, the court house and the state capital money for more law enforcement personnel to work traffic control on the highways. When you commute daily on the interstate, especially at rush hours, few things are more grinding on the nerves than reckless speeders and ruthless tailgaters. They cause wrecks, but if not, at a minimum they leave needless stress in their wake.
Oh Mr. Grinch, please visit Platte County this year. Myself and other folks welcome anything that causes delays in the city of Platte City’s commercial development east of I-29. Dare we say we are conservative because we hate to see taxpayer dollars used to obliterate the scenic rural countryside.
May the elves sprinkle some magic dust (and the reindeer leave some manure as fertilizer) on our Platte County farms that serve the local farm-to-table movement by growing wholesome food. Platte County farms are often mentioned in news stories about Kansas City’s local foods movement. More!
Be extra generous Santa while filling the stockings of volunteers who serve their community. They make so many good things happen merely for the sake of goodness.
When you check the Naughty and Nice List, be sure to note on the nice side the doctors, nurses, hospital employees and medical office staff personnel who treat patients with kindness as well as medicine. Ditto for my friends in my favorite locally owned pharmacy.
Well, that list should keep the great Claus busy for awhile. May you not fall too far behind on your errands as the Earth races for completion of another year’s journey around the sun.
Bill Graham, who lives in the Platte City area, may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.