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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Friday, June 06, 2008

Painted Palm Trees

If life were a cartoon, I’d be sitting poolside in paradise.

Actually I'm at an indoor pool at the end of our motel hallway in Iowa, but the muralled walls around me show huge arching palm trees swaying in an Island breeze. It's not quite Destin but this is as tropical as Iowa gets. Kudos to the artist for resisting the temptation to use John Deere Green to paint the leaves.

To my surprise there isn’t another soul here at the pool. (We have friends in the same motel and they were down here with their children a little while ago. I came down here to watch them get pruney but just missed them.) Oh, here's a picture I borrowed from the motel's web site. See? Doesn't that look tropical? Ha Ha.

We had breakfast this morning with another old friend whose children my wife taught in second-grade about 25 years ago. I later had them in my high school English class. He is perhaps the most gifted “people person” I have ever met. I feel pretty up-to-date on the two generations of Iowans in our circle of friends out here--not a moment too soon since we’ll be spending the evening at a wedding / reception with many of them.

(Incidentally, this friend and dozens of others we’ll see tonight work at (or retired from or ride on a) John Deere so just in case some of them eventually read this, let me add that the palm trees around this pool would have looked just fine had the artist used John Deere green.)

Two bits of news: The Detroit Redwings had a victory parade this morning in Motown. I’m not a huge hockey fan, but I become one when the Redwings are in the Playoffs. Stayed up until 1:00AM Monday night to watch them lose in triple overtime so they had to clinch the Stanley Cup in Pittsburg. Detroit could use a shot in the arm since the Pistons dropped out of the playoffs last Friday night and the Tigers are roaring only in spurts.

Second bit of news is that we had tornado sirens going off at 2:00AM this morning. Our friends in the motel woke up to it and told us about it at breakfast. Julie and I slept right through the whole thing. I guess the sighting was about twenty miles south and west of here. Strange weather lately that’s for sure.

Julie ran up the road to the Super Target (ours at home is just a plain Target, so hey...) Me? I'm going to take a dip in this quiet pool and enjoy the faux shade of these Iowa palm trees.


Blogger Donnetta Lee said...

Hi, Tom! Sounds like you're living the good life right now. We had rough weather last night, too. I was surprised that our sirens didn't go off. We had tornado "watch" until 3 in the morning. Luckily, just had high winds and storms-no tornadoes. Supposed to come up again tonight. Don't get too spoiled! (But have a neat time with your friends.)

6/6/08 12:35 PM  
Blogger Dr.John said...

I love that pool. I rejoiced for the Red Wings though I'm not much of a hockey fan and don't live in Michigan any more.

6/6/08 5:47 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Hi Tom K.
The Wings did win and it was a party in my house, well if you can call a 13 year old jumping up an down with excitement a party.
Patrick loves sports, basketball, baseball and hockey. Who am I kidding, if it is considered a sport in any part of the world, rather he fully understands it or not, it is a sport that he likes, no loves to watch (if he can not play it). The overtime loss was a pure disaster here-if you don't think it could be that bad-then you do not understand how important sports are to Patrick.
I hope you and yours enjoy the time in the palm tree lined paradise.

6/6/08 9:48 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Donnetta Lee,
Yes, I saw that your area was in the same weather pattern that finally moved east. This evening was absolutely picture perfect for our the bride and groom we came to see.

Dr. John,
It has taken me a very long time to figure out that you are no longer in the U.P. (but still not far away in Wisconsin). I hope you don't mind all the U.P. references I've made since we've met.

Tom A.,
I think most of the guys in the high school are huge fans. I had one graduate last Friday who was afraid the Redwings would be playing during commencement. That didn't happen, but he did miss the first quarter of the Piston's last game and was not happy about that.

I did have a nice morning dip in that pool with the painted palms. The rest of the day we took it easy, had lunch at our favorite little Chinese place (favorite from back when we lived here--it's still as we remember it). Drove by our former houses, etc. and then went to a beautiful wedding with many, many old friends.

It was very nice to visit. We didn't get back to the motel until after midnight. We head back to Michigan in the morning. See you Sunday!

7/6/08 12:28 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hey Mr. K -

If you see anyone I know while you are still in Waterloo tell them hello from me! Glad you had a nice trip!


7/6/08 9:44 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Hey, Betsey,
We're home in Michigan again, but it was nice to visit with lots of your old friends who were also friends of the Fergusons. I try to avoid full names here so have fun figuring this out: I saw Jim T who did become an architect as planned, Jordan M. (and his wife Lisa). He stills sings. Carrie B. who moved back to Waterloo some time ago. Amber and Jessica N. were there with their newborns... and of course lots of grown-up kids the age of my daughters since it was Kim's friend Jenny who was getting married. It would have been great to see you while we were in town, but it was a short two-day trip. Come to think of it... are you in Waterloo?
Thanks for stopping by!

7/6/08 10:51 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Thought I'd share my miscellaneous thoughts after reading this post:

First thought, and I don't know the whole story, but my grandfather had to be kindly asked to retire from John Deere when he was in his upper seventies (he must have really liked working there!). Now I'll have to have my dad tell me the exact story.

Second thought was that I'm very glad you were not bothered by a tornado! I sure think twice now whenever I see funky clouds over head!

And in the end I have absolutely no comment in regards to the Redwings, being from Colorado and all! ;)

Julie in Colorado

7/6/08 11:03 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Our saga with tornados continues. As we left Iowa heading back east to Michigan, we dropped my middle daughter off at Union Station in Joliet, Illinois, to spend the weekend with some of her college friends in Chicago. (She had just spent two days with her elementary friends now grown, but she's a very social person who will be working the rest of her summer and wanted to say hi since we were passing through.) Anyway, as we dropped her off in the Chicago area, you guessed it... the sky grew dark and tornados were reported in all directions. By the time we got back to west Michigan, the storms had crossed the big lake, and last night we lost power for several hours.

We're hoping for blue skies today!

8/6/08 5:55 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Sounds like the storms just followed you East and I hope some of that rain continues toward the East. We have had 100 degree days for about a week now... too hot... too soon!

I'm glad you enjoyed your wedding trip and what a blessing to connect with old friends. You seem to enjoy every minute of life and appreciate God's creation and blessings where ever you go. That makes you special and makes me want to keep coming back for more from Patterns of Ink.

8/6/08 6:57 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Yes, the black clouds of the front that hit the Chicago area were in our rear view mirror all the way. I-35 in Holland, Michigan, was flooded beyond passage just a few hours after we went through there.

Thank you for being such an encouragement to so many. I'm looking forward to having more time to write this summer and to dropping by my bookmarked blogs. I've enjoyed following you and your husband's trip out west.

8/6/08 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The weather (what would we do for conversation without it?)..continues to cause havoc. We had the winter first and looked foreward to Spring/Summer. But alas the "Spring" has been wet and mostly, chilly. This past weekend though has been absolutely awful in South-Central Wisconsin!!!! The governor has issued a state of emergancy due to flooding. Several schools, this morning, are closed....it's the last week in most districts here. On Saturday we had winds, HARD (not shouting...just caps for illumination, hard rain and some tornadic activity. Alot of damage due to all of the above. The whole week could bring more! Praying for it to stop!!!

9/6/08 7:27 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I was watching the news tonight and it seems that everything Wisconsin got we got a few hours later. I don't mean to get hung up on the weather, but this has been a wild week. Keep safe over on your side of the Big Lake.

9/6/08 11:39 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Nope, I'm in Des Moines, and don't get back to Waterloo nearly as often as I'd like. Thanks for the mini-updates - I think I figured out everyone by first names. =) We've been having crazy weather, too - lots of flooding here. We've just had 3 days straight with no rain, and the last time we had that was the beginning of May, so something to be thankful for!

19/6/08 6:41 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

It sounds like things are starting to drain there (or at least to head south to other towns and levies).
The Brown Bottle was under water just a week after we had dinner there with the Schultzes.

Always good to hear from you.

20/6/08 1:56 PM  

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