I remember being a student in 1974-76 at Wichita State University in Speech Pathology/Audiology. I was but 20-22 years old, freshly married. My new husband was pre-med.

We were both from the Kansas City area, growing up very close to the Kansas/Missouri border—teen sweethearts.  Today, we are still married in 2012.

When I look at this picture twin brothers, Larry and David Jordan recently sent me, I smile. We used to joke that in Wichita, Kansas  when the cows would lean into the strong winds, that when the wind stopped blowing the cows fell over.

We had leaned into strong winds of living in a poverty stricken area of Wichita, shopping in our low income area Razooks and Jabarra’s grocery stores that were part of the “urban core.” We had an armed guard in our grocery stores—not a good sign!

Larry and David were Vietnam veterans, and Rex and I were young enough to have missed the major horrors of war compared to those who went off to Vietnam, and some did not come back (my first cousin Michael White of Lenexa, Kansas did not come back). This was the ultimate price of war-death, and we learned later of the destruction of war, beyond damaging so many returnees with exposure to Agent Orange and massive DDT. There was an influx of Vietnamese immigrants to Wichita, and I taught a few of the children, K-8th grades in three public school, English as a second language, while I did my speech pathology clinicals. I had to take my TB tine test over and over, since so many of these children and adults had TB.

Rex and I in this comical picture were smiling because the wind was blowing up my dress. I was having trouble keeping it in place for this picture! This is our college graduation picture. We were smiling because the world lay ahead of us, full of opportunity. We had both graduated summa cum laude, after the hard labor of studying, instead of partying in college.  We were blessed to have each other and be so darn compatible.

I think this could be a metaphor for life. When our wind stops blowing we fall over. We need some resistance to keep us strong, striving, struggling in life or we fall over. Too much wind is deadly, but too little wind is deadly in a different way. We become weak, lazy, self-satisfied, arrogant when we do not have struggle and we fall over. Sometimes our whole society falls over when the wind stops blowing.


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