A 10-year-old boy wants less school while a mom is looking forward to returning to school.
Money is tight for a woman raising three teenage grandchildren, but she’ll rejoice when her oldest grandson graduates from college this year.
And while 11-month-old Jillian Parmley can’t tell you just yet, she’s really looking forward to walking this year.
What is it about New Year’s Day that often makes us think of something, well, new? New hope, new plans — even while we know there will also be some of the same struggles.
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Drop in on a slice of life for some Wichitans and see what they were thinking Saturday before waking up today to a new year.
Nick Brown spent his last day as a 26-year-old at the Sedgwick County Zoo with his wife, Candice, their three children and other family members.
On a sunny, mid-60s day, even the bears were feeling frisky.
Nick is looking forward this year to landing a job with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office or with a police department in a nearby town.
“It’s something I always wanted to do,” he said. “Police have one of the best jobs. No day is the same. I’m a person who likes to be challenged.”
So does his wife.
Candice dropped out of Wichita State University eight years ago when she gave birth to their oldest child, Alexes.
“I literally took finals with her in my arms,” she said.
Two more children came. Her youngest, Donavan, 4, will start kindergarten next fall. That also means mom can return to WSU to get her degree in management information systems.
As for Donavan, he’s not looking past eating some of dad’s birthday cake today.
Love can use some strange paths to find a match.
Take Joel Hardy, 34, and Sally Gordon, 21, who were holding hands as they strolled around the zoo.
Hardy was an Army medic from Virginia Beach, Va., who had to leave the service after an ambulance ran over his foot and crushed it at Fort Benning, Ga., in 1999.
He later enrolled at Kansas State University to study criminology and met Sally last summer when they were both taking a class in the history of domestic violence.
“It was depressing,” Hardy said.
“Morbid,” Gordon added.
But they clicked and are now engaged.
“When you know, you know,” Hardy said, “so I put a ring on her finger.”
Gordon, a K-State junior majoring in secondary education, will be busy making wedding plans for 2013.
Hardy will graduate from K-State in May and start graduate school, specializing in studying serial killers. But he’s also looking forward this year to starting a nonprofit to work with inmates, helping keep them after their release.
“I want to make a difference,” Hardy said.
What Cole Parmley wishes for most in 2012 is a “shortage of school.” He’s 10.
Cole was taking in the zoo with his parents, Mike and Carrie Parmley, his two younger brothers, Carson, 7, and Campbell, 4, and Jillian, the one who was relaxing in the stroller and looking forward to walking.
“Now I’ll have to child-proof the house,” said Carrie, a registered nurse.
Her hope for 2012 is good health for everyone.
Mike, an insurance adjuster, wants to see a better economy and more prosperity.
“We’re doing fine,” he said, “but I’d like to see everyone else have a chance to do better.”
Mike is looking for a plan for keeping up with three active boys involved in multiple sports.
“It’s a miracle to get to Friday,” he said.
Keeping up with children is still part of Lynn Trammell’s life at 62. She’s raising three grandchildren, ages 14 to 16.
Saturday she was trying to stretch her dollars by shopping at Value Center at St. Francis and Douglas.
“My hope is to get my bills paid, car fixed and grandson through college,” Trammell said.
Her grandson is scheduled to graduate this year from ITT Technical College.
“He made the dean’s list because I yell at him, ‘Get your homework done,’ ” she said.
Margie Smith, 88, began volunteering at 14 as a nurse in the late 1930s in Kentucky.
“My hope for 2012 is that I can get out of bed every morning,” Smith said with a smile.
A good day for her is making others happy at the Regent, an independent living facility on North Webb where she lives.
After nearly 75 years of volunteering — the last 20 in pastoral care at Wesley Medical Center — she talks about retiring next summer, but don’t count on it.
“I want to be needed,” Smith said. “I like to help people.”
Not a bad thought to take into 2012.