These past few days have been all about spending time with my kids and my daughter in law.
My daughter doesn’t get back to Kansas nearly often enough, so we pack everything into the few days she is here. I am greedy, and the time has to be treasured to the fullest.
It was decided before she arrived to make a trip to the Flint Hills, Westmoreland and Wamego while she was home. Each holds a memory or two from car journeys when the kids were little.
We took a slight detour to the Coyote Buffet in Topeka for a mid morning breakfast. The breakfast was good, and daughter Christy ran into one of her roommates from college days while we were there.
It was in Topeka where our Google mapping system went astray. The lady with the beautiful voice on the smart phones must have stayed up way too late the night before — or had a few too many of the local brews.
We ended up on a car tour that was just short of epic.
I have fairly good memories of roads and road numbers, but in this day and age satellite mapping just might get you there quicker and know where any unforeseen detours are. So I let the kids do the mapping.
We drove and drove and drove.
Miles and miles of tall grass prairie. How did the pioneers do it? How did they not just slaughter each other and give up?
Let’s just say we went a little bit out of our way.
Upon arrival the overlook was beautiful as always. The hills were green and rolling. Not a cloud in the sky. It was tranquil and peaceful and utterly beautiful.
My son says it is always sunny when he reaches the overlook. Walking away from the car you could hear booming sounds. No clouds, so it isn’t thunder. I remark it must be artillery fire from Ft. Riley. This set off a discussion about the practice of military training.
Our next stop was the cemetery at Westmoreland, Kan. This little town hasn’t changed much since I first went there 45 years ago.
We found the proper tomb stones and took some photos. It was beautiful there. So far the trip was good till my daughter decided to try her luck at keeping a bee in her sandal. She got stung — and the bee died, so I think it was a draw.
We located their Great-Grandparents former home on the edge of town and lots of memories came flooding back. It is still a beautiful old house on a creek.
No trip is complete without a trip to the Kreem Kup in Wamego for ice cream and a short rest.
We talked about relatives and people who are no longer with us. We saw places we all remembered. Who knows when we will be back that way again?
We spent about seven hours together that day. Driving, laughing and remembering.
Once again Mom was reminded of the new politically correct ways of thinking about things.
These are the times I will remember on those holidays we aren’t together. When I have doubts if I was a good Mom. If I taught my kids the things they needed to know, I will think about what my son said “It is always sunny at the overlook.”
I will know I did just fine.
Satellite mapping, road trips and family