Monday, September 3, 2012

Missouri Snapshots

I'm back from my whirlwind trip to the Show Me State. The trip was too short, way too short, but at least I got a lot of pictures out of it, all attempts to hold on to each moment a little longer. 

The Mighty MO, or what civilians call the Missouri River. I lost count on how many times I crossed the river in the last couple days, but it was a lot. I declared it my favorite river, so much better than the Potomac (ohh, burn). There is just a sense of familiarity with it, so many memories connected to it. 

Speaking of familiarity, I don't know how my mom's flower garden survived the drought, but it must be magical. My mom has tended flowers outside of every single home that our little family has ever lived in, and there is just a peace that comes from pretty living things out front.

Oh, the drought. It was bad. There are several farms in between the airport and my mom's house and seeing field after field of dried out crops was indeed heartbreaking. But it just wasn't the fields that were brown and dying, but almost every living thing:
This is suppose to be green grass.
But then it rained, and rained and rained for a day and a half straight. I don't want to say that my visit to the Heartland broke the drought,  that would just be prideful, it was actually the tails of Hurricane Isaac. But I do still take credit for breaking the Red Sox curse in 2004.

The Old Jail on Fort Leavenworth. I love all jails, but the old jail on the Fort Leavenworth would always creep me out, and that was when you couldn't even go in. But now they have torn down many of the original buildings and  turned it into a restaurant and painted it yellow and  it isn't creepy anymore.  
Kansas traffic jam: waiting for a train to pass: 

Canning. I dug out my mom's old canning pot and made some Chocolate Raspberry Sauce, so good it deserves all three of those capital letters. The recipe can be found here, but let me warn  you, like anything that you do with berries with annoying seeds, it is a little bit a pain to make, and takes longer than you think it will, but it is so worth it. 

 Gracie the cat made sure that none of the jars jumped out the water bath.

 Along with Gracie, I got to hang out with other wildlife neighbors, like the cows in the back pasture:
And I looked at the geese in the orchid. Those birds can be mean, so I stayed a safe camera lens distance away.

Intervention. A couple of friends may have had a little bit of an intervention for me, but I guess I really did need to have some trusted friends sit me down and talk about some of the hard things of life. And then we got frozen yogurt with sprinkles on top, and sprinkles are always a sign of good times ahead.

Sunday. My dad would always make me pancakes when I came home, and my mom, knowing how much small traditions mean to me, made me pancakes on Sunday morning. We slathered on some of the chocolate raspberry sauce, some leftover fresh berries, added a couple strips of crispy bacon and eat and shared family stories. Those were the best pancakes.

When I was about to dig in, my mom asked, "Well, aren't you going to take a picture of the pancakes?" Oh, she knows me so well. 
Later on that day we went for drive along narrow country roads looking for red barns.

And maybe a little small town charm.
Sorting and finding. One of the reasons why I came home was to help my mom go through some of my dad's things. I sorted his books, some of his favorites I kept on the shelves, not able to give them away, but I felt good about the pile of 306 books that are going to be donated to our local library and other charitable institutions. I know that my dad would want his books to be read. 306 may sound like a huge number, but it is only a small percentage of the books still holding up our house. But it wasn't just books, we found all kinds of things, including hundred of slides that my dad took when he was stationed in Europe in the late 1960's. 

 I want to dedicate a whole post talking about those slides, but it was truly an amazing find, the opportunity to see the world through my dad's eyes. There was a whole box filled with images he took in Italy. I can't wait to follow in his footsteps in November. 

I also found my mom's vintage Mason Jar collection. If for some reason these glass jars become the currency during the End of Times, my mom is so going to be the bank.

 But then after all these moments, I had to come back on an early morning flight. 
And now my head is full of next steps and new chapters and what to do and where to go and what my life is all about. More questions than answers, but also a small, but growing, hope that everything is really going work out just fine. 

1 comment :

  1. Crushing on that jail photos.

    Plus I may just need your chocolate raspberry sauce recipe.