Everything makes sense, when you go back home – THS 30th high school reunion

We don’t look so bad for a pair of old schoolers….

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It is amazing how much Facebook has changed high school reunions. There are people we keep up with almost on a daily basis through our Facebook accounts. High school reunions are simply an extension of those conversations.

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[Mental note: don't ever attempt to take pictures in a low lit bar.]

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The Scotts. Scott Phelps was a diver. Scott Sutherland was a swimmer. Both Scotts were one of the nice guys of high school. Phelps tries to be a bad a**, but his heart is too good in the end. Two friends who have remained a part of each other’s lives on a regular (but never enough) basis.

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Jessica knows I adore her. But we have teased Phelps mercilessly that he married a twenty-something gal. Phelps has a two-year-old daughter. TWO!! I can’t even imagine. But while he’s busy spoiling his 4 boys and now 1 daughter, as well as running a very successful landscaping company in KC, Jessica works at the greatest, coolest, cutting-edgiest marketing company in downtown KC. I don’t know how she manages a household and an office filled with creatives. Oh yeah, I know how…..SHE’S TWENTY SOMETHING!! (are you even thirty yet, Jessica? Please tell me you’re catching up to our age.)

Two wonderful people that we love being around!

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WARNING: shameless self promotion ahead…
Greg Slaybaugh’s wife quickly became my favorite person at the reunion. Scott was talking to Greg and his wife then brought me over to introduce me. Scott, “This is my wife, Greta.”

Greg’s wife turned around, gasped (I’m not lying here…) and said, “OH!, you’re so beautiful! Your eyes!! Oh my goodness you have beautiful eyes.”

Did I mention how much I loved her?!

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It was a fun, exciting evening. Scott and I didn’t get to attend the next night’s formal get-together, but we enjoyed catching up with some wonderful Truman grads from a mere thirty years ago…

p.s. Dad, the guy in the blue and white wide striped shirt is Perry Dummit.

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Everything makes sense, when you go back home: favorite KC spots

There is something truly wonderful about driving into your hometown and really seeing all those landmarks you know so well.

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One of our favorite BBQ places in Kansas City is LC’s BBQ. It is one of those wonderful hole-in-the-wall places with fabulous BBQ (which is saying something in KC!) Located at the corner of Sni-A-Bar and Eastwood Trafficway, it is well worth the awful parking.

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It’s a special treat when LC himself is ‘in residence’. He sits at his same table and makes business calls, pays bills and chats with employees. Phonebooks line his desk giving the strong impression that he feels terms like ‘smartphones’ are just a passing phase. His face is always stern and serious until finally someone breaks it with a joke and a slight smile.

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I was too excited to eat this KC BBQ treasure and didn’t even THINK to take a Before picture! (me?! forget to take a picture??) But the After picture pretty much sums it all up.

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A little inside family joke. One time (ONE TIME!) I told Hannah the QT in Oak Grove was especially nice. I used to stop there on the way out of town when I lived in Columbia, Missour, what?…5 years ago?? But every.single.time Hannah drives by it on her way into the city I get a single text: “This is such a niiiiice QT.” and I know exactly where she is. (little smart alec)

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Paper Source: certainly one of my KC favorites!!

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And then there is Anthropologie on the Plaza. Truly my Happy Place. The colors and textures and vintage loveliness. I breath it in like oxygen.

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And while Starbucks is my chai tea place of choice, no one can beat Latte Land’s Wedding Cake Cookie. Oh my….such goodness!!

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Kansas City knows how to serve BBQ. No sissy napkins, just a roll of papertowels is all that’s needed!!

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I’ve wanted an air plant for some time now. I found them at the Dutch Flowers place at the Farmer’s Market. ‘Harry’ (from Missouri) came back to Omaha with us.

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Scott and I have marked the history of our time together with the consistent pleasure of meandering through the Farmer’s Market in downtown Kansas City. Before I met Scott, I always felt drawn to the market as a source of centering and renewal. As we were making our way to the end, Scott looked at the crowd in front of us (picture below) and said, “This is what it means to Co-Exist.” He was right. Every walk of life intermixes at the City Market. People of wealth who choose an organic lifestyle as well as people buying inexpensive fruits and vegetables for their family’s week ahead. Sellers are from all parts of the world and thick accents drift through the air.

I often think of Anne Lamott when I walk through the city market. In her book, Traveling Mercies, she talks of the Sunday mornings when she had done too much partying that weekend:

“This is where I liked to be when I was hungover or coming down off a cocaine binge, here in the dust with all these dusty people, all this liveliness and clutter and color.”

I have often felt that way while bumping into people josling their goods, arms filled with bags of fresh produce.
While watching woman turn simple wildflowers into bouquets of art…
The strong scents of Middle Eastern spices mixed with the sweet honey dripping from a square of baklava…
Young musicians making a few extra bucks while old musicians anchor their corners with familiar songs being transcribed by a well-worn saxophone…
The strong textile colors of handmade jewelry and handwoven rugs.

Every sense is violently assaulted and stirred back into a hopeful state of living.

Walking side by side with humanity, dusty from their week of toil. Sharing space in front of each booth and leaning in to allow their unfettered passage. This IS the meaning of co-existence. Each time, I am sure I see Jesus’ dirty sandals and see his peaceful face in a crowd of black faces and yellow hands. I think, were he physically walking the earth today, he would choose to linger in places like this. Places where authenticity is written on each face. I believe he would prefer the raw, hurt and flawed people of the City Market to the starched white purity of a synagogue.

A few hours later we quickly ran into our old church, Revolution, to hear Eric’s sermon before leaving town. Listening to the worship song, “…you make beautiful things out of dust…” cemented my early morning thoughts.

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Bloom Baking Co. This is the owner who will excitedly talk to you extensively about artisan bread. What a gem. His thick, Italian accent is perfection.

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We were living out of the back of our car and loving every minute of it!

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Oh how we love the core of this city…

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My dream home – the Stuart Hall lofts

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One of the best views of the city – the WWI Liberty memorial

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Kansas City’s skyline has been beautifully planned. Like a tablescape with varying heights. Some modern design mixed with old. Some wide buildings mixed with tall. The height in the middle surrounded by decreasing building blocks.

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I’m convinced these condos must have the best view of the city. I would love to see one some time. #bucketlist

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It was fun to see my old ride to work: a yellow taxi cab!

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(I thought this new law office was supposed to be built with the same architectural design as the Plaza???)

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We had to eat at our old pizza spot: Minsky’s Pizza off the Plaza. For me, it’s the best pizza!!

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My old bike trail… (warm, happy memories!)

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And the old homestead… (super happy memories!)

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Running up to the Fairway market was as close to grocery perfection as it came.

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It is amazing what one day in our home city can do…making everything perfectly clear again. This is who we are.

“There’s no such thing as a free dog.”

Those are my father-in-law’s wise words. Their beloved dog, Gypsy, wandered onto their property over 10 years ago. But since that time, Gypsy as been sick and needed special dog food, had numerous tumors removed, etc. All of that, not free. Any time something becomes much bigger than expected, that is usually the reaction: ‘There’s no such thing as a free dog.’

At the end of last year, Scott and I bought this great office chair at our favorite Omaha junk store (in Old Market.) I was very excited to use it at my work table. The owner (who knows we are faithful customers), sold it to us for $5. Five dollars! A caster was broken on it, but after Scott looked it over, that seemed to be the only problem; the rest of the chair construction was very sound.

Simple. Buy 5 new casters and voila!, a cool new office chair.

And yet, since the end of last year, it has sat in our garage.

Once Scott started researching where to buy the new casters he soon realized that they were antique casters that were no longer made. There were a few places online, but the cost was just too much. Nevertheless, Scott kept researching it every now and then.

This morning, while looking online once again, he found that there was a caster company in downtown Omaha, so we jumped in the car to see what they had. Seems the issue was that the casters needed to have a threaded shaft and now they make casters that you shove up in a hole and they click into place.

The caster company in Omaha had a few suggestions ready for us when we got there – after Scott talked to them on the phone. Their casters were smaller, but seemed to be strong and sturdy. Out we walked with 5 metal casters for $35.

$35 casters to go on our $5 chair.
ugh.

But…I love how it looks!!! (does ‘pretty’ count?!)

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Our ‘free dog’ turned out to be a bit more than we expected. Yet still, we would have paid much more than $40 for a Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware chair, no?!
(my spiritual gift is Rationalization.)

p.s. Don’t judge my mess. I’m in the middle of a thing.
…yet I always seem to be in the middle of a thing…