Everything makes sense when you go back home: the flowers of Lone Jack

Bright morning sun on the flowers around Scott’s parents home…

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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.

“It’s time for an adventure!”

That phrase is probably one of my favorite things Scott says. He gets it in his system and won’t rest until we have done our thing: Go. See. Do.

I got off work on Monday afternoon around 4pm and he was ready to GO! “It’s too nice of a day to be at home. It’s time for an adventure!”

I grabbed my camera, our phones, and off we went.

Our day included:

* A stop at a lemonade stand not far from our house. The lemonade was freshly made, REAL lemonade (which we threw out, once we got out of her view…blech!) She was also selling shells for .50, so we bought two of those too – to document our Adventure. When I asked where she got them, she said it was from a trip her family took to the Ozarks. Missouri shells! Can’t go wrong there.

* We heard about a lavender farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa, so we headed there next. It was a big disappointment. The lavender was growing on a small patch of land (I didn’t even take a picture of it!)

* Then it was to the Dairy Den for a chocolate malt (Scott’s favorite) and a twist cone for me. We met a family in line in front of us that were traveling from Washington state. She came to town to surprise her niece at her baby shower. They were really pleasant people to talk to as we hung out on the Dairy Den rail. Ice cream brings people together, don’t you think? There was a couple on a date, however, that weren’t as interested in our conversation…

* We then drove to Lincoln Highway, the first coast to coast highway across the United States, which turns 100 years old this year. It is designated a Scenic Highway in Iowa. The views across Iowa were beautiful. Farmland is to be appreciated, no matter your current location or preference. It is the heart of so much of our lives.

* We stumbled upon a rest stop that included some historic buildings: a schoolhouse, a cabin and a mercantile store. It also showed the brick used for the coast to coast Lincoln Highway. It is hard to imagine all the brick that was used. I took a picture of an old water conduit that reminded me of an accordian-style, play tunnel my sister and I used to play with in our home’s basement (concrete floors). As adults we have laughed at how painful it was, crawling over the metal rings with our knees, grinding into the metal and concrete. I’m pretty sure we both have permanent damage to our knees because of it!

* The next thing to pop up was the Museum of Religious Arts. Unfortunately it was closed, but we will go back eventually. I’m curious to know what it includes.

* A nice surprise to me was the Nazarene church we passed along the highway.

* We stopped to take pictures of a motel sign that may or may not be a working motel…it was hard to tell!

* A herd of cattle that were less than thrilled that I was wandering around, shooting something toward their young calves. One mama, in particular, was quite vocal in her protection and dislike for me.

* Our only goal for the Adventure was to find farm fresh eggs. We figured if we drove far enough out in the country, we would eventually see a sign. About 2 hours into our drive, we screamed with excitement: “There it is!!!” We followed the circuitous route until we found the spot. While they gathered the eggs, Scott talked with the boy of the house. He was precocious and a great conversationalist. Scott asked him if he was glad it had stopped raining and he replied, “Ohhhh! Last night was teh-wa-ble!!” All I noticed was the fact that he was running around his front yard in his white socks. Brought back some FRUSTRATING memories!

* After leaving their house, we wandered further down that back road and found Hitchcock Nature Center. HOLY COW!! What a find! Beautiful trails to walk, campgrounds, RV grounds, a beautiful lodge with telescopes and bird information. As I walked around taking pictures, I found THE mother of all scenic look-out towers. I climbed to the top to take pictures, in spite of the fact that the sun was beaming so strong it was hard to see anything and a terrible time to take pictures. Scott, however, decided to stay firmly grounded. We are really excited about going back to this observatory, especially with Joyce, who will fill in all the extra details about the trees and birds. Waaaaaaaay off in the distance, you could also see downtown Omaha. As we left, we ran into two dogs and their owner. I stopped and talked with her a few minutes as she ran a faucet of waters for her dogs to enjoy. She lives nearby and walks the Hitchcock trails often. She warmly welcomed me to Omaha. As we parted she yelled over her shoulder, “I hope to see you again soon.” I love all of our encounters along the way as we Adventured on.

* On our way home, we stopped in Crescent, Iowa and ate at Henry’s Diner (‘Nothin’ finer). It has a local reputation for its fried chicken. We opted for a tenderloin and a hamburger. I always expect diners to grill their hamburger buns, and I wasn’t disappointed. The food was deliciously horrible for us! We took the majority of it home as leftovers – including Scott’s nasty (my opinion!) chicken gizzards.

What a beautiful Adventure. A fun day of driving and discussing every imaginable conversation topic. There are so many reasons that Scott is a gift to me. Perhaps, most of all, his love for Adventuring and enjoying every single minute of life.

Go.
See.
Do.

We did.

We loved.
We exhaled out stress.
We breathed in life.

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This week…

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I have seen beautiful sunrises and breath-taking sunsets.

I have been hugged by family.

I have laughed deeply with friends.

I have been spoiled by my husband

and encouraged by co-workers.

I have designed

and instructed

and dreamed.

I have met God’s blessing at every turn.

This week, I have been anointed by the beauty of the ordinary and flown in the company of angels…

free = almost free

Not long ago Scott came through the front door and said, “There’s a rod-iron headboard out by the dumpster.” We couldn’t believe it. He grabbed it and put it in our garage. A month of rainy, busy Sundays later and we finally were able to finish spray-painting it (originally a cream color) and put it up yesterday.

It was a nice thing to open my eyes to this morning.

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I love home/nesting projects!

I forgot to post these dames…

While I was home for a quick couple of days, I snuck over to see my Dad’s neighbors (and our friends), David and Melanie’s hens. They were so pretty (and BIG!) (Not that I was going to tell the red dames that!)

I am very jealous that they get to have such lovely pets in their beautiful backyard. What a wonderful way for their daughter, Ciera, to grow up.

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