After spending two weeks with family members, first in Las Vegas for my younger brother’s wedding and then in Missouri with two of my other brothers, I can honestly say that I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, sitting in my comfy chair with my feet up, playing with my cats and working on my iMac after all this remote time on the laptop. It’s not that I have not enjoyed our time together, in fact, it’s great to connect with everyone face to face.
After spending a week in Las Vegas, I am determined that it will be a very long time before I can be convinced to return to Hell, 105 degrees in the shade, where even the green is brown. I have no idea how people can live in such an inhospitable place, but I do know that after my year in Arizona in a previous life, I could not wait to return to the four distinct seasons of the Midwest (does not include road destruction season). I can live without the month-and-a-half-long, sub-zero temps here, but I can put on many layers of clothing to help keep me warm should I have to venture out. When it’s boiling hot, there are just not enough clothes to remove to keep you cool. End of story.
Over the past eight days, I spent two with my middle brother on his little farm in Amish country, where fields of wildflowers sway in the humid breeze, the corn grows tall, and the horsedrawn buggies pass by on the gravel road. One of my favorite stops is the Amish store, where every sort of gadget hangs on hooks on the wall or lays neatly arranged on shelves and tables. Pear honey, rhubarb jam, wildflower honey, glycerin and buttermilk soaps, pickles and relishes, buckwheat, coconut and almond flour and every other kind you might imagine; these line the shelves, along with bowls, pans, glassware and utensils, cherry pitters and grinders, sausage stuffers and pie lifters. I spend way too much time and way too much money there.
In Joplin, I generally have a chance to visit my favorite gallery, Local Color. Unfortunately, I did not this time, which is probably a good thing, since I have no room to stick another piece of art anywhere in my tiny home, and I already have enough pottery to open a shop. One of the highlights of my week is the big neighborhood July 4 celebration, where neighbors young and old gather together to share food and drink, camaraderie and music, where kids raise the flag each year and the bugler bungles taps. I never made it to the fireworks this time, but the display is always delightful.
On the road today all day. I love to drive in the peace and quiet of my Saab rocket, and when I feel my eyelids getting heavy, I crank up the music and sing along, something I could never do with company, since it’s a known fact that I am unable to carry a tune in a bucket. In fact, I cannot even sing Happy Birthday…