Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Visiting cousins in Kansas and Nebraska; friends in Missouri

Life is a gift bulging with mystery, intrigue, comedy, tragedy and purpose. When we realize our days here matter, our pain has significance and our choices are meaningful, we can step through the darkest times with hope in our hearts.
--Patsy Clairmont, Christian writer

Kansas City area – three cousins to visit here
Cousin Steve Anderson (my dad and his dad were brothers), his wife Ellen and I had some sweet visiting time. Steve is recovering from some serious health problems and that slowed us down a bit since he tires easily. The newest Anderson offspring arrived while I was there, making my cousin Steve Anderson a first-time grandfather. Blake Alan Anderson arrived weighing in at 8 lbs, 3 oz.

Cousin Bill Hunter (my mom and his dad were siblings) and his wife Rose was my second stop in the KC area. Since they both still work, my visiting time was over a weekend and we made the most of the short time.

Cousin Janet (Hunter) Hartsock (Bill's sister) and her husband Paul treated me to a driving tour of greater downtown KC (Kansas and Missouri) area. So many interesting things to see. They both grew up in the area so they knew the history of the area. The day flew by and soon I was in Jeremiah back tracking a bit to Missouri. I'm camped at Smithville Lake campground and will be here until Thursday morning. Two friends, Carol and John Pletz, are volunteering here this summer. I met them when we were volunteering at McDowell Mountain Park.

I've given myself three days of no driving and minimum visiting. This gives me time to get housekeeping chores done and to continue learning this blankety-blank computer. Steve helped me get Quicken ($$ software) installed so I've been working to get it up to date since my first computer crash last May! And to get this blog entry ready. He also helped me with my camera software and now I can manipulate photos for the blog!

This morning I awoke to a glorious pink/peach sunrise, Canada geese honking, numerous other birds serenading the day's beginning. Outside temps are in the low 70s – this desert rat thinks the temperature is cool! The loop where I'm camped has been empty the past two days; it's like having my private grassy park, dotted with trees, a view of the lake and picnic tables. This is typical of midwest campgrounds at lakes – overflowing Friday to Sunday midday and wide open Sunday through Thursday.

When I went to the Pletz' campsite to visit, their 'grand-dog' dashed over to greet me – and was so excited he jumped on the back of my legs, giving me two nasty lacerations from his toenails. Carol helped me clean up and bandage the area. That night I tossed and turned while worrying about the injury. Well, infection is the last thing I want. When I decided to get medical attention in the morning – 'buy' myself some peace-of-mind – I slept soundly. The ER folks were super, and after cleaning up the wound area and giving me a prescription for 5 days of antibiotics, I drove back to Jeremiah.

I was annoyed when the one-man “geese patrol” came through on his John Deere gator and shooed the grazing geese back to the lake! When he came by on his way back I asked him why he did this – the geese weren't bothering any one. He said they left a “mess” behind. So, here we are out in nature, and people are 'camping'. My attitude is if folks don't want to see goose poo, they should stay home!

On Thursday I drove into Nebraska for more Anderson cousin visiting. This time it was to see more Anderson cousins - Don and Connie Anderson and Gary and Barb Anderson. I parked at Don and Connie's driveway and it was non-stop talking to catch up on life. They also took me to the independent living apartment where Aunt Maxine Anderson lives. She is Don, Gary and Steve's mother. She lives in a lovely place, and she enjoys watching golf on TV. Their entire family were serious golf players!

All too soon, it was time to head north into South Dakota,