No Place Like Kansas

After a delayed flight, Lexi and I returned from our daddy-daughter weekend in Kansas the other night. She slept most of the flight down and mostly entertained herself on the flight back (to the point that I could sit next to her and read a book without constant interruptions), so my worst fears weren’t realized.

Though sitting in the airport before we left was interesting. She insisted on pushing her stroller around the waiting area. Then a guy wanted to sit down and moved her teddy bear, Pinky. Lexi took interest and noticed the guy’s bag of chips. She asked for one, the guy looked to me to make sure it was OK, and then pointed the bag to Lexi. Sucker.

She ended up eating the rest of the bag (after one melt down when I dragged her away to change her diaper and another near melt down when I was going to insist she eat fruit snacks but the chip guy couldn’t handle the melt down and insisted I let her have the chips. I gave in, mainly wanting to keep Lexi in a happy mood for the flight, but also for the sake of the chip guy who wouldn’t understand that I was trying to teach Lexi that she can’t always have what she wants and that you shouldn’t eat an entire bag of a strangers’ chips. And more importantly, the chip guy wasn’t prepared to put up with her melt down in order to teach her those concepts. That’s my job, which I prefer not to inflict on strangers if I don’t have to.

There was also a family with three kids, one of them perhaps five or six who had several matchbox cars. Lexi proceeded to walk over and play with whatever car the kid wasn’t racing at the moment. Nobody seemed to mind and I wouldn’t let Lexi walk away with the car, so that worked out.

Then there was the woman sitting next to me with the box of saltines on the floor. Lexi tried to mooch some of those, but we put an end to that.

And all of that was before we even got on the plane and left the Twin Cities.

Kansas itself was great. We went to the Great Bend Zoo where my dad volunteers with their pigeons (yes, they have an exhibit of pigeons, not just the typical pigeons that scavenge whatever snacks the visitors drop), we took the tour of my dad’s various at-home activities (pigeons, cars, tractors), and we did some family history stuff–including checking out some cemeteries where Lexi danced on the graves of her ancestors. I’m still uploading the pictures, but some of them are already up.

And of course Lexi got to play with Grandma and Grandpa and the rest of the extended family (including playing ball with Great-Grandpa’s dog Pete and watching her second cousin Kayden run away any time she came near).

Monday was the 10th annual Raymond Labor Day parade that I mentioned before. The T-shirts looked good and nearly sold out (three left of 75, last I heard), so that’s good. The turn out was as good as last year if not better (reports varied). I still think it’s immensely bizarre to see so many people crowding the tiny town of Raymond. It was worth coming, just to see that spectacle.

Raymond has a strange draw for me. Part of it is history, that both my parents grew up there. Part of it is spending summers as a child there. Part of it is just tracing the history of a small town–I’m always fascinated by abandoned buildings and while Raymond has its share, it used to have a lot more. I’m kind of obsessed with that history and while waiting out our flight delay I started mapping some of the sights in Raymond, especially the ones that are no longer there (the satellite photo is actually pretty bad–I couldn’t find one with much detail).

I also had the chance to dig into the family history, getting info from my Grandma and digging into my parents’ photos and memories. That’s also fun, especially when you can walk through a cemetery and be related to half the dead people.

More than anything I had the chance to forget work and responsibilities (well, responsibilities of one kind, I still had Lexi) for a while and just relax. Kansas is good for that. There’s not a lot to do in Kansas (though we certainly kept busy), but that’s what I like about it.

One thought on “No Place Like Kansas”

  1. “… including checking out some cemeteries where Lexi danced on the graves of her ancestors.”

    *wipes tears of laughter from eyes*

    Oh, my goodness. Excellent.

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