A Few Learnings

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May 27,2021- The squeaky toilet kept waking me, and in my semi-conscious state, I thought it was the room next door, which was being renovated, that was the problem. I got up, for the day, and found that it was my room, at Days Inn- Grants, that had the issue. Having had plenty of experience with such things, I fixed the toilet myself, and so informed the desk clerk, upon check-out. It was a simple matter of re-attaching the chain to the release lever.

I have now returned from the journey to help Mom move out of the family home and become settled in a more social place. She has all her wits about her yet, so I have every confidence that this will be a bright chapter in her life.

For myself, I know that the journeys that await me, this summer and autumn, will be more leisurely, without the sense of urgency that I felt this time, especially heading east. There were deadlines and commitments involved. Thankfully, the COVID protocols, to the extent they still exist, are very cut and dried. Masks are worn, when the community or the enterprise requests it, The same is true, with respect to physical distancing. Dealing with the pent-up aggression of drivers is more a matter of not using the passing lane, except to pass. If I find I am being tailgated, no matter the lane, there is always the next lane over to the right-or if that is where the aggression is happening, I can bide my time and let the impatient one go around.

The nice thing, this time around, is I heard a lot of “Come back and see us!” This is always gratifying, especially to one who has encountered the opposite, in times long past. Then again, I have cast off a lot of baggage, over the years.

I was asked, by a loved one, what new things I had seen and what I had learned, on this trip. I saw the Missouri State Capitol, and Harry S, Truman’s birthplace. I was reminded that people around major cities can be extremely impatient, if they are overbooked, overloaded and uncomfortable being in a given place. I found that would-be thieves are discouraged from breaking into my car, when they see the blue security light-which makes my double security system that much more gratifying.

Finally, I was reminded that, even when someone is making the most obvious of errors in reading or speech, to not interrupt them, to let them finish. After all, the world is not going to cave in from that error.

Home Base Bound: Day 4

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May 25, 2021, Enid, OK- I woke up to rain, this morning, in Wheatland, MO. After a delightful breakfast, at Hickamo Cafe, it was time to load up and head west and south. In keeping with my practice of not bothering working family and friends during the week, I stayed north of Joplin, and made a brief stop in Lamar, MO-the birthplace of Harry S, Truman, 33rd President of the United States.

Marker in Lamar, MO
Biographic of former President
First home of Harry S. Truman

Lamar is a fairly active, but unassuming, city, near Missouri’s southwest border with Kansas. The journey continued, across southern Kansas, an area that largely belies the state’s reputation for being flat and featureless. There are a number of forested areas, rolling hills and scenic ravines, in the area from Baxter Springs to Arkansas City-largely the watershed of the Arkansas River and its tributaries. I have presented some of these before, in a post on Sedan, KS.

Today, though, the intention was to get to Enid, and try to connect with old friend, John Glaze. Making my way to Enid’s da Vinci Coffee House, I was able to do just that. John’s house is most often open, so here I am, for a welcome break from motels and the road.