Nonphenomenal Lineage

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Gardner, KS

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Darren at Austin's
Darren

Wednesday morning Leah and I awoke at seven to go eat breakfast at a local diner. It was crisp green and white and sparkly clean, like toothpaste. The whole town was clean. In fact, I did see some sort of city employee who was walking around with a stick with a grabber on the end picking up trash. But there was no trash, so he was picking up wayward leaves.

After flapjacks and bacon, I said goodbye to Leah and hopped on the road again. 2.5 hours to St. Louis, and then it would be another 4.5 hrs to Gardner. After about two hours on the road, I saw a sign for Lebanon, and remembered that that was the name of the city where Ariana was staying for the week, so I decided to exit the highway and stop to suprise her.

After about 20 minutes of driving down a country road followed by a futile search for Cedars Camp around Lebanon, I stopped at the town’s little downtown visitor’s center, only to be told that I was in Lebanon Illinois, and the Lebanon I was thinking about was probably in Missouri, or maybe Indiana, because there was a Lebanon there, too.

I sighed, and got back on the road, feeling a little silly that I’d lost 45 minutes. I continued down the road towards St. Louis, and decided that I wouldn’t spend any more time on trying to find the right Lebanon.

I cruised through St. Louis a bit after noon and had a fun time whizzing around that city as I transferred from the city to the interstate that would lead me to Kansas City. The highways on St. Louis are big and round and easy to navigate. Driving on them reminded me 1) of my college days living near St. Louis and 2) of a toy car road track I had as a child.

It had been overcast all day, but the sun broke through somewhere along the Ozarks. That picked up my spirits quite a bit, and I cranked the music and rolled down the windows.

After a few traffic jams, I arrived in Gardner, just outside of Kansas City, around 6:30 pm. My sister-in-law Tisha had left to take their three year old daughter to her first dance lesson, so Darren, little Blake and I left for dinner at a nearby sports bar cafe called Austin’s. Tisha and Taylor met up with us a while later after Taylor’s dance lesson.

Darren, Tisha and family have recently moved into a new big house in the suburbs. It’s been freshly built, with all new amenities and a hi tech carpet that rejects liquids. The whole suburb is the exact same way, new and big. I had lived in suburbs growing up, but hadn’t quite been exposed to this level of seriousness.

The new development had been built on the side of a corn field, and was still so new that many of the houses were still unoccupied. After dinner, I sat on their porch looking out over the cul-de-sac to watch the sunset.

Sunsets in the Midwest are so much more beautiful than sunsets in the East. Or at least the NorthEast. Something about the atmosphere in the midwest makes the air hazy, which diffuses the setting’s sun light across the whole sky, making the entire heavens glow orange and red. I had forgotten about it until that moment. But seeing it made me remember home. I was almost there.

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Written by pocheco

August 30, 2006 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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