I went to Kansas with my dad last weekend. My grandma turned 91 on November 29th, so we went out to celebrate and to take her some birthday/Christmas presents. It was a short trip-we drove out Friday and came back Sunday. All of our trips are memorable, but it felt like I laughed the whole weekend during this one.
I should note that we did not drive through any weird weather this time. Whenever it is just me & dad, we always seem to drive through a storm of some sort. It did snow a little, which was super exciting, but no thunderstorms or snow storms like there typically are.
We decided to visit the cemetery before we went to Belleville because we didn’t think we’d have another chance to make it out there during the trip. Most of Kansas is surrounded by farms and cows. The cemetery is no different. A few years ago, we stopped just west of the cemetery to take this picture of cows close to the road:
Well, as soon as we got out of the truck at the cemetery, we were greeted by the Kopsa Welcoming Committe.
A few of them stared at us the whole time we were out of the car and then went about their business as soon as we got back in. Also, notice the headstone that is broken in the bottom left of the picture…maybe a cow was too happy to see someone?
Later that evening, we went to a visitation for my grandma’s cousin. I got one of those tickles in my throat that makes you cough at the most inappropriate times. This was right after the service started and I hadn’t brought in my bottle of water. I did pretty good at keeping it under control, but at one point, like eight others started coughing as well, so I didn’t feel so bad. The woman’s son’s singing group sang a few songs in honor of his mom, which included one of the songs that we’ve been making fun of ever since we first heard it. It was introduced as the song that was sung at the 2005 Lesovsky Family Reunion and I just thought ohhh nooo. And sure enough, that was the one! I.Lost.It. So did dad, I couldn’t even look at him. So inappropriate, but still, so funny. I am lucky that Helen wasn’t there with me because we probably would have been kicked out.
Later that night, we were visiting with Mama. Her memory these days is hot or cold (remember, she just turned 91!), so half of the time, we don’t really know what she’s talking about, but just go along with it (at the same time, she knows what she’s talking about and this is the perfect example). Before she moved into the long-term care home, she had a kitty named Bingo. We were talking about Bingo that night when she started talking about something that Verna Rae (her niece) had ordered for her. She finally described it as a bingo jacket. Dad & I were both like mmmm ookayyy, but she kept describing it and that Verna Rae ordered it. She finally mentioned that it was yellow, so dad had to get up and check her closet. Sure enough! He found a yellow sweater with Bingo cards and call numbers AND a kitty on it! I lost it again. hahaha I am still laughing about it!
There’s nothing really exciting that goes on in Belleville. I’ve seen about a million businesses come and go in the past 25 years and, other than that, nothing has changed. Last year we went out for Mama’s 90th birthday party and some Christmas lights were put up at Rocky Pond, the pond in town. There were just a few displays, it was pretty neat and it was nice to see something like that in town. This year, dad had been reading that they were going to do it again and expand it. We drove out when we got into town around 4 on Friday. Even though it wasn’t turned on, we were amazed! I was so excited to go back at night and we even went back on Saturday night too! My favorite was the merry-go-round on the playground which had lights that twinkled around to make it look like it was spinning. Some of the displays were kind of random, but they were all awesome! Here is the Rocky Pond Christmas Lights link so you can check it out yourself. Pretty neat for a small town!
Saturday we spent the whole day with Mama. We gave her birthday/Christmas presents, ate lunch with her, played bingo (sans bingo jacket, sad) and ate cake. It was a fun day and nice to spend the whole day with her.
After we drove through the Rocky Pond lights on Saturday, we drove through downtown and I videotaped the downtown lights. All of a sudden, I saw a kid pull a road barrier out into the middle of the road and then run off real fast. I happened to catch it on tape! It’s really not that exciting, and one of those “you had to be there” moments, but I thought it was funny! He disappeared into nowhere, but the barrier was left in the road. The best part is that we saw two cops at the next stoplight which is something you don’t see everyday in that town. I am hoping that this turns into a big crime so I can send in my video evidence!
When we went to say goodbye on Sunday morning, Mama was still in the dining room finishing up breakfast. There was a man sitting next to her (later found out his name was Leo) waiting to be taken back to his room. As we sat there, he started to reach for the sugar jar (one of those kinds with the pour spout). He finally got it and then started lifting it to his mouth. Dad and I are sitting there like no dude, don’t drink the sugar. I don’t know if he ended up getting any, but I’m pretty sure I saw him chewing! He lifted it to his mouth about three times hahaha.
All-in-all, another successful trip to Kansas with some hilarious memories!