Saturday, July 15, 2017

Toto, we're back in Kansas!

After a forty year absence, I'm living back home again. It's so lovely to be near my folks, especially as they are getting older. It's my dad's 89th birthday today, and yesterday we celebrated with a fantastic dinner at Jack Stack's barbecue house in Martin City, Missouri.

I live about an hour away from them and every drive is a pleasure. I take side trips and errand detours and get to see the lovely skies and prairie farm life all around me.

One of the errands is to the Louisburg Cider Mill, because my dad can no longer drive down to buy his favorite cinnamon apple cider. 

Kansas is full of lowers in summer. At the cider mill, even the bathroom stalls are blooming and dishware is turned into garden events.

My favorite wildflower is the black eyed susan. Yes, there is another flower with the same name, and these are often called "ditch sunflowers" here to note the difference.

I live in Fort Scott, a small town of about 8,000. Sadly, old politics has long kept out new businesses and Nevada, Mo, with about the same population and 15 minutes away, is thriving with what Fort Scott voted to dismiss. So sad. The people are so lovely, but you know, politics is not my cup of tea. I have no patience for it.

A good number of streets in Fort Scott are still brick cobblestone and at the end of Main Street is the historic fort. You can just walk through and see all the buildings and restored interiors with period decor and household items.

My favorite place in town is the Treasure Hunt flea market. It's a remarkably well-stocked antiques market with phenomenal prices.

But one of the best sights is the corn. I love driving past the corn fields (though I shudder to think they are probably all GMO). It's a true Kansas treat.

Next time you're driving through Kansas, take your time. It's flat as heck on the west side, but here in the east, it's rolling hills and historic towns full of really nice people and handmade local crafts galore.

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