Sunday, October 7, 2007

Drive to Kansas City International Airport & Pretty Prairie, KS

"Sow good services; sweet remembrances will grow them." ~Madame de Stael

September 28-30: Drove like crazy from Columbia, Missouri to Kansas City, Missouri's International Airport to pick up my husband, Jon. Got there a few minutes late but Jon still had lots of hugs and smooches ready for me. Then he took over the driving and we used the computer for GPS navigation.

Got to Pretty Prairie, Kansas at about 9:00 pm. Our GPS routed us down the Kansas Turnpike through Wichita, then across to Prairie Crossing Bed & Breakfast. Jon's mom and two brothers were already there. Prairie Crossing is a hunter's lodging B & B, with several impressive 10-point whitetail buck mounts and other outdoorsy decorations, including an indoor Koi pond. Prairie Crossing B & B is famous for huge homemade breakfasts.

Many of Jon's kin on his dad's side of the family were gathered in Pretty Prairie for his dad's Memorial Service. Jon's father, Ken Graber, grew up on a wheat farm that had been in the family since 1907. Jon's Uncle Curt sold "The Home Place" in 2002.

Saturday's Memorial Service at the Swedenborgen chuch was lovely with beautiful flowers and lots of people hugging who hadn't seen each other in many years. Jon read the Eulogy that he'd written in January, and it brought tears to our eyes again. Afterwards, the community put on a lasagna lunch in the church basement.

Then most of the relatives went over to Uncle Curt's house to watch the Kansas State football game against Texas. Some relatives wore purple, others orange, and we all enjoyed tasting a few of the beers that I've collected along the route.

That evening, Jon's Kansas relatives put on a huge dinner feast in Uncle Curt's yard. Cousin Don had roasted a few turkeys and some hams in an in-ground grilling pit he'd made out of a 4-foot long, 16-inch concrete culvert pipe dropped straight down into the ground. He'd wanted a 16-foot diameter pit because he already had the 16-inch manhole cover. The meat was moist and delicious.

After dinner Uncle Curt handed out gift booklets to Jon, his brothers and cousins of our generation. The booklets contained the history and some old photos of "The Home Place," as written by Curt's wife, Aunt Jean. (Photo above: L to R: Jon, Uncle Curt, Joel, Ron and Jay.)

The next day, Sunday afternoon, Jon's brother Jay took us all on a ride to see what he'd done with his father's share of the old farm property. Jay is an avid hunter and we were impressed with the improvements Jay had made toward expanding wildlife habitat.

Jon's mom and brothers left to catch their flights. Later, Jay and Jon's mom Tina called as their flight had been cancelled. They drove all the way back to the B & B, and we spent another night there. After another fantastic breakfast, they drove east toward Kansas City in their rental car, and we drove west toward Scott City, Kansas.

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