This morning I asked Cliff whether he had an agenda for this day: When the weather's like it was today, I need to know if he's planning on a motorcycle ride, so I can plan around it.
He said he figured he'd take the chain saw and walk our fence on the east side, clearing off any trees or limbs that had fallen onto it.
"OK," I told him. "I'm going to change water in my hot tub, and then I think I'll ride Blue."
Two to four times a year, the hot tub needs to be drained and refilled. I clean the walls of any accumulated scum, clean the filters, put fresh water in and add chemicals. It's a fairly time-consuming process, and one I can't just turn my back on, because at my age, I am easily distracted.
I had just started refilling the tub when Cliff came back to the house.
"Well," says he, "it's so nice, I think we ought to take a little ride."
My poor old horse is so neglected lately.
Once the hot tub was full, we were ready to leave. I suggested we take some back roads to Kurzweil's, near Garden City, and split a tenderloin sandwich, since we hadn't had lunch. (May God forgive me for trying to clog my husband's arteries.)
Once we'd eaten (great tenderloin, by the way), we headed home a different way than we'd come; I hate going through Harrisonville on the motorcycle anyhow. There was a blacktop road going north, with a sign that said "Gunn City".
"I've never heard of Gunn City," I told Cliff.
He hadn't either, so we turned there.
Small town indeed. Population eighty-something.
Next town we came to was Strasburg:
Now, we are familiar with Strasburg: I bought my very first Jersey cow from a trader who lived about two miles outside of this town. We called her "Ole Jerz". She died of milk fever a couple of years later.
Someone seems to be remodeling a building in downtown Strasburg.
And there's a pleasant-looking little country store just outside of town.
Now to the "sentimental journey" part of our trip: My parents lived in this double-wide mobile home for several years. After they moved to Branson, we lived there for two and a half years, from perhaps 1979 to 1982. Cliff hated it there, so when the renters moved away from the property where we now live, we came back home. Mother and Daddy came back to live there, because Daddy had just learned he had lung cancer.
This is "our twenty acres", the first property we owned, bought in 1967 when our son was four months old. We lived there for seven years.
I don't believe in regrets, but I think if we had it to do over, we would never have sold that place. We drive by there about once a year, and today is the first time we've seen drastic changes to the house. They've added on, big time. I'd love to see what it looks like inside. To the left of center, behind the trees, is the first pole barn Cliff ever built. Still standing after all these years.
When you see this sign, you know we're almost home.
No, this is NOT our renters' trailer, although there is some resemblance. Every time we pass this place, Cliff says, "It ain't much, but we call it home."
It was a good day and a good ride. Now don't ANYBODY try and stop me from riding my horse tomorrow. Okay?