Killing time in the Heartland

Because I had the luxury of it, I rigorously planned the itinerary for this trip - I'm talking spread sheet with different colored fonts and multiple tabs.  I made reservations, wrote down hours of operations, included confirmation numbers. I remember being horrified many years ago upon hearing the story of someone's sister-in-law who had written out every single thing they were to do on their trip and now I look up to find myself as bad if not worse than that controlling harpy!  But meticulously planning things out is a big help in finding cool things, so it's what I do.

Having the fuel pump go out on the car turned out to be a good tonic to have to swallow.  It forced me to set aside the notion of controlling things for a while and simply focus on enjoying myself.  It made me scrabble, using well developed skills, to see what there was to do where I was, not where I was going. And I have to say, I feel very satisfied with the results of my little experiment.  Yay, flexibility!

This morning, I found a laminated lament from The Rag in the bathroom, an ode I like to think of as poetry.  It took a minute to sink in, just what I was looking at: someone who has taken the time to produce a compelling piece of writing in order to create empathy with a rag.  And not for the sake of marketing, either!  This piece seems to be just for the pure joy of writing something down.  Here's my favorite stanza: 

     Come the morn and your
     windshield is wet with dew and
     grimy with road dirt.  Use me
     instead of the towel.

Isn't that delightful?
Alright, yes, I know I'm weird.

After a delicious breakfast at the motel restaurant (?!) Mark and I stashed our bags at the front desk and strolled along the highway for about a mile and half to a nearby bowling alley.  Beer, french fries and bowling never fails to satisfy me. Well, and I guess I should add trash talking to the list.  I tried to trash talk Mark, but started losing so badly that I had to quickly abandon that form of entertainment.  You'd think I'd be winning like crazy with a pearlized pink ball that bears the inscription "Cosmic Bowling" .(I'm under the impression that there were cigarette burns on my bowling bowl, which impressed me quite a lot.)

Maybe I was just distracted by my shoes.  I had one of those moments of modernization that make you realize you're getting old - when we got our bowling shoes, they had Velcro instead of laces.  For as long as I've lived my bowling shoes have always had laces and now they went and modernized the sport and there are VELCRO bowling shoes!  The world will never be the same.
Vincent Price kicked Pink Hair's butt extensively in game 1 (157 to 79), but barely managed to hang on to the lead in game 2.  I won't reveal the scores for game 2 because they are so hideously embarrassing.

Not long after we had set out to walk back to our hotel, I got a call from the mechanic and the car was ready to go.  They were nice enough to come pick us up and soon had us on the road, $1100 poorer. Mark and I pretty much sprinted out of town, just to get moving again and a couple of hours later found ourselves in Kansas City, Missouri, back on the itinerary!

 Which allowed us to dine at a place called Stroud's.  Stroud's has been in the chicken frying business since 1933 and their experience and talent shine in every mouthful.  They still fry their chicken in small batches in iron skillets, not frozen out of a bag into the deep fryer.  Mark and I ordered some livers and gizzards for an appetizer, just because we couldn't drive all the way to the heart of the Midwest and pass up that opportunity.  With good reason, Stroud's has won all sorts of awards.  They are an eating institution and we were about to enroll!

Our table filled with food, most of which we were not able to eat, but I directed my attention to a succulent freshly fried wing.  I'm not sure if my eyes rolled back in my head or not, but that chicken wing sent me.  The crust was a masterful balance of crisp and thin and the meat was moist and cooked perfectly.

To avoid feeling so monstrously gluttonous, Mark and I reassured ourselves that we were really just procuring picnic supplies and will be able to eat several meals from what we took away with us in boxes.  Cold chicken and cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow!  Heaven.

We're off to the psychiatric museum in the morning.  I'm looking so forward to a return visit since I enjoyed it so immensely the first time.

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