Hangin’ Out with Mom

It was another longish drive back to Kansas on Sunday. We left early but still made a few final stops to finish out the visit. We also stopped for food and a geocache.  Jon and I managed to keep ourselves from going geocache crazy, but we needed a few stops to stretch, so it gave us a good excuse to do so. We found one along the highway that hadn’t been found in over a year. I was glad it was still there.

We made a stop in Rose Hill to visit the in-laws and grabbed one last geocache on the final stretch home. Online, there was no other logged find, so we thought that maybe there was a chance we’d be the FTF, but no dice. The FTF just hadn’t logged it. Still, it was a good cemetery cache, and the area was beautiful. It was one of the first ones we’ve been to with crypts, which always strike me as such peaceful structures.

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Dinner was easy roast beef sandwiches, and we watched a bunch of YouTube videos that Mom hadn’t yet seen.

Monday was our day out in Manhattan. We had to do laundry first thing in the morning, so we got that going while we went and ran other errands. Mom had a bunch of photos printed at Walgreens, so we picked those up, vacuumed the car, took it through the car wash to get the red clay off, and picked the laundry up. It probably wasn’t the most exciting start to the day, but it helped us kill time until things started opening.

We went to Goodwill first and poked around. For the first time in years, I actually found clothes there that fit me. I found a pair of pants, two shirts, and a pair of walking shoes since my other ones are already wearing down.  Down the sidewalk, we checked out Tuesday Morning. I’d heard about the place, mainly from stories of people finding great discontinued yarn there, and I knew Manhattan had one, but I’d never been there.  It turned out to be a really cool store. It was like a smaller Big Lots, offering discounted closeout items.

Once we got our first round of thrifting out of the way, we went to the Flint Hills Discovery Center and then picked Jon up for lunch at Cox Bros BBQ. Afterwards, we commenced with round two of thrifting by heading out to the Grand Ol’ Trunk to poke around. By this time, I was getting tired. It didn’t feel like a lot of walking, but my feet were telling me it had been.  Instead of looking for more shops, we went out to the scenic overlook so I could show Mom the view, which seemed fitting after she visited the FHDC.

We once again found ourselves with time to kill, so we went on a drive to look at more scenery. My original intention was to find Pillsbury Crossing, but I missed the turn. Still, the drive was nice and we stopped for a geocache, which my mom actually found. I don’t know if she’ll become a geocacher, but it was cool that she made the find on that one.

We stopped in at work to say hi, then tried to find a premium cache near the stadium with no luck. After we picked up Jon, we came home, made more sandwiches, and watched Frankie Go Boom and Cabin in the Woods.

This morning we got up, finished Cabin in the Woods (we were too tired to make it to the end last night), and took Jon to work. Our first stop was Menards, as we were on a mission to find Mom some overalls. They didn’t have any, but they did have a lot of Christmas decorations, including Risky Business Santa, which amused me more than it probably should have.

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We completed our overalls-finding mission at the supply store across the street, then headed back to Wamego to give a more extended tour and visit the Oz Museum. It was my third time there, but I actually stopped to read more of the information on this visit. Mom liked it, and I learned more about the artifacts than I had on previous visits.

We headed toward KC a little earlier than planned, but we stopped off in Topeka and had Cracker Barrel for lunch. I love browsing their store, even though I don’t usually buy stuff (except a few snacks every now and then). They had some neat holiday things. They also had massive candy bars and Pez dispensers. I didn’t take many pics, but they had Peanut Butter Cups that were a pound each.

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We arrived at the airport much earlier than we needed to, but Mom wanted to make sure her bags were under the weight limit and that she didn’t need to send anything back with me to mail. I drove around looking for parking but had no luck, so in the end, I pulled to the side and gave her hugs in the fire lane. I’m not going to lie….I’ve been sad and teary eyed since leaving the airport. I hate goodbyes, and I cry every time I have to go through them, but it’s especially hard saying bye to my Mom. I never feel like the time we get to spend together is enough. The time we did have was awesome, though.

Now I have to try to slide back into routine, which is going to take a couple days. I got a jump on that by putting away laundry, catching up on email, and getting this post done, as well as uploading the rest of the week’s photos. Tomorrow it’s back to work and back to working on several projects I need to finish before Monday. It’s going to be a very busy next few days.

A.

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