Friday, August 30, 2013

Adventures in Disney's Missouri

It's been a crazy few weeks, but what's new?

After the funeral in northern Missouri, we were driving home on the state highways and saw the above sign. We knew we were close to Marcelline, but I had no idea where exactly it was! One of my mom's grandparents actually moved from the farm near the cemetery to Marcelline back in the day. So of course it would be relatively close and not clear across the state.

With my in-laws following behind us, we had to stop by the original Main Street. I had read a few blogs and heard some podcasters talk about their Marcelline experience. Even though we were having sort of a somber day, we had to stop by!

There's actually a museum right in town, a few blocks off the original Main Street. That was our first stop and there was a photo op (obviously!)!

The museum wasn't huge but started with a tour guide who gave us a brief overview of why a museum in the middle of Missouri and why Marcelline is important in the Disney story. The rest of the museum was a self-guided tour. 

For a Disney fan like me, I actually knew most of what the tour guide and the placards said. But still, a bit of Disney in Missouri?! I'll take it any day. 

The connections to the trains was really fun. The museum is situated right next to the tracks and over 70 trains per day come through! A few came barreling by while we were on our tour. One interesting fact? If the conductor is a Marcelline native, you'll hear additional train horns beyond the standard four that have to be given when coming through a town. If there are any more 'toots', it's a conductor saying hi to mom and dad! Isn't that fun?


After the museum, we drove the few blocks down to Main Street. This view really says it all. It's much wider than I anticipated but it does kind of feel like the one in Disneyworld! I can see the inspiration, definitely. Can you see the Uptown Theatre towards the middle and beyond the mini van? So neat.

 Such a fun view!

Zurcher's was the inspiration for Walt's Coke Corner or Casey's in Disneyworld, I believe. Behind this newer building, there was a Victorian facade that was there during Disney's time. 

What a road trip!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Adventures in Normalcy

Getting back to normal is hard.

But is there ever really a normal?

We've had a hard weekend. Saying goodbye is never easy.

Flowers sometimes make it easier. We spent at least an hour at the florist's shop on Wednesday choosing the right blooms to have at the funeral. Mom picked the purple gladiolas and the florist added the eucalyptus around the base of the vase that really showed it off well. My cousin and his wife had the purple and white arrangement in the upper left corner and with their selections of flowers it was just perfect. I picked the lower left arrangement with some lilies that were also in the casket spray.

We ended up taking the casket arrangement's flowers up to the internment the next day. Just like for my grandmother's funeral, we placed flowers on top of the urn as it was placed in the ground. We each took a handful of dirt and tossed it in along with the flowers. My aunt had done just that same thing at her mother's internment so there was symmetry there.

We did have some fun looking through family photos in preparation for the funeral. This might be one of my favorites. That's my aunt on the left, my brother is the little one in front (probably not older than 6), my cousin behind him. My dad is the one with the gun (which is hysterical because he was so not a gun toter), then my mom and a 12 year old me. My brother was very unhappy with the whole picture taking operation, so that scowl is not just for the character of the picture! It's him being really annoyed with us.

What I love about my family is our roots. Both of my mom's parents are from northern Missouri, from very small towns. Our family cemetery is up there, about three hours north of Kansas City. There's something soothing about going to the same place where my ancestors are buried. My grandma's family actually homesteaded the county back in the 1880s. There are members of that family going back to that time, all buried here. It's very neat.

We talked about purchasing more plots near our family plot, because they're only $20 a piece! Can you believe that? We might end up doing it sometime. Because the idea of all my family being in this one place, so peaceful, so quiet, up on a hill in northern Missouri, surrounded by farm land, just seems right.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Adventures in Having a Small Family


This is my family. My mom's mom is seated in the middle of the photo and her husband (my step-grandfather) is seated next to her. Then in the back row, from the left, is Husband, me, my little brother peeking out from behind me. Then my only cousin (on this side of the family), his wife, then his mom (my aunt and mom's only sister). My dad and mom are on the end on the right.

We've had a lot happen since this photo was taken in Kansas City for my grandma's 75 birthday in 2008. 

The house that the picture was taken in is still there, and has been since my mom and aunt were raised in that kitchen. The booth around the kitchen table is gone (wasn't in this picture actually) but the clock is still on the wall and booms on the hour and wakes me up, since I'm not used to it when I stay there.

But the people in this picture have changed. We've now lost three of them - my dad in 2010, my grandma in 2011 and now my aunt.

Families ebb and flow - we lose parts of our family and gain others. My cousin's wife has been with us through a lot and my husband is as much a part of the family as I am. But with such a small and tight knit family, the loss of any part is felt keenly.


On Monday afternoon, around the exact time she had the stroke four years before, my dear aunt passed into the fullness of Eternal Life. The chaplain of the nursing home was there, praying with her, and read her a verse from Revelations about the New Jerusalem.
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
The chaplain told her, "These are your promises, Nancy..." She took another two breaths, and then was gone. It was as peaceful in the end as we had hoped it would be. 

We grieve not for her, but for ourselves. I tell my cousin this, but it doesn't ease the pain of losing your parent. Nothing really can, except for time. I can be there for him, I can drive to Kansas City this afternoon to be with the family, and I can make arrangements for the funeral music and for the reception afterwards. Those are the things I'm good with and that's what I can do at this time. 

When we were on hospice watch a few weeks ago, I was sitting in her room with my cousin and we debated which was harder - losing a parent quickly to an embolism (like I did with my dad) or watching a parent slowly fade away (like he was experiencing with his mom). 

We decided that both really suck.


Thank you for all your prayers and kind words. More of the same is always appreciated. Hug your loved ones tight and tell them you care. Because that means the world to them.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Adventures in Unpacking

I had intended to do a long post today about the beautiful new home that we moved into earlier in the summer. However, there are boxes everywhere, the laundry is piling up, and wouldn’t you know it, this house is getting dirty just like the last one! I actually had to swifter the bathroom floor because of the weeks of me doing my hair on a tile floor. I shed a lot, apparently.

There are a few things I’m loving about the new place…


There is enough room in the kitchen to have a TON of boxes… and we were still ok to move around. Sort of. All of these boxes are gone, thank goodness!


I don’t quite love this part – the master bedroom closet came crashing down the day after we moved in. My dear husband went to the home improvement store (our home away from home now) and bought some additional support and was able to reinstall it. We need to do the same for my side of the closet.



Husband and I actually eat together at our kitchen table! There’s a dining room table as well, but this is in our breakfast nook in the kitchen. It’s the perfect place to keep the bananas, even though there aren’t any in this picture. The picture frame was from the townhouse and we used it to hang up our keys when we walked in. Not quite sure where it will end up in the new house, so for now, it’s actually leaning against the wall. Just like all the other artwork in the house. It’ll go up eventually.


My brand new gas stove. I love cooking with gas again! I always seemed to burn things on electric.


And of course, my favorite place – the coffee spot. It’s got a place of honor right on the counter, around the corner from our master bedroom. I’m in love.




So we are getting settled, still unpacking boxes and trying to remember where we put a certain thing when we end up needing it. I was organized in the townhouse but it’s hard with so many more places that things can go. It’s a good problem to have, but I need to reinstate my organizing system in the new place!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Adventures in Knowing Your Own Email Address

Apparently, I'm an awful blogger.

I started this blog five months ago and have been blogging away, albeit a bit sporadically. I thought it was awfully quiet, and wondered if anyone was reading anymore. So strange.

When I logged in this morning to post something, I saw that there are 50 comments dating back from the first blog here that were awaiting moderation. For my previous blog, I had comment moderation turned on so I would get an email whenever someone commented here! That way, I could approve it and then answer back and it was a great way to connect with blogging friends!

Um, whoops.

I entered the wrong email into the comment moderation page and so some random person who has "wanderingadventure" at Gmail has been getting your comments.

I am so sorry!

To make up for it, here is a video of a penguin being tickled. Please giggle as much as I did last night when I saw this on Facebook.