Ah, Kansas

This trip has gone by much too fast. Most people don't think of spending their vacation in Kansas, much less in July, but it's been lovely. Even the weather cooperated; after a few days of blistering heat it cooled off (!) to the high 80s, which really isn't so bad if there's no humidity.

And there it is. You simply can not be in the rural Midwest for more than five minutes without talking about the weather. I come from a long line of farmers whose livelihood is largely dependent on what comes down from the sky and when. Precipitation of any kind has been scarce of late, and it's been a hot spring/early summer, so whenever you see a bright green lawn you know that obscene amounts of precious water (not to mention evil chemicals and artificial fertilizers, but I promised myself I wouldn't climb up on my soap box today) has been used to keep it that way.

We have spent our time visiting various family and friends. We spent a couple days with my cousin Steph in Lawrence, where her husband and my husband thought it would be a good idea to play disc golf and finish off a 6-pack of hard cider in the 99-degree heat all at the same time. We drove down to Newton on Monday to spend a few days with Stuart's parents, who have had a ball playing with Daniel and watching his new trick of avoiding tummy time by simply rolling onto his back. We spent an evening with some of Stuart's relatives, and another evening with some friends of his family that live in the community and were very supportive during their family's time in Africa. I met up with a former music professor who's doing his part for Newton's thriving (well, you know) cultural life by running an arts academy downtown. We spent the 4th of July with my mom's four siblings and their spouses eating lots of food and catching up, having a grand old time even though no one thought to bring fireworks (had my pyro-lovin' cousins been there, that wouldn't have been the case.) We visited some friends from college, including my roommate of two years who recently spent three years doing relief work in the Ukraine. Daniel did splendidly during all of this, charming the socks off of everyone and making it through the late nights with minimal fussing.

To a more adventurous lot, all this might not sound like fun in the least. After all, we weren't sunning on a beach or climbing up a mountain or sipping exotic cocktails (though we were served beer and wine by a Mennonite pastor). Sight-seeing in Kansas mainly consists of lots of cornfields and cow pastures. But we connected with dear, dear people that we haven't seen in far too long.

Of course, we have grand plans to climb mountains and visit far-off countries and generally see the world. But for now, this was just right.


Jenn Hacker said…
Yay! Suze is back! Sounds like a grand time was had by all!
pamigelsrud said…
Hey Susan! It sounds like you're having a great time - yay! By the way, I don't know why I asked you not to link my blog. Not that there's anything exciting on it, but I don't think anyone reads it! Would you mind linking it?
annalu alulu said…
Yay Suze. I'm so glad you guys had such an awesome time. I bet your family is so wonderful. The parts I've met are.

I don't know what "belly time" is. Why is it important? Does it help with baby's gas?
Becca said…
It's recommended that babies sleep on their backs to reduce SIDS risks. So to make sure they strengthen their tummy and neck muscles (and don't get flat heads) lots of tummy time is needed for play. Then baby can learn to roll over on his own, and the SIDS risk drops even more.

CJ used to get really frustrated with tummy time, till he could hold her head up. He started rolling over at around four months out of sheer stubborness, I'm sure.

Sounds like a great vacation, Suze--just the kind I like.
annalu alulu said…
One time when I was a kid, I went with a church group (GA's maybe?) to the Holland House, which was a home for emergency care of babies and kids...like, if they were waiting for foster parents, or something like that. I remember one baby we saw whose head was completely flat in the back. I had no idea why, and asked some grown up, and they said, "His parents never picked him up. His head grew like that because he was neglected." Obviously, that image has stuck with me.

I'm so thankful for parents like Suze and Becca and Jennifer and my sister (soon), and my own parents, who loved their babies enough to pick them up.
Suze said…
pam, sure thing. i'm in the thick of the early music festival, but i'll probably blog and do that link tonight.

ann, daniel's head is nice and round. i was a little worried he'd get flathead, but we seem to have avoided it :)

oh, and he is Ok with tummy time now because he just flips over onto his back...

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