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Friday, September 10, 2010

R&R Part II: Missouri

The second half of our R&R was spent in Missouri where seventy-five percent of Brandon's extended family - on both sides - lives.  Oddly enough, his parents didn't meet in Missouri, they met in Arizona, where both of their families were living at the time.

His parents live in almost the polar opposite of Egypt.  The sun rises and sets, it gets warm, and it has has trees in southwest Missouri as well as Cairo, but that's about all of the similarities between the two places.  The Sherwoods live on a 180-acre farm.  Five people, two dozen cows, and a lot of corn inhabit what in Maadi can comfortably hold twenty to fifty thousand people.

Driving seventy on Highway 60 gets one to the closest Wal-Mart and stoplight in about fifteen minutes and the nearest stoplight in the other direction is also another fifteen minute drive.  That they do share with Maadi: no stoplights.  

One afternoon we went to Jolly Mill, a former gristmill turned public park.  A meandering stream with bridges and wading places with a playground had been built, and we took the girls and Edwin.  Three of Brandon's brothers that were home for the summer came along to go craw-dadding.

The girls' enjoyment of wading was ruined when Kathleen spotted a 'crab,' their picnic was ruined by rancid peanut butter (which was discovered only after I tried to force the issue), and their morning was finished off when I found and caught a blue-tailed skink.

They went back for a nap, after which Brandon and I came back to enjoy the craw-dadding.  The combined efforts of all involved produced a stock pot full of live crawdads and two cups of shelled crawdad meat.  The étouffée was delicious.

Brandon's brother and sister flew in from BYU to visit, and we twelve all piled into a twelve-passenger van for the 4 1/2 drive to St. Louis and the nearest temple.  We won't be able to attend for another year, and I felt the loss more sharply than I had realized I would.    The ones in Cairo just aren't the same.

And then a few days later, our visit was over.  We had spent many long evenings into nights talking with family, enjoyed several evening walks through the cornfields and cow pasture, caught up on our movies, and then it was time to go home.  Back to Cairo.

Springfield, Missouri airport


UnkaDave said...

I can hear Miss Kathleen screaming "Crab!!" and then refusing to wade anymore, and also imagine her terror at the lizard. You gotta leave that girl out in the desert for a coupla days and toughen her up.
Nice blog entry, and thank you for them.

PaulaJean said...

Wow, I didn't know crawdads got that big! I'm not sure I would want to swim with them, either.

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