EXCURSION 7, Days 16, 17, 18, Indianola, Iowa to Kansas City, Missouri

by | Jun 6, 2022 | Road Notes, Locations and Destinations

Goodbyes, sad ones, feeling that this might be the last time for Michelle and Cindy, feeling a big bubble in my heart because this was it, this was the reason and it worked....

“Mo gets a haircut” could be the subtitle for today’s journey. John Schuman and I—I realize I labeled him a Kerr yesterday—drop Mo at 7 and discover we can’t pick him up till 2:30.  I’m hoping they won’t have to shave him because he’s gotten two of those and hates it. Itchy.

This is all my fault. His hair is so thick and un-shedding that it mats like crazy and I am a substandard brusher, okay, I don’t brush him enough. I have a new plan to just bring him to the groomer at home when his hair starts to grow out and let her brush him. This is what’s called delegating.

I’m thinking as we drop him off he has no idea we are going to remove all that twisted fur but he gives me a look as he’s being led away. He knows.

Michelle enjoys the day with Cindy and it is calm and easy. I hope my girl isn’t going to be too upset leaving, hope she doesn’t put all that together. And I am relieved that when we go to get Mo she is very calm, smiling, goofing with Cindy and John as we load up the shorn one. They did a perfect job, left him just enough hair that he isn’t itching. He looks like a totally different beast.

Goodbyes, sad ones, feeling that this might be the last time for Michelle and Cindy, feeling a big bubble in my heart because this was it, this was the reason and it worked, and the second half of the trip will be filled with my family for a while and that will be good, but I don’t know that we would have done all this trip at all if Indianola hadn’t been the big brass ring to seize.

I push down the tears because… I have no idea why.


The drive to KC is not long and it goes well, not too much anxiety and we arrive to my brother’s house in the early evening. To say that my brother and I have a complex history is a serious understatement. As boys we shared a room, but we were never all that close except when we had a catch with a baseball. Lots of head butting and the usual brother stuff. He’s two years older and a bit bigger so there has always been that too.

If you had told me at many times in our lives that we would become great friends I would have laughed at you but if you had told me that he would remarry his ex-wife and move to Missouri I would have laughed even harder. Change, big time, and all for the better. His wildness in youth still percolates in there but now it’s directed towards family, his faith and bass fishing in his new deluxe boat or his mega kayak that I have deemed the Millennium Falcon. It has pedals, fish finders and cup holders. He’s has come a long way since nightcrawlers and bobbers. He’s even entered competitions.

He and Mary are a sight to warm the heart. A couple again after tumultuous years, a living sign of the power of reconciliation and faith. This is a very Christian family, and their faith has helped them heal and bring them back together and I am happy beyond words for them.

Michelle takes to their new home instantly because she can really, really walk here, lots of wide-open spaces in their big place and they have given us the run of the first floor and temporarily relocated into their brand new guestroom downstairs.  No one is suffering.

Michelle has three pretty good days here and I walk the nearly naked Mo but he doesn’t seem embarrassed this time. It’s heating up so the timing was perfect. He would have been miserable in all that hair.

David and I chat and for the most part avoid politics.  Mary seems very happy to me, getting her granddaughter Summer ready for school every day and Summer’s mom, my niece Lori, drops by with Autumn who is, like, four, and she stares at Michelle. “What is wrong with her?”

We live in a world where Alzheimer’s is both common and hidden. But after she gets comfortable with me and Michelle just walks and ignores her, she eventually plays with her by following her around and giggling. It reminds me of a Fellini movie.

My niece Stephanie comes over and she is overjoyed to see her Aunt Michelle. She has always loved her deeply and when she visited us in California recently, we weren’t able to bring Michelle to the meeting in Hollywood; waaaay too much going on there for Michelle. But Stephanie makes up for lost time and wants to make plans to visit soon. I’m glad she got to see Michelle and hope it didn’t make her sad.

My nephew Allan and his wife Vanessa and their cute little Olivia come by as well. They are such bright lights and I feel a great reach, a giant potential in them, curious how all that joy will manifest. Olivia likes Mo as do the other kids, big surprise.

How this wing of the family ended up here is odd. (I probably have this wrong and will accept editing suggestions.) Jason, Davin’s son, relocated here when we worked for Starbucks. He had a very young family at the time and Mary, his Mom, joined them for a time to help him out. He and his family left, she stayed and eventually everyone else visited and stayed. Neither Mary nor our family has any connection to Kansas City that I am aware of, aside from the musical Oklahoma.

Cindy had made a suggestion that we get Michelle a wheel-chair because even though she can walk she won’t walk most places and hates stairs. I decide we should go for it, locate one locally and David heads over and picks it up and we give it a try. It is brilliant, fantastic, a mega-miracle because I can take her places! Once she gets in it she chills—as long as you aren’t going backwards—and both of us can move together! It’s also possible to get her up and down stairs much more easily and with David’s teamwork super easy peasy.

We spend three days relaxing and enjoying the intense green, some passing thunderstorms and good family time and only delve into politics once.  It’s good that we avoid it.

David escorts us on our way South out of Lees Summit because he wants to show me—and I want to see—his new boat that is stored nearby and on the way.  It is a wonder, no doubt about it. The motor is bigger that my motorcycle.  It is sleek and perfect and has a steering wheel and a wind shield.

We say our goodbyes. The Bus is ready, Mo is ready, Michelle is content and I am happy that my brother and I are friends.