Saturday, July 14, 2012

Maryville, Missouri

I wanted to blog about our trip to Missouri in a series of posts in order of when we did what, but I'm still not interested in writing about our first interesting stop on the trip, which was Antique Archaeology, home of the American Pickers show, seen on the History channel. So for now, I'm going to skip straight to our destination, Maryville, Missouri.

Unfortunately, Maryville, Missouri was... boring. I was hoping to find some yarn stores or some fabric/quilting stores, but there weren't any. There was the Mozingo Lake Park and Golf Course, but I don't fish or play golf, and it was too hot to do any walking. We had the additional misfortune of hitting Maryville right when the big heat wave swept the Midwest.

Actually, Maryville is in rather sad shape. It has three large employers: an enormous Kawasaki engine plant, Northwest Missouri State University, and a jail. However, there were many empty storefronts in the city square, and there were two burnt-down restaurants and a vacant lot where it looked like something had been torn down. The one restaurant seemed to be in the process of rebuilding, but the other one was just there. No indication that it was going to be rebuilt and reopened anytime soon. It's sad that even with employment in the area, it has still felt the effects of the recession.

One interesting thing about the prison compound, there was an enormous church inside the fence, and one of the other buildings looked like it could have been a school building at some point. Mr. BTEG and I wondered if it could have been a regular church and school before becoming part of a prison.

At least the main part of our trip was successful. The Dancer and the Musician got lots of Law and Gospel, learned a lot about the faith, made new friends and got to hang out with old friends they hadn't seen since last year. Is it silly to say that seeing so many kids greeting each other after a long time apart, seemed almost like a foretaste of heaven?

Saturday, July 07, 2012

And Now, We Recuperate

Just got back from four days spent in Missouri at the latest Higher Things conference. Higher Things is an organization that teaches the Lutheran faith to young people. It is a great organization. This was the Musician's fourth year, and now that the Dancer has been confirmed, she was eligible to attend as well. We attended the conference in Missouri because the Musician already has a large number of friends from previous conferences that were going to attend this one. Because we didn't know anyone else from our area who was attending, Mr. BTEG and I drove the family to Missouri and stayed in a hotel while the girls were at the conference. As a result of the heat wave and the fact that there turned out to be not much of anything to do in Maryville, Missouri, our side of the trip was rather uneventful, but the girls learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and made even more new friends. It does feel good to be home, especially after pulling an all-nighter to get home from Missouri without booking yet another hotel room. More posts will follow about the trip!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Belated Fourth of July post

I hope all of you that live here in the States enjoyed the Fourth of July celebrations yesterday. I know a lot of us are concerned about losing freedom, but at least we still have a chance to work toward restoring this country as our Founders envisioned it. Or do you think an amicable divorce of the United States might be in the works? Do you think that might be feasible?

How do you celebrate the Fourth? When I was a kid, like Karen's family a carnival came to my hometown, and still does, every year. We would buy the all day wrist string and ride the rides all day long. At night would be the fireworks over Lake Erie. We would sit in the large grassy area across the street from the carnival area with our blankets and chairs and watch the show. Somewhat unenjoyable was the way the loudest fireworks would echo off of the middle school building behind us.

When my own girls were young, my cousin and her kids, about the same age as mine, would come and visit her parents in the Wooster area, and my mom, sisters and families, and my family, would be invited for the Fourth. What was especially nice was that my aunt and uncle lived in a neighborhood with a private lake, and they had a boat, plus we had swimming and playing in the sand with the little ones. I never tried waterskiing or tubing behind the boat, but I did like riding in it. My cousin's husband, formerly in the Navy, was especially fun to ride with. After driving an aircraft carrier, he could make being in my uncle's little boat rather exciting. Now my aunt and uncle have moved to Virginia to be closer to my cousin and her family and those days are just memories. It's a shame my kids can't see their second cousins more, as they are a lot closer in age to them than they are to their first cousins. My Musician and my cousin's oldest son are just a few months apart.

My family has yet to create any new tradition for our Fourth of July celebrations since, but these are the years of flux, as my teens start getting involved in their own activities more and more. I wonder what will develop next!