Tag Archive for: missouri

Log Cabins, Mile High Pies and Mom-Kimmswick, Mo.

History is one subject that I can’t get enough of. My mother is the same way-after all, she majored in History at the University of Arizona. So, I blame her for my bad habit of asking inane questions that most wouldn’t dare say out loud.


For example, Mom and I went to a tiny town called Kimmswick, Mo. It’s known for its pioneer era buildings and mile-high pies. Each cute little shop is bedecked with pretties that would make most women break the bank. You can buy tutu’s for your little girl, ceramic figurines, sparkly shoes, chocolates, stuffed sock monkeys and most anything else that you “must have”.


But, instead of shopping, I ask these types of questions while we walk around the town.

“How old do you think this building is? What was it’s original purpose? Who built it?”

To which my sweet mother typically responds very kindly to my 5 year old questions: “I don’t know. Are you hungry yet?”


I press on, curiosity getting the best of me. “Do you think those wooden gutters were original or an addition? How many times was this added on to?”

My mother states that pioneers wouldn’t be concerned with gutters and no, they weren’t original.

I ask how she knows that, and she says, “I don’t know, I just do. What should we eat? Oh, shoot. Where’s my phone?”


A cute little teenage bird calls to me, its fluffy head feathers waving in the wind. “Do you think he fell out of his nest? Do you think he knows that he’s hanging out on a 200 year old porch?”

“Nope,” mom says to both questions, probably wondering when her adult daughter is going to quit asking inane questions. She walks towards a tiny shack of a building, just behind this one.


I follow her to the tiny shack-which was a homesteader’s home in 1876. The bed was lofted above the kitchen/living/dining room and the entire thing couldn’t have been more than 100 square feet.

“I can’t believe that a whole family lived here in 100 square feet. No wonder everyone frowned in their pictures and died around 45. Everyone was sick of each other!,” I said and laughed my hearty, embarrassing laugh.

“They frowned because they couldn’t move in the pictures and they died early due to disease, childbirth and unsanitary conditions,” mom said.

I liked my explanation better.


This building sat vacant, but used to be the “fancy” restaurant in town. I guess it was too fancy and the prices were its demise. That didn’t stop the two curious kittens (mom and I) from pressing our noses against the glass to get a good look.
The linens were still on the table, a mop propped against the wall, spiderwebs caking everything.

“I think this must have been a stage coach stop or something, originally,” mom said.


“I don’t know. I just think it’s too big to have been a home.” Mom led me to go look at the menus that still were still behind a glass display case-although most of the glass was broken.

“So, why do you guess it would be a stagecoach stop? Is this indicative of what they looked like-you know-since you were alive then?” I said.

I got a punch in the arm for that one.


By this time, I had started to annoy even myself with my questions. There’s no point in asking questions that cannot be answered-unless you’re me and you just can’t help yourself.

We gave up our historical search of Kimmswick and decided to go grab lunch at the Blue Owl-the famous mile high pie maker and the best restaurant in town.

“Do you think we’ll get pie?,” mom asked.

“Definitely. You’ve earned it.”

Thanks for putting up with me and my inane questions, Mommy. I love you.

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Stonehenge-where the demons dwell…

In case you aren’t familiar with this quote-it’s from one of my favorite movies, “Spinal Tap“. If you’ve never seen this movie, you probably should. Especially if you happen to love metal/hair bands from the 80’s, have ever been on tour with a band, or in a band, or perhaps married someone in a band.

I will warn you, it’s one of those “watch a couple of times to get it”, though.
The first time I saw it was way before I met Biceps, before I entered the world of bands, back-stages and men in tight pants. I watched it with my roommate at the time, freshly graduated from college, sitting on our khaki colored sofa in footie pajamas.
This is not how you watch Spinal Tap.
You must watch it after attending a ridiculous hair/metal show or after sweating all night while your son/daughter/friend’s band plays at the local pub. Or after being on tour with stinky guys for several years, sharing a hotel room with them and scrounging for dinner in the green room.
Then, it is funny.


Now on to the real reason of this post-Stonehenge is not as far away as you think.


You don’t have to fly across the big pond to check it out. You can do it right here in Rolla, Missouri.


This is an exact replica of the original. Of course, it’s not the full-sized Stonehenge, but you get the idea.


With the sun’s help, you can tell exactly the day, month and the moon’s positioning just by seeing where the sun ray lands on this rock.
Pretty cool.


What else is cool is when certain people (my father) insist on having their picture taken with said Stonehenge. And since he’s paying for gas back to St. Louis, I will oblige him. He’s pretty cool, too.

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Tornado Alley-Devastation in Joplin, Missouri

I grew up in Kansas, presently am living in Oklahoma and have no plans to leave the Midwest. Therefore, I am accustomed to and plan on spending many a night huddling in the closet with my loved ones, a radio at my side, while listening to the storm brewing. And praying.
This event has become so routine, that I often don’t think the tornado will actually touch down. Even though we are smack dab in the middle of “Tornado Alley”, I have yet to be affected by one.

Until now. The tornado that hit Joplin in May was the seventh deadliest tornado in all of U.S. history. I really couldn’t look at the pictures until now.


A short drive from Tulsa (my hometown) is Joplin, Missouri. When the tornadoes hit Joplin, the world as I knew it was rocked.


I waited several weeks before driving to the scene myself. I wasn’t sure my tender little heart could handle it.
This is not the scene of a construction site-this is the total annihilation of several businesses.


This used to be a neighborhood I would often cruise past on my way to watch baby brother play a basketball tournament.


What kind of unnatural force could curl a steel yield sign?


Debris was piled everywhere, next to the remnants of what was once a house. Thousands of people were instantly homeless, a 162 dead.


The outpouring of food, shelter, financial gifts and elbow grease from surrounding communities, churches and non-profits was tremendous for the people of Joplin. I was impressed with the quick response from so many and the practicality of what people were willing to offer and do. Some just came to clean up, others to offer counsel, others opened their homes to those displaced-even as far reaching as Tulsa.
It’s often the disasters that bring us together, reminding us of the preciousness of life, and of the finality of death.
I suppose the weighty-ness of Joplin was the reason I couldn’t talk about all of this until now. I usually reserve my blog for butterflies and rainbows.
But hey, life throws some crap your way from time to time. Let’s be real. ..

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Pride in my Parental Units

There’s this really great couple that gave birth to me.
Well, the couple didn’t, one of the two did.
At any rate, I have been secretly visiting them
for the last couple of days.

Hanging out in the book store that they own, I’ve been focused on bothering their customers and generally just raising heck.
I’ve even been messing with their facebook account. Heh heh.

When they weren’t looking, I started poking around, making a wish list. I loved these. Now, I just need a little kid so I am not a weirdo for owning them.

Same deal with these cute onesy’s. I mean, seriously. A felt lamb with a cute little tail stitched onto a pink onesy? Maybe a kid wouldn’t be so bad….I’ll need to run it by Biceps.

And the plethora of exquisite yarns makes me want to pick up the needles and get to work on all of my knitting needs. The variety of gorgeous, enticing, colorful…

…plentiful, beautiful and soft yarn draws me in like a moth to a cat’s mouth.

Baby, this yarn just don’t quit.

I love these gloves. I need these gloves. These gloves need me.

‘Pipsqueak Knits’ caught my eye-but the pictures inside of tiny tots bedecked in knitted hats, jumpers and gloves-captured my heart.

I spend most of my time in this section, catching up on my reading, playing with toys and hogging the comfy chairs.

But, eventually I try to seek credibility by heading back into the ‘more mature section’, browsing through the fiction, the biographies and the study guides.

Fake maturity can last for only so long. I re-shelved the Bonhoeffer biography, drawn to something more enticing.
Chuck Norris and lots of it.

After two cups of free coffee, I usually end up buying something. I bought this for a neighbor’s new baby.
It’s one of my favorite books that they carry and it’s written by the same author of ‘Goodnight Moon’.

The koala travels the world, seeing the moon shine down on the different countries he visits. I think I relate to the koala on a deeper level than most. Not on a ‘furry with big ears’ kind of level, but more of the ‘traveling the world’ level.

Eventually, I end up in the Bible section; fascinated and overwhelmed with all of the different versions and translations. It’s a good thing that I have smarty pants parents that will straighten me out, if need be.
You should stop by Parable Christian Bookstore if you are ever in Arnold, Missouri. My parents would love to show you around and offer you a free cup of coffee.
And while you’re there, tell them that I am pretty proud of them.

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