My trip to Kirksville, Missouri to visit my brother at Truman State with my family was refreshing. It made me feel my relationship with the family was normal again and not reduced to texts, quick emails, and long distance phone calls every now and again.
Don't get me wrong. There were those all-too-real annoying family moments where I wanted to be zapped back to Hamilton, Ontario in the land of less family drama. But there were also those moments I was reminded of why I love them in the indescribable way I do.
Thoughts of creativity came in bursts while on the trip, but had to be stored away for a less busy time, so I was reduced to sloppy scribbled notes on the back of my plane ticket. Three months later, life is still hectic at times and those once creative thoughts have become less coherent and vague yesterday memories. Memories that resemble the chaos written on the ticket. Regardless, here are my notes as follows:
The setting: Nowheresville, Midwest. Miles of rolling acres of farmland and Amish country. Lucky if you find a Taco Bell or a gas station with a clean restroom and toilet paper in it.
--Alone. He wears dirty coveralls. Farmer's cap. Thick, sensible glasses that could survive a nuclear fallout. At least 70 years old with tarnished farm boots. A man that knows labour. Took his time to finish his breakfast. Once finished, grabbed dishcloth and wiped his own table clean. Left a crumpled dollar bill as tip and left. Obviously a regular.
--Just saw Amish drars (southern dialect for "drawers" also known as underwear) hanging on the line. Smiled to myself at the irony of such a modest community.
--Me and my dad in a public restaurant with family. Laughed so hard we cried. Couldn't stop. Embarrassed the whole family. The story of the bacon bits.
--Father of first year football player sitting behind us. Bored the entire game as son won't even get a chance to play. Annoyed listening to the Ratliff family scream bloody murder for Truman State. His son comes on the field to play. Gasps 'oh, my god!' and is on the edge of his seat for the rest of the game.