Woo woo! What a Thanksgiving in Kansas! On Tuesday, Karen, E&Z&H&G, and I headed down in a Suburban, loaned to us by our good friends Tony and Bonnie. We hit the road about 12:30 and arrived in Ottawa at 8:00.  An easy trip with H&G watching DVD’s and all of us having a picnic in the car so we could keep on driving.

The Cowdin house was full with Aaron, Makoto, Soren, Amber, and E&Z&H&G so Karen and I got a hotel room, first at the Best Western (don’t go there) and then at the Comfort Inn (much nicer and great pool/hot tub).

Many of us got to meet Soren for the first time, including Great Grandma. That child is so c-u-t-e!

Eric brought two homebrews: a hoppy brown ale and a oak bourbon porter which managed to sustain us very nicely throughout the week. I love the idea that he’s carrying on my dad’s brewing tradition—albeit a lot more creatively and successfully 🙂

We have amazing cooks in this family and everyone takes turns preparing meals. Jo Ann, with sous chef help, did an outstanding Thanksgiving with all the favorites. For the other dinners Karen made chili with rice; Makoto and Aaron made tonkatsu, a fried chicken dish, sushi rice, and a noodle salad; and E&Z made us pork tacos with rice and beans.  All the food, wine, beer and company was outstanding and tons and tons of fun!

Since Harper loved her Make-A-Wish horseback-riding-in-the-mountains, I wanted to try and arrange for horseback riding in Kansas. And my brother-in-law’s niece, Dixie (bless her!) was able to make that happen. The family who took the kids riding could not have been nicer or more genuine.  The other times Harper had ridden she had been only in the corral.  This family got her and the horse comfortable in the corral and then took her and Eric with others on an hour-long trail ride.  Check out Harper’s smiles in the photos for an idea of what she thought of it.

Harper got so sick April 1, 2011, right after the trip to Ottawa for Mom’s 90th birthday party.  So I took this trip with a lot of emotion but it was heartening to see H so full of fun and having such a good time.  She said several time she wanted to stay in Kansas.

On the other end of the age continuum, Mom tires quickly now and her thinking/memory is much poorer.  Of course Jo Ann keeps me updated and I call Mom often but I hadn’t seen her in some time so her loss was difficult for me to see.  God bless Jo Ann for ensuring Mom has the best care possible. I’m also thankful for Roger, Greg and Deb and all they do.  I was grateful Mom could spend some time with Harper and Gus.

Rosanna, Harper and I took the photos.


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