Saturday, September 3, 2011

Great Having My Brother Visit

My brother lives in So. Calif., in a quagmire of buildings, traffic, people and everything else I don't like compacted into small spaces - i.e. it's crowded. He doesn't like it either, but for various reasons still lives there. His children and grandkids live in the area and he adores those grandkids. The inability to see his grandkids in almost 3 weeks, wore on him especially towards the end of the visit. I think he missed one of his cats even more! Kitcat. This picture is pretty much of what I saw of Kitcat on my visit last November.

We don't get to see each other very often, although seeing him twice in 9 months is a very special treat for us. He is younger than I am. I love him to death, but I must admit my sister-in-law does a pretty dang good job of putting up with him every day! He has one of those come-back wits that make you careful about what you say or you find your foot in your mouth right away. He loves history and while here brought out interesting little tidbits that I didn't know or even realize. Over the years I have lived in this little town, he has sent me things - old postcards, a plate from the 1930's, souvenir spoon from even earlier, a soda pop bottle from a local bottling company that survived for a couple of years in the 1930's - he has bought on eBay. He has also sent me some re-productions of 1870's topography maps of the area. All these items were gone over, discussed and became learning points of interest of the history of this area.

Fran is my brother's name, short for Francis. Fran was here to help my housemate Jim with what was needed while I went to Michigan for a friend's daughter's wedding - posted earlier. In early July, it became apparent that my housemate was going to need a male-type minor surgery. And, concern was that it would be like the last one he had several years ago - painful and uncomfortable. As the days went by, it looked like the minor surgery was going to be the week before I left for Michigan. Fran popped up and said if everything could be worked out, he would come and stay with Jim. Well, it worked out. As it turned out, Jim's minor surgery was even less than minor; but Fran came anyway. I am glad he did.

Fran hates to fly and he decided to come by Amtrak to Dodge City. Even though he had a sleeper roomette, he said it was pretty bad and didn't get much sleep. I had reserved a room for us at a local motel. The Amtrak was two hours late (in the middle of early morning), was around 3:30 a.m. when we finally got to bed. We slept a bit late the next morning and met my friend Sarah for breakfast. I was going to Michigan with Sarah. That's Sarah with the pink flamingos on her birthday last year. She collects pink flamingos.

Since we were in Dodge City, we had to visit Boot Hill Museum - watched a gunfight, had lunch, wandered through the buildings learning about Dodge's early history. Since I use to live there, I talked about additional history of what I had learned; we went on a tour of the Santa Fe Railroad Depot/Harvey House/Theater. That was really interesting as I had been in the building several times before the renovation work and to see all that has been done is great. I have been to a number of productions put on by The Depot Theater Company in the beautiful Theater.

The next few days at home was time spent getting adjusted - where the local grocery store is located, daughter Juno's house, letting her dog Buster become acquainted, where WalMart and other businesses in Hays are located etc as he was going to use my pickup while I was gone. And, visit some historical sites around the area too. Fran, Juno and I visited the Ellis County Historical Museum on Sunday before I left. I was wanting to see some pictures on the 100-year flood of 1957 that devastated Hays as well as my little town, but there weren't any pictures or information on display. Although, we almost had one while we were there. A storm dumped a couple of inches that afternoon, while we were at the Museum, and my backyard was flooded when we got home.

Okay, here is where wedding trip would be inserted. Next posting is when I got home and what we did.

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