County Roads, Take Me Home

The stubborn "auto park" light on the instrument panel of our motor home.
The stubborn “auto park” light on the instrument panel of our motor home.

Abby and I and our dogs have returned from an excellent Thanksgiving holiday in Platte City, Missouri, home of my cousin Lori Wade, her husband Bill, and their dogs Riley and Max. We were joined by my sister Nicole, who flew from her home in New Orleans, and Lori’s father, my uncle Wes, with a drop-by visit from Bill’s daughter Jessica and her beau Matt.

We set out Wednesday morning in our cranky motor home, which got us as far as McAlester, 65 miles east, where, after we stopped briefly, the “auto park” system locked up the drivetrain. Abby and I fooled with it, struggled with it, and fought with it, and Abby even cursed at it. Twice it locked up in the middle of an intersection, completely blocking traffic.

Nicole aims downrange while Bill gives her some pointers.
Nicole aims downrange while Bill gives her some pointers.

Once we got it to move, we decided we couldn’t take it all the way to Missouri. So we drove back home using a route that didn’t involve stopping, to reduce the chance of it locking up again. Once there, we unloaded the motor home and loaded Abby’s truck, then hit the road again, this time at three in the afternoon. That put us on the road, stressed and frustrated, well into the night. Adding to our misery was a line of very heavy thunderstorms between Tulsa and Joplin that nearly forced us to stop again.

By 10:30 pm, however, we were finally at Lori and Bill’s place in Platte City. Their home is on ten acres in the rolling hills north of the Kansas City area. They were gracious hosts, and the remainder of the trip was far less stressful. Activities included the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, going though some very old toys that once belonged to my father, and having Bill, whose profession is running a gun store, teach my sister to safely fire a rifle and a pistol.

Abby and I had great conversations both coming and going, and it’s always fun to be on the road with her.

Abby, Nicole and Lori in their best "Good Housekeeping" poses.
Abby, Nicole and Lori in their best “Good Housekeeping” poses.

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