Monday, July 26, 2010

Vacation - part 2

This is Part 2 of our vacation to Oklahoma in June 2010. Follow here if you would like to read Part 1, which was our time in Saint Louis, MO. The series continues with parts 3 and part 4.

As we were leaving St. Louis, we discovered a crack in our windshield and our air conditioning was working intermittently. Upon closer investigation, we found where a rock must have hit the windshield and it was a curved crack extending down to the base and up several inches. (Jumping ahead just a bit, over the course of the rest of our trip, we will find the crack curving and getting longer. The air conditioner will also continue to work intermittently. A few days before we plan to head home, the check engine light will come on. With all of this we are thankful that the windshield didn't shatter, the a/c will work at times rather than not at all, and who knows why the engine light is on, but it continues to function!)

OK, back to the way from St. Louis to Tulsa... This is the road trip where we are taking time to stop and see those things on billboards that we see and say, "One of these days, we should stop and see that." So, when we saw the billboard for the World's Largest Rocking Chair in Cuba, Missouri, we decided to follow the signs and see it. We left I-44 and ventured onto Route 66, where we found this neat little shop, the Route 66 Outpost. Inside, we found all things taxidermy - every critter imaginable - and wood carvings and gadgets.

The kind folks in the shop gave us a recommendation for dinner (Missouri Hick Barbeque), which involved back-tracking a few miles, so we decided to plan our trip home around stopping there for dinner. Hubby also had a nice chat about geocaching with them. He loves this hobby and even found one around the rocking chair! This was a great stop to make and a good time to stretch our legs.

Just off the parking lot was this mammoth rocking chair. They weren't kidding. I really do think it's the World's Largest Rocking Chair. If there is one bigger, I cannot imagine it.

Here is my 6' husband standing on it:
{Sorry, hubby, you're not being a very good influence.}

Arg, Blogger isn't cooperating and this picture won't import in it's rotated form.
Sorry for the sideways reading!

We continued driving and stayed overnight in Springfield, MO. Then on Tuesday, drove on in to the Tulsa-area. We didn't make any more nifty stops other than a huge candy shop where the only other customers seemed to be very radical campers who may or may not have been hallucinating by choice and had a sweet tooth. We didn't stick around very long.

We arrived at our destination on our third day and were blessed to be staying with some long-time Christian friends who we haven't seen in a very long time. On Wednesday, it rained, which through off our plans a bit, so we went out to lunch with my sister-in-law and nephew and then played at Bass Pro Shop. Who would've thought that four kids (5 if you include my husband) would have so much fun at Bass Pro Shop? (Of course, then the rain stopped and it was sweltering!)

My aunt and grandmother drove in from Kansas with a nice surprise - they brought my cousin's daughter. My girls receive a lot of hand-me-downs from her and they have only met once, so it was a very nice surprise and good time visiting with them.

Here is a picture of Child C and my nephew:

Child C enjoying some time with my younger brother, her Uncle Andrew:

We brought a bag of giant marshmallows.
Have you seen them?
They are almost as big as those giant
fuzzy dice from the 70s & 80s; marshmallows a full 2"x2".
What fun!
My nephew had never even had a marshmallow before,
so we had to get a picture of him eating one of these:
(This was actually the only good picture I got of him eating it because he actually wasn't impressed. He has a good momma who doesn't feed him a lot of sweets, so this was very foreign to him!)

Thursday and Friday were reserved for hubby to spend with the kids while my brothers and I went through my mom's household items that were packed up 11 years ago when she passed away. Can I just say that it was not something I was looking forward to. My mom was a collector, meaning she kept a lot of stuff that she thought would one day be worth something. I wasn't sure what to expect and anticipated a lot of stress. I prayed for joy. God is so good. I think I laughed more in those two days than in a long time. Now, I'll be honest and say I was stressed a bit as time started closing in on Friday and then again on Sunday when we weren't quite done, but as we went through the boxes and boxes and boxes, I laughed a lot.

Most of the laughs came from such items that most people would never in a lifetime come across. Things that bring on a "What the..." or "Why would someone keep this???"
Here, let me show you:
Is it a crocodile or an alligator? WHY is it dressed like batman?
Who would do this to a crock or a gator???
Here, enjoy some more angles of this poor defenseless creature:
How 'bout a close-up?
Uncle Andrew in a California Raisin costume meant for a toddler:

A cute little container, just right for storing... hair? Ew, ick. WHY?!?

Some miscellaneous things that she collected from family vacations and, well, because she could. Like flex-straws!
Quite possibly one of the first packages of tampons ever made. Toxic shock syndrome, anyone?

Remember Woodsy the Owl? Give a hoot, don't pollute!
He should come back, really. I just can't stand it when the car in front of me throws out a bag of trash onto the road. With 3 kids in the car, I can't just stop and give it back to them, telling them they dropped something!

And Smokey the Bear... Only YOU can prevent forest fires!

This is not all we sorted through, but it gives you an idea of how we ended up laughing so much. While some of these things really might be worth something, we found that others, like the entire Del Monte collection of stuffed fruits and veggies really aren't. Maybe someday they will be, but that day is not today and someone else will have the chance to hold onto them until that day. It was fun. We had a lot of laughs. And if anyone else in my family dies and leaves behind a bunch of "collectibles", well, we'll let an estate sale company go through it and decide. (My dad is also a collector and has a lot more than my mom did!) I'm also eager to clean out my house because I don't want someone going through my things thinking the same things I thought about my mom's. What an experience. And I am so thankful for God's grace and joy!

(Mom also kept all my stuff from my bedroom when I moved to Chicago the day after my 18th birthday. It was very interesting going through boxes of posters that were on my wall and notes that were passed during class in high school - all during the same week as my 20-year reunion!)

During our stay, my older brother, sister-in-law and our very good friends who offered their house to use were so very hospitable. We were blessed and had such a good time. Thank you to those who read my blog who were also involved in our trip!

In the final part of this series, I will be posting about my 20-year reunion and our trip home.


  1. I LOL'd at seeing the trinket box w/ hair again! :-) And I love the pic of the two youngest cousins. I had to look behind them to the outside to remember where that was taken.

  2. What a great vacation,(except for the cracked windshield and crazy AC) all those quirky sites will be great memories for years to come!! I look forward to hearing about your reunion :)

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