18 August 2005

Missouri Loves Company (part I)

The following is a rehashing of the 5 days spent in Missouri this past weekend. Creative title, huh? That’s why I make the big bucks.

Day 1 – Thursday

10:45 am
KO, my mother, and I board our flight from Atlanta to Kansas City.

It’s important to note here that my mom is deathly afraid of tight spaces, and has only gotten progressively worse as the years pass by. Tack on that she’s flown a grand total of 3 times in her lifetime, and this trip has all the trimmings of being a nightmare in the clouds.

With that in mind, the trip was a complete success. I sat next to Mom the whole flight and not one peep, episode, or freak out session. I was quite proud of her as we exited the plane.

Now, it should be said that she needed a good healthy dose of her “pills” to accomplish this feat…but, much like in Cannonball Run, we don’t care how ya get there, just get there.

12:00 pm
Sunny Kansas City & The Longest Drive Home

Always in the business of saving a penny here and there, I talked to my dad about his leaving the Cirrus in long term parking for the three of us to drive back to Kirksville. Like a good papa, the car was waiting for us in the “B-2” lot, row 4.

Loaded up and packed into the Cirrus, we embarked on a journey to Kirksville 10 hours in the making.

Now, I know what you’re saying: Cory…Kirksville can’t be 10 hours from KC.

You would be right. In fact, it’s closer to 3 hours, but I’m factoring the long way so we can stop in and see my extended nuclear family.
I call them that because of a longer story about just how much thicker our blood runs with this family than any other branch in the OD tree….but that’s another tale for another day.

2:30 pm
After trekking for 2 hours, we roll into the bustling metropolis that is Moberly, Missouri…population 16,ooo and change. A blue collar suburb of Columbia, if you will.

After checking out my cousin Gavin’s latest housing projects with his booming new contruction company called “3 Brothers Contruction”, he retired to the “land”, where he’s helping his parents build their dream house on the outskirts of Moberly.

After seeing the progress made on the house, the attention turns to the two most talked about subjects in the OD clan: Babies and Food.

It seems that everyone in the family is procreating at a rapid rate. One would think that a fetal freeze is on the horizon with the ferocity of these breeding Olympics.

I don’t know. Must be in the fertile Missouri soil.

Back to babies….it should be note that my cousin Gavin and his wife Amari are expecting their first child…quite literally, any day now. The due date was August 16, and with each passing day, I’m expecting to get the call from Gavin, introducing another O’Donnell into the world.

7:00 pm
Food….it’s what’s for dinner.
With that bit of business out of the way, it’s on the real ritual of reunion with the family: Food.

In this case, we decided to go away from the buffet standby and have Mexican. KO and I were delighted to learn that we would be dining at El Vaquero in Moberly.

I know that name strikes a familiar chord with many of you readers, but even more so than first thought.
Through some connection, this El Vaquero in Moberly (along with the one in Kirskville) are owned by the same people that run El Vaquero in this quaint little hamlet of Columbus.

Small world, indeed.

After some great food at The Cowboy, and more catching up with my other cousin Chad, his new bride Michelle (also with child), the time had come to bid adieu and make our way another hour north to Kirksville, my hometown and the site for the reunion festivities.

10:00 pm
Batty for TV
After we settled into the home of my boyhood, it is decided that my mother needs a new TV.
You see, a week ago, lightning had shot through her house and apparently blew out her TV and cable box.

Knowing that Friday would be a busy day, I suggested getting the TV that night and hooking it up.

A trip to Wal-Mart found a good buy on a 27” RCA model for $178. Sold American.

After grabbing some assorted odds & ends, we paid for the new tube and headed to pack it into the Cirrus.

Only one problem: While it occurred to measure out the entertainment center, the TV’s dimensions proved a formidable ally to actually packing it in the car….so good, that it didn’t.

After some quick thinking, I realized that my high school friend Travis, still living in KV, had a truck equal to the task.

10 minutes later, Travis arrives in Fordzilla, or as it’s known in layman terms, a white ’82 Ford F-150.

Load up the TV.
Drag it into the house.
Encounter a small bat inside the house. No worries…the
Sports Lady quickly disposed of it humanely, trapping it in a pot and releasing it outside.
Hook up the new TV.
Share a laugh and a wipe of the brow.
Off to bed.

Welcome home, man.

To be continued (hopefully…not as longwinded) with Day 2…
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