Well, I made it!
Let me begin with last night, actually (was it really only last night?). We went to the rodeo at the NEMO (pronounced like the movie with the cute fish) Fairgrounds! Yeehaw! The kids went out into the extremely muddy field for the calf round up. Tommy, interestingly enough, was actually wearing his farm boots (they are easier to put on than shoes, so he wears them a lot-- might be time to think about flip flops...), so he ran around and actually touched a calf!
Chris was not so lucky. He trotted around valiantly until his shoes were just engulfed in the mud. Then one hand got stuck, his fanny up in the air, and it became clear pretty quickly that he wasn't going anywhere.
Jen's Rodeo Outfit: I was wearing the dress I wore to work and my nice (now muddy) sandals, and I was up in the stands. The announcer is talking about Christian being stuck, when suddenly, I see my Knight In Shining Armor (t-shirt, jeans, cowboy boots) hopping over the fence and into the mud. He went out and got Christian's shoes out, and carried Christian off the field.
Sexiest thing I ever saw. I just about wept.
Last night the kids were up late, and Tommy started getting weepy about my going out of town, though honestly, if I hadn't told him I was going, he wouldn't have known because he'll be at his dad's for two weeks (though I will miss their baseball games this week). This morning, I woke up at 6:20 and Dereck was getting dressed to go to McDonald's after breakfast-- he had woken, and the kids were already up and hungry. Tommy had called for me, and not getting an answer, surmised that I had already gone. When he found out I was still there, he came and jumped on me and kissed me for awhile. The love of little boys....
Yesterday morning, Tommy made Dereck breakfast in bed, cereal with milk and coffee and everything. Astonishing! Dereck said, "It's just like Father's Day," so I thought that was a good time to give him his card that the kids and I had all signed. He has more than earned it.
I worked out, packed, ran to Liza's for a backpack, showered, got baseball uniforms assembled, got the kids off, dried my hair, kissed Dereck, and headed out. Speeding like a bat out of hell, I got to St. Louis in under three and a half hours.
It was very nice to see Karl's friends, all hanging out after a successful rummage sale. Angela had just gone out for pizza, so they fed me pizza, salad, and a Karl-gin-and-tonic, and then we headed off to the airport.
At the airport, there was a long line of women with long hair in long skirts in line for the flight, who really creeped me out. Fundamentalism at work there. I kept thinking, "Why are they going to Las Vegas???" They all looked alike, hair up carelessly, fat, no makeup-- why wear skirts all the time if you just wear them carelessly and look like a sack of potatoes? Did I say that out loud? Ohhhhh, so catttttty... But really.
Well. I soon got the answer to my question (of sorts). I dozed on the flight, and the plane landed and I woke up and thought, "Damn, that was the shortest flight to Las Vegas in the history of man!" No. We had landed in Kansas City! That wasn't on my itinerary. And sure enough, they all filed off. I was happy to see them go.
Then the flight attendant announced Mr. and Mrs. so and so who had just gotten married, and a young couple, the woman replete in wedding splendor, got onto the plane. I think actually I heard later that they were going to Las Vegas to GET married, which makes more sense to me, but anyway, that was kind of fun and interesting.
Las Vegas is always a kick at the airport, slot machines everywhere. I just barely had time to grab some quick tasty airport dinner and get back on the plane, so I didn't gamble (okay, I'm chicken!). I apologized to my seatmates, and then ate my dinner in front of them. By then I was too wired on caffeine to sleep, though I tried, so I just read on both of my flights.
It is now 3:00 a.m. Missouri time. I should go to bed.
Tomorrow, we're off to some cabins by some hot springs for a couple of nights, so I'll be offline for a couple of days.
Cheers from the West Coast!