Sunday, June 17, 2012

A capitol adventure

Alternately titled: The Longest Drive for reasons I will elaborate on in the near future.

If offered a chance to journey to your state's capitol building for a sculpture unveiling featuring your Da's work, and a chance to meet your Governor, would you take it? I did.
 Ooh but how it began! I vaguely remember being prodded awake at the crack of dawn by what I took to be at the time a pestering hen. It turned out to be my mother, who insists it was only seven o'clock. What she fails to understand is that time is relative -- and waking a ghastly experience for we owls of the night.
 Crumpets aside, we set out on the East Bound road, through true prairie that reminded me why I love my state.

 There is nothing out there but blue sky, waving grass, and sometimes a herd of cattle. And that is beautiful to me. The openness, the expansiveness, the freedom of it all. You look out at the green-soon-to-be-gold velvet speeding by, and it is not hard to imagine buffalo instead of cows, or even nomadic indians on their painted ponies.... Plenty of fodder for a story-teller like me.
 After several hours drive, through 'towns' along the way with populations ranging from 3 to 26, dodging suicidal pheasants, and surviving an outburst of Shenandoah from Mum as we crossed the Missouri river, we made it at last to the capitol building just in time for the ceremony to begin.
 The place was packed with dignitaries and people that didn't know we were family of one of the artists so we had to take the lift and watch from the balcony, which turned out to be better because the place, built in 1910, has no air conditioning. But it does have cool old radiators.
 The ceremony itself was all pomp and splendor, I suppose. Though after my Da finished his little speech, I confess I did abandon my post of Interested Observer to go and be an Explorer of the upper level, even sneaking a look 'round the Legislators' lounge.
 The Governor spoke too, though it seems that no one had told him the statues' bios would be given as each one was unveiled, so we got to hear everything interesting that ever happened to those men twice. Just incase we didn't get our notes down the first time.
 Afterwards it was tea on the terrace at the Governor's mansion. Well, coffee and lemonade anyway. And sweets. LB kept running back to the catering to snag us a few more lemon-raspberry cheesecake bars. And lemonade. The lemonade was wonderfully delicious. Very cold and very fresh, and it came in the cutest little glasses.
 My family eventually decided that cheesecake bars did not constitute a good lunch, so we packed up and drove around until we found a place to satisfy LB's craving for fried chicken and mine for mashed potatoes & peppery gravy.
By then it was getting time for Mum, LB, and I to hit the trail home so we could make it back in time before dark to feed the animals. We left Da behind to do further sculptural things and headed out, taking a brief rabbit trail to drive over Owahe Reservoir/Dam and about dying of laughter at the top, coming up with all sorts of hilarity {see Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 3}. Then we really pushed off....
  I kid you not: Not thirty minutes into the drive {about the time we pass the sign Last Gas 150miles} I was seriously regretting all that delicious lemonade in the adorable cups -- if you know what I mean.
 This is the main reason I don't like road trips, because where I live to get Anywhere you have to go through a million miles of Nowhere with, you guessed it, no rest stops.
 About an hour later Mum got tired enough to let me drive. I was all like, Okay, Mommy, don't worry about a thing, I'll get us home safely! until she sacked out in the backseat, then I was like LB, fasten your safety belt and zip your lips; we're getting home now!! 'cause there was no way in Hot-place I was pulling over to the side of the road. Because even though there were probably only five other cars on that highway, I can guarantee they would all pass by just then like a little parade for yours truly.
So, yeah. I chose the alternative.
 I won't go into details, but I will say I shaved a half-hour off our travel time. Aaand we arrived in one piece, which is always a plus when I'm driving. In fact, considering the circumstances of that day, it's a miracle.



  1. O_O

    You must drive like my Dad. lol

  2. This made me happy and made me laugh! The pestering hen/mom waking you up comparison was grand- I'm a fellow owl of the night. Ooh, and the fuzzy ducklings pic especially thrilled me. ;)