While I’m not yet ready to break out into a version of John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”, there are certain advantages to rural living.

Last weekend we ventured into the Kansas City metroplex while my daughter Robin celebrated her 40th birthday with her husband and friends in Las Vegas.

I’m sure our experience was similar when my parents ventured into the city to visit my sister and her husband who, at one time, lived in Raytown back in the 1960s.

Our main duty last weekend was to taxi our 11-year-old grandson around north Kansas City.

Here are some observations.


The open road lane on the Eastern Terminal of the Kansas Turnpike is absolutely wonderful. If you have K-Tag and if you travel on the Kansas Turnpike, it is a must. You only have to slow down to 55 mph.

Gone are the days of long lines at the terminals, waiting to pick up a turnpike ticket.

That Friday night we decided to go to Liberty, Mo., to grandson Landon’s favorite roadhouse restaurant. He really likes the rolls there.

Upon arriving in bumper-to-bumper traffic, which is fun when you don’t know where you are going or which lane you need to squeeze into (assuming someone will let you in to change lanes), we were ready for a relaxing dinner.

“It will be between a 45 and 50 minute wait.”

No problem. We sat at the bar and I watched more professional basketball during that wait than the entire past 10 years. Finally, the opening ceremonies of the Olympics were broadcast.

You have to admit, it was an impressive show. Landon especially enjoyed the drones.

After a dinner of ribs, it was back to the obstacle course sometimes called Highway 152.


We were up before the sun to drop Landon off at basketball practice while we got morning coffee at QuickTrip. The shop offered about a dozen different flavors.

“Where’s just black?” was my groggy question.

Practice was followed by a basketball game which his team won 59-11.

Next on the agenda was the making of Valentine cards for his classmates.

Then Landon spent the afternoon playing games with his friends.

Supplying snacks and drinks for his friends (there were about a dozen of them) was a snap as his friends were nowhere near the residence. He was playing and talking to his fellow gamers over a microphone and headphones over the Internet on a 55-inch screen television set.

Finally, 7:30 p.m. rolled around and it was time to get his soccer clothes on for his 8:30 p.m. game.

And you thought I was going to say PJs.

Not to worry that the temperature was about 10 degrees outside as the games were being played at the Kansas City Soccer Dome.

Good thing we brought Glinda, our GPS, along to help us find the building.

“Turn left. Turn left. Recalculating,” she said a lot.

Indoor games that particular evening, according to a staff member, ended at 3 a.m.

In the meantime, during all these events, our oldest grandson was working Friday night and Saturday at Smokin’ Guns BBQ in North Kansas City.


After coffee and sharing donuts with the boys from yet another QT, we were back on the road again, eager to see our dog Maggie who was being cared for by Kathy’s mother Doreen.

What I found are some good things about living in Robin and Nathan’s location:

• Price Chopper was only three blocks away, right next to Hobby Lobby, if you enjoy crafting.

• McDonald’s was about six blocks away.

• QT was less than a mile away.

• Basketball and soccer games are usually a 10 minute drive, unless the games are outdoors in Overland Park, which is across the city from where our daughter lives.

The difficult part is just getting there without being run off the road.

So, I guess I have turned into my father.

Also, I promise never to complain about waiting 10 minutes on a train as I drive into work in the morning.

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