We just returned from a 4-hour trip to hang out with Fun Family. Our journey took us through south-central Nebraska and eastward through northern Kansas. (Didja get that? On a map, it's down, and over to the right.)
(Despite what some say, that area of the country is truly beautiful, especially this time
of year. The hills roll gently toward the horizon, covered with milo, soybeans, corn and sunflowers. In autumn, milo heads are a rich burnt-orange color, and for a few days soybeans dry brilliant yellow before they ripen to a rosy brown. Corn stalks stand tall and brittle. Sunflowers hide their yellow petals under heavy heads on warm green stalks. And the cottonwoods, well, they're fantastic.)
In response to my delighted descriptions of the landscape, Handsome Husband said, "Mhhm. You missed your exit."
"But didja see the shadows? They're a lovely blue-ish purple. " To which he remarked, "Hmhm. You can grab 229, merge onto 29 South and take exit 485. "
I know that exit. It's right by a great big red water tower. It can be uncommonly pretty against a blue sky. Thanks to HH and his attention to detail, we remained in the continental US and arrived in due time at our destination.
We and the Fam had a great time watching KU football and their exceptional marching band. (Some of us gather for the band performance and sit politely through the football game, which, by the way, is played on a luminously green field, a lovely counterpoint to bright blue uniforms with crimson trim.)A day and fifty belly laughs later we hugged Fun Family goodbye and headed home. I just might add here that we live in a town of just under 2,000 people. We have one stoplight, and that's the truth. Fun Family lives in the Kansas City area. It's just a slightly more complicated kind of driving. Leaving the city we were faced with a backwards rendition of finding our way in to the metro. Suddenly HH's exit numbers were out of order and our interchanges were knotted in the opposite direction. We needed to turn south to go north and merge left to stay on the highway. His logic was being sorely tested.
It seems that in order to return safely to the golden cornfields of south central Nebraska, we were going to have to combine HH's analytical powers with my ability to visually un-knot the tangle of highways we were on.
"I'm just certain we turn here" I declare. "If we turned left on the way in we need to turn right on the way out. Take the loopty-loop backwards and we'll be fine."
And we were.
As we both relaxed into our trip homeward, HH turned to me and said, "Geez, look at the flowers in the ditch there. They're pretty against the orange milo aren't they?"
I smiled at him, pleased to know that he has developed an eye toward subtle beauty in the landscape. "Yes they are, sweetie", I say. "And you just missed your exit."