As I mentioned in January, Jim’s mom was not the nicest woman on the face of the earth and years ago told a lie about his Uncle Gary causing Jim to cut ties with him. That is so sad because if Jim talks about his childhood the stories always start, “One summer when I was staying with Gary, Sherry and Grandpa Hoover..” It also cut him off from most of his mother’s side of the family including Cousin Philip. Philip and his wife Shirley have made sure that we ate well while staying in Wichita. We were lucky enough to be able to spend time with them every day we were there. Philip is Jim’s second cousin, late 60s, retired law enforcement – big old teddy bear who would give you the shirt off his back. Last night as we were leaving the restaurant after dinner Philip took Jim by the shoulder and said, “Just one more thing. I don’t want to be Cousin Philip. Your Uncle Gary and I are more like brothers than cousins… can we be Uncle Philip and Aunt Shirley to you all?” Of course they can!
Tonight we are in Fayetteville Arkansas after about five hours on the road. Robert, of course, was a real trooper and slept most of the way. After dinner Jim took him to the pool for about a half an hour – he had a great time but it wore him out so he is blessedly asleep. Tomorrow we have another four or so hours on the road. I’ll be glad to be out of the car for a few days! Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll have internet access until we land back in KC on Sunday — eeeekkk!!! I guess I’ll survive, and hopefully have a lot of pictures to post.