Not in Kansas anymore (allegorically)

Yesterday we stopped for lunch at a town that looked as if it had remained stagnant since the 1960s. The shop windows were dusty and framed by peeling paint awnings, and a sign outside one door read that they were selling TV antennas, which are obsolete last I checked. You could even see grain silos in the distance, and the few cars that did pass by looked like they had come along only shortly after horse and buggy. It was eerie and reminded me of Western films, of which I’m already not very fond. We ventured to this off-road hamlet to get lunch and were pleasantly surprised by the quaint café waiting behind the peeled paint and antiquated signage. We split a super yummy sandwich and looked around to see what resembled a tea shop, save the decorations on the left wall. There, hanging near doilies and cutesy signs for overzealous moms and grandmas, were a series of rifles hanging on the wall. Just to reaffirm –  this was a tea shop. As this is a 21st-century odyssey, we felt the need to take a selfie in front of said guns.  

The presence of firearms so near our delectable, charming southern lunch was somewhat offputting. However, things got weirder. While mom went down to get the car after lunch, I stood on the sidewalk, and it took me a minute to realize how terribly out of place I seemed. Apparently, band t shirts, black shorts, and Chuck Taylor’s don’t fit in with the accepted local attire. I just didn’t get the memo, which became painfully evident when several passerbys gave me strange looks out of the windows of their old timey Toyotas and while walking by me on the dusty sidewalk. The only thing missing was a judgmental tumbleweed. The whole situation made me feel like Mariasa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny, and I mean every aspect of it. However, unlike this iconic character, we got to leave after about an hour and a half in Missouri and thankfully continued on with our travels. Like the moral of My Cousin Vinny, we learned to adopt a more widely encompassing perspective on the American lifestyle, albeit not via law malpractice. This was yesterday’s highlight. Today, we went to Dallas, which is very exciting and mostly involves sitting in the car and looking up songs about Texas. Also on our agenda for the Day was a thoroughly intriguing visit to a beautiful sculpture garden and gallery.


Categories: Mariah


  1. Mariah and Maggie,
    You two might think of including Marfa, Texas in your itinerary, also Arcosanti, Talisin West and James Turrel’s Roden Crater all in Arizona.
    Continue having a wonderful trip; I dutifully read every posting w/ pleasure.
    Jan Rapp


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