Matt's Corner

KANSAS CITY TRIP (kind of a long post)


11/3
Its fall in Kansas City and the leaves are, as always, incredible. The trees had already begun turning their many brilliant shades of autumn’s gold. And the extraordinary fiery red and vibrant orange leaves still clung determinedly to branches despite the threatening nip of frost in the air. All those beautiful colors of changing leaves on tree-lined highways…
The blessedly familiar picture of my father in his favorite reading chair; the tangible feel of my mother’s kindness… it’s good to be back :)

11/5
In happy anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, mom and I set out to discover what treasures lay hidden at the local home décor boutiques, seeing that they were each hosting their annual Christmas open houses. As surely as Santa’s sleigh, those festive trees, lighted garlands, evergreen wreaths, glittering angels, funky stockings, packaged poinsettias, intricate snowmen and dangling ornaments transported us directly to the holidays. Lights sparkled, music played; we joined in, humming along to our favorite Christmas carols. Then we happened upon what had to be the most perfect Christmas centerpiece for our first ever team Mueller Christmas; sadly the price tag read $150… Undeterred, with our Christmas spirit soaring high, we set out for the nearest Hobby Lobby determined to make its twin for less. What fun we had! Stuffing the cart full of every item we could possibly need, claiming an entire aisle all to ourselves, sitting there on the floor “creating,” blue and green sparkles landing everywhere! Our masterpiece, an improvement from the store’s original version, now sits proudly on my kitchen island, wishing all a Merry Christmas! :)


11/6
Homemade spirit signs in hand and outfitted in his school colors we are off to cheer on Brett at his state cross country meet. (You’d have thought we were caravanning five year olds the way we had to stop every 30 minutes for various things…)
Arriving at the meet you could feel the excitement in the air. Everywhere you looked there were runners stretching, school flags soaring, mascots, posters, crazy parents… Our fan club spread out over the course, ready to cheer on the “birdman.” It was a difficult, hilly course but Brett did amazing. His first and second miles were PR’s, running 5:15 and 6:35 splits. Only fireman’s hill at the end kept him from all-state. Impressive!

11/7
One can easily recognize the feel of Sunday afternoon at dad and mom’s house. After church and a delicious family lunch together, the whole family hunkers down in the basement awaiting the afternoon football game kickoff. A sense of retreat, no urgency to be up and about, just together for the next few hours…
The only difference being that now we cheer for different teams :)

11/8
The kaleidoscope of color a Kansas City fall brings is absolutely stunning! With its rolling hills and towering forest, the countryside is home to the most beautiful and scenic fall foliage. At the height of their fall display, countless maples, ashes, oaks and hickory trees take center stage. Deep reds and brilliant gold’s paint the landscape, contrasting with the evergreen pines for a resplendent autumn display! I’ve always been fond of this time of year. It was such fun to come a little bit closer to the wonders of fall by biking the “Katy Trail” with mom.
We set off in the morning, bikes packed snugly in the car, finally arriving at our trailhead around 11. The Katy trail is over 200 miles long, winding through various small towns where you can stop in for lunch or even stay overnight at a local bed and breakfast. Our plan was to ride the ten miles from New Franklin to Rocheport, eat a leisurely lunch in Rocheport, then ride back to the car. Not wanting to spoil our appetite, we split a breakfast bar and water bottle prior to heading out. It was the perfect fall afternoon, where the chill burns off and the sun warms your skin. The trail was quite a treat, wide enough to ride side-by-side, engulfed by a canopy of trees; just us and the sound of fallen leaves scraping the ground. Excuse enough to ride slow and soak in the majestic displays of fall…
After ten miles of incredible views and endless chatting we passed through an incredible tunnel that looked like it had been there for hundreds of years and found ourselves in the small town of Rocheport, population 17. Tummy’s rumbling we rode down the town’s main street, dreaming of lunch on the patio of a quaint café. Much to our dismay, the entire town was closed; apparently, they close EVERYTHING on Monday’s, even the gas station and general store… Still hopeful of eating before our return journey we continued on another mile to see if the nearby bistro was open. This excursion turned out to be the most beautiful part of our entire ride as a lake appeared to the right of our trail and stretched alongside us till we arrived at our next destination. Magnificent autumnal colors lie mirrored in the waters reflection…
Now to get to the bistro you had to park your bike and hike a quarter mile up. We walked through the forest trail in a blissful daze, eyes fixed on the magnificent view above our heads. Reaching the bistro, it was more of the same, closed on Monday’s. So it was back down the mountain and another 11 miles back… We definitely earned our dinner!


11/9
In an attempt to avoid those long holiday lines at UPS this year we were on a mission to get some Christmas shopping done now. Our brainstorming led us to the place for all things boy, Home Depot. My brother just open an LLC flipping houses so we figured this would be the perfect place to get his name checked off our list. We spent over and hour trying to determine that perfect gift. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about impact drills and hammer drills, Makita and Dewalt… We analyzed, reanalyzed, assessing, contemplating, reflecting and evaluating. FINALLY reaching our, now very-informed, decision almost two hours later, we are standing at the register getting ready to swipe the card and guess who walks in the door? Standing behind us in his ripped jeans and work sweatshirt, Derek is peering into our cart. He tells us he wanted an air compressor instead…


11/10
Catching up with old friends…
A lot has changed in six years, but it doesn’t feel that way sitting here with you…
Laughing at the crazy stunts of our youth and remembering all the good times…
Hours flew past like moments…
Taylor, Erica, Mandy…
I totally luv you girlies!

11/11
Derek asked us to sand and paint six “cabinet” doors…
He showed up with six doors and five cabinets…
So, of course mom and I ended up caked in white, covered top to bottom in sawdust…
The neighbors don’t even bat an eye; they’re used to it…


11/12 - 11/13
Wood’s Chapel’s women’s conference with mom…
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us…” 1Cor 4:7

11/17
Girls spa day at home! What a sight we must have been, lying on the floor with our gooey green face masks and soothing eye patches… lotions and nail polish scattered about. Listening to the pitter patters of rain dribbling onto the roof…
Later that afternoon, we determined to combat the showery weather via smoldering log fire. With the fire burning cheerfully in the hearth, dad, mom, sis and I gathered round, half turned towards the newly kindled flames, very cozy and happy. Content to simply keep putting more logs on the fire, just to watch the flames crackle up…
11/18
One thing that is WAY more fun with mom and sis: SHOP! Not stopping till after dark, when the moon is sailing high in the sky and overhead branches of ancient beeches can been seen with their arms laced together like the flying buttresses of some great cathedral…
11/19
Heavy drops from the recent rainy weather sent more of those dazzling leaves into freefall, creating a beautiful mess in the front yard… The air filled with the scent of dying leaves as those ginormous trees in my parent’s front yard each abandoned their glorious fall foliage to be crunched underfoot. It seems raking leaves has become our new morning workout plan; so, with tools in hand, mom and I team up to tackle the annual leave raking tradition. She says the loveliness the trees bring makes them well worth the work; I’m still trying to decide... remembering when dad made us bang ice off the branches, for what seemed like hours in the bitter cold, to prevent the branches from breaking after a winter blizzard…
My favorite part of family date night: producing rap lyrics in the car… “I got the S on my mind, with the double bar line…” Everyone, dad included, had a line to add. I laughed so hard my sides ached! :)

11/20
The smells of Saturday morning family breakfast floating through the air coaxed me from under the snuggly blankets I had wrapped up to my chin; bringing to life a warm memory from the happy highlight reel of my childhood. I have not forgotten how we would throw on our favorite warm, cozy sweaters, in defense of those crisp mornings, or the way the bite of frost in the air smelt, or how it felt to standing on the back porch drinking a steaming mug of coffee, hearing the sound of the bacon beginning to sizzle. The clanking of pots awakening all for a family breakfast affair of eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, jelly, juice and milk. Family memories to treasure; so much to be thankful for!
11/21
Almost three weeks came and went…
the best was the endless hospitality of my parents!
and their genuine love that flows from their intimate relationships with the Savior!

1 comment:

Rothaus Family said...

It was such a treat to have you here. The time flew by so quickly but the memories linger on. Matt we missed you being with us and look forward to seeing you in January :)