Today I had the chance to live a normal day, just like I would at home. But I’m not at home. I’m in Leawood Kansas. Opportunities like this are the best part of my trip. They aren’t the highlights and there really isn’t a lot to say about them individually, but they are still the best parts. They are full of a thousand little things that we don’t usually think about because they are normal. As I travel the country, they become more and more interesting because I get to compare the thousand little things of one state and city and household with the thousand little things of another.
I’m not a psychologist or an anthropologist – I’m not building theories of human behavior. I’m just watching people and living alongside them. I am learning to empathize with new people and to uphold my own life choices while I respectfully learn about theirs.
The day of little things started with a late breakfast and a few minutes of reading A Walk Across America. Then there was a trip to Home Depot with Ruth for some bags of topsoil which we carried into her backyard.
A friend of Ruth’s came by for a visit in the late morning. Her name is Maureen, and she has done fairly well as a ghostwriter. She encouraged me to continue pursuing my interest in writing and told me I’d better keep my blog up to date, or she would follow me across the country and give me a good whipping. I’ll do my best, but I may have to keep an eye out for the rest of my trip.
Ruth had a coupon for a free car wash, which she generously donated to my filthy vehicle. Now it is as good as new! After a quick lunch at Costco, we returned to Ruth’s house so that the neighborhood handyman could install some shelves in the dining room. I helped him as much as I could.
In the evening, Ruth picked Rachel up from school and Jared came over for a piano lesson, since Jared does not have a piano at his house. I talked to the piano teacher, scootered with Rachel, and tried to help with dinner. Then we were off to Jared’s little league baseball game. Sadly, he did not win – but he did get his first hit of the season. After the game, Ruth and I returned to her house and finished the evening by watching a little bit of TV.