I left Leawood at 9 A.M., after having breakfast with Ruth and saying farewell. I was headed toward Evansville, Indiana, where Dorothy (another of my first cousins once removed) lives. I called her yesterday and she told me that she had invited her four children and their families over for dinner, so I should prepare for a big welcome.
My four hundred mile drive across Missouri and Illinois went by smoothly. There was only one problem; I did not stop to do 200 pushups in Missouri. I decided last night that I wouldn’t have time to squeeze in a half hour, sweat-producing stop on my drive to a dinner with relatives that I have never met before. I also skipped Illinois, but my next stop will be Chicago and I will have plenty of time to fit them in while I am there. So now my record is 7-2; I missed Montana and Missouri and have completed my challenge in every other state I’ve driven through.
I did make one very important stop though. I found a White Castle location to serve as my introduction to the world of square hamburgers. I bought one of their combos, which included four sliders (with square buns and patties, of course), an order of fries, and a drink. They tasted exactly like hamburgers, fries, and drinks always taste at fast-food restaurants, so I was satisfied.
I made it to Evansville at 4:30 P.M., right on schedule. I approached the door which I believed belonged to my relative and hoped that I had the correct address this time. After taking a deep breath, I knocked. To my relief, the woman who opened the door said, “You must be the relative whom Aunt Dorothy is expecting!” Since I certainly was that relative, I told her that she was correct.
Dorothy welcomed me in and introduced me to the two of her granddaughters who were already there. Over the next hour, the rest of the thirteen family members trickled in. I had been warned to expect a boisterous crowd and I was not disappointed. Conversation at the dinner table was filled with stories, jokes, and good-humored teasing.
Arrangements had been made for me to stay with Scott (one of Dorothy’s four children), his wife, Laura, and their daughter, Aden. After dinner and dessert, I followed them to their house, which was only ten minutes away. Laura gave me a tour of the house and showed me where my room was.
It was still only 9 P.M., so Aden invited me to join her at Buffalo Wild Wings, where she was going to hang out with some teammates from her intramural softball team. I accepted the invitation and enjoyed a sophisticated beverage (water) while visiting with them.
And that was about it for the day! I came back from the restaurant and went right to bed, tired from a long day of driving and visiting.