Wednesday morning and I’m in Johnson County, Kansas, a southern suburb of Kansas City. While I’m originally from the Bay Area, my parents grew up around here and that is where many relatives still live.
I lived here in Kansas City for fourteen months in between living in the Bay Area and moving to Khrungthep, Thailand. It was a good experience, both to spend good time with my family and also to get an opportunity to live elsewhere in the US and see another perspective on the American way of life.
Popular here: SUVs, WalMart, George W Bush, and chain restaurants
(collective “uuugh!” as many of us agree that these are not good things)
Also popular here: church, neighbors, schools, and community
(It’s harder to say “uuugh!” to these, isn’t it? Proof, I think, that there really are a lot of shared values even among people who have some polar opposite opinions on a few particular issues. It’s important for us to keep the wide areas of common interests in mind instead of focusing only on the points of division.)
This week has been largely about family time along with a little time for friends. My 3-year old niece, Emily, has been showing signs of regressing now that she has a brand new, 3-week old sister, Ava. She seems to really love her new sister, but is definitely starving for attention anytime she sees Ava getting too much of it!
Late March is a bit of a triple event for us: My grandparents’ anniversary (63 years this year, I believe. Wow!), my grandmother’s birthday (young and active for her age), and Emily’s third birthday. So this was a good time to be here.
My aunt and uncle were in town from California along with my cousin.
From left to right: Dad, Emily and Ava; Grandpa and Ava; my cousin with Ava; Grandma at her birthday dinner. Is it any wonder Emily would think that she isn’t the center of the world anymore? Her face time has dropped considerably in this blog since Ava came along.
This week I’m playing the role of personal chef for my sister and brother in law, loading up at Costco on pork chops, salmon, and a pillow-sized bag of spinach. Salads daily. Cupcakes tomorrow to take to Emily’s day care class for her birthday party. Yeah – I get to bake again!
Tuesday evening I had dinner with a former colleague. He is now living in Kansas City and will be moving down to Mexico City to be with his partner at the end of May. The dinner conversation was really enjoyable; expats and about-to-be expats in multicultural relationships have a lot to talk about.
This afternoon I took some time off work and have helped Jenn get some projects finished (birth announcements) and will complete my taxes. Then dinner over at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. They purchased a lot of food, expecting that my aunt and uncle were going to stay with them. Instead, they stayed at a hotel and didn’t eat enough meals at home, so Grandma has a refrigerator full of food. So dinner is over there tonight.