Posted by: Marie | July 5, 2014

(948) Lessons in renegotiation – Part 4 of 7

Post #948
[Private journal entry written near bedtime on Saturday, September 1, 2012 – continued from previous post]

Once we got inside, we could see that there was also a gun display case set into the bank of drawers. Of course, it was being used for general storage of stuff other than guns . . . but that caused me to think that maybe the store had been more of a general store rather than just a hardware store. I guess, given its being a large building located in a tiny town, it likely was used as a venue for selling way more than just hardware.

As we walked further back into the store, we could see a good bit of plumbing hardware stacked here and there – the plumbing hardware appeared to be from an era more recent than the hardware drawers, but the heavy layers of dust laying on top of it indicated it wasn’t from the current decade.

Towards the back we discovered a hand-hewn wooden canoe . . . and a large dumb waiter next to the back sliding bay door. I imagine the dumb waiter allowed large items to be moved between the main floor and the basement. The old tin ceiling was falling down in several places . . .

The town was established in 1915, so I’m guessing the building – and the drawers – were build in the years immediately after that. It was so neat! We spent maybe 20 minutes in the building, exploring . . . and Melodie took a bunch of cool photos . . .

We then walked the short distance back to the community center . . . the two firefighters were sitting on a bench in the lobby. We talked with the older one a bit more. He mentioned that the funeral dinner was going to be held at the community center – again, the whole town was expected to attend the dinner . . .

He walked with us to our car, talking the entire way . . . he gave us some suggestions about scenic routes and other neat things to explore . . . we all leaned over the hood of our car and studied the map . . . he suggested that we head south on Highway 181, west on Highway 18 and then south on Highway 232 so we could travel the scenic route around the east end dam of Wilson Lake.

We thanked him for the advice . . . as we were packing our stuff in the car, we heard communication over the fire truck’s radio that the funeral procession to the grave site was going to be leaving in another minute or two. After responding to the communication, the firefighter hollered at us that we would be meeting the procession a few miles out of town. Melodie assured him she would pull over . . . and we thanked him for all the information he had given us.

We were back on the road by 11:00am . . .

Sure enough, a few miles south of town, we met the procession. Of course, we pulled over. It took about 10 minutes for all the cars to pass . . . we counted about 100 cars in it.


A half hour or so later, we were at the intersection of Highways 181 and 18, which is where we were planning to turn west. However, Melodie saw a sign that indicated the town of Sylvan Grove was located just a mile south of the intersection. She got very excited when she saw the town’s name . . . it’s the town in which her mom had been born. Melodie had not realized we were going to be so close to Sylvan Grove.

Her mom is no longer alive . . . and she really wanted to stop there so she could see her mom’s birthplace. Sylvan Grove is another tiny town perched on the plains of Kansas . . . although it is almost five times the size of Hunter . . . it has 275 people living in it!

We found a little cafe on Main Street that was open. Since it was pushing noon, we were ready for lunch . . . so, we stopped in for a bite . . .

There were maybe 15 customers in the cafe, and three people running it. One employee was cooking, one was waiting tables and third was running around, picking up slack wherever she could. We waited near the door for a few minutes to be acknowledged (as instructed by a sign), but to no avail. That’s when a local family came in. They told us that we might as well seat ourselves . . . that’s what people do when the restaurant gets busy. So, we found a table and seated ourselves . . .

Then, we waited . . . and we waited . . .

Finally, about 20 minutes after we had walked in the door, we got some water and menus . . .

Then, we waited . . . and we waited . . . I placed a call to Ardis to make sure she had gotten my voicemail this morning . . . she didn’t answer and I didn’t see the value of leaving a second message . . . if she didn’t get the first one, she won’t get the second one . . .

It was 10 or 15 minutes before the waitress came back around to take our order . . .

Then, we waited . . . and we waited some more . . .

As we were waiting, we asked the people at the table next to us if there was something we needed to do differently . . . like, for example, were we supposed to go pick up our own order from to the kitchen . . . ?? Nope . . . we just needed to sit tight. They laughed as they acknowledged the service was not so great . . . but, it was the only restaurant open this weekend for miles and miles around . . .

Anyway, it was another 20 minutes before our food showed up . . . and both of our orders were wrong. For example, I had ordered a hamburger with mayo, lettuce and tomato. I got a hamburger with nothing but onion on it. We discussed the situation a bit and decided that we could be happy with the food we had been given . . . we didn’t want to spend anymore time trying to get what we ordered . . .

I put a little ketchup and mustard on mine, and that made it taste like a fancy McDonald’s hamburger. I could live with that. Melodie doctored up her food a bit to make it align a little closer to her preferences, and then we chowed down and got out of there as quickly as we could . . . we managed to pay our bill and head out the door by around 1:30pm.

As we walked back to the car, Melodie told me that she had had enough of driving and that I could drive the rest of the weekend . . . she simply had needed to do a little bit of the driving . . . it was something she just had to do. But now, she had done it and she could turn the driving over to me with a happy attitude.

I was very happy, too, LOL!

We drove around the town a bit . . . and then decided to get back on the road. After a short discussion, we decided to not drive the mile back north to catch Highway 18 westbound because it would take less time to take more direct route, which would still involve part of the scenic route, just not all of it . . . and we were getting worried about time . . . the sun would be setting in seven hours and we still had a lot of ground to cover . . . so, we decided to stay on Hwy 181 over to Highway 232, then south to the Interstate Highway. Of course, we still drove around much of Wilson Lake’s shoreline, so we still got to see a lot of pretty scenery. I don’t think we missed much.

Melodie pulled up an internet radio station of comedy shows. We listened to some dumb routine about farting and burping . . . not my favorite thing to listen to, but I didn’t care . . . I was the one driving, so I was happy . . . I was so happy that I was even able to find a few things to chuckle about in the comedy routine.

By 1:45pm, we were pulling onto the Interstate. I welcomed the high speeds and Melodie welcomed that we were just over an hour away from the ghost town . . . yippee!!

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


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