Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We're ba-ack!!

Hello again!! I would be remiss if I did not begin this blog with an apology for those of you who regularly follow our postings: Sorry for the dead air. I (Sarah) had to do a major revamping of my attitude since my last post. Here’s the quick fill in: Another trip to Red Bay. I won’t go into the horrible details, but let’s just say there were tears, curse words and a lot of pouting. I actually avoided blogging to spare you from sharing in my misery. Well, that and a little bit of laziness (I'm on vacation people!). But, you can’t keep a good man/woman down long right? I am happy to report that the noMadsons are once again gaining momentum. Blaze’s follow up appointment went well; he is hobbling along slowly, thanks to everyone who shared their concerns. So now the good stuff…We spent a few days (before and after Red Bay) in Arkansas. Torben and I have taken previous trips to this part of the country and LOVED it. (Of course, this was the vacation following our mess in Nicaragua, so it’s not hard to appreciate improvement!) Arkansas is called the Natural State, and it is. Beautiful rolling Ozark Mountains, lush green forests, awesome caves, clean rivers, basically anything to tease an outdoorsman’s liking at your fingertips. But while we adore this state, we didn’t stay too long, our eagerness to explore NEW places won out. We drove north into Missouri, past a little town that I did one of my grad school clinical rotations, Joplin. Blazing through we noticed a storm to our west. Most people would pull over, seek shelter, or head the opposite way. Not the Madsons! We put on our game faces and decided to play storm chasers for the day…all the way into Kansas. Ok, perhaps not the best decision in a gigantic bus, but hey what’s life if not for a little hairy adventure? Truthfully all we got was a little rain, but pretended that we were in the scene of Twister: “we have hail, we have debris…was that a cow?” Ironically, my sister and her family live here but are gone home to visit family at this time (figures) so we didn’t have a doorstep to pull up on or a family to invade (bummer). We did find a great campsite out in the middle of the fields. It was awesome, the stars were so bright, our dogs ran loose and we could spread out our arms and not even come close to hitting a neighbor. The great expanse felt good, like a deep breath of fresh air. We ventured into Fort Scott, a lovely historic town that has an old timey dinner theater house with wild west frescos on the wall and huge drop curtains. Unfortunately the downturn of our economy is really hitting hard in the heart of this country where people rely on sweat and a hard day’s work to make it. It is incredibly sad to see all of the unique shops, restaurants and specialty stores go out of business because a new Wal-Mart Supercenter went in 30 miles down the highway. Another eye opening experience that has made me re-evaluate the cost of convenience. The people of Kansas are lovely. We got terrific recommendations for chiropractic adjustments for Torben and the kids (yes, we give our dogs chiropractic visits when they need them – they really work surprisingly well), even if we did have to drive 60 miles to a town that barely made the map.
Today we landed in Topeka and I have to say, Kansas is pretty cool so far. I surprise myself by saying that, but it is. I guess I can’t make fun of my sister for living here anymore. Sorry Sieve family, I stand corrected. The capitol of this state is beautiful and rich in history and architecture. Kansas was founded on the land of the Kansa people, whose name means People of the Wind, pretty great huh? And believe me, the wind does blow here. The state motto is Ad Astra Per Aspera, which translates as “to the stars through difficulties”. How awesome is that? I think I will adopt this as my new motto; it definitely fits our trip so far.
(Bela & Lily discover a turtle) *Oh, the noMadson (no-so-)funny moment of the day: As a previous smoker I am now especially sensitive to the stinkiness of cigarettes. We were sightseeing through town with our windows down, enjoying the aforementioned breeze of Kansas when we pulled to a stoplight and the smell was so overpowering I scrunched my nose and started complaining that someone was smoking. At the same time Torben and I looked to our left and noticed we were parked next to a crematory. Unfortunately, someone was smoking, literally. I know my parent's mouths are agap and heads slowly shaking...Sorry guys, my humor was very unintended, well timed, but unintended. That's it for now folks. Promise to be more punctual in my postings, lest you forget about us and

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