Thursday, April 21, 2016

Remembering in Kansas

Day 30:  Thursday, April 21, 2016

Yesterday we left Amarillo and traveled I-40 (familiar road) to Oklahoma City.  The same old road was monotonous.  We turned north at Oklahoma City and traveled new roads to Wichita, Kansas, a place we’ve never been before.  Fortunately we were able to get a campsite at McConnell Air Force Base (the last one available).  Situated near a lake filled with bass (I watched some fellows catch a few last night) and surrounded by trees and green fields, it has been a pleasant place to spend the night.  Perhaps I should linger here for a day or so?

Among the giant stone sculptures in Monument Valley
I saw this little one that took my fancy.
Years ago, my friend, Darrell, served here at McConnell as a Chaplain.  Darrell and I met while attending seminars and training events around the country with the Air Force.  We would often arrange to stay in a room together at these events, where we, a Methodist clergymen, shared many of our concerns and problems of parish and Air Force life.  We talked about visiting one another—but Kansas and Maryland are some miles apart and that visit never happened.  I wrote Darrell a letter in December 1994.  His wife answered, writing that Darrell had died at age 54 a few months before.   This morning, here, where once he served,  I remember Darrell.  It is not the place that is special—but the people we connect with that place that make it sacred ground.

Where shall I go from here?  I’m thinking I’d like to return to the Lake of the Ozarks near Jefferson City, MO, a drive of some 280 miles.  We have stayed there several times and I’d like to return.  We shall see where the roads may lead.

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