We just returned home from a laborious week in Kansas, dealing with the many tasks involved in putting a house on the market. As many of you know, Mike's parents passed away recently, and the having to sort through their belongings was a painful process indeed.
With the help of Frieda and Jimmy's good friends – all like family – we got through quite a bit of it. There were many shared memories, tears, and lots of laughs when someone would bring up something funny that one of them would say, particularly Jimmy's "You been smokin' funny stuff?" or "You been sniffin' glue?" Either of those questions – asked in his Texas drawl – was always accompanied with his trademark look of suspicion, and followed by his soft chuckle.
I have a feeling that Jimmy would ask one of those questions – minus the chuckle – to the owner of this house, if he had lived next door to him:
Yes, that is someone's home. Like, in a neighborhood. The houses on either side – both looking perfectly mellow and normal – must be owned very patient people. Apparently, this homeowner turned his house and yard into a Hawaiian-style dessert oasis…
There was music playing over a loudspeaker, fake palm trees, lots of ocean-themed toys for children to play on, and an alligator on the roof. (Are there alligators in Hawaii?)
There was even a funny-looking tiki man…
(Pardon the grainy photos… I was using my little purse camera, and the sun was going down quickly!)
About twenty minutes later, we moved to the front of the line and placed our orders:
Mike: "I'll have a Green Hawaii, please!" (blue raspberry, pineapple, and strawberry)
Sophie: "Ummm… I'll tryyyy… ummmm….. a Pink Cotton Candy, please!" (cotton candy and vanilla)
Me: "I'll take a Banana Colada, please!" (banana and coconut)
When we were handed our 3 shaved ices, Mike decided to take a big slurp of mine before handing it to me bc he was so excited to try them all… A little tidbit about me: if something tastes or smells odd, please wait until after I've finished that something before you let me have your review of it.
This is what Mike said, after taking a big slurp of my Banana Colada shaved ice: "Ew. This tastes like suntan oil." (He proceeded to hand it to me with a pickled look on his face.)
At that point, I was ready to smoke some funny stuff. But I ate my Suntan Oil shaved ice anyway, and loved every bite.
If you ever drive through Junction city, be sure to visit Pelican Pete's! It's worth the wait. Amazing stuff, and everyone is happy! (Except for the neighbors, I'm sure.)(Come to think of it, I imagine they get a good discount.)
In the middle of all the sorting at the Stewarts' house, Pete's was a nice break. And I have to share this photo of Sophie with you… the following night we stopped in a Mexican place called Senor Tequila's to eat. Sophie had spent the entire day in the 106-degree heat, manning the garage sale with Mike and I. She worked very hard, answering questions and making change, and by 9:00 that night – when we finally got dinner – she was exhausted…
Yesterday was our last day there, and we went to Frieda's favorite flower market before heading out to the Kansas Veterans Cemetery. There was exactly one bouquet left, and it was beautiful. When we got to the graves, Mike was unsure as to which side to put the flowers on – his mother's or his father's. (In a military cemetery, there is one headstone shared by the soldier and his/her spouse. Jimmy's inscription is on the front of the headstone, while Frieda's is on the back.) We both decided at the same time that Jimmy would certainly say, "Put them on your mother's side – she deserves to have pretty flowers." So Mike did just that.
And because Frieda always shared everything with Jimmy, we did what she would have wanted us to do, and pulled a few flowers from her bouquet for him…
We love and miss you both so much, Jimmy and Frieda.
Thank you to those of you who checked in on us to find out what we've been up to. And thank you especially to each of our friends who helped us with all that needed to be done. You are, as I said, like family.
And thank you to Pete, for not living next door to me.