Today I enjoyed a road trip north to the beautiful city of Columbia, Missouri and the campus of the University of Missouri. It has been two weeks since I saw my grandson Dayan. I traveled to MU with Greg and our daughter Elissa to visit Dayan for the first time since he moved into the dorm, and I captured our trip in photos.

Photo by Elissa Adam

Crossing the Missouri River as we passed the state’s capital, Jefferson City. Columbia, which is 236 miles from Joplin, is not far from Jefferson City. It was a beautiful day for a drive and I enjoyed catching up with my daughter as we all chatted.

Dayan’s residence hall on the gorgeous campus of the University of Missouri. Mizzou is the affectionate nickname for this university. It is a form of clipping, or shortening, a longer name into a shorter one. In this case, Missouri to Mizzou. The first reference to the nickname was in a 1905 college publication. At games and events, it is customary for the fans on one side to shout MIZ…and the other side to answer ZOU! The university mascot is the tiger and the colors are gold and black.

And this is the young man we came to see! It was so good to hug him and talk to him and hang out for a few hours. We met Dayan’s roommate, Carlisle, who was kind and personable. I was impressed with the dorm room and with the hall’s casual meeting areas and laundry facilities.

On the way to lunch, Dayan guided us around campus. I loved the stone and brick buildings, the newer structures and the mature trees and many gardens. The campus is actually considered a botanical garden. I’ll be exploring the grounds on foot during my next visit.

Holding to a long established tradition between Dayan and me, we enjoyed Chinese food for lunch at a nearby Panda Express. I was able to select brown rice topped with mixed veggies, while Dayan had his usual orange chicken. Elissa and Greg both tried the kung pao chicken. We read our fortunes to each other. Mine said Important events are in your future. True!

After a trip to Walmart to get a few things Dayan needed, we wandered through downtown Columbia, on the way back to campus. I’ve been to Columbia several times, but this was my first time to the charming downtown. The city, which is about twice the size of Joplin, had a lively energy and the definite feel of a college town. Small shops and caf├ęs lined the streets and this time of year, bistro tables and chairs provided outdoor dining.

Dayan’s favorite Starbucks.

I enjoyed getting to know Mizzou’s campus. I’m impressed with the extensive grounds and the halls. I look forward to attending future events and activities here.

It did my heart good today, to see my grandson. I have missed him. And it brought me great joy to see that he is thriving. He is happy and having fun. His classes are interesting and challenging. Dayan has learned his way around campus and around the city and he is making new friends.

College life agrees with Dayan and it shows. He was confident and relaxed and excited to show us around and share about his classes and activities. I could drive away after our visit, knowing he’s not so very far away and that he is doing well and thoroughly enjoying this new adventure. And that brought peace to the hearts and smiles to the faces of his Papa, Yaya and Mom. The boy has become a man.

Sunday Funday

Sundays are typically a soul care day for me, a time to relax and recharge, to indulge my inner artist, or do nothing at all. This bright and beautiful Sunday was a travel day, as I drove to the Kansas City area to visit with family and pick up Greg for the return to Joplin. 

Sunday Funday, A day of travel and fun with family
Rather than write about one event or develop one line of thinking, this Sunday Funday is best represented through a series of snapshots. 

Sunday Funday
I didn’t practice Italian phrases in the car today as I drove. With the movie La La Land fresh in my mind, I looped through my iPhone’s downloaded copy of the movie soundtrack, over and over. I have context for the songs now, and hearing them stirred my heart as I remembered scenes from the movie. 

Sunday Funday
Greg’s cousin Tim and his cousin’s wife, Lisa, have a wonderful theater room in their beautiful new home. What a treat for me! My comfy seat reclined and there were soft blankets to snuggle under. 

Sunday Funday
We started the movie Sully, and finished it after dining out. Based on real life events, this film covers the aftermath of the emergency water landing of an American aircraft, piloted by Captain Chesley Sullenberger (Sully). I liked that rather than focusing just on the crash, the movie centered around the investigation that followed and Sully’s struggle to reconcile what happened with the self doubt he experienced about his life saving decisions. 

Sunday Funday

Our group dined at Q39, one of the best BBQ restaurants in the KC area. I enjoyed their delicious veggie burger, minus the bun, with a side of white bean cassoulet. I tried a small bite of Greg’s sliced brisket, which is legendary at Q39. It was tender, and tasted good, however, after seven months without meat, I decided I haven’t been missing a thing! 

Sunday Funday

Fun family group included cousin Pam, cousin Tim, Tim’s wife Lisa, Lisa’s mom Anne, cousin Mallorie and her boyfriend Dan, me and Greg. These are precious people!

Sunday Funday
And then there was this amusing sight on the drive back to Joplin. We spied this truck in a convenience store parking lot that appeared to have a canine driver. 

It wasn’t a typical Sunday, but it was a fun one, a Sunday Funday. And having a different kind of day, full of travel and family connections and fun, can be just as restorative as a day of relaxation. 

There is an old proverb that says, “A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.”  Which means, I’m going to have an awesome week! 

Sunday Funday