October 22, 2018
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Ahh, here we go, another chance to get it right. And it’s only taken 372 weeks to do it. Yes, friends welcome to another episode of The Communal Conundrum, where we explore the back roads and winding trails of Modern Times, brought to you in part by the I’m Lost, Too Foundation.
I don’t know why, but every time we go to visit family members in the Kansas City area, we seem to be threatened with dicey weather on the way home. The Weather Gods just look down upon I-70 and say “well, well, looks like Sally and John are going to the Big City again. Time to cook up a little something for them.”
I’ll tell you about our latest excursion on the weekend before last, but first, a little background to reinforce my case.
We were with Sally’s brother and family over Christmas. It was cold, near record cold as I recall, and then a “wintry mix,” as the weather wizards like to call it, began falling the day before we were scheduled to head back to Grand Bend. Well, of course, how could it be otherwise? But we headed out the next morning and thanks to KDOT with their anti-slip spray (salt and something else) they laid down on KC-area roads and I-70 we did okay and made it home safe.
So, okay, when we set out for KC this time the meteorological magicians were predicting a cool front with a little rain rolling in by Sunday. We heard that, looked at each other, and figured, yep, that was the ‘glass half-full’ forecast. It was bound to go downhill from there. They just knew we were going to be on the road.
We enjoyed a good Friday evening and all day Saturday with our family. Didn’t even think much about the weather, which was cool and cloudy, but that’s what they said it would be. Then, lo and behold, Saturday evening the forecast for all territories west of Topeka turned into a Winter Weather Advisory, with rain changing to snow and gusty North winds rolling in on Sunday. Ah, just the way we like it. They even threw in possible slippery driving conditions, too, as a bonus. You gotta love these folks.
We headed for home about 9 am Sunday morning in cloudy but mild weather, no wind and 50 degrees according to my on-dash thermometer. Drove through a little mist occasionally and some foggy areas near Lawrence, but no problem, except for the 15-cent raise in rates for use of the Kansas Turnpike from Lawrence to Topeka, but that’s another story.
About 20 miles west of Topeka I suddenly noticed bunches of leaves flying across the roadway and what felt like a giant hand pushing the car around. The temp dropped to 42 in about ten minutes and light drizzle began to fall. Plus there was a lot of traffic for a Sunday, bunches of giant semis interspersed with heading-for-home K-State fans pouring onto the road at Manhattan. I found myself wanting to avoid looking at the thermometer, but I couldn’t help myself. Oh, 39 degrees now. Hey, nice. The drizzle did not increase, but the wind made for constant wrestling with the wheel.
Just east of Abilene we had a scary incident: a half-mile ahead a truck, maybe a one-ton, pulling something or other began belching huge clouds of black smoke, obscuring all of the left lane which yours truly wanted to use to get around him. A semi ahead of me took a chance, cruised through it, leaving just a fleeting moment of visibility which I took advantage of. Once we had safely passed him I looked back and he was still truckin’ on, laying down a smoke screen that was now obscuring the eastbound lanes, too. Don’t know if he made it to Abilene or not, but he was determined. Or crazy.
Long story short; we made it home safe and sound just before the snow began to fly, but I think next time we plan a KC trip I’m gonna tell everyone we’re going on I-80. I figure that should guarantee good weather on I-70. The weather gods are always listening.
Well, our ‘in-box’ didn’t have much in it this week, but we appreciate every one we DID get.
Terry (ever faithful) was first in, explaining the difference between German chocolate cake and ‘regular’ chocolate cake. (It’s in the icing.) Good job, but what we needed in answer to that ‘sweet’ question was supplied by Julie, who explained that the unique thing about that particular type of cake is that it has nothing to do with Germany, but was invented (a long time ago) by a baker named Samuel German for the Baker Chocolate Company. Nice research, Julie!
Okay, we have four ‘holdover’ questions:
What genetic thing do Australian aborigines and Native Americans have in common? (Hint: it’s above the neck.)
This brand name food product can be a very good substitute for shaving cream. What is it? Go ahead and take a wild guess.
What tools did ancient Egyptians and Chinese use to catch a certain type of live creature? (Think ‘water.’)
Where is there a ‘ghost sign’ advertising a theatre in downtown GB? This sign is almost gone, but you can still see faint hints of it.
And a new question for you: what cartoon show of the early-to-mid 60s featured an incompetent marshal and a ridiculous lion?
Get in touch with us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will answer here next week.
That’s a wrap for this time, but as they say in the fish business, ‘stay tuna-ed.’