I returned Friday from my Midwest Free Community Papers board meetings in Mankato, Minn.?just in time to work all afternoon and then pick up the grandsons in Wichita at the airport Friday night.
They just flew in from Zion National Park in Utah, where they had spent a week with family friends and four other boys about the same ages.
We?ve decided we may not have enough time to do everything we want to do while they?re here.
I flew to Minneapolis Tuesday and stayed with sister Elaine Tuesday night, with the meetings sandwiched in between, and then again on Thursday night before flying back to Kansas City early Friday morning.
Many flowering plants were blooming all around the neighborhoods with large white round blooms. Elaine said they are called snowballs so no one can forget about winter.
I rented a car to drive to Mankato and headed down the road Wednesday morning. I thought I knew where I was going, but when I didn?t see any signs for Man?kato, I pulled off the road and checked maps on my phone.
I discovered I had gone too far south to catch a main highway over to the real highway I was trying to find. I ended up taking county roads in a westerly direction until I eventually ended up intersecting with the highway I needed.
Their county roads are as good as most highways, so I enjoyed a pleasant trip through the countryside.
While in Mankato I decided to try to find the track my dad ran on in the 1930s when he attended Mankato State University (now named Minnesota State University).
After talking with several people on the campus, a maintenance man and a senior student who ran the rock-climbing program at the indoor track, I did find a track that was outdoors just west of the football stadium.
I almost felt like it was hallowed ground. Even if I didn?t find the exact spot, I did find a track. Some said it was located near Old Main, which I never found.
The telescoping handle on my travel suitcase got stuck in the up position and I couldn?t get it to retract.
I told Elaine I would google for a YouTube video on how to fix it. Within minutes I was watching one. I borrowed a screw driver and a few minutes later I got the handle to slide back in. But then it got stuck in the down position and I had to carry the bag from then on. Now I know why they invented wheels.
When I returned the car early Friday morning there was no one there to check me in. The sign said to go to the counter and there was no one there either. The sign there said to put the key in a box that didn?t exist. I just put the key on the counter and proceeded on.
I hope I don?t own that car by now.
If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@