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Blackwell, Missouri Journey

Last week I traveled back to my parents. After a rewarding yet exhausting month at work, travel, and COVID, I felt it was time to reconnect with nature.

My mom and I moved to Blackwell in April of 2001, where I would remain until I graduated high school. The house has belong to my dad’s family for over 40 years now, it bears a lot of memories in its wooden bones.

The house is as rural as they come: the closest neighbor is a mile away and the closest town fifteen, everyone asks how you are even if they don’t know you, sometimes cows escape and you have to corral them back to Donna’s house. It’s quant and rustic, traditional, slow-paced and remote. A place for me to be one with the trees.

During my stay I got lots of family time. My mom’s favorite past time is going for a walk down to the river. Dad and I have more of a TV dynamic, and we mean business. In the five days of consumption we managed to watch two 2hr movies and ten episodes of friends — regularly finishing up around 1am. My sister and I do the same thing we’ve been doing since she was young: video games, namely, Mario Kart and Smash Bros.

Along with my parents, there’s a lovely dog Marley and Satan-disguised-as-a-bird George.

When I wasn’t home with my parents, we were visiting extended family. A friend of the family Kim put up a barn with a disco ball. We played board games — and I played Settlers of Catan for the first time! We had our ceremonial steak dinner at Texas Roadhouse. Steak — and meat in general — is a staple of our home. So much so, we had it for five meals.

Along with steaks, my mom took time to make some Ukrainian staples: borscht and holubsi. I only have photos of mom making them. By the time everything was finished cooking I had a singular focus: food in my belly.

Besides family time, we were able to see some really iconic sites.

We got to see my Alma Mater Missouri S&T. I was proud to show my parents the same buildings I spent four years in. Toomey Hall, where I was part of the S&T Satellite Team, who recently launched a satellite into space! The library, where I spent so much time that I found the optimal nap spots. The computer science building, which finally got an expansion it so desperately needed. I also got to see my grandma’s house near the college; it felt like a genuine legacy moment.

It wouldn’t be home if I didn’t talk about the nature. Although we have a state park a mere five minutes away, the nature is plentiful right outside the door. Going on a walk you might see something new every day.

Now, I returned to the Bay Area. Refreshed, recharged, ready to tackle new problems in new ways. Until next time, Mom and Dad.


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