Thursday, August 17, 2017

writer's workshop: The Great State of Kansas

Kansas.  The home of the first Pizza Hut and the largest ball of twine.  Exciting, right?

I have a dilemma writing this.  I live in Kansas City.  If you look at a map, Kansas City is in both Kansas and Missouri.  I live on the Kansas side, pretty much because I like to pay higher taxes.  I work in Missouri.  I am in Missouri every week day and most weekends I cross the state line.  I am seven to ten minutes from Missouri depending on traffic.

So, some of these great things will be in Kansas.  The others will be in Missouri.

1:  That great eclipse everyone is talking about...well, my work in Kansas City, Missouri, is at the edge of the totality zone.  I don't even have to leave work to see this monumental event.  My home in Kansas City, Kansas has 99% coverage of the sun and my children's schools have a whole day planned around it.  Also, if you are a Girl Scout, they have a patch for that.

2:  Kansas is in the middle of the country.  So if you are taking a road trip somewhere, you start in the middle.  You aren't driving east coast to west coast and vice versa.  You can always make a loop and not come back the same way you made it to the destination.

3:  Amelia Earhart was a Kansas native.  Her home town is about an hour north of Kansas City.  Josh Gates, host of Expedition Unknown, has done a few episodes on her and seems a little obsessed.  It is a huge mystery, so I can see why people become obsessed. 

4:  History nerd alert:  Kansas played a large part in the Civil War.  It was nicknamed "Bleeding Kansas" after it was admitted to the United States as a Union State while Missouri was admitted as a confederate state.  Of the 30,000 men that Kansas had that were of military age, they sent 20,000 to fight with Union forces.  Kansas suffered the highest causality rate of all states.

5:  Kansas City has more BBQ than any other city.  This is on both sides of the state line.  My favorite BBQ place is Gates BBQ, they have a restaurants on both sides of the state.  Don't be surprised when you are greeted in a loud voice "Hi, may I help you?" 
The Gates family cemetery plot is in a cemetery about a mile from my home.  They are buried in the back section and you can go see it. 

6: Kansas City, the whole city ignored Prohibition in the 1920s.  It lead to lots of illegal clubs and brothels. A lot of the buildings still stand today. One of them is even named Prohibition Hall. 

7:  Kansas City has so many fountains.  So many.  One of my favorites is the Muse of the Missouri.  You could totally drive past it if you weren't paying attention.  Like a lot of things in Kansas City.  One of the leagues I play roller derby for is Fountain City Roller Derby. 

8:  I really love fall in this area.  It is beautiful.  The weather is perfect.  We have corn mazes, apple cider, pumpkin picking...all the fun fall activities. 

9:  The Sunflower Farm.  This place is so amazing that I couldn't even get in there last year.  I did go in 2015 and it was amazeballs.  The popularity went up like a million times over the next year.  Why wouldn't it?  It really is that awesome.

10:  Kansas and Missouri are not fly over states as assumed by a lot of people.  There are a ton of things to do, there are a ton of things to see.  Anyone that visits me, I will keep them super busy with things to do


  1. Hello, from the Kansas side...Topeka! I love KC--both sides. And I agree that fall in this area is amazing.

    1. My sister lives north of Topeka in Meridan.

      I rather live in Kansas than on the Missouri side. I tried to Missouri side and it wasn't for me and I am back where I belong now.

  2. My brother lives in Leawood, and we've visited there. It's a very nice area.

    1. My step sister lives in Leawood.
      When I was a teen, I worked in Leawood at a Galyan's. I loved it! I think it's now a Dick's Sporting Goods.

  3. I am in Missouri all the time but I live in Illinois - Sort of like you, Kansas and Missouri. I pay higher taxes living in Illinois instead of Missouri, too. Why do we do that? SMH.

    Anyway, I'd love to see that Sunflower Farm!

    1. The Sunflower farm is great! I hope we can actually make it out this year and not get stuck in the traffic that never ends.

      Are you near St. Louis?

  4. Hey Neighbor! Look at us, there are a bunch of midwesties linking up! How fun. I'm south of the metro on the Missouri side and in a county with very low taxes.

    I did not know about the Sunflower farm! That's gonna be a family day trip one weekend for sure! I decided to write about Missouri too. I totally skipped the fountains and the Plaza and I probably should've given Gates an honorable mention but...there are SO many amazing BBQ joints.

    The ECLIPSE! We've been planning for months! Even though we're near totality, we're gonna drive a couple of hours north for a better view...well, that's the plan anyway; we'll see how far we actually get...wonder what traffic will be like, lol.

    Thanks for sharing! I discovered new things about KS/MO I didn't know.

    1. I love Gates! It has always been one of my favorites. I think it's the sauce that gets me. :)
      I hope your travel plans work out. One of my good friends lives in St. Joe and is not leaving her house that day. I know it is going to be crazy up there!

  5. You live on the edge of the totality zone! Not many can make that claim to fame!