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November 11, 2012

Missouri – Wednesday, November 7

This morning Tula and I walked all over Independence. City workers were busy putting up Christmas decorations, and as much as I like to hear Bing Crosby singing Christmas carols on loudspeakers throuout town, it didn’t seem quite right when it was a warm, sunny day – it’s too early! We also walked the presidential trail – and read some of the 20+ plaques embedded in the sidewalk with historical information. Apparently Harry Truman loved to walk, and there are banners of him all over town – a silhouette of him with hat and cane. There’s also a street named after him and his house is a national park site – he loved his hometown! While I was out walking, I got a phone call from the insurance claims person asking for my account of the little fender bender in the parking lot, and a description of location of damages on both vehicles. I offered to email the photos I took, but they need their people to do that. So I had to quick think where I would end up for the next couple days so I could meet up with the claims adjuster. Since I was out walking, I didn’t have a map with me, so I said Springfield, and was relieved to get back to the car and see that was the general direction I wanted to head!

My donation-of-the-day came to me unexpectedly while I was out walking – a weird combination of homeless students and my Norwegian heritage! I had passed a Scandinavian store while walking through town, and I don’t see those very often, and I decided to backtrack once Tula was in the car so I could pop in to look around. When I entered the store, a flyer taped to their window caught my eye – it said something about a fundraiser breakfast for homeless students. I just glanced at it quick on my way in, and wanted to take a better look on my way out. But then I forgot to look at it again, and realized that about 25 miles later. So I called the store, and the guy working there was very nice and went outside to read me everything on the flyer. This time I took notes! The event is a fundraising breakfast, lunch, and dinner all on the same day (this Saturday); sponsored by the Independence Alumni Association to benefit homeless students (primarily to help with clothes and food expenses). I liked the idea Of local alumni helping current students, and since I couldn’t be there to eat one of the meals and make a donation, I ended up calling the person in charge a couple days later. She was very gracious and told me a little more about the program. Apparently last year the district had 1000 homeless students – not all at the same time, but it’s still a staggering number. This year at the start of the school year, she estimates there were about 300 homeless students. I was very happy to be able to send in a donation.

On the way to Springfield, I stopped in Warrensburg to get in another 3 miles of walking, and then a little farther down the road, we stopped at Knob Noster State Park and walked a couple more miles on one of the trails. Most of the leaves have fallen off the trees by now, and it made a thick carpet of leaves to crunch through, but the leaves also hid some of the tree roots and rocks, so I walked a bit slower than usual – didn’t want to fall flat on my face!

Then I finished the drive to Springfield – still haven’t heard back from the claims adjuster and am hoping we can get this all taken care of before I leave Missouri.

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