A Quick Get-Away to Art, History, and the Company of Good Friends

How unusual and stimulating our last two days have been! We are in Kansas City on a 2 -day holiday with Larry and Deb Harrold Herald, staying in a massive and magnificent old house (built in 1902) in the historic Hanover Place district near downtown. Claire and I had left Omaha just after our Sunday afternoon church service; enjoyed a very pleasant drive with conversation, prayers, and some old radio programs; and then joined the Harrolds at the bed and breakfast a few minutes after 7:00. Catching up, sharing memories, snacking on Paleo apple muffins, and a bit of reading H. Rider Haggard rounded off our Sunday and a very restful sleep prepared us for the full day to come.

6:30 Monday morning found me at Mother Earth coffee shop on Gillham Road, just two minutes from the house. Spacious, quiet, clean, classical music playing softly, and good coffee — I could certainly use a place just like this in Omaha! And after journaling, devotions, making final edits on the May newsletter, and beginning J. Warner Wallace’s excellent Cold-Case Christianity, I rejoined the crew to take on the

august Nelson -Atkins Art Museum which houses the most impressive art collection in the Midwest. Heavy on ancient China and India, the museum also has several remarkable Egyptian pieces. But that’s only the beginning. Their vast collections also include art by Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Seurat, Gaugin, Vernet, Tolouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Cezanne, Caravaggio, Gainsborough, Constable, Turner, Stuart, Benton, Cranach the Elder, Rembrandt, and many, many more, including very provocative items from Medieval and Renaissance Christian art.

We were wowed all morning and our tour through the centuries stimulated us to make notes of several things we want to explore in the future. Of course, there was a lot of modern, lousy stuff there too that progressives hail as art. But, believe me, there was more treasure than trash and I recommend the place to anyone visiting Kansas City.

Oh yes; we also had a very nice lunch right there in the lovely atrium of the museum.

Our afternoon and evening were more sedentary, but still very enjoyable. We watched together (on a really large TV screen) some of our favorite Christian music selections; we talked about a host of topics; I explored the old house’s basement; we had a delicious BBQ dinner at Jack Stacks (I highly recommend the Burnt Ends Stew); and we had a “command performance” of the April “When Swing Was King” program. A bit more talk, a bit more reading, and a brief (and successful) search for a lost phone concluded what was a full and invigorating day

Today (Tuesday) began again for me with coffee at Mother Earth but I was back home in time to join in on to the Arabia Steamboat Museum just north of downtown. Many years ago I read the book, Treasure in a Cornfield, which told the amazing story of five men (all regular working stiffs) who took on the herculean

task of uncovering a steamship that had sunk in the Missouri River before Civil War! That steamship was found way, way down in a cornfield, a mile and 1/2 from the modern shore of the river. It was an amazing true-life story. But to go to the museum today and see a portion of the material they unearthed from America’s past is almost indescribable. Indeed, the Arabia Museum houses the most extensive collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world. Browsing through that material, along with learning more about the story of its astounding discovery, along with the privilege of meeting one of the original 5 adventurers made it the most memorable of experiences.

We had a quick but very enjoyable lunch near the museum (the City Market area) and are now involved in more relaxing pursuits back at our home base. We may very well continue to do so until we all take off tomorrow morning — Larry and Deb for home in Omaha, Claire and I for Wichita in order to visit my little sister Sherry for a couple of days. Thank You, Lord, for this momentous get-away with dear friends. 

But be doers of the word,
and not hearers only.