I’ve got the world on a string

I would say I feel like typing “Good Morning, Vietnam Internet!” but the truth is, I almost can’t move my fingers after they’ve been curled around the steering wheel of the Suburban for the last, oh, say, 5, 025 miles.

That’s right.

Five thousand and twenty five.


I’m still a little bit shell-shocked that we actually pulled it off and came home with the family intact.

There was one close call on the side of the road in the middle of Nebraska, but somehow we all managed to rally and pull ourselves together.

And when I say close, I mean Tuesday’s Breaking News segment on CNN might have been devoted to children abandoned under Nebraska’s safe haven law had it not been for a very strategically located gas station that allowed us to go to our respective corners and take a break from each other get some snacks and boost our sugar levels to allow the trip to continue in relative calm.

Thank you, Jesus.

When we first decided to head on this little jaunt, we thought that Mount Rushmore would be our most incredible destination, but little did we know that Cawker City, Kansas, would hold the biggest delight of the whole ding dang trip.


Population: 463

Land Area: Less than 1 square mile.

I wouldn’t say this is a bustling metropolis.  In fact, we had our GPS navigational unit locked on the coordinates for the Ball of Twine, and we still drove right by it.


We were slightly giddy about seeing it for real.

Or maybe we were slightly giddy to get out of the car after having driven all the live long day to get there.


Either way, we were happy.



After taking the obligatory 6,000 pictures of the kids standing in front of it (and threatening a certain someone named J and J that if he didn’t smile he wouldn’t get to go to the gift shop), we followed the looping painted string down the sidewalk and across the highway to the only gift shop that A) appeared to be there and B) appeared to be open.

We were slightly amused by the sign taped to the door directing us whom to call if no one was there.


Once inside, we signed the guest book (and guess what, Sandra?  Someone from Australia was just there!) and then stuck our push pin into the wall map.



They had just had their annual Ball of Twine Festival within the last couple of weeks and had the updated statistics written down for all to observe.


While I was perusing the store for a little souvenier (I bought a homemade handmade clay Christmas ornament that vaguely resembled the actual ball), I saw this t-shirt that caught my attention.


I asked the store owner if they allowed persons to wind twine at the festival (by the way, Lottie’s her name, and don’t DARE try to negotiate prices with her) and she said they allowed anyone to wind twine any day of the week if they wanted to.


We all stopped dead in our tracks and asked if she actually meant that we could actually ADD to the World’s Largest Ball of Twine and thus be ENSHRINED IN HISTORY for all of eternity.

Why, yes, we could.











And then we laughed and laughed and signed the guest book and drove off into the sunset towards our next adventure.

Sorry to string you along….

Have a nice day.

19 responses to “I’ve got the world on a string

  1. That is just too cool. Again, jealous that I didn’t get to ride for over 5K miles and visit all the cool places you did!

  2. I’m glad you’re back. And totally impressed by the very large ball of string.

  3. You should be able to die happy now that you wound twine on the largest ball of twine.

    And, are you SURE those boys of yours are triplets?

  4. TOTALLY jealous that you’re immortalized in a ball of string. Congrats on the survival.

  5. Its stuff like this that makes me love you so…Being genuinely excited about little things like winding twine on the Worlds Largest Ball of Twine. Then again, that ball of twine ain’t exactly “little”.

    With that said, I just so ding-dang glad you are finally back home! Its so boring here with you off galavanting all over tar-nation.

  6. Did Kellie just say “tarnation”?

    Love the look on Travis’ face in the last shot. Cue: “We Are The Champions” music. It’s not every day one makes history.

    And I hear that stretch of I-80 does funny things to behavior.

  7. Such a fun thing in the middle of nowhere. I have a few questions:
    Did you have to buy the twine from Lottie to wind?
    Are you allowed to use any twine — I saw that the sign said it was sisal twine?
    What would Lottie do if you tried to to use another kind of twine, say synthetic or jute?
    Did you consider a stop at the Almost Done Inn b/c it sounds like at one point you were almost done?
    Glad you had a fun, safe trip. You were missed around here!

    • Hey LG!

      1) No purchase required. She let us measure off a counter’s length for each (about 20 feet).

      2) Very specifically had to be twine they provided. They measure it out onto the spools so they know how much they are adding (very important for Guiness Book purposes, apparently…hey, does this mean I’m in the GB of World Records now????

      3) Lottie might pinch my head off. She came very close to pointing my kids to the open elevator shaft when they got a little too, um, animated in her store.

      Just kidding.


      4) Thought the the Almost Done Inn was too cute to pass up. At this point, however, I was UNDONE by getting to twine wind and I completely forgot to Drop Inn.

  8. Y’all are rockstars. And you are enshrined in the history of the World’s Craziest Most Awesome Parents Ever.

    So jealous of your roadtrip.

  9. Y’all are so cool!

    I love the picture of Lottie. Kinda what I look like when I have to visit my hometown in the sticks. (and my hometown doesn’t have the cool ball of twine…come to think of it, it really doesn’t have anything cool at all..hmmm, maybe that’s why I haven’t been in 4 years.) Sorry, didn’t mean to get off track.

    Glad you’re home…

  10. I’ve only started reading your blog recently but am wondering…did you read Homer Price? I keep thinking of the story everytime you mention the world’s biggest ball of string?

    That’s alot of miles…husband and I just drove a little over 2000 but of course there were no kids to manage. Just a husband.

    Glad your trip was a success!

  11. So…
    any statistics? Like, how far that string would go if stretched out? I would have been tempted to tie it to the bumper and see =)

    The pictures are priceless!!! So glad you all had a “ball!”

  12. I am SO looking for your piece of twine whenever it’s my chance to see The Great Ball.

  13. Boy howdy, I sure am enjoyin’ hearing about your…adventures…ahem. Perhaps you learned the art of twine writing so you could leave your mark in history?

    Inquiring minds want to know: What WERE you writing down in that little notepad of yours?:)

  14. You have me laughing (and coughing…did I mention I have bronchitis and laughing is not a good thing?) up a storm. That is hilarious! Makes me want to wind some twine myself!!!

  15. that is so cool! Saw the pic when you tweeted it, but its so great to have the rest of the story. What a fun trip. That is a memory you guys will always have.

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