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by CareyBot

We arrived looking as if we were an expedition party preparing to plant our flag at the polar ice cap -- if only we could find true north. That's the problem with Missouri. It lacks the familiar points of reference upon which we have come to rely in our San Diego homeland. The ocean comes to mind. And, in December, the sun. In subfreezing weather amidst a sea of indigenous cardigan sweaters and lightweight jackets, we arrived in the frozen tundra. We were there to play the supporting role of proud family. Our oldest daughter, or as we like to call her, "A Good Chunk of Our Retirement Account," would be delivering the commencement address at her college graduation ceremonies. There are only two reasons an otherwise semirational teenager would leave the 72-degree comfort ...