Kendal is my brother.
Sometime after I got married and moved to Texas and then moved to Kansas City and sometime after my sister moved to Arkansas, Mom went back to work teaching kindergarten and met Lindsay. And then Mom “adopted” Lindsay.
“You have another sister!” Mom said, which didn’t really surprise me all that much.
My parents do an excellent job of opening their house and providing hospitality through a safe place and food. They have annual Christmas Eve parties and intentionally invite others to dine during the holidays. They fed me and my then-SMSU roommates Sunday night dinners when the cafeterias closed throughout my collegiate years.
In 2012, thanks to eHarmony, Lindsay married Kendal.
Kendal, then, is my brother. My much younger, incredibly more successful brother. He was featured in Springfield Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2016. He has worked for Central Bank of the Ozarks for 14 years and now has a corner office with a great view of south Springfield and a big desk and a computer with three screens. I don’t even know what I’d do with three screens.
Kendal is also an incredible artist.
“I haven’t been drawing much in recent years, though. I’m spending more time building things.”
Kendal has constructed shelves and sheds and frames and step stools and Big Green Egg tables. He built his current kitchen table, but with two sons now, he’s building a new kitchen table.
“Seven feet by four and a half feet out of 110-year old oak-beam barn wood. I have a barn wood guy.”
I loved and laughed at that last sentence. I have never thought of the need for a barn wood guy. I don’t think barn wood would make a good baseball bat, would it?
Kendal showed me pictures of the work-in-progress and it is stunningly beautiful. I volunteered to help him carry it into his house in exchange for a case of Dr Pepper.
His youngest son is only three months old and we joked about the parental learning curve of going from one to two children as well as the delight of toddler soccer programs.
“Both are pretty much just organized chaos.”
“I can’t tell you the last time I played catch,” he said, borrowing a glove as we braved the bright and brisk weather.
April 4, the same day that Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth at 714 career home runs, the same day my sister and brother-in-law welcomed Henry into our family, and the wind chill was 27.
While we played catch on the west lawn of his bank, I learned something new — Kendal was in the first graduating class from MSU.
“The name changed in 2008. My degree just has ‘Missouri State University’ and signed by Clif Smart.”
I am quite proud Kendal would let me call him my brother.
Also, HAPPY GOTCHA DAY HENRY!