Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Heading For Home

I wanted to share with you some photos of the cornfield next to Indian Springs campground in Ohio on the Indiana line.  Farmers are not even harvesting, it will all be plowed under.  Food prices are going to be escalating because of the corn and soy failures due to the drought.

Karen and Ron met us for lunch on Sunday and then we went to Miamitown to see Todd and Ann compete in the Cowboy Shoot and Ride. They were already finished but we had a quick visit and Ted got to see Zoe, Rebel and Latte and give them some hay so he was happy. We said our goodbyes and went home to dress for the visitation.

Ted's family is no different in that they see each other at weddings and funerals. We were delighted to see so many cousins but with Eileen's passing, we are now the old folks. As Fr. Terry said at Mass "The last chapter has been written, the book is finished." To have known Ted's Grandma and 9 of her 11 children over the past 51 years is one of my greatest blessings. Ted was a pall bearer, complete with green carnation, and both of us served wine at Communion. What an honor to have been asked.  This is the green and white arrangement the Rogers family sent to the wake.  The long green flowers on top are Belles of Ireland.  There were shamrocks on the ribbon.

There was a nice luncheon afterwards at a hall and then we headed for home to prepare for our Tuesday departure.

We got off about 8 am and drove over 500 miles to Memphis. One of my favorite parks is in West Memphis AR, right on the Mississippi River. I love sitting on the bench watching the barges go up and down the river. My inner child imagines a big paddlewheel rounding the bend with the calliope playing "Waiting For The Robert E. Lee."

This campground has a FREE laundry (a big deal in the camping world) so I did two loads, got a shower and prepared an easy dinner for us and Rick and Brenda who came for a visit. We were so glad to see them. What a great overnight stop.

We drove a little over 400 miles today and are parked at the Carthage TX Campground. We have about 150 miles to go. We are trying to outrun Isaac but rain is predicted tomorrow. Normal rain we can deal with. Hurricane wind and rain is another matter.

If you come home as happy as you left, you have had a good vacation .

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back In Cincinnati

We were able to stay until the end of the rally in Manistee with the Haulin' HitchHikers.  I did four of the five days water aerobics, we came out $50 ahead on the gambling money and we didn't pay for any meal while we were there other than with the vouchers they had given us.  We even had one left over to pick up two sandwiches at the deli and put them in our refrigerator for travel on Friday. 

Thursday we all met up again for the buffet luncheon and then went back to the pavilion for games and karaoke followed by Happy Hour at five.  A lot of folks went back to watch the sunset and another stop at the other ice cream store in town, not the Dairy Queen, but we wanted to get things put together for the next day.

We drove to Auburn IN and spent the night at a campground we have used before.  We did unhitch and go into town for fuel but didn't do anything else.

Saturday morning we drove into Cincinnati arriving about noon.  We showered, had one more LaRosa Pizza and then went to St. Joseph's in North Bend for church.  As we were walking in, people were walking out.  One of the priests in hospice was dying and the other priest was with him and the priest assigned didn't show up!  There was a communion service instead so we stayed.

Ted's brother Kevin and his wife Barb were there and they invited us back to their house for the evening.  She offered us all sorts of food and drinks but we weren't hungry at all but we did drink some lemonade.  I enjoy their company so much.  We were glad we had that time together.

We have to be at the funeral home late this afternoon.  Karen and Ron were going to meet us this morning for breakfast but they hit something on their way home last night that tore up their tire and rim.  They need to assess the situation this morning.  They are selling their truck and are down to just one car. 

Tomorrow will be the funeral Mass at Holy Family Church for Eileen, Ted's family's church since the early 1900s.  His mother was baptized there, his parents were married there, he was baptized there and our granddaughter Morgan was baptized there.  I suppose Eileen will be the last to be buried from there.  Everyone else has gone before her.

We have come full circle.  We started our summer trip here arriving June 1, traveled up through Ohio and Michigan all summer and now we will head home from here.  It's been a crazy, sometimes sad summer.  We are used to being on the go and sightseeing much of the time.  That didn't happen this time.  Sometimes in life we have to set aside our plans and tend to others.  I hope we did a good job.

Philippians 2:4

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Another Change In Plans

We have been enjoying all our HitchHiker friends in these beautiful surroundings. We meet people out and about, have our Happy Hour each night and have been plugging away at our free gambling money. Ted is doing way better than me!

Last night we all ate with our vouchers at the buffet and then carpooled to Scottville to see the Clown Band for which they are famous. I was expecting 3-4 fellows but it was an entire orchestra dressed as clowns. They played so well and got the whole audience involved. We had a great time. There are You Tube videos if you Google Scottsville Clown Band.

The band has been in existence since 1947 and there were a half dozen or so original members.  This fellow was 82.

This morning we received an email telling us Ted's Aunt Eileen passed away last night. We had to make a lot of calls to switch our plans. First up, cancel the dinner in Joliet and the reservation at the casino campground. Call home and cancel participation in Canasta. Then I called Gerre and told her to invite someone to use our play tickets and accompany them.

Once we received funeral plans we determined we can leave here as planned and take two days to drive the 450 miles back to Cincinnati.

To add more drama to the day, Ted dropped a plastic lid in the fuel filler neck on the truck. Ford said it wouldn't hurt anything in the tank but when he tried to fill it, the pump kept shutting off so he knew it was stuck in the neck. He planned to take it to the dealer tomorrow.

I wondered if we could shove it into the tank without hurting anything so I laid under the truck. There was a sleeve clamped in two places attaching the filler hose to the filler part of the tank. I told him to get a screwdriver, take off the clamps and drop the hose, fish out the lid and then put it back together. He did that and it worked! I told him my fee was $1 but I needed another $99 for telling him what to do. He took a lot of ribbing from all the fellows!

With all our plans in place and the truck situation handled, we joined the group to watch the sunset over Lake Michigan. It was beautiful and we all stopped at Dairy Queen on the way home.

I attended water aerobics this morning and plan to go tomorrow. We have a goodbye luncheon and a last Happy Hour later in the day. Everyone is pulling out Friday so there will be preparations by all in the evening.

It's been a good week but that black cloud just refuses to leave us for too long.

Rest in peace, Eileen. You are together again with Grandma and Grandpa as well as Margaret, Mary, Helen, Agnes, Betty, Ann, Bill and Jack. I know the bagpipes are playing Danny Boy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Yeah! Full Hook Ups!!

We have arrived in Manistee for our HitchHiker rally.  This town is located right on the shores of Lake Michigan.  We are in the casino campground with 50 amp electric, water and sewer.  Plus we have cable TV and wifi.  The lap of luxury.

We drove to Harrison, MI on Sunday and got tucked into a wooded site. That was our last stop without a sewer hook up (11 weeks in all) but we did have a water hook up. We did four weeks using our storage tank and pump for water over the summer. It was almost like camping!

Monday we did laundry and called John and Dianna. They are at their summer home here and were bummed we went to the campground instead of staying in their yard where they have two RV sites. We didn't know for sure if they were even in town. They invited us over for Tuesday and we made plans to go to dinner and stop at the Moose Lodge which is exactly what we did. I just loved sitting in their sunroom watching all the hummingbirds. We had a nice visit and Dianna invited us for dinner on Thursday but we planned to go to Houghton Lake for the day. After hugs and handshakes we told them goodbye and we would see then in the valley in January.

Wednesday was gorgeous and we drove to Dow Gardens after attending Mass in the morning. As luck would have it, there was a "concert" starting just as we arrived so we took a seat and stayed for the entire performance along with many others.

Afterwards we walked the gardens for an hour and a half, admiring the beauty. I will just share my photos and you can see for yourself. It really is a lovely place.

This was called Sun Bridge.  I loved the reflection it made in the water.

Thursday was cool and rainy but we drove to Houghton Lake anyway. It is an "up north" resort town and we found a nice campground for future reference. After lunch at a place Dianna and John recommended, we did our grocery shopping and came back home.

Today's weather has been spectacular.  We haven't used our A/C for the past week and don't expect to need it this week either.

We are awaiting word from Bob regarding a stop in Joliet for a visit.  If he and Lorraine are not available, we'll just drive a bit further into Illinois next Friday as we round the bend and head for home.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

We Have Moved On

I haven't mentioned the movie being shot in Oakland County by Richard Armitage who stars in "The Hobbit." There is a school on one of the unpaved roads we take. First we saw big cranes and school buses. Next day was a wrecked bus and I thought a crane had fallen on it.

There were signs with UTP directing people to our park. We asked and they told us a tornado movie was being shot at the school and the extras were parking in a field at the park. There were hundreds of cars every day they were shooting.

Last time we drove by the school there were wrecked cars, trucks, guardrails wrapped around poles and huge fans. I never got a photo because the school sits on a small knoll and the driveways were being guarded day and night. I don't keep up with movies but I will try to find this one when it is named. So much for our recent excitement!

After a total of six weeks at Addison Oaks (split four and two) we left this morning for Harrison, MI. Friends from the Rio Grande Valley park we stay at live here but we didn't even call yet to see if they are around. It is half way to Manistee and seemed like a good place to set up shop for the week.

Kara was feeling better and on Thursday I drove her to get the kids' school shoes. We had lunch at Olive Garden and Ted took Sam to a doctor appointment because Kara had an appointment later too. When Allen arrived home we headed back to the campground.

Friday was free so we went to the grocery. Thank God for the Olympics.
It filled a lot of hours for us this year.

Kara came out with the kids Saturday and we all met up with Kelly and family at St. Clements in Romeo for church. Then the nine of us went to dinner at the Romeo Diner. We are going to miss that place.

Just maybe we will do some fun things this week. Dow Gardens is on my radar and I will just have to read up to see what else is in the area.

I have been getting emails from home as things get back into full swing. I have Canasta the day after we get back. The next day our season tickets start at the Owens Theater in Conroe. We will be seeing "The King and I" with Gerre and Barry.

And it will be back to our normal routine ... for two months anyway!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More of the Same

All we did Saturday was go to church and eat at Leo's, that we have driven past so many times, after Ted had gone shooting. It was just OK but I didn't cook so that is the good part.

There was a Corn Daze Festival advertised for Sunday so we attempted to take the kids but when we arrived it was a Rotary picnic so we went to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid instead. The kids spent the night with us.

We went into Kara's Monday and I spent the night because Allen left at 6 am Tuesday. There is always a lot to do that Kara can't do just yet.

She did make a good dinner and afterwards we went to Ray's in Royal Oak for ice cream.

By 9 or so we had things under control and came home because Allen was expected home by 10.

We will be going back tomorrow and Kara wants to bring the kids out Saturday if she is up to it. There are activities for the kids all weekend.

Sunday we are moving on. We haven't decided to where just yet. We only know we are heading NW towards Manistee.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Just A Short Update

Thursday Ted went in to Kara's and took care of her and the kids. By Friday I felt well enough to go too. I wore a mask when around her and gloves when preparing food.

I got her bed changed, the laundry done, watched the kids and fed them. Ted went to the grocery and grilled burgers for dinner. We came home around 8.

Last night my head was all stopped up and I couldn't breathe through my nose so my throat is dry this morning. Guess I have a ways to go before I am all better.

We are staying here an extra week to continue to help and for me to get better!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Well you didn't really think everything would be OK did you?

After 12 hours with the kids on Monday I got home just in time to start with a cold of my own. Allen had to get a babysitter to pick up Kara on Tuesday and Ally spent the night so he could take Kara to the doctor this morning.

Ted is feeling much better. He washed the trailer, went to the grocery and made dinner last night. I am still all stuffed up and sneezing my head off so I can't go anywhere near Kara.

Ted may go in tomorrow and Friday while Allen works at a site. Hopefully I will get well enough to go with him.

And my niece Jamie that we were with last Saturday had her candy store broken into while they were gone over the weekend.

This black cloud following us needs to take a hike!