Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Crossing the Allegheny and Appalachian Mountains

We stopped at the rest area before our campground to have a bit of lunch and there was another HitchHiker Champagne already parked with Oklahoma plates.  Ted approached the man to see if it was someone he may know on the NuWa owner's forum but it wasn't.  However we started talking to him and his wife and the couple traveling with them in a Dutch Star motorhome.

Turns out they had left Heartland Resort in Greenfield IN, the same park Jay and Stella had been at before meeting up with us.  And they were heading to Wolfie's, same as us.  The bad part is we were both going to Site 42.  A phone call to the park straightened it out and all was OK.

Wolfie's is a lovely park ... once you get to it.  Thank goodness for campground books with directions and the GPS.  Our new DISH locked right on and we were both glad about that.  We took a walk around the park and played a game of corn hole after dinner.  Our new "friends" were parked next to us and asked if we knew anything about the Amish.  Ted used to call in this area when he worked for Abitibi and we attended an irv2 rally in 2009 so we wrote down some directions to towns that we know are all part of the large Amish community and made a few suggestions.  They were on their way to Niagara Falls so we suggested the I-77, circle around Cleveland to the northeast and  I-90 to Buffalo.  The Dutch Star needed an oil leak looked at so when we departed at 8:07 the next morning the motorhome was gone but the HitchHiker was still there.

We knew it was going to be an intense day of driving; no cruising along but a need to pay attention to the hills and curves as we wound our way through the mountains and valleys of Shenandoah.  It was a beautiful drive and must be fantastic in the fall.  Robert Byrd certainly brought home the bacon for his state because the roads were some of the best we have traveled and not crowded.

 We kept receiving calls from Eileen and Tom about how to get to the KOA where we were meeting them.  They had missed the park, had to undo their car, turn the motorhome around, rehook the car and travel back.  They are new at this and were trying to insure we didn't make the same mistake.  I listened to them and then used my books and the GPS to go right to it.  

We got set up, toured their new Fleetwood Discovery which is very, very nice then got dinner ready.  Ted grilled a pork tenderloin.  Eileen gave me fresh green beans and cucumbers someone had given her that she didn't know what to do with.  I sat and snapped them while we talked then told her to cover them with water to cook.  Tom added some ham to the beans and they were good and he also made a salad.  In the meantime I sliced the cucumbers, and my thumb along with them, and made a sugar, water vinegar dressing.  I added some applesauce and Stove Top and dinner was ready.

The fellows made a fuel run and we watched The Bachelorette.  This season has been weird.  I have little hope anything permanent will come from this.  Odds are always against it anyway but this time it seems inevitable.

We are waiting until later to head out today.  We have just 150 miles to go and if we arrive before checkout time we could find our site still occupied.  Also, Ted needs to sleep in after two days of driving.

Next stop Williamsburg, Virginia.

Shenandoah, the morning revealed your splendor,
as the sun touched your dreams with light.
Awakened by Morning glories, on broken down fences
Black berries hidden from sight.

Shenandoah, I hear your song of childhood
. . . On a hill far away
Where the whippoorwills sing,
of a brighter day.

Shenandoah, where cows graze on hillsides
A valley of peaceful sleep
Children in their innocence
And willows softly weep

Home of my heart, Shenandoah
Winding streams and little girl dreams
Still linger in my mind
Always patiently waiting, the beauty I left behind ~ Deana

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jacket Weather Today

We pulled out of the dump station at 7:57 this morning, three minutes ahead of Ted's schedule.  We had said our goodbyes to Jay and Stella just moments before.  They will leave on Wednesday for the UP of Michigan.  It was 54 degrees.  Ted had on a sweatshirt and I put on my windbreaker.

On Friday we ended up with another houseful of folks.  Pat, Kelly, Cassie, Ally and Cassie's current boyfriend, Kyle, all came to spend the afternoon.  We already had Sam and Morgan so eventually Kara and Bill arrived.  The kids were going to their Dad's for the weekend so the four of them gathered up all the kids' stuff and left.  Bill fixed a piece of molding for us before they took off.  It sure is nice having a handyman around!

The rest of us went to Bad Brad's BBQ for dinner.  We sat at a big picnic table out on the patio in perfect weather.  It was delightful!  I ordered a glass of Riesling and it came in a jelly glass.  The others received their drinks in mason jars.  The menu was great and everyone enjoyed their food and the company.  Stella and Jay came along too.

Ted went shooting on Saturday, stopped at the grocery and filled up with fuel.  I cleaned up to make sure no one had left anything.  Luckily I didn't find any items that didn't belong to us.  We went to church at 4:30 for the last time this season at St. Joseph's.  When we got back we left for Miguel's Cantina.  Stella didn't get her salsa made the way she wanted and wasn't crazy about her meal but I had mahi mahi that I really enjoyed.

One thing none of us liked was the birthday celebrations.  They blew shrill whistles and banged a drum throughout the entire singing of Happy Birthday.  The fourth time they did it, we had enough.  We mentioned to the manager on our way out it was excessive and very disruptive to what we had hopedwould  be a nice dinner.  I doubt he cared.

We returned to the campground and played cards inside our rig.  It was cold and rainy and I felt bad for the people in tents.  Friday night Ted took two lights over to some campers trying to set up a tent using the headlights on their car.  They finally got it up and brought the lights back.  Then to add insult to injury it rained and got cool.  You win some, you lose some.

We are approaching Columbus OH heading to Zanesvillle for the night.  It is noon on Sunday.

The most beautiful moments always seem to accelerate and slip beyond one’s grasp just when you want to hold onto them for as long as possible.” 

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Loaves and Fishes

Wednesday was a sunny, pleasant day.  By mid-day we were dressed, had straightened up the RV and started on laundry.  I had chicken and dumplings in the crockpot, cucumber salad made and a strawberry trifle for dessert.  We were expecting Jay and Stella, friends from Texas, to pull in around 3:00.

Kelly texted that she and Ally were coming out and bringing beer brats for lunch.  She also brought fruit, and beans that we decided not to fix.  Ally had to leave for physical therapy and when she returned we decided to play cards.  Jay and Stella hit a detour and called to say they would be delayed so I put the crockpot on Low.  Then I received another text from Kara saying the  four of them were coming out.  Kelly asked if it was OK to stay for dinner because she hasn't seen much of Kara lately.  So my dinner for four turned into dinner for ten.

Ted grilled some chicken, burgers and hot dogs to go with the chicken and dumplings.  I put out the fruit, cucumbers, cole slaw and applesauce and baked two sweet and two white potatoes.  They were huge and I was able to cut them in half.  We used Kelly's beans and a can I had to make a decent sized dish.  The one thing that was large enough for all was the strawberry trifle.

Everyone had plenty and there was a bit of everything left over.  And I certainly have lots of room in the refrigerator right now. Ted built a fire and we needed jackets to sit outside.

Kara surprised us with a satellite receiver as a birthday gift.  DISH has a pay as you go RV package and she also gave us two months of use.  We have a rooftop satellite that has never been used.  Bill hooked it all up, I called in to order service but we couldn't get any further than the program guide.  Jay has a nifty app that shows the location of the three satellites and we determined a small tree was blocking the signal.  We decided to hook up and move the trailer a few feet back and it worked!  Now Ted has his Fox News again.  And the kids are enjoying Cartoon Network.  We have been out west and had no TV.  We have also had terrible cable at parks.  If we are near a city we usually get local channels very well over our roof antenna.  But now the days of 5 PBS and 2 Spanish channels are over.

We had been trying to meet up with Dave and Karen who live in Monroe.  They are friends from the valley.  Their daughter was bitten by a spider and ended up in the hospital so they too were babysitting grandkids.  We were finally able to meet up yesterday at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi.  It it a drive north for them and west for us.  We went a little early so Ted could buy some navy shorts and he found some at Macy's.  After lunch Karen and I shopped a bit while Ted and Dave solved the problems of the world.

We stopped at Kara's on the way home to pick up the kids, a last load of laundry Kara had done for us and to get our mail.  We are using a mail forwarding service and I knew it would arrive Thursday.  
With all that in hand we returned to the park with the kids in tow.  We all decided that Stella would grill some sausage and we would finish off the leftovers and that's just what we did.

Afterwards we all played Mexican Train but Morgan and Sam petered out after four rounds.  We played until we needed a lantern and then stopped after that round.  We said our good nights and came inside.

Ted and the kids watched a Harry Potter movie while I caught up on my I-Pad.  It was late when we went to bed and they are all still sleeping this morning.  

Our time here is drawing to a close and Sunday we start our journey to Virginia.  Eileen and Tom are anxious for us to arrive.

Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Days Are Running Together

Our days of babysitting and planning meals are all running together.  We sat and looked at each other when I asked Ted what we had done last Thursday and Friday!  We know we watched the kids, took Skyline chili in for dinner and washed two loads of clothes one day.  We think that was Thursday and Friday is totally lost except we remember Ted cooked on the grill for dinner and there were terrible storms all around us.  We both seem to be suffering from CRS now.

On Saturday Ted dropped me off at Bordine's Nursery so Kara could pick me up in the parking lot.  He was going shooting and we were going to hit the bridal salons in Rochester and Birmingham.  Much to Sam and Morgan's delight we hit pay dirt at the very first salon.

Bellissima's had a huge selection of Jade dresses, the brand I had chosen back in Texas.   Kara was able to see the material and we were both able to see actual swatches of the colors.  The fuchsia was HOT PINK and too bright, the Emerald a bit drab.  I tried on Grape in Texas but the girls are wearing purple so that was out.  This brought us back to the Sapphire Blue.  We both felt it was a good color.  They didn't have the exact dress but plenty of others for me to try to determine my size.  I put on a red dress cut exactly like the one I liked and we both agreed my choice had been a good one.  When the saleslady told us the dress I wanted was $200 less than the Texas price, I was sold!

So my dress is ordered and paid for.  It should be in by October.  Kara will take it to Florida in November when we attend Kristin's bridal shower.  I arrive back in Florida the first part of February for the enter month before the wedding and will have it hemmed at that time.  Check, check and check!  Mission accomplished.

I came back home with Ted eventually and we went to church.  The gospel was the story of Martha and Mary, one of my favorites because I identify with Martha in so many ways.  When we got back to the park, Bill, Kara, Sam, Morgan and Kyle came for dinner.  The kids had great fun roasting marshmallows, tossing ball with Ted and playing soccer with two young fellows camped next to us.  I bet they slept good.

On Sunday  Kara baked the turkey Bill received from work at Christmas and has been in her freezer ever since.  His sister and brother in law as well as friends Shannon, John and kids came too.  Even Kyle came over. I think he likes our cooking!  We had a great day visiting with everyone.

It was back to babysitting on Monday.  We chose to take them to see Despicable Me 2 because it was supposed to rain.  Four of the last five movies we have seen have been Disney or Pixar!  However, they are better than the blow 'em up, shoot 'em up and drop the F word constantly in the rest of the movies out there.

We waited for Kara to arrive home and then headed back to the RV.  We stopped at Miguel's Cantina for dinner.  That's our first Mexican food since we left in mid June.  It is really good for being so far north of the border!  

Today the rain came instead of yesterday.  Kara is in Chicago and the kids are with their Dad.  It is a good day to hit the nail salon.  We are expecting Jay and Stella tomorrow and I am fixing dinner for us all.  Thursday we meet up with Dave and Karen from Monroe, friends from the Rio Grande Valley, for lunch.  That leaves us Friday and Saturday to finish up our trip here before we head out.

Who knew retirement could be so busy?

The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.  ~ Abe Lemons

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Doing a Bunch of Nothing

Monday we just stayed home.  The weather has been very hot for this region so we decided to stay inside and keep cool.  I put a chuck roast in the crockpot to try another Facebook recipe.  It was fine but not any better than my usual recipe.  Ted said he likes them both.

Yesterday we met Kara at the beauty salon and everyone got a haircut, except Ted went next door to the barber shop.  We left to stop at the grocery before Kara followed us out to have dinner.  It was a combination of all sort of leftovers because I needed the room in the refrigerator.   We bought ice cream at the store for the kids as a treat and after dinner they all went home.

Yesterday Ted, Sam and Bill went to the gun club while Kara and I went dress shopping again.  If I don't find something else I will go with the one I found back home in either sapphire blue which is lighter than we want or emerald if we ever get to see a swatch of it.  Our plans almost got shot down when she was called in for a meeting but then it was decided her attendance wasn't necessary for the subject at hand.  

Here are a few photos from Lynn and Jim's visit that I didn't post the other day.  

The kids playing Hedbanz.  Mia is trying hard to figure out which Disney character she is.  Note the huge area for the kids to play.  It is a big circle with no one parked behind you.

Ted doing double duty.

Kara, Lynn and Sam having a chat while Jim supervises Ted's grilling.

You can see one of the best features of this park in this photo.  Two parking spots for vehicles.  That is so convenient and makes the next camping spot a good distance from you.   During the week there are 4-5 campers here with us, more on weekends.

I have figured our route to Williamsburg with an overnight in Zanesville and a second night in Staunton, VA where we will meet up with Eileen and Tom.  From there we move to American Heritage Park for two weeks.  How we get home from there, where we stop, who we see, and what we do is up in the air.  If we return home from a more northern route instead of I-10, we may meet up with the Boomers, our camping club, in Corsicana for Labor Day.  Have wheels, will travel.

But the place which you have selected for your camp, though never so rough and grim, begins at once to have its attractions, and becomes a very centre of civilization to you: "Home is home, be it never so homely."  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Monday, July 15, 2013

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

My Grandpa used to say this about people who "did a little bit of everything and not much of anything." It describes someone who can handle most projects but were not experts in any one particular field.  My weekend made me feel like that.  

Ted brought the kids back to the park when he was done shooting.  They wanted to swim so we took them to the beach.  In no time they were playing with a group of kids and had a good time.  

We were going to church at 4:30 so we had to get them back to the RV to get dressed.  We attended St. Joseph Church in Lake Orion.  There was a newly ordained priest who needs to shorten up on his sermon.   I was getting concerned about my meatloaf cooking in the trailer.  There was no harm done to my meatloaf and it was actually very good.  Afterwards Ted drove us to Romeo to Dairy Queen for an ice cream.  

We have a 4 disc set of 1940-50s cartoons that we bought long ago for about $5.  The kids love to watch them and that is what they were doing until Ted wanted to watch the news about the Sanford trial.  This city was the one just south of us when we lived in FL.  Our daughter still lives there so I texted her to be careful.  I didn't want her unwittingly driving home through Sanford from somewhere.  No one knew what would transpire.  Thank goodness all remained calm.

Sunday I got the kids breakfast, had them get ready and put all their stuff together for Kara to pick them up.  Sam went with Ted to scavenge the wood left by the weekend campers who have departed.  They brought back quite a bit.

Bill and Kara arrived to gather up the youngsters and all their belongings.  It gets pretty crowded in here with all their stuff.  I asked Ted how we managed in a 23 foot trailer with no slides and 3 kids all those years.  He reminded me we "threw them outside" as he put it.  Now the two of us enjoy 38 feet with four slides!

We still had Pat's birthday present and made plans to meet him, Kelly and the girls for a late lunch.  However Cassie had a party to attend which is way more fun than lunch with Grandma and Grandpa.  We will see her later this week.  We lingered for some time after Ally had to leave for work.  Pat had a soccer game (47 years old and still plays) so we said our goodbyes and came home.

In between all of this running I was able to get Karen and Ron reservations for a cruise out of Port Canaveral the day after Kristin's wedding.  We will drive them to the port and keep their car for the week.  Then we will pick them up when they return.  So now they have their cabin number, reservation number, a deposit down and a final "out the door" price, the remainder of which will be charged automatically in December.  They are happy campers.

We are meeting my best friend from Florida and her husband in two weeks.  They bought a motorhome and we are spending two weeks together in Williamsburg in August.  She called all flustered because they have a high school reunion to attend in West Virginia and a visit with his sister in Roanoke before meeting us.  She said she had no idea how to find places to stay.  I used my Trailer Life and Good Sam books plus my Camping Allstays app to get her campgrounds to stay on the way up and while there.  They are now going to meet us in Staunton VA which is our second night on the road to Williamsburg.  She breathed an audible sigh of relief!

While we were eating lunch I received a call from another friend asking me to help her daughter with their medical enrollment for this year.  Despite what Washington wants you to believe, premiums are going UP.  She sent me a 17 page enrollment brochure and I immediately enlisted Kara's help.  She needed more info on what their normal usage is - any recurring things, illnesses, etc. - and Kara explained their options and why she was recommending one plan over the other.  I hope this helps them in their decision making but it doesn't make it any cheaper.  Kara said anytime the government pushes down on reimbursement to doctors and hospitals for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, etc., the private sector contribution increases to make up for the loss.  Thus, premiums are going to increase.  I dread getting our Supplement increases this Fall when we both turn a year older.  But I know it is coming.

Ted built a fire and we sat outside talking to some folks still here.  They are from Virginia and sell at art fairs around the country.  When the bugs started biting, we came inside.  Another great weekend where I did "a little bit of everything, but not much of anything."

Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful. ~ Ric Ocasek 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Serendipity Bouquet

We left Kara's and stopped for groceries on the way home.  It was almost 8:00 when we arrived.  After a quick dinner and a little TV, we were off to bed.

Friday morning as I was looking at Facebook, Ted's great niece Lynn's husband Jim wrote he was enjoying a beautiful morning outside his camper in southern Michigan.  I asked where exactly he was and it turned out to be not too far.  They are on their way to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH.   I thought they had left for Disney World but that is in March.  We made plans for them to come over for dinner because Kara and the kids were coming out to the campground.

This necessitated a return to the grocery to create a meal for 9 of us instead of 2.  I called Kelly but Pat wasn't due home until 9:00, Cassie had plans, Ally was working and Kelly had made dinner plans with a co-worker since Pat's plane was getting in so late.  So the number remained at 9.

Everyone arrived about the same time and the kids were off and running. Sam was a bit "left out in the cold" while the girls had a great time hanging together.

Everyone had their fishing pole so Sam, Morgan, Ted and Jim went down to the lake to fish.  However, no one caught anything.

Ted cooked the burgers and brats and later roasted marshmallows for S'mores.  The wood is too wet for a fire so he used the grill.

It was a great day for all.  We hadn't seen them since the funeral in 2009 of Lynn's father Brian who died in a motorcycle accident.  Her mother died 9 months later of ovarian cancer.  I stay in touch through Facebook and keep them connected to her Dad's family.  Being military, they don't live close by to any relatives and with a family this size, it is hard to keep up!

And the reason for my title?  Serendipity is a fortunate accidental occurrence that happens and Lily was the third "Lily" we have visited with so far this year.  Lily M. is the baby on the boat at the lake, Lily O. is the tiny redhead at the table at the pool and Lily L. Is the first little girl in the picture above of the girls running.  What a beautiful bouquet they all make!

Ted is going shooting this morning then picking up the kids.  Kara has a bachelorette party to attend so we will keep them over night.  Tomorrow we will celebrate Pat's birthday since we missed it last week.  I see the zoo, the swim club, Despicable Me 2 and some other interesting events in store for us over the next two weeks.

In reality, serendipity accounts for one percent of the blessings we receive in life, work and love. The other 99 percent is due to our efforts. - Peter McWilliams

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Moving Day

We are tired of the rain!  We moved north and Sunday we had sunshine but more rain was predicted.  I wish I could send it to Texas where it is needed.  We are in a state park near the Neil Armstrong Museum by my brother Dan and Sue's house.  The park was full for the weekend and is now almost empty.

On Friday we drove back to Cincinnati from Owenton in the rain and somehow managed to visit with Ted's sister Kathy and her daughter and son, who was in from Columbus, and their families.  The kids grow so much when you only see them once a year.  They were all at the swim club so we met them there for pizza and a 3.5 hour visit.  The kids kept us entertained the whole time.  It was raining all around us but for some reason there was a dry cell over us.  We celebrated Ben's 5th birthday with a nice birthday cake.

Karen and Ron stayed at the lake so on Saturday we drove to their house to do laundry.  That is one of the perks when you have keys to someone's house.  They knew we were going over so no need to keep it a secret.  Later we went to church and  Barb, Kevin, Judy and Joe were there also.  We had plans to go to dinner with Judy and Joe so we said our goodbyes to Barb and Kevin then met the other two at the restaurant across from our park.  Once again we turned a meal into a 3 hour talkathon.  I will see Judy again in October at the 50th reunion.

It was more mist than rain when we drove to Grand Lake Sunday morning.  Since it wasn't a long drive, we arrived about 11:00 and everyone was packing up to go home.  We couldn't get anywhere near the potable water.  We don't have a water hookup and needed to fill our tank.  But we drove around the backup and just went to our site.  Since we were only there three days we managed with bottled water and the bath house across from us.  The workamper said we could use his hose and ours to reach the spigot across from us if we wanted.  We didn't always camp in such a nice RV.  The kids will tell you they washed dishes at the picnic table in big porcelain dishpans lots of times.

When Dan and Sue arrived home from the lake they called and said they would be over a little later. We all went to the Beer Barrel for dinner which is a favorite of ours.  We are going to see the construction on their new house and see the remodel on Brandon's house today.  We will be back here next April for Brandon and Rachel's wedding.  Sue invited us to stay with them for that weekend. Karen and Ron are staying too.  It will be too early to bring the RV so we accepted.

Monday we went to see the house they are renovating.  It is a big job but should be done by fall. Then the fun will begin getting the inside the way they want it.  Sue will be busy next spring working on the yard.

Dan had to golf so we came home for the evening (and so I could watch The Bachelorette).  This season is rather boring.  I didn't feel she had a lot to choose from in the beginning and the relationships with these last four just aren't very interesting.  But I continue to watch.

We all drove to Amish country in Shipshewana IN yesterday.  We got two good hours of shopping in before lunch at the Auction Restaurant.  As soon as we were done it rained bucketsful.  We passed time looking at the stuff going up for auction in the big barn and then had about another hour of shopping before a monsoon came.  Water was two inches deep in some of the booths and stalls. When we got a break we headed home.  We all ate dinner at CJ's where the rehearsal dinner will be for the wedding.

Afterwards we went to Brandon's log cabin in the woods.  He was cutting the grass during a break in the rain but that was short lived.  Great strides have been made finishing up the inside of the house. He has an entire new kitchen and two baths all done.  Sue has sanded all the hardwood floors and varnished the logs inside.  It is very close to being finished and he has until his April wedding to get it ready for his bride.

Yesterday we moved on to Michigan and almost three weeks with the kids.  It didn't rain at all until we got here.  There were storms all around us but we just had a few sprinkles followed by a pleasant night for sitting outside.

Today we are going into town to keep the kids and take them to the doctor.  Kara has a meeting down near the airport.  I will do a load of laundry and we also need to go to the grocery before we come back home.

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. ~ Susan Ertz

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Wettest Independence Day Ever!

We drove the hour and a half to Owenton KY after advising Jim we would be gone for two nights.  I actually was thinking "we are storing our RV here for two days for $82!" But such is life.

After getting our belongings and food contributions settled in at Karen's, we rode the pontoon over to Cindy and Tim's to see their new place.  They have a four bedroom house so it is bigger than Karen's but they wanted bedrooms for each of their kids and their families to have their own bedroom.  They have done a lot but have big plans to do way more.  We took a ride with them on the pontoon too.

One of the many coves.

We saw a fawn all by itself at the edge of the lake.  It eventually ran off into the woods where hopefully its mother was waiting.  A bunch of turtles were resting on a log.

Ronnie grilled pork chops and Cindy, Tim and Landon joined us for dinner.  People were arriving at the four various houses all day Wednesday and Thursday morning.

We awoke to rain on Thursday and it never stopped.  We drove to Ed and Vicki's new place to see it.  Dan and Sue had arrived there along with two of Ed's friends.  We spent several hours visiting but then went home to get ready for them to come over for dinner.  Steve and family had arrived at David's (who was working since he owns Queen City Pyrotechnics) but with the rain, we never made it across the lake to say hi.  David has had a house on the lake for years and we have been there before.

There were 17 adults and two little ones.  Karen and I were just glad they didn't bring the three dogs since it kept raining.

When they left we sat on the screened porch and Ronnie said he could hear a raccoon "chattering."  We all listened and heard it but none of us knew that was a sound a raccoon made.  Sure enough a very young one was spotted behind the trash can used for recycling aluminum cans.  I tried to get a picture but it was too dark.  He eventually took off up the hill.

It rained all night again.  It certainly wasn't a great day for the boaters, swimmers and fishermen at the lake on Thursday.  We had a light breakfast this morning.  Cindy and Tim came in their pontoon to say goodbye and then we got ourselves ready and came back to the trailer.  All was fine even with all the rain.

We hope to see Ted's sister Kathy today.  Her son and family are due in from Columbus some time.  We are just hanging loose for now.

A good family is one that spends time together once in a while. A great family creates memories that lasts for generations. ~ 
Michael Kilby 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Independence Day

I understand there is a push on to correctly identify what July 4 is in America.  So I have done my small part with my title.  I remember when Memorial Day was called Decoration Day.  I don't know when that changed.  And Veteran's Day used to be Armistice Day.  I will not change Merry Christmas into Happy Holidays, however.  There is no offense intended in wishing someone to join in your celebration.  I will gladly accept their wishes to me on their special days.  

Ted attended his Enquirer luncheon and he said there was a good turn out.  They discussed the printing of the paper being moved to the Columbus Dispatch which closed the Enquirer's production facility in Cincinnati.  The financial health of the pressmen's pension was also talked about but most of the old timers are not concerned about it in their lifetime.  Ted's is so small since he stopped contributing in 1981 that it has virtually no financial impact on us thank goodness.

My lunch with the girls was great!  Geneva, Donna O, Charlene, Mary, Diane, Cookie, Donna P and yours truly, Donna R, had a 2.5 hour lunch and it would have gone on longer if Ted hadn't called to say he was ready to pick me up. We laughed so much but there were a few tears over Mary's brother Joe who was buried just a few weeks ago.  Mary was a year behind us and Joe was in our class.  He was my very first boyfriend in 6th grade.  He named his daughter Donna which always made me feel special (though he and his wife may have just liked the name!).  Last year when I saw the whole group he gave me a peck on the cheek when I was leaving and said goodbye.  I didn't know it really would be.

Everyone looked so good and we talked of our 50th high school reunion.  Five of us were in the Class of 1963 at Mother of Mercy High School.  I will be flying in and there will be a dinner for the entire St. Bonnie's group including the fellows the night before the reunion.  I will be double dipping on both grade school and high school memories.  What fun!  

As we left the restaurant Ted said he had to go back to the parking lot at Meijer's because a lady needed a battery jump.  He told her he had to pick me up but would return.  I don't know if they were surprised he returned but he soon had them on their way.  I hope they remember the gentleman from Texas who kept his word.

We ran by Gabriel's, a store we like to browse through, and Ted bought a pair of jeans and I got a few tops.  The summer clearance prices were good.  We came back to the RV and eventually had some dinner.  It was a quiet evening.  We are heading to Elk Lake today so there will be no postings before Friday at the earliest.

Today I am remembering our trip to Idaho where we saw beautiful "amber waves of grain" blowing in a gentle breeze and the "purple mountain majesties" of the Tetons at the same time.  God surely has "shed his grace" on us.  Never forget those who given all for our freedoms.  These are difficult times and it is time for us to remember our "rights" stop where "the other guy's nose begins."