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Friday, September 30, 2011

Merriment in Missouri

Gosh, here we are at the end of September! It feels like this month has flown by. I'm sure much of that is due to the anticipation of our time on the East Coast was drawing to a close and looking forward to traveling again; albeit with bittersweet emotion.

We've had a great week of traveling and sitting. Only one travel day of ugly weather and that only lasted for part of the day. Since we got to Missouri the weather has been fab – u – lous! It's a little cool this morning 'cause it's breezy, but that's okay. The sun is shining and every day is better when the sun shines. :)

Here’s a look at our campsite and surroundings.

Site 82 Our row Glimpse of the lake

Yesterday we took the day to go into Hannibal to visit some of Mark Twain's (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) stomping grounds. Hannibal is another quaint town that has made the most of its most famous residents.

Hannibal, MO Back of sign

Thankfully, there is lots of public parking as well as on-street parking in town. And it's free! We were able to find an on-street space on Main Street. When you drive a big ol' truck like ours, finding parking isn't always easy. :) We then walked down to the riverfront. Oh, the Mississippi River. It is gorgeous. And it's fun to stand in Missouri and realize you are looking at Illinois.

Looking over the Mississippi

I don't know why I find that amazing, but I do. I guess I am easily entertained.

The riverfront has a nice little park with beautiful flowers and a statue of Mark Twain in his riverboat pilot days.

MT - Riverboat pilot

It's so easy to walk to anything you want to see in town. Our next stop was touring Mark Twain's boyhood home where we started with a walk through of the timeline of Mark Twain's life. He sure packed a lot into his life! We saw the bedrooms, kitchen and living area. He even had a chest of drawers exactly like one we used for all of our years in our home! It's now being used by our great niece, Ryleigh. Kinda cool. The one thing I didn't like was that there was a life-sized figured of Mark Twain in each of the rooms. That was a little creepy to me.

The block that includes MT's home (yeah, I know him well enough to call him that!)

P1130763 P1130762

also has Becky Thatcher's home,


the law office of his father, and Grant's Pharmacy where the Clemens family lived for a time.


I’m not going to bore you with lots of facts and lore about Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens – you can google him and find out whatever you want. However, I did learn one thing I had never heard before and thought it was pretty neat. On the night of his birth, Halley’s Comet was seen. He said he would love to have it come back on his death. Now, since the comet doesn’t show up but every 75 to 100 years, that was probably not gonna happen, right? Well, as it happened, while Samuel Clemens was dying, Halley’s Comet was once again seen in the night sky. Isn’t that cool???

From the tour, we went to the Hannibal Trolley Company to sign up for the next tour.

Waiting for the trolley

We had taken a trolley tour in Savannah and just loved it. Well, this one didn't come close. We enjoyed it, but the driver/narrator wasn't the best. She was a nice older lady, but her narration left a little to be desired. She told us facts, but there was just something missing. The tour takes you over 14 miles of Hannibal and you learn the history of the area. By far, the best part of the tour was Riverview Park where we stopped at the overlook of the Mississippi River.

Great view of the Mississippi

Oh. My. Gosh. Such a view. And there was another statue of Mark Twain as he overlooked the river.

MT overlooking the Mississippi

After our trolley tour, we were ready to come home. We enjoyed our day in Hannibal. On the way home after we both said what fun we'd had, I made the remark that it's not often that we don't have fun together – no matter what we're doing! And isn't that a great way to live!

Tomorrow we break camp and hit the road one more time before setting down for awhile. We've got a long day (for us) as it's a little more than six hours to Junction City, KS from here. That translates into a seven or eight hour travel day, depending on how often we stop. But, that's okay. Once we're get there and set up, we don't have to move again for at least six weeks or so.

Next post will be filled with AubreyLynn updates! :)

Until the next time . . .

Monday, September 26, 2011

Relaxing in Crawfordsville, IN

After two days of uneventful travel (for which we always thank God!), we arrived in Crawfordsville, IN at Sugar Creek Campground.

Why Crawfordsville, you ask? Because it fit. :)

As most of you know, I enjoy planning an itinerary. And the plan for this trip was to travel Sunday, spend Sunday night at a truck stop in central Ohio, then spent the next couple of nights in New Lisbon, IN. Again, because it fit our timetable.

Well, when we stopped for the night in Millersport, OH at the Flying J, I realized the campground to which we were headed was only 2.5 hours from there. That just seemed like a waste to stop so early the next day when there was really no reason to be there. So I started looking further west and found . . . Sugar Creek Campground in Crawfordsville.

It's right on Sugar Creek and is 48 acres of beauty.

Sugar Creek P1130749 Blackie checking out the pond at Sugar Creek

And because we're here during the week, it's very quiet, which is really nice.

The best part of tweaking the itinerary is that we're only about 5 hours from our next stop, Mark Twain Landing CG, in Monroe City, MO. That means instead of spending Wednesday night in another truck stop, we'll be in a campground for three nights. That gives us plenty of time to explore Hannibal, MO which is the reason for staying there.

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?? :)

I know. I know. All of you “non-planners” are laughing at me. But, hey. I like to know where I'm going.

Anyway, nothing special planned for this area. Just gonna go with the flow . . . :)

Until the next time . . .

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Leaving . . .

Yeah, it's been a week since I last posted; just didn't have anything to share. We've had lots of rain again this past week, so I didn't do too much. Randy was busy doing all the outside things he does when we're getting ready to travel.

Yes, I said “travel.” Tomorrow morning we'll be hitching up the truck and heading west. It's been a good summer here in PA; lots of family time and a couple of side trips, too. But, it's time to move on. It's always hard to say our good-byes, but we're heading to Kansas for more kid and grandkid time, so it's definitely with mixed feelings.

Great news, though! Lindsay, Reagan and my mom are coming to Kansas just a week after we arrive!! They will fly into Kansas City (two hours from where we'll be in Junction City) on Friday, October 7 and stay the weekend, flying out on Sunday. Sure, it's only a couple of days, but YAY!! They want to meet Sam and AubreyLynn. It'll be a whirlwind weekend, but that's okay, they'll be with us. :)

Last night we had one last sleepover with Reagan here at the campground. She is such a joy. And as I write this at 8am, she's still sleeping!

We're going to take a week to get to Kansas. Randy wants to have a leisurely trip. The last couple of times we've traveled out there, it's been 1200 miles in 2 days (not towing, of course!). So, we're taking our time this trip. Gonna travel for a couple of days, sit a couple of days, travel a couple . . . well, you get the idea. We are definitely stopping just outside of Hannibal, MO at Mark Twain Landing. Randy wants to explore that town. Looks kinda neat. We'll get to Junction City on Saturday, October 1.

And I'll have that baby in my arms on Sunday! :)

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up

We started our weekend on Friday with a trip to the Pennsylvania RV Show. This is a huge show; if you've never been, you really need to put it on your list of things to do. We go every year and we're not even in the market for a new rig! It's fun to see what's new out there.

This year we took Reagan with us. Dang! We could hardly keep up with her! She loved checking out all the rigs. I was concerned I'd wear out before an hour was up. The three of us spent a couple of hours walking around, oohing and aahing as necessary. :)

After we'd walked as much as Reagan could go, it was time for dinner and then on home. Reagan spent the night with us, which is always fun.

Saturday we met Barry & Penny for breakfast. This was the last weekend we'd be able to catch some time with them since we are leaving next Sunday and they aren't coming up to the campground that weekend. We had a good meal, good conversation and a promise to see them later in the evening around their campfire.

Then came the event of the day – Reagan's family birthday party! Now, if you've kept count, this was Reagan's third birthday celebration of her turning six years old. Yeah, it's good to be the Princess!

Such a happy girl

We did have a nice time; Lindsay & Jason always do a great job of making folks feel welcome in their home. Lots of family was there and some were not as they live out of state.

My folks

My folks

A nice bonus was that one of Lindsay's friends from high school, Jennette,

Lins & Jennette, BFFs 2011

and her family were able to come as well. (I love how Lindsay has kept in touch with several of her childhood friends – so neat.)

Reagan had a blast, of course. I mean, who wouldn't when it's all about you?? :) Presents and cake were a part of the festivities.

Opening presentsShe is not too sure about the size of this cake!

And the sun came out, so the kids were able to get outside, and that's always a plus!

We said our good-byes around 7pm and came home and sat around Barry & Penny's campfire as we planned. It was our first (and last) campfire of the season. Perfect night for it, cool and no wind.

Today was an absolutely wonderful day. The weather was gorgeous; a bit cool, but sunny and bright blue skies. I sat outside in the recliner, reading. Haven't done that is ages. Randy & I were just lazy and I'm okay with that. :)

This coming week will be filled with the “last of” things. Next Sunday we'll get on the road and head for Kansas.

Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another Gift

Randy and I are blessed beyond measure, let me just get that out of the way first. :) We have three wonderful children who have married three great people and each of them have given us one beautiful grandchild. And we are grateful for that.

Today we celebrate one of those beautiful grandchildren; Reagan turns six years old. Hard to believe that six years have passed since we sat in that hospital waiting room with lots of other family members just waiting for her arrival.

Reagan 01

Since then, it has been a joy to be part of Reagan's life, watching her grow and learn. She enjoys life with abundance, no question about it. And to be part of her world is a fabulous thing.

We went to Olive Garden for lunch with Reagan and Lindsay for her birthday. And this is just day two of her birthday celebration!

Here she is opening gifts from us and her parents.

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Day one was last Saturday when Reagan, along with four of her friends, had a party at a kid's salon. Every little girl's dream – hair, make-up, nails, and a fashion show – what more could you ask for! We will end this year's celebration of Reagan this coming Saturday when the family gets together for one last party.

It's good to be the Princess!

We certainly appreciate the gift of being grandparents. There is something almost magical about the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild. If you haven't gotten there yet, I can't describe it to you. If you are one of “us,” then you know exactly what I mean.

And it's a gift that I enjoy opening every day. So, Tommy,

Just after a haircut



and AubreyLynn,

Wide awake

thank you for giving me the gift of being your Nana. It is one of the greatest joys of my life.


Until the next time . . .

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Emotional Weekend

We've had a bit of a roller coaster weekend. On Friday, our eldest child, Ginny, and her husband, Chuck celebrated their second wedding anniversary. It's a great feeling to know your children are happy, isn't it?

Saturday we had the privilege of attending the wedding of Shannon, the daughter of good friends, David & Beth.

Shannon & Josh Carney, Sept 10, 2011

Not only we were able to enjoy a great party, but the event enabled us to catch up with lots of old friends from our former church. There was much laughter around our table, I can tell you that!

Of course, today was a day filled with emotion – the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. The media coverage of the commemoration ceremonies at the three sites invoked so much emotion for me. I, along with the rest of the nation, can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news of the first plane crash. Watching the families of those who died standing at the various memorials was very moving. Seeing how we can come together as nation today makes me wonder why we can't do it every other day of the year!

9-11 pic

I am grateful and proud to be a citizen of the United States of America. Even with our problems, there isn't anywhere else I'd rather live. I am also proud to be the mother of a U.S. Army Soldier.

God bless our families; God bless our military and their families; and God, please, bless the United States of America!

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

One of the Best Gifts Ever

Well, in the midst of some of the nastiest weather I've experienced, there is a ray of brightness. Today is Lindsay's birthday. She is my firstborn, my daughter, and has become my friend.

Thirty-two years ago, at 2:45am, Lindsay was born. Never has a child been so anticipated. She was our firstborn, and the first grandchild on her father's side. You would have thought she was the first child born EVER. :) And every child should be welcomed that way.

Since that day, there have been so many proud days. I have always said that Lindsay could have been raised by wolves and still become the phenomenal young woman she is today. She was born focused; always knew where she was going and how she was going to get there. It was amazing to watch.

And now, as most of you know who read this blog with any regularity, Lindsay is married to Jason, a fabulous young man who we love as our own as well as the mother of our first granddaughter, Reagan. Watching Lindsay become a wife, then a mom, has been an extraordinary experience. She does it with grace and humor and lots of love.

Today as I think back on these past thirty-two years, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I thank God that He allowed me the privilege of being Lindsay's mom. I haven't done everything right; not by a long shot. But, I've loved her beyond measure and unconditionally. She has been a joy to parent. Everyone should have at least one child like her – yep, she's that cool.

Yeah, I'm tired of rain, after all it's been raining since Saturday! But, today, I've got sunshine 'cause I get to remember a very bright day thirty-two years ago. And that's better than anything!

Happy birthday, Lindsay! You are loved, my girlie.


Until the next time . . .

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Only a Few More Weeks

Yes, with the beginning of September comes the realization that we have just a few weeks left here on the East Coast. It's been a great summer here and we even got to take a couple of trips out of town. Now, we need to think about starting the get-the-rig-ready-to-travel chores.

But! Before we get too dang busy with chores, we had to have a sleepover with Reagan. :) I got a text from her on Thursday asking if she could spend the night Friday night. Well, of course the answer was yes!

Randy & I went to Lindsay's on Friday morning so I could do laundry and Randy could wash the truck. Once Reagan was home from school and I had the last load in the dryer, Lins, Reagan and I went to Borders to see what bargains we could find. I did pick up a Christmas present for Reagan and Lindsay got several items. She is the consummate bargain finder, that's for sure.

After the three of us got home, Randy was ready to go, too. He had even gotten the last load of laundry out of the dryer and folded it for me. :) So, we got Reagan in the truck and we were off for home.

We didn't do anything exciting while Reagan was here, but it sure was nice having her. She makes me smile.

We had a thunderstorm go through here yesterday morning and it's been overcast off and on since. Last night I cooked baked ziti for dinner and had Barry & Penny over. We hadn't seen them for a month so it was good to catch up.

This morning we attended church with Lindsay & Reagan (Jason went to the Baltimore Grand Prix) and then out to a Chinese restaurant for lunch.

Nothing else planned for this holiday weekend nor for the week, really. Hope all of you are enjoying life wherever you are!

Until the next time . . .