Last Tuesday, the 23rd, I packed up and got ready for my trip to Missouri (this is my visit siblings for one on one time trip) and left right after my haircut appointment and was on the road by about 2:00 pm and traveled as far as the KOA in West Des Moines where I had a little cabin rented for the night. I have stayed at this campground many times in the past, as it was a convenient stopping location when I was pulling my little trailer. It’s a beautiful, well cared for park and I enjoyed my stay there.
After a walk and loading the car on Wednesday morning, I headed off to Bob and Penny’s house. Dang, it felt good to get their hugs. We had a lovely time conversing and having cocktails and a yummy steak dinner with fresh salad greens from Penny’s beautiful garden. Bob dressed in his ‘holier than thou’ shirt just for me.
On Thursday, after a nice walk, we took a drive to the little town of Windsor, about 40 miles west of their house and stopped for lunch at a little Mexican restaurants along the way. It is an area with several Amish farms where plants and flowers are sold. We also stopped at a store where grains, seasonings, pies, and other goodies are sold and I bought some corn meal and jelly to take home with me. None of us were very hungry later that evening, so we had salad and pie for dinner.
Friday was the day to spend time with my brother Ron at his apartment, but we did go out for a nice breakfast too. He had just had his living room painted and new carpet installed, so I helped him to hang some pictures and get it back to normal. We also spent some time looking through the old family album that I brought with me and that brought back lots of memories and we had a really nice talk.
Penny made Shrimp Boil for dinner Saturday night and we gathered at Amber and Ashley’s lake house with their kids and families. She had the shrimp shipped from Padre Island (where they spend the winter and feast on seafood) and they borrowed a huge cooker for it. It was yummy and there wasn’t much left of it. What a fun evening connecting with their family.
It was on to visit the next sibling, Rene, at her home near Warsaw on Sunday. Mike wanted to treat us to barbecue for dinner, so Rene and I headed into town in her new (used) Mercedes SUV that she wanted to show off. The BBQ place was closed, so that plan was nixed. While we were in town, Mike called her to let her know that his daughter Kristin, her husband Mike and their daughters Abby and Ellie were stopping by. I don’t think I had seen Kristin since before Rene and Mike were married, so it was nice to see her and to meet her family. They stuck around until almost 9 pm.
Mike, Kristin, Abby & Ellie, Me and Mike
Rene has been having sciatica problems, so she has been laid up for a while. I offered to help her out, so I dug up her flower bed and planted a couple of Rose bushes, two tomato plants, and some flower seeds for her. We then started to burn a stack of cardboard boxes that had piled up in their garage (some needed to be cut up and she hadn’t been able to do the bending required). We also gathered up several containers of aluminum cans that she hauled up to her neighbors for recycling. After our chores were done, I took a shower and then we all sat around their yard and enjoyed the setting. We had a nice dinner of brats, spinach salad, and lemon poppyseed bread that I had brought along.
Tuesday morning was the day to move south to Springfield where I would spend a couple of days with Randy and his family. I didn’t get out of there until almost noon, as Rene had things to show me and we hadn’t gone through the old family photo album. We said our goodbyes and I was off down the road again.
I got to Randy’s house, one that I hadn’t seen before, as he and Julie are separated now and living individually. It’s a lovely house in a quiet neighborhood and he has it set up very nicely. We did some grocery shopping as he has invited his family for spaghetti dinner on Wednesday evening. We had sandwiches for dinner and watched the movie, “Peanut Butter Falcon”, one that I never get tired of watching.
I met up with Julie and Lanae this morning for a nice walk on a paved trail through a nice little park.