Saturday, May 2, 2009

Preparing for departure from Illinois westward.

31 May: Sunday: We had a most enjoyable afternoon with Joe and Nancy dining at a great Italian restaurant and sipping Pinot Noir in their beautiful home. The conversation was lively and fun; so was the interesting Egyptian cat who is one smart fellow.

30 May: Connie came by this noon to give "Healing Touch" to Smooch, smooch. Ron very much enjoyed his session on Thursday. Genealogy has occupied all of our waking hours recently; bibliographic improvements are nearly complete for the next volume of The Rambo Family Tree. Title & registration for "new" motorcycle, passports, and a temporary tag for trailer have all arrived, so Ron's whereabouts are about to change again - towards Kansas City on Tuesday and on to Texas heading towards British Columbia a week or so later.

29 May: Rain, rain, rain. It has rained lots here since Smooch Smooch returned. Elsie Wasser was at the library again today. Most amusing to discover Marriages of Greene County, Pennsylvania in the Edwardsville library. This is the book containing the marriage record my sister needed for her DAR application: Dorsey Overturff, son of John and Sarah Overturff, married Martha Deffenbough. But it did stop long enough to hike ten miles on the bike trail today.

28 May: It is amazing what is available on the web. Ron found lots of stuffs of interest on the web, both in terms of citations and sometimes the complete text of books.

27 May: Our late breakfast at Sacred Grounds ran into an early lunch with Sister Carol at Bella Milano's. She invited us to lunch citing a "post lecture stress headache" from teaching her first summer school Biology class at SIUE. The lunch was delicious; our favorite, and amusing, waiter, James, was gone today. James waited our table of 14 on the occasion of Ron's birthday party, May 12. Smooch Smooch took her newest bouquet to adorn the table for the party and was distressed the morning after to discover that she had left the flowers & vase. Days later Ron & Paul ate there for lunch and enjoyed James as waiter. He confessed to taking the abandoned flowers home for a few days, then to his mom's in Staunton. He agreed to bring the vase back, so we promised him more flowers for his mom. He did return the vase today, and Ron bought out the flower shop: flowers for James and flowers for Smooch Smooch; we have flowers to share! A fierce storm struck before dark and knocked out electricity in the hotel. More rain and flash flooding is predicted.

26 May, Tuesday: Imagine building a simple 12' x 30' loft to hold an HO train for a five year old when two MIT grads, a highway inspector, and a carpenter design it. Suddenly this lightly loaded loft has been configured to hold an entire circus w/ circus train, elephants, acrobats, and all. Lord knows if we will ever return to "simple". Smooch Smooch has the right idea: hire the carpenter, and stay out of the building until he is finished. Good news: the passport arrived.

22 May: After another delicious breakfast at Sacred Ground, Smooch Smooch and I are at the Edwardsville Library researching citations for the final volumes of the Rambo Family Tree.

17 May: The chicken coop is ready for inhabitants besides nephew and uncle. Ron is busy indexing industriously from early (well... not too early) AM to two the next morning. Paul and Ron had an enjoyable evening at Bella Milano's last night and a nice time today at lunch. Unfortunately there is little on Ponderosa's menu that fits Ron's dietary restrictions; everything comes loaded with so much butter it musta taken twenty trillion cows. Good news: the motorcycle title arrived. Now the new (old) BMW wheels will be tried out. Dick wondered why he wants such an old (PoS) motorcycle like this one. Ron says it is to keep from getting speeding tickets, plus... having an old BMW means it can be parked at a trail head while we hike for a few days and NO ONE in his right mind would steal it. It is sorta the same reason he wears that famous blue shirt he coined "gold digger repellent."

14 May: On the schedule for today is dropping Smooch Smooch at the airport and seeing a new dentist for evaluation of a chipped bridge and worn teeth. The day turned out good: the bridge may last another twenty years; the chip is not noticeable and the teeth are not that worn.

13 May: The Smooch Smooches again breakfasted at Sacred Ground; great coffee and an accommodating owner/chef. We surprised ourselves by running into Mike and Ed in the basement of the SIUE Communications Building. It was wonderful to introduce Smooch Smooch to Suzanne, Busaban, and Jerry. The Florida tax collector's office needed credit card information for the motorcycle title and registration. It is not raining at 2 pm, so Eric and Ron might be able to roof the chicken coop this evening.

12 May, Tuesday:


7 PM Bella Milano's Italian Restaurant

We had a delightful breakfast at Sacred Grounds Coffee House prepared specially for us by the owners who cater to nutritional menus. Then we visited. Shirley is retired from the Bank of Edwardsville. We saw Nancy and Cathy at the SIUE Credit Union; the manager and clerks enjoy the correspondence accompanying Ron's deposits from the far reaches of the USA; Maxine was supposed to appear for a 2pm meeting but didn't. Later, Ron was surprised he was able to drive right to Connie's house without an address. Connie is a nurse, now studying "Healing Touch;" she offered to work Ron & Smooch Smooch over and to use her skills on his arthritic thumb joint. The rain held off, so the chicken coop roofing proceeded until dinner time.
At the party, Joe and Nancy bought Ron a new BMW 1200 cc motorcycle, but the plastic model proved to be too small to seat Ron's fat butt; Ron is also proud owner of a big bag full of red tissue paper. We were delighted that Uncle Lawrence was able to attend. A fine, fun time was had by all dozen attendees; Kyle, Erika, and Chelsea were models of wonderful behavior; Thanks kids. And last, but not least, Greg & Donna sent a "hurray, hurray for the 12th of May" birthday card from SC.

11 May, Monday: An application for a new passport was completed and mailed citing "misplaced" for the old one; it is somewhere in the exceedingly full storage locker; you have to see it to believe it. It is NOT in the safety deposit box (filled with a coin collection). It is somewhere amongst the stuff; misplaced is a good word. At 1pm Ron ran off to help build a chicken coop for nephew Eric's children; almost everything was done by dark except for the roof. Pray it doesn't rain tomorrow.

10 May, Sunday, Mothers Day: Happy Mother's day to everyone. We enjoyed dinner with my sister at her rural home in Illinois.

9 May, Saturday: Breakfast at the Inn is not on our menu so we improvised in the kitchenette. We enjoyed the hike and bike trail over to the SIU Campus; but the building boom revamped some of the familiar territory; we were temporarily lost on the way back from a very nice two hour hike.

7 May: After an uneventful trip we arrived in Edwardsville, Illinois about 2:45 PM. Ron's good friend from working days at SIUe joined in the fun of unloading the UHaul in preparation for its return to a UHaul dealer in Highland.

6 May: We drove through the day arriving in Blytheville, AR about 8:15 PM and enjoyed a great dinner at the Bistro Eleven 21. The owner's boyfriend provided delightful conversation during dinner.

5 May: Preparations for departure continued throughout the day; amazingly we departed by 6:45 PM arriving by 10:45 PM to spend the night west of Atlanta.

4 May: Oh what fun! Oh what fun! Oh what fun! Ron stayed up all night drinking coffee while working: editing, packing, arranging, viewing Hawaii photos online with Donna, racing back to the Hampton Inn to wake Smooch Smooch for appointments. He took a fast nap, walked with Dick and went back to work again. The day was chaotic but we did get everything almost completed for the trip. We had a fabulous farewell dinner at Zorba's with our fine South Carolina friends.

3 May: Susan loved the pink tee shirt we brought her from Hawaii. Whew! We were relieved because we could not find the tee shirt that she had wanted: coral, form-fitting and very short because she is such a tiny waitress. Now we learn that her favorite color is really pink and she is delighted with her gift. Vince and Mary joined us for a delightful, gab-fest feast at Lizard's Thicket to say good-bye. Now onto the myriad details of packing, lining up ob-gyns and lamaze classes in preparation for the birth of Little Carol Ann 23 July (we really hope it is a girl).

2 May: Breakfast buffet at the Hampton Inn in Lexington cannot hold a candle to those buffets in Hawaii. It was fun to see the people here again and surprising that they remembered that Ron dove into the dumpster to (successfully) retrieve a lost fanny pack. The walk with Dick was again fun and entertainingly full of put-downs and put-ons. Looks like Jim is out of town until after our scheduled departure on Tuesday.

1 May, Friday: The flights from Hawaii finally concluded at Columbia on time, and we are so happy that Donna picked us up at the airport ASAP. Poor Smooch Smooch was exhausted by lack of restful sleep throughout the flights; so was Ron. We must apologize to Donna for our infectious exhaustion; she had to lay down for a nap. Dinner with everyone at Ruby Tuesday was fun. I can hardly wait to see Susan at Lizard's Thicket on Sunday.