29Sept, Sat: Cynthia had a lovely walk around the small lake blowing kisses across the water. Bet the guy walking on the other side was very excited. I would have been, too, if it had been me! Maybe she needs glasses?
Arrived in Terre Haute, Indiana about 8:30 PM having forgotten about the time change. A quick dinner at the hotel and a spin through the U of Indiana when C needed to use the restroom. Amazingly, a door was open with a restroom conviently located. At 9:30 PM??? No one around??? Saturday Night Fever got the best of us cause we saw recycling in the bldg and raced back to the car to grab ours. Turns out that was the only door open on the campus... By accident.
28 Sept. Fri: OFallon, Illinois. Cynthia slept the clock 'round; good news. She is missing sleep after the Lumbar Epidural Steroid injections a week ago tednesday. Hiking and walking are good friends, but sitting is not good, riding takes a toll. Do you have an extra kidney to spare? Our dear friend Beverly Beane is in need of transplant. If you have type O blood, under sixty and in good health, please comment on this blog with your email address. Good news for Cynthia's daughter-in-law's bag business: Texas Monthly featured a bag and a full article will be in an upcoming Southern Living magazine. Cheryl designs and sews unique SW purses/bags out of fine leathers on the antique sewing machines once used by her great grandparents to make Sealy mattresses in Sealy, Texas. http://stashstudios.typepad.com/stash_studios/shop/
27 Sept, Thurs: Visit with Don and Ann Stallcop who are doing mighty well. We were zonked out at seven PM.
26 Sept., Wed: Early dinner with Sistah Carol and her brood at Denny's in Edwardsville. Erika is a very bright 7th grader, honors classes, and a budding actress. Kyle, too, is a gifted student. Too much fun finding mind-challenging birthday gifts. Chelsea, big-sister, is now a working woman with CASH to buy the younger ones gifts! Denise teaches at a day care in Edwardsville. Sistah Carol is very involved with the Illinois State Forestry Department as well as the care and feeding of Little Carol Ann (our precocious three year old daughter). Nephew Eric is a numismatist and hunter.
|Erika, Denise, Kyle, Chelsea|
|Eric, Carol, Ron|
|Ferry across the Illinois River|
25 Sept, Tues: The scenic roads take twice as long but are a million times more pleasant. Pictures will suffice for now since time is of the essence. We arrived in Keosauqua right after dinner time at the retirement home. Aunt Eleanor asked about the neck ribbon, "Was that for the olympics? " Ron replied, "Yes!" To which this witty woman asked, "Which kind, Special Olympics?" She got a good belly laugh when he explained, "I came in dead last, but I got a medal for second place! The medal was awarded to me for coming in second place in the over fifty age group/ There were only two males over fifty." She is a hoot: "I attended my 75th HS class reunion... one of two attending, "Two others could not make it." Departing about 3 PM for Illinois, nice ride along the Great River Road, Mississippi River and the Illinois River with ferry across it.
|Aunt Eleanor Beatty Strait|
|Iowa's Energy Answer: Windmill Producing Corn|
|Camblin Cousin Sandy H. and Family in West Des Moines, Iowa|
16 Sept, Sun: Glorious day in Minnesota. Early breakfast, early morning packing before a late AM visit with Kurt K., former boss at SIU Edwardsville who retired "home" to MN. Kurt was delighted to give us a tour of his new home north of the twin cities. The tour of the lower floor included a stage center seat in front of a home theatre with humongous stereo speakers; the volume control was designed and built by Kurt. Listening to the sound of the Berlin Philharmonic in that setting was an awesome experience. Turkey dinner/lunch at a local eatery was a treat before we were ON THE ROAD AGAIN!!! 4.5 hours straight shot to DesMoines to dine with cousin Sandy H. at BoneFish Grill and a delightful night sleep at the Hilton Garden Inn.
|Cynthia, Jen and Jeanne|
15 Sept, Sat: Cynthia racked up time and miles on the treadmill before Hikity Hikety Hikity Hikety for an hour on the marshland trail. We planned the trip time to Kincaid's Restaurant in St. Paul, MN fine; but construction had traffic backed up; a parking spot was found but a couple of blocks away but the meter did not want to take a ten pound note (UK)! Quarter, please! It was close to five so Ron waited out the time until the parking was free. Time to meet Cynthia's cousins: Jeanne and daughters, Jen and Diane, their spouses and one child each, cousin Jackie K with her spouse Jerry. Food was marvelous but conversing was challenging without playing musical chairs.
|Hiking near Edina, MN Campus|
14 Sept, Fri: Late breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn, one hour walk on marshland trail and on to sister-in-law Carolyn's house for a hot game of Merchant of Venus. Mr. Merchant Man won control of the universe wiping out his beloved Weefee and Carolyn. She (Carolyn) is doing marvelously wonderful things with her life: she is in the fourth year of studying homeopathy and started a two year program to become a spiritual director. ATTA GIRL! Cynthia and Carolyn conversed endlessly about spiritual direction since Cynthia is has a doctorate in SD. She had a Sabbath House for pastors on her Texas ranch where she served as SD to clergy for many years. We enjoyed a marvelous meal at Ruby Tuesday's before returning home so Mr. MerRonChant could cash in his winnings.
|Carolyn and Mr. Merchant of Venus|
|Trail Maintenance in MN|
13 Sept, Thurs: Cynthia packed most of her stuff before bed last night. That is too easy, isn't it? We went to bed... woke up at 12:30 AM... and could not go back to sleep because there were all of those diet coke cans to be washed in preparation for recycling, right????? And all of the stuff in the room had to go to the car for an early morning departure, right?????? So... when most of the stuff got to the car IN THE RAIN, in the middle of the night, the car would not lock. Mrs. Efficiency had packed her electronic car key in her jeans pocket. Mr. Efficiency, who packed the car IN THE RAIN in the middle of the night, was now too exhausted to pull the suitcase out of the car in order to retrieve the key leaving the car unlocked through the night. With such incredible excitement we were unable to fall asleep until after four AM. Good planning, right?????? By six AM the suitcase and culprit key were back in the room. Sleepyheads, we arrived in Edina, MN about 2:30 PM with an hour to spare for Cynthia's routine lab tests. She who had not eaten quickly found a Ruby Tuesday's in ... the best to date. Very good service, attentive manager. Nice trail for hiking near by some marshlands. We went to sleep very early.
|Marshlands near Edina, MN|
12 Sept, Wed: it rained. We drove to Osage for a day in the courthouse and library not getting back to our hotel until late.
11 Sept, Tues: I forgot what we did today - except we walked taking more time than yesterday's walk.
10 Sept. Monday; We are walking Saturday's run route trying to improve our time; today we did the 5K in 47 minutes. Spent some time in the local courthouse and library. Marvelous meal with Cynthia's friends Annie and Dave, Ann and Dale in rural Northwood. Deer played on the grass outside the house. We could not turn down the bag of fat free breads they sent home with us.
9 Sept, Sun: Waseca, MN for the Rendevous - a pioneer re-enactment at Farm America. Pictures will be posted when Cynthia has time to insert them. Ann and Dale treated us to dinner at their Iowa farmhouse. She is an outstanding cook. They have a painting hanging in their living room walls that Cynthia did many years ago.
|Ron, Dave and Pam (Rambo)|
|Cynthia's class responds to rival athletic teams|
|Ron at Cynthia's class reunion.|
8 Sept, Sat: Late arriving at the fairgrounds we could not help being the last ones out of the starting gate for the 5K run/walk. We came in last, too, because Cynthia and Ann discussed every house: who lived there and who moved where, what happened to whomever. Our photos should be in the newspaper considering how photogenic we looked crossing the finish line. Amazingly, Ron came in second place for the two males over fifty. Cynthia's HS class put together a movie utilizing the yearbook; they had rave reviews when it was shown at the local movie theatre. Founders Day weekend in the community was much fun! What fun to meet Jane!!! (Cynthia's friend from Kensett, Iowa.) The band played irresistible rock and roll music and we rocked out on the streets amusing the locals. It was mighty difficult to leave the music and clean up in the monkey suit for dinner. AUUUGGHHH!
7 Sept, Fri:, What a day! We toured the last hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Mason City, marveled at Music Man Square in Mason City with Cynthia's "from the womb" friend Ann followed by a gourmet heart healthy meal near by. We did not have enough time to see everything and must return. BUT, we had to be back in Northwood for the important football game in the important new stadium with the important down-sized football team. It was a good game, the hometown won, the class gathered together (those that were home for the reunion) providing lots of cheering. Other friends brought a feast to the hotel hospitality suite for food before and after the game.
|Greetings by Charlie Chaplin at Music Man Square, Mason City, IA|
|Mr. and Mrs. Music Man|
|Ron, Dale and Ann at Football Game in Northwood|
6 Sept, Thurs: Cynthia had research to do in the Mitchell County Library and courthouse. Dinner at Ruby Tuesday's with Cynthia's niece Pam who has serious health problems. Dessert with delightful Mechem cousins in Mason City proved so delightful it was nearly midnight by the time we got to sleep.
5 Sept, Wed: Breakfast at Sue's Corner Cafe was fine. They did not have the veggies for our omelets so we purchased them at the local market and Sue did a nice job of feeding us. The day flew by with countless activities and projects. How fun that Dave and Pam Rambo drove to Northwood to have dinner with us at the Casino. They are preparing for a Re-enactment this coming Sunday in Minnesota so Dave was sporting a pioneer's beard.
|Ron, Pam and Dave (Rambo) in Northwood, IA|
4 Sept. Tues: Arrived in northern Iowa in the evening - lined up dinners with delightfulMechem cousins, Rambo cousin and took the scenic tour of Cynthia's hometown.
3 Sept, Mon: Cousin Perry and his lovely wife Sharon met us for breakfast at Perkins. He is a master train builder - very interesting couple - fun to visit. It was very difficult to tear ourselves away but we had to make that concert in Tama, Iowa which was delayed by an hour due to the forecast of rain. The group Night Ranger did an awesome lead in to Boston. But one sound out of Boston and the comparison ends. WOW. They sounded fabulous. Will post photos another day. Cynthia bought some shirts for a grandson, made some movies with her cello phone and took several photos that she sent to him.
|Tom and his band Boston|
Someone needs to make a YouTube presentation of the interior of a casino. No wonder the outside has all of the RV;s. The clientele is filled with elderly retirees, several on oxygen yet smoking cigarettes and in wheelchairs. Only the staff was under sixty.
2 Sept, Sun: Anyone heard of hiking Iowa??? We did find a trail along the Cedar River. Cynthia has a sore foot from rock climbing yesterday. After three hours of "hiking" we drove to Tama, Iowa surprised to discover that the casino and reservation had NO highway signage until arrival. Good thing we made that trial run because the concert is at two PM and not eight PM tomorrow. Interesting reading about the history of the Fox and Sauk (Sac) tribes.
1 Sept. Sat: Long Lake, WI - terrific country club with restaurant, lakeside dining and lot os children at play. Having re-entered adolescence after finishing maturity we joined them. Arrived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa by nightfall.
|Ron - 25 feet and climbing|
|Cynthia: zooma sooma!|