September 2004 Archives

Awake 7:30 am Sunny Overnight: Andelfingen, Switzerland

The bed was very comfortable, the neighborhood was quiet, the temp OK, but
neither of us slept well....yes, that ole time zone thing again. I am out
of shape for time zone changes.
Mid morning we shower, use the computer, then eat a late breakfast.

About noon time, we wait for a phone call from Thomas, brother of Myrta.
He calls @ 1:00 pm to tell us the registration store has not called him
yet. You see, Myrta has asked us if we could ride the bikes over to the
Oscar farm to help carry the registered gifts into the house when the
store truck arrives. When Thomas does call, we do the bike ride(7 min) &
there are only( 2 )packages on the truck.....not a big deal. So our job is

So we take a longer bike ride along the river Thur & to the small town of
Altan....and almost to the very old town of Marthalen. Then I realize that
my biking partner might not be my biking partner much longer if I don't
start being easy on this 1st ride. So back to the Oscar farm we go.

I tell Oscar that we want to help do something in preparation for the BIG
party on Saturday there anything we can do? He mentions that
the barn floor needs sweeping...ok then. We man our respective brooms...&
the barn floor slowly doubles in size. It's a large barn with straw bails
on one side, hay bails on the opposite side, farm equipment in one corner,
fertilizer bags stacked in another. There is a lot of very fine dust on
this concrete floor, it takes 3 sweeps to get one spot clean. This barn
has large doors on each end & today there is a breeze so this helps in
keeping the dust moving in one direction. Enter Thomas, a young healthy
guy who is now taking over the farm from his dad Oscar. Thomas sweeps with
vigor & vim & surrounds poor Kathy in a cloud of dust. This was good that
Thomas was helping us but bad for Kathy. I would have changed areas but
you know Kathy, she's a tough city slicker & she's going to stick it matter what. Anyway we did a good job, the floor actually looks
clean & Oscar was happy we offered to help.
We ride our bikes back to the apt, dust ourselves off just in time to be
invited back to the Oscar farm for...tra da, another BBQ. Hip-hip.

This evening Thomas won't be with us & Rene will be late coming from work.
So instead of riding those bikes, Myrta insists that we walk to the farm &
use her bike to carry food on the bike carrier. Sure, that's fine. It's a
15 min walk & a nice evening.

Dinner: White wine with pork chops, fresh homegrown tomato salad & some
delicious nut bread. Then the wine color changes to red, the sun sets & we
move the tables closer to the fire. Rene finally arrives but he has
already eaten. He was shopping with the chef for meats, cheeses, wine,
etc, etc, for Saturday's party and needs help unloading his car. I
volunteer & WOW, there is a lot of food for this party. Just outside the
BIG barn, there is a portable freezer trailer where they have the beer,
wine, meat, etc, etc, stored for Saturday's use. I am anxious to attend
this kind of party.

Myrta rides her bike back to her apartment because she wants to fit into
her wedding dress......Rene gives Kathy & I a quick ride back.

Another great BBQ & another terrific day. Lights out: 11:15 pm

Awake: When breakfast is served. Overnight: somewhere over the Atlantic

Breakfast came too early. I slept well for at least 3 hrs & could have
easily slept longer. Now we are cruising @ 37,000 ft with lower clouds
below. After passing Paris our decent begins & our visibility increases.
So now the small towns & villages are visible and we are nearing our
destination. Looking out the window, every town & village is so neat &
organized with the fields wide & expansive for farming. Every acre of land
in these small countries are accounted for. It's a smooth touchdown @
Zurich(Kloten airport). Flt time from Atlanta to Zurich= 8 hrs 43 min.

Clearing customs & immigrations was quick with no problems. We walk out of
the secured area with Sara & our luggage and who do we see waiting
but....our longtime friend & soon to be a married lady, Myrta. I didn't
expect to see her here. I was instructed to call her upon arrival. Sara
introduces us to Dave, her hiking partner who was also waiting. We have
Myrta take a picture of us using Sara's camera but we mix up the
couples(Sara & I)(Kathy & Dave). We do this because Sara's Mother in
Cincinnati is very concerned about her daughter traveling around Europe
with this guy Dave who she doesn't know. She will send this picture to her
mother & tell her...I am Dave?
Myrta guides us to the train ticket booth, gives us the keys to her
apartment & she goes back to work @ Jet Aviation @ the airport.

Our train ride to the small town of Andelfingen, Switzerland takes less
than an hr including a track & train change @ Winterthur. In Andelfingen
it's only a five minute walk to Myrta's apartment & our hangout off & on
for the next 2 weeks. Her Apt is very clean, neat & organized with lots of
high tech gadgets. This place was a very large barn during the early days
and now converted into 2 very modern apts. We are tired from traveling so
we both take a much needed 2 hr nap.

About 6:00 pm Swiss time(10 hrs earlier then Alaska time), Myrta arrives
home from her work & informes us we are invited to her father's place for
a backyard BBQ. Rene, Myrta fianc`e, drives us to the farm in his company
car...about a 3 min trip. Now we join Oscar(Myrta's Father)& Son Thomas in
the backyard where the BBQ is already fired up with firewood. The evening
weather is great, about 74 degrees F & sunny. 1st we have some white wine
& snacks. Then we have some red wine with Dinner: Grilled pork chops,
bratwurst, sausage, cucumber salad & chips.

As the sun falls in the west, the temp falls in the back yard & we move
our tables & benches closer to the fire & continue with our munching &
visiting. It was a long day for us but a good day...and it's really nice
to hang out with these people again. Lights out: 11:00 pm

Awake 4:20 am Overnight Pittsburgh, Pa

We take the earliest shuttle that the Wyndham hotel offers @ 5:00 am for
our 5:50 am flt to Atlanta. Little thought is given to the 2 hr early
check-in that an International flight requires until we check in @ the
Delta ticket counter....then we say oops! The hotel shuttle ride was only
7 min but not nearly enough time left to do the International check-in
paper work to make this flight so the quick thinking Delta agent
recommends we simply take the 1st leg as a domestic trip & do the Int'l
check-in paperwork in ATL where we will have plenty of time. OK with us.
By the time we approached our gate, we could hear them paging: " Kirsch,
party of 2, check in immediately " and we did.

PIT to ATL=1.3 hrs. As we decended & approached ATL, a lot of rain,
turbulence & wind bounced the aircraft around which was obviously from
hurricane Frances, but those guys up front did a smooth job & the landing
was quite uneventful.

We have 10 hrs to kill inside this ATL complex. We get our checked baggage
from the carousel, pay 10.00 to store them & we walk around the unsecured
section of the terminal for exercise, do x-word puzzles, read the
newspaper, eat lunch @ Houlihans etc. 5 hrs later we pick up our bags
again & walk the underground route to our Int'l departure gate...about a
35 min walk not counting the time for security check.

Our Delta Flt*66 was not full & our priority status on standby using my
FDX benefits are the lowest( S-4 ). Kathy figures that no way are we
going to be upgraded to business elite if seating should become available.
I figure that we might have a chance because of Frances...many people may
have cancelled their 1st class trip due to the storm. Sure enough, we go
Business elite. This made the Atlantic crossing a lot more enjoyable for
sure. A young girl by name of Sara was assigned a seat next to Kathy but
traded her seat with me after she realized we were married. She will be
hiking & traveling on Eurorail in Europe for 2 months with (just a friend)

7:30 pm local EDT: Appetizer of Mixed nuts with a smolked breast of
Chicken & small salad with balsamic pecans. Then the real salad: Mesclun
salad mix & romaine lettuce with tomato, cucumber, radish & blue cheese
dressing + bread. Next came the entree: I had the grouper fish with pasta
& stir-fried veggies. Kathy had the Grilled Veal Chop & asparagus spears.
Next we had a cheese & fruit plate with wine. And after all of that: An
all natural Vanila Ice Cream Sunday with whipped cream & chopped nuts.
We have no complaints about this was terrific & filling.

We each have our own small screen TV monitor attached to our seat with
choices of movies, video games, word games, music, etc. Kathy chooses a
movie to start with, then switches to a hangman word game, then video golf
& then back to the movie & finally just music. I do the hangman word game,
a memory game then just music.

About an hr after our dinner, 3.5 hrs into the flight & at 35,000 ft, the
cabin lights are turned we both go with the flow, get our
blankets, power our foot rest into positîon, power the back of our seat
down & get some good zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz,s.

Lights out: Approx 10:00 pm EDT

Awake 6:50 am Temp 58 Some clouds Overnight @ Nicktown

This morning we are making final preparations to leave the motorhome sit
on our property for about a month while we travel to Europe.

I disconnect the septic hose & store it in it's tubing in the basement.
Disconnect the portable water filtering system & hose & store that in the
Position some more Bounce drier sheets in various places throughout the
basement areas.
Kathy stores cereal & other foods in the refer.

Call cousin Florentz, Sister Corinne & e-mail daughter Katrina.

Mid morning, my cousins Allen, Donna & their daughter Regina & Allen's
brother Leroy visit to say goodbye for a month. I also return Al's hedge
clippers that I fixed on a temporary basis.

We leave Nicktown @ 4:20 pm Route 553 to Penn Run, Route 219 to
Blairsville, Route 22 to Pittsburgh & Route 60 to the Wyndham hotel. About
80 miles. We like this hotel for their Park & Fly program plus it's only a
7 min ride to the PIT airport in the morning.

We ate a good lunch so our Dinner is: Complimentary mixed nuts with wine &
some raw veggies Kathy brought along.

Before going to bed, we call: Nick, Zack, Melissa & Kevin...& Jeri(our
house sitter). Lights out: 11:05 pm

Awake 7:00 am Temp 61 Clear sky

A beautiful day it is for the Annual Homecoming Nicktown picnic today.
Kathy & I walk to the church hall & get in the lunch line along with maybe
50 other people in front of us. This meal is very popular with the locals
& other people from miles around. 15 min later, my brother Don & Sister
Corinne join us for lunch. Once inside the building, the dinning room hums
with activity while tables are served, cleared off, reset & served again.
Lunch consists of: Homemade Noodles with mashed potatoes & gravy, chicken
pieces, cold slaw, string beans, carrots, peas, rolls & a selection of
yummy pie for desert. All foods are donated & labor is volunteered. It's a
real community effort. A total of 1842 meals were served over a 5 hr
period. I think that's a high average but not a record.

This picnic is really like a huge reunion. We see people we haven't seen
since last year or five or ten or longer yrs ago. It's a rendezvous time I
don't like to miss. My bro & I spend most of the afternoon walking around
talking with our ole buddies & others...then eventually head toward the
beer tent to quench that thirst. Kathy hangs out with Corinne & meets new
relatives & peers of ours.
Kathy & I leave the picnic @ 4:30 change clothes, drive down the road for
2 miles & attend the 90th birthday party of my buddy Charlie's Mom, Betty.
Betty is somewhat like my Aunt Clarissa, she keeps track of the younger
crowd, has a great sense of humor & enjoys lots of activity. Each of
Betty's children give a nice talk about their Mom & what a great supporter
& inspiration she has been for them over the years. It was very touching.
Then we eat a catered meal.
A lot of these people I don't know young lady I haven't seen for
over 40 years looks quite's Margie. My 1st serious
girlfriend that Charlie introduced to me in 1963. Kathy graciously allows
Margie & I over 30 min to talk alone & catch up on each others life. It's
always interesting to review & update your life but in this instance, it
was of special interest.
Back to the Nicktown picnic & the beer tent. Oops, a much younger crowd
hanging out there now. We know only a we don't hang around too
long. Besides, it's been a busy day. Lights out: 12:45 am

Awake 6:45 am Temp 61 Some clouds

Kathy does 3 laundry loads this morning.
We were told by another RV person that if you want to keep mice away from
your motorhome, 5th wheel, etc., when not occupied, try spreading Bounce
dryer sheets throughout the I do. I put em in lots of nooks &
crannies of the basement areas, in our drawers, under the bed, living
room, kitchen dinette, computer desk area, etc. This will be a good test
as we'll be away from our coach for nearly a month.

Get the suitcases out from the basement & start the packing process. For
this wedding in Switzerland, we've been asked to make up & wear special
name tags that represents knowing the wedding couple. So I spend time
drawing on a piece of cardboard using color pencils to do this. Late
evening I epoxy a fastêning pin.

We walk to 4:30 mass...very crowded. Where do all of these people come
from in this small town?
8:30 pm We visit our neighbor Chuck & some of his grown children @ the
campfire just 100 ft from our campsite. We haven't done enough of this
late evening sitting outside under the stars with a campfire kind of
thing. It's very relaxing & a nice way to get to know people better.

9:30 Dinner: BLT(using homegrown tomatoes) & home grown sweet corn.
Lights out: 12:25 am

Awake 6:46 am Temp 59 Some clouds

We walk to 9:30 am mass this morning. The Catholic school in town has
approximately 168 students. Today the higher grades are attending mass
also. Father Job talks well to these kids.
We pick up our mail sent by Jeri(our house sitter)in Anchorage. Among
other things, our Suzuki auto license renewel is included. I have an
outside waver for the car but I have to speak with a DMV person in
Anchorage to process the paperwork every 2 yrs. So I send an e-mail to the
DMV & request that special phone # for that department.

Kathy gives me a nice haircut outside under the awning. All that hair just
falling onto the ground...tsk, tsk!
@2:35 pm we leave to help my Sister Corinne set up her basement church
hall in Lilly for the " Cousins Reunion " tonight...stopping at the Radio
Shack in Ebensburgh to get replacement batteries for my little Wahl
soldering iron that my buddy Ray gave me some 20 yrs ago.
@ 4:30 pm we have the tables & chairs all set up, coffee brewing, napkins
& eating utensils ready...etc. By 6:00 pm...approx 30 cousins are talking
& mingling together. This is our 4th annual gathering of our 1st cousins.
Last yr there were 54 of us, so we're 14 less this time. The young people
are missing...our kids, Don's kids, Eric's family, etc.
The covered dish eats are delicious & the deserts as well. Again Ralph(83)
is our main entertainer & kept us in stitches with his funny stories,
limericks, jokes, mannerisms...then Florentz recites his " true to life "
poems that he writes...some by rote, others by memory. Both of these guys
exchanging jokes & stories had us laughing for over an hr.
Diana had her genealogy works in several albums & a computer running with
pictures for all to reminisce or study throughout the evening. It was
another super nice gathering for us 1st cousins to bond together & update
each other on our current lives.

@ 10:15 pm Kathy, Corinne & I do the final cleaning up of returning
chairs, tables in the hall & taking leftover food & supplies back to the
convent house where Corinne & 3 other Sisters live. We are back in our
coach by 11:45 pm. Lights out: 12:51 am

Awake 6:06 am Temp 56 Clear sky

Forgot to mention: Last night when we arrived @ our motorhome from my
Brother's place & shopping @ Wal-Mart, there on our outside lawn chair
were 2 bags...both containing freshly picked sweet corn & some more
tomatoes.... from my cousin Florentz. Nice!

We walk to 8:00 am mass this morning & join the coffee bunch afterward.

After breakfast I call Gary on his cell phone. You never know where
someone is when you call to a cell phone. Gary answers from Grand
Junction, Colorado. He should have answered from his home in Pahrump,
Nevada. We just found out that they sold their house in Pahrump 10 days
ago. We didn't know they were even thinking of doing that this yr. This
coming weekend they will be @ their son's wedding in Denver, Colorado,
after that celebration, they will drive to Youngstown, Ohio to visit
Rosemary's(his wife)sister. After that visit, they are coming to
Pennsylvania & visiting with another of Rosemary's sisters in Patton, Pa.
After that, it's back to Pahrump to close on their house September 30th.
We will miss seeing them. We were counting on them being around here for
at least a week after we return from Switzerland.

It's a casual day for us in the motorhome. Kathy makes an Italian veggie
bowl for tomorrow's cousin's reunion. I have a taste & approve of this
covered dish.

6:45 Dinner: Another BLT(using tomatoes from the gardens of cousin
Florentz & Charles) plus ( 2 )each corn on the cob & fresh salad. We have
to eat these tomatoes & corn up before we leave for Switzerland...and I'm
not complaining. These fresh veggies & fruit from the local people are

Evening time: Watch some more Republican Convention talk esp President
George W. Bush's speech. Lights out: 11:41 pm

Awake 5:20 am Temp 54 Clear sky

This morning we skip mass & just join our coffee group @ the community

@ 12:30 pm Cousins Bernie, Ethel & her daughter Sharon arrive. Kathy
gives the ladies a $ 5.00 tour of the inside of our motorhome while Bernie
& I sit outside on our lawn chairs & talk travel talk.

@ 2:00 pm We visit Herm & Rosemarie @ their farm house. Rosemarie gives us
a tour of their 125 yr home & some of the collectables handed down from
her Mother & Grandmother over the yrs. Her quilt making machine, things
from her china cabinet: Old fancy dishes, wine glasses, special plates,
etc. Someone offered $10,000.00 for their dinning room table and she said
" no way!" (7) generations have lived in this house to date. Herm &
Rosemary have 9 children, 42 grandchildren & 18 great grandchildren. This
family farm has been a mainstay in this community for as long as I've been
around. We tour the 2nd & 3rd floors which I have never seen before.
Quilts that Rosemarie has made & her Mother made...have taken numerous 1st
prizes at State Fairs around the county. Kathy was very impressed as was

Now Ralph(one of their boys) & a grandson have taken over the farm &
updated the milking parlor & other related operations. We watch the
milking process which is now mostly controlled by computers. 26 cows can
be milked at one time & the nozzles(for lack of a better name)
automatically disconnect when the milk flow drops down to a certain low
level. All 9 of their kids have done very well in their current careers &
now the grandchildren are following. It's an impressive family with a lot
of interesting local history.
@6:00 pm We meet with my brother Don, his wife Josie, & our Sister Corinne
at a restaurant in Ebensburgh called: " Off the Rack." Kathy & I split a
boneless rib sandwich. Corinne has a meeting to attend so she leaves

Then we follow Don & Josie to their home. They've been updating their
place this yr and some work in still in progress. The kitchen is finished
& looks much brighter & more functional. Their master bedroom bathroom has
been expanded & now has 2 sinks. The guest room bathroom is still being
upgraded with different cabinet drawers. The outside deck which Don &
Josie are doing themselves has been pressured washed & stained with new
boards replaced where necessary. They have a very comfortable home.

En route back to our coach, we do some grocery shopping @ the local
Wal-Mart. Lights out: 11:58 pm

Awake 5:05 am Temp 62 Partly sunny

Walk to church & attend 8:00 am mass. Today I count 30 people in church.
We join the coffee crowd afterward & continue catching up on the lives of
the local people.
After breakfast, Kathy walks down to the church hall & volunteers to help
make fudge for the upcoming picnic September 5th.
I set up our Dell computer using a local # to make the Internet
connection...then write a few e-mails & pay a few bills.
Allen(retired bank pres) brings his Black & Decker hedge clipper over for I spend some time mid afternoon repairing that. It had a
broken wire leading to one of the brushes.

Call Tommy @ the Newell factory about our backlighting for an upper panel
in the galley. The lighting is one of these days, I'll have to
take that panel off & replace that bulb.

Kathy & I sit outside in our camping chairs under the awning & have wine
before dinner. This is nice.....&..this is what retired campers should be
doing more often I say. The weather has been getting better with each day
we are here.

7:00 pm Dinner: Stuffed peppers(homegrown from neighbor Chuck) & fresh salad.
Call Melissa in Anchorage--they are doing fine. Kevin likes his full time
job @ the university. And...Matthew is walking by holding on to the side
of their couch.
We watch a little of the Republican Convention. Lights out: 11:02 pm

Awake 6:30 am Temp 68 Rain Overnight on our Pa property

We drive to church(1/5 mile) & attend 8:00 am mass. I count 25 people in
After church service, we pick up our mail @ the post office. Our Delta
tickets have arrived for our planned trip to Switzerland next month. Then
we join our ole coffee gang @ the new community center building...all 11
of us. The room is nice & the huge conference table donated is from the
old Spangler bank bldg where President Allen worked since high school. So
it has quite the history behind it.

After breakfast I buy a small sickle @ Krumenacker's Hardware in
town...for cutting weeds on our jungle property. Then I replace both water
filters in the pump house as they were the old filters from last yr. Then
clear the area around our #1 site's electrical, telephone connection &
water faucet...and the area leading to the septic pipe using the sickle.
Hook up our septic hose from the motorhome. So now, we have a full camping

@3:30, we walk to the new community center to check out the workout room.
The workout room itself is great but so far, there are only a few
machines installed. I do a light round of exercises...then Kathy & I take
a 30 min walk for more exercise.

6:15 Dinner: A real tasty BLT sandwich with homegrown tomatoes.

@ 7:30 Herm & Rosemarie arrive. We've been wanting to invite them for a
visit for over a yr now. Herm is 83...Rosemarie the same. Herm was a real
close buddy of my Father...and Rosemarie my Mom. We sit & talk for hrs &
have a few spirits throughout the evening. It was a delightful visit.
Lights out: 11:30 pm

Awake 7:06 am Temp 67 Sunny Overnight on our Nicktown, Pa property

After my morning coffee, I walk some of our 7 acres of land. I check the
stream of water flowing from our natural spring, then open the door of our
pump house which houses our well head...reconnect the filters, turn the
circuit breakers on from the main electrical box & run water for 10 min
directly from the well & by-passing the filters. Water looks clear. Then
hook up our portable filter system to the motorhome so now we will have
our own well water available again.
Kathy makes a sourdough pancake breakfast with bacon.

Shortly after breakfast, my 1st cousin Florentz & his nephew Bill from
Tennessee arrive for a visit...bringing some fresh homegrown tomatoes.
Kathy serves both of them some Australian wine. We talk for 40 min.

Kathy & I drive to Johnstown(25 min)..visit Home Depot & Lowe's. On our
return, we visit my Aunt Clarissa & one of her daughters, Andria. My Aunt
C. is now 96 and she is amazing. She is so interesting to talk with. We
discuss some local people that I didn't know so well before I left the
farm to attend college. ...then I ask her how she met & married one of my
Dad's brothers, Louie. Sooo interesting! When Andria found out we were
visiting, she went & bought some chicken, cold slaw & potato salad so we
could stay & have dinner with nice.
Later that evening, we call Zack in Lafayette. He is doing fine. Then we
call Nick in Seattle. He has returned from his 4th trip to Japan....and
the July 17th, 2005 wedding plans in Nagoya are going full speed ahead.
Lights out: 11:58 pm

Awake 5:25 am Temp 72 Low clouds Overnight @ Navarre, Ohio

Just after midnight, thunder rolled, lighting flashed & the heavy rain &
winds roared thru the campground. It was a fast moving front....then
Mother Nature brought us back to quiet & tranquillity once again.
Wow! In the daylight, this campground looks like a small city. Cars,
trucks, 5th wheelers, trailers & motorhomes everywhere. I think all 58
sites are occupied.
I hooked our Suzuki up last night in the event of rain so we are ready to
travel when we finish our coffee & breakfast.
Leave the Baylor Beach RV park @ 8:55 am. As we pull out, dark clouds are
forming to the West & I did hear the distant rumble of thunder.
Our route today: Route 62, Route 21, I-76, I-80, Route-60, Route-18 to New
Castle, Pa. We park @ a small strip mall taking up about 7 car spaces.

Kathy had phoned my niece Carleen & her husband Bob last night to see if
they would be home today & visit with a couple of gypsies...well, Carleen
had mommy's day off and Bob would be babysitting. This I would like to be
witness to. Their home is only a 15 min drive from this strip mall.
So we get to see how Daddy Bob handles the 2.5 yr old Liam & 10 month old
Bain. ...and he was a busy babysitter. Liam is in his terrific 2 stage &
Bain was busy crawling around looking for trouble. Both boys are really
neat kids.
After 2 hrs, we return to the strip mall & continue our travels. Taking
Route 422 to Belsano, Pa. then Route 271 to my hometown of Nicktown.
We arrive @ Nicktown @ 5:00 pm. Travel time today: 5 hrs 7 min. 218 miles.
Since leaving the onion storage building in Eastern Washington, we've
traveled a total of 2,711 miles. It's been a great trip.

Our circular drive has a jungle appearance as we drive in. The young
fellow I had arranged to spiff up our property, add more gravel to the
driveway with an upgraded leveling plan....didn't follow through. Anyway,
we hook up the electric & phone, change clothes & walk to 6:00 pm mass @
our St. Nicholas Church.
After mass, I call my brother Don, cousin Florentz, Sister Corinne, cousin
Bernie, the Foote family in Anchorage & our house sitters at our Anchorage
house. All is well.
9:00 pm Dinner: Pork Chops with broccoli, zucchini with yellow squash &
fresh salad. It feels good to be back home again. Lights out: 1:32 am

Awake 7:06 am Temp 71 Some clouds Overnight @ Navarre, Ohio

When we made reservations for this Baylor Beach campground, we were told
to anticipate a full house for the weekend starting Friday. Sure enough,
we have to move from our site 55 to 27, the far West side. Site 27 is a
pull thru with 50 amp service so it'll be fine.
We drive back into the Navarre town shortly after noon & call my Aunt
Aggie...she's ready for our visit. Then call my Uncle John to let him know
we'll be over to pick them up after our visit with my Aunt Aggie. Aunt A.
also has poor hearing & now walks with 2 canes. Her daughter Betty Ann
cares for her full time so that is a blessing in disguise. Most of our
conversation during this visit was with Betty Aunt Aggie was
either not feeling well or she couldn't hear us. She just wasn't very
responsive. During this time, my cousin Michelle calls & is arranging a
dinner rendezvous for all of us if Kathy & I are interested....Kathy
accepts. So we leave my Aunt Aggie & Betty Ann & we will see them in a few
hrs again.
Back to my Uncle John & Aunt Bertha's hangout. Uncle wants to show us
where his niece Lisa lives in Canton. It's of the classic English Tutor
architecture built in the early 1920's. Very impressive. She rents an
apartment in the complex.
We meet with Michelle & her husband Roger @ the restaurant " Grinder " in
Canton. They have with them my Aunt Aggie & Betty Ann. So it's 8 of us for
Dinner: Kathy & I do not split a meal but we do each enjoy a fish dinner.
The Grinder was an excellent choice. We say our goodbyes, drop my Uncle
John & Aunt Bertha off at their house & head back to our crowded
campground. En route we do some grocery shopping at Wal-Mart to stock up
our supplies.
Lights out: 12:02 am

Awake 6:00 am Temp 69 Light rain Overnight @ Navarre, Ohio

Kathy makes eggs, bacon & toast for breakfast. After breakfast, we drive
into the town of Navarre(about 5 miles from our campground of Baylor
Beach) where we finally get a good cell phone signal.
Call my Uncle John to check to see if a morning visit would be " OK. " My
uncle says: " No problem, come on over!" Then call Mark & Joan to see if
they will be open to having a couple of strangers visit them around 2:00
pm. And they say " yes."

It's about 10:40 am when we arrive @ my Uncle John's place. He greets us @
the door & hints to me that he's in trouble because he accepted this early
invitation for visitors & my Aunt Bertha is still in her night gown.....
Oops! " I'll take the blame " I tell him. So we sit in their living room &
talk for 15 min...then my 92 yr old Aunt Bertha appears looking good as
ever. She asks for help putting a new battery into her hearing aid--I
volunteer. We spend nearly 3.0 hrs chit-chatting with my aging relatives.
These two people have been working together to continue their independent
living without much burden on their kids who all live close by. My uncle
still enjoys woodworking at his age of 87. They listen to stories on tapes
from the library a lot because my Aunt's vision has deteriorated quite a
lot in the last few yrs. We plan on another rendezvous tomorrow & leave
about 1:20 pm.
Then We grab a quick lunch @ Wendy's & split a spinach & chicken salad.
It's very good.

Arrive @ the Mark & Joan estate @ 2:00 pm sharp. We sit outside on the
patio & yak for several hrs....then Joan invites us for dinner...& we
accept. Then we move inside.

While Joan cooks the dinner, Mark, Kathy & I continue our family updating
& Joan is within earshot to hear the conversation.

5:45 pm Dinner: Stuffed peppers(home grown) with mashed potatoes(home grown)
& Cucumbers(home grown) & homemade rolls. Ice cream for desert was store
bought. A delicious meal. We continue our yakking until 9:45 pm then back
to the motorhome. It was good spending some time with Mark & Joan again.
Lights out: 11:49 pm.

A 4:40 am Temp 69 Low clouds Overnight @ Lafayette, Indiana

We leave the A-OK campground @ 8:17 am. No morning rain so it was no
problem driving away from our site. Our route today:
I-65...I-70...I-77...Route- 250...Route-93 to Navarre, Ohio & the Baylor
Beach park.
A lot of heavy truck traffic most of today. Smooth roads however & a
cornering cross wind.
After 7 hrs & 16 min of driving time, 372 miles, 8.85 miles per gallon & 1
stop en route, we arrive @ Baylor Beach @ 3:37 pm. An overcast day made
the morning driving Eastbound much easier.

After check-in & parking, we walk the campground & park for exercise.
This place gets very busy when school is out during the summer & week-ends
in August. They have swimming, miniature golf, aqua-bikes, canoes, log
rolling, BIG water slides, tubes for rent, etc. It looks like it could be
a lot of fun & it's very close to Massillon where our Uncle & Aunts live.

7:30 Dinner: Leftover Tuna & Noodle casserole, beans with bacon bits +
cheese & fresh salad. Hmmm, no toast again.

We watch some local news & do a little reading before bedtime.
Lights out: 11:12 pm

A 5:54 am Temp 69 More clouds Overnight @ Lafayette, Indiana

Kathy does(2)loads of laundry & some ironing this morning.
Call Cyris in Pa. Lv msg of our ETA for Nicktown, Pa.
Call Baylor Beach RV park in Ohio. Change arrival date to Wednesday for
Call my Uncle Johnny & my Aunt Aggie in Ohio. Let them know the days we
plan to be near their neighborhood.
When Kathy paid Gina for the extra day of camping this morning, she
realized the forecast for the area was...rain. This gets our attention.
Last year during our stay in this same site, it rained all night. The next
morning we got stuck trying to leave. The ground was soft & what little
gravel there was on the parking site, it wasn't solid enough. We had to
detach the tow car, back up the motorhome & get a running start leaving a
trail of (4) tires digging & spinning in the sod. ...then hook up the tow
car again, all in a heavy downpour.

So we ask Gina if we can move (20) feet into another site now available
that is more level & would be much simpler to depart from. She has no
problem with that idea. So we bring in the slides, disconnect our lines &

We visit Zack around 2:00 pm after he was finished with classes for the
day. Since we haven't had lunch ourselves yet & Zack is hungry, I can't
help but suggest Scotty's Brewhouse again. Like the 1st time, we each have
a burger with a side order....this time however, water is best. After the
meal, we give Zack his belated Birthday gift. He was very appreciative.

While Kathy spends some time in Zack's studio, he & I go outside &
continue our discussion of extra expenses for this semester. I love Zack.
He's such a good guy & he has done so well @ Purdue. Our talk lasts for
about 20 min.

Zack invites KT & some of his other good friends over tonight to meet us &
us to meet them. KT arrives 1st...then Laura & Jeff...then Melanie & Tood.
Nice group of friends. Melanie & Tood will be giving Zack a headboard,
mattress, boxspring, linens, dresser & pots & pans later this week. They
have new bedroom furniture & kitchen ware as wedding gifts so Zack is the
lucky recipient of their generosity. Zack was an usher in their wedding in
Connecticut on August 14th. Since we have already eaten & Melanie & Tood
are hungry, Kathy & I say our goodbyes to Zack & KT & nice to meet yous to
M & T. En route back to our campground in the rain, we do more grocery
shopping @ Payless/Kroger.
It was very nice spending time with Zack. As time marches on, seeing our
kids will be a priority built into our future gypsy lifestyle.
Lights out: 10:28 pm

Awake 7:10 am Temp 65 Some clouds Overnight @ Lafayette, Indiana

Phone Baylor Beach campground in Navarre, Ohio & make reservations for
Tuesday & Wednesday of this week.

Visit Zack late morning. He helps set up my Dell computer to receive his
wireless station. At first I was receiving strong wireless signals from
someone else in this large apartment complex, but after some swift
clicking & holding his mouth right, he had it wired wireless.
Zack is still organizing much of his studio apt & his gracious Mommy
volunteers to help in the process. So they go shopping for a 5 tier shelf
to be used as a food pantry. Zack moved a lot of canned & boxed foods left
over from his McCormick place apt into this studio apt that has much less
storage area.
They bring back a metal/pressboard shelf unit(made in the USA)that they
both assembled in no time...then Zack had to leave for his STAT & CS class
from 1:30 to 3:20. During his absence, Kathy takes food out of boxes &
organizes the shelves according to food groups. She also organizes his
pots & pans plus other misc stuff. When Zack returns, he is impressed with
his Mommy's talent as am I.

We have about 2.5 hrs before Zack's next class @ 6:00 pm so we decide to
eat downstairs @ a fast food place by name of La Fiesta Express Burrito.
Kathy & I both eat a taco salad...Zack eats 1/2 of a steak dinner, the
rest he takes back to his refrigerator.

When Zack leaves for his next 3 hrs of History class, Kathy & I take a
walk for exercise over the bridge of the Walbash river into downtown
Lafayette, around the famous courthouse, then cross over the pedestrian
bridge & stop in at the Hilton Garden Inn to check on room availability
for Dec 19th, when Zack has his graduation from Purdue. During our walking
tour, Kathy convinces me to stay a day longer so that we can spend some
time with KT & meet some of Zack's good friends before we leave. It's a
thoughtful idea & I go for it. Then back to Zack's studio apt.

When Zack returns, he & I go outside & talk about the expenses incurred
for the extra semester that is necessary for him to graduate. We agree to
keep it a short talk this time & will talk more tomorrow. Back to our
coach @ 10:00 pm. Lights out: 12:13 pm

Awake 6:10 am Temp 57 Clear sky Overnight @ Cedar Rapids, South Dakota

Leave the Amana Colonies campground @ 9:10 am. Good roads & weather with a
slight cornering headwind as we head ESE on I-80...then East on I-74. We
make a fuel stop @ the Flying " J ) in Davenport, Iowa...& ( 2 ) other
stops. After 7 hrs & 365 miles, we pull into the A-OK campground in
Lafayette, Indiana @ 4:30 pm.
This is our 3rd visit to this place. It's not really BIG RIG friendly. Our
assigned site is a very narrow & slopping space. Same site as we had last
yr. It was a challenge then, and it's a challenge now. Luckily Kathy had
an extra set of eyes helping on both occasions....the fellow next to us.
It took some extra maneuvering & close watching but we did OK. The
campground is full so we are lucky to have made reservations & camp at a
spot nearby Zack's apartment & the Purdue campus.

Call Zack on his cell phone...then drive 15 min to his newly rented
apartment @ the River Market near the Purdue campus. Zack looks us a tour & we introduce ourselves to his ( 2 ) new kittens:
Simba & Cauley. Nice studio apt & cute cats. Because of his close
proximity to campus, he cannot be issued a parking pass to the he either walks or rides his bike to attend classes. It's
actually better then driving & trying to find a parking space &...a lot
quicker. A good location & a good choice Zack.

Zack drops off some dirty clothes @ the community laundry room en route to
our Dinner choice across the street: Scotty's Brewhouse. We each have a
drink & we each have a hamburger with a side order. Their hamburgers were
great & that side order choice made the meal filling. Definitely a
restaurant to come back to. We agree to meet tomorrow with Zack.

Kathy & I do some grocery shopping @ Payless/Kroger then back to the A-OK
campground. We are tired....again. Lights out: 12:20 am.

Awake 5:22 am Temp 49 Clear sky Overnight @ Cedar Rapids, Iowa

We arrive @ Tobi & Jim's condo shortly after 9:00. Their place is only a
15 min drive from our Amana campground. Tobi serves a fancy breakfast
called: Scotch woodcock. It's different & quite good.
We spend the remainder of the morning & some of the afternoon just
catching up on each other's life since we were together last.
Jim continues to do tax returns in his retirement in his condo. His
expertise & good nature has the business growing more each year. Now he's
talking of how to slow down the pace of this busy retirement lifestyle.
Both of them are getting more involved with their condo association which
is a relatively new neighborhood.

@ 3:00 pm., we eat that BIG slice of blackberry pie a la mode that was
offered to us last night. It was very, very good. I am glad we waited for
today though.

I mentioned to T & J that we are wanting to attend a church service this
afternoon before dinner and to our surprise, they responded that there is
a new Catholic church just built about a mile up the road. Perfect! Kathy
& I talk the walk & then walk the walk for 5:00 pm service @ Blessed John
XXIII. A nice day & we needed that exercise after yesterday's just sitting
around for hrs.
This church name: Blessed John XXIII is so named because John is not
recognized a saint yet. John has to be credited with so many miracles
before he moves from Blessed to Saint.

7:00 pm Dinner @ the CED REL Supper Club only 15 min away. Jim buys the
food, I buy the drinks. After the appetizer, Kathy & I split a tasty
filet, veggies & baked potato. The portions were of good size. Toby & Jim
both take doggy bags back to their condo.

It was a short but nice visit. We say our goodbyes & are back in the
campground by 10:15 pm. Kathy programs the GPS for Lafayette, Indiana &
the A-OK campground. This time I peek over her shoulder a little.
Lights out: 11:20 pm

A 5:20 am Temp 54 Clear sky Overnight @ Kadoka, South Dakota

After our coffee, cereal breakfast & retracting ( 2 ) slides we had
extended last night, we're on our way @ 7:10 am.
I drink less water today than usual so as not to make any extra pit stops.
633 miles....12 hrs & 1 min travel time & ( 3 ) quick stops later, we
arrive @ the Amana Colonies RV park in Cedar Rapids, South Dakota. It was
8:11 pm local time & nearly dusk when we finally parked in the campground.
En route Kathy had called our friends via cell phone to update our ETA for
mid evening...then she accepted an invitation for an evening rendezvous
for homemade blackberry pie alamode

After parking & freshening up a little, we look at each other & agree, we
don't want to do any more traveling today...the Suzuki is dirty & we are
both tired. Kathy makes a 3rd call to relay those feelings & then accepts
a breakfast invitation for 9:00 am tomorrow.

10:15 pm Dinner: Tuna & noodle casserole with white sharp cheddar cheese &
fresh salad. toast!

We watch a little of the olympics on TV. Lights out: 11:58 pm


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