Fleeting days of summer…

July, where hath thou gone?

Not sure why I wrote that sentence quite that way. Maybe I’m in a Shakespearian kind of mood at this writing. Then again, perhaps not. Regardless, it does make me pause when I realize that this summer is speeding way too fast.

IMG_1799.jpgSeems as though we were just in the midst of opening up the cottage and getting things pretty much settled and eagerly awaiting those wondrous lazy days of another season up there in Michigan on the magical waters.

Yes, friends and other guests arrived, and somehow the time slipped right on by without us really noticing. Pontoon boat cruises came and went and came and went again. We floated off the pier and out in the deep, delighting in the cool water, and the time crept right on past without us realizing.

Along the way, a few cold nights brought out the heater and an extra blanket on the bed–but only a few! Mornings on the porch welcomed the new day and the warming sun as it skirted around from the east and finally settled in and made us glad to be there once more.

And now the heart of summer has arrived and the shadows have begun to take on their different slants and angles—ever so slightly—as days wear on into night.

July is done. August sets in now with a robust sense of power and heat, bridging things between the early summer days and the new autumn that is yet to come. Thoughts begin to turn to closing things down for the season and putting it all away for another year.

It’s a bittersweet time starting now as we’ve decided that this will be our final summer to do any of this. Much thought and back-and-forth contemplation has gone into our decision. Renting the cottage year after year since summer 2000 has been wonderful, but new horizons beckon.

Travel and other off-the-beaten-path adventures await! An Alaska cruise a year from now and a journey to New Orleans and south Florida in February and March of 2017 are in the works. Cottage and lake life will not be part of things after this season.

And now that summer 2016 is wheeling right on by, we begin to sort things out in our minds to make the final month “up there” the best one yet. We will enjoy the remaining pontoon rides and the “soaks” in the lake and the splendid hours on the porch, watching it all go by. We will laugh and smile and enjoy the wonders surrounding our little summer place and make a few more memories before it’s all over.

Just don’t go by so quickly, summer…IMG_1808.jpg



Miles to go…

Been home from the lake for a week.

Mornings on our deck–coffee & reading

Doctor appointment, grandsons’ ballgames, yard work, and friends’ 50th wedding anniversary party necessitated our vacating the cottage last Wednesday. Within the last two weeks, we’ve logged many a mile traveling to the NASCAR race, and then the following day motoring on to Fairborn, Ohio, to attend Carolyn’s uncle’s funeral services. He was almost 93 and had lived a good life and everyone celebrated that fact.

After the meal that followed at the church, we made the four-hour drive back to the cottage in Michigan and quickly made ready for the drive home to Illinois the next day.

And now, all of the duties, etc., completed, it’s time to reverse the process and gather up the clean laundry, pack the suitcase and my MacBook, a cooler with “stuff” we bought at the store, and get it all in the back of my Equinox for the trip back to the lake sometime tomorrow. I say “sometime” because I’m expecting a visit from a technician for Frontier Communications (our Internet service provider) to check out why our Internet has been dropping out way too frequently lately. I would like to be here when he/she arrives, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an early arrival. But, it will be what it will be…

But wait, there’s more!

cms1209.pngOnce back at the cottage, we wont be there for long. It will be a quick turnaround, just long enough to unload and spend the night before taking off for Ohio for the weekend. My mom’s high school 70th reunion luncheon is Saturday afternoon in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, and a few weeks ago she strongly hinted that she’d love to attend but had no way to get there.

It didn’t take me long to see where she was going with this, and I figured I couldn’t let the opportunity pass to get her there! With nothing definite on our calendar for this coming weekend, I told her we’d enjoy driving her up there (about three hours or so) from Port Clinton. Obviously, there aren’t that many classmates remaining, but a couple of her best friends are, and she deserves to be there with them.

Anyway, I always enjoy going back there—my birthplace—so it will be a nice occasion. We’ll get her to the gathering and go explore the area as I remember all of my summer visits there as a kid. We’ll go out to the old farm that was my grandparents, and the place that inspired my short story “Pinewood Farm.”

A few hours will pass, and it will be time to pick Mom up and drive on back to Ohio, spend the night, and zip on back to Michigan on Sunday. We’ll be tired and ready to plop on the porch or the pier for a couple of days and realize all of the miles we’ve accumulated. At the same time, I’ll smile and know just how good each of those miles was.images-1.jpeg

Get me out of here! Einstein at the gas pump


One of my favorite things to do when I’m on the road (as I have been quite a lot lately), is to observe my fellow travelers at the rest areas/service plazas and wonder what kinds of thoughts are going through their minds as they make their way to wherever their destinations might be.

It’s usually a pretty interesting and harmless way to pass the time out there, but there are occasions when  I encounter some who simply make me wonder what makes them tick, or if they’re even thinking at all!

For instance, on my way back from taking my mom back to Ohio the other day, I was pulled up to the gas pump and watching the numbers spin seemingly on forever. At the same time, another large vehicle pulled up on the opposite side.

The driver’s door quickly opened, and out stepped a younger guy from that generation who wear their baseball caps backwards and have bad facial hair and in need of a visit to a barber and seem to always be in a hurry.

Point in case: Yanking the nozzle and hose from the pump and unscrewing the gas cap, he had also managed to somehow insert his credit card into the slot in one effortless motion. I was impressed–in a weird sort of way.

However, as soon as the gas was being dispensed, this frizzy-haired guy pulled out a pack of cigarettes and just as dexterously as he’d maneuvered the gas cap, hose, and credit card a moment before, he slid one from the pack and flicked his Bic lighter and lit up. I was no longer impressed!

I watched him take a long and satisfying drag from his cigarette, as he stood no more than two feet away from the whirring gas pump, staring at the standard posted sign that admonished one and all that there was no smoking allowed.  Then I imagined that night’s news with photos and on-the-scene video of what remained of the service plaza that had exploded earlier in the day on the Indiana Turnpike. Yikes!


My immediate thought was how I could get out of there quickly enough to avoid being blown to kingdom come, but, of course, my gas tank was pretty well near the empty mark, so there was still a ways to go before I could beat a hasty exit from this happy traveler.

Silently willing my gas pump to somehow speed up, I couldn’t believe that someone could be so careless and inconsiderate by smoking right then and there, totally ignoring the very common—and obvious—warning signage that smoking was prohibited! As I’ve felt on so many other occasions, some people just aren’t bright!


Fortunately, nothing tragic happened and I was out and away a short time after my initial discomfort from the not-too-bright guy puffing away and thinking he looked cool and hip with his cap on wrong and his unkempt goatee.

Looking back in my rearview mirror as I sped away to the ramp back onto the turnpike, I caught a glimpse of him continuing to stare vacuously at the pump, smoking away his road-weary blues. I hope he made it to wherever he was going, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t.



Ten minutes for my thoughts…

Today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.

OK, to get this new week off and running, I’m going to kick-start my writing by following the prompt above. It’s something I haven’t done in quite some time, and I feel the need to try it on this gray and still-wintry April morning.

Monday sunrise  from our deck, kicking off another busy week ahead.

The weekend, as usual, flew right on by, but it was still one that kept me busy. Following Friday’s visit to the doctor for a follow-up after my recent echo test, I relaxed and proceeded to get on with feeling OK about things—at least for now.

I find it very hard to focus or accomplish much writing when I have “stuff” on my mind—“stuff” such as doctor appointments! But, in the end, those kinds of worries never seem to turn out as bad as my mind led me to believe they would. Perhaps I need a shrink instead of a cardiologist!

Saturday morning was our men’s book club. We discussed a very interesting one titled How We Got to Now by Stephen Johnson. It was a rather easy one to read, as I managed to do so all within three days.

I particularly enjoyed the overall premise that when something is invented or devised, other things—totally unrelated—spring forth. For example, the Gutenberg Bible/printing press creating a need for glass and, eventually, reading glasses. It’s something the author described as “The Hummingbird Effect.”

Sunday was church and then a trip back to our former town for another book club, this time our friends’ couples group. The book there was H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald, and though we all read it, there wasn’t much enthusiasm for it.

What’s in store for this week?
Not looking very springlike off our back deck!

Plans for the next phases of yard work—removing the chicken wire and stakes from around the bushes, mowing, bringing up the deck furniture from the basement, edging and trimming, etc., are all on “hold” for the time being.

That is, at least until the weather warms up enough for us to be outside without heavy coats and mukluks. (Just kidding about the mukluks!)

This Thursday is our grandsons’ school Open House for Grandparents, so I’ll make my annal visit to their school and enjoy seeing their classrooms and meeting their teachers. It’s always fun to see them in another setting other than familiar hearth and home.

Our 4th grade grandson

Friday morning will find me leaving very early for Ohio for a quick visit to my mom’s and  my sister and her husband’s. I’ll be back sometime Sunday afternoon.

Our 2nd grade grandson

As the week wears on, I won’t have much time to keep up with my many blogging friends nor reply to their wonderful posts.

But I’ll do as much as time will permit, since I’ve decided that my writing time needs to be devoted to Sandbar’s Secret.

Right now, my ten minutes are up. This little exercise was good, and it’s amazing what one can write in ten minutes.

Have a good week, all!



Home again, home again…

When the odometer in our Chevy Equinox clicked over to 4,455 miles as we pulled into our driveway at 10:30 last night, I realized that it had been one heck of a road trip!

Carolyn and I before the game at American Airlines Center-Dallas

We wrapped up our fantastic vacation over the weekend with a Blackhawks vs. Stars NHL game Friday night.  Our Chicago Blackhawks didn’t seem very interested in playing and lost 5-2, but we all enjoyed the night, despite the outcome.

Saturday we all enjoyed an afternoon of good food and walking about the streets of the historic district of Fort Worth’s Stockyard Station. A delicious steak dinner  at Cattlemen’s Restaurant preceded our visit to the rodeo at the famous Cowtown Coliseum that evening.

By the time it all wrapped up around 10:00, we were worn out and ready to make our way back to our hotel in Dallas, about thirty minutes away—under normal circumstances!

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Calf roping in the Cowtown Coliseum

As is usual for us, though, we ran into all sorts of road construction, making the unfamiliar highways and byways all that more unfamiliar. Luckily, we managed to make it back OK and plopped into bed by 11:00 (actually midnight, with the time change).

Settling in to sleep was important, since our long drive home the next day would begin early. The rest of our group were to fly home later in the day on Sunday.

As it turned out, Carolyn and I pulled away from our hotel after breakfast shortly before 8 a.m. and enjoyed the light traffic flow on a sunny Sunday.

About an hour into our drive, we received a text from our son, saying that their flight to Chicago’s Midway Airport had been cancelled due to severe fog in the forecast. They were forced to remain for another day and night. As such, we would arrive home before them.

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A cattle drive–a fine way to wrap up a fabulous trip.

And so our homeward journey took us north from Dallas and into Oklahoma and then on into Missouri.

Once we crossed over the Mississippi River near the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, I felt as though we were home, even though we had a good four-and-a-half hours yet to drive. But there’s something comforting in being in familiar surroundings once again.

Upon arriving home in northern Illinois, we pulled into the garage, closed the door behind us, and left everything in the car, agreeing to unload in the morning. A quick check of the house showed that all things were “good,” so we wasted little time in scurrying into bed and for a most wonderful night’s sleep. The old bed never felt better!

Before I fell off to dreamland, however, I flashed quickly back over the past seventeen days and nights and realized just how special it all had been. We had travelled to so many places, and racked up so many miles, and found so many special things in every one of the places we visited. We couldn’t have asked for more.

Now that’s a good way to fall asleep!

Josh and Sarah and our grandsons Jack and Matt
Our group doing the Dallas tour!



The game was bad, but they looked good in pre-game skate!


Out of Florida & off to “Big D”

One Good Thing…

It’s time for the weekly  post of a feature I’ve chosen to title “One Good Thing.” Each weekend, I’ll post something about what has been good to—or for—me during the week.
The end of a long day calls for a cold drink!

As all things do, our time in Florida drew to a close on Monday, and we were on to the next stage of our marathon journey, logging many, many miles between Fort Myers and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Having our comfortable hotel ready and waiting upon our arrival made for a relaxing evening.

We were up and out the following morning, en route to Dallas, Texas, where we would spend the rest of the week. The drive up through a great portion of Louisiana to Shreveport took us through large stretches of open land. The sunny weather we’d grown accustomed to all week in Florida had changed to gray and overcast for our travel. It would turn very angry later on as we entered East Texas.

A couple of heavy downpours, with solid sheets of rain and wind, forced me to pull over on the interstate to wait for it to lessen and clear up enough so I could see where I was going. At last, we drove out of it the closer to Dallas we were, and the sun actually made an appearance to welcome us to the area.

As always, we had our little friend, the Garmin, working wonderfully to get us to places with which we were quite unfamiliar. The only glitch was when she instructed us to take a certain ramp in the heart of Dallas that was no longer available due to massive road construction. Fortunately, we found a quick alternate route that took us exactly to where we needed to be.

Once more, we found our hotel reservation to be all in order and we couldn’t have been happier with the location to all that we had planned for the days ahead. The first-floor room was comfy and well maintained.

Now we were ready for our son and his family to join us, flying in from Chicago on Thursday evening. We would all be going to the Chicago Blackhawks hockey game against the Dallas Stars Friday night.

Waiting for our Hawks to take the ice in Dallas.

But first there was an important tour to take. We made the short drive into Dallas and went to the historic site of the JFK assassination and hopped aboard a trolley for a one-hour, fully narrated tour of the events of the tragic day in Dallas.

Our driver, Mike, was outstanding and made everything about the trip interesting, and he clarified much of what I’d only ever read or heard. Being there at the actual site, driving the route of Kennedy’s last motorcade on that sad day in 1963, when I was an 8th grader, was quite stark and surreal. I could almost feel myself back on that November day, when life as we knew it changed forever. (More on this in a future post)

Oswald’s view on November 22, 1963

After Mike’s tour brought us back to where it had begun in Dealy Plaza, we headed to the JFK 6th Floor Museum in what was the infamous Texas Book Depository. We enjoyed the audio self-guided tour of the exhibits, full of vital information about the whole event, culminating with a visit to the actual sniper’s nest Oswald had created in the corner of the 6th floor. I must say, it was very moving to be exactly where the greatest crime in American /World history took place!

To say that the whole tour was sobering, would be an understatement. By afternoon, we were ready to head back out in the direction of our hotel where we could find a nice place for lunch and to make plans for our remaining time in Dallas.

The museum in the Texas Book Depository

Once our son and wife and grandkids arrived, there were many laughs and fun times. Our trip wound down, and they would be flying back on Sunday, well after Carolyn and I would be pulling away for the long thirteen-hour drive back to northern Illinois.

Some final thoughts on this marvelous trip will be the subject of my next post once I’m back on home turf.

Until next time, that’s one good thing…


On the road…(pt.1)

On the beach

Last week I wrote about our plans for driving to Florida and then on to Dallas. And I’m happy to report that it has been a wonderful start to all of that.

Leaving last Friday morning, we had a terrific drive to Nashville, stopping by Metropolis, Illinois, enroute, for a quick view of the famed statue of Superman.

Metropolis’s claim to fame

Despite very heavy traffic–thanks to Friday rush hour and various road construction–we arrived safe and sound to our hotel right next to the Nashville Airport and were quite pleased with our accommodations.

Nothing like a good cup of hot coffee to soothe the rankled nerves after an eight-hour drive!

Carolyn ready to tour the Carnton House.

Saturday we were up and out early to drive down to Carnton Plantation in nearby Franklin, Tennessee. For anyone who has read Widow of the South, that’s where it all took place.

It was quite impressive, to say the least, and the weather couldn’t have been any better!

That evening, we took in the Grand Ole Opry, something we had enjoyed doing three or four times many years ago. Not only was it relaxing and lots of fun, but it reinforced my belief in the importance of traditions.

Ready for the Opry!

And whether or not one is a country music fan (I am), there is no doubt that what the Grand Ole Opry represents is a mighty strong tradition that should be around forever.

On the road once more Sunday morning, we pointed the Chevy Equinox southeast and set off for Saint Augustine, Florida.

As usually happens, though, we were slowed up in the traffic congestion of Atlanta. Patience and a calm attitude were in order, and we finally made it out of that mess without being delayed too much.

IMG_1441.jpgSaint Augustine, Florida, offered us better weather than we could have dreamed of. We spent most of the day riding along on the Red Train Tour, one of those hop on-hop off deals.

Not only did we re-learn the historic significance of the oldest city, but we met some very nice people along the way.

Leisurely strolling through the many streets that are chock full of shops of just about every genre, we found the time passed pleasantly and it was a most delightful day.

A canopy of live oaks and Spanish moss near the Fountain of Youth


Vilano Beach

After we’d had enough of it all by 4:30, we were ready to get in our car and leave the historic Old Town behind and drive over the big bridge out to Vilano Beach and get up close and personal with the Atlantic.

Then, it was a short drive north on A1A for a delicious seafood dinner at an oceanside restaurant called the Reef.

Without a doubt, it offered great food, wonderful ambiance, and a fantastic ocean view well worth the visit.

We wrapped up our first day in Florida with a quick drive over the Bridge of Lions and out to the famous lighthouse.

We were just in time as twilight held off long enough for us to snap a picture of the old structure that’s been standing there since 1857.

By that time, we were ready to call it a day and head back to our hotel and relax and think about the next leg of the trip: a short drive down to Titusville to spend the next night with friends where we used to live.

To be continued…







Road trip…half the fun is getting there!

This time of year has always been special for me. The hardest part of winter is behind us—usually—and thoughts begin to turn to spring and all of the good times that will follow.

Suddenly, I’m struck by the urge to “drive south,” as I did annually for countless years as a rite of spring. Older and wiser (?) now, I still get that restless feeling, as though Florida’s spell once again persists in tugging me to her.

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
-Ernest Hemingway

And so, unable to resist the siren call again, this coming Friday morning, we’ll be setting images-2.jpegoff early for points south, our ultimate destination being Dallas, Texas–via Florida.

Unlike the “young and foolish” days, when we’d drive straight through to Florida for spring break, we’ll be breaking this year’s sojourn into smaller segments.

We’ll spend Friday and Saturday night in Nashville, a place we’ve visited a few times before and passed through enroute to Florida numerous times.

Since we have the extra time there on Saturday, we plan to make the short drive to Carnton Plantation and the historic site where the Battle of Franklin was waged during the Civil War.

After that, we’ll visit the Grand Ole Opry and see the show that evening. We attended several years ago and had a great time and are looking forward to the fun of attending this year.

It will be an early wakeup on Sunday morning as we’ll hit the road to Saint Augustine, Florida. There will be good, long walks and leisurely browsing and nosing about through the historic sites on Monday. Without a doubt, we’ll be making a concerted effort to lose the lily-white winter complexions, too!

Tuesday’s drive will be much shorter, since we’re only going down as far as Titusville, near the Space Center. We’ll hook up with good friends, Richard and Sandy, who live there, and enjoy dinner out and spending the night at their home.

images-3.jpegIt will be good to return to our old neighborhood with them for a brief time and reminisce about the year I taught at Astronaut High School before moving back to Illinois following the Challenger disaster.

After what will no doubt be a quick evening, we’ll bid our good friends farewell on Wednesday morning and set sail once more to Naples, over on the other side of the state. There, we’ll meet up with another couple who have recently moved from Illinois and have graciously invited us to spend the night at their new place.

Naples is a place neither of us has been before, so this part of the adventure will be new and exciting. We told our friends we’re not expecting to be “entertained,” only a quick orientation of the area, with a nice walk followed by plenty of poolside sitting!

Our next port of call on Thursday will be a short jaunt to Fort Meyers where we’ll spend the weekend with our daughter Laura. It’s a long and involved story as to the “how” and “why” she lives in Fort Meyers, so I won’t get in to any of that. But we’re eager to see her and to learn the lay of the land of another place we’ve not been previously.

Our plans are to stay at her apartment through Sunday before pointing the Chevy Equinox northwest for a very long day’s drive to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

On this next leg of our grand tour, we’ll eventually meet up with our son’s family who will be flying in to Dallas on Thursday.

Why Dallas?

Here’s the scoop. For the past few years our son and his wife and our two grandsons have gone to see our favorite hockey team, the Chicago Blackhawks, play at an out-of-town venue.

This year they chose Dallas. Thus, this past Christmas, Santa left game tickets for us all for the Friday, March 11 game there in “Big D.”

Carolyn and I had the crazy idea that we could tie a Florida trip in with the Dallas one, and so our winter travel plans were formed!

After Carolyn and I depart Baton Rouge, we’ll arrive in Dallas a few days ahead of the rest of the folks, and we plan to tour the Kennedy assassination sites and maybe meet some other friends from the Dallas area for lunch.

There will be plenty of time to spend with the grandsons on Saturday before they have to fly home to Illinois, and we have to pack the car again for our drive home as well. It will be fun beyond belief, I’m certain.

On paper this all looks like a piece of cake. Of course, the reality of the many miles between here and there is something else altogether. Nevertheless, I’m eagerly looking forward to getting the whole thing started this Friday morning and clicking off those abundant miles. It’s a good thing I enjoy driving.

Like Hemingway,  I always remind anyone traveling with me, that half the fun is getting there. 

Let the journey begin!Unknown-1.jpeg



Spring travels and microfilm searches…

AldenI write this, nestled in the microfilm section for local newspapers, in the lower level of the Alden Library here on the beautiful campus of Ohio University. I’m all alone, except for my wife, who is somewhere on the other side of the room, reeling rolls of microfilm of issues from the late 1900s, searching for obituaries of long-dead relatives.

I have been busily trying to get a decent connection for Internet access, but being an outsider without the proper OU ID card, I’ve not been able to do so, although I have connected to the GUEST WI-FI, but that still isn’t allowing me to “get out” and access anything on the Internet. That’s OK, but what scared me was the error message I kept getting regarding my Scrivener license. After several attempts to “fix” the issue, I had to force quit the program and figured I would take care of things once I returned to our hotel room later today, where normal access wouldn’t be a problem.

And then I had a brain storm! I wondered what would happen if I quit the access I had to the WI-FI (which was doing me no good anyway) and then tried to launch my Scrivener files: Blog posts and novel WIP (Birchwood’s Secret). Once I quit WI-Fi and then launched my Scrivener blog project, everything worked normally. And so I’m able to write this now, while Carolyn digs into the past and spins microfilm merrily along, in the comfortable surroundings. It’s quiet and very conducive for getting this put together.

Now, why are we in the lower-level of the Alden Library at Ohio University? A couple of years ago, we visited this very area to do research and locate old cemeteries where my wife’s grandfather’s brothers and various cousins and aunts and uncles were laid to rest long ago. And  though that first visit proved rewarding, it still left my wife missing many pieces of genealogical information for that part of her family history. There were a few old, out-of-the-way cemeteries we’d not been able to locate on our first visit to Athens County. Thus, we decided we’d need to return in the future to see if she could close all of the loose ends and gaps of missing ancestral data.

And that’s why I write this from Ohio University. She searches; I write. I look back over our trip thus far and realize that it’s been a good one so far. We left our home in northern Illinois just about this time one week ago, getting a later start in the morning because we both were battling colds and flu-like symptoms.

Our first port of call was her brother’s in Waynesville, North Carolina, where we planned to spend the weekend before heading on east to meet one of my “genealogical” cousins Carolyn had “found” in her Ancestry.com efforts.

Official seal of Waynesville, North Carolina
Official seal of Waynesville, North Carolina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spring had just arrived in that part of the mountains, and the next day was full of beautiful colors of the dogwoods, flowering crab trees, and a whole cavalcade of others. The warmth of the sun made for a pleasant day spent out on their large wrap-around deck. It was a great day to recover from our long journey the day before, after arriving right around midnight. Sunday was more of the same, with plenty of reading outside and sneaking a peek at the Masters golf tournament in late afternoon.

Monday found us on the road through the rain, up and down over steep mountains, on I-40, en route to Statesville. After communicating with Carolyn, my cousin had found a nice restaurant in a town that would be a half-way point for us to rendezvous, have lunch, and get to know one another. Statesville was the perfect place, and the four of us had a delightful time chatting, eating, and carrying on as though we’d known each other for a long time.

By and by, we bid them farewell and soon were headed north on I-77 with Beckley, West Virginia, as our destination for the remainder of the day. And I was looking forward to getting back there and staying in the same hotel where I had a couple of Octobers previously for the Rocket Boys’ Festival.

The beautiful countryside was made even more so as we’d managed to leave the rain behind and now had the afternoon sun to make all things bright and colorful. Our plan now was to have a restful evening before continuing on into a part of West Virginia neither of us had ever been before: Elkins–A town where my first cousin, Roger and his wife Jeannie, live.  We planned to visit some very beautiful spots in the area, including Blackwater Falls State Park. But now, it was time to call it a day, get some sleep, and get up early and on the road for the next part of our adventure the next day.images-1

We’ve turned the corner…

Hello, all. Time for only a quick post to wish everyone a “happy spring.” I’m happy to report that there is no more snow around here, and we have truly worked ourselves out of the throes of winter’s relentless grip. The robins have been bouncing and flitting about for the past week, and they are a wonderful sight, indeed! images-1

I will be off for a “Mom visit” to Ohio tomorrow through Tuesday, and it should be pleasant driving. I always look forward to the drive out of Illinois, across the top of Indiana, and on to the northern coast of Ohio. This time of year, things are just beginning to spring to life once more after being buried under winter’s heavy blanket these past months. images-2

And speaking of travel, our next little sojourn is going to be in a couple of weeks when we’ll head down to the mountains of Waynesville, North Carolina, for a few days, then up to Elkins, West Virginia, to see a cousin, and then back to Athens County, Ohio, for a return genealogy “exploration” where we spent a few days snooping about a couple of years ago.

Lots of miles, but fun miles!

Now, without further delay, I’m off now to pack and to get the car washed and gassed up for tomorrow’s trek to Port Clinton, Ohio. Enjoy your weekend wherever you are! 🙂