We are FAMILY!

Well, we’re settled back next to our building in Kansas and we’re enjoying cool weather. We’ve said all this past year that we’re chasing a 70 degree to 90 degree temperature and we’ve only seen a few days that were outside that, so I guess our first year of retirement has been a success.

On the way back from Cody we experienced something we haven’t done much, caravaning with other Eagles. It was fun to look ahead and see two more of the same, buses owned by Art and Cindy Wales and Wayne and Lin Schell, as we came through the Wind River Canyon in Wyoming.

We stopped in the lovely little city park in Douglas, WY with them and parted ways on Sunday morning as they were headed into Colorado and we went into Nebraska. It felt good to be back in Central Daylight time zone again, although Wayne suggested that we only had a couple of hours of “good time” left once we left Douglas. Spoken like a genuine Colorado resident!

Monday afternoon we dropped into the city park in Weeping Water, NE where my sister Florence Marie lives. They have a beautiful little park on a lake with RV sites including electricity. We’ll probably stay there again. Tuesday my sister Mary Jo and her husband Ray from Manhattan, KS came to visit along with our cousin Nadine Keith from Council Bluffs, IA. I can’t remember the last time all 4 of us were together!

Ray was raised in the Alton, KS area along with us, so his remembrances added to the day as well.

And of course LeRoy added to the day!

Nebraska is one state we haven’t visited often, even though we lived just a state away for all my growing up years and most of our married life. Last winter in Arizona, we met Ron and Carol Young from Beatrice, NE and since Beatrice is close to Weeping Water, we had made arrangements to visit them before we headed on to Kansas.

Ron was proud to show us his part of the state and had several things on our travel agenda while we were there. He had been an owner of a bakery before retirement, so he took us for a tour. We had sampled their fruitcake in Tucson and whatever your preconceived notion of fruitcake, their Grandma’s recipe is delicious with all the good things you expect in fruitcake and none of the bad ones. When we toured, we got to see the whole process of baking their dessert cakes, but they weren’t baking Grandma’s recipe fruitcake that day. No matter what the recipe, it all starts in this enormous mixer!

The ingredients are measured out into buckets for the next day’s production so that they can just be dumped in and mixed. Since liquor is a part of most fruitcake recipes, rum, brandy and bourbon are stored in 55 gallon barrels in locked storerooms.

The pans are similar to the ones you would use at home and measuring the batter, filling the pans and placing the cherries and nuts on top are done by hand. One of the women I talked to said that she had worked there for over 30 years and Ron says that isn’t unusual. They really enjoy what they do.

Later in the day we toured Rock Creek Station and walked over a footbridge on the site of an early toll bridge used by wagon trains. Rock Creek was more difficult to cross than many much larger rivers due to the steep embankments. ¬†As a vehicle for “full-timing”, a Conestoga wagon leaves a lot to be desired! There was very little recreation in this RV!

Rock Creek Staion is also the site of a controversial shooting. Wild Bill Hickok said he stepped from behind the curtain that formed the bedroom and shot David McCanles, a member of the McCanles gang, in self defense, but the victim’s son said he saw it differently. However it all happened, that’s where the nickname Wild Bill originated.

Bare dirt floors in the cabins were cracked from the high heat of the summer, but I imagine the early settlers had much the same conditions most of the time. And we complain about tracking in rocks and stickers!

We also enjoyed a visit at the Homestead Museum. LeRoy’s grandmother was a homesteader in Oklahoma, so we found the museum and the video very interesting. What strong people those early pioneers were! Grandma Lizzie was widowed very soon after she staked her claim and was left with a young son. With a claim to prove up, she had a lot of hard work to do with none of the conveniences we take for granted today. Thank goodness for people like her who made our country what it is!

Our Labor Day weekend was spent with almost all our immediate family. (Granddaughter Jordan went to see her mom in Illinois and granddaughter Alma was at home in Georgia.) We met at our daughter Heidi and Tim Pohlman’s house, since Liberty is pretty small to accommodate 10 people for a prolonged period. Son Robert rode his Harley, Utvag, all the way from Ft. Campbell, KY, almost 800 miles each way.

We all attended church together on Sunday and were blessed to see our youngest granddaughter, Jadelyn, confess her faith in Jesus as her savior and be baptized by her daddy. She was so excited!

We had lunch together and FINALLY got a picture of everyone together.

Granddaughter Katrina is seriously averse to having her picture taken!

But surprise, Katie, we got one, anyway!

There’s just no scenery, no bus, mountain or desert, that is more enjoyable and more precious to me than my family. Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them!

 

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4 Responses to We are FAMILY!

  1. Katrina says:

    Family is very important!! I enjoyed the weekend immensely.

  2. Deb Farnham says:

    Love the post. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Becky Funke says:

    What a handsome/attractive bunch. So is the orientation of LeRoy’s picture indicative of what he offered to the conversation? It certainly made me laugh!

    • Anne Willis says:

      No, Becky, he just took it with the camera upside down and I left it that way. It’s definitely his way of looking at things, though!

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