Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Visiting Family and Friends

It was a great time to go to Canton for a stressless visit with people I love very much and be in some places in which I feel at home. I needed to get away from here for a little while, and while it was hectic, my trip home was the perfect remedy. I know this post will be absolutely boring (like many others) to anyone outside my family and circle of hometown friends, but these are some of the things I did during my whirlwind weekend trip.

After I discovered I could come home Friday evening, I called Uncle Roger and invited him over to Mom and Dad's house for a game night. Thanks to bad traffic, I arrived two hours later than expected. But, I was able to enjoy some of Mom's delicious chili, and Mom, Dad and Uncle Roger waited on my arrival before starting with the game. I had heard about so many ladies meeting for parties to play Bunco. So, this last year, I bought the game for Mom. I had no idea how to play or what the game was. But, now I know. Honestly, I thought it would be a little more challenging and would consist of more than rolling four dice. Regardless, in usual fashion, we still had a hilarious time and were laughing at each other for most of the evening. We stayed up way too late. But, I hope we can do it again sometime really soon.

Dad always has some wacky, high-handed rolling follow through, and Uncle Roger always tries to count up the points before the roller.

It seems the scorekeeper usually wins, and with Mom, it was no exception.

After going on the Spoon River Drive on Saturday, we rushed home to attend a party at Aaron and Ketra's home. They were having a wiener roast to honor Ketra's Dad, Jeff. Here is the honoree! Jeff recently obtained a new job, and we were happy to help him celebrate this move to a fantastic new position in banking. The bonfire was helped with some "accelerator", and we enjoyed delicious hot dogs and S'mores. It's always fun visiting with Ketra's family.

After visiting with Uncle Dick and Aunt Norma on Sunday, I started my drive back to Edwardsville... but headed north instead of south. That's because I was taking a detour to visit my best friend from high school and her husband. Susan and Shannon just recently moved to El Paso, IL and purchased this gorgeous new home. Susan gave me the grand tour of town, and we enjoyed some Monical's pizza. It's not like CANTON Monical's pizza, but it was tasty. We had a good visit - reminiscing, sharing pictures, showing off projects and just enjoying the time together. It's difficult to live so far away from such good friends.

I then started my trip south but had three important stops to make. First, I stopped by the family farm outside of Wapella, IL. I was able to meet the kind renters and take pictures of the house and the newly painted machinery shed. This house looks quite different from when Grandad lived there, but the place is full of memories.

Next, I went to Clinton, IL. About 3 weeks ago, Great Uncle Donald had colon surgery. Since then, he's had some struggles in his recovery and has had a difficult time gaining his strength. While we were thrilled to know all tumors were removed and that his physical recovery is going fabulously, I knew Uncle Donald would appreciate a visitor. Uncle Donald has some wonderful neighbors who have been looking out for him and his home, and his geraniums are gorgeous.

And, here, Uncle Donald wanted me to show Mom and Aunt Sissy that he's lost 30 pounds, so he must wear some very fashionable suspenders. He's being funny and pulling his pants way up high. We pray that Uncle Donald will regain his strength and appetite and that we might better know what we can do to support him from far away. Uncle Donald has always been like an extra grandparent to us, and we love him so very much. Mom and I plan to visit him this next year to have him show us how to make his delicious and famous jelly. So, Uncle Donald and I talked about this appointment a little bit more, and he sent me off with two whole jars of the yummy stuff. Yiipppeee!

Then, I headed a little farther south to Decatur, IL to see my Grandma Emma. I fear her health is failing, and it is very likely she will have to begin dialysis soon. She will have to go through some surgeries in the upcoming weeks to install a new port and clear blockages in her legs and arms. I would very much appreciate your continued prayers for her. Despite her poor health, she continues to volunteer several times a week at the Salvation Army (which is her church). She looked fabulous, but I could tell she wasn't feeling as good as she usually does. I drove to her sister's home to see her, and each Sunday evening after worship services, Grandma Emma, her two sisters, and her daughter sit for hours and play 5 or 6 card games. I think they also do that on Tuesday nights. It was fun to watch them interact, and it was a special time to catch up and show Grandma some of the items I had made in recent weeks. Grandma Emma is a very talented lady - especially with crocheting and pottery. But, she dabbles in many types of crafts. Here is Grandma Emma (on the right) with her sisters Peggy (left) and Joyce (middle).

By the time I left Decatur, it was late, and I still had two more hours of driving. But, I was re-energized and so thankful to God for a fabulous weekend with my family and friends.


jsarber said...

Now, I don't want to say anything bad about your mom, but her winning does seem awfully suspicious.

strem said...

Yes it does! (But, all of us did see her win - fair and square.) :-)