GRATITUDE OF THE DECADE!
I can’t believe we were finally able to go see my family in Illinois!
We had to purchase a very rare all fiberglass trailer, which is extremely hard to find, then we
had to make lots and lots of repairs and changes to it, as well as many other challenges had to be addressed. The whole process took ten years! However, WE FINALLY GOT OUT THERE!!!!
Wayne and I enjoyed our first stay in an RV park in Salina, Kansas at the KOA! We got the end spot right next to a pond! The park was a delight! It had lots of trees, a gravel road, two ponds, cabins, a pool and of course, no chemical sprayers in the restrooms (air fresheners). We LOVED this place!
Our landing spot in Illinois was OK, but it was hard to love it after the first stop (LOL). I got to know the owner and he watched out for me every day (it wasn’t in the best of areas near St. Louis).
We had a GREAT time visiting with my dad (Ron), mom (Nancy Jo), brother (Marty) and grandma (GG)! We had planned on doing all of our visiting on my dad’s infamous deck, but my dad really wanted to get out and show us a few sights! He is such a warrior, pushing through the horrific pain he has been in!
We went by my childhood home, my best friend’s house, my old favorite place to swim (where I lived in the Summers), my mom’s childhood home, the fire station where we had annual
picnics, Dad’s old school (where he taught band), his church and the “Angels of Hope” where my dad had a brick laid in memory of my brother.
Dad also surprised me by taking me by the house where we lived when I was born! It belonged to my grandma and grandpa and I had never seen it in person (besides when I lived there when I was one). The people who bought the house after we moved still live there and they were home! They invited us in to see that some of the same furniture, lighting, doors and radiators were still there! I don’t remember any of it, but it was so fun to see my grandma and grandpa’s things!
Wayne and I also made a quick stop at the St. Louis Zoo. I couldn’t go all the way out there without at least taking a peek. This place is one of my fondest memories with my dad, family and cousins as a child. It has the coolest train! Unfortunately, I couldn’t ride it because of the exhaust. But it was fun to see it!
All in all, it was a wonderful trip of a lifetime! We were sad we couldn’t see everyone due to schedules or living out of town. But, I am so thankful for the precious time we had with family we were able to be with! We had great conversations, lots of laughter and hugs! It was just so wonderful to be able to sit on their deck, surrounded by trees, Cardinals and my dad’s amazing garden!
I have missed them all SO much over the years and wish I could just hop over there anytime to visit or have pizza night with them. It is so hard being so far apart! Nonetheless, I am so very grateful to have had this time with them and I will cherish it forever!
Please keep my dad (Ron) and mom (Nancy Jo) in your prayers for healing and much, much less pain, as well as my grandma (GG) to find new friends and joy in her new (and very nice) assisted living apartment.