The one’s we were dealing with looked nothing like this. They were light brown, swarmed and landed a lot but only bit once in awhile, and, they seemed undeterred when around anything with vanilla on it. By the end of our evening around the campfire, they were so thick on the side of the coach that the white area around the windows looked black. Even though we had the doors closed we had a lot of them in the coach, apparently from coming through the screens.
We took the screen off the fantastic fan, turned it to suck out on high and then spent about ½ hour herding the horde so that they got close enough to the fan to get sucked back out into the night.
It was nice to wake up on Thursday with the pleasant surprise of very few gnats in flight! Whatever they were it appeared that they only lived hours versus days.
Late morning, Ken’s sister Carlene and her husband, Buddy, drove over from Quincy so we had a nice long coffee clutch, while gusty winds kept the gnats at bay and provided a constant breezy chorus through the surrounding white oak trees.
We decided to head in to Monroe City Thursday evening to their Chinese restaurant. We’d heard this was one of the best Chinese restaurants in the area, but turned out to be pretty much like any other Chinese Buffet in the area. Food was good just predictable. Seems like every Chinese restaurant within a 100 miles radius of Quincy is a buffet with the same exact items served.
We came back to sit around the campfire without the company of all the gnats.
Friday morning we started with coffee with Michael and Jean about 10:30 and before we knew it was 1:30 and we were still sitting around solving the world’s problems.
Ken and I ate breakfast for lunch and then took the dogs for a long walk around the West Campground. As usual, Ditka and Sox got lots of attention and made many new friends along the way.
The highlight for Ken was seeing a Baltimore Oriole. We’d forgotten the camera so we’ll have to do with a picture I dug up on the internet.
Michael and Jean had a dinner party in Quincy. Ken and I fixed steaks on the grill for ‘lunch’ at about 6pm --- you see Ken has to have 3 meals a day, so even though it was evening he still considered this lunch!!
My nieces, Sheila and Darlene, and their families, along with Sheila’s in-laws Joannie and Al, gave us a call from the East Campground at about 7:30 pm and we went over to the Smith/Butler campfire.
Of course we had to get back by about 10:30 so Ken could have supper. He grilled out some burgers. By the time that was finished, Michael and Jean were back from Quincy. I headed into the couch about midnight but Ken stayed up jawing with them until about 1:30.
Saturday morning we just had cereal because I was spending my time making a potato carry-in dish for lunchtime with the Smiths and Butlers, in celebration of my sister Kathleen’s birthday.
while Kent, and Darlene’s husband, Tony Butler, grilled up some really tasty brats and burgers. That’s Kathleen’s husband Walt, supervising in the center
Deanna, her husband Justin Twaddle and their lovely little Lilia joined us for the day as well.
Here’s Sheila, Deanna and Kathleen organizing the covered dishes.,
Of course, no birthday’s complete without singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Grandma.
With Grandma here: Darlene and Tony’s Kelsey, Sheila and Kent’s McKinley, and Deanna and Justin’s Lily.
After we ate, we brought the crew back to our side of the campground the a tour of our motorhome.
Of course, the girls were much more interested in staying outside with Ditka and Sox--the center of attention as usual!
Saturday evening we decided to come back to Quincy because Trevor and his EIU teammate Kevin Mahoney were in for the weekend to play in the Gus Macker 3-on-3 tournament. We dropped by the house for showers and a change of clothes. The guys caught up with us and we took them to Tower of Pizza for dinner.
We got back to the motorhome about 9:30 and so decided to watch the latest DVD we purchased, Pan’s Labrynth. This is a really interesting film if you can handle Spanish subtitles since it was actually produced in Mexico. It’s an adult fairytale that switches between the reality of the Spanish Civil War and the fantasy world of a young girl. This movie has won 3 academy awards besides many other international awards. Don’t be fooled into letting your children watch it however as it is rife with gory scenes that could translate to fears and nightmares for many weeks to come. That’s not to say that it was an overly violent movie. The violent scenes seemed to re-enforce themes, especially underscoring the horror of fascism and blind obedience. I understand, also, that great care was taken in making the movie historically accurate, right down to the emblems on uniforms and equipment. I’m glad we bought the movie since I think there are a lot of intricacies here that you only can pick up with multiple viewings. If you are squeamish or don’t like movies that warrant discussion or close attention to find themes, don’t bother. On the other hand, Luke, Lindsey, and Kyle, you can watch this one next time you are home with us and argue about it the rest of the evening!
Sunday afternoon, Michael and Jean's son, Matt, his wife, Jennifer, and kids Blake and Madeleine came over to go bicycling.
I managed to show one of my more obvious blonde moments when I arrived at that gathering. I guess that's what I get for trying to put on my shoes in the dark!
Monday morning, we packed up and took off so that we had time to see Kevin and Trevor off before they headed back to Charleston.
Well that's it for Memorial Day!