Saturday, May 29, 2010

Getting Some Attention!

Note: I’ve posted a couple of times today so you may want to check the prior post as well!

Thought it interesting that the Natchez MS Tourism website found our blog.  He emailed to ask if he could mention us. 

Below is the blurb they currently have on their home page.  (Copied it here since he updates the tourism web page often so linking would be short-lived!)

What I find particularly hilarious is that he used a picture of a coach about 10 times out of our league!!


RV Adventures

Recreational Vehicle

The Frericks' (how the heck do you say that) just blogged about what a great time they had Coming to Natchez in their RV!  Stay at one of several outstanding RV Parks, take your pick of dining, and fill your day seeing antebellum homes and other attractions - not to mention getting one of the most panoramic views of the Mississippi River anywhere!  Thanks to the Frericks' for reminding me of one of the most popular ways to see Natchez - in an RV!  Come in on the Natchez Trace, the Blues Highway 61 or the East-West Corridor 84. (See our How to Get Here page.)  We also have a listing of RV Parks and Campsites, as well as an Attractions page. Now you're all set!


It’s nice to know that we are being found in ‘search engines’ by folks like this and that when they find us they like what they are reading!

Hugs, C

Repair vs Replace Netbook

Last summer when, when I had to give up my company laptop,  we bought my Acer Inspire. When it was time to replace Trevor’s laptop as a graduation gift, we were impressed enough with my Acer that we bought a second one  for Ken so he could pass on his recently purchased, high-power, under-utilized laptop to Trevor.  If the Acer’s didn’t hold up, at under $300 a pop, we’d not be out that much.

Having two like computers also gives us the advantage of having swappable 6-cell batteries  (be sure if you buy a netbook to get the 6-cell battery option—we hear its huge difference in battery life over 3-cell).  Since GPS on the laptop really seems to suck battery this is great on long trips.  With like computers we can also share the peripherals like the add-on DVD/RW we purchased as well. We can also carry them with us when exploring in the toad without worry of running out of battery.  Since we still have at-home internet,  I’m currently being too frugal to drop another $60 a month for an air card.  Beside being a cheapskate, the other issue is the carrier.  I want a Verizon air card because of comparative breadth of coverage.  However, if you look at the Verizon maps you’ll see one small spot right at the center of the Mississippi River where there is no Verizon coverage.  That’s our hometown, Quincy, and is another reason I’m holding out on the air card since I’d like to ONLY pay for the aircard once we get it and currently it will not work at home. 

So, this means for the time being , when travelling, we like having small swappable netbooks that are easily transportable as we explore so we can jump on to free wifi  whenever it’s available.  I’ve been known to post my blog from the parking lot of a strip mall when need be and many times from McDonald’s or from campground offices!!  Since I learned to use Live Writer this is even easier since I can create the blogs with pictures loaded and simply click publish once I have an internet signal – no more than a few minutes of access required.  Also, when we don’t have wifi we use my Kindle for all the other internet access such as email access, blog reading, google searches (for nearby wifi sites, for example!!) and have found that coverage surprisingly reliable, just not set up to handle blog posting with photo downloads.

We use Co-Pilot Live GPS on Ken’s laptop.  It’s nice to have a large 10.1” screen for GPS that is still small enough to sit comfortably on the dashboard.  It also transfers easily to the jeep although I usually end up with it on my lap since jeeps don’t really have a place to sit the unit.

All that said, we are satisfied with our Acer decision. 

Unfortunately, only 1 week in to our 8 week trip, Ken’s laptop which contains our GPS system, was dropped and ended up with an ugly hole in the screen.  This made for some interesting GPS navigation!!


Lesson Learned: These spunky little pieces of tech are not indestructible. Don’t sit it on tiny little shelves where it can take nosedives.  

Ken teased  that his biggest problem with this cracked screen was not the GPS issue but that the hole seemed to be in exactly the wrong places for him to enjoy all his favorite porn sites.  I know he’s joking since, if that were the case,  Ken’s biggest problem would be that his wife is now retired and beside him 24/7, and so, I would be the one in all the wrong places for him to enjoy such sites!!

Seeing how much we were going over budget in certain key areas of our expenses, like the line items for eating out and the one for buying groceries/misc. (Walmart buys), I was really frustrated with the idea of needing to drop $300 on a laptop when this one was less than a year old.  And, there were other issues with replacing the netbook.  We really didn’t want to upgrade to Windows 7 which is now on almost every new laptop AND we weren’t looking forward to moving and reinstalling software on a new laptop when Ken had this one set up just as he wanted it.

To our rescue,  For less than $50 we could have a new screen delivered to our door.   Since my husband seems to be able to fix  just about anything that requires use of a screw driver, I figured, what the heck.

What made this even more interesting was that the screen arrived with absolutely no instructions included.  I don’t know why I would think that was an issue though since, as with most men, Ken usually isn’t real interested in those written directions!!

Long story short, Ken did a quick ‘disassemble’  and then a reverse assemble and we had a like new little Acer in about 10 minutes.


Lesson Learned: More often than not my common-sense, figure-it-out husband can save us money by fixing versus replacing.  It’s better on the pocketbook and the planet to make what we have last.



Hugs, C

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Tale from 3 Blogs-Hannibal, MO!

I seem to be seeing this more and more.  As RVing bloggers meet and spend time together you start hearing about the same events from multiple perspectives.  In this case I’m the last of the 3 bloggers to post about our wonderful day yesterday. We met in Hannibal at the Mark Twain Cave Complex  where Ed and Marilyn Dray have spent a couple of months.  You can read about the day from their perspective and see their pictures at their blog, Ed and Marilyn-The Happy Wanderers.  While we had met with Ed and Marilyn on Saturday we had a different reason for this get-together.  Fellow RVing friends, Dee and Jim Walter were coming up to Hannibal to have a visit with all of us.  Dee has also published her blog on the day on her Tumbleweed blog.

Dee brought along her lovely sister, Doris, who they are visiting in Troy, MO.


We really enjoyed getting to spend time with her as well.  She and Dee are obviously sisters, not just in how much they look alike but also they way they seem to enjoy life.  Mama did a good job with these two girls!!







Dee and Jim had been to the same Branson RV-Dreams rally with Ed and Marilyn a few years ago.  Ken and I had met Jim and Dee in April at the 2010 RV-Dreams Rally in South Carolina.  Both of these couples are full-time RVers, while you might call us ‘fence sitters’ at the moment, on the road a lot but not quite at the point of ditching the house yet.  It’s when we spend time with people like this that our buts on that fence definitely starts edging more toward fulltiming.  We just have such a great time and really experience  how carefree and flexible they are in their lifestyle.

We all arrived at Marilyn and Ed’s 5th wheel before 10:00. They invited us in to see their rig.  I always LOVE this since while you might see the same rigs at RV shows, it is so different to be able to see how people actually set up and live in them full-time.   Ed and Marilyn’s Mobile Suites is one of my favorites.   It has gobs of cabinets space, a really large area for flat screen TV and fireplace and the bedroom/bath layout that lets Ken has his own ‘space’ in the bathroom while I can shower and have my sink separately.   Marilyn also has the convection oven versus conventional and the large side-by-side refrigerator, both options I would definitely go for if doing it again.   We talked about the washer/dryer.  She says she now loves hers even though, like me, she hadn’t expected it would be something that important to her.   I do see that there is a more ‘at home’ feeling in 5th wheels like the Dray’s over what you get in our motorhome.

To us, the downside of having a 5th wheel is driving the big dually truck around all the time, both in terms of cost of fuel and in getting around in small spaces, parking etc.,  We love having the jeep to get around with decent gas mileage and easy to drive and park anywhere we want to explore.  Both of these full-time couples have addressed this issue by maintaining a 2nd car.  Ed and Marilyn spend 4 months, 2 in Spring and 2 in Fall, in Hannibal so they leave a mini-van here that they use during those months.  Jim and Dee are currently driving her car along as well as having the truck when they move the rig from place to place.

We figured we’d sit around a little while and chat before heading in to historic downtown Hannibal. 

IMG_0207 Marilyn, Doris and Dee

Before we knew it, it was almost noon so we scooted off in to town to have lunch at Lula Belles, which was actually a brothel in the early 1900’s.  This is a restaurant that Ken and I have enjoyed in the past and, as usual, the food and service were good. 

Since Marilyn was expecting to babysit her grandchildren in the afternoon, they headed back to the rig while the rest of us strolled the historic Main Street  with the Native American Trading Co. the primary destination.   This is the kind of store where you could spend hours just browsing all the unique jewelry, clothing and artwork.

On the way back to the campground, we stopped by Lover’s Leap, a Hannibal landmark on the bluff high over the Mississippi River.  

Jim, Doris, Cindy and Dee at Lover's Leap

Hannibal Riverfront View from Lover's Leap

Besides the legend of Indian lovers jumping to their deaths here, it was also the site where on October 22, 1844 a religious sect known as the Millerites gathered, donning white robes,  believing that this was the time and place for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, obviously to be ultimately disappointed.

We arrived back at the Mark Twain Cave Complex to take Ed up on his offer to give us our own personalized tour of the Mark Twain Cave.  There are actually 2 caves on site, Mark Twain Cave and Cameron Cave.  Ed volunteers as a tour guide for both.  We chose to do the Mark Twain Cave since Dee wasn’t sure how keen she was on the caving experience and since the Cameron Cave is a bit more of an adventure being much closer quarters and requiring that you wear a hardhat and carry a lantern.

Ed and Marilyn had coats and sweatshirts for us to borrow since we were going from 90 degrees in to a nice consistent year-round 52 degrees.

Ed is truly gifted at doing this kind of tour guide work.

Ed at beginning of Mark Twain Cave Tour  He is very knowledgeable both about the geology and the history of the site.









Doris, Cindy, Dee, Ed, Jim - Mark Twain Cave He’s spent a lot of time reading and re-reading the works of Mark Twain to get a good understanding of how the different parts of the cave and the area in general played in to Twain’s famous novels.   Ed also has a wonderful sense  of humor and its easy to see why they so often ask him to do the tours for groups of young students on field trips.


While today it is against the law to deface such a national landmark, some of the really interesting tidbits along the tour were the places that people had dated and signed the walls.  This is really intriguing when you think  how most of these people were in this cave, leaving their mark using only candles and lanterns to find their way. 








The most famous writing in this cave is the signature of Jesse James.  Apparently there are numerous caves that allege to have been hideouts for Jesse James but Mark Twain cave has proof with this signature that has been verified by a handwriting specialist.  Ed was actually able to put this into historical context in terms of why Jesse and Frank James would have been travelling through Hannibal at this time, en route to one of the Missouri bank robberies that occurred after they started back into being outlaws after years of living relatively normal lives in Nashville.

Aladdin's Castle-Mark Twain Cave 

It’s ironic that Ken and I have lived in this area all of our lives, but neither of us can remember visiting the cave since we were in grade school 40+ years ago.  I’ve been it many caves in our travels. 









Who would have thought that my favorite cave tour would have been at the cave that’s always been pretty much in our own back yard!

It was nearly 4pm when we said our good-byes.  We plan to be seeing Dee and Jim again in September at the Escapade in Goshen, IN.  Ed and Mariilyn will be back in Hannibal again around October after summering in Colorado.  And, as with all our RVing friends, next time we meet we’ll all have new adventures to share!

Hugs, C

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lots Going on This Week

On Monday, May 17th, Ken, along with his oldest brother Michael, left in the motorhome to travel 200+ miles to Springfield, MO, home of their youngest brother, Alan, and his wife, Nancy.  Alan was in the middle of a bathroom ceramic tile job at his house that had turned out more complicated than he’d expected.   So, big brothers to the rescue!!

They parked in Alan’s driveway to be close to the work site.


Ken turned over the motorhome bedroom to brother, Michael, since Ken actually finds the RV couch very comfortable to wedge in to in order to baby his back problems. This way they had their own sleeping area with their own TV.

Michael joked with me that he’s planning to take my place since little brother, Kenny, brought him coffee in bed while he was watching the morning news, and he liked that kind of service.  Interesting…I can’t remember ever getting my coffee served to me in bed!!  Big brothers get big respect in the Frericks family !!  (Trevor, Kyle would like you to take particular note of that!!)

Here’s the Frericks’ boys working together in small spaces. 




Here’s a view of the finished product.  Lots of small pieces and pattern detail with inset soap holder  --- good job guys!!

And, thanks, Nancy for feeding and putting up with 3 Frericks boys under foot all week!!







It’s been over a year since Ken and I have been apart for more than a few hours and I really missed him!!  I used to be gone 3 weeks at a time with work and it wasn’t a big deal to us. Amazing how being together 24/7 has tightened our bond.  Of course, I reminded Ken that I had no lack of company in my bed while he was gone since Ditka and Sox both immediately considered his side of the bed fair game!

I thoroughly enjoyed slipping back in to ‘stick n bricks’ life and, as usual, had plenty of company in our backyard as well where there’s plenty of wildlife.

Like these geese who didn’t seem to be able to decide who was to tee off first!!



While we were on our adventure, nephew John had sealed our concrete patio, painted our upper deck base, our back shutters and our red metal outdoor chairs.  




To help bring back the homey feel I filled a few pots with annuals and put up the hummingbird feeder.  I was afraid we might have missed the scouts this late in to spring but soon saw several little hummers fighting over the feeder – of course, never when I had the camera nearby. 



It was wonderful to have Ken come back home Friday night.  I had a little gift waiting for him when he got home.  I used the knowledge gained from my Picassa class at the RV-Dreams Rally to create a ‘collage’ style ‘business’ card.  We were out of our old cards so I decided it was time for an update.  Here’s what the new version looks like.

Ken Frericks-1


One hint to anyone doing this… you need to create an aspect ratio of 3.75 x 2.25 which is slightly larger than standard business card but allows for the bleed/cut portion of the card.

I used Staples online service to print the cards since they currently have a $5 off coupon. That meant I got 200 cards for $30 which is cheaper than buying the stock and ink needed for our photo printer.  I also wanted to ‘test’ their 4 hour turnaround time service for printing since this is something that anyone on the road could use at whatever Staples was closest at the moment. My only regret is that the card came out slightly darker when printed than they show online.  When I reorder I’ll simply lighten the who collage before sending – thank you, Geeks on Tour for teaching me geekie stuff that I can put to practical use!

With Ken home, we kicked off the weekend with more household chores. There are certain ‘sticks n bricks’ upkeep requirements that we’d be happy to give up, considering they just seem to have to be done again, and again, and again.  For one, it seems I have to devote about 2 hours a day to cleaning activities just to keep up and I HATE cleaning since at a few hours a day, I no more than finish my rounds than its time to start all over. However, that’s how I spent most of my time while Ken was gone, trying to get caught up on the indoor cleaning.  Besides that I’d already cut the grass earlier in the week but it needed it again.  I use that as exercise, using the push mower for a 50 minute workout.  Once I finished the mowing Saturday morning, Ken was ready to dig in to our ‘hanging gardens’ as he called them.   We have lots of trees on the property and being gone for 8 weeks of spring allowed them to fill our gutters  to overflowing with lots of spring plantings.  We had lots of little maple trees starting to sprout at the roofline!!  I was the bucket brigade moving a bucket up and down on a rope for Ken to fill and them for me to dump.  Pretty gunky job that I’m glad is behind us for a little while.

The highlight of the weekend was the barbeque we hosted on Saturday evening.  Ed and Marilyn Dray’s blog has been one I’ve been following for some time now.  They are also on Facebook and so we’ve ‘friended’ each other there.  Marilyn and I decided we wanted to make time to meet in person once we were back from our 8 week trip but before they left their two month stay in Hannibal, MO, across the river from us. 


Their daughter and her family live in Hannibal so this is their time to spend with their small grandchildren.  They park these two months every year at the Mark Twain Cave Complex where Ed also assists as one of the cave tour guides, yet one more of the really workkamping jobs we’ve learned about that sounds like something we’d enjoy doing.

It amazes me when you meet other RVers, how everyone seems to just automatically get along so comfortably and enjoyably together.  Like Marilyn commented, when full-time RVers sit around and talk it always seems to be a really positive environment with a lot of laughter.  I’m beginning to be able to pick out the general  personality type that fits the successful fulltime RVers --- they have a sincere, deep appreciation of life and want to make the most of every minute of it and of every beautiful part of this world they have to explore. Ed and Marilyn are wonderful examples, which is even evident in the way the end each of their daily blog posts with ‘Life is Good’!  This is  the number one attraction drawing Ken and I to this lifestyle – the kind of people that become your extended RV family.

In the category of “It’s a Small World”,  besides knowing dozens of the the same RVers, I realized from Facebook that one of Marilyn’s good friends, Maggie, was married to one of my buds who had retired some time back from Gardner-Denver, Norb Dixon.   When I put this all together, I made sure to invite Maggie and Norb as well.


The coincidences didn’t end there though, because I found out that Maggie and my sister, Kathleen, worked together many years ago and knew each other quite well back then.  Maggie even remembered some stories of me as a toddler, like when asked where I thought I came from and I said “Santa Claus”!!  And Norbie, well, he went to high school with my brothers and sisters and was in the same graduating class with my brother-in-laws, Walt and Wayne.

We’re glad we had the cookout on Saturday night, because sitting here Sunday afternoon, its clear we are going to be in for a very hot, very humid week to come.  It will probably be some of the last days Ken and I have, just the two of us, since we will be moving Trev home next Thursday, where he will stay until he starts his job in October.

Hugs, C

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Remodel Update

While we were on our 8-week adventure, Ken’s friend, Bo, dropped by now and then to continue progress on our 2nd floor remodeling.


As a result, the master bath update is proceeding nicely.  We have almost all of the painting done, the wainscoting in place, and the glass doors in the shower area.

Ken added a vent fan/light combination that is both brighter and quieter.

Since this picture, one change we’ve all agreed to is adding one more piece of white trim above the inset tile on the 1/2 wall. We need a break between the colorful tile and the colorful granite top.




Ken jumped back in to the work quickly.  He’d put the new vanity in place before we left, but now that we were back, called for the granite countertop to be delivered and then installed the new faucets and lighting.    The directional lighting is wonderful for getting just the right amount of light and positioning before the mirror.


Without a doubt, my favorite upgrade is the granite countertop and white inset bowl.  It had taken many months before I found the slab with the right combination of shades to coordinate with the tile  and I’m really happy with the result.


Bo worked very hard at matching the wood work and wainscoting stain to the wood and wainscoting on the new vanity cabinet.







Ken and Bo continue the cottage-style theme that we did a few years ago on the main floor with the combination of natural and painted woodwork.



The guys will be taking a break next week while Ken goes to Springfield, MO, with his brother Michael to visit his brother Alan.  I’ll have a few days for ‘pink’  jobs and girlie stuff like lunch dates with friends and sisters.

After that it will be back to work upstairs with woodwork and hardwood flooring major projects to come in the rest of the second floor.

Hugs, C

Saturday, May 15, 2010

GROSS!! That was in your foot?!?!

Ok, if you look back it’s been weeks now since we were at Betty’s RV Park. During our stay there, while Ken was walking the dogs, he had a palmetto leaf spear the side of his foot, right in the soft tender part of the arch. He’d pulled it out and neither he nor I could see anything else under the skin. However, what started out looking like nothing more that a pin prick got really sore.

Over the next several days, Ken and I both attempted to find something in the wound that was causing the pain but to no avail. Ken simply kept antibiotic on it and we went on our way.

He continued to complain about how tender that part of his foot remained and it developed a nice little lump. Since he sometimes seems to take longer than normal to heal from wounds, I admit, I wrote it off to yet another of the negatives of his health issues.

I did some checking online to see if saw palmetto leaves contained anything that could cause infection but it seemed that instead all I could find were all the medically advantageous applications of this plant so that apparently wasn’t the problem.

When we returned to Quincy, Ken pulled out the good old fashioned drawing salve (yes, we are definitely believers in the natural old-school remedies) and started applying to the wound. It had been over two weeks and we hadn’t seen anything under the skin on his foot so I didn’t expect much.

Last night after supper, Ken said, “Hey, come take a look at this.” A blister had formed over the wound on his foot. When Ken broke it, out popped this big thorn.


I was amazed that he had been walking on this thing for weeks now!! I also have renewed confidence in the value of drawing salve considering this thing was so deep we couldn’t see any of it even with a magnifying glass. That stuff really works!

Needless, to say, next time my man says “I’ve got a splinter”, I’ll take him seriously!!

Hugs, C

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Closure: Graduation and End of our Trip

This was a big weekend as you can tell from the cake!!


(Thanks for the great cake,Sandy!!)

This was definitely not the time for us to be without our camera!

Thursday before graduation and the camera has FAILED for sure.  We had been nursing along the camera for months knowing that sometimes the lens would not always come out or retract.  But, it was now down for the count, no jimmying or graphite was going to do the trick anymore.

We had already determined that our 6 year old Canon Powershot had been so reliable up until now and fit our needs so well, we simply wanted the updated version. 

Only problem… we were at Fox Ridge State Park and, when researching online,  the closest Canon Powershot SX20 we could find on the internet was at Best Buy in Champaign, IL,  50 miles away.  And so… Happy Mother’s Day to me…we made a quick 100 mile roundtrip to buy a new camera. 

Considering we’ve had no time to read the instruction manual, it’s really good that this new camera works very similar to the original since we picked it up and started using it.  We also picked up an 8 Gig memory card since  it can take HD movies as well and 8 Gig will hold 40 minutes of video.  One more feature I will need to master.

This camera is 12.1 megapixels and has a 20x optical zoom –these are two order-of-magnitude improvements that we were really looking forward to the most.  I’m anxious for some time to actually learn this camera since while it is easy point-n-click on ‘auto’ mode, the number of added features and technology improvements are amazing.

On Friday, our graduates, Trevor and his roommate Chris Vaccaro, joined their Dad’s for golf.  Then, the golfers joined Kyle and Jenni, Leah and me in the village of Greenup, IL, for dinner at Saathoff’s  Cafe.   

2009 09 13 EIU vs Indiana State 044

Ken and I  discovered this great little restaurant during the football season (see Sept, 2009 post)  and have been recommending it ever since.  In fact, Mike Saathoff dropped by the table to talk for quitea while, mostly about EIU football with the guys, but also thanked us for sending  him  business, like the persons’ from the state park that had just dropped in the day before and apparently appreciated his homemade onion rings so much that they had to order second helpings!!




We had also made a really big deal to the gang about the really neat old-fashioned ice cream shop on the opposite corner and so at least some of us saved enough room for a sweet finish to the meal!














Kyle and Jenni headed back in to Charleston with Trevor and Leah to participate in the last weekend of college partying. IMG_0036

This meant that Ken and I were puppysitting for the evening with Kyle and Jenni’s dog, Staley.  Now Staley looks to be about 1/2 boxer and 1/2 boston terrier so, at 10 months,she is already twice the size of Ditka and Sox, BUT she was in their domain and they made sure she knew they were in control.  They gave her one section of the couch and growled and herded her back there any time she tried to get them to play or tried to come play with us.  3 dogs are a bit too much in 400 sq feet!!

I finally closed Staley in the bedroom with me while Ken slept on the couch with our two dogs.  With 40 mph winds whistling through the campground it was a LONG night.  The wind would howl, then Sox would get jump up, run around and whine, causing Staley to whimper and cry.  By the time daylight dawned, I’d pretty much had it with the sounds of nature!!

Kyle and Jenni had slept at Trevor’s but headed back to the RV to have breakfast, take a run with the dog, and then dress for graduation. 

We had a dinner planned for the housemates and their families at the Firefly Grill in Effingham. IMG_0041 Trevor had taken Leah here for Valentine’s Day and this was his location of choice  for his graduation meal.





Besides our family…..



we were joined by Chris Vaccaro’s Mom, Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather and sister, and Kevin Mahoney and his Mom and Dad.  These guys, as housemates and players,have become such good friends over the years that it has brought all the families close to them as well, so, it was really nice for all of us to get to be together this one last weekend.


The waitress was nice enough to go out on the deck to try to get a group photo.  Unfortunately, it was very cold and windy!!


This is one of my new favorite pictures of the guys.  Kevin, in the middle, is the only player Trevor has been with all 5 years since Kevin, even though he was an Ohio boy, transferred from Bowling Green State in Ohio to Eastern Illinois with Trevor after their sophomore year.  We were here in December for Kevin’s graduation when he received his degree in Criminal Justice.




We got the guys back to their house to get their gowns on and after getting them to pose for this shot in front of the house, immediately headed off for the ceremony. 


There were actually 4 graduation ceremonies at Eastern Illinois University on Saturday.  The School of Business had the last ceremony. 


The MBA grads were first in this group and carried in their master degree hoods to be placed on their shoulders by the dean as part of the ceremony. IMG_0126

While most of the football players at EIU graduate, Chris and Trevor were the only two football players that made it all the way through the master’s program within  their 5 year football scholarship.  Trevor did it even after switching schools which meant he had to put in a lot of extra hours over the summers.  It was really great that these two guys were so close to challenge each other to reach this goal.



So, we finally have both sons completing their graduate degrees.  You always want more for your kids and since Ken and I have bachelor degrees but have neither gone on to complete grad degrees, we are especially happy to see both our sons complete this level of education. 




Trevor will have to be back here next year to see Leah graduate.












We went back to the guys’ house after the ceremony where they posed for us with proper wedding-cake form to cut their cake!








Ken and I, Kyle and Jenni left the festivities when it got close to midnight and time for the grads and their friends to make a final crawl through the pubs around campus.


Back at the motorhome, as soon as we had the sofa bed made out, all 3 dogs made sure Kyle knew it was where they wanted to sleep.

We left Kyle and Jenni with Staley in the front of the rig and took the Shiba’s to the bedroom with Ken and me, and despite four in the bed, I was able to get a much better night’s sleep this time.

That was good since we had yet one more bit of festivities before the weekend was over.  IMG_0152


Sunday was Mother’s Day and all the families were invited to our rig for a ‘potluck’ brunch.








While Chris’ family had to head back home,  Bodie Reeder, the quarterback for most to Trev’s time at EIU,  and his parents and girlfriend were able to join us this time.  Since Bodie had a different graduation ceremony on Saturday this was our first opportunity to include him.


Bodie and Trevor actually go back farther than anyone else on the team since they played against each other in high school and Bodie was one of the main people to encourage Trevor to make his move to EIU from Bowling Green after Bodie moved there from playing at Wyoming.   Bodie’s Dad acts as team chaplain so he’s gotten close to these guys over the years as well.




I was glad to see that everyone stayed around for a long time after just to enjoy each others company.



Mid afternoon, our guest departed and Kyle and Jenni packed up for their trip back to Carlinville.

I was a bit misty-eyed as we began getting the rig ready for our departure the next day. 

This weekend has had the feeling of significant closure for me.  We are ending our 8 week adventure on the road and reflecting back on what that has meant as a turning point in our lives, what we’ve learned and where we go from here. And, more specifically, here in Charleston, with Trev’s graduation, we are  saying good-bye to close friends who we’ll get to see so much less now, especially the guys who had really become part of our family.  Trevor is now leaving EIU and  his football  career.   Knowing Trev, our youngest,  is now moving on, out of school, and out of football which has been such a center in our lives for so many years,  is a point of closure for our whole family.    When one door closes, another opens, and so I only allow myself a small time for mourning what will be no more, and let Ken give me an understanding hug for awhile,  before bucking up and looking forward to all the wonderful adventures ahead beyond those new doors I know are opening.


Hugs, C