Archive for August, 2011

Passing over the Rabbit and the Des Moines

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Hi dear family and friends. We’ve passed over so many rivers in this cross country trip!  The Rabbit River here in downtown Des Moines looks a little low but the Des Moines looks good. Downtown Des Moines is beautiful with many condos and restaurants (downtown development).   We left Clear Lake on Sunday after a lovely boat ride and breakfast at the marina. It is so hard for me to imagine that frost will begin in a month (that is calculated on the crickets being so loud), snow fall by Hallowe’en, and ice fishing and driving on the lake by late December. We plan to be “on the water” too but it will be in a boat. I’ll be nudging Chuck along towards getting a boat in the water on Big Pine Key in Mid November as we prepare for a sunny hot Thanksgiving. No “Season of Mists and mellow fruitfulness” for this Miami/Big Pine couple. We are visiting friends Tim and Kyla who have stayed with us in Big Pine and love it down there, but Tim has to work and Des Moines is home. We are eating very well; last night we ate at an old Italian restaurant near the baseball stadium in downtown. All is well and we are watching the tropics for weather and hope the east coast of the US stays safe. Love to family and friends. Susie  

Clear Lake and Sunshine

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Hi dear family and friends. On holiday at Clear Lake! I’m overlooking a little harbor full of recreation boats. The sun is shining and the lake beckons. We arrived here Friday evening and boated over to an outdoor cafe and ate dinner, and then yesterday we boated over to the town of Clear Lake which was having a “Best of North Iowa” feast of ribs and other delicacies. Yum. Lots of antique shops and just fun places to explore. The sun is warm and there is a gentle breeze on the lake.  This morning so far I’ve walked and Chuck is porch sitting. We’ll boat on the lake every day and do mostly nothing. It will be grand. I went online and paid the water bill for the Miami house and all my work is done. Oh and I’m working on the first painting of the trip. We’re already “taking reservations” for Thanksgiving and expect cousin Carol from Ohio, Tim and Kyla from Des Moines, and …. we have room will accommodate, but I like to see you on the calendar. I expect to hear many Thanksgiving prayers this year.  Give thanks to our God and Father for our lives and our joy. Susie   

Looking at America

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Hi dear friends and family from Hannibal, Missouri! While we were in Cookeville, Tn, we were looking at a map of Tennessee to try to route our way to Hannibal, and Yoel, 2 1/2 years old, pointed at the map and said, “That’s America!”  “Yes, Yoel, that is America!” I said. I was proud he was able to identify a map, and that he knows “America”.  Maybe we all need to re-know America. So, I recommend a trip “up the Mississippi.” On route 79 out of St. Louis, you will go through Louisiana (I discovered on this trip that the Louisiana purchase was really a 2-parter. The lower part, “Orleans,” took the name of Louisiana, and left the real Louisiana to be just a town name in Missouri. They have local artists’ shops and great views of the river!America is the little town of Hannibal, population of 16,000, in folding chairs in a small town square, listening to country, Gospel, and Bluegrass music celebrating Music Under the Stars. Hannibal celebrates trains and boats (we saw many trains and hear them all night long at our B&B called LulaBelle’s). Grain and coal carried down the Mississippi costs half what carrying it on roads does… uhhh duh folks, let’s use our waterways and trains more. Our flag flies high and proud in Hannibal. We sat in chairs lent to us, and applauded 2 youths who wrote and sang songs about America in a town that is struggling like many American towns to stay alive when so many towns boast way too many “for sale” signs. The featured group in Music Under the Stars celebrated and sang America and I quote: “This is America; it’s awesome.” We all need to get into the car and refind America. Try route 79 north out of St. Louis. Sing the “Highway 40 Blues”, open the car windows, and buy local sweet corn. At Hannibal you will love the local charm and great food at The Abby Rose restaurant and the wine and warmth at The Wine Stoppe. Hannibal celebrates the 4th of July for 5 days! We’re off for Clear Lake Iowa tomorrow. God bless Ameirca! Good night and sweet dreams. Susie 

Got lost and crossed the Ohio?

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Hi dear family and friends. We are testing the great healing that you all prayed into Chuck and I’m the one who got us lost today… We left Cookeville, Tennessee after great visits with Renee in Orlando, the Paparellis in Atlanta and Al and Shannon in Cookeville. Headed for “The Land between the Lakes”… looked pretty easy on the map.  Can’t get there from here. Left interstate 24 and looked and looked for route 79 to take us to “The Trace” that will go from south to north in this land between the lakes to actually the headwaters of the Tennessee river. Very exciting stuff. (This magical dream land called “the land between the lakes” is just west of Nashville, Tn in case anyone wants to try to find it.)  Anyhow when we circled back to I 24 north I knew enough to say, “fagettabout it, just keep going north to Paducah, Kentucky and we’ll head for the place where we might sleep tonight, Mount Vernon”. “Washington?  she’s going to Mt. Vernon, Washington?” you might ask. No. Apparently the middle of our nation just renamed places for places that already have names. Hence crossing the Ohio river from Kentucky into Illinois. Go figure. Tomorrow we will go through St Louis (crossing from Illinois to Missouri over the Mississippi river several times) and we’ll go north on route 79 to Louisiana which is a town on route 79 that is on the way to Hannibal, Missouri.  (Chuck is all afraid of being eaten by Hannibal the cannibal in that movie called Silence of the Lambs {yuck} and I assure him it is a different Hannibal).  So for tonight we are safe and secure in a Comfort Suites that gave us a nice rate for being AAA and then topped it with a 10% discount for Chuck being a retired FHP trooper for 32 years. How nice!  Yesterday we got free cake for being married 41 years.  Life is good. We’re off to a free cocktail party and then early bed as we have to enjoy the free breakfast and then possibly pancakes in Louisiana, Missouri on our way to Hannibal.  This is a great journey of “who knows where we’re going? and how in heaven’s name are we going to get there?”  Pray for Dee a lady who sweetly checked us in today, her husband is very sick. I know prayer works. Warmly to you,   Love Susie