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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

50 Years and Counting

September 14th,

We had a great time visiting with Russ & Candi at Smokey D’s, http://www.smokeydsbbq.com/ when you are in Des Moines you need to visit SMOKEY D’S they have great tenderloins and fabulous BBQ. Darren is one of the owners; he and I worked at Ruan. He and his business partner have won many awards for their BBQ, it is that good. So when you are in Des Moines or passing through stop and try some award winning BBQ. Enough of the commercial, Candi is recovering from some surgery and she looks great, of course Russ says he is taking very good care of her. Men are good at that aren’t we?

September 14 & 15th,

Class reunion in Burlington, IA, Fifty years, can you believe it? I never thought about it much about a 50-year class reunion until it was time for it. I can remember my mother saying she was going to her 50th class reunion and I’m thinking, wow you people are old. Now I am the one who is old and attending our 50th class reunion. I don’t know who all worked to put the reunion together but I want to say thank you for doing it and doing a very good job of it. Sarah and I had a great time. It was to see everyone, I know not all of the class was there, but it was great to see those who were and a couple I haven’t seen in years. I don’t remember that last time I saw Jane and Diane. Mike Cummings gets the award for traveling the greatest distance, but then he would get award at every reunion, he comes all the way from Australia.

I had a great time visiting with everyone there, I believe I spoke with everyone, if I missed anyone I apologize; it was just great to see everyone. I am still looking the length of your driveways. Diane has the lead with 300 ft of driveway or something like that. I am looking for long driveways for the RV, I’ll buy dinner. If you have hook ups for the RV I’ll buy drinks also. Thank you to my brother Larry and wife Kathy for their hospitality; we had a good time visiting with them. I also returned his truck, so now he can haul things again. We did get a picture, I want you to see how good looking we are at our age:


Again thanks to all of you who worked on the reunion it was a great time.


I hate shopping but I need a new pair or two of shoes, I only buy running shoes, I am trying to break the three and a half minute mile. Actually, the orthopedic doctor told me to buy running shoes because size, he didn’t want to say fat, running shoes give more cushion to my feet. Anyway, Sarah & I went to Sports Authority store and I bought a shoe called Meling. It was a nice shoe and felt great in the store but after wearing it all day, I decided it wasn’t the shoe for me. Therefore, Tuesday we took the back, I will say the store took them back with no questions asked, that is nice.

We met Tiffany, Matt & Alexa at McDonald’s in Ankeny. Alexa had two catalogs from school with items for sale. We bought an item from each catalog and told them to keep them, I bought what they said they would use; I couldn’t see them shipping the items to us so they will keep them.

Tuesday I had an appointment to take the car in to get a fender bracket fixed, we noticed it when we bought it and I said I would make an appointment to bring it in for fixing. We got a loaner car, it is a good thing we did because the problem was on a recall, and it will take a couple of days to get it so we are driving the loaner. I am glad we didn’t say we would wait.

We also went out to the Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery, https://www.va.iowa.gov/vetcemetery/, so I could get some questions answered. We met Dave, and employee of the cemetery, he answered all my questions and gave us some material to look at. Sarah & I will both be buried there.

In the afternoon we went over to Cairo’s, Sarah & Norma were going to do some beading but first they had to go to the bead store. Since Orren was busy with some phone calls I took them to the bead store, Artistic Beads in Valley Junction, http://artisticbead.com/id73.html, I read while they were shopping. We returned to the house and the ladies beaded. Norma fixed chili and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner, very good.

Today I worked on the camper to get things done before we leave here in 10 days. One of the items is greasing the MorRyde system; this entails me getting under the camper. Since I am a bit claustrophobic it is not my favorite thing to do, it does help the sides are open and the camper does sit high so I am able to get the task done.

I have just finished the book “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, I enjoyed reading it, and I knew the prisoners of war in the Pacific were mistreated but I didn’t know to what extent. This book took seven years to write and was well documented from both the Japanese and American side. Good book well worth the time to read.

That’s it for now remember,

Dreams Do Come True.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Griff’s RV Park

I belong to the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s organization, and one of the annual drives it has is the Tootsie Roll drive for Intellectually Challenged Individuals. It is held in Iowa at this time of the year. I get an email from the council I belong to here in Des Moines and I saw where they needed someone to man a two hour slot at the Dahl’s Grocery store in Johnston on Saturday the 8th, so I volunteered Sarah & I for it. I didn’t realize the Iowa vs. Iowa State game was being played at 2:30, out shift ran 1-3. It was interesting how many people wearing the colors of the two schools and I couldn’t help adding comments to an Iowa State fan, Go Hawks, or to an Iowa fan, Go Clones, it added to the experience. I don’t know how much money Sarah & I raised but our buckets were full. I like this fund raiser because all the money raised stays in the Des Moines area. In fact there are a couple organizations who have volunteers helping with the fund raiser and they in turn share in the proceeds. The years I was involved we raised over $14,000. It is a great cause.

Saturday night we met long time friends Mike & Debbie Richmond, Mike was a service manager at Ruan when I worked there. He is now the service manager for Ryder at their Delaware shop in Des Moines. We met at Outback and had a great time. Mike has a couple more years to work but from the sounds of it he is ready to hang up his wrenches. Hang in their Mike it is worth the wait.

Sunday Carl & Merilee came over and we drove to Ames to meet Matt, Tiffany and Alexa at Sam’s Club. Alexa needed a winter coat, her old ones were to small so I wanted to get her a new one. We finally found one at Wal-Mart, coat and gloves and she is ready for the winter. I also sprung for lunch, hot dogs at Sam’s Club, I think that is one of the best values around, besides we had fun sitting around talking.

Tuesday, as I have mentioned we bought a car, well it is a suv and I needed to get it licensed and since we are South Dakota residents I called our mail forwarder, Alternative Resources in Sioux Falls, and we filled out the paperwork, I had printed it off their website. My biggest concern was the state won’t accept credit cards or personal checks and since we bank with USAA Bank and they have no facilities in this area I was concerned about how to get a money order. Luckily the post office will do money orders off cash or a debit card. So I was able to mail the paperwork to Alternative and with luck we will have our plates next week.

Later that afternoon long time friends Norma & Orren Cairo came out. Sarah has gotten Norma into beading and actually Norma is very good, she made a bracelet and ear rings that were quite nice. Anyway, we had a great afternoon talking and finished off the day with some grilled brats. We will see them again before we leave the area and maybe they will come over to Omaha in October and we will get to see them before we head south.

Today we are going in to Cynthia’s so I can get her computer sending emails again. Then tonight we are having dinner with long time friends Candi & Russ Cerniglia, Russ worked at Ruan when I did and he has developed a BBQ sauce that is very good. Go to http://www.russandfranks.com/ order some from his website, I believe you will enjoy it.

Tomorrow we go to Burlington, IA for my 50th class reunion, more on that later.

Dreams Do Come True

Monday, September 3, 2012

Griff’s RV Park, Altoona, IA

This is our favorite park; it has cement slabs, great water pressure, and 50-amp service. I really wish they had picnic tables but as someone said it would make it more difficult to mow, but it would still be nice. We have set our time to leave here on 1 October.
Since we have been here, we have driven to Omaha and Kansas City to visit. Last weekend we went to Omaha, a spur of the moment trip with Cynthia & Sarah. Sarah wanted to see the grandkids badly and Cynthia wanted to go riding, so we took her car drove over on Sunday, the 26th. We had a great time; the kids are growing so fast, it is difficult to keep up with them. We looked at a townhouse development and are contemplating buying one at some point in time because, as of now, this is where we want to settle.

Rusty, Carl & Merilee’s son, joined us for the day. He is a surgical nurse at one of the hospitals in Omaha. It was good to see him and find out what he is up to. We got home about seven after dropping Cynthia off at her place.

Wednesday Sarah met Norma Cairo and Linda Carstensen for lunch, Linda worked with Sarah and Norma. I picked up Orren, Norma's husband, and we went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch, the food was good and we visited for a couple of hours. Then we went back to Cairo's house and Sarah was teaching Norma how to make a beaded bracelet. We spent the afternoon with them and ended up staying for dinner. It was fun; we get to see these folks two or three times a year. I have known them for over forty years. Maybe we can get them to visit us in AZ this winter, we'll see.

Ever since my brother gave us his Ford Ranger to drive we have been thinking about buying a car for Sarah to drive following me when we move, we don’t go much over 250 miles at a time anyway so it isn’t too bad and Sarah says she doesn’t mind. So we bought a car and last Friday Cynthia, Sarah & I headed for Kansas City. We stayed at LaQuinta Inn, this was a nice motel, $57 for king bed. The only problem I had with it was the mattress was TOO soft; I woke up with a sore back. Other than that, it was clean and quiet.

Steve & Lynne’s son Zack is in the marching band and they were playing at the football game Friday night. I love High School football, I don’t like sitting in the rain to watch it and KC was getting inundated with rain from the hurricane that came ashore in Louisiana, in fact KC area received upwards of seven inches Friday & Saturday. Therefore, when I saw it was still raining at game time I declined to go to the game. Steve, Lynne and Sarah went and got soaked. The band canceled their part of the evening so I didn’t miss anything. We helped Steve with a sump pump problem and headed home about six thirty and we got home at ten thirty. It was a great time, next time we will plan a longer stay, maybe when we come back in the spring we’ll stop for a few days.

Today we went to Matt & Tiffany’s for a cook out, it rained on the way to their house but wasn’t raining when we got there; however, we weren’t there long before it began. It rained for about an hour or so and then the sun came out. Around five Matt fired up the grill and grilled steaks, hamburgers and hotdogs, he did a superb job the steaks were great. We had a terrific visit with them and plan to see them on Sunday.

Until later – Dreams Do Come True