Thursday, July 13, 2017


Nothing like a deadline to get things done.  So, the story is, what were the deadlines and what did we get done.

Four days after returning from our North Carolina trip, we hosted a couples wedding shower for our nephew Taylor and his bride-to-be Kara.  I looked forward to this party—what is more upbeat and happy than a wedding shower.  On the way back from our trip I worked up a schedule for cleaning and cooking.  Believe it or not for those who know me, I stuck to the schedule and the wedding party day came with my windows, floor and bathroom clean.  It was a great afternoon.

A family reunion in Junction City, long time former neighbors spending the day here, another weekend visit by the Wickers our friends since early marriage, our nephew’s wedding, Flint Hills Cemetery hunting, Dan’s 55th year Chapman High School reunion in Abilene, Symphony in the Flint Hills with weekend campout.  These were fun times. And, I will revisit some because they are just too good not to write about.   But, there was another date looming that we had a long to-do list forming. 

All our kids were coming home for the 4th of July!  Top of the list:  get the boat running.

We have had this boat stored for a very long time—17 years to be exact.  It is a 1970 Switzer speed boat. My guess is you might not realize the boat is 47 years old, especially from a distance where you can’t see that it needs repainting.

Switzer boatSwitzer was one of the first speed/drag boats and we’ve always thought it is just a great looking boat.  This picture was taken after Dan and I removed the defunct 135 hp Mercury outboard and replaced it with this 115 hp Merc.  I don’t even want to think about what was involved with lifting these extremely heavy motors using the tractor loader. 

But, we did it and it ran—for two skiers.  Unfortunately, our goal of getting this boat ready for our family visit didn’t entirely work out.  The propeller failed and it took us several days after everyone went home to figure that out.

Then there was the matter of replacing the carpet with hardwood flooring in the room we call our office.

But, it is late and I am tired.  More on projects and deadlines over the weekend.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Catching Up

I’ll begin where I left off with the end of the trip to North Carolina the later part of April.  The pictures of the regatta on my last post were the beginning of a very wet visit.  We were disappointed we didn’t get to ride the New River Rail to Trail in Virginia but it literally was pouring rain and part of the trail was in a canyon.  We heard after we got home that the New River actually flooded during that time.  It is a scenic river.  We hope to go back.

Not letting a little rain dampen our visit, we had a great time with our North Carolina family.  By Wednesday of that week, we knew the regatta at Oak Ridge was going to be called off.  The water was not safe.  We were all disappointed because we were going to stay an extra day there.

I want to include a little conversation we had with a elder southern lady at Walmart in the Cary area that week.   She had her basket full of flowers and a few groceries.  She admitted to us that she probably had picked up too many flowers for her budget.  Justifying her purchase, she said, “If you have two pence, spend one on food and one on flowers.  One is to feed your body and the other to feed your soul.”  (By the way, in case I forget to mention it later, with the wet spring, the wildflowers in our pasture are especially striking this year)

We were able to attend an orchestra concert at the high school.  Proud of those kids.


Since everyone was looking forward to a little roadtrip and Oakridge was out, Friday of the week, we all packed up and left for Ashville North Carolina.  Our destination was Brevard but first we ate lunch and had a couple beers at the Wicked Weed Brewery in Ashville.  Good beer. (We read after we got home that Anheuser-Busch bought the business out.  They are attempting to move into the craft beer market).    We also visited the Biltmore Mansion.  I didn’t take many pictures because we have visited there before.  Did get this great family pic though.


The next morning, the kids hiked (don’t have the name of the hike, but there was a beautiful waterfall).  We rode our bikes on the Brevard city bike path which followed the Davidson River for a couple miles.  Then it was off for home.

It has to be the wettest roadtrip we have ever taken. We were able to travel about 30 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway but from then on we drove in a steady downpour.  As we came up through Illinois, we could see water was coming out of banks of rivers and lakes. 

It was this day that the North Fork of the White river  in south central Missouri where we have floated so many times had a devastating flood—they called it a 1,000 year flood.  It completely washed out the campground where we usually stay.  It took out bridges and houses all along that scenic river.

But, we made it home