Monday, September 19, 2011

Friends and Friendly Places

My brothers often teased me as a child, saying that the gypsies dropped me off in the middle of the night.  Of course, one look at my picture beside my mother’s and there is no doubt that I am an authentic part of the family, but I did inherit a gypsy soul from somewhere.  I have always loved to travel and this new RV lifestyle really appeals to me.  Tonight I am writing from just outside of Sikeston, Missouri.  Tomorrow I will drive down into northern Arkansas to visit a cousin I haven’t seen in way too long.

Despite my love for the traveling life, there are certain places and certain people that make me want to linger in one spot a little longer.  Hohenwald, my adopted hometown is one of those places.  I was able to spend most of Saturday there with friends and family.  Aiden and Addy turned 9 this week and while I was pleased that they liked my gifts, I found myself just sitting back and watching them and Drake in amazement.  It’s just so hard to believe that many years have passed.  Devin and Jenifer’s wedding seems like just last year to me.  Do I sound old now, or what?

Sister Linda let me run a load of laundry through while we sat on the front porch visiting.  Her best friend Jane showed up – another favorite person to chat with.  Of course I didn’t have much more than an hour to visit with the girls because they were going off to Pickwick with some friends from work – and because I spent an hour or so before I got there visiting with the sweetest couple I know: Bill and Martha.  These newlyweds have been making it work for 53 years this December and still seem to be sweet on each other.  I am ashamed to admit that I have missed seeing them the last 3 or 4 times I have been in town so I hope they feel caught up now.  I hated to leave them because their home is so warm and cozy and they truly make a guest feel welcome.  But I had more folks to see and they have quite a busy schedule too.

One of the lists I was advised to keep when I started rv’ing is places I have stayed that I would like to return to or recommend to others.  This weekend I stayed at my all time favorite campsite: JRD Ranch, or as I like to call it: Mi Paradiso.  Sorry folks, it’s not a commercial site so I can’t refer you there, but if you love wide open spaces, big star-filled night skies, morning coffee as black as the skies you camp under, all without the drive to Montana, then this is the spot.  My hosts for the weekend made me feel truly spoiled as they always do.  And while I do hope to park Seeker under those big Montana skies one day, Montana has a lot to live up to if she wants to compare with these folks.  Nope, not mentioning names or even the town here.  This is one spot that’s way too good to share.  But I do want to say thanks to Jay and Pam for all their help this weekend and always. 

Time to shut everything down for the night and get an early start in the morning.  Today I logged 2 or more caches in 4 different states just to see if I could do it.  I admit to almost giving up in Missouri but finally accomplished that goal.  Tomorrow I hope to log the oldest cache in Arkansas and fill in a block on my chart for June 2000.  Pretty cool, huh? 

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