The real class of ’72….

Robyn has been having fun connecting with a number of her high school classmates from more than 40 years ago! I attended the same school, so it’s my reunion as well, just that hers is an “honored class” and so many more are here.

Still in the midst of the weekend. We boys are resting in the Taxi in a parking lot of the lovely Andrews University campus where I grew up. Robyn’s “doing history” with her gang, and I hope planning something fun and tasty for this evening. And tomorrow for brunch.

We have arrived

What a journey: more than 40 years after Robyn and I started dating while she was in high school here, we have returned for alumni weekend.

We arranged to park the Taxi beside the academy building. Good heavens, we will be staying at the school for the entire weekend! Can’t even imagine wanting to do that “back in the day.”

Just this trip to get here has been invigorating.

We left Grandma Fell in good health in Kokomo, in order to stop by the shop that does our coach work. Some little things for them to think about before work next week. But the biggest was to broach the topic of an alteration to our glorious shower stall….to enhance Ross and Ryan’s enjoyment of it.

They both love the sensation of sitting and lying in a pool of water. Ross is completely nuts about it, and frequently expresses his frustration about the lack of even a puddle in the shower stall. Robyn has been tireless in her effort to improve the situation, and has even been using a small inflatable pool in the shower…to the boys’ great delight.

Oh happy day, our friends at Precision Painting put us in touch with the man whose shop produced the original base of our shower! His business still does the same work, and it was located on our route from Precision up to Andrews University.

With a phone call of introduction, we stopped by his shop on Tuesday. He proposed simply removing the curved shower doors, adding 10 inches of height to the front lip of the shower stall base, and using a shower curtain. Presto! A lovely permanent shallow tub, while preserving our granite shower stall.

He’ll have it made next week and will install it when we drive through Wakarusa on our way back to Precision!

So we journeyed on to Elkhart for a morning of major fluid service. We needed oil or fluid changed on our generator engine, coach engine, and the transmission. At least 7 filters to change, and more than 22 gallons of oil or ATF. Crucial, expensive pieces of equipment that need periodic attention, and then they’ll patiently go about their business for another year (or three, in the case of the transmission) without complaint or further attention.

Ahh, the bill….whew, glad the transmission’s expensive fluid doesn’t have to be changed for at least another four years, just filters in 36 months!

We happily left the shop and motored toward Andrews, about 45 miles away.

Made it to Mishawaka, where we had the BBQ mentioned below. Came out to the Taxi to find a small pool of diesel fuel on the parking lot beneath a new fuel filter. Oops, wrong filter.

Motored 15 miles back to the shop. Right filter not in town; gotta stay overnight in their lot so the filter can arrive in the morning….

So here we are, finally.

We expect to have some very significant reflections on life’s history this weekend, with a lot of laughs, raised eyebrows, and hugs all around!

Rain today, no pictures. Tomorrow, maybe I can get you some photos of all the old people who show up for
Robyn’s reunion…..

Parked in a park

Took Grandma Fell for a ride around her community today. Ended up less than 3 miles away in a great little park.

Walked through the crunchy leaves, gazed in wide wonder at the colorful trees, pulled out the rocking chairs and had a fabulous picnic lunch whipped up in the coach microwave, and finished the meal with Haagen Dazs ice cream. Picnics are great when you have everything with you including the kitchen sink, microwave AND convection oven, freezer, and real dishes.

A building in the park houses the stuffed body of “the world’s largest preserved steer”, Old Ben. Real stinkin big: upwards of 5,000 lbs during life. Housed behind a glass window that really interferes with photos.

Across the way was this great covered bridge, now accessible only by foot traffic.

It was hard to tell which was better, the nice weather or the solitude of the park. Kind of quiet in the middle of the day and middle of the week. Most little angels are away at school, and mommie and daddy are at work.

Great day, parked in a park.

Worth the wait

Ahhhh, peach mango frozen yogurt topped with fresh red raspberries! Ross and Ryan love it; it’s Daddy’s favorite.

We figured to head out of town today, wending our way up to Kokomo for a few days. Wait, must return DVDs to library. Oh, that’s across the street from the license bureau where we can renew the handicap placard that’s expired. Hey, we might be able to get Robyn’s lens replaced that Ryan scratched. Whoa, here’s Walmart, let’s stop and eat lunch because I need a water filter they sell. Do you suppose the meds are ready at Kroger? You know, Kohls has some jeans I need to look at.

It was 6:45pm.

Nevermind. We’re staying at The Greene for the night. Robyn is going to a 10:30pm movie with Ann. I’ve got a haircut appointment in the morning.
Which means it’s a short walk with the boys to the Yoba cafe for some of that really delish frozen yogurt. Sunset along the way.

What an experience

This event called “gearfest” has gone completely over the top. Huge crowds, doing a dozen events all at the same time, some with multiple heats over two days leading up to a single race. Near bedlam most of the time. We loved it!

Traffic past our windows for two days….in cars, on bikes, on foot….back and forth, because some events started here and went to there, and because some parking was here and some was there.

They’ve announced the event will change name for next year, to Midwest Outdoor Experience. What began some 9 years ago as a very modest demonstration of kayaks and backpacks, has turned into a massive happening that provides hands-on testing, professional demonstrations, and multiple race events. All with an outdoor emphasis.

Fun snowboard and snowtube opportunities on trucked-in snow. Kayak and canoe testing in the park’s smaller river and low-dam pool, with additional pro kayak demonstrations in an above-ground pool built for the event.

An amazing new gymnastic-type event was here: slackline. Those who do it are called….slackers! Not completely new, because this was billed as the US National Championship! It’s balancing and doing some extreme gymnastics on a 2″ web line stretched only tight enough about 2′ off the ground that there’s some bounce available. Ryan even got in a demonstration on a lower version for beginners (check out his smirk).

Trick bicycles: the guys were hopping them onto picnic tables!

Nothing is simple anymore: the bike race that ran past our front window included a pair of logs across the path! Some chose to get off and carry their bikes across, some managed to ride them. Some managed to fall.

It was a better day to be competing in something rather than watching, because there was a constant, biting cold wind. Yet, there were no complaints, because everything was SO intense!

Yesterday was a rainy warm-up. We considered today to be the celebration of Ross and Ryan’s birthday, and it was a resounding success!