Monday, April 13, 2020

The journey began, part 3

While in Grain Valley, MO we met our first traveling nurses, Mandy and Marie.  We have met countless since then.  No idea that many traveled around.  We left Grain Valley, MO July 27th to begin the next phase of our lives.

We headed to Ottumwa, IA, my home town, and the town where Pat spent a good share of his childhood.  We were in the same grade (we had 550 in our class), went to high school together, and didn't meet until after we graduated. Pat's Mom and several of his siblings and their families still live there.  Pat's  Mom and her husband, Oscar, were in the process of selling their large 3 story house, that she had lived in for 53 years, in preparation for a move to a smaller home.  Pat doesn't carry grudges, but he remembers when they moved from the farm to Ottumwa because they forgot his 7th birthday because of the move, lol!

Since we had spent our married life away from Ottumwa, Pat wanted to take time and help with the packing and moving.  We stayed in Ottumwa until Sept. 6 at Greater Ottumwa Park, nicknamed "Goose Poop Park" by me.   They protect their geese in Ottumwa!! We stuck to the flat parts of town (there are some BIG hills) and did a lot of biking.  They had a lot of paved paths and, of course, we biked over to Happy Joe's for a Happy Joe's special (canadian bacon and sauerkraut pizza), and to the Canteen,, which is practically a landmark!  A trip to the Canteen for a Canteen, with cheese in my case (a loose meat sandwich), is a must when visiting there.  It's a tiny place that is very unique.  Another great spot in Ottumwa is Graham's Dairy Freez.  You can't get better ice cream anywhere.

Krikkit enjoying a kiddie cone at Graham's Dairy Freeze in Ottumwa, IA
Levy in Ottumwa, IA

Greater Ottumwa Park

Our youngest son, Chris, lived in Cedar Rapids, IA at the time, so we made 2 trips to see him.  On July 31 we headed to Linn County's Squaw Creek Campground, not too far from Cedar Rapids.  Chris shared his solar expertise (he, along with his 2 older brothers were on the Univ. of Missouri, Rolla's solar car team in college) to help Pat install 6 solar panels and replaced the original inverter with a sign-wave inverter.  This took several days. The park was one of the prettiest we've been in, with big spacious sites.   It had an outstanding, award winning playground. It was so relaxing, at least for me, since I got to watch Pat and Chris work!
Pat and Chris working on solar panels.
Playground at Linn County Squaw Creek Campground

On National Beer Day, Aug. 2, we went to Ely, IA to check on the progress of Chris' new house.  Ely is a small town near Cedar Rapids.  We met a friend of Chris' at the Ely bar where they all had a beer, and I cheated and had wine, followed by dinner at the Butcher Block Steakhouse back in Cedar Rapids.  It's always a great place to eat!

On the 3rd, they wired 5 of the solar panels and we headed to Chris' for homemade grilled pizza.  We finished the evening with homemade ice cream (using what use to be our old hand crank ice cream maker, a White Mountain Triple Motion that came from Pat's grandparents) that was shared with Chris' neighbors.

White Mountain, Triple Motion, ice cream maker

On the 4th, the final solar panel was installed and connected.  We headed to the Coralville Reservoir to cross an item off my bucket list--jet skiing!  I was too afraid I would wreck one of his jet skis, so I accepted a ride which I counted' and crossed that off my list.  We stopped off at Beerburger for lunch.  It had a garage-themed atmosphere and FABULOUS burgers, some infused with beer.  For dinner we were off to Chris' for his "famous," and delicious, French Dip sandwiches.

With a stop off in Williamsburg, IA to visit friends we headed back to Ott. on the 6th.

We took another shorter trip to Cedar Rapids, Aug. 19-22 and stayed again at Squaw Creek Campground.  Another stop to visit friends in Williamsburg before returning for the last time to Ottumwa.

Things were sorted, packed, and moving day for Pat's Mom and Oscar was Aug. 31.   A few problems that day, but it turned out successful, and they moved into their new home. Pat got rear-ended in our Malibu.  It was totaled!  Pat's brother, Luke, helped pound it out so it looked a little better and was functional.  It broke our bike rack and I think caused damage that led us to trade it in this past February.

53 years in this house

Sept. 6 we left Ottumwa.  We would miss Fri. game and dinner nights with Pat's siblings and their families, as well as time with his Mom, Oscar and others.  We had so much fun.  We hadn't spent so much time in Ott. at one time since we left nearly 40 years prior.

Part 4 of our journey continues next week.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, originally we were going to stay south until it warmed up and head to KC, Palmyra and Iowa. Then the world changed!