Visiting Friends, At Son’s Graduation…Air Force Basic

Last month Rich and I drove to San Antonio for an overnighter.  We met our friends Tammy and Dan, from Illinois, now Kentucky at the KOA.  Their son Travis, graduated from High School and entered the Air Force.  He was graduating from Lackland Airforce Basic Training.  Tammy messaged me about a month before asking if I would come up.  She thought that we wouldn’t want to drive the 4 hours to see them.  Now I said “Tammy, 4 hours in Texas is nothing.  Of course well come up.”  So plans were made.
PrintTammy and I met when I worked at Plano Molding in Mendota Illinois.  I started in Feb 1991.  It was a newly built plastic injection molding plant that made Caboodles and Tackle Boxes.  I’m sure most fishermen know the name and have certainly owned a Plano Molding tackle box.  When school graduated, in June Tammy got a job at Plano.  She was fresh out of High School.  We worked on what they called a Pod.  Their was 3 different injection press’s shooting out parts placed in a U shape.  The tables were arranged so that 5-8 workers had work stations to assemble the pieces and a finished product was made in minutes, if not faster.  We had 4 different pods.  We were all teams that worked together all the time.  We would rotate the different pods, but our teams would stay together.  So we all worked 12 hour shifts and became friends.  We often said we were more like family, cause we seen each other more that our kids.  We worked 12 hour nites.   We had so much fun during those years.  It was very long nites assembling all those tackleboxes and caboodles.  So it wasn’t long before we made our own fun.  We did a lot of really not so nice things…..lol….We should have been fired so many times, but our supervisor didn’t really care as long as we got the job done.  We even brought in Super Shooter squirt guns and would shoot each other as well as shooting the stream of water up and over into the next pod.  That was dangerous, but we didn’t care.  …….We  were “”BAD””…….During that time Tammy became engaged to her boyfriend Dan, that she had dated in High School.  Finally they married.  327561_1888455018776_7145052_o.jpg

She said she would never have kids….lol….  Now many of us say that don’t we.  But of course once pregnancy occurs, their only 1 way out.  You have 9 months to think about it and then you can’t wait.  You just want it over.  Before you know it you have a little bundle of joy.  Tammy and Dan had Travis and then about 6 years later, they had Racheal.

About 10 years ago Dan’s job caused them to move to Kentucky.  I had already left Plano and moved on.  We still kept in contact.  It seems that no matter where you work, you usually have a coworker that will be a special friend for life.  You share a bond that is hard to explain.  Well that was Tammy.  Even after she moved to Kentucky, we visited her several times.  When we first got our Beaver motorhome, that was the first trip we took.  To Kentucky for the weekend.309909_4654225041298_546320600_n.jpg

She just loves when friends from home come and visit.  Our first year out in the MH we stopped again on the way back to Illinois from Texas.  Again she was so excited.   She is the kind of friend that you know your always welcome.  Even if you haven’t talked for a long time, you just pick up where you left off.35509516_10205012817516744_3064731144500019200_n

So now its so hard to believe that Travis graduated High School in May, joined the Air Force and now graduated Basic Training.  This has been very hard on TammyDan also.  They have been such great parents.  It is now time to let go of that first born, and it has been very hard.  Especially since he couldn’t even contact them for weeks.  38448917_10205188286103349_1342074063345942528_n

So that morning we drove up to San Antonio to meet them.  They had already been at KOA for a week.  Many family members came.  The was able to see Travis Graduate, and spend time with him.  Every nite he had to be back early to the base.  He was still under strict orders.  38411982_10205188285183326_9204871100155035648_n

They had such a great time visiting with him.  They are all so Proud, even Racheal.  Finally the day came he was back at base under orders again.  He would be leaving for Tech School soon.

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So that was when we came.  They had several days to wind down before heading home.  We rented a cabin at KOA.  They said it was a rustic cabin.  Yes it was.  We brought our bedding, and pillows.  We had A/C thank goodness, but no sink, or bathroom…..grrrrrrr…..for over $70.  Nice profit…..but we had a great time.  We stayed up that night to almost 1am.   We talked about old times.  All the kids, her friends and just everything under the sun.  We always talk about our years at Plano.  We recite all the story’s about our……. BAD DEEDS…..lol…..Dan and Rich always laugh !!!!  Gees I wonder if they get sick of hearing them all the time.   lol.   This is our attempt at a selfie….Not Good….38490894_10205188580230702_715337381653250048_n

This was our selfie about 4 years ago…..

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The next afternoon we took off and headed back south.  I was a wonderful visit with a Special Friend.  Friends who are Awesome parents, and are so so Proud of their son.38511390_10205188286983371_673752348652208128_n

…….Thank You Travis For Your Service…..

You may be young, but your growing into a

FINE YOUNG MAN

 

 

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45th Anniversary…….January 14, 1972

45 years ago tonite was a Friday nite.   It was the coldest nite of the year.  Brrrrr…I remember it was below zero.  Rich and I were married in the St. Johns Lutheran Church in Toluca Ill.  We had a simple ceremony with the reception after at the church hall.  All we had was cake nuts and mints.   lol.  Really cheap.  My mom hired a photographer and paid for the cake.  We paid for everything else which wasn’t much.  The entertainment was everyone watching us open our presents.  I remember they were all practical gifts.  Sheets, towels and washcloths, a Mirro Popcorn popper, lots of kitchen stuff.  My dress was made by a friend of ours.  It was a simple A-line dress made of polyester and we added some pearl trim to it.  It cost a whole $16.  Rich’s sport jacket was made at the Toluca Garment Factory where I worked.wedding2

After the wedding we drove in my 1969 Camero to Peoria.  We stayed at a hotel that nite that had underground parking.  Thank goodness we did, cause the car probably wouldn’t have started in the morning.  Who would have ever thought that 40 years later the hotel would be gone, and a parking lot to St. Francis Hospital built their.  Tammy would graduate their with her BSN and probably parked her car in that parking lot.  lol  The next morning we drove to Keithsburg Illinois on the Mississippi to Rich’s grandparents.  I had never met them before.  What a strange honeymoon.  We spent Saturday nite their and Sunday we had to jump the car to get it started because it was so cold.  We returned home to our apartment on Sunday in Oglesby.  I was suppose to go back to work at the Garment Factory on Monday, but I called in.  So that was the beginning.  lolwedding-3

Now to tell you a little bit that you may not know.  When I met Rich, he was living with a bunch of his friends in Chillicothe.  It was about the time the Vietnam War was ending.  Every nite, especially weekends, they would party in the trailer.  Black lights, Brightly painted orange walls, and 8 track tapes.   The music was loud, the lights would flash and kids would come and go.  As I hung around more, I realized that the guys were all divorced or separated and the girls that come had husbands that were over seas.   That is all but Rich……Well as I found out…..He was also married…..With a 2 year old daughter….Wow….He was working at Caterpillar in Peoria but had been calling off work telling lies.  Finally it caught up with him and he was fired.  I found out about his marriage, he found another job in Mendota at Motor Wheel.  He filled for divorce the next summer.  It took awhile, but around Thanksgiving he got the divorce in Peoria.  On the way home he stopped at a jewelry store in Chillicothe and bought my ring.  We were married by January.

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Now I was so innocent, I never even thought what people would think.  About a month later finally I was asked the question they all were wondering…….

“WHEN WAS THE BABY DUE”

What on earth were they talking about.  lol.   Finally April 6 1978 the baby was born.   Fooled them.   Well here we are 45 years, 3 kids, and 5 grandkids later.  Its really something as you think back to all those years.  At first your life is eternal.  You see old people who retire.  They have grey or white hair, and they simply stay home and grow older and die.  Either in the hospital or nursing home.  That certainly isn’t an age you will ever achieve.  Youth lasts forever.   It never grows old.  The family begins, baby’s come, before you know it youth is gone.  The weight problem gets worse.  Things start sagging.  lol.   And here comes the grey.  Finally retirement is before you……WHERE DID THE YEARS GO……We have retired ….  yes…  but were not sitting at home…..Nor in the Nursing Home…..Life has changed so much in the last several years.

We are now doing what we want.   Following the ADVENTURES in Life. 

It Is Our Plans.  These are the Best Years. 

Retirement is Grand……It Can Be What Ever You Want It To Be…..

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This is not my picture, but this is what my 1969 Camero looked like……If We Only Had it Today….