Back Home In Illinois

We are back home for a short time.  We’ll be here around 3 weeks total.  Its good to see the kids again.  We left Harlingen on Saturday afternoon and arrived Monday afternoon.  The goal was to make it to Scott and Brandy’s  bar for tacos.  They serve them only on Mondays 5-7.  20170515_174717

They are deep fried, something you can’t get in Texas.  Must be a northern thing.  Brandy puts in the meat filling, inserts toothpick.  Drop them in the fryer and immetiately open and put in lettuce, onions and tomatoes after frying…..mmmmm…..Saturday morning I had an employees meeting before we left.  I work at the Cinemark 10, 2 days a week on the weekends in the box office.  I, of course am the oldest.  Most are all kids or young adults.  It was rather interesting.  The General Manager of the theater held the meeting.  The purpose of course is to update all employees on new programs coming up for the summer, as well as safety issues, fire drill procedures, and many at risk situations.  But the think I find most interesting is the general manager is so good with these kids.  He is firm with rules, but he also builds them up, trying to get them to strive for the very best in life.  He demands respect and yet have fun at the same time.  One of the managers, Miss Ramos, has been taking the steps to climb the ladder in the company.  She has just taken a test and achieved a fabulous score.  The General Manager announced that she was 4th in the nation and is now titled “Assistant General Manager”  Everyone is called Miss or Mr.  In fact, this is something I have noticed here in the Rio Grande Valley.  Their is respect everywhere from little kids to Seniors.  You can be in a grocery store or on the phone, and everyone says, “Thank You Maam”……It is something that is taught from childhood on and still continues.   As soon as I came back home we finished packing. 20170512_145157

This little guy was hanging around on the awning.  There are zillions of these everywhere.  Kinda cute……It was so hot……Sweat was just pouring off Rich.   Finally we took off and had a rather uneventful trip home……but that’s good…

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Kitty enjoyed the ride as usual, sleeping most of the time.  He would of course also sit on his foot stool by his dad and paw at him.  He always wants Rich to pet him while driving.

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Finally crossing the Mississippi we made it into Illinois.  We seen some floods coming across Arkansas.  They were really hit bad on the White River.  The Mississippi was up but nothing out of the ordinary.  Its been so much worse.

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Brandy behind bar

We arrived in McNabb and parked at “One Pawz Pub”.  Brandy was working,  Scott showed up about a half hour later, from driving truck.  This was the first time we had seen the new progress on the bar.  Scott reconstructed a new bar and put stripe designs in it and covered it with epoxy.  This is not a good picture but it is beautiful.

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Patio area….it was getting dark

He has also finished his patio out back.  He made all his own bars and bar stools and painted them different bright colors.  He also made 3 octagon picnic tables and put down grass turf.  They have a Harley Davidson Bag game in the area you can’t see.  He is striving to gain a lot of bikers this summer on their poker runs.

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Tammy, Cassidy and Carly came for Tacos.  Also her boyfriend Bryan and son.  Ed, Tinas Husband showed up with Austin.  Tina was at a softball game with Miley.  Finally Cameron came in.  He was working…….”What a Nice Sound”…..lol….This past year, Cameron has made “HUGE STEPS” in his life.  He accomplished his GED, then went to Truck Driving School, obtained his CDL, and now has a seasonal job at AG Service.  He drives the chemicals out to the fields for the farmers as they plant.  He loves it.  He also has a truck driving job coming up after the season is over.  It will be a roller coaster for him as he is only going to be 19 in June.  Lots of companies can’t or don’t want to hire him because of insurance.  When he is 21 it will get better…..Just have to stay positive….Finally Connie, Richs youngest sister came and Brian.  We had a nice visit eating Tacos.  Finally drove to the house a block away before dark, parked and settled in.

Now time for a “Randy update”.  Randy has been in New Orleans and Galveston having a Grand time.  He went to a museum to check out and learn about alligators and turtles.

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Look at Randy’s COOL NEW PANTS

He’s been to many resturants checking out the hot sauces and peppers…..lol

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But he decided to eat Brownies instead…..Guess he knew it would tear up his stomach.

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So now Randy and his parents are all packed up.  They are heading on their way to Maryland.  Their having such a good time seeing the sites….

Cant wait till we see where Randy’s Adventures take him next…..

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Randy and his Mom in Galveston La.

 

 

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….