Sunday, May 17, 2009

5/17/09 Another Sunday, and for once, it IS sunny! We are visiting Elaine's nephew, Jerry Traughber, his wife, Lori, and their kids Mitch and Maddie in Delafield, Wisconsin. Our arrival here was mid-day yesterday and since then we have been on 2 hikes with them, and had three great meals. Here are a few pictures from today's hike:
This is the tower we all climbed to look out over the area. It is the highest point in the county at 1233 feet (gee, the tower doesn't look that tall, does it?!)

The tower and trail were in one of the Wisconsin state parks: Lapham Park. This is the trail sign:

And here are most of the happy hikers: Elaine and the Traughber Family.

We always have a good time when we visit Jerry & Lori because they are always in a different location! The last time we saw them, they were stationed in Spain, and before that we visited them in Germany, Virginia, Georgia, and California. I wonder where they will be stationed next??!!
Last week we were visiting several of Elaine's sisters at the Cannell family farm, where Elaine grew up. It is in Winnebago, IL, near Rockford. There are 3 houses in a row on the farm and her sister Georgeanne and her husband Dennis live in one, her sister Mary Sue lives in one, and her nephew Tom Daly and his family live in the other. The house that Mary Sue lives in used to be the old Fell School where all of them went to elementary school. The land for the school was donated by the Cannells, and Elaine's Dad was in the first class there, and her brother was in the last class, before the school closed down. We parked on the grass right alongside it and enjoyed the family visits but not the weather. There were several very windy days, and also one HUGE thunderstorm with torrents of rain, and several smaller storms. The ground was getting pretty soggy under our tires and if the expected storm for Friday night had hit, we probably wouldn't have been able to leave until things dried out. One day Elaine's cousin, Lynell, drove out for a visit and I remembered to get the camera out. This is a picture of Elaine, her sister Georgeanne, cousin Lynell, and sister Mary Sue:

A frequent visitor at Mary Sue's is Tom & Lana Daly's son, Allen, and he liked to visit us too. Here is a picture of him with Georgeanne's husband (and his grandfather) Dennis Daly:

Those of you who have followed our travels for a long time know that we used to spend some time visiting Elaine's cousin Sheila, who owned the Juan de Fuca Cottages in Sequim, WA. Much to our dismay, she sold her property there 3 years ago and moved back to Rockford. We quite miss our visits with her and also the beautiful parking spot we had there overlooking Dungeness Bay and crabbing there in our inflatable boat. But because she lives here now, we got to have a delicious lunch with her at Red Lobster (thanks again, Sheila)and see her new apartment at St. Ann's. Here is a picture of Elaine and Sheila on the grounds of St. Ann's:

Friday, another sister, Thomasine and her husband, Frank, drove up from southern IL to see everyone and there was a big party at Georgeanne and Denny's place. Here they are sitting in the kitchen:

Sometimes, when Elaine gets together with her sisters, they bond over vodka gimlets. Here is a picture of Elaine and Lana Daly bonding over vodka gimlets at Friday's party:

The other family that showed up for the party was Georgeanne & Denny's youngest son, David, his wife Carrie, and their 4 children:

As soon as they arrived, the activity level went up quite a lot and it reminded us of when Elaine and I first lived together and our 4 kids were ages 9,6,3, and 2. We looked at Dave & Carrie's kids who are nearly those same ages and we said to ourselves, "How the heck did we ever cope!?" It must have been because we were younger - MUCH younger! Dave & Carrie do an excellent job of it!
Tomorrow we are going to do some shopping with Lori and then leave here to head up to Mayville, to visit Elaine's oldest sister, Barbara, who is Jerry's Mom and Lori's Mom-in-law. Jerry's sister, Lisa, also lives there. That will conclude the family visits for this trip. More on future plans in the next posting.


CaliforniaGrammy said...

Great times with family are priceless!

Jerry and Nancy said...

We just wanted to let you guys know that we've had a lot of fun following your adventures visiting family and friends across the country the past few weeks. It's almost like one of your sea cruises ...lots of stops and interesting descriptions of the people and sites.
Take care,
Nancy and Jerry

ourbusandus said...

So, if I have my count right, Elaine has six sisters? Any brothers in there anywhere? Sounds like you are having way too much fun, we should be getting up that way sometime around mid July, visit friends and family.

Hugs, Sharon & Ron