We left Lake In Wood last weekend, leaving the rig on site for the insurance adjuster to address. We headed West in the truck for a few weeks of visiting friends. Our plans were to meet up with Tom and Deanna at Table Rock Lake in western Missouri. Tom and Deanna are friends we worked with at the Elkhorn Cafe in North Dakota and haven’t seen them since January of 2010. Traveling through the Midwest is a mesmerizing endeavor, such that I had forgetten that one needs constant stimulation in the form of music or conversation to keep from running amuck. There is not much to visualize in the bread basket, especially at this time of year. We made it to St. Louis by Sunday and that evening bunked down in Sullivan, MO. By midday Monday we had encountered our guests, stopping at Tom’s new purchase first. They had bought a storage facility and were in the process of remodeling it. They plan on adding an apartment for their stay between jaunts to North Dakota and Arizona.
We were guests of Deanna cousins who own the Big Creek resort actually on the lake. The honeymoon suite was our abode for the next four days and just a stone’s throw from the lake. Luckily it was a full moon this week and the evening shots made for some great photos despite a constant downpour for the first two day. We visited their relatives, friends, and were hosted in homes for dinner as if we’d been going there for years. I met the most interesting of men….Uncle Lester. Uncle Lester is a throwback to the inventor of days gone by. His shop is meticulous, he has every tool imaginable and some unimaginable. However, he buys almost nothing, making it all from scratch or inventing whatever he needs. There were too many items in the shop to discuss but his air powered, homemade tricycle caught my eye the most. He even gave Robin a performance in the yard as his pride in workmanship showed through. Tom and Deana took us to out to lunch, out to dinner, shopping around and even a long day trip to Branson, the Nashville of the west. We scoured through store after store so the ladies could continue to put things into the RV’s and took in a show that evening. An Indian powwow, put on by Lakota Sious out of Brule. The costumes and dancing were great but the music was wonderful. What I thought might be a so-so experience proved quite entertaining. We had planned to stay longer but a call from Florda prompted our stay be held to four days. We had been offered jobs in Naples as resort directors and the owner asked they we arrive a bit earlier than expected. After spending the last night chatting and playing board games with Tom and Deanna we headed back to western PA for the final visit of the year to family. We spent our first travel night in Indiannapolis. And I was reminded of how much I needed to see some hills again. Be thankful for where you are….as you shall miss it when you’re gone. Back in western PA now for a weeks visit with friends and relatives since we won’t be here for Thanksgiving. Christmas shopping, visitations, football playoff games will be the key words for the week.