Tuesday, September 22, 2015

July 4th, 2015 in Indiana

After we left Jefferson City, Mo.  where Cousin Skip lives,  We traveled to Indiana to spend a fun 4th of July and longer with Jeffs cousin Jim and wife Judy.  Jim is Skips older brother.     
This is Jeff and I with Jim and Judy on their big gorgeous patio.
We have always enjoyed spending time with them.
 We always have things to talk about,  laugh about and sometimes cry about.
 They took us on the Bell Of Louisville boat ride, supper and entertainment 43 years ago when we were on our Honeymoon.  

 I had heard how Jim and Judy enjoy the 4th of July and always have a big celebration,  I had never seen a yard and house so fully decorated with the Red, White and Blue patriotic theme.  It was absolutely beautiful and we had the worlds best time celebrating with them, their family and friends.  

I started to count the flags and I gave up after 100 +.  

You can see who gets the attention in this house!
Jim and Judy with their youngest Great Granddaughter.  Below is both of their Great Granddaughters.   The oldest is their oldest grandsons daughter and the baby is their youngest grandsons daughter.  

Judy enjoying time with the baby, Great Granddaughter. 

Tana is Jim and Judy's daughter,
 the mother of their two grandsons. 

Wyatt their oldest grandson with his daughter.  

Cameron their youngest Grandson.  
Below is his baby daughter, below that is his girl friend.  
Precious baby girl all dressed for 4th of July.  

I love all that beautiful long red hair of mom tenderly feeding her baby. 

The big attraction when we first got to Jim and Judy's was a flower by their house they called ,  "9 O'clock" flower.     

I was intrigued by this flower.  At 9 PM every evening,  these little buds open up to a bright yellow flower.  It only takes about 30 seconds for the bud to open.  Notice below,  It is like the stamen turnes and they pop open.  They are open all night and the next day they are starting to dry up and getting ready for a whole new batch of buds to open.  We made sure to watch this amazing plant every evening at "9 O'Clock".

4th of July in Marengo, Indiana was one very big event. This town is not that big, population about 800.  My husband Jeff used to live in this very town for several of his childhood years.  He spent many hours playing with his older cousins Jim and Skip who also lived in Marengo.   

This celebration started with a charity walk/run with several hundred participants. They had bands, street dance,  a small old fashioned carnival. Games for the children,  a very nice parade, antique car show,  flea market, lots of food, funnel cakes, home made Ice Cream and more.     

This is a very special car, owned by none other than, Jim and Judy.  He had a Firebird in their first years of marriage and still cherishes this car, takes great care of it and
 drives it every year in the 4th July parade. 

I thought this was a cool entry in the parade. 

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WOW!  Jim even won a trophy  for entering his "Firebird".
 We are all proud of you Jim.

Cousins Jeff and Jim catching up on old memories.
  They spent many hours visiting.

 Jim enjoying 4th of July events,  many friends and relatives always show up to enjoy the day.

Another picture of the four of us.
Thank You Jim and Judy for the invitation
and for being such great hosts and great friends.

This is Skips youngest son, Scott and his mother Susan. 

This is Judy's nephew, his wife and children.  
 They have three beautiful children,  the girls are twins. 

How about that t-shirt?  very cute!  and patriotic dresses too.  

Such cute, sweet little girls.

  Below is Judy's sister Claudette enjoying grandma time with one of her granddaughters. 

Judy's daughter Tana enjoying some
 special time with her granddaughter. 

Tana's husband enjoying some Grandpa time as sweet baby catches a nap.  Grandpa's lap must be comfy. 

Judy with her Cousin and Aunt. 

Just to prove there really were fireworks.
 Yes, 3 nights in a row!
 Only one night from the town of Marengo.

Below are a couple pictures of Marengo.  
As my husband looked at this building,  he quoted the Forrest Gump movie,
 "Sometimes there is just not enough rocks." 

I just had to add this fun picture of me in this very cool red vintage car.  I would have bought it but there wasn't enough room in our garage.  LOL!    Good excuse, right?

Monday, September 14, 2015

First week in July 2015 with my husbands long lost cousin.

The end of June we traveled to Jefferson City, MO.   and then to a beautiful location, close to the Lake of the Ozarks,  on the Osage River where Jeff's first cousin, Skip, lives.   

Skips son Eric lives just up the hill in this beautiful house.
You can see how close to the river we were and as the river was up it was "right on" the river.  

Skip with his oldest son Eric. 

Skip has this gorgeous waterfall just a few yards from his house.  It flows very heavy when water is let out of some of the Ozark Lakes for recreation.

Skip was so gracious to drive us around Jefferson City to show us some of the beautiful sites.  He also treated us to a wonderful buffet supper.  I know I ate way too much.  Thank's Skip. 
This is the Missouri State Penitentiary that is no longer in use.  Since Skip was a Police officer for years, he has many memories of this building and walking through these doors. 

It is a big beautiful sandstone building and there are tours and also it has been used for filming prison movies. It is also a museum with tours and Ghost/Paranormal tours.   

Skip took us to the back to see the Gas Chamber. 
 He remembers walking prisoners from the prison
building to the Chamber and told us their is a "cross"  made into the sidewalk that leads to the Chamber. 
Jefferson City is also the capital of Missouri.  This is the big, tall, beautiful "Capital" building.    
Fountain and sculptures in the Capital courtyard. 
Just to show you how big these sculptures are.
  BTW,  thats me.

I was happy to see the 10 commandments still in the court yard.

Below, Jeff and Skip enjoy looking over the river.   

This is only part of the beautiful scene they were looking at. 

Skip and Jeff, (first cousins on their mothers side) pose for a picture.  They enjoyed many hours of visit time since they had not seen each other for about 40 years.  FB is wonderful and a great way to find family, friends and in this case, a cousin.  

So on the way back to Skips home (on the River)  we hit a terrible storm, strong winds, small hail and pouring rain like I had never seen before.   Oh yes, lets not forget the Tornado warnings.  God kept us safe and we made it back to find even higher water.   

"How high's the water mama?  10 ft high and rising"

Yes, the ground patio was under water and several feet in his basement.    

We were entertained by the high fast running river, notice the full big hay bale floating down the river and below is a big tree that was uprooted and blown down floating down the river.  I guess with the power of that storm, it was a blessing we didn't see bodies floating down the river.  Don't laugh, it has been known to happen.  Skip remembers a few rescue missions.  

Here is Skip checking for weather warnings or to check how high the river was expected to get. I loved looking at all his police memorabilia on his office walls.
We very much enjoyed our visit with Skip. 
 He was a great host. 
The waterfall after the storm.  It was roaring!

Next stop,   Skip's older brother, Jim, his wife Judy and family in Indiana.  As children Jeff remembers many fun times and memories made with his older cousins Jim and Skip.