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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A Short and Sweet Catch up of our Summer...So Far

August 13, 2019

The Best Thing that Happened This Summer!!!!

We arrived downstate and set up at Algonac State Park on June 20th.  Actually we plugged in made sure the refrigerator was working, popped out the slides, cracked a few windows and headed over to our sons. We were both anxious for grandchildren hugs. Arrived back to the Stinger "B" around 10 o'clock and  looked around and decided to finish setting in the morning. Around 5:00AM we got a phone call from our son telling us our daughter-in-law was in labor. We got to the hospital about an hour after they did and Tom took the three grandchildren and headed back to their place to wait for the news. The three of us spent a lot of our time as we waited discussing names. They had decided not to find out ahead of time if it was a boy our girl and though they had a name picked out for a boy they could not come to an agreement about a girl's name.  About 6 hours later Thomas Norman Duchaine arrived. He looks a lot like his dad, his two brothers, and his sister and as you can see by the pictures everyone was very happy to see him. (Thank goodness it was a boy had it been a girl I think she would have gone home as Baby Girl Duchaine...lol)  The really important part is he is a healthy little boy.


I may be a little bias but I think he is just do darn cute.

Holding Thomas for the first time.

The 4th of July at the Stinger "B" parked at Algonac State Park.
There was the roasting of the hot dogs and smores.
It was a rough day. She made it up the stairs laid down and
was sound a sleep  right there on the floor.

Besides celebrating the birth of our newest grandson we had several Birthdays. June 19th Noah turned 9, on July 21st Jonah turned 7, Charlotte turned 8 on July 30th, and on August 1st Adelaide turned 3. On August 15th Marcella will be 5. Nathaniel is the only one who does not have a summer Birthday he has to wait until January 17th to turn 5.

We spent July 25th through the 29th parked out at Wells State Park about 30 miles south of us on Lake Michigan. My sister and her husband brought there new 5th wheel up and we had a fun camping weekend. Thomas and Nadine drove up and spent a couple of nights camping in their tent.
Well Thomas and his three oldest did. After one night Nadine and the newest member of our family joined Tom and I inside the Stinger "B". We had more family come out and spend some time with us which added to the weekend. This is a nice park with a great play area for the kids along with a beach area for swimming.  There are no pictures because no one thought to do so.

Okay so I lied, I did take one picture. Everyone was off doing something.
 It was just Thomas and I sitting under the awning enjoying a quiet moment.

Monday morning we headed back to our driveway and Thomas and Nadine along with their four kids stopped by before continuing on their long journey home. Thomas wanted to take one last walk through the house. I decided it might be nice to take a picture of the four of them on the front porch. The reason Marci is smiling, well she has the baby. It was the only way she would sit down. Noah and Jonah are not happy, because they do not have the baby. Luckily he is a good baby and goes with the flow. Plus, I forgot about the reflection in the window. At least all four are in the picture along with Nadine and I in the background.



I have to go through my pictures. I am pretty sure I have
a picture of every grandchild on this chair.
Which we left with the house.

At Bessie Park with Rachel's kids. This is as good as it  got.

More pictures of Thomas with his siblings.
He is a well loved baby.


With a sigh of relief we signed the final papers on August 2nd and we became HOUSELESS!!!


On Thursday August 1st Tom backed the Stinger "B" out of the driveway
for the last time. Bottom right is with our Realtor.

We walked out the door for the last time on Thursday and we were smiling but it still felt strange to close the door for the last time. Lots of memories walked out the door with us. I moved into this house with my parents in 1963. Tom and I moved into this house with our kids in 1994. Lots of special occasions were celebrated in this place but it was time to walk away and look ahead to the future and all the possibilities. A very young couple will now make this house their home and they are excited about the possibilities and just thinking about that makes me smile.

Today we are headed back down to Thomas and Nadine's for a couple of weeks. Then we will drive back up here. As I look at the calendar it is hard to believe by then it will be September. We have a tentative plan for this fall and winter but after the last two years until we are on the move we are not making a definite plan. We will be flying by "the seat of our pants" but then that is what makes, in our opinion, the journey fun.





Hope you are having a wonderful summer!
We are so glad you took the time to stop by to see what we have been up to. 
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Our May, So Far

Saturday May 4, 2019 through Saturday, May 18, 2019

I am not even going to try and pretend that I remember what we did on what day. Except for the five days I have pinpointed below. I know what happened on those days; there are pictures. The days have gone by mostly all merging together with the normal chores of Spring for Tom. He spent time, between the rain, raking the yard and then he went and retrieved the lawn mower from the storage unit and cut the grass. I have emptied cupboards and wiped them down, done some rearranging. Plus, there is a box started for St. Vinnies as I know there is more purging that will take place. Next week we will probably started doing some perging out at the storage unit. I know towards the end last year I saved things just because I was tired of deciding and now I know some stuff needs to go. Plus, I have several large containers of material that I need to get rid of and while we still have the house this would be a good time to do it. 
There have been several showings of the house, including one that was going on when we pulled in. Praying, fingers crossed, hoping (covering all the bases) it will sell soon. In the meantime we are settled in here in the driveway doing the everyday things that are part of living.


Spending time with these three little ones.
These three are our daughter's children.
Adelaide, Charlotte, and Nathaniel



Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Adelaide and Nate are in day care when there mom is working. Nate's, (he wants to be called Nate not Nathaniel), includes a pre-school program. This was there spring concert. There are two age groups and they each sang three songs. I think it took longer to get them situated in the stage area then to sing. It was cute and they had been told if they sang loud they would have cake and juice. So loud they all were. After wards we went out for dinner. His older sister came along.


My favorite one of him is the bottom right.


Walking in to the concert I spotted my first dandelion of the
season here in our area.


Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 9, 10, & 11, 2019

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were all about dance. This is Charlotte's 5th year in dance and it is a busy three days for her and her mom. Thursday they have stage lessons, Friday is dress rehearsal, and Saturday they have a 1 o'clock and 6 o'clock show. I have to say the woman who owns the Academy of Dance were she takes lessons keeps everything moving right along. I have been at the dress rehearsals the last five years and they last maybe ten minutes longer then the actual shows. She has an excellent staff and group of volunteers who keep things rolling. We live in a small town and yet these kids dance in front of a packed house every year.



Our daughter, Rachel and her very good friend, Tina.
Tina's daughter Trinity is in her first year. 







The seniors walk the little ones out during the finale.

The finale and we are done till next year.

Out to eat afterwards and a selfie with Nana and Papa.

A group photo.
Tom, and I , my sister Chris who has come each year,  Jody
our sister-in-law who has been at several of the
performances, our Daughter, Rachel and Charlotte


Sunday, May 12, 2019

After Mass on Sunday Tom took us out to the Casino for the Mother's Day Brunch.  While we were waiting for out table my brother, Frank and his wife, Jody walked in. It was a nice surprise and we ended up being able to have them join us at the table we were waiting for.





Saturday, May 18, 2019

We had several days of sunshine and blue skies and then today grey skies and rain on and off all day. Figures, since it is the weekend it would rain.  Back when we worked it was always so disappointing to have a weekend off and it would be raining.

So today's excitement was a drive out to the casino to use there dump station. Tom is the one who gets to have all the fun; I just go along for the ride. As long as we are in the drive way this will be our fun about every two weeks. It is not a bad drive, about 15 minutes, and the engine gets a little work out.


The ride on US-2 and 41

The Casino

Back to our neighborhood.

This has been our May so far. We have had rain, sunshine, cold days, and even some temperatures in the low 60's. The days will continue to unfold one at a time some will be spent taking care of things that need to be done and others will be spent relaxing and enjoying the day.




I am including this information just because.
I love the last sentence.


These are in our yard.
If I had my way they would cover the yard. I think they are beautiful.



To Our Canadian Friends:






So glad you took the time to stop by. 
Hope you are having a wonderful Spring filled with sunshine.
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.

Monday, May 13, 2019

It Rained on Thursday, Home on Friday, and There was Sun Across the Bridge (Catching Up).

(Clicking on the pictures will open them larger in a new window.)

First and most important:


To all who have played an important part in a child's life
 Happy Belated Mother's Day!
Hope you had a Wonderful Day.

To be honest I some times think I am always trying to get caught up with one thing or another.  This is who I am and probably will always be so I have decided to embrace and except it. The goal will be to not stress about it. So to get started with catching up yet again. The good news it is mostly pictures and not a lot of words. Of course, there are a lot of pictures.

Thursday, May 2, 2019


Getting ready to leave our spot at the Covenant Hills Camp Retreat..
The skies are grey but it is not raining. The ground around our site is
squishy but we are on hard packed dirt and some gravel.

Behind us across the road is the tent area.

Upper left the playground across from us. Upper right  looking off to the right
 of us. Lower left looking left.. The picture lower right was looking back
towards the camping area.

I then decided to take a short ride around the park and take a few pictures. While I did this Tom finished up a few things then headed out towards the entrance where the road is paved and flatter. We decided that would be the best place to hook the Jeep up.

This is a Christian Park and the top picture is a chapel.
The Stinger "B" lower left and the small lake with beach lower right.

Upper left I spotted a patch of blue while we were hooking up the Jeep.
The bottom pictures are of the main road out to the highway.
There are several houses down this road and it is a muddy mess.
Luckily for us it is hard packed so we did not sink.

After stopping for propane and diesel in Birch Run we merged onto I-75.

We will be on here until we  cross the Mackinac Bridge and
turn West on US-2.

Crossing the Zilwaukee Bridge over the Saginaw River.

I know it is blurry but it was our first siting of a sign that said,  Mackinac Bridge.

The construction north of Bay City and they were out there working.

Then it started to rain and we found out we will have to get the windshield
wipers checked out. Nothing like having them quit working while driving in
the rain. Of course, this would be the only time we would be using them..

Luckily the rain was coming down hard enough to keep the windshield clear
and we made it to the Walmart in Gaylord with out an incident.
The plan was to stop here for the night so it all worked out.


Friday, May 3, 2019

While having our coffee Tom opened the front curtain and this was our view.


We took our time getting ready to leave.
At this point we are only about 60 miles from the bridge
and would rather not drive over it in the fog.

A few hours later and we could see the vehicles on the highway.
Time to head further north.

I took this picture before we left.
Just in case this is the last stop this adventure.


Correction, the Bridge is 58 miles.

Great Billboard St. Ignace!

We have made this drive countless times and yet honestly between taking pictures with Tom's phone, my phone, and camera, plus it was ten days ago, I am not sure if these pictures are all in the right order. So what follows are just pictures of the ride between Gaylord and the Mackinac Bridge.







Then unbelievably there is sunlight shining on the road ahead.


The signs that say Mackinac Island is ahead.

More signs about the places ahead.

We can see blue sky in the distance.

The first siting of the Mackinac Bridge.
What can I say no matter how many times we see it ahead
it never get old.


There it is and there is blue sky behind it in the Upper Peninsula.

Passing by Mackinaw City.
Looking down a street filled with "stuff" and fudge.

We are on the bridge and looking at Lake Huron on the right.
On the left is Lake Michigan.

A boat just sliding out from underneath the Mackinac Bridge.

There is still fog on Lake Michigan
but we can see blue sky along the bottom edge.

Looking out across Lake Huron we can see Mackinac Island.





We have crossed

paid the toll, $14.00,

and we are back in the UP.

The "plan" was to spend  our last night on the road this adventure
parked at the Kewadin Casino in St. Ignace. and we are in that lane.
On the sign over the other lane the bottom city is Escanaba and I said,
lets go home. Tom said, lets check out the casino and he was driving.

We turned right, went through St. Ignace, out to the casino, and checked out the RV parking. I again said, lets go home. Tom looked at me and knew I needed to be home to see our daughter and the rest of our grandbabies so he said, okay, drove out of the parking lot, turned left back through St. Ignace,  onto US-2, and home.

We are on US-2 headed west and  those are blue skies.
In 141 or so miles we will pull into our driveway.

This drive takes us through areas of the Hiawatha National Forest and along Lake Michigan. It is mostly two lanes but there are 12 passing lanes so the drive is very pleasant and scenic. 


In the summer months there are cars parked all along here on the left side of
this picture. Lots of people enjoying
the sand beach and swimming in Lake Michigan.


That spot of white in this picture is the "S" word.


 

Driving over the Cut River Bridge.
This bridge is only 641 feet long but neither of us can remember when there
has not not been construction on it.  Or the last time we drove over it for
that matter. Usually we are detoured around it.

Taken from the Internet.

The Whitefish River just before Rapid River, 15 miles from home, is high.

The Rapid River is also high.

Across the lake we can see Escanaba.

No one is sure they will ever complete the rebuilding of the bridge
across the Escanaba River.  

We backed out of this drive way 134 days ago.
After 5983 miles, driven in the Stinger "B", we pulled back in.

The house behind the Stinger "B" is For Sale. It was our home for about 24 years. Before that it was my parent's home for about 31 years. When we closed and locked the door on December 21, 2018 it became a house and the Stinger "B" our home. Though we will always be "Snowbirds"  and so ends our 5th Adventure. We are home.  It feels good to be in this area near family and friends.







So glad you stopped in for a visit. Hope you liked the pictures.
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.