We are sitting in a beautiful Corp of Engineer Park in Valley City, North Dakota on our way to Alaska. We left Minnesota at 6:30 this morning for our Alaska adventure. We are so excited! But along with the excitement always comes leaving family.
We had a wonderful six weeks in Minnesota. It was filled with necessary things such as dentist and doctor’s appointments. And then there were the fun times with family and friends. Over the last years we have meet so many great people during our summer stays at Dakotah Meadows so it is great to revisit them when we return. They have stories to tell about how they survived the Minnesota winter in their RV or those that go south we share tails of our travels. And then there are those that have tragedies that happened in those few short months since we’ve seen them such as a death. One couple had been living in their RV year round through the Minnesota winters because of their jobs for several years. Last fall the man, at the age of 53, found out he had esophagus cancer and within a few months passed away. His wife shared with us that he had passed away 28 days before we returned and she was not going to stay one more winter in the RV. Within a few weeks of our return she put a for sale sign on both the 5th wheel and the truck and both sold very fast. We were happy for her but it was also sad because we were so use to seeing them there. She was moving closer to her daughter in an apartment but was having a very difficult time with the adjustment. She said he had been talking more and more about quitting work and travelling. Another one of those moments when you have to count your blessings and Joe and I have so many blessings – like our children and grandkids and being able to live out our dream.
Along with lunches with friends and family, Joe and I also were able to spend weekends with our two grandkids. We would take one at a time for weekend visits in our RV. It gave us special time with each of them individually and also special time for the other with mom and dad. It was fun time for all. Memorial weekend Joe and I moved into Cassie and Aaron’s house for the three days to watch the grandkids so Cass and Aaron could get away for a long weekend. We had a blast with Cate and Alex. Cate at four and Alex at 22 months kept us busy but it was a fun busy. Alex would spend every waking minute outside if he had a choice and Cate has become a big helper so it is fun to do almost anything with her. I kept telling her how much I appreciated her help and how good she was. At one point she looked at me and said, “I can’t believe I can be this good.” I had everything I could do not to double up with laughter.
Over the weekend we took Cate, Alex and Eric to Chuck E Cheese. This is one of Cate’s favorite places to go with papa and grandma. Good thing we don’t have to do it too often. We already told her we’d go again after we get back from Alaska. I think now it might be Alex’s favorite place also. The night before we left we had a picnic at Amanda and Ron’s house with Cassie, Aaron, Cate and Alex. It was a beautiful evening for sitting outside and just enjoying the conversation. Cate had to ruin the evening by coming and putting her arms around me and telling me how much she would miss me when we went to Alaska. She then said we had to figure out a way that we didn’t have to go to Alaska. I laughed a little but then she asked why did we have to go to Alaska. The innocence of a four year old! She knows how to break her grandma’s heart. Thank goodness for facetime and cell phones.
So we are on our way to our dream adventure in our little 10 ½ ft pickup camper. We have spent the last 2 weeks adjusting to the tight quarters and making changes where we can. Living in this space is like living in the size of our 5th wheel bedroom. We keep laughing about moving slow because there just isn’t room for us to move to fast but I guess that is ok for our age. So far it is working out well but it is early in the game. We’ll see at the end of the summer if Joe and I like each other still.
Enjoy each day with your love ones! Stay safe over summer!
Love to friends and family – hugs and kisses to our kids and grandkids – love you much!