Minnesota – April 18th to May 23rd, 2013

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Dakotah Meadows We arrived back at Dakotah Meadows in Prior Lake, MN on April 18th just in time to take our granddaughter, Cate, for five nights while her parents had a bit of a vacation before the new baby arrives.  We hadn’t seen Cate since Christmas which made her taller and wiser.  I know I often say how Joe and I are so blessed and she is definitely one of our true blessings.  Life was filled with Cate for five days and did we have fun and slept very well every night.  One of the first days we had about 6 inches of snow (welcome back snow we called it).  We dressed all up in our warm clothes to make a snowman.  Joe and I haven’t made a snowman in years.  One day we took a drive to visit great-grandma at her assisted-living apartment.  Cate has visited with her before and was all excited about seeing her until we got to the door.  Tears of fear came and poor great-grandma and staff at the home tried to get Cate to calm down but she kept saying that great-grandma was scary.  Cate is going through a stage where most things are scary.  Joe had a short visit with his mom while Cate and I sat in the truck.  Despite this little incident I think Cate had a great time with papa and grandma.

Grandma And Cate  Grandpa and Cate  Cate and Snowperson  Cate enjoying the snow  Cate was tired   Izzy was also tired

During our five weeks back in MN we had a lot to fit in.  Joe and I both had dentist and doctors appointments.  We each met with old work friends for lunch (never enough time to do more of that). Stopped in at our old neighborhood to visit Rosie and took a drive out to the country in Jordan to visit with our friend Clyde.  One day we drove to Big Lake and spent the entire day sitting on the deck of our friends, Sharon and John’s lake home just visiting and catching up.  It was a beautiful day to sit on the lake.  Joe’s old company, Toro, had a campout at Dakotah Meadows one weekend so Joe was able to visit with more Toro people.   We had a nice dinner out with Joe’s sister, Bonnie and her husband Tim and tried to make plans for a future camping weekend.  Not so easy to do since we both are expecting new grandbabies in July.  It was put on the back burner until those new babies come.  Of course, we spent as much time with our kids as possible and most times that was hard to schedule with their busy lives.  My girls, Cassie and Amanda, took me out for a Mother’s Day lunch and we went plant shopping which is one of my favorite activities.  Joe and Eric went to see Iron Man 3 and it just seemed like those five weeks flew by.

We left MN on the 23rd of May with our son, Eric, heading for Ojbwa, WI to the kid’s land but not before making an overnight stop in Siren, WI to visit with Joe’s other sister and husband, Betsy and Tom.  The weather was beautiful so it allowed us to sit outside and enjoy their fabulous land.  As we sat on their deck we were entertained by hummingbirds, orioles, cardinals and a surprise visitor, a black bear.  On our drive to their ranch, Eric asked if they ever had bears.  Previously Tom had told us stories about bears coming up to their house and robbing the birdfeeders.  Well, we kidded Tom about arranging for the bear to come into the yard looking for birdfeed because that is exactly what the bear did.  It was really exciting but also a little scary.  Thanks Tom and Betsy for letting us enjoy a little of your paradise.  They also became new grandparents this spring and we look forward to meeting our new great-nephew in July.

Off to Ojbwa to spend Memorial weekend with Cassie, Aaron, Cate and Eric.  The weather was perfect (the wood ticks were terrible) and we had so much fun again with Cate and of course with the kids.  Cate is so full of energy that she wore us out just watching her.  It is amazing how soon you forget about the energy a two-year old has.  It can’t be because Joe and I are getting old could it?  I’m thinking that most grandparents would make this same statement about their own grandchild – Cate is the smartest and most well behaved two-year old I’ve ever seen – and that would be a true fact.  As you can tell we love spending time with her.  I’ll keep you posted on when we have two little ones to run after and seen if we get any younger or more energy but I know one thing for sure, we will have fun.

I have to tell a Cate story that happened over the weekend because it will be something her mom will be sure to tell her when she is old enough to get embarrassed and it is a too cute grandparent story.  Joe and I had taken Cate for a walk and when we came back Cassie and Aaron had torn their camper apart because Cassie’s wedding ring was missing.  Cassie had taken off her two rings and laid them alongside the bed while she laid down with Cate for a nap.  Later when she went to look for them she found one on the floor but couldn’t find the other one.  They went through everything and then asked if we would come in and look with a fresh set of eyes.  As Joe and I started looking Aaron took the garbage out where he had put a poopy diaper earlier.  Why he decided to look in the diaper is beyond any of us but there it was the ring that is.  Cate has gotten into putting things in her pockets and I guess she thinks her diaper is a pocket because Cassie said she has put other things there.  Rubber gloves, a Ziploc bag and the ring was safe until it could be taken home and cleaned really good.  It was our good laugh for the weekend with many more Cate moments to come I’m sure.

We watched the kids head back to MN sending Eric with them and Joe and I headed back to Ohio to help Zach finish up his kitchen remodel and dog sit for five days while Zach and Lauren take a vacation celebrating their first anniversary but not before spending a couple of extra days enjoying some new country.

One of the best things about full-timing is our flexibility.  One week we can be in MN and the next in Ohio.  We can be watching our granddaughter or be in Ohio watching our grand dog.  We can be in the woods of Wisconsin or the shores of Lake Michigan all the time living in our own home.  Life is good!

We will be back in MN on July 10th awaiting that new grandbaby. 

Stay safe, count your blessing and know the best days are ahead of us!