Because we are old, we now stop halfway and spend the night somewhere (when we were younger, we would drive these 1000 mile trips in one day). Unless we are in the motorhome, we will look for a Motel6 (pets stay free). This time we found one in Amarillo, which is in the barren Texas' panhandle, but well-situated on the way to mom's front door. This motel is not too far from the infamous Big Texan "If You Can Eat It, You Get It For Free," Steak Ranch.
Deb and I got to spend a lot of time with our granddaughters, Ellie and Addy, on this trip. They came to mom's house to visit and do crafts and to help Ami bake in the kitchen. Ellie wanted me to look over her math homework (I don't know why ... she is very smart and had done all of her calculations correctly). Meanwhile, Addy was just a ball of energy -- never stopping as she explored the house in search for things to pick up and relocate. She is always "on the go." Wow!
Headed to ohio!
We spent the next night in Middletown, OH, just a few miles north of Monroe, our destination on this leg of the trip. We stayed in Middletown to see Dave's magnetic house (it's fully made out of steel!). The house is very interesting -- you have to hang pictures by using magnets (regular nails will not penetrate the walls!). It was fun to get to visit with him -- though Deb has seen him several times in the last couple of years, I had not seen him since 2013. Dave is a lot of fun. It was good to see that he is doing well.
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Deb's father lives in Monroe at Mount Pleasant Assisted Living Community. We stopped in to see him the next morning. He had a visitor when we arrived so he was already up. The time flew by ... We talked for several hours, mostly about family. And my book (I shared a copy of my autobiography with him). He couldn't believe that I would have so much to write about. He enjoyed looking at his and Dot's picture on one of the pages, as well as several pictures of Deb.
In the afternoon, when Deb and I came back, Bob was alert and talkative. Though he questioned several times where his wife was, he still remembered quite a bit. He seemed most interested in talking about his time in The Netherlands as a youth. I did not know that he had been a Boy Scout in Holland. Nor did I know he had rejoined the Scouting program after he had immigrated to the United States.
Though Johan and Elizabeth applied to leave war-torn Holland on the day after the war ended, it took two years for all of the paperwork to be complete. Johan became "John" on the immigration application. Johan, Elizabeth, and Robert arrived at Ellis Island on 11 July 1947. "John's" first job in America was as a new car prep man for a Chevrolet dealership in NYC.
"Robert" was 15yo when they immigrated, but went to American high school as a freshman and graduated at age 19. He enlisted in the Army upon graduation from high school. He served only a few years (2?) and immediately went to school to get a license in land surveying. He then went to college and got a BE degree in Civil Engineering.
Deb's dad was quite excited to see us (he did not know when we were coming). It was an encouraging visit. Bob talked and laughed a lot. We had a good time. His Ohio State Buckeyes were going to be kicking off a football game just after dinner, so that is when we left. We said a quick prayer and gave lots of hugs.
It was a really good visit.
back to texas