Sunday, April 21, 2013

St. Louis, Missouri

Over the past two weeks,  I was able to travel out West to visit with "the Missouri bunch".
My journey began in South East Missouri (Millersville) with Uncle Gerry and Aunt Judy.  Door to door, it took 12 hours and 5 pit stops.
My GPS was apparently in a scenic mode as it took me on all kinds of unexpected diversions and side trips through back country roads that were NOT in the Mapquest directions!
We spent our time together playing games, having Bible Devotions and reminiscing about the "good old days" of yore.
Aunt Judy's chex mix
Despite three touch down tornado's in the area and a colonoscopy procedure, the week was filled with good food, good stories and good times.  And we got to watch the Cardinals play some good baseball as well:-)

new family on Uncle Gerry's pond
my pretty tootsies
I next drove the 2 hours up north to St. Louis to spend the day with Aunt Ruth and family.
She treated me to a childhood deja vu experience at Grant Farm/ Anheiser Bush.  I felt 6 years old again!
It was 81 degrees and sunny and we rode trams around the park and saw elephants and the charming
Anheuser-Bush Clydesdales (draft horses).  *more photos at bottom of page
The two in photo behind white fence are so used to being attached to each other that they stood perfectly still for hours, as if they were harnessed and ready to pull a wagon!  It was  amusing yet rather pathetic, really.

Then westward ho to Kansas City. The drive was approximately 4 1/2 hours.
 I spent quality time with Uncle Lowell and got to see cousins Lowell, Jr and Jeanette as well.
He wined and dined me to the point I had to permanently open the zipper on my jeans.
Quite possibly the biggest four meals I have ever eaten!
We got to tour a "no kill" shelter that he supports in Kansas.  It was spectacular and NO ODORS!!  Sadly, I found at least four candidates for the next replacement pet in my home.  Wish I could have them all...
I also got to visit Aunt Marian's grave site.  He memorializes her with many beautiful photographs around the house and keeps fresh flowers always in her honor.
The weather dropped as low as 29 degrees during this visit.  Good thing I brought a variety of clothes to accommodate the drastic range in weather conditions.  From 20's to 90's, depending on the time and place!

Friends Joe & Sandy, Jeanette and Uncle Lowell at a delicious fish restaurant.  Check out his favorite waitress in back left side of photo!
Joe created these windows in Uncle Lowell's front room
Julie and Lunar
yes, my foot again!

Oops... while in Millersville with Aunt Judy, I got to see Joel and Julie.
I also got to visit Jeff and family in Illinois during a fun day trip to Athens.
Joel and girlfriend Bree
*These photos are out of order, but I can't seem to maneuver them into proper sequence.  Sorry.

cousin Mark
Aunt Ruth's cancer medal
Herm and Patti
Cousin Patti and husband Herm treated me to an evening at an elegant restaurant.  Our visit was enjoyable but way too short.
Grandma's house

the new garage on Pernod in back alley

most popular line in town
cousins Brenda and Sherry and family
second cousin Brian, wife Debbie and Turbo the dog
I drove the 4 1/2 hours back to St. Louis and Aunt Ruth's home.  I stayed again with her and cousins Ruth and Rebeckah.
We toured Grandma Miller's old neighborhood, ate fudge sundays at Ted Drewe's and I was able to visit with "the cousins" on Dad's side of the family.
The day before I left, I was able to spend the afternoon and evening visiting the Miller cousins. What wonderful people.  Cousin Sherry is an angel and her husband Jim is a saint... one of a kind!!!  He still works for Uncle Warren's ham company.
I also got to talk with cousin Ron via a Skype phone connection and was surprised by a special visit from cousin Brenda and her son Bryan and their families. And the meal was fabulous, as is the Miller tradition established by Aunt Justine with her infamous home made meals.

Jim and Sherry
Erin and Maddie

I can't believe it has been three years!?
Uncle Lowell and Tex
cousin Lowell, Jr 

Karen in new kitchen

Aged to perfection (the wine and Uncle Lowell!!)
Lowell, Jr. is chronicling  the Miller history and has an astounding collection of information and photographs.  Anyone who wants to share their photos and stories, please contact him!

Jeff & Dawn and family

Michael, Dawn and Aunt Judy

cousin Rebeccah

Clydesdale baby

The happy couple
in the kitchen again
my favorite... stuffed cabbage  (Halupki)
Cousin Jeff sang the theme from Hee Haw! "(Doom, Despair and Agony on me...")  when he drove home in his truck and saw us all rocking on the old front porch !

Now does that look like an 80 year old?!?
LONG lines and beautiful trees
It was a great vacation filled with lasting memories.
A big thank you to everyone for your hospitality, generosity and love.

Spectacular sunrise over downtown St. Louis with the Arch in foreground as I left at 0600 to make the 10 hour drive back home.

As Arnold Schwartzenegger says in The Terminator, "I'll be back!!"

Monday, April 1, 2013

We had a Blessed and beautiful Easter with many of our family able to gather together to celebrate the day.
Of course, we missed all of you who could not attend!!!  
Here are some photo highlights of our dinner.
Lori's lamb cake

The Davis trio

Kucera Family

my first helping

guest of honor


candy table

TV room

Pastor Nic

one of four dogs

He is Risen!  He is risen, indeed!  Hallelujah!