|So incredibly *BLESSED* to wake up to this beautiful scene in my childhood home. It was like a dream!|
Kristin and I spent alot of time like this (see photo below) catching up on the past 2.5 years! Crazy how fast time goes by and how your sister can travel around the world and live in several different spots while you go to vet school, have two hip surgeries, and get married!
|She gave me that flower ring sitting on the foot board of the bed.|
It is from her and my Mama's trip to Bali!
Memory Lane ~ The Silo, Dare to Climb
Let me give you a quick rundown before I get too far along in my story. This is my Uncle Greg and Aunt Kathy's undertaking. With the help of my cousins, their kids, they were able to turn this old grain elevator into a rock climbing gym while I was in high school. I believe it began somewhere around 2001. It includes two 60' silos (sides) and one 120' silo (middle). There are several runs inside each bin including some over hang work. I don't know if you can see it, but there are a couple of runs on the outside (on either side of the entrance). This elevator was a mess when they started. They were either going to have to dynamite it down (this is right across the parking lot from their home and funeral home) or do some major renovating and turn it into, well....The Silo! I can remember all of the animal poo they had to sort through to get that place cleaned up. They then had to create all of the routes. They had classes where you could get certified to belay another person and even allowed lead climbing. Included in the experience was a front desk where you could purchase gear as well as a Powerade machine. Anytime I have a Powerade, to this day, I still think of The Silo.
After a demolition derby one night the summer before my sophomore year, I became a rock climber. My first climbing experience happened with the help of my old high school friend and boyfriend Kyle. Since he was very good friends with my cousin John, they operated and kept staffed this climbing gym in Rochester, Illinois. With his influence, I purchased a harness and chalk bag which I still have today! Shortly there after, Kyle purchased me some climbing shoes to complete my ensemble. I really enjoyed the experience and it kept me busy during alot of high school....climbing, helping belay at little kid birthday parties, and inviting friends to show them and help them experience rock climbing! One particular night, I got to climb the outside run and see our little town from the top as the sun was setting. What a spectacular sight to see!
The above photo is of a fresh natural spring that is just outside of my Mama's ole' stompin' grounds of Pleasant Hill, Illinois. You can only see this natural beauty if you take a specific route to Granny Lee's. Lucky for me, I chose the correct route. Now, I have been to Granny's a thousand times before, but I don't know about you, if I'm not driving, I am not paying attention.
|Crazy selfie with the fresh stream!|
|I have arrived!|
BLESSED beyond WORDS to get to spend the evening with my mother's mom, Grandma Wandalee Kinscherff! She is 91 years young and still living by herself. She heads south each winter to enjoy the sunshine of *sunny* Arizona.
Wow, was it a wonderful evening! Granny was waiting for me at her kitchen table and shortly thereafter, my Uncle Mike picked us both up to take us to the levy! On our way to the Sny Level district, we stopped by my uncle's gas station, the PH Fast Stop, for a little soft serve ice cream. (At this point with my hernia/reflux situation, ice cream was a good choice...smooth, cold, and yummy!)
This tour was nostalgic as it brought back memories. I was fortunate to help with the flooding back in, oh, probably 2008 (not 100% sure on the year). This was quite an experience as the whole town was allowed off of work (they even closed my uncle's bank) to help fill sand bags to take out onto the levy to try to stop the MIGHTY Mississippi from breaking through. Everyone's lives and livelihoods depended on it. The American Red Cross was there, Army Corps of Engineers, and several other organizations. In fact, I worked with my uncles and a group of young men from the Mormon church as well as a group from the prisons. I think my uncles were using me as bait to get them guys to work harder...LOL!
Our tour ended with the sun setting over the Mississippi and the bull frogs singing. We surprise visited my Uncle Goat who was in the plucking/gutting shack (just cleaning some fish they caught that day), my Uncle Mark who was at his home, and Uncle Richard and Aunt Nancy who were also at their home. I love my family and soooo look forward to my next visit! Hopefully, Heath can join me!