Posted by: Jim E | July 7, 2013

A Summer Trip…With Flowers…Entertainment…The Farm…Shipshewana…An Amish Bakery…And Breakfast…

Now wait a minute…I’m not going to tell it all…let’s say just the mountain tops, as you look across a mountain range…the summer trip was all about two things…and we just wedged in all the rest of the happenings into those two things…first, our lives revolve around Jeremy’s schedule…he has always worked and does today…he works at a Kroger grocery store, so our “vacations” are a bit different than many people in their 70’s…our vacations revolve around Jeremy’s vacation time…so with his two weeks to take this summer, we decided secondly, to take them at the same time Judie and her siblings were having a remembrance service in Michigan for their Mother, who passed away last December…many of her relatives and friends could not make the funeral in Tucson so they chose to have it in Grand Rapids, Michigan in June…it worked out…

You may want to watch a video about Jeremy that his brother had put together for a ministry that he is in, “Tangled House”…it is for families with special needs kids…Jeremy fits in there…so watch if you like, it is short…it will give you a better look at Jeremy and also the needs that special need families have…and there are other short videos too…

Yup, he is special…and our “kid”…we love him and committed our lives to him…so why not adjust our lives to his vacation…its pretty much how it has always been…and we enjoy and love our life with him…so com’on along on this summer trip with me…just the highlights…

We took the first couple of days to get ready to go and do some things around Little Rock…we took a couple of pictures of wildflowers along the road…beautiful yellow flowers, I don’t know what they are but they are around by the thousands…and then a “carpet of flowers” at one of our shopping centers…the city and businesses put flowers everywhere around Little Rock, we enjoy them…but first a picture of Jeremy and one of our neighbors “chewin’ the fat” in his driveway one evening…Jeremy at his best and Don, well, at his best   too…we appreciate Don taking his time like that…Jeremy loves it…Jeremy and Don, a neighbor 2013

Promenade flowers

Flowers...wildflowers edge of roadFlowers...wildflowers edge of road 2

Well, we finally got underway…first was a short part of our trip to Branson, Missouri…Jeremy loves the group Son’s of the Pioneers…so the first night we took them Sons of the Pioneers chuckwagonin…they serve a “Chuckwagon meal” before the show…chicken, beef brisket, corn of the cob, potatoes, beans, apple crisp, lemonade, and of course ice tea, you wouldn’t be in the South without that…maybe more, I just can’t remember…more than I can eat for sure…then a two hour show and though we are “outdoors”, we have a roof over our heads…like an old fashioned Sons of the Pioneers, Branson, 2013tabernacle…it is a great show…Jeremy loves the music and the performers themselves…after over 75 years their music seems to live on…Roy Rogers was one of the original “Son’s”…and they go through the history a bit as they play…we had a good first night…but the bulk of the trip is ahead of us…early to bed…a long day of travel tomorrow…

We headed East…over the Mississippi River at St. Louis…saw the Arch as we crossed over the bridge…Bridge over MIssissippi, St. Louis

On we went through Missouri and Illinois, stopping when we had to…but on we went to Marshall, Illinois, just short of the Indiana border…we stopped at “The Farm”…in Judie’s Farm, The...Marshall, IL, 2013family, as well as ours, when we say “The Farm”…it means only one thing, the farm near Marshall that her Dad grew up on and the whole family marks as a touch stone in their lives…in fact there is a family reunion going on there this weekend…the July 4th weekend…so there will be stories upon stories and activities galore…they have got their crop in and it looks good…but you know, all across Illinois and Indiana we traveled hundreds of miles…and non stop there are fields of corn and soy beans…mile after mile…and we traveled a different route there and back…I thought of the hundreds of thousands of acres of crops being grown every year in America…I said out loud more than once…”This is what feeds America.”…it also is one of the things that holds our economy up…it is an amazing sight…flying over it, doesn’t do it justice…

Our next stop was Shipshewana, Indiana…Amish country…buggies pulled by horses…women on bicycles…where the shoulder of the road is almost as busy as the right and left lanes…houses with no electric wires leading to the houses…pristine farms and fields…huge gardens being tended by kids and wives…Shipshewana, Indiana 2013 Amishmany of the Amish have to work off the farms…they work in furniture shops, restaurants and workshops because they can’t make enough of a living off the farm alone…but their lives seem not much different than the rest of us…trying to make it like everyone else…we stopped in an Amish bakery on the way out of town…where many people stop on their way to work, we found out…great rolls…all the women in the back with their Amish bonnets and dresses on…and look at the size of our cinnamon rolls…my line, “Don’t drop it on you foot.”…if you know what I mean…Amish bakery 2013

Amish Bakery Rolls

We left there with half our rolls with us for later…it was even more than I could handle…but it was great…we enjoyed it later with a cup of coffee…

We finally got to Grand Rapids, Michigan…and did our thing there…I will not go into all that…it is more a thing for Judie to talk about…but let’s just say the remembrance service went well and a good group was there…it became almost a family reunion…all the siblings were there and many of the extended family…so it was a great time for all of the family…

One last thing, we were looking for something other than another motel breakfast…so we went looking for a “local” place…and found a gem…we saw the sign and went into New New Beginnings Restaurant 2013Beginnings Restaurant…and it just “look like” my kind of place…lots of people and a good staff serving…kitchen was humming…and I read the menu…the first thing that stuck out was “The home of the big breakfast”…well, that means a lot of things to a lot of people…but we decided to try it…also I noticed a comment that if you ordered 2 eggs…the third one is free…that was new to me…now, I’m not against eggs but I don’t need 3 eggs…so we ordered our food…Jeremy, his normal, sausage, hash-browns and milk…Judie, some foo foo meal of course…I never can remember what they are…me, coffee with cream, two eggs, over-easy, American fries (sidebar: you never know what you are going to get when you order these…but if they are “homemade”, in other words pealed, boiled, and cut-up and fried on the flattop grill, well now, that is the definition of American fries…so I ordered them, thinking this might be a “real” restaurant…end sidebar)…sausage, toast and a cinnamon roll to share…

Let me go back a bit…she stopped me during the order, on the two eggs…she said, “The third egg is free.”…I said, “That’s okay, I only need two.”….and she left…we waited patiently watching all the new New Beginnings Restaurant breakfast 2013people coming in…Fireman, Police and all kinds of people…I said, “This kind of restaurant would make it in Little Rock.”…but of course there isn’t one like that Little Rock…finally, here it came…Jeremy got his, it looked good…and Judie got hers, looked foo foo, as usual…and then came mine…yup, it was the home of the big breakfast all right…she said, “I told them only two eggs but they gave you three, the third one is free, you know.”…yup, no problem…I can handle it, I said…it wasn’t the 3 eggs nor the sausage that had me wondering…but the 5 pounds of American Fries that were before me…

But I took it in stride…they were “real American Fries”…homemade and everything…what a breakfast, they were so good and a good way to start our trip home…who says that you have to go to Disney World for a good time…life is full of wonder…this trip had a boatload…we enjoyed every day…and found again that contentment is a wonderful thing…Philippians 4:11…

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