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Being back in the Bay Area gave us opportunities to visit with family. One evening, Miriam feted us all to a “mini-family dinner.” Granddaughter Juliana had a dentist appointment that Friday, and was able to join the family at the dinner (though she was still in some discomfort.) The evening was lovely, and we enjoyed visiting on their patio.
Parker, Catie, Miriam, Becky, Paul Jr., Louise, and Bill. That’s Jules lying on the ground, loathe missing any of the excitement.
Over Labor Day Weekend, Parker joined us at our biannual campout up in the Sierras.
We camp in Sonora Fair Grounds, and arrived several days before the Labor Day Weekend. This enabled us to show Parker some of the historic places in the area.
We drove the short distance up to Angels Camp
This historic town hosted the presence of Mark Twain for a short while and the author is well known and revered in this town.
The Frog Jumping Competition. Jumping begins on the 3rd weekend of every May – always on a Thursday and continues on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. The International Frog Jump finals are held on Sunday afternoon. The top 50 jumps from four days are entered into the Grand Finals.
Professional Frog Teams travel from all over the state to compete. Besides local media attention and the recognition of frog jumping fans, winners each year can receive a handsome brass plaque commemorating their win embedded in historic downtown Angels Camp’s Frog Hop of Fame. The plaque is engraved with their name, the name of the frog they jumped, the year and the distance of their frog’s 3 jumps.
We also took Pike to the town of Columbia – it’s actually Columbia State Historic Park.
It was the day after Labor Day Weekend, and the Park had just about shut down. There were several curio shops open, tourist shops and a “bar”, but it was a pretty quiet place. We were not deterred as we walked all over and inspected things of interest to us.
Being nearly closed for the season gave us the opportunity to investigate things of interest to us.
Many years ago we took Parker and his brother, Jesse, to one of our bi-annual campouts, and some of those memories were still with Pike as he enjoyed this 2014 Labor Day Camp Out with us. He remembered folks from his days living with his family in El Cerrito, so it was a little like a “home coming” for Pike. He quickly made friends with more recent campers, and we believe Pike enjoyed that weekend as we did.
One day he went out walking and brought back some really nice shots of the stream that seemed all but dried up by our camp. It seems that Parker has developed his own great picture-taking abilities (though similar to his mom’s!)
And with all the dry weather, how could there be a tiny waterfall? Pike found it!
He hiked up one hill close by that still has some old tracks of a long dead railway that took lumber from this area down to Sonora. This is the end of the track today – none of us know how far it extended into this area from Tuolumne City
While at camp, Parker heard about the CCC California Conservation Corps.
Following the weekend, Parker got on the Internet and learned about CCC. The idea of joining them appealed to Pike, and he visited a CCC representative in San Jose. Chet drove Pike down and the two of them were quite impressed with the representative and the story about the CCC. To make a long story short, Pike applied and was accepted.
But before we “sent him off” Christina hosted a “shower” for Pike, and the girls were excited about giving him an appropriate “send off”!
A few days before we left for Minnesota, we all drove Parker up to Ukiah to where he began his CCC experience.
From what he writes, this is a good step for Pike and he is learning a lot as a member of the CCC. His work with Chris and Chet had pretty much come to an end, and the CCC was a good next step for him.
Our eldest son, Paul Jr and wife Miriam have taken on a big job of his own. Some weeks ago Miriam’s mom was hospitalized with dehydration. We visited Louise for several days while she was at the hospital – mainly to relieve Paul Jr and/or Miriam – and were somewhat successful.
When Louise was sent home, we would go up to the house to spend time with Bill and Louise while Paul Jr and Miriam work. Louise is getting forgetful and confused so it’s nice to have someone on hand to help out – even just visiting with them. Paul Jr and Miriam moved into the home of Miriam’s parents to be able better to tend to their needs.
Then not long ago we received notice that daughter #3 was hospitalized with another flare up of Multiple Sclerosis. We offered to go out to Minneapolis to lend a hand with Michelle, and were happy when our offer was accepted. Slade and Michelle purchased tickets for us, and early on October 21 Christina drove us from the East Bay over to San Francisco where we expected to fly to Minneapolis (straight flight.)
The time came for boarding the airplane and we were pleased with our seats. The doors did not close when we expected all was ready, and the pilot explained the reason to us. Something was wrong with engine #2. Mechanics were on the job and our pilot thought it would be 10 -15 minutes before we would be airborne.
He was great in letting us know all that was going on. Seems some pipe or tube was malfunctioning and the mechanics were looking for a replacement. They even put out a call to other airlines in case they had one. No one had one! So the pilot gave us all permission to depart from the plane, some folks to seek alternate flights – especially those who were scheduled to change to another carrier in St. Paul/Minneapolis for other cities. Other passengers just wanted to get out and walk around.
The latest idea (told by the pilot) was to go to Delta (the airline on which we were “flying”) in Los Angeles to send up the part needed – in a short time word came back that getting the part from LA was out of the question, and so a call was made to DENVER for the part. Denver HAD the part and was putting it on their plane that would arrive in San Francisco at 6:00 pm today.
Oh wow! Most passengers began getting their tickets changed to get them to their destination eventually. We were laggards, but did get in line and though we were nearly the last ones to present ourselves to the Delta representative, the gal who helped us was marvelous. She had been there since 3:00 am and had been trying to get passengers taken care of. She never seemed to lose her smile or her attempts at getting everyone new travel arrangements. For us she found a flight out of LA that would get us to Minneapolis by 8:46 pm or so. It was the best she could do, and we were grateful for her help. She secured a flight for us from San Francisco leaving in an hour and then a flight to Minneapolis from LA about an hour or so after our arrival in LA. She was just an hour away from ending her day, but she took all the time she needed to make sure we had seats we wanted, and made sure our baggage would be sent along with the new plans. She was a real sweetie! After we went to our new gate and waited for the flight to LA she came by again and asked for our tickets. When she returned the tickets to LA she had upgraded us to lst class. The flight to LA was only an hour, but what a sweet thing for her to do! (And she stayed 15 minutes past her quitting time to do that!)
We landed in Minneapolis/St. Paul airport at 8:30 pm - on Michelle’s husband’s birthday. Our original schedule had us arriving in Minneapolis around 1:00 PM – and we hoped to help Michelle prepare a lovely birthday dinner for Slade. What we do know is that Slade, with Graham, Sebastian and Zane were on hand at the airport to help with our heavy luggage. We don’t know how Slade’s birthday was, but were happy to learn that earlier in the month, Michelle did take her husband out for a birthday celebration.
We have been happy to spend some time with Slade and Michelle’s sons, Graham, Sebastian and Zane, (eldest grandson, Cody, is away at college.)
In the next posting, we hope to be “caught up!”
One Comment on: 2nd Catch-Up
- Barbara Walker Says:
24-Nov-14, 08:28 AM
|Thank you for posting. I have missed these but realize you have other obligations. Love you guys. |