Happy Birthday, Annie

Happy Birthday, Annie! Twenty-two years ago you were born! My first granddaughter!  Annie & Pup  My only Canadian granddaughter! This is a very sweet picture of you. You’re so busy now, with going to college and working, but you still have time for a sweet little dog! You’re a dog lover, just like I am! It’s so good your mom got to visit you for your birthday! I wish I could have celebrated with you too.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Annie! She’s a lovely young woman! Please watch over her as she studies, works, plays, and drives. Help her with the friends she makes that they will be good positive influences in her life. Please work out the plan that only You have for her life. I love Annie so much and You love her even more.

 

Saturday in Iowa

On our recent trip to Iowa Saturday was a day of driving around, observing the Amish and visiting their stores; touring Gray Transportation; reminiscing about our childhood days; visiting graves of loved ones; going out for supper; watching an hour of Gaither music and just visiting. It was a wonderful day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Of course, we saw many horses pulling buggies. I didn’t get a picture of one going down the road, but we saw many of them. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I took this picture of the man plowing for a garden.  LeRoy and Carolyn assured me it was okay to take pictures as long as I didn’t take their faces. This man’s hat was covering his face so this is okay. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I love windmills and there were many in the Amish community. I also love old barns and got some pictures of a few. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  They have large houses because they have large families! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  We stopped at an old Amish cemetery. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Off in a back corner of the cemetery we saw a stack of these headstones, waiting to be used. There are recent graves here as well as old ones.

There are many Amish stores! We went into several, they are very interesting…and tempting! The only thing I bought was some homemade apple butter to take home to our children!

We left the Amish community and went to Waterloo, where I lived during two different periods of my life. I was born in Waterloo, Iowa, but we moved to Des Moines, when I was about two. Then, after living in Oklahoma and Illinois from 1946-1949 , we moved back to Waterloo in 1950.

Today we toured Gray Transportation. That was so interesting. I was glad daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Gene; son, Tim; cousin, Kay, were all with us too. But then they left us and we went on to do some major reminiscing!

We lived in an apartment house behind my cousins, Roy and Beulah Gray. This is when LeRoy and I became best friends. We were in the same grade’s, 5th through 7th  and the same rooms in the little Elk Run Heights School. We also attended the same Free Methodist Church in Waterloo. We spent many happy hours playing together, making hide-outs in the bales of hay in the big round barn, riding the Shetland pony, playing softball, climbing trees and swimming in the creek down the road and through the pasture!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is one of the two apartment buildings. One is gone, but this one is still standing and being lived in today! They were built to be chicken houses but before they were used, the man who built them, died and the family sold the farm to Roy and Beulah Gray. They turned the chicken house buildings into apartment houses! We were the first family to move in. Behind our apartment house were woods and beyond the woods was pasture land that Roy had subdivided. My dad bought a lot so he could build us a new house! It was a very small house, but it was ours! It’s still standing and lived in today although some changes have been made in it! We drove by slowly and even stopped to finally figure out which house was our home back in the early 50’s!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  A large round barn stood here when I was a kid. We had so much fun playing in the barn and making hideouts in the bales of hay being stored in the barn! I can’t believe it’s been torn down! The owner of the farm built the round barn and was up on top working on something like a steeple, when he fell to his death! That’s when and why the family sold the farm to Roy and Beulah. Oh, the memories I have of living here!

We drove to the cemetery where LeRoy’s parents, Roy and Beulah and sister, Evelyn, are buried. Evelyn died this year.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I felt so bad and still do today because I didn’t think ahead of time, to buy some flowers to lay on the gravesite. Next time we go, I will definitely have some with me.

It had been a full day and so Carolyn didn’t have to cook supper we went to a Chinese restaurant for supper. Then home to watch an hour of Gaither music and visiting before going off to bed.  What a wonderful day this was!

Horses and Trucking

LeRoy, you’re such a hard worker, just like your dad, Roy, was. Your mon and dad were my cousins. Your mom, Beulah, was the daughter of my Dad’s sister, Eva. So you and I are second cousins. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA You own Gray Transportation and I’m quite impressed! Thanks for giving us a tour while we were visiting you. It’s quite a business! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Whenever we travel, I always look for one of your trucks going down the highway!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I was impressed with this car wash for your big trucks!

Besides your trucking business, you have horses! IMG_0199 (2) This is a Dutch Harness Horse from The Netherlands. IMG_0202 (2)  IMG_0190 (2)  Carolyn is also a very hard worker! She works right along side of you caring for the horses both morning and evening! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I love your sidekick, Snicker! She’s your  faithful companion! Wherever you go, Snicker goes! I laugh when I think back to our going out for supper, on Saturday. We stopped at McDonald’s for a plain cheeseburger for Snicker!!! She was in the back of the SUV. She’s a beautiful Chocolate Lab.

We had such fun going through your storage barn. This red truck you hauled your horses and carriages in for the horse shows. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Jerry and Tim looking over an old truck. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  These carts were pulled by your horses in competition. Your many medals and ribbons are impressive!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  This is an old hearse with a casket inside! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  A side view of the casket inside the hearse! What fun we had looking over these old treasures!

Thanks so much, LeRoy and Carolyn, for taking time out from your hard work to give us such a great weekend.