I arrived in Houston on time, no problems or delays with the flight, but as I walked out to the area where Lance was going to pick me up, it began to rain very hard. Soon it was thundering and lightning. Once I was in the car and we were on our way to Michele's house, it began to hail - the size of quarters. Power was knocked out, traffic was backed up, trees were blown over, pieces of "stuff" were flying across the road as we drove...to make a long story short, three hours after being picked up we finally arrived home - a trip that should have only taken about 40 minutes. Michele had manicotti waiting for us. She gave me a tour of her beautiful home, we had cookies and milk while visiting, and then eventually all went to bed. Curtis woke me up at 6:15 a.m. to go fishing before we began our trek to Missouri. I only caught blue gills but he caught a giant catfish. It was fun. At around 9:00, we pulled out of their driveway and began the 10-hour drive to Carthage where we met up with Mom and Aunt Sally. (**We made the trip in 9 1/2 hours. Mom and Aunt Sally managed to make a 16 hr. trip take 3 days. We pulled into Cracker Barrel at exactly the same time!)
Texas (Michele's estate)
We arrived in Carthage, Missouri on Wednesday and checked into the Precious Moments hotel. The next morning we went to the Precious Moments Chapel where Aunt Sally was able to see Grandpa and Grandma's stone. Aunt Sally and I had an extra special surprise. While we were in the Artist's Room, the Artist himself - Sam Butcher - came in to hang up a new batch of grandkid pictures. Anyone who knows anything about Precious Moments knows what a big deal this is. We were able to talk to him in an informal setting and his son-in-law snapped a picture of us. Great fun! On that same day, we stopped at Fantastic Caverns to explore the underground stalagmites and stalactites. They were quite the sight.
Finally...after two more days on the road...I arrived home. Daddy-o was waiting for me and we went out fishing right away. We caught a lot of fish and also a great variety...blue gills, pike, large-mouth bass, rock bass, perch, and bullhead catfish. We'll be having a fry pretty soon!
Home - the U.P.