Sunday, August 27, 2017

We can't get rid of them!

As I may have mentioned previously, we came to know (and mostly love) 451 missionaries during our time in the Peru Huancayo Mission.  We keep up with many of them on FaceBook, to which we were asked by the Church to subscribe after the mission.  That's fun, seeing them get home,
have kids, 
get fat, lose their hair (he, he), etc., though there are occasional heartbreaks that they also share with us.
We've been to several weddings; unfortunately, our location on the East Coast of the United States makes that difficult.
Unless the wedding is in Australia, and then no problema.
We've been honored that a handful have dropped by, even way back here in North Carolina!
OK, so we forgot to take a picture when one visited, but Photoshop saved the day, no?
I admit that several were passing through on their way to the beach or other places anyway, and would have been spanked by Paula if they had not stopped by.  However, others have gone to not inconsiderable bother and expense to see us. Most recently, (former Sister) Jane Goodfellow came and visited for a couple of days.  
We ate barbecue and hush puppies, which were eye-openingly appreciated by our visitor, as well as collards and shrimp and grits, the latter being another hit.
We hiked in a local park forest,
and did the eclipse, or at least our 95% of it, on the front walk.
Sister Goodfellow bonded with the fish in Paula's garden.  She gave them fish food, and they nibbled on her toes.
The last day she was here, we attended the Raleigh Temple.
A great visit by one of our adopted kids!
We hope your kids and their visits are as pleasant.
Dave & Paula

Friday, August 4, 2017

They're only young once, so scare them now!

We have ten grandchildren, six of whom live overseas, lately Tajikistan, and four others located on the coast of North Carolina.  The stars rarely align to have all of them around at the same time; being together could also be referred to as a perfect storm, depending on your point of view.
This happy event occurred this week, as the distant ones are in the States for three-plus weeks for home leave, and the in-state gang came up for a couple of days.
Paula and I took the older three from each family to the mountains of North Carolina for a couple of days, leaving their mothers back in Raleigh in the delicious state of fewer kids, no husbands and available babysitters.
We spent a night at a quiet, traditional motel; at least it was quiet until we got there.
and after eating at a drive-in restaurant that had been a drive-in since before such things were 'nostalgic' or 'retro,'
we watched them swim and scream and yell until an hour of which their parents would certainly not approve.
In the morning, after a hearty breakfast of Marshmallow Matys and doughnuts at the motel, (c'mon, what are grandparents for?) we drove to the Nantahala Outdoor Center on the dam-controlled river of the same name.  They terrorized the outfitter store until the rafting shop opened, then donned wet suits
and stood for a photo as the now-official Rat Squad.
We lucked out, and our guide was a patient and fun older gentleman who does this part-time, and who perceived each kid's character and engaged them in the management of our trusty inflatable craft.
The final rapids is knows as "Nantahala Falls," and it was a thrilling ride!
And yeah, on the way home we stopped at Wendy's and ordered seven "Dave's Combo's" (Paula had a righteous salad) and made weird combinations of sodas from the cool drink dispensers.
And yeah, we dusted off the almost-never-used video player in the car and watched The Incredibles and The Princess Bride on the ride home.  "My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father; prepare to die!"
Like I said, what are grandparents for, anyway?
We hope that you get to spend quality time with yours, too.
Dave & Paula