This morning started off with plans to meet Doug & Christy for breakfast at 9:00.
They live across the Ohio River in New Albany, IN and selected a downtown restaurant - The Cafe. We had never met before, but Doug has gone back through our entire Journal and they said they have a discussion about it each evening.
Linda & I arrived way early, and Doug & Christy soon joined us. We hit it off right away, and it was awhile before we took time out to order.
Christy, especially, was ready with the questions. They are on about an eight-year plan toward full-timing once their youngest gets through college. Well, Doug is on an eight-year plan, and Christy is warming to the idea. I think our job was to turn up the heat ... ever so gently. :)
Eventually, we stopped chatting long enough to put in our orders. And our server impressed us by accommodating a special request. This is kind of silly, but whenever there is "fresh fruit" as a side, I'm hesitant to get it because it always comes with green melon and cantaloupe which I don't like. Our server, saying their fruit side is heavy in those two melons, offered a strawberry, blueberry, grape mixture instead. Christy, also jumped at that offer - I knew I liked her. :)
The conversation continued as our dishes arrived. My meal was pretty typical breakfast fare and tasty. Fortunately, Linda wasn't too hungry, so I got half of her delicious Twice Baked French Toast as well. Love my breakfast.
We talked for a couple of hours, and we learned Christy's interest in the RVing thing may have been set back a bit by the trials and tribulations they had with a used pop-up camper they had. Those pop-ups can be a challenge for the un-initiated. :)
By the end, I think we had addressed many of Christy's concerns, and she seems really ready for days of sitting in a lounger next to a river reading a Kindle. Before we departed, Doug commented on our Journal and some of the funny moments and mis-adventures. He brought up the "Slim Jim Story" from our time as campground hosts in Arches National Park. Not one of my finer moments, but worth a laugh. :)
Before we left, they posed for a photo with Linda.
We said goodbye with the usual hugs and handshakes, and I'm feeling pretty confident we'll see them in their RV down the road. :)
Our next get-together was at 6:30 tonight, so we headed home to relax, watch a little college football, and take a nap.
A storm came through with a deluge of rain and quite a bit of lightning. Fortunately, there was little wind as the worst of it went south of us. My shaky satellite on the tripod stayed in place.
As the afternoon wore on, Linda prepared a dessert for our evening with Joyce & Woodie and David. We left our horse farm sanctuary a little early to pick up some ice cream to go with Linda's peach cobbler.
We arrived at Joyce & Woodie's house, where Joyce had prepared a spread of appetizers.
Joyce and Linda were in the same high school class, as was David who arrived a few minutes later. David's brother, Marty, was in my class, and the three of us spent a lot of time together playing basketball and bowling.
While stuffing our faces with food, we talked about music and other subjects, including my hospitalization in North Dakota. And we also discussed what Joyce & Woodie have been going through since their neighbor's tree fell on their house several weeks ago. What a nightmare.
When the five of us get together, the conversation flows freely, and we talked through the wonderful dinner Joyce had prepared.
Then, us boys retired to the living room to watch the Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky football game. It wasn't a game that would excite anyone else, but Linda & I graduated from Western while Joyce, Woodie, and David all graduated from Kentucky.
I was feeling pretty good about our WKU Hilltoppers while Linda & Joyce conversed in the kitchen. At halftime, we had some cobbler and ice cream.
At the start of the second half, after another thunderstorm passed through, Joyce went outside to get something out of her car. There was some whispering, and then Linda picked up my camera and took it outside. She was laughing when she came back in - it was all that could be done.
All of us went back outside, and this is what we found.
A huge limb was on the roof of our Jeep and our passenger side mirror was broken off.
Not only that, but another big limb had bounced off the back and completely shattered our rear window.
I took pictures for the insurance company, while Linda continued to laugh.
We were half-hoping the limb broke our already malfunctioning sunroof. :)
Linda is in some sort of carefree state we haven't experienced before - we're calling her LBL for "laid back Linda" - and she kept the mood light and took on my usual "It is what it is" attitude.
Plus, Joyce & Woodie already felt terrible and they have been going through a tree falling on their house, so we certainly didn't want to make a big fuss over a mostly depreciated car.
Woodie started cleaning up limbs and glass off the driveway, while I called our insurance company and got a claim started. I also wanted to check with them before we removed the limbs from the roof. Of course, it's a weekend, a holiday weekend, and we won't hear from anyone until Tuesday.
Joyce put some plastic bags in the back to keep our stuff dry.
The limb was too big, and it was too dangerous to just lift off, so Woodie called his son, Ben, who came by with a chainsaw. In the pouring rain, he made a couple of cuts, and we were able to lift the limb and walk it to the back of the Jeep and into the front yard.
Next, we had to figure out how to get the rear window covered for the drive home. I backed into their garage - no easy feat in the dark with only one viable mirror - and Woodie found a box we could use. There was still glass everywhere, and both Linda and Woodie cut their fingers. Linda prohibited me from touching anything due to my blood thinner medication.
Woodie was out of duct tape, so we had to use Joyce's more colorful roll. We'll be stylin' for a few days. :)
It was pretty late by the time we got on our way back out to the country. At least the Hilltoppers won. :)
As we approached the rural farm, it looked like another storm had gone through and, from the looks of the limbs and leaves everywhere, this one came with more wind. Yep, we pulled up next to our fifth wheel and the lights from the Jeep confirmed our satellite dish had blown over. Sheesh.
It was still raining, and it just wasn't something worth dealing with. We'll work on that tomorrow.
Looks like tomorrow is going to be a bit busier than we hoped. We're certainly glad that this August is behind us - it's been a rough one.
But, with that said, it was sort of appropriate that we received an email early this morning from another person going back through all of our Journal entries. Tracy said that our June 3, 2006 entry - "Reading Leads To Deeper Reflection" - was worth a re-read. She was right. :)