My overly long absence from my webpage was due to a month long vacation back in the USA visiting my family and friends. Although I managed to do a small amount of editing on book # 3 and wrote up a nice little article on making Sorghum Syrup, my writing verged on nonexistence. I did manage to make it to the Albion historical society and get some research done for my fourth book. The people I met there were a dedicated bunch and did their best to help me with the information that I needed to keep my book historically accurate. Now that I am back in Peru, I hope to spend a lot more time editing book 3 and try to have it ready for publishing by March or April, even sooner if all goes well. I did manage to get some nice photos while in Illinois, especially of friends and family.
The flights home were uneventful, on time, and comfortable. I had plenty of time between hops, which meant I didn’t have to rush between gates. Flying overnight is exhausting though and when my Sister picked me up at the Evansville airport, I was ready for a nap. The hour drive to her home outside of Albion gave us the chance to catch up a little and enjoy some alone time. I spent my first week at her home running errands with her for a gathering that she, her husband George, and his family put on for family, some friends, and some of their neighbors the second Saturday of October, as well as wandering around a little with my camera. I got some nice photos of the wildflowers my sister had planted around her place, some shots of the sorghum making process, and some sharp black and whites in an old cemetery down the road from their farm. It was a bit nippy the first few days and I feared that Old Man Winter might be making an early appearance. Fortunately, it warmed up nicely in a couple of days and shorts and t-shirts stayed my uniform of choice.
At the end of that first week I traveled down to the Carbondale/Murphysboro area to my friends’, Mona and Kelly Stevens, place. I am blessed to have such good friends, one’s who put me up for the entire time in the area and expect nothing in return. It was especially nice to have their sweet pitbull, Caesar, remember me and drag out his football to play fetch and tug of war, Mona told me he had quit playing with it shortly after I left. I would spend the next two weeks using their home as a base while I visited with all the great friends I left behind when I moved to Peru. He day after my arrival Mona and Kelly had a welcome home party for me with some of my best friends coming to share food, drink, and great conversation.
Kelly and I got in four rounds of golf, joined on occasion by Joe Melvin and once by David Chamness. I enjoyed playing this year much more than I did on my last visit. Many days spent at the gym here in Peru had me in better shape for this visit. My friends Robin and Ernie Krummrich held a BBQ for me and invited friends I hadn’t seen in years. It was a great afternoon spent on their deck catching up with a lot of people. They also had me over for a breakfast my last day in the area. Her brother Bob and his wife were in town from Las Vegas and it gave me a chance to visit with the two of them before leaving. Gwen Hunt, owner of PKs (one of my old hangouts) also had another small get together for me. More friends came and we enjoyed a nice pot luck dinner there. I had lunches, breakfast, and coffees with more friends, far too numerous to list. One special day was spent on the wine trail with my great friends Mary Choate Davidson, Cyndi Roberts, and Bonnie Harker Hickey. We had some great laughs that day and enjoyed a couple of bottles of great wine. Afterwards, Mary, Cyndi, and I enjoyed a great dinner at Cumari’s, a great Italian Restaurant in Murphysboro. The last day I went to the SIU Homecoming Game with Mona and Kelly. Our alma mater won in overtime. Thanks to underdressing for the game, it got chilly after the sun set, we watched the second half of the game in Tres Hombres. I left the area with my heart full of the love and warmth given to me by the best friends a man could ever ask for, all of it captured with my camera. Despite a hectic two-week schedule, there were friends I was unable to hook up with on this trip. I sincerely hope that we can get together on my next trip home.
Then it was back to my sister’s place for another nine days with her before returning to Peru. We visited a museum, had dinners with friends in the area, and spent time in each other’s company. In addition, we had a reunion lunch with most of my cousins and aunts in the area. It was great seeing them again. This was the second year we did it and more cousins managed to make it. Rita and I made a trip to New Harmony again to enjoy the fall colors. It’s a beautiful place. Rita and George attended a Halloween party my last weekend there. It was a treat to see them leave the house in costumes designed by my very creative sister. All too soon, it was time to return to my home in Peru. Rita and George packed me into their mobile home for the trip to the airport at 4 AM. After letting me off and helping me get my luggage to the check in desk, they took off for a trip to Savanah and a couple of places in Florida where they would meet up with other friends in campers for a few days of fun in the sun. My sister and brother-in-law are the best. They embrace me as family should, welcoming me into their home and their lives without question.
Now, back in Peru, I am struggling to get back into my routines. I have started working on the edits for book 3 again, I am writing posts for my webpage, and have resumed my walks with my camera. Those are fine, it is the other little things in life that I am struggling with. Shopping for food, paying bills, banking, meeting my friends for coffees, and other small daily things that seem to slip out of my thoughts easily. I’ll be working on those in the days that come.
Well, that sums up my absence from this site. I hope you enjoyed the read. Remember my mantra – exercise body and mind, they’re the only ones you will ever have. Get up, get out, then come home and read a good book.