July 21st was Willie's birthday and he got a few extra treats to celebrate. July 22nd was Jim's birthday. We don't exchange gifts anymore, but I made him a nice breakfast, then baked him his favorite cake............white walnut with whipped cream frosting. Since we were going to have to pack up to travel today, he wanted me to keep dinner simple, and he chose chili cheese hot dogs and potato chips. After dinner with Jeff & Patty, we all drove down to Allyn & Sherry's house to have cake & chocolate ice cream and champagne. Jeff & Patty didn't feel like going for a swim, but we did. I need to tell you how very blessed I am. Several months ago, Allyn emailed me after finding me on the Horseheads High School Alumni web site. He remembered me from all those many years ago, and wanted to re-connect. He says he doesn't really like people, but he is one of the nicest, most social people I have met in a long time. He and his wife came over to see us at Jeff's house last Friday, and it was truly wonderful for me.
Sherry loves to sew and do quilting. Patty shares this interest, so they had a lot to talk about.
This morning we woke up early and packed things up to go. It was hard to say good bye to Patty. She said she wished we could stay longer, but we knew we had to go. It's always better to leave while the hosts are still happy with you, than to stay too long and risk having them regret inviting you.
We drove to Oneonta today. We had planned to stay at the Elks, but we needed to dump our tanks, so we decided to stay at the KOA in Franklin. We have all had some painful experiences in our lives. I thought the death of my 8 day old son was the worst thing that could happen to me. Losing my dad in 1982 was terrible. He was the ROCK of our family, and even now sometimes things occur and I wish I could talk to him about them. In 1983 Jim lost his dad, and in 2006 he lost his son. In 2007 my mom died in our home. I thought my crying was over when we had her memorial service, and later when we sent her ashes to Mike to be buried next to our dad. But today, for the first time, Jim and I went to West Oneonta to visit the gravesite where dad and mom were laid to rest. This is NOT how I had thought we would spend my birthday, but I knew I could not leave the area again without making this trip to see them one last time. I hope each of you who read this realize how precious family and true friends are, and will treasure each day you have with your loved ones. Please don't let disageements make you turn against those you love. Please remember that life is short, so make the most of it. Enjoy life, and love your family and friends. Don't take life too seriously. Remember to laugh.................it's the best medicine. That's all for today, tomorrow we head into Vermont, and more adventures. Bye for now.