Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Iowa City; Liberty, Missouri

After a quick night’s stop in Iowa at a beautiful campground, we headed south to visit friends in Liberty, MO. It was a nice driving watching the green fields and rolling hills go by. We also spotted huge wind turbine blades going down the highways loaded on the back of tractor trailers. They are enormous. There’s a huge future for these turbines in the Midwest, and Thom sure would like to work in that field.

Mike and Sue Conge were our neighbors in Bel Air, MD back in 1996-98. Their daughter, Christine is Robby’s age, and son, Mac is Will’s age. We haven’t seen each other since about 9 years ago, and what a great time we had catching up! The boys had sleepovers 3 nights in a row, and Sam enjoyed playing with their yellow lab, Duke. The kids spent hours in the backyard on the trampoline, having a water balloon war, and getting wet on a hot Sunday afternoon.
Mike, Sue, Thom and I shared stories and pictures of the last decade. Mike was laid off work this past Jan, but just started a new job last month. So we had good conversations about the job market and the economy. Sue works for Home Depot in kitchen/bathroom design. We all went to church on Sunday at The Vineyard, which was wonderful and reminded us of our Austin, TX church called Gateway. Mike spoiled us every morning with a delicious breakfast of waffles, eggs, pancakes and coffee! They grilled chicken, burgers, and hotdogs later, and the boys were in seventh heaven!

Bryce and Michelle McCloskey also live in Liberty, and we hadn’t seen them since 9 years ago as well. We spent a day at their home catching up, with another terrific BBQ meal. Bryce Jr is now starting his senior year in high school, and is taller than both parents! Twins Taylor and Dylan are 12 and had fun with our boys. Dylan shared all his electronic games and toys, while Taylor shared her artwork with Thom and me. She’s quite a talented artist! Bryce shared so many great stories, which kept us all in stitches. It’s cute to see his kids roll their eyes as he makes his jokes. I couldn’t help but laugh, since he’s one of the funniest people I know! Bryce now works for SAIC after retiring from the Army about 6 years ago, while Michelle is a nurse. We all attended an outdoor play that evening of Shakespeare’s “A Mid Summer Night’s Dream.” Christine had told us about it, and she attended as well with her boyfriend and Sue. Seeing friends has truly been one of the best parts about our journey these past 11 months.

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