Posts Tagged With: hamilton

CHICO VISIT

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My daughter-in-law and I trekked to Chico, about  three hours north of us, to visit friends and family. Laurie has a 91-year-old aunt in nearby Hamilton, and my 80-year-old sister is staying with her daughter in nearby Durham.  We gassed up in Valley Springs before leaving and I took a picture of this “only in America” truck. How high can you go?  The kid driving it told me he drives out in the hills with it and likes high clearance.

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Our first stop was Durham, 25 minutes from Chico, where my sister, who is recuperating from lung cancer surgery,  was doing very well. She was fixing her own breakfast and pain-free. It’s just a matter of gaining strength, she says.

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Her daughter, Debbie, convinced her to move into one of those assisted living places in Chico.

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It’s called The Terraces and we spent about two hours inspecting the place, walking around, getting oriented to her room and the many activity centers. We met newcomers like she will soon be, checked out the pool and a small lake. It’s like a fancy hotel. She’ll have a sunny corner unit with two bedrooms and she wont have to cook if she doesn’t want to.

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Debbie, her husband Bob, Dawn and I enjoyed dinner at Michael Christians,  a popular Chico Restaurant. My daughter-in-law went to a concert with friends she stayed with.

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The next morning, I took a walk before breakfast, with my camera, of course. These cute cottontails are everywhere.

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The neighbor has a handsome bull that Bob says is just a pet. They don’t raise cattle, or butcher their meat.

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Debbie and Bob have two Paint horses and at one time raised and bred Angus Cattle as a side-line. Their kids are now bringing home the grand-kids to ride, so they keep the horses. Bob is hoping to retire from teaching in a couple of years. Debbie has taught special needs students, and worked in counseling and school administration over the years. With the recent cut-backs in education funding, she is back in the class room teaching mentally disturbed children.

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An avid quilter, she made a wall hanging for her mother to hang in her new digs at the Terraces. I was impressed with the place and am happy to see that my sister is looking forward to downsizing and embracing a new role. When she was diagnosed with lung cancer she asked the surgeon if she should make out her will. “He said, yeah, but not because you have lung cancer.”  She is doing remarkably well, and she already had a will.  Her surgery was July 2nd.

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DRIVING PRACTICE

We’ve traveled from Indiana approximately 250 miles north then west to Hamilton, Illinois as we press homeward. North for cooler weather and West headed back to California. It was the perfect day for a driving lesson for me since I’ve only driven the motor home once. The traffic was helpfully light on Highway 10 and  136 West.

The corn harvesters were moving from field to field and I was grateful, as I drove, that I was meeting them instead of being stuck behind them. They are huge and hard to see around.

At times there were several of them in a row rolling to the next field where they work in crews and get in the ethanol corn. The soybean fields are beginning to ripen, but not quite ready for harvest yet.

Illinois is quite flat and I drove in a heavy, broadside wind for my three hours  behind the wheel. I got much needed  practice navigating stop signs, curves, uphill and down, and several left and right turns. I stopped twice, once for a snack and water break; Another stop for Jim to get on the computer and find us a place to stay for the night.It isn’t as difficult to drive one of these big rigs as I thought. And, of course, practice helps.

Only one “narrow” hazzard, which happened after Jim took the wheel. And he also met a harvester in front of us. You can see how much of the road they use. We expect we’ll see more of them across Missouri. I plan to drive part of every day now.

Looking back, a week or more, at a place in Indiana, I saw a sign for a historic marker in the Land Of The Limberlost. We couldn’t stop, but this morning I looked it up on-line and found out what it is. If you are curious, as I was, check the link to Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limberlost_Swamp

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Hamilton, Illinois

Jim says:

Yesterday Mary and I drove the motorhome about 250 miles to Hamilton, Illinois which is about two miles from the Mississippi River before crossing into Missouri. We spent the night in a VFW parking lot.

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For only the second time on the trip Mary drove the motorhome yesterday about 150 miles. Now that we have left the densely populated east coast and traffic is lighter, it’s time for Mary to get accustomed to driving the motorhome.

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Along the way we saw lots of corn!

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Mary has decided that unless there is something unique/special to stop and see, she’d just as soon we continue on our way to her home in Murphys, California where she has lots of stuff needing her attention.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
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