Memorial Day…Love and respect for those who gave their lives for our freedom…More family visits…

Nothing signifies Minnesota more than the commonly found Canadian Goose.

We extend our hearts and prayers to those who lost loved ones to war and strife throughout the world. Many celebrate with worship and reverence as a special part of today’s observations. May this day and others bring peace and healing for those who remember lost loved ones.

Yesterday, Sunday of this Memorial Day weekend, we drove to Sandstone, Minnesota to see daughter Tammy and family at their campground in Askov, aka Asking.

They’re pretty to look at but poop two pounds per day in the grass, a real nuisance for homeowners, particularly those living on a lake, as we did in our old lives.

The drive in the new Ford Explorer was pleasant while I worked on the settings on our phones for which we’d purchased SIM cards at a local T. Mobile store. Unfortunately, it was pricey for the two months of unlimited calls, text and 4 gigs of data at $180 for both phones, more than we’ve paid in any country.

We knew we couldn’t spend the nine weeks in the US without phones, especially with one car and the need to pick one another up during planned activities that may include only one of us.

This sky view took our breath away.

During the long drive, we sent our numbers by text to family members and now we’re easily able to stay in touch for planning and confirming our get-togethers over the remaining 39 days until we leave for Nevada for part two of the family visits.

What a pretty sky.  Rainstorms like this are typical for Minnesota and the Midwest.

Tammy, Tracy and our grandson Vincent have an RV parked in a permanent spot in a lovely fully equipped campground near Hinckley, Minnesota, home of several casinos and popular vacation spots. Many locals travel from all over the state to gamble and enjoy the countryside.

A deep bank of clouds and rain greeted us on the return drive before dark.

Warmly welcomed by the family and their two giant Newfoundland dogs, we settled in for an enjoyable day of lively chatter and catching up. Unfortunately, it was a rainy and cool day, and we spent most of the day inside the camper. 

It was raining in mysterious sheets during the drive back to our hotel around 8:00 pm.

Later in the day, when the sun peeked out we gathered around a roaring campfire for more conversation and laughter. It was an easy day spent sharing a piece of their lives as they too, like all of our children and grandchildren, have found a “happy place” where they unwind and relax while still working and raising their families.

At specific points, there was a massive downpour.

We’re deeply touched by the love and emotions shared by our family and look forward to every single moment we can spend together. Once again, we’re humbled and in awe of the world around us, cherishing every interaction, each beautiful scene and the prospect of what is yet to come.

May your day be memorable in many ways.

Photo from one year ago today, May 29, 2016:

This cat, who didn’t seem to mind, was getting a lot of personalized attention from these three monkeys at the Monkey Temple in Bali, if you see what I mean. For more photos, please click here.