Visit with some of Tom’s siblings and daughter Tammy…

I was sandwiched in and wasn’t able to get a good angle for a photo of everyone, nor was anyone prepared for a photo. I left out sister Margi and brother-in-law Eugene. But more will follow when we spend more time with his family in the coming weeks. On the left are sister Patty, niece Trish, and sister Mary. Of course, Tom always has a smile on his face.

Yesterday proved to be a busy day, after all. First, we decided to head to Tom’s sister Patty’s house in Blaine to see her and pick up several bins of railroad memorabilia he’d stored at her house over these past years. She had plenty of room in her basement; we’d practically forgotten about it. We’ve often said we had no storage, but Tom had saved these few bins at Patty’s, certainly not like having a storage facility with household goods which we don’t have.

Before we left, he gave the grandchildren all the railroad watches and clocks, but he didn’t have time to unload the balance. Now, the challenge will be to put the entire collection on eBay and Facebook and try to sell it. Many people are very interested in railroad memorabilia, as are collectors of other historical artifacts and memorabilia.

I will leave the intensive work on this to him to decide what to do with it and how much he wants for the lot of five bins of items. Surely, he’ll want my help setting it up for sale on eBay and Facebook, and I will gladly help. We’d better get the show on the road on this big project since time is whittling away with only three weeks until we depart.

We have so much to do With many family and friends visits on the horizon. Also, I am still ensuring we have ample supplies for our time in South America since many items we use may not be available for sale there. I am checking out various websites to see if they have some things we may need while there.

If we run out of something, we don’t want to have to order a shipment from the US when international shipping costs are so high and take so long to arrive. We’ll have to play it by ear while I try to anticipate what we’ll need by reviewing everything we currently have.

After Tom loaded the five bins into the back of the rental car, we sat at Patty’s big table in her kitchen, chatting and having a great time. Before we knew it, three of his sisters, Colleen, Margie, Mary, and Mary’s husband Eugene, arrived along with his niece Trish, Colleen’s adult daughter. We all sat around the table and talked and laughed for several hours.

Finally, it was time to meet daughter Tammy for dinner at Wagner’s, an old-fashioned drive-in restaurant, and eat dinner outside on picnic benches. After checking the menu and not finding a single item I could eat when everything was fried or laden with gluten, I suggested we stop at Chipotle to get me a “bowl” to bring for my dinner.

It all worked out well, but I was shocked when my “bowl” was almost $20 when I ordered it with a little extra meat and a dollop of guacamole. Wow! Prices are high here. I remember buying a bowl here 11 or 12 years ago for under $10 how prices have changed!

We made it in plenty of time to meet Tammy, and she and Tom ordered their food for another $36. It’s hard to believe how much it costs to eat out here. We are easily spending an average of $80 a day for dining out and for a few less expensive meals we buy at the local market, Cub. We still have plenty of money left on our shop card for Costco and hope to use it for meals over the next three weeks. We’ll see how it goes. If we don’t use it all, we certainly can use it at some time in the future since it doesn’t expire.

This afternoon, Tom is heading out with son TJ to go to a car show in the small town of Henderson, Minnesota, about 40 minutes from here. He won’t return until 8:00 or 9:00 pm, so I will plan something for my dinner. I still have my Grubhub account with free delivery so I may order something from there later.

Hopefully, my friend Chere will visit around 2:00 this afternoon and spend a few hours with me. She’ll come to the hotel, and we’ll hang out in the comfy seating area in the lobby.

That’s all I have for today. More will follow tomorrow.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, September 19, 2013:

While visiting the site of our landlord, Hans, in Diani Beach, Kenya, a multi-unit building under construction, we were amazed by all of the handmade ladders made from materials on the site. For more photos, please click here.