Mad-dash rehash

This is so many days late, but I’ve been having such a rough time getting back into the swing of things after getting back from our trip.  And because I know people are/were interested in how it went, but it would take WAY too long to write about it in detail, this is the mad-dash rehash of our midwestern tour.  (I will put many pictures in to try to make it more interesting.)


  • Awake at 3:30 to drive to the airport in Charleston.  Drink 30 oz of coffee and get VERY WIRED.
  • Fly from Charleston to Chicago.
  • Fly from Chicago to Milwaukee.
  • Sit in Milwaukee for a long time because our flight was delayed.
  • Find a used bookstore in the airport.
Bookstore where?
Renaissance Books
  • Fly to Minneapolis.
  • Collect our rental car and call Nathan and Co.
  • Meet Nathan & Co. and Erica & Ltd. at Erica’s house and have a fun-filled picnic dinner.
  • Play with nieces and nephews and lots and lots of balls.  Play in the park.
Fun with plastic balls
  • Eat s’mores with Erica.
  • Go to bed after being awake for about 20 hours.


  • Get up to go running with Erica and plod my way through 2.5 miles for the first time in many, many months.
  • Ache for the next 2 days.
  • Shower, dress, and drive away.
  • Chat with Erica and pass things to Chloe until we get to Eau Claire.
Chloe, show me your teeth!
  • Have a delightful lunch with Mom and Dad.
  • Go to Goodwill to find shoes for Chloe and buy a hat and purse.
  • Drive to Grandma’s house.
Grandma's house
  • Have a delightful dinner with Grandma and Dee and stay up late chatting.


  • Get up and have a big breakfast with Grandma and Dee.
  • Sit around chatting and working out genealogy and enjoying company.
  • Shower.
  • Take Chloe to the park and have fun running around.
Chloe on the playground
  • Eat lunch.
  • Go through my wedding book with Grandma, pointing out people she didn’t know.
  • Say good-byes and drive away.
Group shot with Grandma and Dee
  • Drive to Knoxville, IA.
  • Get lost.
  • Get un-lost.
  • Hug Grandpa Doug and other people in the dark and not know who they are.
  • Get settled into the camper trailer and meet Justin’s aunt, uncle, and cousin.
  • Sleep on a mattress covered in plastic, with heads lower than our feet and get a sore throat.


  • Get up and chat with people in the trailer while breakfasting and getting ready.
  • Wander down to the pond and meet a couple more people.
  • Wander down to the barn and say good morning to Grandpa Doug and Great-uncle Bob and a few other people.
Barnett's barn
  • Wander down to the tent and meet Great-uncle Jerry and help him wipe down chairs for lunch.
Reunion tent
  • Meet a couple more people.
  • Run into town to grab some things from Walmart (a pillow, throat drops, hot dogs, a fan)
  • Make it back to the farm in time to meet a whole bunch more people, grab a few sodas, and stand around chatting for a little bit before lunch.
  • Have an unfortunate run-in with a gust of wind in a billowy top and face questions about whether I’m pregnant.  Quelch that rumor as quickly as possible.
  • Eat lunch.
  • Sit around chatting with people.
  • Sneak off to take a nap.
  • Wander around the property of a distant cousin who raises lilies and hostas.
Randy's hostas
Randy's flowers
Purple flowers
Stone stairs
Grass driveway
  • Jump in the pond for a swim before dinner.
  • Meet a couple more people while swimming.
  • Go to dinner in a different outfit than at lunch.  No billowing.
  • Meet even more people.
  • Cheer for the talent show.
Grandpa Doug on harmonica
  • Cook s’mores.
  • Chat with people until dark.
  • Watch the men clear up chairs and tables in preparation for inclement weather.
  • Move trash bags to the side so they wouldn’t wash away.
  • Walk back to the trailer in awe of all the lightning bugs.
  • Die of heat while trying to sleep, even with the fan blowing, with a sore throat and feet higher than our heads and a loud plastic wrapper on the mattress.


  • Wake up, breakfast, shower, dress.  Feel very groggy, head-stuffy, throat-achy.
  • Go to the high school for lunch because of the expectation of rain.
  • Cram 130+ people into the high school cafeteria.
Barnetts in the high school cafeteria
  • Meet a few more people.
  • Eat delicious lunch.
  • Release a microphone to the masses.
  • Hide in the bathroom for a little bit.
  • Walk around the school with Justin a little bit.
  • Leave messages on Gillian’s phone.
  • Drive back to the farm.
Barnett rock
  • Go sit at the barn out of the rain and talk with people.
  • Walk back to the pond and watch Justin go swimming while I sit on the dock under an umbrella.
  • Change into dry clothes.  Call Gillian.
  • Chat with people for a little longer.
  • Go see Gillian.
  • Chat with Gillian and play with her children for a while.  Forget to take a picture.
  • Leave so the kids can get to sleep.  Go out for dinner.
  • Watch fireworks as we drive home.
  • Go to sleep with sound of rain and cool air blowing.


  • Wake up, breakfast, shower, dress, pack.
  • Throw everything into car.
  • Wander up to the barn to chat with people.
  • Wander around old homestead house and take pictures.
Git offa my lawn
Outside his childhood bedroom window
I like steps
Wooden steps
Water wheel
The reason we made the trip
  • Sit back down and chat some more.
  • Finally say good-byes and drive off.
  • Stop for lunch and move our luggage into the back seat.
  • Repack everything so it fits into one suitcase while Justin drives.
  • Meet Sara at Cheesecake Factory, but walk across the street to Barnes and Noble to work up an appetite.
  • Catch up with Sara and wander around the store.
  • Go back and have a delicious dinner.
  • Wander around the mall a little bit before saying good-byes.
Tickle shot
  • Drive to Erica’s house and keep her up late while we finish packing and getting ready.  She braids my hair.


  • Get up a little before 5:00 to pack up, put up the beds, and head to the airport.
  • Arrive on time, return the car, check in, make it through security, and only sit a little while before boarding.
  • Fly to Chicago.
  • Get adopted by an 80-year old woman looking for help getting to her gate.
  • Stay more calm about the shuttle bus to another concourse and the time crunch of our layover because of that angelic woman.
  • Get to the gate just as they finish boarding and get right on the airplane.
  • Fly to Charleston.
  • Collect our luggage, find the car, and drive home.
  • Pile everything inside the house.
  • Shower and curl up to relax.
  • Fall asleep and sleep for about 15 hours.

And as a bonus! Wednesday:

  • Relax all morning.
  • Go to our financial advisor appointment and start making good plans.
  • Go to the grocery store.
  • Get a flat tire leaving the grocery store.
  • Watch Justin put on spare tire.
  • Go home and unload the groceries and tidy the kitchen while Justin sorts the luggage into dirty laundry hampers.
  • Eat a late lunch.
  • Take the car to Tire Kingdom.
  • Buy a new tire.
  • Go home.
  • Find out that Justin’s old boss and coworker had shown up AT THE HOUSE to ask why he hadn’t been answering his cell phone.
  • Laugh delightedly that he no longer works there.
  • Relax for the rest of the evening.