Monday, August 17, 2015

Another summer "POOF" gone...

The beginning of a summer that would be, in proximity, the closest to our old home that we have yet served at, and a place where a large chunk of Bill's heart resides.  A place where Bill and Dale (Camp Zion Director ) rode together in this 1954 jeep

when they were 17 years old (Bill) and 10 years old (Dale),

and we would have the opportunity to reconnect with many of Bill's old friends, and regularly see family for a change.

Evenings would arrive after long days at our toil and the cares of the world would drift away while we sat on our favorite bench and watch the sunset ....

which was easy to do when we were hooked up right at the camp for 6 weeks.

.......This, unfortunately came to an abrupt end, and we relocated to a nearby RV park (more on that later).

After settling in for 3 weeks, we made our 1st of several trips "back home" to visit with our friends Brian and Debbie Mangurten and see their new place.
View of Belmont Harbor from Mangurten's condo

Dinner at "Dive" with Brian and Debbie

The visit was fabulous, but the need to be back in Door was calling to us, in the form of tickets.  As we drew close that early afternoon, this sight greeted us at the local high school!

Now can you see why I was so excited to get back?

I had been waiting with eager anticipation for this concert for weeks, and it almost didn't happen:
the evening of the concert I was sitting out by the campfire having a casual conversation with Mike (one of our lifeguards).  Knowing the concert was at 7PM and a 25 minute drive away AND that the tix were right in the drawer under the TV, I easily continued talking to Mike until 6:05 PM.  Then it happened.....upon returning to the RV to fetch Bill and the tickets, one of them could not be located.  I could not find those tickets anywhere!  In a panic, I asked Bill to go see if I had left them with the mail, in the office.  While checking, Bill ran into Austin (Waterfront Director) and Corey (Camp photog)

Austin, Sara Richards, Corey and Bill

and filled them in on what was going on.  After an unsuccessful search, at  6:35 PM Bill returned to the RV.  We resigned ourselves to an evening in front of the TV (Can't change the situation, change your attitude).  At 6:38 we heard a knock at the door.  Austin and Corey were there, holding out a piece of paper which said credit card, ID and WILL CALL.  Corey says, "take this to the auditorium, give them these items
 to confirm who you are", and "they will have your tickets for you".  
Even with this blessing in hand, the concert auditorium was 25 minutes away and we were still at home.  At 6:58 PM we 

were seated in the best concert position EVER!

Our July 3rd surprise was just that, a surprise, the 1st of two soon to come:  my niece Brenda and her husband Ryan showed up in DC, and we were able to spend a bit to time with them.  Eating at Al Johnson's was, as always, a great treat, and the requisite "goats on the roof" picture that ALL tourists take was on the agenda:

It was also about this time that we received another surprise visit from friends Don and Lisa.  Bill drove back from Green Bay to have dinner with all of us at CHOP:  It was the BEST steak I have ever had in a restaurant.

The week before that found us taking advantage of a sailboat donation made to Camp Zion.  The good news????  It will hold 3-4 kids.  The bad news?   The fuel tank for the motor had a leak:-(  Fortunately for us, as Bill made his daily venture back and forth to Green Bay to lay in the hyperbaric chamber, he located a new/used 2.5 HP motor.  We were quickly back in business. 

First order, get it in the water,

In Ellison Bay, rigging the mast, and unscrambling all the lines before sailing over to the Camp Zion harbor.  No problem?  Sure, if you don't mind the 3 foot seas,
and a narrow 
                                          harbor mouth.  

We approached, trimmed the sails, fired the motor up and one of us (me) waited to crash into the steel/concrete pier.  I am sure the 6 sets of eyes waiting on the dock to assist us, were also certain the boat was about to become matchsticks.  Then, just as my panic was reaching its peak, a wave crashed against the pier and Bill effortlessly rode the back crest right into the harbor.  Sailing lessons will probably begin next year, as Bill is, as I write, undergoing his 3rd skin graft surgery of this summer, and the doctor wants him in bed for a full week.  

JULY 4th Door County style:  while at camp this day we hosted a couple of visitors, Tim and Marie.  It is quite common for previous youthful campers from bygone days to stop in and visit. This was the case for Marie, bringing her hubby Tim along.  After giving them the tour, we began to really like Tim and Marie, so we arranged a little boat ride for them.  

Austin was quite accommodating:  the July 4th boat ride was quite an experience...

It was Corey's idea to bring the flag.


And we all had a blast!  Even getting to see "the sunken ship:

But, the fun was not over yet.  An evening at Weborg's Wharf provided us a front row seat to Ellison Bay fireworks, which are shot off from one of Jeff's boats every year:

                                      It was one of the best fireworks displays I have ever seen!
        But it did make us miss Bill's friend Jeff Weborg, who passed away suddenly last December :-(

IN THE "IT'S A SMALL WORLD CATEGORY, turns out that Marie was a camper and friend of Bill's sister Kathy many years ago, and Kathy does remember her fondly.

One of this summer's highlights soon arrived in the form of a small granddaughter, Kate:  who attended "Junior Girls" camp session for the 1st time: 

Seems like she had a good time!

ADDITIONAL IN THE "IT'S A SMALL WORLD CATEGORY: during Jr. Girls I met a young man who was the son of a fellow female police officer from Zion, both at camp volunteering for the week.  Turned out Alex and I have a friend in common from Gunnison, CO, Lesly. He made me promise not to believe everything she said about him :-)

So great to see so many friends during our time in Door County this summer!

 In the week before we hoisted the sails of the new boat in the swells of Green Bay, we sailed away in a different vehicle, our truck, all the way to Lake County,  IL.  That was 2 parties and 600 miles in 1 day.  Not bad for a couple of gypsies.  The 1st party was for Nate's

Nate with his Aunt Kathy
My BFF Audrey with her brother Bob
Nate's brother Jeremy with Audrey's Great Grandson Jacob
high school graduation.  Nate is the youngest grandson of my best friend, and I feel as though he could be my own grand.  This gave Bill and I the rare occasion to see most of Audry's entire family.  It was wonderful to see and catch up with these lovely people.

And then we were off to our oldest Granddaughters birthday party.  Much of our family gathered to wish Natalie a Happy 17th:

The birthday girl with her Dad, Bret

Mom Tami, Aunt Christy 

                                                            Papa, Aunt Katie, Cousin Moira

                                                      Uncle Jungle Jim, always goofy

                                                              Grandpa Ron, Nana Lynda

Uncle Bil and Teagan

The entire day was well worth the drive!

We have worked HARD this summer, and enjoyed it WAY more!  The days have been so filled with work:
Sorting of the clothing order begins in earnest.
Dropping HUGE pines right on the 70 degree bluff was fun!

Sanding and re-staining the large deck and picnic tables took awhile.

Planting of flowers went on for weeks.
that we failed to send out our summer birthday cards:=(

NO, we thought of each one of you on your summer birthday.   Just no time to send cards.

JULY 26th, 2015 A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY!  Well, within our family anyway.  James and Sarah were engaged!

We are so lucky to be welcoming this nurse-in-training into our family!  Way to go James!

On my birthday (August 2nd) we had an exciting storm, which took out the power in Northern Door, (everything North of Sturgeon Bay) for 16 hours.  This was the day Ron and Lynda Schluter 

(Nana and Grandpa Ron)                                                      
were bringing our grandson Johnny for a 3 day visit.  

We had planned to meet them at Fred and Fuzzies at 3:00pm and have a nice dinner before making the exchange.  
NOTE: Lynda had told us about Fred and Fuzzies Door County Cherry Margaritas weeks earlier, but we had not been there until.......  A week earlier we had taken some time off, and hit the Fred and Fuzzies as fast as our feet could carry us.  Lo and behold, we found live music there that Sunday afternoon, which was cause to delay our departure.  After the meal and Margs, Ben Larson

was a wonderful surprise and culmination to our afternoon escape.  That day Fred and Fuzzies became our FAV Door County hangout.  Back to my birthday:  at 2:30 PM just as Bill and I were due to arrive at Fred and Fuzzies the storm blew a large tree onto the top of this pavilion bar just behind Ben.  The pavilion was destroyed.  Needless to say that, with NO power, Door County came to a standstill, no restaurants were open, no ice cream shops, no grocery stores...well you get the picture.

Plans were quickly altered and delivery of Johnny was redirected to our place.  A little cheese and crackers/wine and the 5 of us were having a ball.  Snacks turned into dinner.  Dinner turned into ice cream at Camp Zion (which Lynda had also attended as a child).  Ice cream at Camp Zion turned into watching the sunset over the Bay, and the perfect end to a perfect birthday!

PS: How do you like my birthday present to myself?   
With Laura Capp on the tube at 22 MPH "Whoot Whoot!!!!"

The next  day Bill was off to the hyperbaric chamber and Johnny and I headed to camp.

 For the next 6 hours Johnny worked hard and helped me finish a longstanding task.  As "Italian" is his favorite food AND we had been unable to go out for dinner on my birthday AND a recent visit to "Chop" (which was FABULOUS), revealed their sister restaurant as "Pasta Vino", dinner out and where to go was a no-brainer.  I can HIGHLY recommend both CHOP and Pasta Vino (Maxwelton Braes Country Club), just outside of Bailey's Harbor) in Door County.

The storm mess is probably cleared up by now.

You may have noticed by now that I keep mentioning Bill in conjunction with "hyperbaric" in Green Bay.  To bring you up to date, Bill has had 4 surgeries to correct open wounds to the scar tissue on his left leg this summer.  Three of them skin grafts.  He had this done in Virginia last November, and with the hyperbaric chamber time, experienced complete healing in about three weeks.  Not so much this time.  After three skin graft surgeries there is only partial healing as he enters what should be his last week in the chamber, after 4 weeks of it.  Needless to say he is tired of it all.  We ask for prayers of complete healing to show itself within this week, so that we can begin our trek westward to Joshua Tree NP.

There was only one other, let me say unexpected development this summer.  Without going into needless detail, after 6 weeks of being "camped" out at Camp Zion, we had to move the RV.  On the downside, it made for a lot of wasted time traveling the 5 miles back and forth from Hy-Land RV Park : 

to the Camp, but on the upside, it was a BEAUTIFUL RV Park, quiet and spacious.  We would not hesitate to stay there in the future!

SO, here we are at the end of another summer, heading to the Castle Rock Lake area of WI to see Don and Lisa and FINALLY get the RV customized!  The 1st of September (or about) we will head back to N. IL for one final visit before heading West to Joshua Tree NP.  Along the way visits to James and Sarah(CO) and Dick Borden and Debbie (AZ) will highlight the journey.  And, with Kelly and Michael recently moved to Manhattan Beach, CA, we will be able to spend some quality time with the Baby Girl.  After January, who knows ????  We are looking at Guadalupe Mountains Park, Big Bend National Park, the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, and Pinnacles National Park.  When we are locked in, you will be the first to know. 

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