Remember that Peaches & Herb song from the late ’70s, Reunited? Maybe not, but music and lyrics savant that I am, I do, and the tune & lyrics fit. We Jollys have reunited with Charley today and it feels so good! Wayne, Chris, and all the guys at Dynamic Truck Repair in Columbia, SC, did a fantastic job installing better shock absorbers and an anti-sway bar, and we’re very happy to report that it was money well spent; Charley rides a lot smoother now!
Let me catch you up on these last two-plus weeks…..
We had a really nice journey back to the Midwest a couple of weeks ago – except for the fact that it got colder & colder as we traveled north. We stopped in Nashville where I finally had the chance to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame. It was cool to trip down country music lane and history, especially as that’s my favorite genre of music. I enjoyed reading nearly every placard, watching nearly every video, and seeing all of the costumes these country music stars wore at one time or another during their careers. And Fred was thrilled to see his country music fave, Patsy Cline, immortalized in bronze right next to one of my old faves, Glen Campbell. And true confessions: Dancing With The Stars is one of my guilty pleasures, and it was a thrill for me to see Kellie Pickler’s costume and the Mirror Ball trophy on display! :)
Friend Dona rolled out her new hardwood floors for us when we spent a night with her (not on her floor; in her guest bedroom!) en route back up to Chicago. Then friends Kathy, then Eric, each put up with us and our many bags and suitcases for a few nights while we thoroughly enjoyed our visits with friends and family back in our beloved Windy City.
I purposely haven’t posted any photos from our time in Chicago, in large part to conceal just how much vino was consumed (I’m joking Mom!) as we got together with several sets of friends who very graciously hosted dinner parties for us so we could get together with many of the friends we wanted to see. Honestly, though, I was also ready for a little break from photographing, writing, and posting as I have been doing regularly for the past six months.
We had a really nice Thanksgiving with Claire and Kyle and Tom and Eric. It was truly a blessing to be back in Chicago with our family on this, my favorite holiday. We collaborated on a delicious meal together, and as always, we all laughed and drank and laughed some more. Eric proclaimed this BTGE – Best Thanksgiving Ever – and indeed, we set the bar very high with this one!
Following a week in Chicago, we headed further north – up to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin where it was a bone-chilling 3° on our final of the four nights we spent up there visiting my family. We had nice visits with Mom and my sister and her family. Kyle, our 23-year-old nephew was home from Galveston where he’s serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. And Kelsey (21) and Patrick (18) were both home on break from UW-Madison – my Badger legacies! Also lots of fun, our two youngest nieces, Elizabeth and Natalie, helped me get Mom’s house decorated for the Christmas holidays.
On our way back down south, we had lunch in Milwaukee with my adopted brother, Will – as in, we met in 1980 when we were 16 years old, and adopted one another as brother and sister sometime when we were in our 20’s. He is still in disbelief that we are actually living this lifestyle – he asked me what happened to all my shoes and jewelry!?! – but he did acknowledge that we must be doing something right, for according to him we looked well-rested, and as we regaled him with stories from our first six months on the road, he could tell we are having the time of our lives….
We made one more stop – the Muhammad Ali Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. Non-fan of boxing that I am, I must admit that this was a very well-done museum, and I really enjoyed visiting.
So that brings us up to date. This afternoon we moved our carload of stuff back into Charley, and as the song goes, we’re reunited once again and it feels so good….