On Friday, July 26, I left with Melanie and Jack and my sister Lisa for Lincoln, Nebraska. We set up the camper at the country home of my first cousin, once removed. Chris sets a new standard for home amenities. When I build my next home it absolutely must have 30 and 50 amp RV hookups near the outbuildings. What convenience!
After a rushed camper set-up, we raced to the 33rd Street Runza to meet up with our (dad’s side) uncle, aunts and their children and grandchildren. So many of them showed up to see us. It warmed my heart. We took a few minutes to run over to the Lincoln Municipal Airport to pick up Dale on his triumphant return from Jamboree. Then we trooped to Uncle Steve & Aunt Carolyn’s house where all the cousins had gathered. Aunt Carolyn provided ice cream sundae fixings and lots of chips and dips. The kids tore all over the back fields and all the grown-ups got to visit. And we had to turn the heat on in the camper overnight.
Saturday morning found us at the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center setting up for the (mom’s side) reunion. Great turnout, good food, crazy cool and pleasant weather. There were some great old pictures to pass around. When I look at pictures, I always notice the toys, furniture, cars, linens, housewares, etc. It’s like antiquing in real life! The kids tore all over the prairie conservation area and all the grown-ups got to visit. The teenagers were profoundly bored until they received the wifi password. We moved the party to Chris’s house for a bonfire and s’mores. And we had to turn the heat on in the camper overnight.
On Sunday we went to church and visited with other cousins. Then we repeated the bonfire and s’mores in Chris’s attempt to rid herself of leftover reunion goodies. The kids cooperated enthusiastically in this endeavor. Three of my little nieces decided to spend the night in my camper. They were very brave (and dry!).
The rain started at about 4am Monday and did not abate, despite our 7am performance of the rain delay ritual, whereby one hits the snooze a few times waiting for the storm to “let up.” No such luck. We put the camper away in the downpour. It will have to be popped up later to dry. Through it all, the little kids were calm and well-behaved. Another blessing.
We visited the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. It was well worth the time and money. It was very kid-friendly and fairly easy to walk, with only a few steep walkways. Many exhibits were inside pavilions so we were not troubled by the cool temperatures and continual drizzle. The muddy shoes, on the other hand, became a big problem when it came to carrying little ones throughout the day. My sister may never wear white jeans again. It was quite traumatic for her, so don’t mention it when you see her.