Wednesday, August 17, 2022


We’re home!  We have actually been back since late Sunday afternoon, but life has been a whirlwind since we returned. We weren’t supposed to be home until Monday night and we had paid for our campsite through then, but we had some issues involving Mom and decided it would be easier just to come home a day early. Taking care of an elderly parent is certainly not easy is it?  She does not like us to be gone at all. We were dealing with problems the entire time we were traveling. And it seems that sometimes crisis’s are invented to bring us back. Other things are very real and out of her control.

But we are back now. At least Dennis is. I don’t remember if I told you, but my sister, niece and I are heading to Texas next week. Dennis will be home to take care of his mom and we’re heading south on Wednesday! I sure hope it’s a bit cooler by then. We’re planning to go to the Precious Moments Museum in Missouri, Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile in Oklahoma and The Silos in Waco,Texas. We also hope to stop at IKEA along the way. It’s been five years since I was at IKEA as we don’t have one close by either Spokane or Omaha. The nearest one is in Kansas City. This girls trip is only for five days but I’m really looking forward to the time with Melanie and Chaela. Mandy was supposed to come along, but she doesn’t have any more PTO from work. That was a big disappointment.

I did manage to finish up a third baby blanket while on our trip. Since coming home I’ve made one chemo hat and started another. I’ll show you pictures next time. This post will have the last of our vacation photos in it. I’m hoping to be able to comment on your blogs tonight. I am so sorry I haven’t done it yet. I HAVE been reading them! Life has just caught up with us since we got home. We’re ready to go again! This afternoon I need to take Mom to her cardiologist appointment. Yesterday was spent shopping for groceries and generally running errands. Monday was laundry. And more laundry and unpacking. All while dealing with the things happening with Mom.

So here we go with the end of our trip west. Below you will see Crazyhorse. We didn’t go to any of these sites up close and personal because we’ve been there so many times before. This photo and the one of Rushmore were taken from the highway. Crazyhorse doesn’t seem to have changed much in the last 25 years!
Here is Rushmore from the highway that passes by. We were in the Black Hills during the Sturgis motorcycle rally. There were so many motorcycles in the parking lot, we decided that we didn’t need to try to compete with them. We are hoping to take Piper back there next year since she had Covid and didn’t get to go this year. The emotions that you feel when gazing on these four faces is undescribable. It makes you feel patriotic from deep down inside.
This is one of the lodges in Custer State Park. The name slips my mind right now but I think it’s the Grace Coolidge Lodge. I’m probably wrong. Theodore Roosevelt used to visit Custer State Park. He thought it was one of the most beautiful places on earth and so do I.

Gorgeous vistas where you could see for miles.

The next two photos are the pigtail bridges on iron Mountain Road in Custer State Park. These bridges are so fun to drive on. They are made of wood and are in curly cues.

Of course, the photos don’t do them justice.

We stayed at Ft. Welikit, (pronounced fort we like it), both on our way to Spokane and then for three nights on our way home. It’s about a mile outside of Custer City and a beautifully kept campground. Very quiet and well-maintained. They have teepees, cabins, and little places that are like barrels on their sides with beds inside. I couldn’t get a picture of one because there were always people around them.

And here’s our site. We enjoyed our stay there very, very much

The campground looks pretty empty because a lot of the motorcycles started leaving on Saturday morning. The photo below is just a teeny, tiny fraction of the bikes that were there. We were told that there were over 700,000 motorcycles around the Black Hills this past week! All the way home on the interstate Sunday across I-90 in South Dakota, it was solid motorcycles or trucks carrying trailers with motorcycles in them. It was like a continuation of the Sturgis rally as we drove home! We have to say that we had some great conversations with the mostly men who were riding this week. Everyone of them was polite and friendly to a T. We couldn’t have asked for a better time to be there. And oh my goodness, there were some beautiful Harleys! We are sorely tempted to look at one for Dennis! We did have a motorcycle when we were first married, but got rid of it shortly after Mandy was born. A motorcycle is not very practical with the baby!

When we were in Spokane we went to a place called The Downriver Grill that is famous for its Gorgonzola fries. I forgot to show you a photo of them in that post. We went there for lunch with Larry, Nita and Lori. These fries are delicious!

And guess who started school yesterday? Fourth grade! How in the world did that happen? She has a teacher who is brand new to teaching this year. If yesterday is any indication, it’s going to be a wonderful year for Miss Piper.

Our sweet daughter-in-law and Baby J. flew from London to Japan yesterday to join Alex. Such a long trip for our sweet DIL with a little baby. To top it all off Baby J had her immunizations the day before. They had planned it so she would have them a couple of weeks before the flight, but her appointment kept getting postponed by the NHS for some reason. Mama had a fussy baby for at least the first part of the flight. She sent us lots of photos at the airport before and then one this morning after they landed. We have been so blessed with our sweet daughter-in-law. We love her so much and she loves us right back. She’s brilliant and she still likes me! 💜 I find that amazing. And I’m being perfectly honest here. I do find it amazing. 

Well I think I have carried on long enough with this post. I hope to be back to commenting on blogs tonight, now that I have my laptop back. Thank you all for being so patient with me over the last several weeks. I have truly been trying to keep up with all of you by reading your posts. It looks as though summer is beginning to wind down for many of us. Much of my garden ripening was harvested while we were gone. But I was able to pick a zucchini, three cucumbers and a handful of cherry tomatoes this morning. Yum! 

Take care and I’ll be back soon. May God be with each and everyone of you.

Blessings and hugs,


  1. Hi Betsy! I'm glad you had a good time away f home. I enjoy seeing your pictures. Sad mom had problems but she's better now. I've been to the Precious Moments Chapel 2 times. Once in Dec years ago and I took Megan with me for it was close to her 13th birthday. Sam, the owner was there and fun gathering. I had a friend go with me 2005 when I visited her in Omaha. Enjoy your trip too. I wouldn't mind pioneer woman store. Phil said he'd like to see their farm as well. God bless and be safe and happy 😊 Glad your daughter inlaw and baby are with Alex in Japan.

  2. Good to hear you got home and are starting a girls adventure!! That will be great fun for you! 4th grade wow Piper is growing up fast! Travel safely and have fun!

  3. Welcome home. I’ve enjoyed seeing your vacation photos

  4. Sweet Piper on her first day, those gorgeous motorcycles and Custer State Park, you have been busy. Those gorgonzola fries look a treat, I would order some. Your RV/motor home looks huge, how do you drive it? My sister could do it, she retired from driving big rigs cross country.

  5. Glad you're home safe and sound! I enjoyed all your trip posts since it's the closest I get to traveling these days. Ikea? Did you say Ikea? I'd love to have a day just to spend drinking in the wonder that is Ikea. Now that they deliver to me I am too lazy to take the long drive. Your trip to Texas sounds fun.
    And yes, the care and feeding of the old folks is quite the trial. The older I get the more I understand where they are coming from but can be a real pain to carve out some time for yourself and still meet their needs. It never ends. You're always glad you did it when it's over but sometimes you feel like you are drowning.

  6. Welcome home! Even if it isn't for very long!

    Piper is turning into quite the little lady!

  7. You must be very happy to be home again even if it's not for long. Sounds like you are going to pack a lot into the trip to Texas. I liked all your pictures. I also like the way you spread out a nice rug beside your RV when you're parked. Makes it look so good.

  8. What a wonderful trip! You packed so much into your vacation. Thank you for sharing all the photos and information. Hope mom is doing better with you both back in town. It is hard on both parents and adult caregiving children. And now a girls trip! How wonderful!!!

  9. So good to read your latest update Betsy and find that you're back home! And getting ready for a girls trip! have a lot of energy. Good for you. I hope you will have a terrific time. Love the pictures you posted of your scenic. That Lodge is gorgeous.....would love to stay there. Your campsite looked awesome too. I always enjoy your posts so're so newsy! Take care and let us know how your upcoming trip goes! God Bless.

  10. The photo of Mount Rushmore is gorgeous.

    Hope things settle down with Dennis' mom. I DO know how hard it is. We had the same issues with Steve's dad. Sending up a good word that you have a quiet trip to TX with no drama.

  11. Welcome home!! I remember being at Mount Rushmore (decades ago...I think I was 12 or 13). That sure is a beautiful area. Hope things calm down with Dennis' Mom. Caring for aging parents is not always an easy task. Enjoy your girls' trip to TX!!

  12. Looks like you had a wonderful trip. So many beautiful places to see! My nephew was actually up in Sturgis, SD, for that big motorcycle event. He was there in charge of the big tents that were set up around there for the events. He lives here in Florida, but travels with this company to events where the tents are set up. He had a great time in Sturgis and saw some the same things you did. I've never been up there but it sure looks like a beautiful place. I am sorry your mother in law is having "issues". I remember those days with my MIL. She didn't like any of us to be away either, and then eventually she came to live with us part of the week, and with her other son the rest of the week, for several years before she ended up in a nursing home because we could no longer manage her care. She kept falling and refused to stay put and finally she had a fractured hip, that thankfully wasn't really bad, but enough for us to all decide it was time for her to be where she could get "professional care". She actually thrived there and lived to be 95. Anyway, I understand the issues and dilemmas that come with that territory. May God give you all grace and strength to do what needs to be done for her care. Your upcoming trip sounds delightful! A "girls" trip sounds like so much fun. Enjoy your time and we'll look forward to hearing about it when you get back. God bless you all.

  13. What a wonderful vacation you had! Thank you for sharing the photos as armchair travel is about all I do now. They were beautiful and much appreciated. Piper is getting tall is such a cutie! I think maybe she and Grayson are in the same grade but I'll have check. Living in Iowa there were a lot of people that went to Sturgis.
    I'm glad you got home safe and sound. Enjoy your time with your sister and niece!