September 14, 2018 – Gatlinburg, Tennessee

We did not stay long in Wisconsin.  Grandsons, Owen and Cam, were shocked to learn we were leaving so soon as we usually stay for weeks.  We rented a small trailer and hooked it up to the back of our little RV. George helped us load it up and turn things around to aim out of the driveway.

It was a two-day drive to Gatlinburg where we stopped in at Jake and Angie’s Wood Art. I had scouted out all the chainsaw carving shops in May and June.  Jake was busy carving when we pulled up.

There were plenty of works in progress too, mostly bears.

The bear I chose was standing with a little tilt, so Jake leveled the base for me.

There were lots of small bears on display in front of the store.

Turns out, Jake was heading to Marathon FL, the next day to carve the pilings on his father’s pier.

I didn’t take a picture of my bear.

We had planned to stay for the night, but it was early in the day.  We pulled out of Jake & Angie’s Wood Art and drove over the mountain through the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I guess we were like horses headed for the barn on the last leg of our long summer trip.

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September 11, 2018 – Mequon, WI

Cam is in kindergarten and is so proud to be riding the big yellow school bus like his big brother. I think the bus driver was getting a kick out of the crazed grandma taking a picture.

Owen, on the other hand, is an old pro.

The tree house was complete.

The latest addition was the platform from the bridge to the top of the slide. The boys helped George build it.

Here it is from the top.

And, here is the tree house from the bridge.

September 9, 2018 – Mequon, Wisconsin

We left Maryland and took a quick trip back to Wisconsin to pick up my old roll-top desk that daughter Jennifer didn’t want any more. Jennifer took us on a new walk while the boys were in school. It is on the campus of Concordia University overlooking Lake Michigan.

That’s it: a zigzag sidewalk running down the tall bank.

Jennifer led the way.

There is also a staircase for those who want to take the short route. We did a bit of sidewalk and then some stairs.

This is looking back up from the bottom.

A man was weed-whacking on the massive hill.  Andy and I joked that Spence would love that.

The beach was full of pebbles and driftwood.

There were also some large boulders placed along the bottom of the hill to control erosion.  Jennifer showed us where grandson Owen likes to mine jewels.

Andy clung to the handrail going back up the stairs.  He made it all the way without too much trouble.  His new right knee is doing well and now we are planning for the new left knee.

September 3, 2018 – Annapolis, Maryland

We left Son Andrew’s house in the late morning to visit my Sister Barbara in southern Maryland.  We drove by way of Annapolis, Maryland to visit the niche holding the ashes of Papa and Mother Moulton.  Mother died on July 19 at the age of 93. She died on July 19 but they did not hold a service until August 28.  Needless to say, we did not get here in time. So, we visited the columbarium today and had our own, small, private service.

The service was held here.  We sat in the front row today and looked out over the water.

Later, we decided to walk around to the cemetery to see the grave of John McCain.  I wanted to see his tombstone as I had read that it would say, “He served his country”.  On the way, we saw the tombstone for Arleigh Burke, who served during World War II and the Korean War. The first ship of the Aegis destroyer class was named after him. I worked on the project for a time.

John McCain’s grave does not have its tombstone yet. It is marked by a red carpet and a few bouquets of flowers.

I wanted Andy to see the view from the top of the hill. It is too bad the dead people can’t see their view. That is the Severn River.

A policeman was keeping people away from the grave; they had to stay on the street below.

We walked back by as we headed to Scamp.

This man stopped to pay his respects as we walked by.

No matter what your politics, I think we may all agree that he was a good man.

Then we headed south to Sister Barbara’s house.  Brother-in-Law Tom was home (he has recently retired). Barbara arrived an hour or so later, from Ocala, Florida, just about half an hour from our house.

September 1, 2018 – Rockville, Maryland

The grandchildren are all turning into teenagers.  Elizabeth, the youngest, will be in October.  We went to watch her play soccer this afternoon. It was awfully hot and sunny. I kept hoping no one collapsed from overheating, including me and Andy.

I don’t have much to say about soccer, so here are some photos. I suppose I don’t need to tell you which one is Elizabeth, or Lizzie as I heard the coaches calling her.

In this shot, they were coming right at me on the sideline.

This is not much of a soccer shot, but I like it.

August 28 to 30, 2018 – Bristol TN to Mt. Solon VA past Harper’s Ferry WV to Rockville MD

The town of Bristol lies partly in Tennessee and partly in Virginia so we were not even out of town yet before we crossed into Virginia. I ooh and aah through every state, but every time I travel through western Virginia I think it is one of the prettiest places in the world.  Of course, it is a matter of taste.  My taste runs toward farmland, hills, cows, and trees. Throw in some quaint towns and old farmhouses and I am in heaven. The New River Valley, then the Roanoke Valley, and then the Shenandoah Valley, oh boy!

The only negative was that we were on the interstate most of the time and there was a lot of traffic.  Tractor-trailer trucks one after the other. I had to keep my eyes on the road.

We had not been to visit Joe since before we bought Sao since we could not get her up the driveway.  Scamp had no trouble until the top when we had to go under some low tree branches.  I backed up when we seemed to be stuck and went on the other side of the tree.  We did prune a crepe myrtle a bit that way.

Joe’s house is about as well placed as a house can be.  It sits upon a high hill with valley views all around.  The house has windows to take in the views too. While Andy and Joe were in the kitchen discussing nuclear physics and Einstein, I went outside and took pictures all around the house.  Here, they are in no particular order and some might repeat or overlap.

This is the view through the grapevine behind Scamp.

This is from the front yard. The photo does not show the valley behind the green trees or how steep the hill is.

This is from the side of the house.  There is a steep hillside beyond the fence and the far green field is up the next hill.

This is from almost the same spot but looking more to the back of the house.

That is Mossy Creek way down the hill.

I took a walk part way down the driveway.  Again, this photo makes the landscape look much flatter than it actually is. The distant fields are on the next hill over.

Here is Scamp parked next to the house.

Joe no longer raises cattle but rents out his pastures to a neighbor.  I love how they stop and stare.

The four ponies are rescued animals.  I think Joe said his daughter arranged for them to live in the pasture around the house. I took the picture through the window screen.

Here, from the front yard, I zoomed to get the distance blue ridges between the far hills.

Grape season is over, but there were still plenty hanging on the vine.  They are Concord grapes. Joe said they had cut back the vines and the new growth produced small seedless grapes.  They are delicious and I spent a lot of time picking off still-plump ones and filling my tummy.

Joe and Andy posed for me as we were leaving.  I had them stand in the shade of the garage.  They squinted in the morning light anyway.

We left for Maryland on August 30. It took us about five hours to get to Son Andrew’s house.  The grandchildren are getting so big we can hardly call them children anymore.