August 13, 2019 – Mequon WI to West Liberty IA

We’ve spent a month with daughter Jennifer and grandsons Owen and Cam. We didn’t do as much with the boys as we have in the past. I had a kidney infection when we arrived from Maryland and was feeling a bit lethargic the first two weeks. The big story is that I also arrived with a prescription for physical therapy (for my bad back) from my doctor at home. She thought I was in too bad shape for the therapy to do any good yet. Jennifer had raved about the physical therapy office where she and George both have been – Health In Balance – so I wanted to give them a try.

Maria Kelly was amazing. She listened to all my complaints and poked and prodded all the spots where I regularly have pain. At each session, twice a week, she would give me one or two new exercises to do at home. The exercises are to stretch and strengthen the affected muscles. I could see results immediately and was, therefore, highly motivated to do exercises for the first time in my life. Now, a month later, I am relatively pain-free. When something hurts now, I have an exercise to alleviate it. Yay!!!

Jennifer’s family went on their annual vacation to New York for the first week of August. We stayed at their house to feed the pet axolotl (a salamander). Its name is Otle (rhymes with bottle). Believe it or not, it is very cute and responsive when you approach the tank. I fed it worms and kept bottles of ice floating in the tank to keep the water cold. I didn’t take a picture, but the white one in this Wikipedia article is very similar.

The family returned from New York yesterday and we left for points west this morning. Before taking off though, I asked Jennifer to take some pictures of me with my boys. I was asking for trouble. Both boys were squirming, smooching, and wiggling. Jennifer took dozens of pictures, but many of them were just too hilariously awful to post. Them Cam pulled his underwear down so she could get a picture of him naked. He is very proud of his body parts.

I got a fairly nice shot of Jennifer before the boys came outside.

Owen arrived first; Cam could not tear himself away from the Legos.

Things were not too wild a first.

Cam turned upside down and I did not consider any other alternative than to bite.

Jennifer told them to kiss me.

Cam was right on that.

Then both boys were squishing my cheeks.

The boys went back to their Legos and we had a nice chat with Jennifer, coffee, and biscotti. We finally pulled out of their driveway at 0750 and drove 259 miles to West Liberty, Iowa. We headed south reach Interstate 80 and took it the rest of the way.

Here is Scamp in our campsite for the night.

We are in the shade of a beautiful ash tree.