Day 10 and 11: The Wednesday Sabbath and The Pilgrimage, part deux

We happily awoke on Wednesday at Jill and Michael's to a day of rest. We were looking forward to a day of relaxation, with no driving and no real labor.  Just play.  You know, we were gonna have a day Hank and Ruth style. (Like Gangnam Style. Without the dancing. And without the bling).  We were gonna Just. Be.  But then, we opened our bags. 

The stench that emitted from the bowels of the bags was, ahem, distinct and pungent. And to think that we thought the skunk was bad. 

Which, good reader, leads us to...


You can take the bags out of the RV, but you can't take the RV STENCH out of the bags. 

It was the gift that kept on giving. 

After showers for all, the bags were emptied (and mightily doused with FEBREEZE) and the washing machine was loaded with the first of 70 million loads. Which Jason did. Without complaint. And he folded, too!  I think professional, commercial-grade stench removal might be a second career option for him. 

He disagrees. 

We had a mighty fine time, laundry notwithstanding. Jill and I indulged in a very relaxing, restorative morning yoga class while the kids played at the house. Uncle Mike was ready with a workshop project for the littles, and when we arrived home, race cars had been made!

The carpenters before....   

     ...and after. 

       We had a quick lunch and suited up for the pool. 

Big fun. Big big big big fun.  The daddies even spend a great deal of time on the high dive. But the resident photojournalist had her head in a book and did not capture the action. Photojournalist FAIL. 

And then, the babysitter arrived and DOUBLE DATE! 

I'm so CLEAN!  And smell like soap!  Not like RV!!!!

  We laughed and laughed and laughed, ate the most delicious food, enjoyed these lovely, creative margaritas, hit not ONE, but TWO! ice cream places on the way home, and ended the evening snuggled on the couch laughing our heads off at NFL Lipsyncing videos. We are so mature. 

The next morning, Jill and I took my monkeys to Blackberry Market downtown, which makes THE BEST CINNAMON ROLLS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.  

 And, Carter made a friend.  Of course he did. He's Joe Moore, Jr.  His friend's name is Neil. He is 83. He has a sweet wife. He's wearing spandex bike shorts. We love Neil. 

Afterwards, we tortured the kids with sidewalk sales, but made it up to them by going to the bookstore. Which, happily, is called The Bookstore.     Finally, we said our goodbyes, hit the road with the windows down, and headed toward our next stop, Madison, Wisconsin. 

But FIRST!  The Pilgrimage, part deux!

Shout out to all my Kinnikinnick and Hononegah friends!  

From 5th-10th grade, I lived in teeny-tiny Roscoe, Illinois, a town so tiny, that if, PERHAPS, you held hands with a boy on the way to Sam's Pizza after the Friday night football game, your parents knew about it BEFORE you arrived home. And this was before cell phones, people. So, we opted to do a slight detour down memory lane on the way to our family service project in Madison.  

The most important first stop?  


Homemade chocolate and strawberry for the win. ❤️

Best job I ever had. Sweetest benefits, for sure. 

Kinnikinnick Middle School

I have fond memories of running the relay, with Amy tossing her inhaler behind her because it was holding her BACK and we would not, could not be beaten, and freezing people's gym shirts (aided and abetted by Mrs. Hausvick, the gym teacher...kind of nutty when you think about it) and hours spent working on the yearbook. 

Hononegah High School

 I really did not want to leave this place. Aside from having one of the best names ever, this place makes me feel all warm and squishy and happy, and there is definitely a John Hughes movie soundtrack playing in my head when I think of these years.  But, had my parents accepted Sherry Greenfield's offer to let me live with her family until I finished high school, I never would have met Jason Pett. 

  And that would have been a travesty. I mean, who could resist this handsome devil?

AND this blog would have never been born. Along with other things. 😉

But still. I really loved this place. You rah rah rah Hononegah....

My house. 

I loved this house. I loved the field in the back and the wood stove in the basement. I loved having waterfights on the deck and baking on the butcher block counter in the kitchen. 

Here's where I had mono. Here's where my grandmother came to stay with us for six weeks after my grandfather died.  Here's where I got teepee'd and my sweet friend and neighbor Bobby helped me clean it up. Here's where I logged endless hours on the phone, had my first (and last) sneak-out-of-the-house experience (we frolicked in the field behind my house AT rebellious, I know)

...and my first (and last) having a "party" (which in middle school, meant whoever lived in walking distance came over) when I was supposed to be babysitting my sister.* 

*NOTE:   Jill TOTALLY busted me. But, I forgive her, because I am open-hearted and magnanimous AND because she takes me to places that have the best cinnamon rolls on Earth. 

This house held a lot of life. As Marie Kondo would say in The Magical Art of Tidying Up

Thank you, house. 😉

And speaking of Marie Kondo, I mentioned that book to my sister. Her response?

Quote of the Day:

No, thanks. I think I've got the tidy thing under control. 

And boy, does she ever. Check out this crazy organization!  And it's like this EVERYWHERE YOU GO IN HER HOUSE!!!  I have tidiness envy!

  A good rest and sweet reminiscing. Next stop...Madison and the family service project. Stay tuned. 😊