Friendly Invasion

   I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted here, but since there wasn’t too much of interest going on I decided NOT to tell you about it.  You can thank me anytime!

   Now, however, I have good things to report, so don’t doze off just yet.  We had family in from Denver (Castle Rock, if you want to be precise).  Daughter Natalie and her family were here – husband John, son Alek and daughter Aleyna flew in last Thursday night (Oct 28th).    We didn’t have enough space for them to stay at our house, but they were able to find lodging in Corydon, so they were conveniently close.

   We met up with them on Friday morning and had a nice breakfast at Ryan’s here in town – the weekend breakfast buffet worked out just great to get everyone fed efficiently.  After breakfast we all drove out to our place (Hilton Manor, ya know!) and the visiting commenced!  We had a few activities planned in the touristy sense, and the kids had a ball running around our massively huge large big plantation.  [Anyway, it was bigger than *their* yard  :)]  For one activity, I had rigged up a simple ‘zipline’ with a rope line and pully, so they had fun riding on that.  Also, I  had purchased a slingshot thingy for Alek to play with – lots of acorns and hickory nuts for ammunition.  The adults mostly marveled at the ‘country quiet’, and that was nicely relaxing.

   Later in the afternoon on Friday we all went over to Lanesville, just east of here, for the “Deere Farm Corn Maze”.   It was a nice drive getting there, lots of autumn color still remaining, and when we arrived we found out that the maze had suffered a fair amount of wind damage from the monster cold front that blew through here last week.  They were open anyway, and were selling tickets at half price because of the wind damage.  The maze was a big hit – they had it well organized, with a map and a mystery.  As the kids ran through the maze they were to pick up clues at various checkpoints and then by process of elimination solve the puzzle.  They just loved it!

   Friday evening we drove south into Kentucky, just past Brandenburg (about a 15 mile drive for us), and we met Bruce, Joyce and Kate’s mother Frances at the Doe Run Inn, a historic mill that has been converted into a restaurant.  It was built in 1821, and you can wander around and see the old rooms, and in the basement level you can see some of the mill machinery that is still in place.  A good meal, good fellowship with relatives, everyone had a great time.

   Saturday morning we took off for Louisville, because we had purchased tickets for everyone to ride on the “Belle of Louisville” paddlewheel steamer – they had a Halloween “Boo Cruise” scheduled.

The cruise was really a lot of fun – there were lots of kids on board, all of them in Halloween costumes, and the boat folks had arranged for numerous kid activities.  There was a limbo competition, there was hokey-pokey, chicken dances, and they had set up a number of locations on board the ship for the kids to do trick-or-treating.  Our tw0 scored BIG time amounts of candy!  Lots of laughing, shouting, running.  I wandered off on a self-guided tour and got to see the steam cylinders that drove the big red paddle wheel, so there was something for everyone.  Kate and I did a little dancing, but I spared you those pictures  🙂

   After the boat adventure we went back to Corydon to let Natalie and Kate do some shopping, then we went over to the town square for the autumn funfest called “Fall Down on the Square”.  They had lots of booths for face painting, ring toss, knock down the milk bottles, all of the stuff was free.  Some of the area churches had put it all together, including free food for all!  After we saw the food line we decided maybe we weren’t that hungry, after all.   So, we had a BIG Saturday, something for everyone!  The last picture in this section is of a little guy who was next to me on the bench – I just had to include this photo!

In case any of you young ladies would like to know, his name is Zachary, and he’s 9 months old! 

   Then on Sunday (my birthday, as you ALL know!  🙂  ) we all went to church at Pfrimmer’s Chapel just east of Corydon.  It was an extra big day for me – I got Baptized (sprinkled) while we were there, and Kate and I joined the church.  I’m sure all this will be on CNN, so I won’t go into too much detail.

    After services were over we went home to get set up for the combination birthday party and Halloween party.  I was amazed at all the preparations Kate had done – she prepared a number of tasty dishes, including some spooky ones (witch’s fingers, ghostly pizza, several more).  She really went ALL OUT, and I want to give her a BIG PAT ON THE BACK – I really appreciated it, and it made me feel really special.  I won’t try to list everything that was done for the party, but we had lots of decorations and good foods.  Mid-afternoon the guests started showing up – Alan and Janice Seymour (Kate’s brother and sister-in-law), and they brought Frances with them, neighbors Shane, Stephanie and little Addison, David and Marylynne from Brandenburg, Dave Hazzard and his friend Debbie, Gloria Wood, the head of Kate’s CASA group – it was just great!

                                                           In addition to all the food that Kate prepared, we set out the baklava that Ananda (Kate’s daughter) had sent me for my birthday.  It was WONDERFUL!!  Everyone commented on it.  I hated to have to charge everyone the $4.50 per slice, but hey, fair’s fair!

   As the temperatures started to get cool outside and the sun was getting low, it was time for CAMPFIRE!!!  We recruited Natalie to be the arsonist for that – she LOVES fiddling with a campfire.  We sat around for hours, even after all the guests had drifted away, enjoying the warmth and the stargazing – we have REALLY bright starry nights here!  The weather was perfect, everything you’d want in a campfire experience.  We  hated to have to douse it when the time came, but we certainly got our money’s worth, you might say – a wonderful memory for all.

  This morning was our last time together, they had to fly back to Denver this afternoon.  They came in from town and we had breakfast together at our house – Kate had prepared a special kind of baked French toast that had spiced pears as the first layer.  It was OUTSTANDING!  Wowsers!  After breakfast I wanted to take the Lewises on a little sightseeing trip (about 10 miles away) while Kate took care of some computer stuff she had to do.  So, we got out of Kate’s way and took off on our little jaunt to New Amsterdam, Indiana.  It’s a ‘one-horse town’ right on the Ohio River, and there is only ONE store in town, but it’s historic.  It’s Shaffer’s General Store – I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it in a previous post.  Anyway, John and Nat enjoyed browsing the old store and just enjoyed the quiet beauty of the little riverside community.

  I really felt like they got a good feel for this part of the world where we live, and they’ll look forward to coming again, which is exactly what we’d like to have happen  🙂

  Sorry they had to go back, but we have some really good memories of their visit, and I think they feel the same.  By the way, they all fell in love with little KD, and there was almost a tug-of-war to see who would get to have a dachsund in their lap  🙂

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