This past weekend we drove to Iowa to visit with friends we haven’t seen in, well, too long. We anchored at the Robinson farm, where Donna and Barb were on the porch waiting for us when we drove in at about 4:00 on Friday afternoon. Barb gave us the grand tour of the farm, seeing where the silos used to be, but are no more, as well as the wonderful windbreak that was planted in 1988, the year of the drought. Pam and Randy spent a lot of time watering the little trees that year. The corn and beans look pretty good despite the less than great weather we’ve had this year. There were flowers and cats galore all around the grounds. Harve and Harlan joined us, and, like old times, we gathered around the bountiful Robinson kitchen table for supper. After Barb’s fantastic lasagna and "peach soup", we moved out to the porch for more chatting and looking at pictures. When Harve, Barb, and Harlan retired for the evening, we kept Donna up with more reminiscing until about 11:00.

Saturday we drove down to Rowlands to spend the day with Tom, Linda, Monica, Michael, Maya, and Tony. They took us to Lake McBride where we did some walking, stone skipping, and picnicing. (Linda had made us an excellent picnic lunch.) Then they showed us some of the places worst-hit by the floods in the Cedar Rapids – Iowa City areas. Mind-boggling, to say the least. We also got to see where Tom works.

From there we picked up sub sandwiches and headed to Rhonda and Craig’s house for supper on their freshly painted deck, more conversation, and "freeze tag" for those so inclined: mostly the "young" folks. We had just a marvelous day, and really enjoyed our time with everybody. We drove back to the farm, and just barely beat a big thunderstorm that rolled through around 9:00. We only kept Donna up talking till 10:30 this time.

Sunday morning we went to church with Donna, and on the way home, she took us to see a very nice veterans’ memorial park in Ryan. Of course, Dan’s name was on one of the memorial stones. Donna had still another meal for us at lunch time (we may start eating again in a few days). We said our good-byes, and hit the road for Milwaukee at 2:30. THANKS TO ALL OF OUR WONDERFUL IOWA FRIENDS FOR A GREAT WEEKEND! We are, indeed, blessed to have you in our lives.

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