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Published: October 11th 2018
My biggest blog ever
Alert! Attention! Alert!
New Update: to all our family and friends who travel with us via our blog on our journeys. A few changes are happening. Lulu has continued to remind me to get in touch with all of you. She is such a persistent nagger. But we all still love her. Now is the time to get ready! Dust off your suitcases and start packing. We are heading to Florida much earlier than in the past. We will check into Tropical Palm’s RV Resort on Oct. 29th. Our Treat - no trick....Happy Halloween! That means we need to load up and leave here (Shongo, NY) around Oct. 25 or 26. I know we aren’t giving you a lot of time to gather your things around but you can do it....just get busy cause we can’t wait for any stragglers. I’ll let you know the exact date for departure as it draws near. Remember, in the past, we have always headed south after Christmas and checked into TP on Jan.1st. Change happens! This time, when we get down there, we shall stay in our RV until a few days before Thanksgiving and drive back home here in NY. Our family
Lulu isn’t scared
said they would prepare Thanksgiving dinner so we just have to show up. I’m loving that plan. And always know you are all welcome to join us. The more the merrier. We’ll remain at our house (which didn’t sell so far) until just after December 23rd. Our family suggested and agreed we would celebrate Christmas early. That’s new for us but it can work. We shall head back to TP after the 23rd....of course, always weather depending. Lulu says she’s exhausted already as I’m sure the rest of you will be. That’s a lot of traveling. Hope you like taking scenic drives! Now you can get your schedules in order. Hope it all works for you. Your seats are reserved as always.
Whew! Okay...now that we are done with all the housekeeping tasks, let’s move on. We truly hope that all of you had a wonderful spring and summer and now, autumn. Where did the time go? For us, it just flew by for some reason. Not that we did any major traveling or excursions but we managed to keep our dance card full while here at home in New York. Most of it was good....some of it wasn’t.
Woman of the Year Honor Dinner
Gwen (honoree), Bob and more Guenter clan
C’est la vie! I see in my last blog (when we came home from Florida last April), I mentioned I might pop up with an occasional blog during our stay at home.....obviously, that didn’t happen. But don’t fret. I never want to disappoint. So now you get the special treat of reading all the events that we enjoyed (or the one we really detested) during our time away from each other. Oh, lucky you! I can hear you all squealing with joy now. Find a comfy and cozy spot where you can relax. You may want to pack a lunch bucket. This may get lengthy (you know what that means...you’ll be reading it for days) and we would hate for you to feel uncomfortable or restless. Here we go........
May 17th, we traveled to Clearfield, PA. Our goal was to attend & surprise Cory’s sister, Gwen, at a dinner meeting held by the Clearfield Business & Professional Women to honor Gwen as “Woman of the Year”. It was wonderful and so is she. Gwen was surprised to see us as well as other Guenter family members. A nice gathering for all. It would have been swell to have all
Cory’s truck & our new car...can you tell?
of you there, too. You would love Gwen. She’s such a sincere, caring and fun person.
We made a couple expenditures to keep us rolling along. We sold our old, dependable van so Cory could buy himself a new 2018 Ford truck. He loves it. We also bought a new, 2019 Ford Flex. It’s great but one problem....no one will know we have a new car. I just keep announcing it when we are around people....have to. It looks identical to the one we had. Why, you ask, would we do that? First off....2019 is the last year they are making this vehicle. We really have liked it so the choice was easy. Plus, it is extra roomy so you all can travel comfortably with us when we hit the high road. Then, we looked at the color schemes. We liked what we had so stuck with it for this one. This new one is missing a few of the bells & whistles that our other one had. No sunroofs, less chrome, no console in the middle of the backseat.....all the rest is the same. Lulu is satisfied even though she used to like riding on the back console.
Now she is calling shotgun....we’ll see. Oh, also we have no navigation guide either....only a compass. We fought terribly with the lady in the screen who would give us directions...she never heard or got anything correct. Have you had issues with your lady inside the screen? We didn’t put her on our Christmas list! Now, we use our smartphones and the app WAZE for travel guidance. We can put WAZE on our front screen. It was always such a big deal getting a new car....this time, we don’t even realize it. Don’t feel sorry for us. We are good. We’ll definitely get you where you want to go.
For our son, Tim’s, birthday, most of our family gathered at a restaurant in Rochester, NY. It’s called Sticky Lips (known for barbecue). Great atmosphere and delicious food. Tim’s brother, Cory, gave him a sword. Help us all. You would have enjoyed this eatery. So much to take in: decor & food!
I think you can recall we decided to list our house “For Sale” when we returned home in April. We did. The realtor listed it for more $$$ than we planned. Included in the sale is: our 5
bedroom house, my store, our big, pole-barn, the original farm barn and @ 3.5 acres. Nothing happened! We scoured the house until our hands bled, close to total paralyzing exhaustion ....and nothing...no one came to see it. Rats! Lulu kept her fancy hat on just in case! She wanted to add appeal to the surroundings. So thoughtful! We did have someone who just wanted to buy my store...no...and another who wanted to buy our place on a land contract...no. So, plan B is to take it off the market (our contract ends in Nov.) and put it in the hands of a different realtor in the spring. Maybe we will try to just sell our house & old barn and land and keep our trailer store & pole-barn....maybe. Fortunately we have no place or plans where and what to do if we do sell. We won’t be homeless cause we have our RV. Still trying to unload our stuff on to our kids. Still, our house is far from barren. If you want to live in Shongo, NY...please just call us. We’ll be sitting by the phone waiting.
Remember.... our son, Cory, moved back to our area from N.C.
Hooray! We missed him so much. Right now, he lives in Welllsville with his girlfriend. He commutes to work at Corning Glass Co. in Corning, NY (@1 1/4 hr drive). Just recently, he bought a lovely home in Campbell, NY (15 min. drive to work). His daughter, Rachael, is studying for her PHD (cancer research) at the University of Alabama. Both of his sons, Fox & Shenen, are still living in Hickory, NC. Shenen graduates from high school this year and hopefully, comes to our area after graduation. Fox has a job, apartment and girlfriend in N.C. They have visited with their Dad off and on during this summer. Always wonderful to see them again. I included this message in order to show you their photos. The rest of our family are included in other parts of this blog. Never singling anyone out. All of you included, also. Lulu demands her time, too!
We attended a local choir presentation. They sang many old, folk and patriotic songs. It was very nice and had our toes tapping. Wish you could have been there. Oh, how I dream of being able to sing. Everyone knows when I’m singing. I’m very loud
in order to overcome my horribly out of tune vocals. Cory said in grade school, his music teacher put him and a few buddies in the back of the room and called them the “blackbirds”. That’s sad. Lulu, however, has a melodious voice that echoes across the valleys like Julie Andrews.
Study the photo of Cory pushing his grocery cart. We learned that in “The Villages” (Florida) a man pushing around a pineapple in his cart means he’s ready for some “hokey pokey/ get lucky stuff”. Of course, he was safe. No one in NY knew that except for me. And now you...so watch what you put in your cart, guys.
We went to dinner here in Wellsville to a nice, Italian restaurant called I’talia. Didn’t have to wait for a seat or fight the crowd. We were the only ones there! Fortunately, others did come in when we were leaving. We definitely beat the crowd...because we still like to go for the Early Birds specials but they don’t have any around here. Rats! C’est la vie. Maybe next time we could all go together as a flash mob. Sounds good to me.
We have continued to
Fox, Cory, Shenen, Rachael
feed our back field critters. They look for us. Leftovers is all they get but they seem to enjoy it. Our outdoor camera catches all their activity. This year’s menagerie included: raccoons with babies, skunks, a fox, possums and babies, rabbits, crows and ravens, feral cats, neighbor’s dogs, one turtle, deer and fawn, small birds, one squirrel, one chipmunk and bugs. Walking up to our feed station is part of our exercise program. A short stroll but better than nothing. I wanted to skip the other day and couldn’t! I just couldn’t! Like I had forgotten how. Cory showed me how he skipped but nothing.... I just flapped and stumbled around. Whaaaaaat has happened to me? We went outside in our yard and Cory said to just follow his moves. Yes, one leg skipped and then....THUMP- SPLAT! I fell flat to the ground! Why??? As I shifted my weight onto my bad knee, my leg gave out and there I was.....moaning & groaning while sprawled on the ground like roadkill with Cory skipping around me. Here’s why I couldn’t skip. My body was trying to protect me and not let me skip .... but I didn’t know that. My bad
knee was the culprit. I shall never skip again. Nooooooo. Feel sorry for me? Good and thank you. Enjoy skipping while you can. 🎼”Skip to my Lou, my darling”🎼
An annual event we always attend is a huge chicken barbecue put on by the place where we take our RV for tires and work. I would guess a thousand people attend. It is an appreciation party for their customers. Great food (tons of it), freebies, hayrides and more. Wish you could have gone with us....actually some of you were there! Great seeing you!
Friends (John & Shirley) had their 60th Anniversary and his 90th Birthday on the same day. They invited us to their party. It was a terrific party and so nice to see many old friends. Cory met up with John Regis and his son, Michael. Maybe you recall them and the major Adelphia case. Google it if you want the history. I bet someday it will be a book or a movie.
Here’s the bad thing that happened to us this summer. It happened on the 4th of July and it wasn’t a festive celebration with fireworks. It was a terrible flood! In 2014,
In Cory’s cart
in case you don’t remember, Cory & I struggled with the County, State & Federal government agencies regarding a creek that flows through Shongo into the Genesee River. With heavy, persistent rains, this creek floods our neighborhood. It has happened several times in the past. They attempted to resolve this problem but the solution was a laugh.....putting bare willow sticks ...yes short, plain sticks...in the ground and thought that was going to do something....hah! When the creek floods, we all get substantial damage to our homes & property. And that was the case July 4th. This time was even worse than those before. We had water in both our barns and into our cellar and of course, all over our land. Similar devastation happened to all our neighbors. They won’t call it a flood plain so none of us have flood insurance. Thus, recently, we have bought a new furnace with attached water tank, power grid and a tank that comes from our outside water well. Pricey! We call them our Birthday, Anniversary and Christmas gifts. I’m afraid you will only get our best wishes on the holidays now.....no gifts! I kept telling them (local & state government representatives)who I
Private Dining for just us
called to this horrendous scene to call it an emergency so we all could get some financial help. At first they did but later they said it wasn’t an emergency and changed their minds. I bet if they lived here, it would have been an emergency. Anyway, now they are finally doing what has been needed all these years to stop the flooding. All we can do is pray it works. If not, we may have waterfront property that won’t ever sell. We did not like this event at all.
Time was up. 2018 was our year for our colonoscopies. Yahoo, Whoopee...NOT. Cory and I went to Canandaigua, NY for our “his & hers colonoscopies”. We go out of town cause I insist we go to a doctor who does these 100 times a day with his hand tied behind his back and a blindfold on. My other doctor had retired. All went well. We stayed overnight cause I had my test one day and Cory had his test the following. We needed undrugged drivers for each other. This excellent doctor said for us not too come back. Well, we love you, too. No...it wasn’t personal. We should be
thrilled but...we would hate to miss an early diagnosis if that were to happen. He said he doesn’t do colonoscopies on people 80 y o or older for fear of perforation. He said I had a tortuous colon...of course. Said I was born that way...sounds like a Lady Gaga song. In 5 years, we both will be 79 but he said that was close enough to his cut-off age. I guess we will have to just do occult blood tests and note any untoward symptoms. Geeze. C’est la vie!
Met our daughter, Kim, and Jim & Haley in Avon, NY for Kim’s birthday lunch. It was a fun get together. We didn’t travel far this summer but we still managed to get off our couch and butts. So much time was spent going to various doctors, dentists and for all the usual associated tests. And we aren’t even sick!! Fortunately, Lulu stays healthy. She’s has a good constitution.
Oh, listen up. You must remember how I carried on so about the magnificent bed mattress we had on our Panama Canal Cruise. It was so comfy, so warming, so dreamy, so perfect. And do you recall how much time
I spent on that mattress when I got so sick with the flu? I loved that mattress and wanted one! Well, we bought one from this cruise-lines. Just like on the boat. Oh, be still my heart. Every night, going to bed, is like crawling onto a soft but supportive, cradling and welcoming, addictive, puffy marshmallow cloud. My dreams came true. Cory even says it’s great. Life is wonderful with the perfect mattress. We had to by their topper to make it authentic. Worth every penny! So, if you want to pretend you are in a stateroom on a cruise ship, come on down and jump in our bed. You’ll love it! It will be so cozy. We can have a sleep-over.
During Wellsville’s annual & well known Hot Air Balloon Rally, they offered a tour of the huge Catholic church in town. We had been inside it years ago for weddings/funerals but recently they had a major make over of this grand church. We now saw how magnificent and beautiful this church truly is. Our guide was most informative and took us through all the areas of this church. Wish I was Catholic so I could go there
Customer Appreciation Barbecue
A true chicken barbecue....huge!
We like going to various festivals. Hornell, NY had a Monarch Butterfly Festival. The only butterfly we saw was a woman dressed up in a butterfly costume. She was pretty. For $5.00, they sold you a pupae in a plastic container to grow your own butterfly. I couldn’t even see the pupae ....hidden under a green leaf. So much for this festival. A one timer. We have milkweed in our back field. We can see the monachs there.
A town near Wellsville had their annual summer celebration festival. We partook in a hay wagon ride through their local cemetery. High school kids posed as some of the dead soldiers and gave their history. These soldiers all fought in WWI. They did a nice job. The wagon ride was fun except we had to walk a lot throughout this graveyard. I felt close to death by the time we were done. It was a very hot & toasty day. I like being hot stuff...but not this way!
In 1964, after Cory & I were married, we began our annual attendance to the Erie County Fair in Buffalo, NY. I can’t tell you how many years we
went without missing a year. We loved this Fair. Eventually, some years back, we stopped going on a regular basis....just sporadic. This year we went with our daughter, Lory, granddaughter, Sara, and her friend and mother. Amazing how familiar everything looked. Just like the good old days. Like County Fairs? We’ll definitely get you tickets the next time we go.
About 60 miles away from us is a small town called Austin, PA. Each year, they have a festival commemorating a terrible flood that occurred there in 1911. Their dam broke and flooded the whole town. Google this tragedy for the history. Cory & I always wanted to go to this festival so we piled in Cory’s truck and drove into Pennsylvania. Just outside of Austin, we saw the festival sign and a rough, rugged looking character warming himself around a burning-can fire. He directed us up a very narrow, dirt, back road deep into the woods. We bumped along on this horrendous path - squeezing past cars & trucks with tarps, small tents and an occasional tiny camper perched along the narrow cliff-side ledge. Various hippie looking folks in tie dyed shirts and bandannas gave us a quick
wave. Eventually, this mountain trail turned downward. We ended up in an opening that was all mud! Tons of mud and tons of vehicles. No parking spaces left. Cory finally maneuvered his truck and positioned it on the top side of a ditch. God! We now started to survey our surroundings. Hippies in tie-dyes and pajama bottoms wandered around with glazed looks in their eyes. We could see the big, old, broken dam in front of us. A band was playing there. There were vendor’s in white tents all around....not sure what they were selling except for a few that sold food. Immediately, a staff member said we had to check in. Ok...but what are you saying??? $80.00 for the two of us. What are you smoking? You have to be kidding! We had already seen the dam and heard the music and decided that the attendees were of a different era than us.....thus, we left! Back up through the muddy route and past all the peace people, we put our desired plans behind us. Once up on the highway, we could look down at the ravaged dam and see hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of make-shift tents, etc., for
Shongo July 4th Flood
Flood waters on our property all around our house
miles and miles down the pike, pitched throughout the woods and clearings. There must have been a thousand people at this festival that ran over 3 days. One hour was enough for us. Damn!
Since we were only an hour away from Clearfield, PA., we decided to visit Cory’s sister, Gwen. Her husband was in Virginia helping one of their son’s with preparations for his upcoming wedding. We had a great visit with Gwen and ate at Clearfield’s famous restaurant known for its monster hamburger & it’s challenge to eat it. This place has been seen on TV food shows. We abstained from ordering its speciality. If you had been with us and we all ate on their monstrosity, we could have won! Next time, okay?
We decided to do as much as we could to prevent any heavy rains from causing more problems to our house. Our cellar has an outside entrance. Remember this old farmhouse was built in 1880. We always shutter when the weatherman says to seek shelter in your cellar....NO WAY! It’s not pretty down there....just functional. Cory hired the Amish to build an overhang to the entrance of this cellar. It is big
Water came thru both our barns
and sturdy. More than what we thought we needed. Nothing can bring it down...nothing! Hurricane, tornado, or the huffing & puffing of the Big Bad Wolf. It will stand even if the house goes. It seems to be doing its job which is satisfying. That’s all we want.
We went to our Knapp family’s house to celebrate Sara’s 17th birthday. Where has the time gone? We love family gatherings and this one was as much fun as the others. If you are around next year, we’ll be sure to send you an invite!
We have tried to become more active. Therefore, we exercise by walking around our neighborhood. We have a fabulous trail just a few fields over from us. It is an old railroad bed (called the WAG - Wellsville, Addison & Galeton Railroad) that has recently been fixed up for hikers, horseback riders, etc. It follows the Genesee River (one of few rivers that flows from the south to the north). Have you heard of Genesee Beer? There you go. We can walk on the trail one way and end up in Genesee,PA. - or the other way and land in Wellsville. We used to cross
Fire Dept Help
Pumping our cellar. Cory and our Legislator, Bill Dibble
country ski on this entire trail. We can’t master the whole trail anymore...not as young and spry as we used to be. I can’t even skip anymore, ‘member? It’s a gorgeous walk right now with the brilliance of the colored trees. I wish you could see them and hike with us.
Not wanting to seem morbid, just realistic, we stopped by our friendly tombstone maker and ordered our headstone. It will be placed in the cemetery in Hornell NY. There are 2 sites left in my family’s lot. Chip, our deceased beloved dog, will be buried with us so his name is also on our gravestone. And what fun things did you do this summer?
Off to another annual festival. This one is the Garlic Festival in Cuba,NY. It is held in the front field of a famous, huge horse barn called The Block Barn. Google it for its history...very interesting. We toured it last year. Of course, all the vendors sell something pertaining to garlic. It really spices up your day. This year, one of our thrills, besides eating garlicky food, was attending a puppet/magic show put on by a Buffalo TV weatherman, Mike Randell. You can
tell he is a professional showman. It was hilarious. Cory posed with him and his skunk puppet....stinky. Message implied??
Because we bought a new car (but you can’t tell looking at it), we had to have our tow system redone on it so we have a car once in Florida. We stayed over night in our RV at this RV work place. That is the only time we used our RV this summer....how bad is that? Too many other things going on so we couldn’t get far away. Next year? And of course, you all will be going with us. Oh, we shall have such fun.
Shongo (where we live) is just a blink of your eye hamlet. It has one church, one gun & fishing store and 2 bars/grills. And us, of course! Just recently, our favorite bar/grill burned! A couple years ago, the owner had brought this place back to life after it sat vacant for years. It was very popular and folks came from all over for its excellent food. The fire was devastating. The owner is going to rebuild/reopen but that will take awhile. He called upon local friends to help empty out the
restaurant the other weekend. Cory pitched in with a big group of volunteers. They salvaged quite a few items....but everything in the kitchen area was gone. Wonderful to see such comradeship! I know you would have pitched in if you could .....FREE beer at the bar they cut in half and moved outside. Belly up to the bar everyone.
Now for the “piece de resistance”. On September 29th, our oldest grandson, Alan Knapp, married his longtime girlfriend, Brittany. It was a wonderful and beautiful day. They were beautiful! They were married outside near a small, pretty pond. The surroundings were so gorgeous. The reception was held in a fancy barn on the grounds. A great time was had by all. Most of our family attended. Family time is always the best of times. As well are times together with good friends! Don’t know what we would do without you! Lulu actually dreams about all of you. And if she had hands to text, she would be sending you text messages reminding you she is thinking of all of you.
To bring all this to present time - Cory is dealing with a root canal and I finally went
Our New Cruiseship Mattress
Cory & Shenen trying it out
to our doctor for lingering bronchitis. I’m fine now and hope Cory will be the same soon. Poor guy.
Our next event for our annual travel blog will be our journey to Florida so stayed tune.
I’m sure you are wondering why Lulu has had only limited appearances. She’s getting older and less active. I think her head pains her at times (she has nothing else to ache). She prefers resting on her pedestal in our home. We holler for her to join us but she hollers back “Just go without me”. She gets nasty if we pressure her. I’m hoping she will perk up once we are back in the Sunshine State. She has always been so eager to take the prime spot in my photo shots. How well you know that! Pray for her. She needs your support now to rally around. Please, Lulu, we want you to make a come back. Old stars never fade away. They just shine brighter when allowed to show themselves. We love you, Lulu. You are our favorite shining star!
Well, I warned you in the beginning that this missive was going to be a biggy. And I‘m good
for my word. I’ve even surprised myself. Of course, remember I have covered 6 months of various happenings with us all into one blog. I know none of it really knocked your socks off except maybe for The Wedding. But my mission has been accomplished. I completed my duty. Don’t be scared...my routine blogs aren’t this long. Some may seem prolonged but they don’t ramble on like this monster. My eyes are twirling, tearing and trying to close. I’m sure you are exhausted and drained. Rest and recover. Pull yourselves together. Don’t let this hold you back from getting ready for our next big adventure. We need to gather together and point our compass in a southerly direction. Moving onward, dear family and friends. The bus is leaving soon. Hop on board! Buckle up. Our blogs will soon resume. See you then. Happy Days are here again!
Oh, yes...for those of you who have just joined the pack. Once you get our blog and start reading it, you may think you have come to the end after the text and some photos stop. WRONG! (Hey, I can hear some hissing) - You need to keep scrolling way down through
some ads and other messages in order to find many more of my photos. This blog has 47 photos (oh, my). I hate to disappoint so I include numerous photos for your enjoyment....oh, lucky you! I wouldn’t want you to miss anything, you know. Enjoy! Welcome Aboard!
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