September brought us some very pleasant weather and a better outlook for getting back to our wandering ways.  We had some great days with temperatures in the 70s with low
humidty and a gentle breeze as the leaves began to change.  We enjoyed a little taste of fall in the midwest.  Tom completed his physical therapy sessions at the University of
Toledo Medical Center and was ready to hit the road.  Before we left the Toledo area we had a get-together with Tom's sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Ron; a great dinner visit
with friends Dick and Liz; and one last night of dominoes with Kathy and Dennie.  With Mary's brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Beth, we took a day-trip to Jackson, MI for a day with
Mom.  She is doing very well and enjoying the many activities at the assisted living center she moved to a year ago.
Liz and Dick always serve up a great meal and a great visit.
We've had some pretty cut-throat games of dominoes over the
years with Kathy and Dennie.
She's always busy, but Mom always clears her schedule
for visits with her kids.
Finally, it was time to get the wheels rolling.  We worked through the list of "things to do before hitting the road" after sitting still for two months.  Our first stop was north into
Michigan.  We settled for several nights in Midland in anticipation of a baby shower honoring our son and daughter-in-law.  On Saturday we discovered that our campground was the
staging point for a "ride" to honor the Michigan Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall".  In spite of the rain and chilly weather, there was quite a group assembled as they
escorted the "wall" across town to its display area at an American Legion Post.  By the time we made our way, later in the morning, to downtown Midland the skies had cleared and
we toured the Farmer's Market, walked the "Tridge," and checked out the car show.  That evening we enjoyed getting together with our daughter-in-law's family for a fun dinner.
It was a noisy exit when about 200 motorcycles of all colors and
styles left the parking lot in the rain, escorting the Traveling
Memorial through Midland, MI.
The Midland Farmers Market has a great facility downtown where
we got a basket of some of the summer's last tasty tomatoes.
Unlike the "Y" bridge in Zanesville, OH where you can drive your
car to the middle of the river and turn left or right, "The Tridge" in
Midland is for pedestrians uncommon bridge.
The car show had a wide variety of ages and styles of cars.  Old???  
Looks almost like the Mustang my brother learned to drive in!
There were 10 of us for dinner at the Sanford Grill including the
youngest member, Conner.
Next up on our weekend in Midland, MI was the baby shower hosted by Kathleen's family.  It was a sunny afternoon and we had a great BBQ lunch and enjoyed watching Kathleen
open all the gifts for our upcoming expected grandchild.
There was quite a collection of gifts for the new baby.
Reid and Kathleen greeted all the
Between Tom's appointments this
summer, Mary created a quilt for the
Kathleen has been getting a little "baby practice" with her nephew,
Conner,  who was born in July.
Once the celebration in Midland was over we made a stop in Jackson, MI for a visit with Mary's mom and then a one night stay in Kalamazoo for dinner with Reid and Kathleen.  
From there we headed south to Elkhart, Indiana.  Our first mission was to have our washer/dryer looked at.  The service tech discoverd a major manufacturing flaw was causing all
the loud strange noises we were hearing, and replaced a part free of charge.  Hooray!  We were also able to have a blind re-strung.  We parked for a night in the lot at the Newmar
factory in Nappanee, taking advantage of full hookups in order to test out the washer.  Oooops!!!   It still did not work properly.  So, we stayed through the weekend and on Monday
returned to the washer service place in Elkhart.  It was another easy fix (Other than we had to again dis-assemble the entire cabinet that holds the machine) that they apologized
they had not checked out.  So, it was back to Newmar for another night (this time in their overflow lot) and on Tuesday we headed southwest.

It was "Apple Fest" time in Nappanee over the weekend.  Early Saturday morning we first noticed a bagpiper in a kilt playing music at the edge of the RV lot at Newmar.  It was early
and raining, so this photographer did not get dressed and venture from the far side of the area.  Then there were a lot of "runners" coming past the RV parking lot which is on the
edge of town.  It dawned on us that there was a 5K road race and the bagpiper as well as a few others who had gathered, were giving encouragement to the runners.   Following
the runners, there was a parade of tractors.  By this time, the rain had ended so we drove in the direction of the tractors and found the Expo Grounds where there was a huge
display of tractors ranging from antiques to current models.  In Downtown Nappanee we found the Apple Fest itself where the streets were lined with big crates of apples where
you could help yourself to a crisp, juicy snack for a 50cent donation.  Of course, there were the usual booths, displays and food options you find at any festival.  In a shopping
center parking lot we discovered a "corn-hole" tournament going on.  The festival had lasted a whole week with events of many kinds each day.
Our trek to the southwest took us from Nappanee to one night stops at "Wally World" in Vandalia, IL; the Downstream Casino west of Joplin, MO; Cabin Diesel Service in Big
Cabin, OK; Grand Csino in Shawnee, OK; WinStar Casino in Thackerville, OK and finally to Abilene, TX...the home of our grandchildren and their parents.  In Big Cabin we had our
chassis air supply serviced.  They found a leak in the system rather than our "air bags" so we were pleased that it was not anything major, and we were on our way once again.  
The WinStar Casino is billed as the "world's largest."  We have stayed there in the past and once again got some exercise just going from one end to the other (its about a mile)
while doing some "people watching."
In Abilene it was great to have the opportunity to catch up on what's been going on with our daughter and her family.  We missed the oldest granddaughter as she is at Texas
State University in San Marcos enjoying her freshman year.  In fact, that weekend she was actually in Pueblo, CO competing as a member of the Texas State Debate
Team...congrats, Coffey!  The younger two girls were busy planning their week at Wylie High School.  It's "homecoming" week and each day had a different 'spirit' theme.  
Grandma got to have a small hand in preparing costumes.
As the month of September ended we were looking forward to the Homecoming Weekend at Wylie High School, with Coffey at home for a few days.  Then we'll be back on the road,
headed to Las Cruces, NM for a family visit and then on to Arizona.  We're anxious to check out all the changes that have been made that we've been hearing about at Palm Creek.
Let's see.......which one should we get?  
The old version....
.........or the new version???
Of course, the apple store in Nappanee would
be called the "Napple Store."
There were about two dozen corn hole games going
on in the parking lot.
It's always had to find a place to park at the grocery store on
Saturday!!!  The stalls were full.
Monday was "Pajama Day" we had a
rabbit and a giraffe.
Captain Hook and Tinkerbell went to school
on Tuesday's "Disney Day."
Batman and the Green Lantern were the
Super-Hero characters on Wednesday.
For Thursday, we learned how to make our
own "tu-tu" for "Purple and Gold" day.
Can you see the big nest?  We're glad the occupants
did not come out while we visited Midland!
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