Drove to Rantoul, Illinois with one overnite stop. Can't remember where and didn't get a flyer. Arrived at Prairie Pines Campground on the former Chanute AFB. (Rantoul) This used to be a mobile home park on the base. It was converted to an RV park with 50 amp service by the town. And I think it is the only park with 50 amp in the county and this time of year we needed 50 amp to be able to run both A/C units. Rates--$15 per day--$75 per week. I went to part of grade school and last 2 years of high school here. Military Brat. A long time friend of mine (Herb Bennett) was Superintendent of the electric dept before he retired. He told me they went in and installed all new services a few years ago. They have the Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum in one of the old hangers. The first weekend we were there they also had an airshow. That plus visiting old friends made this a nice visit. Plus my brother Tony lives 15 miles away. A week later we headed to Harrisburg, Il (4 hr trip) where we lived before we started this adventure. It is near to the VA hosp where I go for my yearly checkup and get my meds renewed for the next year. We parked in the driveway of our former neighbors (that's what I call them, they call us their OLD neighbors) Richard & Kathy Omohundro, and we were able to hookup 50 AMP, water, sewer and phone. Only thing was I had to use the phone for internet after they went to bed. But that worked out OK as they go to bed early and I'm up half the night. Went to my 'home' Elks lodge and had a mini-reunion. In the 8 years we lived in Harrisburg, we made a lot of close friends. Truly an enjoyable time when we return. Also visited my 'puter guru' Bill Doring, his wife Betty and her mom, Tootsie. Bill is a fellow Nam Vet and we got close in the time we lived there. He is active in the American Legion and helped me get my PUFL card. (Paid Up For life) We tried to convert all membership things to life memberships so we wouldn't miss any renewal notices and have memberships lapse. A couple of days after we arrived, Kay's brother stopped by to pick her up for a weekend trip to Savannah, Ga. All the kids would be there to surprise her Mom for her birthday. And it worked, she was surprised. I stayed in Hbg to take care of the dog plus I had 2 VA appts while they were gone.
I didn't have much choice. Hard enough to get appts 1 year in advance. No sense trying to change them. After visiting friends and followup VA appts we headed 2 hours north to Effingham--Kay's home town.
Kay's mom was preparing to take some treatments for her cancer which had recurred. The treatments were to help her get her strength back and ease the pain. She would not start the treatments until we arrived and Kay took her to Tunica, Ms for a little casino action. Wednesday before Labor Day they headed south and I stayed back to watch the dog. Off they went, Kay, her mom & dad, & her brother. Her 2 sisters from the south (Savannah & Tallahassee) showed up as did Kay's mom & dad's best friends, John & Melba Mayhood, plus Kay's mom's sister Pat & bro-in-law George. After 2 days of gambling Madeline (Kay's mom) had hit on a couple of nickel slots. That night she passed away. She was a happy lady those last couple of days. Family, hit the slots, etc. And she didn't have to go thru the treatments. It was a sad time but I think we all agree that it was the best considering what she was facing. Basically the rest of the month was spent helping her dad get things straightened out, paperwork filed and that sort of thing. Also visiting old friends.
Sept. 11th what more can be said. I know it kicked my butt. Kay was afraid I was going to go back to 1992 when I started to have my problems with Nam. One thing about it, over the years I have learned how to deal with these things without setting myself back. But I have to be aware of what is going on and deal with it then.
October was pretty much the same thing plus some more followup VA appts.
Jerry (Kay's dad) wanted an RV pad put in at John's (her brother) house in case we have to return in the winter to help him out. In cold weather areas lots of campgrounds shut down or at least shut off the water if they don't have it set up for cold. most older campgrounds do not, some newer ones are going that way when they are constructed. It's now done and it looks good. All set up for winter. We would have moved over there but we are set up with a phone here and will only be here for 2 more weeks. Not worth transferring the phone for that short of a time.
Oh yeah, we are in Lake Sara campgrounds just outside of Effingham. It is run by a long time friend of ours and her hubby. (Tammy & Danny) When I first moved to Eff. in '74 I was one of the mgrs at the new McDonalds that opened locally. Tammy was a high schooler that worked for us after school. And one summer I co-drove a United Van Lines semi with one of her brothers.
Sometime next week Bob & Donna Eberly will arrive and I've got them set up with a fishing trip and a visit to the Mid America Corvette Museum. The fishing trip is courtesy of a high school friend & his wife, Bill & Peggy Little. They live about 30 minutes from here on Lake Mattoon.
I think I'm finally caught up with my travelogue. It is now 10/22. We will stay here until Nov 7th when we head to DC for the Ia Drang Valley banquet on Veterans day weekend.