Departing Guests and Impending Storm

Monday, September 4 and Tuesday, September 5

Lydia was on the road to Maine so early that I didn’t think about taking a picture of her, but I thought about my camera when I noticed Nsimba using his selfie stick and wearing a new t-shirt he bought at the music festival.

Nsimba and Elizabeth still have this heart on their van – from their wedding ten months ago. 🙂 They left for Maine right after I took this picture.

After they left I noticed our Amish neighbors picking their butternut squash. They loaded quite a few trailer loads.

The next day the truck pulled into the field right in front of our house. I was hoping to get some close-up pictures of them working in the field.

A few hours later the weatherman warned us to keep our eyes on the sky for a serious wind and rain storm.

It did rain and get windy, but not too bad. By this time the truck had pulled away from the wagon.

I was disappointed that no one picked pumpkins the next day when I was home.

Grand Ole Opry with Hezekiah

Friday Evening, August 25

The purpose of this trip was to visit our grandson Hezekiah who lives near Ashland City, Tennessee.

After getting to our motel, we stopped in at his place to take him to the Opry – his 2017 birthday gift.

We bought food at the Opry so we could eat while waiting for the show to start.

I took this picture with my cell phone – to send to Heze’s parents.

John Conlee opened the show.

Glen Cambell’s daughter Ashely (second from left) asked her dad’s sisters to join her on stage (two ladies on right).

Mike Snider (on the stage – left – and on the stage monitor – top center). Funny.

The Whites. Buck (the dad) is pictured on the monitor. Good gospel music.

Sharon White (Ricky Skaggs wife)

Mark Lowry – the reason we chose the Friday night opry. He is known for co-writing “Mary Did You Know” and for being part of the Gaither Vocal Band.

It was the first time I heard his newest song, “What’s Not to Love.”

You can click on the song at this link and listen to it:

Rocky Top by Bobby Osborne and The Rocky Top X-Press. Hearing them in person was a special treat to Cerwin.

Turnpike Trubadours. I enjoyed them.

A reminder that this was being aired live.

Riders in The Sky. Love their humor and cowboy sound.

Sunny Sweeney. Great singers.

Thompson Square. I enjoyed their harmony.

It was delightful to spend this evening with Hezekiah.

Ziplining at Refreshing Mountain

Thursday, August 17

We were back at Refreshing Mountain by 8:38 am on Thursday morning for Ian and Jared’s ziplining appointment.

Getting into their harnesses

Ian leaving the first platform

Jared leaving the first platform

Zipping above me

Near the end of the course I realized that my automatic focus had gotten bumped off, so there were several close up pictures that I could not use, I was glad that I took plenty of distant photos that focused fairly well.

Because of all the shadows and trees and leaves, I didn’t notice that my automatic focus wasn’t working. 🙁

After getting to the second platform, there were several challenge courses which the boys enjoyed. There was a family (father, mother, three girls), and two guides who were part of their experience.

There is an easier zipline course, but Jesse decided to watch this year. If you look closely through the canopy of trees you can see the team on the platform.

Here comes Ian


Jesse played with a critter on the deck near the lake as we waited for the boys and the rest of their team.

Trying to focus on him is when I realized that my automatic focus was turned to off. As you can see, I corrected it. 🙂

As Ian approached the last platform, the guide applied the brake too quickly, and he drifted back on the zipline and hung over us.

We told him to jump! 🙂 The lake was below him.

It didn’t take long for the guide to rescue him.

Jared approaching the last platform

Jared dismounting

Ian dismounting

They both agreed that it was a fun experience. I took this picture at 10:26 am – one and a half hours after they began.

There was plenty of room in the pool as we had to wait a few minutes for it to open.

I enjoyed a pizza/cheese panini and a latte while the boys swam. They also got food after a time of swimming.

It was a fun morning. I smiled as I noticed that the sun was creating smiley faces through the pool chairs.

Refreshing Mountain ~ Explorer Package

Wednesday Afternoon, August 16

Day 4 of Brothers’ Week

After getting our tickets (which we reserved on Monday) we followed the paw prints to the Explorer Package starting point.

They watched a video while waiting for their guide and other team members to arrive for their 1:00 PM appointment.

Walking toward the Paintball Targets Challenge

Their guide filling their guns and telling them the rules.

A target along the Paint Ball Course

Getting refills. Because there were only six in their group (a father and his three daughters and our boys) they went around the course three times – to the boys delight.

Next was the Archery Challenge

They were anxious to try the Climbing Tower

Listening to instructions

There were four challenges on the wall. The easy one did not need supervision, and Jesse got permission from their guide to do this while others tried the #2 and #3 challenges. The #4 challenge was too difficult for learners so nobody tried that one.

Jesse on the #3 Challenge

Jared on the #3 Challenge. He made it to the red line – success – and beyond.

Jesse on the #2 Challenge

Ian working his way toward the red line on the #3 Challenge


Lost that foot hold

Back on course again

Ian on #3 and Jared on #2

Success on #2

Ian going to the top of #2


Next was the Pedal Cart Challenge

It was the middle of the afternoon – 2:30 – when they finished and the pool was so full that they decided to have milk shakes and head for home.

A view from our parking spot.


Supper tonight was Jared’s choice. We ate at Lititz Family Cupboard.

Supper at Gus’s with the Boys

Tuesday Evening, August 15

Supper was part of Jesse’s 2017 birthday gift. He chose Gus’s because they have an all-day breakfast. He wanted pancakes. 🙂

We were each ready to eat after bowling two games.

Jesse was happy with his pancakes and bacon.

I chose a breakfast as well.

When the waitress heard that we were celebrating Jesse’s birthday, she told us that he will get a free cake.

I said, “His birthday was earlier in the summer.”

She said, “That doesn’t matter.

Listening to the waitresses singing to him.

There was a large group of special needs adults who also joined in the singing. Jesse liked that.

That was a neat way to end our day.

Bowling for Jesse’s 2017 Birthday Gift

Tuesday Afternoon, August 15

We continued our week by going to Dutch Lanes for Jesse’s 2017 birthday gift.

I wanted to get a good picture of these four, but couldn’t find one. First Cerwin was adjusting his glasses.

Then Ian sneezed.

I guess this one – the response to the sneeze is best. 🙂

We went inside and got our shoes…

…and balls.

Jesse was excited to begin.


Ian took some pictures of me.




You can see by our scores that we are not a professional team.

That was fun.

Labeling Highway News and Eating Churros

Tuesday, August

Our first job on Tuesday morning – of brothers’ week – was to label the individual Highway News (September issue).

After taking the seven bags to the post office, we went to Costco where Cerwin had an appointment to have a checkup on his hearing aids.

The boys – Jared, Jesse, Ian – got groceries then waited for Cerwin by enjoying soda and churros. (churros are a fried-dough pastry, similar to funnel cake, and originated in Spain and Portugal.)

Next stop: Bowling for Jesse’s 2017 birthday gift.

Build-A-Bear with the Boys

Monday afternoon, August 14

Jesse informed me that he never made a Build-A-Bear like the other grandchildren.

Sometimes the youngest grandchild gets special benefits, but other times they get missed. So we went to Build-A-Bear after Refreshing Mountain.

First he had to choose an animal from the many bins of animals. He named him Fluffy.

Then it was time to fill Fluffy with fluff.

Jesse got to press the fluff-filler pedal.

Next he chose a heart and rubbed it between his hands to give it “life”.

Putting the heart inside Fluffy

Blowing extra fluff from his exterior

Choosing clothing

Fully dressed – including sunglasses

Ian was in charge of supper. A restaurant or grill something? He chose steak burgers.

His supervisor stayed close.

After supper he read a chapter from our book, A Child’s Look at the Twenty-Third Psalm.

Monday was a good day with the boys.

Swimming at Refreshing Mountain

Monday Afternoon, August 14

We had a relaxing morning, then went to Refreshing Mountain so the boys could swim and so we could plan a Challenge Adventure and Zip Line Excursion for later in the week.

It was a great day to be at the pool – there were very few people there. Maybe because it was cloudy. Maybe because it was a Monday.

While the boys played in the water, dove, and swam, I enjoyed a chocolate raspberry latte.

Jesse enjoyed the sliding board.

Jared is going to try it.

Playing with the water system in the low pool.


Back to the deep pool – 12′ at the diving board.

Jesse is good at making friends and was soon playing ball with another boy.


Ian was the first to take a lunch break – a cheese and pizza panini.

Jared chose a milkshake.

Jesse just kept playing in the water.


That was a fun way to spend several hours.