I was "down home" for several days recently. While there, Mom and I went to Jacksonville to visit Pauline. On the way back to Carlinville we drove many country roads because that has always been a favorite pastime of Mom's. She can tell you who lived at many of the farms we pass and talks about her experiences along with much local history. So, it's a treat for me too. These photos were taken during that drive. There are stretches along the way where you can't see a single house, only fields and prairie. If you look closely at the far end of the gravel road below you can see a round, red water tower; it's located in the town where I grew up.
Pauline will celebrate her 98th birthday in October and is now living in a nursing home. But, remarkable woman that she is, she lived independently in an apartment until this May.
She is my kids' paternal grandmother and we have remained close through all these years. Mom and she have also maintained their friendship. And, she loves Rich dearly, deeply appreciating the beautiful life he afforded her grandchildren. As always, Mom and I had a lovely visit with her last Friday afternoon.
The following evening, I drove Mom to the 65th reunion of her 1945 Virden High School graduating class. Virden is about 20 miles north of Carlinville. My grandparents lived there, we still have many relatives in the area, and I have beautiful memories of time spent with all of them.
Several of Mom's classmates attended the meeting, which was held at a Thayer church before the banquet in Virden. Because the classes are small, all celebrating classes attend the same big banquet. Mom decided to only attend the gathering of her class. My cousin, who provided the cakes at the banquet, told Mom that 400 people were expected to attend.
These are two very special ladies in my life and it was an absolute pleasure being able to spend so much time with them...yet another great benefit of retirement!
Stay tuned for a post showing what Rich was up to while I was gone...what a guy!