Wednesday - October 16

This area of eastern Tennessee has been very dry but last night we had a wonderful gentle rain come down all night long!    Made for great sleeping on Flo.   Chilly and dreary all morning - I slept in, Mark made pancakes and bacon and we tidied Flo up a bit and did some correspondence.    Went for a short walk but not liking this weather.....and then, the sun came out around noon - much better!

There was a brisk wind with temps in the 50's - we picked up a few groceries and then visited with our fellow campers in the afternoon.     Bill and Nancy put on a nice wiener roast and Sandy joined us.     Topped off the hot dogs and fixins' with apple crisp and hot cider.

Sandy and Heather
Nancy and Bill 
Jen and Tom  
Pretty Spring Lake

We said our good byes after supper as it was getting colder and we are leaving fairly early tomorrow.    Great fall camping trip with Bill, Nancy, Heather, Tom, Jen, Vince and Sandy!    Till next year!

Today was the ceremony and  dedication of a tree and plaque in memory of Patrick at CCHS - here are some pics taken....

Dedication with Anne and boys looking on... (far right)
CCHS football team 
Planted near baseball field
What a nice tribute!

Tuesday - October 15

The Lukester spent the night on Flo

Mark and Luke met Annette and Maeve at 7:20 this morning and off to school they went.

Philip came to help us with getting Flo off the concrete pad (Brady's basketball court) and onto the gravel (Ryan helped with the set up last Tuesday).    Sure appreciated their help and at 9:30 we were on our way with a quick stop (and call ahead order of coffee, hot tea and breakfast sandwich from Drew's Diner).

Hello from Fairfield Glade, TN and the Spring Lake Campground where we are settled for the next 2 nights with friends from long ago (former boating and then RV connection).

Major back- up just before TN border which involved a semi on its side and cab completely ripped off.    Not a pretty site and hope driver is ok......we don't think another vehicle was involved but a crane, several wreckers and other emergency vehicles on the scene.    That was a 50 minute delay and then closer to our turn off we had another delay of 20 minutes cause of construction.     But we were on no set schedule and got to take back that hour for the central time zone.    We arrived at 2:30 and met our friends who were gathered on the patio - Bill and Nancy from Fairfield Glade, Heather from Crossville and her son Tom and daughter-in-law, Jen (nomads like us and formerly from Iowa City.)  Lots of chatter and then tie to clean up and off we go...

We all left at 4:40 for Vince and Sandy's who live about 10 miles away.     We were together in May and had such a good time - and back again for happy hour on the deck overlooking their lake (drinks and fresh smoked trout on crackers) and then a delicious meal (Rosemary chicken, roasted red potatoes, green beans, bread and topped off with apple crisp and whipped cream.).   We sat around the dining room table and laughed, reminisced, toasted Bill and Charmaine who are so missed this camping trip, and tears for Patrick.    It was a wonderful evening....

Jen, Tom, Sandy, Heather, Nancy, Bill, Mark, Vince

Back to Flo.....nighty night - rain is coming, but so good to be back with these dear friends!

Monday - October 14

Beautiful day in North Carolina.    Annette took Luke to school and Mark and I enjoyed our little overnight guests, Blair and Maeve.......

Good nights sleep on Flo

I did a load of laundry and we had BLT's for lunch at Annette's.   Brooke met her friend Kelly for lunch.    Said our good byes to Brooke and Blair and they went on home to Newton - back to school tomorrow.    The guys arrived home around 4ish from Iowa City.

This afternoon Grandpa and I were "mystery readers" for Luke's class - we read "Here Comes Trouble" and Luke said we did a good job!!!


Luke and Mrs. Chue

We took Luke after school to Ingles for a few groceries for Flo and then home.    Philip was home and the kiddos were very happy to see Daddy after being gone (working and Iowa City guy time) for 8 days.   Annette had a delicious lasagna dinner with salad, garlic toast and stuffed mushrooms.

It was a beautiful evening - enjoyed a nice roaring fire and then brought Luke back to Flo to spend the night.

Tomorrow we are off to Tennessee camping with friends.

Glamour Girl

Sunday - October 13

We are back at Lake James tonight after our fun, family weekend in Omaha.   We were off to Eppley Airport this morning for our noon flight which was delayed but then our crew made up for lost time and actually landed early in Charlotte.     Leaving cool sunny skies in Omaha, we landed in rain and 64 degrees.    Drizzle off and on to Lake James and we went to Annette's where she had made a delicious dinner of grouper, rice, sauteed brussel sprouts and cauliflower.    Brooke and Blair joined us as the guys are all still in Iowa City.

Maeve and Blair are spending the night on Flo.....Maeve's first time.

Grandma's little sweethearts

This handsome dude is ready to play his first hockey game as a Shark - and they won 5-3 with Liam getting 2 assists.

This Hawkeye fan was all ready for last night's game - love his hat!!

Sweet dreams for these little dears
Nighty night!

Saturday - October 12

The sun was shining, the winds died down (for a while) and the temp was only 31 when we got up but warmed up to 58.    It was a great celebration for the Jubilarians (Servants of Mary) celebrating 50 years (3); 60 years (2); 70 years (1); 75 years (1).    We all attended the 11:00 Mass which was beautiful with a packed chapel on the campus of Marian High School and then enjoyed a wonderful brunch and more visiting.

The various siblings trickled away heading home or wherever their travels may take them (Tom and Beth are off to Iceland).     Mark, Theresa, Doris and I stopped at Starbucks for a quick fix and braved the strong winds!   

Spent the afternoon playing cards (Shanghai and Sliva Poker) in the hotel dining room.   Lots of fun with some of the cousins, sisters, and Karen's friends, Pete and Brenda who stopped by - they live in Omaha.    Late evening we walked across the street for sandwiches at Culver's and said our good byes to all....


Lots of family celebrating with Sister Mary

Exciting morning for Liam and Connor - their hockey team won 4-3 with Liam scoring all 4 goals!

Michael, Davis, Brady, Philip and Ryan are in Iowa City with Drew for their annual guy football weekend - Iowa is playing Penn State tonight, but not the outcome we wanted. 

Michael and boys having breakfast this morning in Iowa City at Pullman

Thursday-Friday, October 10-11

Thursday - Met Annette and the kiddos at 7:20 and off to school we went.   I got to see their classrooms, meet their teachers, etc. 

Saying good bye to silly Luke who did not want to pose for a picture and Maeve who thought it was so funny!
Maeve making a "donut" for Grandma

Annette and I headed to Mount Airy (1.5 hrs) to pick up her new car.     Took longer than we thought, but while she was finishing up the paper work, driving her new wheels, etc., I went to Aunt Bea's and got us some breakfast sandwiches.    Mount Airy is Andy Griffin's hometown and signs of Andy Griffin Parkway, Aunt Bea's restaurant, etc. are here and there.

Popular spot in Mount Airy

We were on our way with Annette in her new dark grey Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid mini van and me driving their old mini van.    Traffic on I-77 was big back-up cause of construction, but we finally made it back to Morganton by 2:40, switched the car seats and got the little tykes.    Took old mini van to Honda dealer who are purchasing it.

Annette's spiffy new car

  Annette dropped me off at Michael's where Flo is and I did some last-minute packing, took a shower and we were on our way to Newton.     Michael, Brady, Blair and I had a nice dinner at the Catawba Country Club and on home to spend the night.   Brooke had a tennis match and Davis was at school soccer and volleyball games.

Michael, Blair, Pat, Mark, Brady

Saw Brooke briefly when we got home and off to bed.....

The little girls love to pose.....Miss Blair wearing her Daisy Dukes!   I called her Daisy - of course, she had no idea what I was talking about!    Ha

Friday - up early and on our way to Charlotte airport for 9:30 flight to Omaha.    CLT was a zoo....must be cause of the Columbus Day holiday on Monday??     Michael, Davis and Brady arrived about 1/2 hour after us and we were in same terminal but 19 gates apart.    Chatted briefly and said our good byes.    They are in Iowa City this weekend for their annual "guy football" time with Drew.    Ryan and Philip flew in later this afternoon.

Our plane had mechanical issues so they brought in a different one but smaller, so begging people to take a voucher and later flight.    Luckily they got enough people to do that and we were off - 3-hour flight.    But upon arriving in Omaha.....oh my was 37 with 30 mph winds and no sun!

Mark's brother Tom texted that he and Beth were just 40 minutes from Omaha and did we want to meet for lunch?    We got our rental car and arrived at the  Crescent Moon (good pick, Tom - thank you Trip Advisor) about 8 minutes apart.    They are known for their Ruebens and many beer choices.   Mark and I shared a Reuben - very good!

Onto the hotel where we'll party with Mark's siblings and cousins celebrating Sister Mary Chamberlain's 50th Jubilee as a nun.

Sister Mary and Pat

A wonderful party celebrating tonight - lots of family and friends from Sister Mary's past and present, great slide show, awesome food and much chatter.     Sooo fun to be together with our big family and meet many new Chamberlains'.

Hard to believe that it's been 3 weeks tonight that Patrick passed away - Sister Mary, said a little prayer for him as she was introducing us along with all her guests.

Wednesday - October 9

Cloudy start to the day but late morning, the sun came out and sooo pretty....we went to Annette's first thing this morning to say good bye to Ryan who was flying back to Memphis.    Mark and I came back to Flo and I started the laundry and he did several Flo projects, including getting the tires situated and hopefully, no more issues with them!    ARGHHH!

It was a glorious fall day with warm temps but seeing just a hint of color here and there.    When we were traveling the past few days, we noticed more fall color the farther south we went - course, we were getting into higher elevations, too.

Enjoying the beauty of Lake James

We met Bob and Judy (Brooke's parents) at Judges in Morganton for dinner - we had a great visit celebrating Bob's 80th birthday (October 5th) with laughs and tears as we reminisced about Patrick.

Bob and Judy
 Fall color just starting 
Silly Maeve loves to "pose"

So sad and sorry to hear tonight that a friend from Cypress Trail (Debbie Mattox) passed away.   We are shocked.....had lots of fun playing euchre on Tuesday nights with Debbie.

Tuesday - October 8

Whew....what a day!    We left in fog at 8 AM only to be a short ways out of the campground when the tire pressure sensor went off again....arghhhh!    What the heck?    We drove a short distance to a truck stop and were told they only work on semi's - not RV's and we should go across the street where they do RV's.    so off we went and of course...."No, we have no tech available so we can't help you"!    They told us there were 2 tire places about 3 miles down the road, but we could not drive there as the tire was going down quickly.

We parked in a spot with all the semi's and I asked permission to do so and explained the situation - we would be leaving our Airstream and taking the TWO tires (yesterday's and todays) to be checked out and then come back.    2 girls said that was fine.    Off we went to Tire Discount and after waiting probably 45 minutes, they checked the tires, said both had the valve stem leaking, fixed, and no idea why this happened.   The service guy thought maybe corrosion, but Mark wasn't buying that as Flo is not even 18 months old.   Possibly someone finagling with the valve stem and loosening?   We'll probably never know but really strange that 2 tires in a 2-day period had this problem (both on the same side.)

So, 3 hours later, we were on our way (11:00) and had some rain thru the mountains of NC.    Ryan met us at Michael's where we parked Flo for the next week and so appreciated his help settling in.

Off to Annette's with the kiddos - Philip is working in Florida all week.   We had a wonderful "comfort-food" meal of sweet 'n sour meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.    Also she made orange crushes (a favorite of mine - with fresh-squeezed valencia oranges, vodka and cointreau).  Delicious!!!

Pat and Annette with their delicious orange crushes!

Good visiting with Annette and Ryan, hugs and kisses for Luke and Maeve and then back to Flo...

   They had over an inch of rain here at the lake today.   We were lucky cause for the most part, sunny skies for traveling.    There was a ban on campground fires when we arrived at Whispering Hills last night.    The sign should've been taken down cause the night before we got there, they had 4" - no more drought!

Been a long day - nighty night!

Saturday-Monday, October 5-7

Monday - Bye bye to Kamp Komfort as we left with Flo at 8 AM.    Good day for travel as sunshine, then clouds and more sun with mid 60's for temps.    We stopped in St. Maurice, IN for lunch.    Just leaving the truck stop, Mark's tire pressure sensors went off - we were thankful we were close to a tire place and could have front tire on Flo checked - the sensor showed tire pressure went from 70 to 30 while we were eating.    A nice tech guy put spare tire on (the valve stem was leaking) and we were on our way but lost an hour.

We arrived at Whispering Hills RV Park in Georgetown, KY (have stayed here before - one time with Brady and he used the swimming pool which is now all closed for the season).   

Now to backtrack from our weekend...

Saturday - We finished up our packing of Flo and for ourselves and left around noon for Dixon taking the country roads.    Checked into our hotel, saw some of the family and then the rain started.    It was coming down in buckets when we left for 4:30 Mass at St. Pat's.     Mark's siblings and spouses all sat together and Father Rohmke gave us a special blessing for our anniversary.    Fortunately the rain had stopped when we left church and all gathered at the Basil Tree Ristorante for great family fun, happy hour and then family-style Italian dinner.    My brother Bob and Linda brought Aunt Marian and there were 23 to share in our celebration!

Celebrating our 50th anniversary with our siblings 
Brother Bob, Linda and Aunt Marian 
Theresa, Mike, Jim, Pat, Aunt Marian 
A toast

And while we were partying in Dixon, back in Bloomington......Liam, all grown up was going to CCHS Homecoming with friends
Looking good, Liam

Sunday - we all hung out at the hotel visiting, having breakfast and then at 11:00, we girls (aunts and cousins) enjoyed a baby shower for niece Nicole (Jim and Lydia's daughter).     Nice lunch, games, presents and now, anxiously awaiting Baby Girl's arrival in mid November.   The guys watched the Bears game in hotel lobby.

Lydia, Sue, Karen, Pat, Joan,Theresa, Nicole (Mommy-to-be), Marilyn, Beth, Nora, Doris, Nancy, Bridget (baby due 1 week before Nicole), Janet

Said our good byes but we'll see most of this clan in Omaha next weekend when we celebrate Mark's cousin, Sister Mary Chamberlain's 50th Jubilee as a nun.

Back to Kamp Komfort, changed clothes, unpacked and then off to Liam's hockey game which his team won 10-4 (he scored a goal) and then Steak 'n Shake with Anne and boys.    Said our good byes and now they can get back to their routine and "new normal".    We'll be there for them whenever and again, so thankful for the amazing support and friends who promise to be there for whenever and whatever.

Liam, Anne, Connor

Friday - October 4

Lovely fall day and so enjoy being out in the country - today the harvesting of beans began with the combine working close by.      Normally this time of year, the combines would be going strong out at Kamp Komfort but everything late this year.

Mark and I were off early with 1st stop at Gloria Jeans and treats for Anne, Mark and myself.     Mark is helping set up a new computer system for Anne and while they worked on that, I got a mani/pedi and much-needed haircut.    Everywhere I went, people were so kind and sympathetic to Anne and boys. 

We went to storage after lunch, put some things away and got more things out to take to NC.

Anne has been truly amazing - strong for the boys and keeping very busy this last week off work with so many details to take care of.    Mark and I are so proud of her....and so thankful for her wonderful friends!     Tonight she and the boys are at the Homecoming game.

Mark and I went to Busy Corner for supper - my 1st visit this fall.....good as always, but passed on the pie.

Tomorrow we are off to Dixon and celebrate our 50th with our siblings at the Basil Tree. 

Here's our little people who have had a fun week at their other grandparents in Princeton.

Country Bumpkins

Thursday - October 3

A very dreary chilly day - big change in the weather after all the warm days.    Mark was off to town to get results of MRI which were all good.   He'll be back to lifting weights soon!

I worked on Flo getting things organized to travel again - she's been a bit neglected lately.   Mark braved the strong wind and cool temps to work on some outdoor Flo projects.    It felt good getting caught up here in our little home.

We had such a nice evening with these long-time friends and former neighbors on Jackson Street.    Donna Rae invited Pat, Brenda, Mark and I for wine followed by dinner at Westminster Village.    It was delicious - we had some good laughs, some tears and just a very nice evening!

Pat, Brenda, Donna Rae, Mark, Pat

After dinner, Mark and I visited Carolyn Cockrell, another resident and long-time friend who will be moving to Elmhurst to be closer to family.     Wishing her the best....

Wednesday - October 2

Another busy day at Anne's as Annette drove down from her parents and helped with projects which was much appreciated.

More tears as we read comments from Connor's classmates sharing in his sorrow, praying for him and
wanting to "talk" if/when he's ready,

A friend stopped by with 2 photo albums of pics that she took at the visitation, funeral, cemetery and luncheon.    And the outpouring of generous donations, cards, food, and other thoughtful gestures continues.

Mark ran a bunch of errands all morning.    Anne took Liam shopping for new shirt and tie for Homecoming this weekend.   He's going with several friends.

On the morning of September 20th, our new great nephew, James arrived in San Francisco to our niece, Kathy and Waseem.   That evening, Patrick passed away......"The Circle of Life" continues!

James Syed Afzal

So, that wraps up today.....we stopped for take-out Chinese at Mandarin Garden and on back to KK.    After dinner, we walked around the park and both of us are winding down.....till tomorrow....

Tuesday - October 1

Welcome to October and the beautiful season of fall....

Another busy day with Anne - amazing how much there's to do after a funeral with oodles of paper work, phone calls, appointments, lists and thank you notes.    However, with the tremendous support and love that the Campbell's have received (and so much delicious food), we are extremely grateful  for this incredible generosity.

Mark had his orthopedic Dr. appt. last Friday and his back is healing well,   However, Dr. suggested he have an MRI to make sure all looks good.    He had that this morning and will get results Thursday.

The boys are happy to be with their friends in school and get back into their routine.    Hockey season starts tonight with practice.    One day at a time......

Monday - September 30

The beautiful song by Elton John "Can you feel the LOVE tonight" has been in my thoughts as it was so meaningful this past week with overwhelming love and support shown to Anne, Liam and Connor

So many tears, so many hugs..........   The huge visitation and funeral showed us just how much Patrick was loved and the many lives he touched. 

The boys school families, their hockey and baseball teams, State Farm, neighbors, friends and family have been wonderful.    Mark and I are so very grateful for this amazing outpouring of love.

Today the boys are back in school - Mark and I have our list of things to do around town.    Anne will be out and about with her lists, phone calls, etc.    The Campbells' are ready to get back in somewhat of a routine or as the saying goes "their new normal".

So......we'll keep in touch and a huge thank you for your thoughts, prayers and support during this very sad time.

Sunday - September 22

RIP Patrick
We 💗 you

Friday-Saturday, September 20-21


Late Thursday-Friday - Our hearts are very heavy today as with complete disbelief our dear Patrick passed away.    I last posted on Thursday evening and shortly after, Anne told us she had called 911 for Patrick.    He was admitted to St. Joe's, had surgery (complications from earlier colon surgery in Chicago).    First, thinking it was successful, we later learned things spiraled out of control and just like that, he was in very critical condition.    Anne and I spent the night in ICU and Mark was home with the boys.

So much activity in ICU with many machines doing their thing to help Patrick.   But we were told that there was nothing more to do.    I can't describe the shock knowing he was going to be leaving us.    The boys came after school - heart wrenching to see them with their Dad who was unconscious.   Drew arrived from Iowa City and was a great comfort to the boys.   And 8:08, Patrick's heart stopped and he was gone.    

Saturday - The guys spent last night on Flo and Anne and I packed up our stuff from the hospital  and on home.    We were both up early and sat at the kitchen table crying and making lists.   We are just in "I can't believe this is happening mode" to the funeral home, florist, grocery store, etc.    Drew took the boys golfing and bought live crickets for their pet lizard.

So many friends stopped by with food and non-perishables - what wonderful support.    Lots of hugs and more tears.    Patti, (neighbor and dear friend to the Campbell's) brought supper.    It was a long busy day with much accomplished.

So Mark and I are back on Flo tonight and Anne is hanging out with her boys and Drew.   

Patrick was one-of-a-kind and will be dearly missed.....the outpouring of love with wonderful tributes on Facebook says so much.   It's just an unbelievably sad time but faith, family and friends will get us thru these next few days!

Philip and his Moppet