Thursday, June 18, 2015

2015 May Anderson Sisters' Trip

With the goal of visiting family and friends, my sister Linda and I planned a trip. Then we planned it again – and again – and again to accommodate the schedules of those we want to visit, reminding ourselves of the need to be flexible.

The resulting trip took us from Albuquerque, New Mexico, through Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, back through Colorado and then returned to New Mexico. It was just short of four weeks on the road.

In our rented car – a Nissan Rogue – we went north through Colorado, east through Nebraska and on into northwestern Iowa. Linda has a granddaughter and great-granddaughter in the tiny, dying town of Anthon. With no motels within range, we rented a sweet cottage on a quiet street and next door to the Lutheran Church. $30/night and fully furnished; even with a coffee pot and coffee!

Next stop was backtracking west to Columbus, Nebraska. We visited Aunt Maxine (95 and still has all her 'marbles') and two of her sons – Don and Gary Anderson and their wives, Connie and Barbara. Connie has a super 'green thumb' and we enjoyed all the lovely plants and flowers. Three dogs provided additional entertainment.

From Columbus, we headed northeast to Owatonna and Medford in southern Minnesota to visit our mom's cousins: Gloria, Laura, Alton and his wife Marcella. Our mom had plenty of stories about visiting them at the family farm and home as a child. Gloria's daughter and her family live at the farm complex growing corn and beans (soybeans) and raising hogs for Hormel. Besides family time, we always look forward to playing lots of cards – mostly progressive rummy.

Marshalltown, in central Iowa, was the next stop. Our family lived here for a while in the early 40s – first in a small house, then on the second story of a chicken hatchery (Dad ran the hatchery) and then on a farm near town. We spent two nights and wandered around the area reminding ourselves of the times there.

The next Iowa stop was to visit friends Sharon and Jim Price and their cat Lucky. Here is Lucky in his favorite napping spot:

I met the Prices when I volunteered at McDowell Mountain Regional Park in the Phoenix-area. In the summer, the Prices return to their hometown just north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a volunteer at Pinicon Ridge County Park. Not traveling in my motorhome, I was bemoaning the fact that we couldn't visit them at the park – and then Jim told me the park has a few cottages for rent. And that is where we stayed for four nights. We visited Amish communities and enjoyed the solitude of the cabin.

As we were leaving Iowa, Linda was feeling terrible – having coughing spells. Heading back west, we arrived in the Kansas City area to visit another cousin – Steve Anderson (Aunt Max's third son) and his wife Ellen. We only stayed one night since Linda was sick.

We split the rest of the drive into two days – spent a night in Dodge City, Kansas. We were both settled in for the night when an “app” on Linda's phone woke her up announcing a tornado warning! She woke me up, we dressed and went to the hotel lobby. The storm brought serious rain and lots of hail – but thankfully the tornado did not touch down until it was a bit east and south Whew! Seems like we had rain in each of the states we visited.

When in Iowa – enjoy breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches
And enjoy I did – five of them as we traveled around the state.

PHOTOS – pork sandwiches

Whew! Thanks to helpful friends, blog has finally been posted!