During the last three days we have enjoyed getting caught up with our Ocala family. We tried to find a campground as close to the girls as possible which turned out to be about 10 miles away
. We are located in a very commercial part of the city, sort of like Ridge Road West in Rochester, and most trips take longer than you'd expect. Kim and Kristy don't live too far apart so it's relatively easy to see everyone at once. The last time we say Baby Kenlee in June she was still a baby. Now she is a real little girl, and I mean girl. She has the most gorgeous head of curly white, blond hair and loves to dress up with girly shoes and jewelry. Her latest love is a pair of knee high fashion boots that she wears everywhere. She fussed so badly on Saturday night when it was time to take them off that her Mom relented and let her wear them to bed! She is like the energizer bunny who just keeps on going until she drops. Levi graduated from fire college in the Fall and is getting ready to start his EMT certification class this week. Brittany is finishing up the last of her classes in preparation for nursing school. Kristy has a new job as Director of the Adolescent Behavioral Unit at a local hospital. She was hired to clean up a massive load of medicaid infractions cited by federal auditors. She has her work cut out for her and isn't able to take days off, of course, but we were happy to be with her on the weekends and for dinner each night.
On Sunday we all went to a surprise birthday party for Tom Kaye. He and his wife, Marilyn have been "surrogate parents" to Kristy and her boys for many years here in Florida
. Tom is a character and we always have fun with him when we come to town. Kathie sang her several versions of "Happy Birthday" to Tom and since we were in a restaurant, that worked to surprise other diners. Tom, who thrives on this kind of attention, loved it!
After the party Kim came back to the motorhome with us and spent the night. We had a frustrating time learning how to operate the DVD player so that we could watch "The Big Year", a movie that she brought to us. Highly recommend that "feel good" flick! Next challenge was figuring out how to turn the couch into a bed. No more traditonal mattresses; these beds are now made up of an inflatable mattress. Jeff stepped up to the plate and got us all situated. One more mystery of the new RV solved! Kim had knee surgery in the Fall and is still in two different knee braces and PT in Gainesville twice a week. An overnight with Mom and Dad was a nice break from her recent more limited life. When we come back to Ocala on our way North we will go to PT with Kim and see what her life has been like since her accident in July.
When we got to Kristy's on Saturday there was a surprise package from Dr. Pete Haake waiting for us! Opening it we found a CD of pictures documenting our last day at church with our Caledonia and Scottsville family members
. What a treasure! Pete titled it, "Lest you forget..." Silly man, what makes you think we ever could? Many thanks, Pete; you're the best!
Weather here has been cold at night (upper 30's) and 70's during the day. We're glad to have a good heating system on the RV when we sleep and the non-stop sunshine every day makes it all
easy to take!
Packing up and heading to the Tampa area tomorrow!
Kim is our oldest daughter, (2 minutes older than her twin, Kerrie) and Kristy is the next oldest after the twins. The girls live within a few miles of each other here in Ocala. Kim is mother to three dogs who are better loved and cared for than some children. Kristy has two sons, both of whom have made us great-grands! Her youngest, Levi, lives here with his wife Brittany and their daughter, Kenlee who is 15 months old. Since Kathie retired 5 years ago we have tried to visit Ocala each winter and spend time with this part of our brood. It's always an opportunity to realize that there are people who can talk louder and longer than Kathie. Gotta love those girls of ours! It is never a quiet or serene time.