Family Time in Southern Illinois


Hank – During our time here I also stopped by a couple of places that bring back memories. Kathy’s old high school building now houses a university. The mobile home we lived in for a year after we got married is still standing. It was great to catch up with so many on Kathy’s side of the family. We really enjoyed visiting with everyone and catching up with their lives.

Kathy – I grew up in Southern Illinois just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. I am number six of nine children. Our parents have both passed along with our oldest brother. Most of my siblings (and many other family members) still live in the Southern Illinois area. It’s been a few years since the last time we were here. We spent five days hanging out and getting reacquainted with everyone.

It was wonderful to see all my crazy family. I say crazy because anyone from a large family would understand. We are a mix of being….loud, silly, ridiculous, sweet, kind, compassionate and of course crazy! 🤪 I won’t write about each individual person because with so many family members it would take forever. Just know it was great to spend time with everyone. Whether we were just sitting around chatting for hours, going out to breakfast or dinner with someone, singing karaoke, visiting at the hotel, or going to Uncle Pete’s house to taste his amazing culinary skills…it was all good. Just making more memories. 😊 There were many wonderful conversations, and of course lots of smiles and laughter throughout the week.

I left my Missouri flower seeds with my sister Mary Beth (and Tim), and my Illinois flower seeds with my sister Ginny. We will be ‘officially’ riding in Illinois when we hop back on the bikes today. This will be state #44 for us. It has been really wonderful to have this past week or so off and spend time with all our family. I’m grateful. 💗

After time off at Mary Beth and Tim’s place in Missouri and now our time off in Illinois, we have not ridden the bikes in a week and a half. Our bodies are well rested and ready to move forward. We are heading to Memphis, Tennessee next. Onward we go! 🚴‍♀️ 🚴‍♂️

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