It was late Monday morning when we pulled out of my Aunt and Uncle’s home in
. We drove a total of four hours to the north end of Madison, WI , to spend some time with Nathan and Sally Wallick, good friends of ours. They live in a lovely, quiet neighborhood with lots of small houses and trees and life. We pulled into their long, trailer-happy driveway and got a very joyous welcome from Sally, followed by a tour of their lovely house and introductions to their little pets: two baby squirrels! Peoria, IL
Nathan was working that day, so we set up the trailer, dad worked and we women visited together. It was a bit too early for dinner, so we girls got in the car and drove a short ways to a lovely walking area. It was a long, long path with leafy green trees making a canopy across and along it, providing shade, quiet and cooler temperatures. We walked awhile and talked, and when time caught up to us we drove back and had dinner.
Following that evening was an impromptu batch of cookies, much talking and fellowship and enjoying each other. It was so good to be in a home, a cozy place that is real and doesn’t shake when you step in the door (as much as I love our trailer).
The next day, after Nathan got home, we had breakfast and discussed theological issues and ideas. It was a neat time and very interesting, and it was also very encouraging to hear the two men in their levels of knowledge and discernment. They are both very much the same and they converse really well together, or at least dad always comes away much encouraged and strengthened. What a blessing to have godly men in this time on the earth.
Following in the morning was work for dad and Nathan, and with the excellent internet in the area, it was really nice and dad got much work done. Libbey made a new ‘best friend’ who lives next door and they were riding bikes, playing house and picking the stones out of unripe peaches on the ground all day long. She was quite content. Mom, Sally and I went on a run together through some beautiful neighborhoods, and got a great workout.
Later that afternoon we drove down to the waterfront of the
Illinois River and took Nathan’s boat out. We went all the way across to the other side and had dinner at the Burger Barge, a true river restaurant. It had delicious burgers, and we stayed dry while a summer rainstorm poured outside. When we had finished and the rain let up, we got back in the boat and cruised across the glassy water and saw the city at dusk, along with the neat bridges. We also saw lots of Asian Carp, of course…one almost got into the boat! They are such gross fish…all bloody and slimy, not to mention SMELLY. Dad got a chance to bowfish, which was really cool. He almost got a couple, but they jump so fast that it’s hard to time it correctly so that the arrow hits the fish. He had a blast though!
On Wednesday, after exercise and food and more great food, mom, Sally, Libbey and I did a little shopping. When we got back in the late afternoon, we quickly prepared a picnic dinner and got into our swimsuits for another excursion on the river.
We got to the river, put the boat in and set off. Pretty soon, we stopped and got the tube out, which Delaney and I took a great ride on. It was really fun to get outside the wake and it felt like flying—so smooth and fast. After our arms officially fell off, we got back in and went down the river a bit, where we broke out the water skis. Sally tried for the first time on double skis, and got up the first time! It only lasted a few seconds, but the second time she was up a long time. She did really good.
I decided to try after Sally finished. I got up the first time as well, but I quickly fell. I did it again and stayed up longer, and the third time I stayed up and had the feel for it, and went all the way back to the bridges! It was SO much fun, and I would have stayed up longer if my back didn’t begin to hurt so much. I want to do that more…mom says we’ll have to start looking for a ski boat on Craigslist!
Even dad skid, single slalom! He did great, as if he never stopped doing it. He and mom water-skied a lot before I was born and got really good at it. They had a ski boat and skis and wetsuits and everything else you need. I would love to do it as a family, if we had a boat. J
After dad finished skiing, Delaney took one more wild spin on the tube, with Nate driving in circles and pulsing and all that great stuff. She even got pretty close to getting hit by some Carp, which was hilarious! They had just begun to jump then, and were flying all around her. It was quite amusing.
Then we stopped the boat, put the anchor in and had a nice picnic dinner. That is, until a huge barge came along and blared their horn to get us out of the way. As we were driving back, the Carp started going crazy and two flopped into the boat, resulting in screams and laughter and much blood.
Needless to say, our abs were aching with continuous laughter and our arms were sore (not from the bow fishing, but from pulling ourselves up out of the water and into the boat—no old lady ladders for the carp hunters!). Good times, good memories…
Later that night, after getting home, we gathered in the living room and watched some unedited videos of the Carp Hunters in action—hilarious! For more information about the Carp Hunters and their vision, go to www.peoriacarphunters.com
Our time at Nate and Sally's held a couple milstones for Libbey. She lost two teeth (one peacefully, one traumatically) and she also got a new bike! It is pink and cute and she has named it Malibu.
We left in the late afternoon. After the goodbyes, the thank-you’s, hugs and taking some pictures, we climbed in the truck and drove off to our newest adventure.
Pictures to follow shortly...
Pictures to follow shortly...