Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Stanleys

Another ranch (Fiber of Life) and Aardwolf Alpacas got together this spring so that we could hit more alpaca shows and get more exposure. Last month Fiber of Life (FOL) took out animals to Phoenix to the show. Two weeks ago I went to Missouri (FOL animals did not go, but that is another story), and last week Tracy (of FOL) and I took off across country for two shows in the mid-west, leaving our menfolk home to tend to the ranch.

The first show was in Fort Wayne, Indiana. On our way to Indiana we had the opportunity to stop at a popular fiber mill in Kansas for a tour and to drop some fleece off. Tracy and I recognize our limitations on driving too far in one day and so that first night we stayed in Omaha, NE and got to visit Dave Parker.. an Air Force friend from Tucson and Germany days, and his wife. This week we had the opportunity to visit the Stanleys, my Dad's side of the family.

The original plan was to stay with my Aunt Winnie (my Dad's sister) in West Lafayette, IN, on our way to Fort Wayne and our way from Fort Wayne. But on Thursday when we got there I was surprised to be met by my cousin, Beth. It seems Winnie had fallen on Tuesday and broken her Femur. She was in the hospital. Beth's son, Dale, lives with Winnie, and Beth had come in from VA to take care of things. Friday morning we went by the hospital to visit Winnie before we headed on to the show, and she headed into surgery.

Because of the troubles, my cousin, Ken (with his wife and daughter) drove down from Ohio to visit for the weekend. They happened to go right through Fort Wayne, in fact just past our motel, just as we got done setting up for the show and were ready for dinner. So we ran out for a quick bite and visit with them. Another bonus.

At the show we met and saw lots of people we know from this side of the country, good, but the animals didn't do anything worth reporting, not so good. Sunday after the show we headed back to West Lafayette, arriving in time for a card game and bed and visiting Winnie again in the morning at the hospital. She was getting released into a rehab center that afternoon, and once rehabilitated is going to move directly into her new retirement apartment in the same community. This community is on Purdue campus and associated with the university, and thus has LOTS of amenities to offer. (At least on the brochure everyone looks very happy). Looks like a great place.

This week we are staying in Peoria, IL, and this weekend attending a show here in Peoria. Since I worked a few times in Peoria while with Washington Group, I know a few people here too, which is fun. Sunday/Monday after the show we will embark on our last 1600 miles heading for home.