Saturday, October 21, 2006

Our Final Week at Waterfall Cove..... for 2006 anyway!

Shortly after returning to the waterfall on Thursday, October 12th, it started raining and we spent a quiet evening watching one of the DVD's Shelly was kind enough to let us bring back from Missouri. Kelly showed up Friday afternoon with Melissa and Chelsea, their oldest daughter who was home from Mississippi State University, and a huge pot of gumbo. I made cornbread and we enjoyed a great meal and a beautiful afternoon at the waterfall.

Not long after Kelly and crew left, he called to say that they were coming back out and that Chelsea was going to cook Chinese for us on the gravel bar. Todd and I started gathering wood for a big bonfire which was supplemented by some wood Kelly brought back with him. We had a wonderful evening gathered around the fire while Chelsea prepared sweet and sour chicken for us.

Saturday began foggy and cool but turned into a beautiful day. Bud showed up late that afternoon with Tina, a friend of his from Selmer, TN, who entertained us with some great stories until the sun went down and the cool evening air forced us to head for our respective homes.

Todd worked on projects around the boat Sunday morning and spotted a trawler coming into the cove early that afternoon which he identified as belonging to Mo, an amazing lady we met last year in Waterfall Cove when we were there with the Teale's in our Sea Rays. Mo is 72 years old and has been living on a boat for the past 30+/- years, mostly by herself! She lost her sailboat home of 25 years in hurrican Ivan on the island of Grenada on September 7, 2004, and now captains a trawler, also named "MOTU," with her Yellow Lab, Honey.

Mo got anchored and Todd took the dinghy over to get reacquainted while I got in the shower. By the time I was out of the shower, Bud had shown up in his pontoon. We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting with Mo and Bud and then Todd took Mo and Honey back to her boat since it was getting windy and cool and we were all ready to get out of the weather. Mo was kind enough to lend us a homemade antenna to try out on our TV since we can't get any reception in Waterfall Cove and we were actually able to pick up an ABC station out of Jackson, TN.

It continued to be windy Sunday evening and the rain that was forecast for Monday started early. It was a chilly, nasty day on Monday with strong, gusty winds out of the southeast - a bad direction for those of us in the cove. Mo had spent a restless night on Sunday, getting up three times to reposition her anchor, and by early Monday afternoon, she decided she didn't want to spend another restless night worrying about her anchor so she headed to Grand Harbor Marina. Todd ran two more anchors from our stern to the gravel bar and tied a couple of extra lines from the bow to the shore to keep us from being blown around too much. It was definitely the nastiest day we've seen on the boat, but we were snug and dry and stayed relatively warm inside the cabin.

By Tuesday morning the rain had ended and the wind had shifted directions and died down, so we were able to put away all of our extra lines and anchors. We spent several hours doing chores around the boat until Kelly showed up that afternoon and then spent a few hours visiting with him. Even though he had worked all night the previous night and hadn't yet gotten any sleep, he didn't want to miss such a beautiful day at the waterfall. It is the time of year when you know the number of warm, sunny days remaining is limited at best.

Wednesday dawned bright and beautiful and we were looking forward to the arrival of all of our Pickwick friends to help celebrate my birthday. We had originally planned to leave Waterfall Cove on Sunday or Monday, but we decided to stay a few more days so that I could enjoy my special day in our special place on Pickwick with our many wonderful friends. Bo and Terri arrived first in Bo's Sea Ray followed shortly by Bill and Nora on "Prospector" and Kelly in his pontoon with Mo and Honey who he had picked up at Grand Harbor on his way out.

Keith, a local diver in his spare time who we'd met previously and had called the day before, also showed up, as did Bud a few hours later. We were all having a good time and even broke out Margaritas for Nora and Mo to sample. We had an incredible afternoon partying and chatting and just having a good time and took lots of photos, some of which are below.

This is Mo, the 72-year-old dyna-Mo!

Mo's Island Gypsy, named "MOTU," with the dinghy floating behind it at the marina.

The gang's boats pulled up on the gravel bar at Waterfall Cove.

An impromptu boat ride with Iceman Bud.

Mo, Terri and Bo partying on Bud's pontoon.

Kelly, Mo and Terri doing more of the same!

Todd and Mo doing a jig (or something???) on the gravel bar while Honey looks on!!!

Our incredible friends at Pickwick - thank you ALL for a wonderful couple of months!

Later that afternoon, after we returned from our boat ride with Bud, Kelly left with Bill and Nora to go pick Melissa up. The party continued into the evening but Keith headed out before dark, followed by Bud and then Kelly and Melissa departed to take Mo and Honey back to Grand Harbor on their way home.

Bo and Terri and Bill and Nora spent the night in the cove on their boats. Bill and Nora left early to play around upriver for a few days, and Terri fixed the rest of us a nice breakfast which we were finishing as the rain began to fall. Kelly also made an appearance and sat with us during breakfast, and then we pulled up anchor and left our beloved cove to begin the journey south.

It rained all the way to Bay Springs Lake, about four hours south, where we are currently anchored. We plan to leave Bay Springs tomorrow and make our way through the first three locks (ugh!) to Midway Marina in Fulton, MS to meet up once again with Chuck and Pip of "Miss Pip" who are also beginning the journey south.

Even though we are sad to leave Pickwick and all of the amazing friends we've made there, we have pushed our stay here as long as we dare. The good weather days are now hit and miss and the bad weather days are becoming more and more frequent. In fact, it got down into the upper 30's last night - brrr!!! Please stay tuned as we make our way to Demopolis, AL over the next couple of weeks to meet Todd's parents for a trip up the Black Warrior River in early November. We will try to update the blog more frequently, depending (as always!) on the availability of an Internet signal.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Back to Missouri

We left Grand Harbor Marina about 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 28th to begin our journey back to Missouri to visit family and friends. Kelly and Caroline took us to Corinth, MS to pick up our rental car and we were on our way by 8:45 a.m. We had an uneventful trip and arrived at my parents cabin at Lake of the Ozarks about 4:00 p.m.

My brother, Dewayne, and his soon-to-be wife Penny, arrived Saturday with my nephew Greg, his girlfriend Crystal, and their almost two-week-old baby, Lily Juliet. The group all spent the night at the cabin feasting on mom's great home cooking and left Sunday afternoon after we had stuffed ourselves on mom's signature homemade black walnut ice cream - what a treat!

Todd and I spent the next few days hanging out at the cabin and then came back through Houston, MO (my home town) to visit my grandmother who is an amazing 92 years old! We then traveled on to Springfield, MO to spend time with friends there. We had dinner on Tuesday evening with Shelly and her sister Sherry who was visiting from Grand Junction, CO. Shelly was Todd's Director of Operations when he was General Manager of the food service operation at Missouri State University. Shelly is now the General Manager, and she and Sherry were leaving for a trip to New York the next morning.

After dinner, we made our way to the home of Nila and Everett Hayes to spend the night. We all worked together at the University, even though Everett is now retired, and boated together with the Teale's on Table Rock Lake. We sat up and visited for a few hours, and Everett was feeling no pain after having had one too many libations (Rusty Nails)! We stayed with the Hayes' through Wednesday evening and enjoyed a killer breakfast each morning prepared by Everett - homemade waffles one morning and omelets the next, with bacon and all the trimmings!

We were also treated to an Olive Garden dinner Wednesday evening since Everett was still a little under the weather from the Rusty Nails the previous evening and wasn't up to dealing with dinner. Todd assured Everett that his feeling bad was not the result of the liquor - he must have gotten hold of some bad ice!

During our days in Springfield, both Todd and I spent time at the University visiting friends and former coworkers and catching up. We also visited our old neighborhood and spent some time with Larry and Teresa and with Paul and Stephanie who lived on either side of us in the subdivision.

On Thursday and Friday evenings, we stayed with Bob and Linda Eckels, also friends from the University. We visited with Susan Teale on Friday and then went with her to meet Kelli and Jason (two of her children) for lunch. Bob had spread the word that there was going to be a get-together at Ebbet's Field Friday evening, and we were joined by a wonderful group of University and other friends to celebrate our final evening in town. What a great time! Below are some pictures that were sent to us since Todd didn't have his camera.

Nila Hayes, Controller for the University

Bob Eckels, Director of Physical Plant

LaDonna Hansen, Senior Purchasing Technician/Procurement Card Coordinator; and Debbie Donnellan, Executive Secretary to the Vice President for Administrative and Information Services
This group includes Doug Willson, Bursar (in the back center), Everett Hayes (to Doug's right), and Mary Routh, Director of Human Resources (to Everett's left). To Mary's left is Linda Eckels (facing away from the camera) and Betsy Burris, wife of Greg Burris (shown below).
This photo includes Greg and Betsy's daughter, Tory, and a slightly better view of Linda Eckels (to Betsy's right) and Everett Hayes (in the back).

This is my lifelong friend, Connie, and her fiance Dale.

Greg Burris, Vice President for Administrative and Information Services.
My girls, Glena Admire (Senior Administrative Clerk) and Karen Bench (Purchasing Technician), both of the Purchasing Office.

Our surrogate daughters, Kelli Teale and her friend, Stephanie (Sissy la la).
LaDonna Hansen (shown above) and Dave Yurchak, Senior Buyer in the Purchasing Office.

This is just a sampling of the many wonderful people who came out to spend the evening with us. We so appreciate everyone who made the effort to join us and wish we could have spent more time with each of you while we were in town. Thank you all and please keep in touch!

We headed back to Lake of the Ozarks Saturday morning to meet my mom and niece, Jennifer, at 10:00 a.m. to do some shopping. There are some great thrift stores in Camdenton, MO that mom and I always hit when we're at the lake cabin. Jennifer spent the night Saturday and headed back to Houston late Sunday morning. Todd and I spent the next few days helping with some cleaning and repairs around the cabin and left Tuesday evening to go back to Houston to spend the night before continuing our trip back "home" to the boat on Wednesday morning.

We had another uneventful trip back to Corinth, MS where Prospector Bill and his wife, Nora, met us at Enterprise and then graciously took us to Wal-Mart to restock before returning to Grand Harbor. We got back to the boat around 4:00 p.m. and spent the next several hours putting away all the groceries and other stuff we'd brought back with us from Missouri. We were worn out after our long day but were glad to be back on the boat and in our own bed again after being gone for two weeks.

After doing a little laundry the next morning and getting our fresh water pump back in working order, we left Grand Harbor and headed back out to Waterfall Cove, our "home" on Pickwick Lake, to spend a few more days before beginning the long journey south. The events of the past week at Waterfall Cove will be the subject of our next post.