May 11 - 28, 2012 – Shreve, OH



Rex’s mom lives on one and a half acres in the woods – a really nice place to camp!  The squirrels kept Cody and Camille busy.


  





One morning Rex took the dogs out early and found this little raccoon in the front yard.  The dogs got really excited and wanted to chase it.  


 
We got to see a lot of Rex’s aunts, uncles and cousins.  We attended a party celebrating his uncle Ike’s 85th birthday.  Ike lives in Lakeville on Odell Lake.  We visited him one day and took the kayaks out on the small lake.


We also took the kayaks on a 9 mile trip down the Mohican River.  It was kind of strange kayaking on a river that was bordered by trees that hung over the river almost everywhere.  It was also different from the Salt River in Arizona in that the water was very murky and you could not see the bottom.  




 

We did see some wildlife - this hawk was sitting beside the river – maybe looking for lunch.


 





A short distance from the hawk we saw two deer.


  A small water snake also was swimming across the river and came straight toward Nancy’s kayak.  After a few tense minutes it swam behind her kayak and disappeared – snakes are not her favorite wildlife to encounter!!







We took a trip to Berlin, OH which is in Amish country south of Shreve.  We took a tour of an Amish farm house where we learned a lot about the Amish religion and way of life.  We spoke with a delightful Amish lady in the kitchen and really enjoyed listening to her talk about her life


 

There are about a dozen variations and sects among the Amish and Mennonites from very conservative in their beliefs and dress to those who dress and live much like the non-Amish.  The most conservative is the Swartzentruber sect, that live as people did in 19th century Europe.  This is a typical of a Swartzentruber sect kitchen.  Notice the red hand pump by the sink and the wood stove.

 
We visited a quilt shop and saw lots of beautiful hand stitched quilts.  After looking at a craft mall and an antique mall, we had a great lunch at the Der Dutchman Restaurant in Walnut Creek.   We always enjoy going through this area and seeing all the Amish farms and the horse drawn buggies on the roads.

Rex also did a lot of chores for his mom.   He took out two pines trees that were almost dead, cleaned off her roof, painted her garage doors, transplanted flowers, mowed the 1.5 acres of grass.  He also did a lot of odd jobs and repairs for her.

He also split 2 cords of wood, used a stump grinder to grind down about 3 dozen stumps, hung a cabinet, and painted a play house for his mom’s neighbors, Arne and Cheryl.


A short ways down the road from Rex’s mom’s house is the old Kister Mill.  They had an open house in the mill one Sunday so we went down to look through it. 


 






They ran the water wheel while we were there.  Can you see the water falling onto the wheel at the top left?  They were using the water wheel to churn homemade ice cream.

 



The mill was used to grind grain, press apples for cider and run the equipment in a woodworking shop.  Rex remembers bringing apples to the mill to get pressed for apple cider.  The family that owns the mill are trying to keep it operational and said they will be pressing cider this fall.




 
On Memorial Day we went to the parade in Shreve.  It was a really nice, small parade.  While we were waiting for the parade to start, Rex’s 1st grade teacher came by.  He enjoyed visiting with her for a few minutes - Nancy would have liked to talk to her alone to get some good little boy Rex stories!

We are both going to have to go on a diet after this visit – Rex’s mom kept us supplied with cookies, apple crisp, rhubarb pie and her bottomless bowl of M&Ms.   We also ate at some great Amish restaurants where you always have to get a piece of pie.

We were going to spend the summer touring Michigan and Wisconsin but we have changed our plans.  Nancy’s parents are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary in July and Nancy’s sisters decided to have an anniversary party for them.  All of her sisters and her brother will be there so we have decided to drive back to Colorado to attend the party on July 1st and also to attend Nancy’s nephew’s wedding on June 30th.  We will take our time and see some sights along the southern shore of Lake Erie, southern Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  We will also go through South Dakota and stop in Box Elder, where our mail forwarding service is as we need to get registered to vote.



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