If you look really close, you can spot the bus, tucked under the trees along the driveway at Grandpa and Grandmas house. The bus became a bunkhouse and was conveniently steps from the lake, kitchen and powerful hot showers.

The allure of a green grassy knoll framing in a lake teeming with life. Frogs belching out calls at all hours of the day and night from deep in their throats as the fish tease children- gliding back and forth under the glassy surface. The photo of our parking spot says it all in true color. The bus tucked into the trees along the gravel driveway tracks, mere feet from the shore of that lake, and steps from the Grandparents house. As we learned in Oregon when visiting my parents, having our home on wheels just outside of Kellys parents house in Ohio is a pretty sweet deal.

Imagine visiting relatives with the ability to retreat into your own home, with locking doors, TV service and fridge? Not to mention beds and an engine for a fast getaway if needed. Ha ha, we haven’t made any getaways yet, but if they decide to run us out, it will be easier than packing up a couple of weeks worth of suitcases for a plane ride home.


Ethan talked the little boys into swimming across the lake, and they flutter along, kicking and chatting the whole way. Not in a hurry and not afraid of the big fish just below their feet.


We finally had the opportunity to visit an unnamed relative that had some sweet treasures of their own stashed away and out of sight. This Avanti caught our eye. Pickers, we won't even give a hint as to where this plot of land lies- but it was fun to visit and poke around.


This picture doesn't do Meila justice. She is the hardest working girl of all time- telling me what to do and mad if she can't  be in charge of the project at hand. We changed a car battery and...


..mowed a few acres of grass. Meila's at the controls of the super powerful Ferris 64" deck mower suitable for golf course work and booking in at $10k+. Grass is serious business in Ohio, and Grandpa is serious about his grass - so they have the nicest curb appeal on the block- and they mow a lot. Meila was tuned into a country western station on those protective ear muffs, and in full glory as she sliced through the green stuff.


Ethan finally wore Gramps down and they went to shoot the .22 rifle, revolver, and 9mm. Yup, that's a holster hangin' across that boys hip after a good session of shooting practice & gun safety.


As with any family trip, our stop here smacks of every other ‘vacation’ visit we have made. Rather than feeling like part of a year-long-roadtrip-educational-stop, it feels like vacation always has. Slow pace, family very close to (Kelly’s Mom, Dad, Grandmas, sister, brother, uncles, aunts, cousins and the house she grew up in are all within just 10 minutes of her parents house) where we’re staying.


That's the top of Henry's head, just before he sails across the water and lands with a brave ker-plop. Henry and Simon spent three times as much time in the water than anyone else, and laughed the whole time. It was the epitome of spending a summer at the lake.


You may recall our stop at the Cake Boss bakery in Hoboken NJ just before we departed for OH. This is what the inside of a Cake Boss cake looks like. It tasted even better than it looked. Happy birthday Simon and Sophia.


Corn hole is FUN! Ohio style yard games... I think we might add a Corn Hole game fabrication department to our sign shop when I get back to work in Colorado so we can have our own version, and share the fun with our friends and neighbors.


No visit to Ohio is complete without a trip to the fireworks store.


Henry is very happy this year watching, since discovering grandmas radio station earmuffs! The fireworks show was a thundering success.


Proof of a successul show, the wheelbarrow and the trash bag and.. don't forget the airbag detonation that started off the afternoons activities. Johnny Rebel added that bonus show to the lineup. What a day!


A symbol of the auction fun in this great state: $17 bicycle worth $80 in 2 days. Also for sale: 1940's desk telephone, 1920 adding machine, vintage postcards, pocket knives and ephemera. Colorado should be embarrassed by its auctions, Ohio is awesome for exciting sales every week.

Looking back at the last few days- ‘what’s that dear, it will be three weeks in a day?’- ahem, three weeks; it’s gone by quickly perhaps because we were so ready to downshift gears and this worked out very well. Now, having made the transition to family time and recollect the days of old when the end of the vacation marked the return to home life, I’ve been pushed pretty hard by seven budding politicians to head home and ‘get a summer in’ before the fall. The allure of friends that have been on hold, a summer job for Trevor (now that he has his eyes on cars) and the open space of a bedroom is alluring, and considering the good sports they have been, I can’t completely dismiss their case. After all, we are starting to see the summer crowd and weekenders invade our turf as we travel. You know, those families with kids that make the lines longer at attractions, that clog the weekend destinations and in general add to the congestion on the highways where we have enjoyed our freedom for the last 11 months?


Uncle Eli showed off a sanding project in a little machine.... then led us to the other warehouse that housed the 80 ton press (yes kids, that's like 3 Bussies stacked on top of each other). He owns a fabrication shop that can make about anything. We saw the birth of exhaust pipe repair clamps, battery hold downs, railroad tie splicing spikes, and hide cleaning knives to name a just a few. Seeing the work going on here made selling popcorn and sweeping up a movie theater lobby look like a pretty comfy job...


This HUGE snapping turtle didn't stay at the house long- Gramps was worried that he would consume all of the fish in the lake- so we returned him to the watery ditch that he came from, far away from this piece of Ohio. We just had him long enough to take a good look, but didn't give into suggestions that we donate him to some local friends for turtle soup. (He is safe and sound back in his original home). No children were injured in the making of this photograph.


Even though we've got at least a dozen safety fairs under our belts, we spent a little while poking around the Westfield Company Safety Fair, and saw the Medina County Sheriff's new SWAT vehicle. Those bars on the side are the second story ram that hooks onto the front. As tough and rugged as this penetrating bombproof armored car was, the deputy declined our offer to have the kids climb in and test the troop seats out (they had been climbing in and out of the other rescue vehicles on site). We think they were trying to keep the carpet clean, but said it was so 'no one got hurt'. A neat feature was the intercom from the driver to right outside the drivers bulletproof glass, probably so they could order a cold soda at Wendy's and have it passed through the gun port that you can see in the rear of the vehicle. Probably, that's how it works.



Planting flowers at Great Grandmas house with military precision. ..


.. then mulching in around our work. We all enjoyed a day of cleaning up, trimming, planting and visiting with Gr Grandma.

We set out with a goal of getting involved in communities as we rolled along, seeking out service opportunities and have not been very successful. Maybe in part because we always seem to be planning for what’s next, and have tunneled into making those plans, we haven’t reached far enough out to find service opportunities. Perhaps that’s why we have decided to tuck one more experience in before the wheels on Bussie stop rolling with 9 souls aboard. We’re headed for Joplin, MO to see what piece of the puzzle we can help fit back in. We’re hoping to find an assignment as a family, and are working some leads on just that, which will surely develop as we get closer. (if you have suggestions, email or call)



Simon landed this blue gill from the lake- just one of the many fish that we'd meet during our stay.



We timed it right, and were able to go to the Blue Tip Parade in Wadsworth with Kellys HS friend Wendy & her family (remember that we met up with them in Florida on spring break). We're driving into town in this pic, and passing the chairs and blankets and caution tape that has been staked out since Saturday (and today is Tuesday!). Parades are serious business in Ohio.


After Ken (Wendys husband) called my attention to my Roswell shirt, and the alien marching down the parade route, I had no choice but to call the alien over and take this opportunity. I would say that this picture sure makes me look fat, and that my shirt is untucked and billowing in the wind, but I'm secure in my fit-ness and won't call any more attention to it.


Who has ever heard of a parade that throws out ICE CREAM BARS to the audience? Right-o, only in Ohio at the Blue Tip Parade. 4 ice cream vans handing out- rather- THROWING ice cream bars into the sweaty appreciative crowd. I did get hit in the head with one, but took my revenge on a rapidly softening chocolate crumble bar.


Mini sharks? Windmills? No, vertebrae! Take note Drs Spencer, this would make a sweet entry in the rodeo parade...


At our first auction, we went for the pedal boats and came home with a phone, bike, and misc doo-dads. Ahhh the thrill of the auctioneer asking for YOUR number when you win the bid! I'm tempted to make a return trip with a trailer just to bring back some garage sale class for our Colorado neighbors.

Thanks, Ohio! For your auction treasures, warm family reception, Amish buggies in the roadway, fun & reliable friends, and for a time to let the momentum wind down a bit before engaging the next gear of our trip.



Many days end just like this... problem was that this time- it was the middle of the day after a busy morning, and the woke back up and played way past parents bedtime.