Day 44 – Meet the Parents

In the long, long trip of growing, there are stops along the way.  It’s important to know when we need to stop, reflect, and receive.  In our competitive world, that might be called a waste of time.  I’ve learned that those times can be the preamble to periods of enormous growth. – Fred Rogers

We were packing up our tent when we heard Ronnie yell, “Coffee, tea, water, or me?”  Tara chose coffee.  John-Michael chose Ronnie.

Over a pot of coffee, Ronnie told us that if we could get there in time, breakfast was on him at the Sunshine Restaurant.  He felt strongly that granola bars were an insufficient breakfast.  We told him we would try to make it in time, but the weather tried its hardest to get in our way.  It poured, but we put on our rain gear and made haste.

Along the way, two cars pulled up at the same time.  One had Jane and a jovial taunt from Ronnie.  To our pleasant surprise, the other contained Waber and his daughter, Suzie.  Waber had grabbed a bunch of food items from his pantry and thrown them in a box.  He hauled out the box and told us to take whatever we thought would be useful.  Also, he brought us some chocolate milk.  He must be reading the blog.  Despite needing to get back to Indianapolis for Suzie’s basketball game, Waber and Suzie joined us for breakfast.

Jane, Suzie, Waber, and Ronnie. We really need to remember to remove our reflective vests for flash-photography.

After stuffing ourselves, we waddled out of Richmond and made our way west.  Because we were a short Sunday drive from where our parents live, both Tara’s and John-Michael’s parents planned on finding us along the road somewhere during the day.  Amazingly, despite not coordinating anything specific (a near impossible task when walking these distances), we all arrived in a laundromat parking lot at precisely the same moment.

Our parents: Sandra, Lanny, Connie, and Mike. We’ll let you guess which ones are Tara’s folks and which are JM’s.

Shoe swap! We’ve each worn through our first pair, so we had Mike and Connie bring us a new set.

After exchanging hugs and shoes, we headed a few blocks back, where a bar was the only establishment open this wet Sunday afternoon.  You could practically hear the record scratch as the music stopped and all the locals turned to look at us when we walked in.

Sometimes you wanna go, where nobody knows your name. And they’re not sure why you came.

After our parents ate some lunch (we were still full from breakfast) and we all enjoyed some sodas, it was time get going again.  Our moms took turns pushing the carts back to our meeting place.

Tara’s mom, walking and rolling.

JM’s mom, walking and rolling.

Sandra walking. Lanny rolling (alongside in the warm and dry car).


We said our goodbyes, then spent the rest of the afternoon walking the Indiana countryside through a drizzle and shrouded by gray skies.

Luckily, we have friends who lived in a town nearby.  In the early evening, we met at a gas station where they offered to pick us up and bring us back tomorrow morning.

The evening was spent relaxing, dining, and hanging out with Mandy, Jonathan, their great kids, Kendal and Carter, and their sweet dog, Emma.  Kendal and Carter made some beautiful drawings for us, and handed out lots of hugs and love.  As a nightcap, Kendal and Mandy baked cake-cookies for us all to enjoy.

Jonathan, Kendal, Mandy, and Carter

Kendal’s art.

Carter’s art.

What do I do? I’m not used to getting hugs from kids.