July 25, 2016


Summertime and the living is easy! I love it when folks send me news about their vacations. I like it for two reasons: love to read about places to go and it makes writing this column so-o-o easy. The first trip is about Jan and Burlon Wilkerson.

Each summer we try to take our grandchildren on some sort of trip.  This year we went with Annabeth and Ryan to the Museum of Natural Science in Houston to the IMAX.  We watched a 3D movie about dinosaurs.  It was interesting and we all tried to reach out and touch one of the dinosaurs as it seemed to come out of the screen toward us. That night we went to Brenham and spent the night.  The next morning our 3 year old granddaughter, Neely, joined us for a trip to Newman’s Castle in Bellville.  Mike Newman owns the Newman Bakery in Bellville.  Several years ago he decided he wanted a castle, so he built one.  It is very impressive with guest rooms, a grand hall, bell tower, moat and draw bride, and a catapult!  Mike Newman–the Lord of the Castle, knighted all of the kids.  They then carried swords around with them as they visited the dungeon.  (Ryan was locked into a cage there.)  They climbed to the top of the bell tower and rung the bells, and had lunch in the castle.

Everyone was tired when the Wilkersons got back to Diboll and the next day was Jan’s birthday.  She and Burlon traveled to Webster to participate in a Murder Mystery.  “Murder by Chocolate” included a dessert bar that all the participants enjoyed before seeking out the clues to find the murderer.  It was a fun evening and they shopped all the way home on Sunday.

The Irvin McWilliams have taken a couple of trips recently. The first is about an Alaskan cruise and the second is a family vacation to Branson.

In June, Irvin and I traveled with good friends, Gary and Colleen Lacox, to Seattle, Washington for our cruise to Alaska.  We flew into Seattle a few days early so we could do some sightseeing.  We visited the Pike’s Market Place and also made a trip up to Mt. Rainier.  We were blessed with beautiful country sides, rivers, waterfalls and snow lingering from the winter.  After a few days, we departed from Seattle on the Carnival Legend to cruise to Alaska.  We visited and saw many sights and places while on the 7 day cruise.  We were able to see God’s handiwork at Glacier Bay and at the Edmonton Fjord.  The glaciers were beautiful and intriguing.  One of the days we took a boat out to the Tracy arm fjord to get a closer look at the glaciers and to see several humpback whales blowing and slapping in the water.  We watched as small ice bergs floated by us with seals and seal pups casually resting on them.  We saw breath taking views when we went into the Yukon Territory by bus to learn about the history of the days of the gold rush.  We visited the town of Skagway and then rode a train back to quaint picturesque town. Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska were also wonderful places to visit and see all the beauty of nature at every turn, from waterfalls, glaciers, humpback whales, bears, dolphins, sea lions, eagles, and so much more that nature has to offer!  After 7 days of cruising we headed home with wonderful memories of Alaska, wonderful friends and wonderful food.  We can’t wait to go back!

Also, we enjoyed a few days in Branson with our two daughters and their families!  The Nash’s, Williams’, and Irvin and I visited Branson, Missouri in early July.  The grandkids loved the many race tracks, pet shows and waterparks each day.  We visited Silver Dollar City and had to drag the kids out of the park that evening!  Many hours spent in the pool each night at the hotel after many activities of each day.  We took the kids to the Waterpark for the day and then visited the Baldknobbers show that evening. The kids absolutely loved the comedians that make the show so enjoyable! During the day we also took a tour of the Wax Museum and Ripley’s Believe it or not…the kids were in awe of the biggest roll of toilet paper, a Hulk made out of car parts and two-headed calves at Ripley’s and of course the many “famous” people they met at the wax museum.  It was such a fun time. We finished our trip by going to the Sight and Sound Theater to see the play, Moses.  It was a spectacular production of Moses’ life and God’s blessings complete with live animals, flying Angels and great acting, this show is a must see for sure.   The entire group of us were in awe of the show and grateful to have been able to see it!  The grandkids agreed it was their favorite place to visit and are ready to go back. Branson is a great get-away and is very family-friendly!

Owners of His & Hers Trade Days in Burke, David and Charlotte Carter, are becoming expert “pickers” and I love to hear about their latest “chachkies”. Here is their latest adventure.

After a 2600 mile trip through the heart of America we came back home stacked and packed with treasures.  David has had many request for windmill blades so his primary purpose this trip was to find some!  We headed directly north toward Oklahoma and Kansas.  We asked around at a few farm stores and finally got a couple of leads.  We ended up in Alva Oklahoma at gentleman’s business who works with water wells and windmills.  He hooked us up with a good start and we know where to go now! After loading the windmill blades and tails we went on up to Hays, Kansas and visited with David’s niece, sister in law, and a friend of theirs. It was very hot there but they do have a constant wind that helps. They treated us to a really good meal in one of their local restaurants.  We left there the next morning heading to Huntingburg, Indiana to shop a place where we always find ‘good stuff.’ We made a couple of stops in route and found a few, as David says, ‘chachkies.’ We woke up in Huntingburg to a little thunder storm but it moved on so we shopped there and in Jasper, IN.  David’s daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live in Bedford, Indiana so we spent the evening and night with them.  We had a great time playing in the local park.  Saturday morning we all drove to Madison, Indiana where they were having a ‘Picker Weekend.’  None of us had ever been and it sounded like a fun thing to do.  Due to the heat I’m sure, not very many vendors were there!  David can find a needle in a hay stack though!  One of the vendors had our pick of the trip!  He was able to buy a Griswald Milk Box that they used to attach to the outside of the house for milk delivery. We enjoyed lunch with the family and then headed south toward Memphis.  Of course we did stop at a few sales along the way.  We had a great trip and were grateful to get home safe and sound AND in time to enjoy the rain! As I write this David is unloading and cleaning all of his treasures.

What great trips, thanks to all of you for sharing and let’s not forget to check out the latest at His & Hers Trade Days on Hwy 59 in Burke. They are open during the week and on weekends.

Come see us…’round the table.