Friday, May 02, 2008

Final Travels

Saturday morning we left the Lautenschlager home for our final day of traveling. Just east of the Lautenschlagers we took a brief detour to drive through the South Dakota Badlands. Of course, we had to get out and climb around a bit... but somehow didn't get any pictures when we were outside of the van.

Actually, I think someone might have gotten a couple of pictures on their phone, but I don't have those here. We could have spent all day there, but time continued to pass, and we weren't getting any closer to home...

Of course, we all had to remember the last time we were here, when our last family photo (before any of us kids were married off) was taken:

...back in October of 2002! We didn't take the time to try to find the exact spot that the picture was taken, but we did discuss where we thought it was. Based on that brief discussion, it may have taken us awhile to find and agree on the exact spot anyway! But we do have that picture around still - and even if it was windy and we look as if we had just spent all day traveling (which, of course, we had), it is still a favorite family photo and is framed in a place of honor in our living room.

After that stop, the compass really didn't change much. We headed SE on Route 90 for several long hours and at the time we crossed back into our dear old home state of Illinois - most of us were fast asleep! It was 3:17am CST, according to the clock in the van, when we at last pulled onto our gravel driveway and saw "home" once again.

In the headlights we saw that the trees and grass were considerably greener than when we had left time (at which point they hadn't been green at all). As we walked onto the deck we heard a high pitched mewing that indicated our suspicions (that our cat would have kittens while we were gone) had proved correct. Walking through the doors, even - or perhaps especially - at that hour, I realized again what a lovely home we have been blessed with...

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