Mike and Susie had a copy of the Klein flash card pack, and had been brushing up on our names and did a FABULOUS job! Wow!
Mike and Susie are the parents of Alex and Alison (twins, 5 in July) and baby Emily (6 mos). The have lived at Lake Almanor since the twins were 7 mos old. Mike jumps out of helicopters into forest fires, stuff like that. The kids were in rapt wonder as he told stories about his time in Texas, helping with the Space Shuttle recovery effot, fending off snakes in thorn bush terrain, accidentally swallowing a poisionous spider, 14 hour days, etc. (Debbie noticed the bugged out eyes of some of the children, and slyly elbowed Dave, suggesting he tell of some of the harrowing computer bugs he has dealt with, drinking an entire pot of coffee in 4 hours, etc.)
Susie worked for the Susanville school district, until Baby Emily came along. Now she is home full time and doing a great job with her little nuts.
As mentioned, they have what some people would consider a forest in their backyard, and it smells like there is a pine scent tree car freshener factory nearby. Really grates on you, you know?
So, they got pines, they got rivers, they got volcanic rock, they drink melted snow from the tap, pine cones, mountains. Apart from that, its really not that bad.
Mike has a small Home Depot thing going on in his garage, and made modifications to the taco bed, and gave Dave and the boys a beginner's tour of the engine, since he works with similar vehicles in his work. That was tremendously helpful. After a few beers, he said our bus looked pretty good, and we would probably make it to Sacramento without a problem, since it was mostly downhill.
While the guys were doing mechanic-y things, Susie and Debbie took most of the children on a walk around their neighborhood. It was a beautiful day. Since we had been so swamped with cleaning up the bus and airing out our sleeping bags (they now smell like pristine pine forest, sigh), we didn't lounge and chat as much as we would have liked. But it was still great to spend some time together and see how well she is doing. We are talking them into flying south for the winter, before all that irritating white stuff takes over their area.
The Yearwood cousins adapted well with the inundation of Klein cousins, and enduring Noah's "Big Wheel Overload Syndrome". Next time we need to work on turn-taking skills.
Grandma Birdy enjoyed a day with all the grandchildren, and we got some great photos with her and us. Grandma has gotten herself a computer, and she's not afraid to tell people about it. Hopefully she is reading the blog by now. Hi Grandma! We love you! Thanks for the stuff!
One of Debbie's funniest memories is when Susie explained she was turning on her engine a few minutes before departure to run the air conditioner. It was funny because after 3 weeks in the bus, I could not tell her Toyota minivan was even on!
So it was a great time, and we are so glad we made it up there. We would definately do it again, and give the Yearwood lodge a 14 star rating!