Several months ago Sister Two asked me to go with her in July
to pick up Niece One from nerd camp in Columbus.
I readily agreed and then she suggested going to see Grandma Martin since it was so close.
I figured I probably should go up since it had been nine years since I was last there.
We needed to leave by 6:30 so I was up at o'early to make it to her house in time.
We loaded up and headed out.
Not long after pulling out of Sister Two's driveway, we saw our first wildlife.
"Badgers can roll your car if you hit them."
Sister Two and I have grown up hearing this pearl of wisdom.
It was the first thing we both said when we determined that it
was indeed a badger that had crossed the road in front of us.
The ability to roll a car is probably the reason behind this sign:
Little did we know that we would laugh all the way to Columbus.
There was one point in which I'm not sure how Sister Two managed to keep the pick-up on the road.
I was having trouble breathing, much less trying to drive.
Sister Two thought she had missed a turn when we were headed to Brewster, so she checked with On-Star.
"Good morning, how can I help you this morning?" boomed a cheery voice.
On-Star operators are always cheerful. It's a little scary.
No one is naturally that cheery.
"We need to get to Brewster," my sister replied.
"Ma'am, you're in Brewster."
That was reassuring because we thought we were surrounded by fields.
We made it to Columbus with time to spare.
Niece One was glad to see us.
Really, she was just glad to get in the vehicle so she could read.
You could ask Niece One any question about Harry Potter and in turn, you would receive a dissertation.
Sister Two had researched theaters en route that had a matinee showing of Harry Potter 6, but she came up empty-handed. We just weren't in the right place at the right time. I was bummed because there is one spot in the movie where I intended to grab Niece One and scare the bejeebers out of her.
When we reached Yankton, we were pleasantly surprised to find a new bridge.
My fear of bridges began in Yankton.
This is the old bridge.
It doesn't look that scary from this perspective, but trust me, it was.
Traffic went one way on the bottom of the bridge and the other way on the top.
I think the top went into Yankton and the bottom left Yankton.
When we were kids, we had an old camper where there were beds above the drivers seat. There was a window out the front where you could watch the road. Going over that bridge while laying up there watching did me in. I hate bridges, so I was happy to see the new one.
We drove up and were greeted by the familiar planter full of blooms.
Aunt Gay greeted us at the door.
Grandma had been waiting for us and kept asking when we would arrive.
We hadn't been there more than ten minutes before
we got the, "Youse kids hungry? Let's make a little sandwich."
90 years old and she's still pushing food.
We had a great visit. We heard lots of family stories and Sister Two was adept at keeping Grandma talking.
This picture has now become one of my favorites of Sister Two.
Niece Two had heard lots of stories about Grandma's, so she investigated and took pictures of all those things she had heard so much about.
These are pictures from Grandmother Fritzler's house and
they aren't even the really scary ones that hung in the attic!
The truly scary ones were done by Grandma Lou:
This is our dear departed sister. Unfortunately there is one of these ugly-ass things for each one of us.
They have hung in the same exact place since 1975. I bet Grandma's never had a problem with mice.
This was made by our cousin and has been in the same exact spot for as long as I can remember.
Probably the biggest surprise for Niece Two was this:
I don't think she'd ever seen a rotary dial phone before!
Of course, it wasn't long before the Nieces went outside and explored the yard.
Mulberries and raspberries played a very important part in Sister Two's and my development.
Grandma Martin inherited Grandma Fritzler's green thumb.
She has three mulberry trees and some black raspberry bushes.
Niece Two found both the mulberries and the raspberries.
We stayed up very, very late talking. We couldn't believe how Grandma hung in there with us.
Sister Two and I woke up very early.
Fortunately we had slept in the room with all of the picture albums, so we amused ourselves for two hours while the rest of the household slumbered. I had never seen pictures of Dad in his graduation robe.
Grandma has more pictures of Sister Two and Sister Three than mom does!
After the rest of the household awoke, we got up and had the prerequiste four hour breakfast.
Aunt Sharon joined us.
By this time, Niece One was wondering if it would ever end.
I, on the other hand, was immensely enjoying myself.
Time just flew by and before we knew it (seriously, Niece One it did fly by)
we were taking the posed pictures that Grandma requires.
Finally, after 101 different configurations, we moved outside
to take even more pictures.
Grandma even came outside with us.
On the way out of town, we passed the sign for Gavin's Dam.
Impulsively, I told Sister Two to turn and take a side trip.
I figured we wouldn't be up again for awhile, and the Nieces should see it.
We drove across the bridge
to this observation spot where people were fishing
and dogs were swimming.
I wish we would have had more time to spend there.
Soon we were on the road again, and the nieces were acting goofy.
We had to take another side trip to see a historical bridge.
It was a bit disappointing, but the view was beautiful.
We also stopped at a roadside pond where these two swans were swimming.
We even drove down a private road to get a better view, but don't tell anyone.
We reached Valentine to discover that the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was at the casino in Rosebud.
Actually, they had been there the day before, so we weren't tempted and we drove the rest of the way home.
It was a great trip, but we are all glad to be home.