Home Sweet Utica

We have settled in Utica, IL for a nice two month stay. This is the closest campground nearest our daughter, Jessica, who lives in Princeton, IL. We are excited to be back because we haven't seen our newest granddaughter, Lily, since she was born in January.

We've stayed at Hickory Hollows Campground several times, and it's one of our favorites. The people are very nice, the sites are nice, especially when they put us in the "back 40" as I call it. When we're the long timers here, they put us way in the back along the farmer's field. One year he planted corn, one year he had soy beans. It's kind of cool to be upcloseandpersonal to nature, you know? There wasn't anybody else around when we got here on May 1st. I called us "Little Trailer on the Prairie."

The campground fills up on the weekend, especially as the month goes by. One Thursday morning I left an empty campground to go to Jessica's; came home at 10:00 pm to find the campground completely full! It seems that a whole camping group of coaches (buses) had come in earlier in the day.

While we're in the area, I am babysitting Lily on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's a joy to have some bonding time with her. She seems to enjoy Grandma's singing (she's a "captive" audience, right?)

The other days are spent however we want - some studying (me - a photography course through New York Institute of Photography) and Jim, well, he got himself interested in a psaltery. Never heard of that? Me neither. It is a stringed musical instrument that is part of the harp or zither family. When we stayed at the Paducah campground, the owner had a psaltery that he played with a bow. He played a few tunes for Jim and told Jim that he had taught himself. Jim was so impressed and that's all he talked about the next few days. He surfed the net, found a used one, and the next thing I know, there are some strange high pitched sounds coming out of my living room. Thank God we can close the door to that room! But we all have to start somewhere! I give him credit for trying to learn this.

The other hours are filled with reading, writing, cleaning, errands, or just walking around and taking photos. It's nice not having to pack up the trailer every day and head out. That gets old REAL QUICK. So for now, Utica is where we call home, at least until July. Then we move up to Marengo, IL, where we're closer to my family and our old stomping grounds.
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