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A Quiet Holiday Weekend
After lunch, Gerald phoned excitedly from the lake.  We’ve had  a season of broken eggs in flower bed nests, and we had given up hope of any new ducklings this summer.  But there were seven tiny baby ducklings swimming with their mother.  We have no idea where she managed to safely hide away her nest.  It is fascinating that as soon as the ducks are hatched, the mother leads them to the water and they swim instantly.  At least they do if a turtle or bass does not snatch them. Perhaps this mama duck was careful to see that nothing was there to grab her babies before she lead them into the water. Gerald wonders if this is the same mama that successfully raised seven ducklings last summer. 
  We were proud to show the ducks off this afternoon when Brian and Mary Ellen’s family dropped in for a brief visit. Brian’s mother Dorothy was up for the holiday weekend from The Villages in Florida, and Brian didn’t want her to return in the morning without seeing his beautiful crops. Dorothy is one of the most successful professional women I know, but she understands agriculture and appreciates a fine crop.  While Mary Ellen, Dorothy, and Fifi went to view the corn and soybeans up at Wayside, we took Trent and Brianna on a boat ride around the lake to enjoy seeing the little ducks swim behind their mother.
  We’ve had a quiet holiday weekend without company until today. We enjoyed the freedom to stay home and do what we wanted on the Fourth—which was very little since it rained all morning,  Gerald kept us updated on the tournament that our two Southern Force teams were playing in Colorado.  Gerry’s entire clan was gathered there.    Our friend Bill Tweedy dropped by Thursday morning and reminded us that yesterday was the annual Glasco get-together.  
  Rocky Comfort Road is one of my favorite drives in our area, and the weather yesterday was perfect for a gathering on a shaded lawn.  So after lunch at my favorite restaurant, we joined the assembled family at Troy and Bobbie’s hill-top home.  The women talked, and Cousin Wilma, who was too sick last year to come, kept us laughing as she shared the joy of being alive after a successful bout with cancer. 
  The men were in their usual story-telling mode and their recall of past adventures was also punctuated with much laugher.  Troy explained the maple sugar making process and showed the holes where the sweetness had been extracted right there in their yard.
  One seven-year-old great grandson amazed me with his fascinated enjoyment of blowing bubbles and his extraordinary attention span at this task. I had a feeling that he was learning physics or something to help him in his love of air planes.   His four-year-old brother was all over the place charming with his smile, and there was never a cross word between the two. Teens and younger adults came and went in their pickup trucks and joined in the game of washers. 
  We bid farewell and drove home through Giant City Park on our way to Marion, where we stopped at Sam’s Warehouse to restock some groceries and to buy some supplies for Vacation Bible School.  After a bowl of soup at Honeybakers, we were back to the farm and finished the evening preparing for today.