by Barbara Taylor with Homer S. Sewell III
It has been a few very cold and snow-covered weeks since we last reported in to you. We have heard from friends back there in Pickens County that you have also had some bad weather. Any time you feel you are having it cold there, think about what we have endured up here in Minnesota and Wisconsin for the last three weeks. We have seen actual temperatures range from 15 below to highs of 15 above and wind-chill factors to 30 below. Everywhere we travel there is nothing but snow....some as much as a foot or more in depth and drifts up to six feet or more. Our water pipes in the AbeMobile have been frozen for days at a time. It is NOT fun to take bathes from a pot of hot water on the stove! We are ready to get out of the cold and find warmer climates further west and south.
On Tuesday, January 18 we were in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. Homer spoke at the Beaver Lake Elem School in Maplewood. We took a trip over to the Mall of America and looked around in the second largest mall in the world. We rode the roller coaster. There was also a merry-go-round, a Ferris wheel and lots of rides inside this big, beautiful mall. I got me some new glasses so now I can read a lot easier. Homer bought me some Timberland boots which are nice for getting out in this cold and snow.
While we were parked at the Beaver Lake school a big snow and ice storm came thru and dumped about five or six inches of snow all over us. The state and county road folks up here know how to deal with it a lot better than we do in Georgia. They start scraping ,salting and sanding as soon as it starts coming down. So the roads stay passable most of the time.
Homer then drove the car 160 miles over to Wisconsin to speak at the Holy Rosary School in Medford, Wisconsin, came back and spoke to the Middleton Elem School and a father-son banquet at the Woodbury Lutheran Church in Woodbury, Minnesota. We stayed with the Doyle family in Woodbury. It was nice to be warm and be able to take a hot shower for the first time in several days. Our pipes had been frozen again. Homer had met them at Mount Rushmore last summer.
The week of the 24th of January took Homer to G. D. Jones Elem School in Wausau, the Merton Primary and Intermediate Schools in Merton, Randall School in Bassett, First German Lutheran School in Manitowoc, the St. Paul Lutheran School in Appleton, the Valley View Elem School and the Red Smith Elem School in Green Bay. We stayed with the Weidner family in Green Bay for a couple of nights while we got the heater fixed in the RV. The fan motor and burner had both gone out on the heater. We spent $300 for the fix but it was nice to get more heat going finally.
The final week of January was spent traveling to St. Johnís Lutheran School in Watertown, Nature Ridge Elem School in Bartlett, Illinois, Dickinson Elem School in DePere, Prospect Elem School in Lake Mills and Southside Elem School in Sparta....all in Wisconsin except for the trip back down to the Chicago area for the Bartlett school. The principal at the St. Johnís Lutheran School was nice enough to allow us to park in their parking lot for a few days and hooked us up to electricity. There are no campgrounds open up here this time of year so it is nice to be able to park somewhere we can get electricity hooked up to the AbeMobile.
We are spending this weekend parked in the driveway of the Rothberger family here in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Lance is a doctor and Linda teaches at school, runs a travel agency and keeps all the books for Lance. Their children, Tim and Sara will be at the school tomorrow that Homer will speak to....St. Josephís Catholic School in Fort Atkinson.
The other Mr. Lincoln spent a couple of weeks here in the area back in 1832 during the Black Hawk Indian War. He was Captain of a small group of Army soldiers who were chasing the Indians from Illinois to here in Wisconsin. There are also some Indian mounds located nearby on the shores of Lake Koshkonong so we visited them yesterday. Linda took us to the Hoard Historical Museum in town. They have a lot of really wonderful old things there including an entire room devoted to Mr. Lincoln and a rather large collection of books donated to the museum. That was interesting to see all of the things there. We also stopped by a thrift store to look around and found some more tins to add to our collection and Homer bought me another doll with a musical movement in her. She is a nice addition to my doll collection.
I have been working all week on making some more angels that we sell in the Abe Store in schools. I made about 75 of them and some teddy bear angels.
Hope you and your family are doing well and staying warm back in sunny Georgia. Whatever your weather is there is probably a heat wave compared to what we have been having. Keep soaring with the eagles. Until next time....Barbara and Homer signing off for now.....