Friday, July 4, 2008

We had a wonderful week-end in Ohio! The weather was perfect, and all in all, traffic wasn't too heavy. My Fred said we could easily pass Rick & his wife on the freeway as we drove and not even know it. We stopped at the last rest area before we reached Austinburg and guess who we pulled in next to? Nancy was sitting in the car and her husband Rick was standing up on the walk-way smoking a cigar. We didn't think much of it, just two people taking a break. I came out of the rest area after Fred did and guess what? Fred was talking with these two people as if he knew them ... and in fact, he did. One of them anyway. I walked down and was greeted by Rick with a big Hello and a hug. Nancy was next to greet me and I was still a bit stunned at the providence of God. We sat at a table and talked for at least a half hour, then drove to the motel. I was so blessed to learn they are simple, down-to-earth people who don't put on "airs" .. who they are is who they are.

For a day and a half, Fred & Rick talked and talked and talked. Nancy & I smiled at them a lot and took pictures. We shared about our lives, likes and dislikes and we were both very thankful these two men had found one another and were able to talk about a time in their lives we could not relate to. Fred's time in Korea in 1968-1969 was much worse than he ever told me and those two years were later called the second Korean War. They were exposed to Agent Orange just as military in Vietnam was. Only no one told them. Rick found out when he developed cancer and sent the information to Fred a few months ago.

I am very thankful we had this time with Rick & Nancy and we plan on staying in touch and getting together again. They live quite a ways from here so it won't be as frequent as we might like, but thankfully we have email and even regular mail and of course, telephones!

We spent time at the beach as I had hoped we would, but there simply wasn't enough time to see other people except for Fred's brother and his lady friend. That was a special time too.

It's good to get away once in a while, isn't it? We hadn't been any where together in three years. Hopefully it won't be that long before we do something like this again.
Rick's wife Nancy ... it felt as though we had known each other for years

My Fred & Rick ... they didn't notice that Nancy & I were taking photos
of the two of them

My Fred & Rick catching up on 40 plus years of memories
My Fred is the bigger of the two by the way

One lone flower against a wall of stone

Looking at Lake Erie in Conneaut, Ohio

Lakeshore Park in Ashtabula, Ohio


  1. Beautiful pictures! Glad to hear you had a safe and relaxing trip!

  2. Great time you guys had.I 'd be nervous to meet up with friends from 40 years ago.

  3. What an amazing story! My heart goes out to our militery men (especially those who served in previous wars) b/c they went through so much with so little recognition and their stories remain mostly untold b/c they find those times so terribly hard to retell. Please tell Fred "thank you" for having been willing to serve and that I'm so sorry for those things he faced. I truly mean it yet it sounds so small compared to how much I truly mean it.

    So glad to see you enjoyed a safe trip.

    Blessings to you both,

  4. Okay, so my mom stole what I was going to say.

  5. Thank you, Louise, for the great pictures and for sharing your trip with us. I just can't even imagine, I know, what it has been and is now like for our service men and women. I am so glad that Fred has a friend who knows and understands fully what he has been through. And an added blessing that you and his wife are so comfortable together! I hope you will all share many more times like this together.