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Kentucky Lake

Today is the Sunday following Thanksgiving and there is a blizzard in Iowa headed toward us. I am reminded of our many trips to Kentucky to celebrate Thanksgiving with Buck’s folks at their Kentucky Lake home and often our return trip was an icy, snowy event. In those days Interstate 39 was just being laid out and the two lane 51 highway was our only path back home. In those years the bridge at Paducah was scary to cross especially with ice. At times it was a treacherous drive.

School was out at two on Wednesday afternoon beginning the holiday. We drove by the schools and picked up our four kids, then headed south toward Kentucky. At the time there were no seat belt laws, so everyone pretty much found a place to get comfortable for the eight-hour drive.

When we arrived, the folks welcomed us but thinking back I wonder if they didn’t cringe just a little, when four kids, two adults, and a cocker spaniel burst in on their cozy home. If they did, they hid it well because we always felt comfortable and right at home.

I remember so many things. One year we traveled to Paducah to buy Buck’s mom an electric organ he wanted her to have so she could take lessons. Another time we again traveled to Paducah to purchase Buck’s dad a shot gun. Darn those pesky squirrels! He would usually shoot hedge balls and mistletoe. But the vision that I remember most is the year Kim raked up a big pile of oak leaves and taught herself how to do a back flip using the big pile of leaves as a cushion. She worked on it all weekend until she finally succeeded.

As I have mentioned before, Buck’s mom was a great cook, so eating Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful! I can remember good food, heavenly aromas and then, nap time…. for them. The kids and I usually did some hiking along the lake and when we were outside in the cold, I recall there was the smell of fireplaces burning. No nap for us. Generally, there was a card game at night…gin-rummy, Kentucky rules, which meant Buck’s dad usually won.

We had summer trips to Kentucky Lake, but that is for us another time.

Happy Thanksgiving and dig out the snow shovel. I think we will need it.


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