Just when we thought that we wouldn't be back in our hometown of Rochester until next summer, we were able to enjoy a "bonus" stopover last week! We are so fortunate that it is just off the Interstate on our way to South Dakota, and we were able to enjoy the abundant harvest of flowers, fresh produce and friends during our visit!
We were able to get reservations at one of our favorite Rochester campgrounds - Chester Woods County Park. Located about ten miles east of town, it is a very popular weekend destination. But during the week, we enjoyed a quiet, almost empty campground. A flood control dam created a nice recreational lake that provides swimming, canoeing and fishing opportunities.
But it is the miles of walking paths lined with an abundance of wildflowers that makes this hidden gem our favorite.
The abundance of fresh produce came from our favorite gardener, Dave. Now, while his true talent is producing gigantic plants (we're talking 1400 pound pumpkins and 195 pound watermelons), he does a great job growing my favorite fresh produce ... tomatoes and potatoes!
He picked his first crop of tomatoes the day before we left so that I could make Doug's favorite spicy chili. I picked up some seriously large jalapenos at the Farmer's Market, so yes, there ended up being a lot of spice in this batch! While it may be too hot for most normal humans, it sends Doug into "Scooby Snack" heaven!
The gift of homegrown potatoes had me doing a happy dance also. Peel and cut them up, throw them in a fry pan with butter and whatever else you have leftover in the frig (sausage, onion, carrots, tomatoes, eggs) and you have "heavenly hash" for dinner.
It is great when dinner magically appears without much thought!
Enjoying the abundant harvest of friends is always the best reason to stop back "Home".
... Exploring the park with Ella and Maddie lead us to the discovery of huge Lincoln Logs that were stacked up to make a "fun forest fort" ... try to say that 10 times fast!
... Gathering with friends and family gave us the opportunity to celebrate the abundant gifts of those we loved.
Taking out, re-taping and replacing the window was not a lot of fun, but I felt hopeful since Doug became a window installation "pro" during our last Habitat build.
Of course, he is only smiling until the next "fix-it" project shows up ... as it is bound to do when you live in an occasionally moody Wildebeest!
Until next time ... appreciate the abundant harvests ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!