NEW RICHLAND-HARTLAND-ELLENDALE-GENEVA AREA

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Lois and Duane Aitchison are at their hideaway cabin on Beaver Lake on a beautiful clear day (the kind of day that would make an atheist wonder).

An SUV pulls in, honks the horn, rolls down the windows and both him and her stay in the vehicle.

Lois and Duane walk over to the SUV, and the lady informs them they are looking to buy a place on Beaver Lake. The lady asks Lois what kind of people live on Beaver Lake. Lois asks “What kind of people do you live by now?” The man replies, “Grumpy, stuck-up, snobbish, ornery.” 

Duane says, “The same kind live here.” The man and lady roll up the windows and drive away.

Two weeks later, on another beautiful day, the same thing — only this time, a different man and lady walk up to the cabin and ring the doorbell. Pleasantries are exchanged and Lois asks “What kind of people do you live by now?” The man replies, “Friendly, easy-going, pleasant.” 

Duane says, “The same kind live here.”

Genie and I drove to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where our daughter Deb and son-in-law Roland live, and then we rode in their 50+ miles-per-gallon Prius to the Outer Banks of North Carolina on the Atlantic Ocean. Deb’s birthday and Father’s Day were the same day this year (Sunday, June 17). 

We enjoyed a Sunday brunch (after coming back from the Outer Banks) at Tripps Restaurant in Winston-Salem with Roland’s sister Barbara and her husband, Lloyd. We thought “Tripps” was the place to go seeing as how Genie and I were on a “trip.”

The following are some of the interesting things we noticed in the 1,475-mile drive each way.

Car license plates issued in the Outer Banks begin with OBX.

Some Kentucky, Indiana and South Carolina license plates have “In God We Trust” on the plates.

A Virginia pickup truck with two Good Ol’ Boys and the license plate “EWE-HLR.”

In quizzing them, they hauled rams to various places to “service” ewes, thus “Ewe-Hauler.” They were on their way home from delivering a ram in Iowa.

A sign reading “Horse-pital Next Right.”

A sign reading “Comfort Station” for tired travelers.

On Pope Road, a sign reading “Hill Blocks View.” We looked, but no Pope did we see. Guess the hill blocked our view of the Pope.

A church in the Outer Banks with a Subway restaurant as part of the church proper (Verlaine Williams of Albert Lea tells me it was on an early-morning TV program she saw). Guess they were following that old Bible saying, “Feed them and they will come.”

A bright yellow semi headed for the world’s largest truck stop on I-80 in Iowa. The door had New Richland, MN on the side.

The freeway speed limit ranged from 60 to 70 mph. Trucks were legal on only some of the lanes.

In watching car license plates, we saw 45 of the 50 states.

Gas was $3.16.9 in the state of Virginia.

Based on the people who stopped to talk to Lois and Duane at the beginning of this article, can you figure out what kind of people Genie and I experienced on our 2,950-mile trip?

Rosie at the Super 8 in Peoria, Illinois.

Peter, Mary, and Pat at the Comfort Inn, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Pixie, April and Warren at the Comfort Inn, Nags Head, North Carolina on the Atlantic Ocean.

If you said, “Friendly, easy-going, pleasant,” you’re right on!

We stopped at our house in Albert Lea prior to continuing on to Beaver Lake upon our return. Surprise! Air conditioning was out. A call to Johnson Heating and Air Conditioning (also residents at Beaver Lake) and with quick service and mega bucks on the credit card, we now have air. Thanks, Kevin and crew, for the speedy service.

Thanks to Earl and Rosemary Colstrup for feeding the birds at Beaver Lake.

Thanks to Ken Bertelson for being Central Freeborn Lutheran Church Greeter while I was gone.

Ah yes, Beaver Lake, what a great place to come back to!

— — —

Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. This is the Hanson’s 37th summer at Beaver Lake. They leave the lake in mid-October to go south — to Albert Lea — and return in April. Bob says if you enjoy his article, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of Wisdom: There is always room for God. 

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