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8/21/09, Ionia, MI - This first day of driving on the way back to Indiana was fantastic. In the morning we drove the 8 miles to Lyons, MI for a family luncheon at the local tavern.  On board were my sister Debbie, her friend Anne Marie, my brother Jimís son Preston and my sister Sueís son (little) Jake. It was a great hitch. We took a quick break at the diner in Muir and grabbed a cup of coffee. Then we drove the last couple of miles to Lyons.

I unhitched the team in Lyons and gave them their oats while we went inside for a couple of beers and lunch.  It was a pretty good crowd, with my dad, two of my sisters, my brother, grandpa, two nephews and a niece showing up.

After lunch, my brother Jim and nephews Preston and Jake hopped on board for the 10 mile drive to my cousins Timís farm in Ionia. Everybody had a great time.  The boys enjoyed a few hands of gin rummy in the back for much of the ride. We stopped and talked with a few folks in Lyons and on the road. Once we turned on the gravel road for the last mile, everybody got a chance to get out and stretch their bones, including me. 

The team was very strong and pulled in to Timís place with plenty of zip left in them. After turning them into a paddock and giving them some water and feed, we were off to Grand Rapids for dinner with a really big crowd of family which included my mom, aunt, cousins and everybody else that was in Lyons.  It was a heck of family reunion.

Tonight Iím back out at Timís place with the horses and Clementine.  Tomorrow weíre headed south down M-66.

This day was definitely a trump card for the trip up to Michigan.  You never really appreciate family like when youíre reacquainted after a long separation.  They are your link to the past, joy for the present and hope for the future.  Make a point out of doing things with your family (hugging, laughing, dancing, etc.) - itís just about the nicest thing you can do.

 

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Bill sporting a new look with Preston

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Nephew Preston with Team

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Preston, Grandpa Jake & Sister Deb

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Family members at tavern in Lyons, MI for Lunch

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Nephews Jake and Preston playing cards in wagon as we rolled down the road.

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Brother Jim handling the lines

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Jim & his son Preston trying to outrun the horses.  They did good until we broke in to a trot.

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Before dinner I danced with my sister Sueís daughter Emily while her son Jake got to dance with Debbieís friend Anne.