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Archive for June, 2007

Long trip

by on Jun.22, 2007, under Mike Hatfield Family

We made it back also and decided to do it in one day.  We got into St. Louis at 12:30 AM after a 15 1/2 hour trip.  I am glad I had a great time on vacation and got to relax as Belinda has me back to hanging ceiling fans, drapes etc.  It was good to see everyone and it seemed like everyone enjoyed the week together.  Looking forward to seeing everyone’s pictures.  As soon as Belinda gives me a few minutes to myself I will get the pictures on a disk and send them to everyone. 


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Made it back!

by on Jun.20, 2007, under Anthony Hatfield Family

We made it back safe and sound to Indy after our week of fun in SC.  I wish that I could say our trip back was just as fun.  We decided to make the return trip in one day.  We didn’t run into any major issues, except a little rain in the mountains and a few traffic delays.  But with a decent stop for lunch and dinner and a lot of pit stops, total travel time was 15.5 hours.  Thankfully the kids were pretty good.

I almost thought we were still at the beach when we woke up Sunday morning to find our grass was as brown as the sand.  Apparently we are in a small drought and had no rain while we were gone.  It also sounds like it hit at least 90 almost every day.  The good news is that the pet fish was still alive, and the dog seems glad to be home after his week at the kennel.


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Luggage has arrived.

by on Jun.19, 2007, under Donald Bingle Family

Just so you don’t worry that we lost our clothes or our games, luggage showed up about 24 hours after we landed, no doubt with many more frequent flier miles than we have.

No cicadas in our neck of the woods even yet and it was hot enough while we were gone to fry our petunias to a crisp.  Perhaps the frogs here or the moles or somesuch keep the grubs from hibernating for 17 years.


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Happy Puppies, But No Luggage

by on Jun.19, 2007, under Donald Bingle Family

Linda and I managed to get an earlier flight home, saving us close to five hours at the airport.  Despite assurances that our bags would make the flight, too, they were not on the conveyor at O’Hare and are still missing as I write.  The good news is that we got to the kennel early enough to bring happy puppies home this evening.

It was great to see everyone in South Carolina!


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Anthology News!

by on Jun.19, 2007, under Donald Bingle

Besides my story in If I Were an Evil Overlord, which I had with me in South Carolina, I had a story in Time Twisters earlier this year.  I have a story in Pandora’s Closet coming out in August and one in Fellowship Fantastic coming out on January 2, 2008.


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Isle of Palms – Friday

by on Jun.17, 2007, under Family Matters

Karen got the girls up early to try to go boogie-boarding while the tide was coming in. They were out there for almost two hours, right through high tide. Luckily for them, the high tide wasn’t nearly as high as it had been the night before. The high tide the night before had scattered all of the built up sticks from the edge of the dune away, making the step down to the beach about a foot and a half. It had also deposited a palm tree (likely one of the ones we had seen) a couple of feet away from our path.

We tried making a trip out to “Bird Island” after lunch, but the tide was still too high and it was drizzling and the wind was making it a bit too chilly, so we turned back and decided we’d make a second attempt closer to when the tide would be at its lowest. Karen, Rich, Ashley, Amber, Alyssa, Chris, Tony, Anita, and Amber ended up making the trip. We found several more (deceased) sand dollars, a couple of empty whelk shells, and another (living) starfish. Ashley and Amber took turns holding the starfish on its back while everyone took the opportunity to feel its hundreds of little legs which were frantically waving back and forth.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy. The memory books were finished, a couple of games of Blokus were played, and the packing of the vehicles began in earnest. We need to have the keys back to the rental agency by 10 a.m., so everyone is getting a pretty early start in the morning.

We finished off the evening with games of “Up and Down the River”, Rummy, and Formula De. The Formula De race ended up only being one lap instead of two as it was getting pretty late and Ashley was already falling asleep at the table between turns.

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Isle of Palms – Thursday

by on Jun.15, 2007, under Family Matters

After breakfast, Tony and Anita escaped again, this time to tour the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. Around lunch time, Tim and Tiffany headed off to the airport to start their journey home. Unfortunately, their flight out of Charleston was delayed quite a while and they ended up missing their connecting flight out of Charlotte. Overall their trip home took over 8 hours.

Karen and Ashley rode a couple of bikes they had found under the house down to the Isle of Palms city hall to take advantage of a free t-shirt offer we had found on the city’s web site. They rode down the beach about a mile and a half. They had a head wind the whole way there and the bikes have seen better days, so they were pretty worn out by the time they got there. Luckily, having a head wind on the way there meant that they had a tail wind the whole way back. While they were gone, Amber, Alyssa, and I played in the pool.

After lunch most folks either hit the beach or the pool (or both). Karen and I were headed to “Bird Island” with the girls when a local warned us that the tide was already coming in and we’d likely have rough time getting back if we went out there, so we decided to head down the beach instead. We saw several people kite boarding while out on our walk. One guy was pretty good at doing flips and such. While they made it look easy, I’m sure it takes a lot out of you.

Karen tried to take the girls out boogie-boarding again after dinner while the tide was coming in, but there must have been a storm out to sea or something because the tide was really high. Overall, folks saw a couple of palm trees, a lounge chair, and a cooler all being swept towards the inlet. Needless to say, Karen didn’t end up taking the girls boogie-boarding after all.

The evening hours saw some games of Cartegena, Rummy, and (to the bemusement of Tony and Anita) a rousing game of Pit – complete with bell, and folks working on their contributions to the memory books. The fresh air must have taken a toll on all of us, because we all made it an early evening and were in bed by midnight.

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Isle of Palms – Wednesday

by on Jun.13, 2007, under Family Matters


When we went out for our morning boating and shell hunting at low tide, we found out that someone had spotted a shark in the shallows. Soon enough we had spotted it not far from where Tim and I were wading and where Karen and the girls were boating. It was a little shark, but we were careful to keep an eye on it to make sure it was going to leave us alone (which it did).

Several of us ended up out on the farthest sand bank, which we had nicknamed Bird Island. While out there, Alyssa found another intact and partially bleached sand dollar to add to our collection. We also found a couple of whelk shells we initally thought were empty. Turns out some hermit crabs had beaten us to the empty shells and had set up residence within. We also found 3 starfish in the tidal pools out on the sandbar.

Karen and Ashley rescued a pair of bikes from the storage area under the house and eventually had them working enough to ride around in circles out on the hard sand while the tide was coming in. They had just decided to take them back to the house when the wind started whipping up. We ended up having a quick storm roll through, complete with wind and rain.

We got a couple of games in before dinner, including Abalone, Blokus, and Cartegena.

After dinner we had a short talent show. Abbie Hatfield sang Baa-Baa Black Sheep and A-B-Cs, Amber Hatfield sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the Bingle girls sang Until That which is a song that Ashley wrote the words for and is set to the tune of I Just Can’t Wait To Be King, Chris and Mom sang something, Linda showed off her Artist’s Trading Cards and gave the group two memory books for all of us to contribute to, and Don closed the show with spoon hanging and a reading of his award winning short story “My Dad”.

— Rich

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Isle of Palms – Tuesday

by on Jun.13, 2007, under Family Matters

After breakfast, Mike, Tim, Karen, and I took the 5 girls out in the ocean in 3 inflatable boats that a couple of us had brought. Two of the boats had oars, so we tied the smallest non-oared boat to the largest oared boat and tried to row around in the shallows protected by the sand bars at low tied. Unforunately, the water level was such that the adults spent a large amount of the time just getting themselves ungrounded.

Also during low-tide, there was another massive shell hunt performed. Again, we came up with lots of the fan shaped shells and occupied whelks. Karen found some living creature of unknown origins, and I found my “find of the day”, an intact (yet deceased) sand dollar.

Tony and Anita took advantage of all of the free baby-sitting and took a side trip over to Fort Summter, while Don and Linda took a drive and went shopping.

Before dinner, we took the Bingle girls down to the ocean during high tide and let them try some boogie-boarding. I seemed a bit heavy for the boards and was pretty unsuccessful, so ended up jumping the breakers with Alyssa while Karen, Ashley, and Amber got fairly good at riding the waves into shore.

Mom and I were sitting outside after dinner when I spotted what I thought was a dolphin. Turned out it wasn’t a dolphin, it was three of them! I quickly went inside and announced my discovery and grabbed Linda’s binoculars and we spent the next 20 minutes scanning the waters with the binoculars and various cameras.

After dinner, we played a 12 person game of “Up and Down the River” and then an 11 person game of double-deck elimination “Up and Down the River”. The night ended with Tim, Mike, Chris, and I playing a quick game of Cartegena.

— Rich

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Isle of Palms – Monday

by on Jun.12, 2007, under Family Matters

Several of us spent several hours out on the beach during low tide looking for shells and such. We again found lots of whelk shells, but they were again all still inhabited and had to be put back. Mike was out there quite a long time and unfortunately had failed to put sunscreen on the tops of his feet and got quite burned.

After lunch there were several games of Puerto Rico and Blokus played and several people went swimming in the pool. Tony spent an hour and stripped down and cleaned the grill in an attempt to get it working for grilling hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner. After a thourough cleaning and reconnecting the propane, things seemed to work much better.

Karen and Ashley took a couple of kites we found under the house out on the boardwalk to the beach and flew them until one of them broke loose and took off down the beach and into the water. Ashley rescued it, but it will need some repairs before it will fly again.

After dinner we all played a game of Encore. My team won despite being behind the entire game and a post-game protest by the other team. We followed that up with a game of Pictionary, which my team also won. A few of us us finished off the evening with a game of “Up and Down the River” which Mike won (and Don lost badly).

— Rich

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