The Swamp is a Magnet!

When we planned our volunteer assignment with the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge near Folkston, Georgia we never imagined that so many of our friends and family would want to visit us in the Swamp.  It turns out that this place is a sort of a magnet; it draws in people from all over the place, both near and far.

We were surprised and fortunate to have friends come all the way from Missouri to see us here in the Swamp, family drove eight hours from Virginia Beach, and a dear friend drove up to see us from near Daytona Beach, Florida for a two-night visit.

Robin and Jerry came to see us during their Florida/Georgia vacation and we were thrilled to have them here!  They travel for vacations in a motor home and we had special permission for them to park right next to us here in Volunteer Village.  Robin and I were so excited about their visit as the time approached… we planned meals and activities and then finally the day came and they arrived.  I can’t even describe how much it means to have visits from home!  Poor Ken and Jerry had to put up with us two girls laughing and carrying on like little girlfriends, lol.  The four of us went on a sunset boat tour and I gave them a tour of the Chesser Island Homestead.  We cooked together each evening and played games afterward, and basically we laughed all evening telling stories and reliving old memories.  Thanks so much for finding us here and spending the week.  We are looking forward to your visit to the North Rim in September!

The next visit was special because it involved seeing one of our great grand babies!  Aria, Alicia, Makayla and Zachary drove down from Virginia Beach for the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day.  Ken and the girls went out for a guided boat ride one afternoon and then we all went out to the Homestead and Boardwalk the next day.  We had a great time hanging out in the RV and I cooked for everyone (except for Pizza night and DQ… we have very few restaurant options near us, but everyone loves pizza and ice cream!).  This visit was only the second time meeting Aria and we had so much fun with her.  I’m not sure if she entertained us, or if we entertained her, but we were thrilled that she liked us.  I think the walk that PaPa and Aria took was a special time for both of them.  A big thank you to Zachary for driving and getting everyone here for the visit.  I hope you all enjoyed staying in the cabins at Okefenokee Pastimes!

Our visitor from Daytona Beach (Ponce Inlet), Florida… Laurie Stafford… I sure thought you would change your mind before the date arrived!  We booked you a Deluxe cabin at Okefenokee Pastimes and hoped you wouldn’t run when you saw it, lol.  But luckily, you saw the cleanliness and charm just like we did when we saw it.  Despite passing up the Kingsland exit off of I-95 you somehow made your way to us and I am so glad I don’t have to explain to Mark how we lost his wife!  Laurie, we LOVED your visit with us.  Our guided boat tour in the “SWOMP” was amazing and I cannot believe we didn’t get kicked off the boat when you said, “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!” at the first sight of a huge alligator!  But, it really got good when you hopped out of our seat and into the seat across the boat next to a complete stranger.  He liked it, but I’m not sure his wife did, lol.  Seriously though, wasn’t that the best boat ride ever?  It was fun showing you the Homestead and taking your picture along Swamp Island Drive with the big alligator in the background.  Ken and I really, really liked having you spend the time with us and we just love you so much.  We hope your first trip to a National Wildlife Refuge will not be the last!

It really was an amazing month of March with these very special visits; it made our time away from home a little easier since I tend to get a little homesick from time-to-time.

Speaking of home, we will be heading to Missouri for Alan’s high school graduation in early May.  After a week at home we will come back here, work a few more days and then begin our drive home for the month of June.  We have a special summer planned with a trip to Glacier, Yellowstone, and the Tetons before we head back to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon… so much more is planned, so stay tuned!

Hope springtime is peeking out at you wherever you are!

Dorothy & Ken

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