2010 Holiday Letter : This Is Retirement?
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2010 Holiday Letter

by Sherry Swanson on 12/20/10

Can 2010 really be coming to an end?   It's been a wonderful time for Don and I here at the RV park in Saint James, Missour making so many new memories.  Thought it would fun to post our Christmas letter...as it's close enough to the holidays that one more letter won't bother you too much.  Enjoy...

Oh, my golly gosh...we  have survived the first four months here at our campground . . . and we are happy to report that we have LOVED every minute of it and are looking forward to being with all of you next year!

My first night as the new owner of Pheasant Acres was without Don, who was working in St. Louis.  The rainstorm hit hard that night. While moving our kitty boys, Long Hair and Short Hair, out to the motorhome so that Ms. Buffy might come out of hiding, I slipped.  SPLAT! . . . in the gravel.  Oh, not once, but twice!  Managing to rip open my knee in the gravel first, then flipping over hitting my head down to my tushie.  Mud!  Did I mention the mud?  But my sweet neighbor, Dolly, graciously played nurse to my wounds even though it was late.  As I was bound for the beach the following week, I could already feel the stinging of the salt water in my mangled knee.

Keeping busy while I was at the beach, Don and good friend, Roger, installed a new corrugated metal 'manly' ceiling in the men's shower house.  It's good to know someone who towers at 6 feet 8 inches tall when working on a ceilingl  And there was the third helper, Bud Light, right, Don?

Tractors with front blades was the offer.  Ah, music to a man's ears.  Friends and long time campers, Bill and Glenn, brought their shiny green John Deeres for the day and played like little boys with their Tonka toys while spreading FOUR tandem loads of gravel on the roadway and site pads.  Boys never grow up, do they?  And Brenda .  . . you sure know how to handle a mean rake!

Stihl chain saw.  Need I say more?  With the mere mention of these three words, Don could hardly wait to chop, chop, chop down limbs, branches, bushes and tree trunks.  Why heck, I came home one day and saw he had even chopped down the green posts that held up (held is the operative word here) the entrance gate.  I knew it was time for Don to put away Mr. Stihl.

Nothing like a truck and a chain wrapped around a bush to make long time camper and new friend, Claude, hastily pull on his bib overalls and come a'running.  The bushes were soon history . . . wrap, snap, pop and out!  It's scary to see grown men droll over something like this.  And you can bet this spring we will be having one gigantic bon fire when all that wood is dry.

'Picasso Sherry' kept busy with her paint brush and seven gallons of paint.  Brown and orange have never looked so good as they do on the newly painted out buildings and picnic tables.  Oh, by the way . . . it takes Don four hours and three sanding belts to sand down ONE table to bare wood.  It's his Sunday therapy.

By far the biggest toy left by the previous owner and very much missed, Chuck, is the magnificant Cyclone Rake.  What a beaut!  Sherry has commandeered this to be her own private and personal toy!  Having so much fun, that sometimes in her mania, she may have 'clipped' a few things . . . accidentally of course.  Sorry, Claude and Patti but how is that cosmetic surgery coming along on your 5th wheel?  And oops, clipping the faucet on #15 . . . well, that was to give Don some more plumbing practice.  We all know Don loves plumbing so much, but let's not make a 'crack' about that.

Speaking of plumbing . . . and roof leaks . . . and toilet floor repairs . . . and new freeze faucets . . . and circuit breakers . . . and electrical wiring . . . and power washing . . . and copper pipe soldering . . . and hold digging . . . and grass mowing . . . and rock moving . . . Don has secured his spot as 'The Handy Man of the Year!'  I think I just may keep him on for another season.

As I close, I must comment on my 'camping husband,' Mark, who's vast knowledge of the past 20+ years at Pheasant Acres proved to be a bonus to Don and I.  He graciously let us play with 'Ms. Grey Goose' Cora, always a charmer with her laughing personality.  And as Grill Meister Extrodinaire, he will surely be missed as he and Cora are heeding the words . . . Go west, young man, go west.  We are going to miss you both . . . but heck!  We now have a great reason to road trip it out to the great Northwest.  Henry?  Jackie? Let's start making our plans now.  And we'll pick up Diana on the way.

There are so many menories for the year . . .

Boy Scouts - Sweet new home for Louise, our '57 TBird - Yummy pie iron desserts - Chili Supper - Pumpkin carving contest - Huffin' 'n puffin' to make balloon animals - The Taj Mahal - Annual Pig Roast - Great mole and gopher hunt - Henry and Don fighting over Ruby's pies - Blazing campfires - S'mores - Adoption of Holstein, the kitten - Camouflaged deer and turkey hunters - New friends, new campers, old campers, old friends and wonderful neighbors that made us feel so welcome to the area.

May everyone have a wonderful Christmas holiday and may your New Year be all that you hope for!

Sherry and Don Swanson



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Miniscule red lichen on gravel road.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Teeny tiny toadstools        (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
So beautiful and delicate, the Southern Catalpa blossom.    (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
What?  Snail scat.     
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Reindeer moss with some Pixie Cups in the mix.   (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Christmas snow...and those deer just won't move away from the house!    (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Christmas Eve 2010 gave us a peaceful snowy day for trout fishing.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Winter camping during a snowstorm.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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Opening Day sunrise at Maramec Spring Park.    Copyright Sherry Swanson 2011
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
In the early morning, Don waiting for Opening Day whistle to blow.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Misty silence on the river.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Fishermen and Ladies...cast your rods!     
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Just before the Opening Day whistle blows by the bridge at Maramec Spring Park.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Jack Frost visited.      (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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EXIT 195 on I-44 at Saint James, MO 65559 
Go 5.5 miles EAST on Highway 8 to park entrance on left
Watch for our flags!
Call for more information and reservations.  
Email:  pheasantacresrv@yahoo.com

                  Cash, Check or

Sherry Swanson
Outdoor Enthusiast/Photographer
Click on thumbnail to enlarge...ENJOY!
Early April violet in oak undercover
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Delicate Dutchman Breeches in April
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Rock still life at Meremec River Access.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Missouri Conservation agent shocking fish for collection/identification
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Feeder streamlet to Meramec River
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Another feeder stream
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
    WHO We Are    WHAT We Offer    WHERE We Are   WHEN You're Here   HOW Much We Are   WHY We Have...     MAP of Us   SHERRY Says
Caterpillar form of the Giant Leopard Moth. 

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Columbine growing from a rock ledge.  
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Can you see how it got the name Dog-tooth Violet?  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Hummingbird nest made of spider webs and lichen.  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Mr. Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Water from the spillway.  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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Cicada nymph hatching from it's 13 year slumber.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Cicada nymph using the Hosta leaf to emerge.
Nymph has completely hatched and is waiting to mature.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Cicada 'maternity ward' on the Hosta leaves.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Cicada almost ready to fly.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Our little fisher girl, Piper, snoozing by the campfire.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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A new spin on S'Mores

Place a broken up chocolate bar or pour chocolate syrup into an aluminum foil cup that you can create yourself, and set the cup near your fire to melt the chocolate.

Crush graham crackers and place them on a plate or fill up a plastic bag.

Toast your marshmallows as you usually would.

Dip the toasted marshmallow in the melted chocolate or chocolate syrup and then roll it in the crushed graham crackers.

This recipe is sure to be a hit with the kids, and it will only take about five minutes to prepare.
Gramps attacked by tattoo stamping kidlets.
Wisconsin cyclists on a week long 3,000 mile trip through midwest tented with us for the night.
We've tried every human way to remove the shifty little dirt-pushing mole.  Don had reached his limit and went on the attack.
Visiting while his son graduated from Rolla S & T, this camper 'hauled' his 'toy' in his toy hauler.
Quote from motorcyclist
Piper and Beck 'patroling' the campground.
Click on thumbnail to enlarge...ENJOY!
Enter . . . 
Alive . . .
Blue Birds, Violets 
Day of
Yes, Virginia There Is Fishing in the Winter
Lots of Pictures Here