CHITCHAT CORNER

Keeping cool on vacation

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THEY ARE BACK! Marti and Pat Monk have returned from a two-week trip to Alaska and, though teased about his minute-by-minute agenda Pat took pleasure in tweaking before leaving, the couple had a wonderful time trying to pack it all in.

“We saw everything we wanted to see and then some,” said Pat, “including thirteen moose, five bears, four whales, lots of sea lions, otters seals and a partridge in a pear tree...Oh, yes, we saw eagles, too.

“At one point during a tour of downtown Anchorage the tour guide said

‘look!’ and a couple of blocks away were two moose walking across the road. It was funny to see,” he said.

“It was so nice and was such an extra special blessing,” he said.

Considering it a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, the couple took over 600 photos.

“IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL there you can’t help but take pictures,” said Debbie Modisette. Debbie and Joe Modisette have also recently returned from Alaska after spending time with family members Latrice and Steven Hay and their two sons Micah and Levi.

“My sister lives in Juneau,” said Debbie. “So, I have been to Alaska several times to visit with her. We had a wonderful time, but Joe could not handle the cold and rain and came home a week earlier than I did.”

“We always go on the Mendenhall Glacier tour while there,” she said. “It is so amazing and beautiful. On the tour, you have to watch for bears. This time, we saw a mother bear with three cubs. National Geographic was doing a photo shoot at the time and had cameras set up. They managed to capture a shot of the bears. It was real unique.”

Debbie offered advice for first-time visitors to Alaska. “Be sure to carry two seasons of clothing for sure. It was cold and rainy while we were there and caused Joe to go home early. The next week after my return it changed to the 70s and sunshine. It made me sick (literally) to have missed the sunshine. In fact, they hit record highs as far as warm temperatures this year. There is no air conditioner in the hospital where my sister works, church or at her house. It is a completely different climate than what we are accustomed to having,”

The Modisettes were there on July 8 and Debbie came home July 24th. They plan on swapping stories with the Monks as soon as possible.

IF YOU CAN’T make it that far, you can always take a three-day, two-night trip to the Royal Gorge in Colorado like Kilgore’s Walgreen’s Manager Jared Stevens just did. He and a couple of friends hung out around Colorado Springs and went to the Garden of Gods. “We did what we were not supposed to do while there,” he laughed. “But, we figured most people do the same.” Most people didn’t do what this dare-devil did as he bungee- jumped off the Royal Gorge as well as zip-lined.

“I didn’t come back with photos. They were not allowed unless you bought the ones they offered. At $100 per photo/video I decided to pass on that opportunity,” he laughed.

“WE MAY HAVE TO RESORT to using a cardboard box to see the Great American eclipse,” laughed Tommy Robinson, our local astronomer. “You know it depends on the weather and you know how it is in East Texas.” Monday’s forecast for Kilgore is to be 93 degrees; cloudy with thunderstorms.

“I am hoping the thunderstorm holds off until later in the afternoon,” he continued. He plans on pulling his telescope just prior to 11:45 a.m., the beginning of the eclipse and waiting until max time around 1:00-1:15 in our area. “Remember to protect your eyes,” he cautioned.

“I saw the eclipse in 1979 and I plan on doing the same thing as I did then,” said Eddie Holley. “I just grabbed a welding helmet and put it on and it worked perfectly. Don’t most people have one lying around the house, anyway?” he asked.

I know one thing, Wal-Mart sold out of their solar eclipse glasses on Wednesday. Just a few days away, now and the big day will be upon us. You can always watch it on-line.

MAY HIS LOVE AND HIS LAUGHTER fill your hearts and your homes throughout the week. In the meantime, we may be reached at chitchatlinda@aol.com or 903-984-2593.

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