Archive for the ‘Connecticut’ Category

We’ll Miss you, Mom

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

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Nelle H. Levvis, 90, died Thursday, November 11, 2010 at her home in East Hartland, CT.

Mrs. Levvis was born June 21, 1920 in Washington DC.  She attended Sweetbriar College and George Washington University.  Nelle married Walter E. Levvis in 1940 and they resided many years in New York City before moving to Rockford, Illinois.  In Rockford she devoted herself to raising three sons and volunteering with several organizations. She was instrumental in the founding of the Goldie B. Floberg Center, served as president of the United Cerebral Palsy Association in the Rockford area and was an active member of the Junior League and the Second Congregational Church.

In 1978 Nelle and Walt moved to Mount Dora, FL, where they enjoyed their lakeside paradise. In 1996 they moved to a retirement facility in Vero Beach, FL.

Mrs. Levvis was preceded in death by her husband Walt and oldest son Robert W. Levvis.  She is survived by her brother, Richard Hudgens of St Louis, Missouri, daughter-in-law, Lynn Levvis (Robert) of Gainesville, Virginia,   two sons, Richard Levvis and wife Tinka Levvis of McAllen, Texas and Gary Levvis and wife Meg Levvis of East Hartland, Connecticut, one granddaughter Tammi Levvis of Haymarket, VA.,  four grandsons: Todd Levvis of Seattle, WA, Marc Levvis of Rockwall, TX, Justin Levvis of Rowlett, TX and Noel Levvis of East Hartland, CT., five great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

A memorial service will be held in Vero Beach, Florida at a later date, to be announced.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Goldie B. Floberg Center, 58 W. Rockton Rd., P.O. Box 346, Rockton, IL 61072  or to the American Cancer Society at

Happy 90th

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

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We left the Boston area with an interesting meal at the Bugaboo Steakhouse on Arsenal Street.


This place, with its 20+ antler chandeliers, has more antlers and trophies on the wall than Marc’s (our oldest son)  living room.   They even sported a huge bison head that would break out into speech touting the specials for the evening.  The food was quite good.

Now we’re off to the purpose of our visit to New England.  Rick’s brother, Gary, hosted a party to celebrate their mother, Nelle’s, 90th birthday.  While we were at it, sister-in-law Lynn, Bob’s widow, had passed a milestone also.

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Gary, his wife Meg, and son Noel have run themselves ragged getting ready for the weekend. Other family members that arrived were; Richard and Shirley (St Louis), Todd (Seattle), Brian (Colorado), and Lynn and Tammi (Virginia).

The weather cooperated and we enjoyed a nice outdoor feast.  Here is Mom, along with her brother, Richard and his wife Shirley.


Our hosts look on from the far end of the table.


Shirley, Lynn, and Tammi look on as Mom digs into her presents.


Tinka and Meg relax over breakfast.


We had a fabulous time before heading back to Boston and then to Dallas.  It was really good to see the relatives from around the country.  All of our thanks go out to Gary and Meg for all of their efforts in putting together this get-together.

On a totally unrelated subject, Tinka has been bombarded with questions about her new sandals. This cute little number came from 9-West.  I don’t know the cost, but judging from the interest, they were worth it.


A Mystic Experience

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

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Rick’s brother, Gary, and his wife, Meg, offered to take us on a day trip to the Mystic Seaport.   We thought that we were heading to the coast, taking a few pictures, wading in the seashore, and heading home.  We were soon to find out that the Mystic Seaport is also known as “The Museum of America and the Sea”.

On the way to our ultimate destination, we stopped at The Rock Garden, a rock store that did a big business and provided educational programs for youths.  The place is easy to spot  with this commercial dinosaur in the parking lot.


An interesting exhibit was a darkened room with a display of luminous rocks.


They had all kinds of prehistoric specimens.


Specimens included some ancient geodes and other nice specimens.


Then off we headed to the Mystic Seaport. The museum covers several acres that included complete neighborhoods of early sea life, including churches and shops.  There were a number of ships that have been restored and can be boarded for viewing.


Several actual buildings used for the clam, crab, fishing and lobster industries have been preserved.  Several of them have actual working displays of barrel making, shipsmithing (like a black smith shop), printing, etc.


Several buildings displayed numerous nautical items.  One of my favorites was the lamp shop.


Mystic sports its own shipyard for the rebuilding of antique ships.


Ironically, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike have provided the ship rebuilders with a nearly unlimited supply of wood from live oak trees.  This is a favorite wood in ship building and some trees, as old as 600 years, have found their way to Mystic.  This 6-foot diameter log is an example.


The Mystic Shipyard is in the early stages of a gigantic undertaking.  They are rebuilding the last of the old wooden whaling ships, the Charles W. Morgan.


The Morgan is 105 feet long and was built in a period of nine months in 1841.  This restoration will take at least three years.  For a long period of time at the beginning of this restoration efforts are underway to remove the 9 or 10 inch arch in the keel that has appeared over the years from various repairs.  Jacks at both ends of the keel are forcing the ends up and gravity is pulling down the center.  Caulking is removed from various side planks to allow the ship to squeeze the planks together as it regains its shape.

A large hole has been cut in the hull under the water line to allow the rebuilders to pass new boards, up to 40 feet long, into the ship.


Visitors can climb up into the ship to observe the progress.


From the stairs heading to the deck, you can see how the ship dwarfs everything around it.


We spent about six hours at the seaport and didn’t see everything.  On the way out, you couldn’t help but notice this old, partly wooden, anchor.  I had never seen one with this type of construction.


We want to thank Meg and Gary for taking the time to show us this coastal gem.

Family in Connecticut

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

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We cruised across Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. We were very impressed with the  beauty of each state.  It appears that we can see the light at the end of the “tunnel”.


The purpose of this trip was to visit with Rick’s mother and his brother, Gary, and family who live in north central Connecticut.  It is difficult to relate to the size of this state.  The distance from north to south in Connecticut is  a shorter distance than crossing the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

We enjoy the old architecture, but not everything is “Big Rig” friendly.  This gas station is an example.


One of the quaintest towns was New Hartford, its buildings just oozes  early 1900’s.


It seems like all of the cemeteries are on hills.  As a confirmed “flat-lander”,  I wouldn’t want to be a pall bearer in this area.


We found an RV park, White Pines Campsites, which were located on top of a mountain.  There are easy ways to get there and really steep ways.  Our GPS had us turn the wrong direction and we were forced to go down a 12% – 15% grade for 8/10 of a mile.  The brakes were smoking when we reached the bottom.(Front pads and fluid changed out, another $300.00)

The campground is very busy on weekends.  They get tons of day people to use the pool, horseshoes, RC car track, and other activities.  They even have a hayride with “Mr. Hayride.”  That conjures up visions.


There’s no hay, and they pull it with a lawn tractor, but the kids enjoy it.

They have had so much rain that we were unable to get into the slots that would have allowed us to use our satellite TV dome.  Too many tall trees.  They ended up putting us on 3 RV spaces with water, electric and cable TV.  Most of their sites have gray-water sewer, but not ours. They came around and drained the gray and we fully dumped upon our departure.  Trees and low wires hindered the access to the dump.

We had a great visit with Rick’s brother, Gary, his wife, Meg, and son, Noel.  They were great hosts and kept us busy throughout the visit.  I don’t know how they do it.

We were happy to get time with Rick’s mother, Nelle.  Rick was able to get her computer tuned up.  She had been having problems with it.  A defective UPS was the culprit. That and a new mouse had her up and running like new. We really enjoyed our visit with her.

Nelle’s brother, Dick, also arrived for three days of visit during our stay.  We stopped at Dick’s house in St. Louis back in mid-July.

Family Around the Continent

Thursday, May 29th, 2008


On the morning of May 14th we headed to the airport and hopped two American Airlines flights heading in opposite directions in a quest to visit our mothers.  Tinka headed off toward Kelowna, British Columbia with stops in San Jose and Seattle.  Her mother, Val Echols, lives in a retirement home near Tinka’s sister Jenelle.


Thinking she was headed off to the Arctic Circle, Tinka only took winter clothing along.  As luck would have it, the daytime high temperatures were in the mid-nineties.   She had a wonderful time and because of the warm weather they even made it out to a par-three golf course.


                             Not bad for 90 years old.

Rick headed east to Hartford, Connecticut via St. Louis.  His mother, Nelle, lives in the Hartford suburb of Farmington.   With a stoke of luck, Rick’s visit overlapped with that of his uncle, Richard Hudgens.  It was certainly good to see him.


Rick upgraded his mother’s computer with a new HP scanner so that she can begin to scan the photos in her scrap books. It’s pretty slick and is basically a one-button operation for scan, crop, and storing.

Rick’s brother Gary, who lives in the neighboring town of East Hartland, ran his butt off moving us to and from the airport, shopping, and entertaining, not to mention handling his own chores.  We all headed up to his house for the afternoon on Saturday.  Those of you that have been reading this journal for a while may remember the fantastic lobster/clam bake Gary served up last July.  This time we were treated to a great steak dinner.

We arrived to find the yard in the midst of breaking out into bloom.  Some shrubs were in full bloom.


Others were loaded with buds and preparing to burst into color.


We both had wonderful times on our trips and made it back to the Dallas / Fort Worth area in time to get ready for a busy Memorial Day weekend.

On Saturday, we headed out to Lake Tawankoni where the family was gathering for the day.  We spent the day boating, tubing, jet-skiing, trying out the different Maui snorkel charters and fishing.  The fishing was pretty quiet for most of the day, but at about 6:00 PM the sand bass and hybrids went crazy.  Rick caught seven fish in eight casts.  Then all was quiet again.

Marc shows our three granddaughters, Gracie, Ayden, and Maddie, how to hold on to the tube.


Gracie escapes from the chilly water.


Tinka keeps an eye on Maddie, our youngest granddaughter.


Even Rick made it out on the jet-ski and stayed dry.


On Sunday and Monday, we had pool parties to attend on the other side of the DFW Metroplex, so, we packed up our home and moved to Bennett’s RV Ranch in Granbury, TX.  Bennett’s is a nice park just off of Hwy 377 on the north end of Granbury.  It is convenient to shopping and the lake.  The wide pull-throughs are about 60 feet long and can accept most any size rig.  Navigating through the park is a little strange, but not a problem if you swing wide going into your site.  They accent the border with large boulders near the edge of the pull-throughs.  This isn’t much of a problem, but may cause you to go the wrong way on the interior road in order to exit.

We had a great time visiting and catching up with many of our “old” friends.  It’s the first time we’ve been able to catch a little sun since we left Tucson.