cousin jim

During the visiting time prior to Aunt Kay’s funeral, I struck up a conversation with Caleb, first cousin once removed—in other words, my cousins Jim and Lisa’s kid. (Jim is AK’s youngest, and I remember when he was born.) I knew Caleb well as a little kid, much better than I know him now, which only means I had some catching up to do. He’s a free spirit. I like him. He told me about his truck, which he converted to burn used fast-food vegetable oil for fuel. That caught my attention, because I just read a book about biofuel for our reading group, titled Greasy Rider. The book chronicles a cross-country road trip fueled entirely on french fry oil collected from restaurant grease dumpsters. So I heard all about Caleb’s expeditions in, around, and outside the country.

The next day I headed north from Kokomo to my old summer stomping grounds, Winona Lake, Indiana. Back in the day, it was a Bible conference. My personal history goes way back to the 1930s, when my parents met at a music school there. Jim and Lisa have lived and raised their family in Winona Lake, so I’ve had good reasons to return as often as opportunity allows. I pulled up to their home on the lake, where I found Jim working on his ’72 Jeep in the driveway. A beater truck pulled up behind me. “Do you smell the french fries?” Jim hollered.

The smell of french fry grease is a prominent feature in the book, but this was my first actual whiff of it. Oh, yes!

Caleb patiently illustrated his diesel-to-grease conversion system, which he invented rather than resort to a kit like the rest of us might.

The tour wouldn’t be complete without a look under the hood.

There it is. No mechanic am I, but I can still be impressed!

So Jim motioned me toward the Jeep. We were going to take a ride to the woods, land acquired a while back for the log cabin of Jim’s dreams. Meanwhile, he (with his sons’ help) built a fabulous home on the lake (I’ll give you a peek later.)

He bought this beauty on eBay with 4,000 original miles!

On our walk toward the cabin he (with his sons’ help) built, I stopped to take this:

I don’t imagine they’ll be cold any time soon.

Is that cute, or what? It isn’t the log cabin he hoped to build here, but this might even be preferred.

It’s a work in progress. What it lacks in electricity and plumbing, it makes up for in charm. You’re looking at the kitchen.

We sat on the porch for a spell, taking in the peaceful surroundings.

A little ways down the path we came across cousin Lisa. You see correctly—she and a helper are taking out the iffy trees and splitting the logs for firewood. The brush gets burned. There isn’t a thing this resourceful woman can’t do.

I didn’t have much time before heading to my next destination, but we stopped back at the lake house so I could do a little office work on Jim’s wireless Internet. While I did that, Jim’s grandbabe Lilly needed his attention.

With their parents’ open-home policy, four of the five adult “kids” (plus two more grandkids) enjoy the comforts of their former home. Actually, Isaac (the youngest, at the table) still lives here.

BONUS:

Here’s Jim just after he laid the foundation for the home on the lake.

I should have taken the time to look for this picture for my last post…Aunt Kay’s four kids. So here again is the current pic.

And just because I can…

Jim and Lisa’s family not all that many years back.

And here they are now. Absent are the girls’ husbands, both named Hoover because they’re brothers!

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2 Responses to cousin jim

  1. Lydia LeMasters Hoover says:

    Again, Thank-you so much for this post Sherry! The pictures are absolutely wonderful!

  2. Joanna says:

    I love it! Glad you got to see the woods & cabin too!

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