Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another week down, nine to go

Last week was a bit crazy as we watched from afar our son David's fiancee travel across the country from PA to AZ to be with him. Laura had her girlfriend Jessica with her, thank goodness because everything that's never happened to us happened to Laura. Our first update had her broken down an hour into their ride, they were just outside of Pittsburgh, after getting back on the road we hoped things would get better, not. Our next call was to inform us her wallet had been lost\stolen with $500 in it, after that crisis was dealt with it appears she got a ticket. They decided to change drivers on the side of the interstate and got a ticket for not keeping up with traffic, a speeding violation. Facebook provided the next update, they had made it to Oklahoma City, things seemed to be looking up until the early evening phone call from David, they had broken down in Groom TX, the engine in the 1995 Jeep (180K miles) was blown. David was in the midst of emptying his car of everything in it and getting ready to head to TX. Spoke to him a few times to give him some travel information, after a restlessness night we checked in with him as soon as we got up. He was traveling around Amarillo,he had had a few energy drinks throughout the night and was watching the sun start to come up. A few phone calls later and we had his exact destination for him, he was ready to find a bed for a few hours. By the time he called during his drive home Thursday afternoon he was crossing over into NM with a loaded car. During their time in Groom Laura and Jessica were given help by the Catholic church, since David and Laura didn't have the financial means nor desire to fix the Jeep they donated it to the church, a win for all parties. While we know this has been a stressful month for both of them, we know dealing and getting through these things can make for a stronger relationship. We are so looking forward to seeing them at Thanksgiving.

My folks have made it through the closing of their VT home and the closing on their new home in Neoga IL,  the movers should have been there with their furniture. We spent their last evening in VT dining at Guild and Company and relativity new restaurant my dad has wanted to go to. My girlfriend Carol and I had looked at going their one time but it was just a bit too pricey for what we wanted. While the dinner was good the music was terrible, loud and didn't fit the atmosphere, we're glad to have tried it but doubt we'll be back, thanks Mom and Dad for dinner, next one's on us to celebrate your new home. I know my dad reads the blog, now to get him to comment one of these days.

It was a work weekend for us so while Dave headed to the real world I got to do my part around here, Friday not we had lots of folks checking in, quite a few returners but then almost as many new folks. I did get to spend a few hours weeding some gardens around the store before all the weekend campers started arriving. The evening went by fast as I was busy checking in folks and serving ice cream,  got home to the pot roast I had put in the slow cooker earlier but no husband. Seems he couldn't be in the rv with the smell of dinner with out eating it so he was out doing his welcoming thing, so glad it was as good as it smelled. Saturday was a slow day for a Saturday at the campground, think it had something to do with the Lamoille Field Days, lots of folks went there, there we even a vendor and worker or two in the campground this week. Sunday was even slower but then it usually is, spent a lot of the day sitting on the porch visiting with one person or another, not a bad way to spend a work day.

Looks like we will have just about all of Dave's vacation to add to his leave of absence, our target date now is 9/30, we're going to take our time heading to IL. We'll be making a few stops along the I-90 corridor  at a few of the great lakes and then swing down to US 30 & US 24 to avoid Chicago, we have reservations at Salamonie State Park in IN for the Columbus day weekend, then up to Fulton and a visit with friends we haven't seen in eighteen years.

Last week I decided to see if the local library would issue me a card, I do have a Kindle which will be great while we traveling but recently I've been missing the feel of a book in my hands while reading so much so I had bought a few books. Johnson library issued me a card so I left there a happy camper with four books by authors I haven't read in a few years. I've already finished one and am halfway through another which by the end of the week should be done.

From one extreme to another, yesterday I got an Iphone, now to figure out how to use the dang thing. Trying to figure out how to sync it with my music hasn't been as easy to do as I thought, not plug and sync I guess, that will be my job when I get back from my morning out. Maybe I'll ask whatever young person I get to transfer my contacts when I stop by verizon today, they all seem to know all this stuff.

Work for the next couple of days, then an extra Saturday morning shift this weekend covering for someone who is going away. Hopefully a few friends out for dinner the evening, weather looks promising.

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I remember when working at the bank most conversations with customers started with a discussion of the weather so I thought I would start with the weather today. This past week in amongst the heat and humidity we've had a few fun stormy late afternoons. Wednesday evening while working the skies turned a dark grey, the winds came in with a roar and  lightning started dancing out in the field. Around 6:30 the power went out and I closed up the store, since I had walked to work I decided to wait for Dave to get back from work instead of walking, I had forgotten my keys-don't need them to close-so I sat on the front porch since all the other porches were getting drenched. Dave arrived a little after 7pm, now I knew we had gotten some good wind gusts and when we got back to our site we saw our tenting neighbors packing their electronics into their car. Mind you these folks were suppose to be  here for a month so they were here with the necessities in life, 32" TV, laptop and AC (yep AC in a tent) so their tent was full of stuff. Mother Nature is a force to reckon with when tent camping for sure, these folks had tied a tarp over their screen room and connected it to the tent, the wind came up under the tarp and picked up the screen room and slammed it back down, never saw the tenters again that night. Thursday afternoon the folks came back and cleaned up stuff, put the tent to rights and left once again for the rest of the day and night. Friday we were driving between Stowe and Morriseville when we got caught in another storm, we were following a travel trailer toy hauler which was getting tossed around a bit by the high winds, surprised he never pulled over. After following him for awhile, watching pine trees bending and dodging falling branches we found a place to pass and finally made it back home. As we drove to our site we were dodging debris on the camp road, seems the same storm hit Maplewoods too, our smoke blew over, tomato plants were bent over and while our awning survived the spring holding it down is now 3 times it's normal length. All in all we fared okay, tents were lost along with awnings  and screen rooms. Our neighbors tent was all in a ball with the only thing keeping it from blowing away totally was the ac inside it and the picnic table it couldn't get through.

 These folks stopped by Saturday to let us know they would be coming in next week to pick up the site, since they've paid for the month some family members may use it if the weather permits.

Thursday afternoon Robin got a call that the Johnson Historical Society who were suppose to provide pies for our pie day had double booked and wouldn't be bringing pies, the job fell to Robin and I to pull this together in just a few days. Friday's forecast was for another hot and humid day, not the kind of day you want to bake numerous pies on, but bake we did. Maple cream pie, pumpkin pie, toll house chocolate chip pie,  strawberry cream pie, frozen banana cream pie and chocolate pie were all prepared on Friday in 90+ temps, think we lost a few pounds even with the slices we taste tested. Saturday we had a decent turn out and sold a number of slices during the day, by the end of Saturday I was exhausted, we decided to stay in and called it an early night.

Dave's been saying he wants to be on a beach for Christmas so Sunday was spent hammering out some of or itinerary for this  winter. We have made some state park reservations where it seemed like we might have trouble getting a spot, we've also made AZ and TX reservations. We will be visiting the Phoenix area the week of Thanksgiving so made some reservations at a "resort" park.  We will be staying in Goodyear AZ, which is a half hour or so from our son in Surprise, at Destiny RV Resorts-Phoenix. For Christmas we want to be stationary for awhile so we've made reservations at another "resort" our present to ourselves. We will be staying mid December through late January at Gulf Waters RV Resort-Port Aransas TX on Mustang Island, it has it's own boardwalk to the Gulf, so we should be walking on the beach on Christmas day.

We're now back into our week of more work days than days off but tomorrow is our last visit with my folks until we see them in Oct at their new home in IL.

Until next time...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rocky Mountain Reflections

Lots of bloggers I follow are in the National Parks out west, Dave and I have enjoyed many of these places ourselves and it is bringing back some great memories. When we started traveling we were inspired by my little brother (yes I know he's taller but I'm older-hence the little)  Andy's pictures and tales of seeing the parks.  Since our family tenting vacation to CO in 1976 Andy had wanted to live there so in 1987 he moved to Colorado Springs and has made his life there since. Through a round about way Andy has turned into a very successful outdoor photographer and has a job that allows him to be outdoors and travel around the country. He now not only has a large gallery of photos taken at  many of the national parks, he also takes photography tours through many of them and has now started some overseas photography tours. We are very fortunate to have been able to find a place for our favorite print of Andy's in the RV the rest have gone in storage or reside with our friends Deb & Les. If you would like to see some of his pictures or get some ideas of sights to see while in some of the national parks check out his website Rocky Mountain Reflections there will also be permanent link on the side.

Sell the house, give up the corporate job and move west, my brother has been after us ever since our first trip to CO in 1999 and upon seeing Dave's love of the west. While the idea was intriguing but we didn't want to give up the time Dave had worked already, he was already up to 4 weeks vacation and knew that he wouldn't have that much vacation or make as much with a new company. That was  Dave's first trip west and the start of our travels around the country, it was also the beginning of our thoughts of moving west someday. So while we haven't quite broken the ties with work or the northeast we are well on our way to fulfilling a dream that was born 15 years ago, having winter in a place with no snow-can't wait.

These days our sons live in the west and have no desire to move back east so I'm sure one of these days we will settle out there but for now we're looking forward to our travels. Andy was the first one I called when we bought the RV and the first I called after we closed on the house, so looking forward to seeing him and his family when we get to CO in early Nov. Last week I learned he has bought a vacation home in Port Aransas, they will rent it out when they're not using it, hope to see them down there this winter.

Off to see the latest damage to the tenters following last nights bad storms, more about them later, now if only I can remember the camera.

Until next time...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Small World-Reservations

Wednesday was another wet dreary day like the past thirty or so have been. Record amounts of rain have fallen in VT this summer, the infrastructure is taking a pounding, every where we drive there are signs of roadbeds succumbing to the relentless water. I managed to get a mile walk in before the rain started back up.

My folks came out for their last visit before their move to IL, since the weather wouldn't play nice we decided to go to a local restaurant in Lowell VT about 15 miles north of us. Hidden Country Restaurant is funky little place where I again forgot to take my camera, since we'll be going back hopefully I'll remember it next time. The menu is made up of comfort food and on Friday nights they do a fish fry which we plan to get back to before we leave. After enjoying dinner and visiting with my folks Dave and I were waiting outside when my dad called us back in, seems we were in for another small world moment which all came about because my dad recognized a train photo. My dad is a huge model railroad guy and has an extensive collection and knowledge of steam engines, the photo he recognized was taken near Dave's hometown in Beacon NY, my dad knew the steam engine and where on the track it was at the time the photo was taken. It seems our waitress Barb was from Beacon NY a block away from where Dave grew up. I recently "met" Karen of Gone By RV, she's also from Beacon. It always amazes me sometimes how small the world is, there's the bikers we met from VT at a rest area near Devil's Tower or the guy out walking his dog when we were in OR who was from a nearby VT town.

Thursday was made up of errands, talking with our son David and puttering around the campground. The afternoon was also the start of some nice weather, humidity came in with a vengeance. So nice to have a pool to take a quick dip in and not have to worry about the upkeep of.

Friday started off with a 3 mile walk, and afternoon researching ideas for Oct. We're crashing a camping trip our friends Mark and Nancy are going on with some of their family. We're not in the same section but they say there are usually some walk ups available. So reservations are made at for Oct 16,we have to be in Fulton IL by Oct 15, now to figure out the departure date. It was also a work day and since I do the afternoon-evening shift it was check in day and we were just about full, by the end of the day we were with some last minute reservations. Lots of folks deciding at the last minute to get out camping while we had some nice weather. In between checking folks in ice cream sales were brisk and the pool had lots of people cooling off in it, too many for me to want to go in the ac was welcome relief when I got home.

Saturday I got my walk in again before the heat took over, I'm trying to get out around 7am before the sun and humidity get going. It was then another afternoon-evening shift, we had a few check ins but my time was mostly spent scooping ice cream and cleaning up from scooping ice cream, gets a bit messy in the hot weather. The pool was filled to the max, ran out of large bags of ice firewood, lots of people having a good time and one of the nicest weekends this season so far.

Sunday morning shift and lots of people stopping to pay for ac use, electric meters must of been getting a work out. Most everyone one was gone by noon and sigh of relief was heard around the campground, a few people in the pool, slow ice cream sales things were quieting down,. My day was spent deadheading the hanging petunias we have around the store porch. At 3 I headed home cooled down in the ac, after a bit I headed back down to the store to see how crowded the pool was, after a bit one of the other full time seasonals and I went for a swim. About an hour later a few kids showed up and Lucille and I decided we had had enough.

Today I've walked 3 miles, sat at the neighbors and visited for an hour, caught up on all of the blogs I follow and have not gotten the blog caught up. Dave should be home soon, it's an OT day for him so he'll leave when he's had enough. They've given him a new nickname at work, Squirrel-he's stashing his nuts for winter-what's really funny is a friend of ours recently started a nut company called Squirrel Stash Nuts which are really good.

I know this is just our everyday life right now but come back at the beginning of October when we head out for a 6+ month tour. For now the blog will be a place for me to keep track of what's going on in our life and for those interested to keep up with us. I have found the older I get the less I remember so documenting things will be a big help when looking back.

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Reading-Making Plans

After closing on the house the following Saturday we found out Dave's leave of absence was approved :) So we'll be hitting the road for 6+ months starting mid October and coming back for May 1st, with a little luck we'll miss the cold weather.

For the last week if I wasn't working I was reading and just keeping low here at home. Recently I purchased 4 hardbacks which I have been saving, last week was it. With all the craziness that's been going on I decided to read a book which led to another, by the end of the week I had read all of them. Time to start a lending library here at the campground.

Dave worked through the 4th of July but had the 3 day following off. Most of our seasonal friends were in the park and we ended up getting invited to our first meal with some of them. Brent and Kathy provided a smoked brisket that Brent had spent the afternoon tending. Lots of good food, salads, roasted corn and watermelon made for plenty for all. At one point conversation turned to whether the evening would make the blog, of course I forgot the camera but there will be other dinners.

Dave finished up a project he has been working on, he got the horseshoe pits he's been working on in place and now they just need to be filled with sand. He then got to try his hand at a zero turn mower, soon he was zooming around the campground on a mission, looks like he's finding things to do around here too.

Saturday we had friends from Huntington out, they've been getting hammered but rain storms and wanted to get out of town for the day. Les & Deb had their shed moved about 20' by a feeder stream that ended up flooding a home after being blocked and diverted by a large tree. This was followed by the flooded stream crossing their property on it's way to the river. The river level had not reached the top yet, the feeder stream ended up entering the river behind a rock embankment, that had cost thousands of dollars to put in, taking most of the rocks downriver as it entered the river. One day in the near future they hope to be out of there.

Deb brought with her the finished quilt, words can't describe how beautiful it is. We were going for something that would remind us of the desert colors and the blue skies of  the west, well we got that and more. It brings so much color into the bedroom, wish I could get a good picture of it but that will have to wait till later. Thank you so much Deb, we'll take a part of you with us

Our friends Mike & Carol also came out bearing gifts of flowers, beer and grilling stuff, thanks guys. We spent the afternoon catching up then the girls hit the pool to cool down while the guys went inside the RV with the AC on to have a beer or two, all the while keeping an eye on the smoker. After a dinner of smoked salmon, chicken, pork ribs and beef ribs and various summer sides we started a fire. It was mortgage burning time which we wanted to celebrate with our good friends, after which we enjoyed their company long into the night.

Later in the evening another seasonal couple, Mike & Carol, joined us watching the Nascar race on our outside television. Turns out our friend Mike works with our seasonal camping friend Carol, now someone else to work on our friend Mike to get a camper, he'll be hearing about all the fun we have and want to join us even more. Don't know what time we called it a night but it was much later than we used to stay up, but of course we still woke up early (5:30) Sunday morning.

Sunday we started getting a handle on our travel plans, at least when we'll be seeing the kids. Looks like we'll be in IL for a few weeks, head to CO spend a week or so there then head to AZ where I think we're planning to be for Thanksgiving. Still working on where we want to be for Christmas, probably TX this year just where is now the question.

Not much else happening around here, a few days of work then Wednesday and Thursday are Dave's days off this week. We have my folks coming out for dinner Wednesday and I may catch up with a friend whose moving in the next day or so. Started walking again today, did 3 miles in 45 minutes, not bad considering I haven't exercised since April, time to get back on track and lose a few pounds picked up over the last few crazy months. 

Until next time...