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, August 27, 2014

Getting By With A Little From Some Friends

On Friday we learned that Dave's leave of absence was approved, we will be once again coming back to VT next summer. Robin, the owner here at Maplewoods, was relieved to hear the news, it took a lot of stress off of her, one of her sisters is not coming back and she didn't want to have to think about us not coming back too. We'll leave on 9/28 probably, we have a week or so to get to IL where we are meeting our friends whom we reconnected with last fall. 

My best friend from high school came up last weekend amid all the chaos our life was in, it was a good distraction and time spent with a treasured friend. Rene and I met in the spring of '75, we've been the best of friends ever since, in 10th grade we had identical schedules, where one was the other was too. Our friendship has survived the test of time, we get together when we can usually once a year and these days it's usually in VT. Since 2001 Rene and her husband Ed have come up many August weekends and we've attended concerts at the local fairgrounds, some of the shows we've seen Rene and I saw together back in the 70's. 

They arrived Friday after rainy 6 hour ride, told her how to go but she listened to the GPS, oh well she got to see Burlington. A late evening of catching up led to sleeping in late, they were our first inside overnight guest and the new mattress worked well they said. After a slow morning we headed into town mid afternoon, spent time wandering the vendors booths just looking slowly working our way back the rv area. What a bust that was, the rv area had only one dealer who had predominately used rigs, the only new 5th wheels were some Bay Hills, didn't do a thing for us except make us appreciate our Solitude more. Our entertainment for the evening was provided by the Goo Goo Dolls and Daughtry, great shows and a great evening with my "sister". They headed home early Sunday as we had commitments that had to be kept. Thanks girlfriend for the visit, just what was needed right then.

So for the moment the blog is caught up, now I can go read blogs and see what everyone has been up to for the last few weeks. Labor Day is almost upon us, folks start rolling in tomorrow, it's our weekend off but we'll be around here if needed. 31 days to go!!!

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We'll Miss You Kevin

Last week we lost a family friend, Kevin, tragically to suicide, our lives are a little less brighter with out him in it. Through the years in Huntington Kevin was a fixture, coach of our son's soccer team, his oldest girls are our boys age. He and I chaperoned many a field trip together, if possible we'd reject the school bus for one of our cars, great times yakking away. I was exactly 2 days older than him, a fact he always reminded me of on my birthday. In the early years he would refer to our son Tom as the kid who ran with his hands in his pockets, later years he confided in me his daughter was in love with Tom and just waiting for him to grow up. I met Colleens fiance last weekend, they both enjoyed hearing of our lifestyle and thought full timing was a great idea. As the kids grew we didn't see Kevin as much, running into him at the local store or coming into the bank when I worked there. The last time we saw him was last year at our last garage sale, we spent some great time talking about the our new lifestyle changes, another friend who so understand our desire to live this lifestyle. Kevin and I were FB friends and would comment once in awhile on each other posts. Less than a week beforehand I sent him a message asking if he was going to an usher at an upcoming concert I was attending. He messaged back he was working as little as possible and thanks for thinking of him, less than a week later he was no longer with us. I know he had to be thinking of taking his life even then, he wrote his obituary, sent letters to his wife and each of his daughters, emailed a friend soon beforehand, paid the next months bills and set up a family trust. He headed to a ski slope nearby where he and his family had spent many wonderful years, he was found a few hours later. He wanted no funeral but instead a celebration of his life, we along with our good friends from Huntington attended, he had touched all our lives. On Sunday we attended the celebration held at the family home, we spoke with his bewildered wife, gave our love to her and the girls, spoke with a few of the hundreds of folks that were there. People we hadn't seen in years all expressing the same disbelief that of all folks Kevin would be the last we would expect this to happen to. The words his wife spoke to me as we hugged of the special bond Kevin and I had still bring tears to my eyes when I think of them and of him so gone, not to see again. Our hearts,thoughts and prayers go out to his girls whom we know he loved dearly. RIP Kevin until we see you again.

Catching Up

I started this post over a week ago, wanted to get it done before my best friend from high school visited. On Wednesday the 20th we received word a friend of ours had committed suicide, my next post will have more about that. Needless to say I am way behind now, thanks for continuing to follow, we'll be on the move 9/28 or 9/29 taking a slow 7 week trip west and south.

It's been just over a month since our last post, yes we're still alive and while we don't seem to be doing much a month has gone by in another flash. We have been enjoying lots of our rv friends summer travels, some have been traveling through areas we've been to years ago, our appetites are wetted and we look forward to exploring them again someday. We have another 6 weeks and we'll be out of here, route planning to the Texas Gulf Coast has taken a bit of time. I usually plan out a loose route then we sit down with Google Earth and look at COE and State parks nearby, finding ones that have decent reviews and look to at least have some roads to walk or ride the bikes. For our trip south this year hiking isn't a priority, fishing, walking, biking and local attractions will be what we are looking for.

 Our free weekends have been spent with friends we hold dear, time is quickly running out, only one more gathering of the 3 couples who for 10+ spent most every other Saturday night in each others company. Treasured times spent with good friends, laughing till our sides hurt, recalling times gone by as kids grew up, always there for each other when ever needed. Dreams of visits to see us on our beach in Texas, hopes they come to fruition.

We have taken next weekend off, my best friend since high school will be here for a visit. For many years we've been getting together for a weekend in August, usually involving a concert we are attending at the local county fair. Rene and Ed will be here on Friday, still don't know if they will bring a tent or use our new air mattress in the living room. Saturday late afternoon we will head to the fairgrounds for dinner then for 3 band concert. Plain White T's, Goo Goo Dolls and Daughtry entertaining us from the first row of the grandstands. We learned many years ago at the Styx & REO concert we want to be under cover, VT August weather can be unpredictable and the show usually goes on.
no other lighting on
 The UPS driver has been making frequent trips to the campground on our and Amazon's behalf, among other things we've been prettying up the inside of the rig. We have installed some under cabinet lights to add some ambiance, thinking of adding some similar white lights to a few places to help brighten some dark areas. 

We've also been working in the bathroom, as is typical in rv's the palette is a beige with dark brown cabinetry. After years of white and light cabinets I like the dark woodwork in the rig, in the bathroom there are no doors on closet which is fine, I've worked around that and am glad for no doors it might make the bathroom feel real dark. I've been looking at curtian panels but haven't found the right one yet. What we have done now is install the Smart Tiles as a back splash, thought it came out not to shabby. The tiles were easy to install, peel and stick, add a negligible amount of weigh, not bad for under a $100.

Dave has been working on improving our internet signal also, we now have a Wilson Sleek Cellular Signal Booster along with a trucker antenna to help pull in a stronger signal. So far so good, we've had much better internet since it's been hooked up.

We used to have a map hanging in our office in the S&B, it wasn't practical to bring it and we've found we miss having a larger US reference map. Our new dining table came with a glass top that place things under. Recently ordered a laminated US map and placed it under the glass top, we find ourselves using it when we are doing route planning :) 


pork loin stuffed with pork sausage wrapped in bacon

We've enjoyed lots of great meals....

peach pie :)

Shrimp po'boy, from Cajun's a little hole in the wall just up the road a piece 

this pic appeared on the I Love TX Recipes FB Page

The campground hosted a pig roast one weekend

Our garden is producing lots of tomatoes which Dave is enjoying immensely, along the recipients of his abundance of tomatoes. I've been enjoying the flowers blooming, one of my favorites is the fuchsia plant I have.

I had planned to end the post here last week when I started it, so for now that's what we've been up to. Haven't read any blogs in the last week so need to catch up on what everyone else has been up to for the last week too.

Until next time...