Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

See anyone you know? Yep, that’s Terry and I on our wedding day. . . August 28, 1971, 37 years ago. We got married in Goshen, Indiana, on a beautiful August day. I had just graduated from Ball State and started my teaching career in Muncie. Terry had another year left of undergraduate school, then got his Masters the next year. He taught for four years with me and I finished up my Masters the following year.

We didn’t start adding to our family for five years, but we were camping in a tent! After Jocelyn was born, we graduated to a small trailer. Then we upgraded again when Brandon came along . . . typical tale of RV’ers, eh?

It was natural for us to continue RVing while the kids were growing up. We added boating to the mix and combined the two for many special weekends and vacations.

Now we fulltime in Phaeton Place and keep our boats at the lake in case we pass through. . . we drop them in the water and off we go. . .

It’s been a great ride so far, but we have just started.

Life is good. . .

Till next time. . .


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ride down the Canal trail

Thanks to all of you who paused to remember the people in Florida. Brandon was very lucky. . . looks like he dodged the bullet. By late last evening, the water was receding and today there is no water in his street. There were, unfortunately, many people who suffered losses and damage to their homes. There is just no way to prepare adequately for Mother Nature sometimes. Please continue to remember those people.

Today we loaded up our bikes and went to Goshen. We stopped at the trail head to the Millrace Canal trail. In our younger days, we always called this the mill race. It was actually the Millrace Hydraulic Canal. In 1898 the power of the hydraulic canal was harnessed by the Hawks Electric Company and provided electricity to Goshen and eight other communities! Wow! That was pretty exciting for 1898. Today a path along the side of the canal has been created to offer a place for bike rides, jogging, walking, and dog walking. There are benches along the way if you want to stop and rest. It passes next to Shanklin Park which is a park on the south side of Goshen. We rode on further to the end of the trail. It ends at the Elkhart River where the dam is. It is there the canal starts as a diversion from the river. The dam is as we remembered it except they have upgraded the sides and it has a park atmosphere.

I took pictures of several bridges along the canal. In its infancy, no doubt these bridges served horse and buggies and perhaps a couple of them cars decades later. Now they are closed to everything but foot traffic or bikes. I found them interesting.

Afterwards, we took a drive out in the country and stopped at our famous Amish general store where we bought some fresh produce and peaches.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Anybody got a bucket?

Son Brandon is sweating it out in Melbourne. Who knows exactly how many inches of rain they have had. That all becomes a moot point when you have to start sandbagging. Tropical Storm Fay has sat over Melbourne for much of the day, actually stalled and dumping, by some accounts, over 25 inches of rain. These pictures were all taken from his front door.
So far, it is not at his front door, but it is about 5 feet away. He has blocked the sidewalk to try and keep waves from splashing water into his house. Waves, you say? That's the result of SUV's flying down through the flooded streets of the neighborhood pulling kneeboarders. Proudly, I will say, Brandon, took care of that in short order. . . but probably none too kindly. He told them that they were causing water to splash up on their houses that everyone in the neighborhood was desperately trying to keep it out of their houses. The perpetrators sheepishly said they had not even thought about that and could see that they were definitely in error. They left and haven't been back. On his way back into the house, his neighbor stepped out and asked if he needed any help. The guy's wife had been after him to go out and confront the joyriders, but Brandon saved him from that.
The rain has let up a little and hopefully Brandon will have escaped the worst. But I'm not too proud to ask for prayers that TS Fay moves on out quickly and weakens to the point that those who are already suffering will be spared more damage and no one else will be subjected to the devastation of this storm.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

For Rent!

Apartment for rent (1/2 duplex), between Goshen and Elkhart. Any takers?

We've been playing landlord for the last couple weeks. We have two tenants who are moving the end of the month and we would like to get them rented asap so we can get out of here before the snow flies. We've had a few things we've been doing. I've done some trim painting and Terry's been tinkering. We've done some visiting with our tenants and neighbors. We try to ride bikes every evening, but this is pretty boring if you ask me.

Phaeton Place is at Elkhart Campground waiting for us. We will be leaving here in two weeks, headed to Charlottesville, Virginia, to see Ronan and his parents. Then we will be returning to Ohio to attend the Gypsy Journal Rally. After that it will be back to Indianapolis for our second round of doctor appointments for the year and then we will come back up here and close the place up for the winter. We may stay later if the apartments are not yet rented. Ho-hum.

We did take some time on Tuesday this week to go to Shipshewana. We enjoy walking the flea market and finding a few things that we still don't have. I was surprised that I was able to hold out as long as Terry, but then we did not walk fast and took breaks, so that helped.

Till next time. . .


Monday, August 11, 2008

Update on hip problem

Ok, the doctor's office just called. I have an L5 nerve root disc herniation. The L5 disc is bulging and pushing on the nerve root. I also have degenerative bursitis in my hip. She immediately said she would be faxing over an order for an epidural to one of their doctors.

I said no, I am not having another epidural. The last one only lasted 9 months. She said that was a "good" result. I promptly put on 20 pounds I haven't been able to get rid of. I had 3 months of acupuncture later which is still giving me relief, so I am NOT going to get a shot now.

I still believe the pain I am feeling is in my hip, directly related to the fall on concrete, and it is finally starting to get better. Swimming in Brandon's pool seemed to really help. The nurse did say that swimming was the best thing I could do and the doctor would recommend that along with the swish ball (big ball). I have had the back problem all my life, originating with a Pars 5 defect. . . I know it is no doubt progressing, but I am not ready to go the epidural route. Last week was the first MRI I ever had on my back, so I don't know if it is better/worse/same than before.

What I really need to do is embark on a program of fitness and stick to it. In Texas, I will have a swimming pool, so that is a plus. The hip is finally getting better and I only have pain when I do certain things. Otherwise, things are improving. The nurse did say I might need another shot in the hip. The epidural would include a shot to the nerve root, but I am not going to do that.

So that is the problem. At least I know now. I would appreciate hearing from any readers out there who experience similar problems and what has worked for you.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Good for another 5 years!

Well, the high school reunions are history and we are good for another 5 years. This year marked our 40th reunions, having both graduated in 1968. Terry graduated from Concord High School and I graduated from Goshen High School, both in Indiana. My reunion was last month and his was last night.

Terry's festivities started with a meeting at a classmate's home on the Elkhart River. Mike bought a home there and is refurbishing it. It is really beautiful already and he isn't done with it yet. He and his wife actually live and work in Phoenix, but grew up in the area and are working on this home in the summer. We met there on Thursday night to review the setup for the reunion and to work on getting some decorations ready. Mike treated us to a cookout and then a boat ride on the Elkhart River. I have never done that and it was a really nice ride, getting to see some of the fabulous houses from the river side instead of the road.

Friday night we met at Harrison Landing, a bar in downtown Elkhart. We weren't sure what to expect here because downtown Elkhart is not really a "great" place, but the bar was very nice and friendly and we had about 25 classmates and spouses meet. We all enjoyed a great evening and it was good to talk with people and share where our lives had taken us in the last 40 years.

The reunion on Saturday night was at the Elks Country club in Elkhart and we started with a lot of visiting with classmates as they arrived. Dinner was delicious and afterwards, we were treated to a casino night. We were each given $100,000 in play money to start and they had blackjack tables and a roulette wheel. I gave my money to Terry because it was his night. He doubled our "holdings" and used his winnings to buy a couple items that were donated. What fun!

We didn't leave until about 12:30 a.m. and we came straight home. We were tired. We don't keep late hours like that anymore and we were really beat. Today we had to get up early with the dogs, but we both went back to bed and slept until about noon.

It's been a lazy day and I've been doing laundry and troubleshooting a computer. Grrrr. Tomorrow we are taking Phaeton Place over to the Elkhart Campground for storage until September 1st. Sniff sniff. But we must get these two apartments rented.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Brandon's House

Here is a picture of Brandon's house. This is where we were last week helping him with the finishing touches.

Till next time . . .

Heading to Indiana. . .

Florence, Alabama, is situated on the Tennessee River. I mentioned we were camped there. Here is a picture of one of the tugs pushing a barge down the river. There were several barges. I heard the engines of a tug after we went to bed one night and raise my blind to see the lights of the tug pushing the barge downriver. I have also included a picture of the back of our campsite. We had enough room to park our trailer on the lot and still have a place for the truck.

We had some errands to run and one was to the local Petco to get dog treats as the boyz were almost out. Right outside on the wall of the petshop was this little bat. I'm not sure why he was there, but he was alive. He had cobwebs on him and it appeared he was trying to groom himself and get them off. I almost wanted to help him, but I didn't. Later we noted he was gone. I hope he flew off and no one disturbed him.

We did do some sightseeing around Florence. We went to visit the Joe Wheeler State Park. It appears to be an older park and not much in the way of sites big enough for Phaeton Place. They had a few, but it was very heavily forested, so none of our satellite systems would work. But it was a nice park. We crossed the Wheeler Dam on our way back to the camp.

Today we drove up to Shepherdsville, Kentucky, to Grandma's RV Campground and will be here until Monday when we head to Goshen to play landlord and hopefully get a couple apartments rented. We just learned this week they will be vacated in September.

Till next time . . .


PS: I have been asked to mention in my blog that prior to the Gypsy Journal Rally in Celina, Ohio, in September, the Graduating Class of 2005 is going to have a reunion, aka, getogether. We would love to see as many classmates as possible. See here It will be a fun time and we hope you can make it!

Friday, August 01, 2008

New Windshield!

Terry got it fixed yesterday. The repair guy said we were really lucky. If it had hit an inch down, it would have gone through the windshield and being just left of center, it would have hit me, the driver. Not good. That probably would have resulted in my losing control of the car pulling the 12' enclosed trailer. He said it was heavy and very high velocity. I'm thinking airplane part since it apparently bounced from what I saw. Or shot from a homemade cannon. But it was a rural remote area. . . I don't think it likely was a prank. The repair guy said it also bent the windshield frame and he rarely sees that happen. But that is what deflected it upwards over us.

I know Terry was in the other seat, but more likely God was/is my co-pilot. I normally react very badly to loud sharp noises that startle me. Balloons, for instance, terrify me. I know in a former life someone must have tied me down and popped balloons around my head! It hit, Terry yelled, and I calmly just kept going as though nothing had happened.

We are in Florence, Alabama, arriving from Red Bay late yesterday morning. We are at McFarland park. I would tell you more about it, but I'd like to keep it a secret. . . oh well. It is a city park along the Tenneesse River just past the yacht harbor. What a lovely park. 50 Amp, full hookups, $18, but we paid $15 because of Terry's Golden Access pass. The section we are in has long, wide paved sites and concrete picnic tables. The paved area is probably 20' x 70' long and a good distance between sites and that is nice grass. We are out in the open by choice, due to our satellite systems, but you can have shade if you like. Plenty of parking. They told us we could put our trailer in the parking lot behind us, but there is plenty of room and we have it on our site. There is a beach here. We are about 30 yards from the river and there is some barge and boat traffic which is fun to watch. The dogs are happy to be back home, but I know they enjoyed their time at Uncle Brandon's. Bailey especially liked sniffing all the new smells and because of the fence, he didn't have to be confined. I don't think Neal liked the fact that a hose was handy so every time he got dirty he got hosed off. I liked that, though.

We are here today and tonight, regrouping, then we start our trek toward Indiana. I am trying to get an appointment with my hip doctor early next week. The shot did not work and I continue to have a lot of pain. If I do nothing, I'm fine, but who wants to do nothing? Not me. So I do a lot and have a lot of pain.

We will no doubt take a slower drive north than when we came down. We have no deadlines, and since we are driving separate (motorhome + car pulling trailer) we will take our time.

Till next time. . .