Friday, September 26, 2008

Back in Goshen/Elkhart!

We arrived back at the Elkhart Campground around 4:30 today, site 738. We heard from Gita that our friends, Smokey and Pam are here. We had thought they would be gone by now, but I guess they had to wait on some parts. They haven't been here since we arrived, so we will check in with them tomorrow hopefully.

We made a run over to the apartments tonight. While we were gone this month, we had the empty duplex cleaned and the carpets cleaned. Wow, do those apartments ever look good. We have one appointment on Tuesday for someone coming to look. We will start to advertise and hopefully get them rented. Once they are rented, we are headed for Texas.

One thing I have noticed here that we haven't been bothered by much this summer and that is mosquitos. Yuck. I got out my lanterns and will be ready to smoke the place before the boyz have to go out to do their business. I don't like biting bugs.

We will be in and out of the campground as we have work to do over at the apartments. Terry has some work to be done on the apartment truck and we need new brakes on the Sport Trac. But we will have time for our friends. We promised Bob and Molly and Seafood Chowder, so we will have to get with them and get that scheduled.

If you see us here, stop and say hello.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Class Reunion of Another Kind!

We left Celina, Ohio, on Saturday morning and drove to Summit Lake State Park, near our former home of Mooreland, Indiana. We had pre-registered, so it was a quick stop at the office, then back to our favorite site A70. Water and electric only, but they have decent showerhouses and the sites are large with nice gravel pads and grass areas. It is large enough to set some things out and give the dogs a nice area in which to sun themselves.

Our friends, Dave and Mark, were parked across the street from us in their beautiful new Georgetown Class A, 38 foot. It is absolutely gorgeous and we were soon treated to a guided tour. It is a different floor plan from any I have seen and is very attractive. Their Airdale, Dylan, greeted us with a resounding bark.

We made some plans with the guys regarding the potluck on Sunday afternoon. We had previously invited a few friends from where we taught. Dave and I retired the same year and we miss seeing friends we had known for over 30 years. We had 19 that came for the fun and fellowship and no one left until the little black bugs started biting. Boy were they annoying. A few people followed us back to the campground and we were able to show them our "home" that we have traveled full time in for 3 years. I really appreciated those who were able to come and especially those who told me I was the reason they came. How special was that? It certainly made me feel as important to them as they are to me. The thought was passed around that we should make this an annual event and we should consider making a wider invitation to any who might be interested in attending and getting the word out earlier. I think that would be fun and I'm sure would be do-able.

One thing for sure . . . the food was wonderful and we had a nice variety. Thanks to everyone who attended.

Till next time. . .


Friday, September 19, 2008

Gypsy Journal Rally, Eastern Installment

The eastern GJR is now history. We arrived here in Celina, Ohio, after leaving Charlottesville 12 days ago. We came in early to have a 2005/2007 Graduating Classes reunion. We had great fun, although we would have liked to see more 2005 classmates. I know it's hard to all get together, but it would have been great to see more friends. We had campfires every night, except when it rained, which happened up until the time Ike went through. Then that Sunday when Ike bore down on central Ohio, we pulled 3 of our 4 slides in and stowed the DataStorm. I'm guessing the wind gusts were in the 50-60 mph category. We had very little rain, but what did fall was mixed with something (Terry says seaweed from the Gulf) and plastered the sides of our rigs. Everyone was out cleaning their rig the next day, but we waited until today when everyone was leaving and scrubbed Phaeton Place good so she looks nice and shiny now.

The Rally was great fun. It officially started Monday, and we helped with check-in on Sunday morning. There were lots of seminars to attend and you could surely learn a lot. We attended at least 2 everyday and some days more. We are wanting to make some changes in the decor of Phaeton Place and got some great ideas from several people. There were doughnuts and coffee every morning, and evening activities, i.e., door prizes, pizza party, jam sessions, games and just fireside chats--to name a few. We were lucky that the firepit was ouside our rig, so we didn't have to go far to check on the dogs. We had a great group of people we were camped with and enjoyed visiting with them.

The group was meeting for happy hour this afternoon, then going out for dinner before retiring to the campfire, but we are too tired. I still have the interior cleaning to do. We are headed for Summit Lake State Park, 3 miles from where we lived in our former life, and we are having a get-together of colleagues with whom I used to teach. One is bringing his rig to camp with us, so that will be great. Then we have doctor appointments all week.

We will be leaving here tomorrow and will get there in the early afternoon.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Skyline Drive

On Sunday, the last day we would be with the kids, we decided to drive up on the Skyline Drive and take in about 40 miles of twists and turns so that we could see some scenery. After the rains from Hannah the day before, the morning dawned bright and sunshiny and promised to let us do just that.

The kids came out to the camp about 10:30 and we drove up Afton Mountain to the parkway. We stopped at several overlooks and took pictures. Jocelyn filled us in on what we were looking at because I don't know one mountain range from another or one valley from another. On the one side we were looking at the Shenandoah Valley which is really beautiful.

When we got to Loft Mountain, we stopped and visited the gift shop. Then we drove up to the campground for a look and to check out whether Phaeton Place would fit in any spots. Actually, she would, but I don't think I want to take her up there. A smaller motorhome would be perfect.

On our way back from the campground, we visited the amphitheatre where I was able to snap some pictures of Ronan. He sure is a sweetie and we love him and his parents very much.

We are now in our site at the Mercer County Fairgrounds in Celina, Ohio, where we are gathering for a "reunion" of our 2005 full-timing group. Then next week is the eastern gathering for the Gypsy Journal Rally. I'm sure that will be lots of fun. We were greeted by much cooler temperatures today when we arrived. It is supposed to stay that way through tomorrow, then get a little warmer during the days. Good rally weather because we don't have full hookups and with the dogs, we like it to be cooler.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mystery Solved!

Well, sometimes I read too much. Jocelyn picked up a magazine about the Blue Ridge area and there was an article in it about a hiker who was bitten by a rattlesnake. He detailed his ordeal of suffering and eventual recovery from the snakebite.

That night I was awakened by a distinct "rattling" and immediately thought we had a snake in the motorhome. But I couldn't imagine how one would get in and thought it was my imagination. Then I heard it again. This time I noticed that Bailey, who normally sleeps on the couch, was laying on the floor right next to the bed. That is strange, so I figured that Bailey heard the same noise and sought out me for safety.

I told Terry about it the next morning and he didn't believe me. As I was working inside and he was outside, the rattle sounded again. I ran out the door to tell him. As I came back in, I heard it again, but he followed me in and heard nothing, of course. He said it was a cricket. . . nope, I know what they sound like and it wasn't a cricket.

A few nights before I was watching TV in bed late and Terry was asleep. As I lay there with only the light of the TV, I saw something fly through the room. I jumped up and turned on all the lights and woke Terry up, explaining what I just saw. We started searching. I actually thought it was the size of a hummingbird. We looked and looked. Couldn't find anything. As I was picking up the blankets, I caught something green out of the corner of my eye. There resting on the underneath side of the counter was a Katydid! Terry scooped up the little green guy and took him outside and let him loose.

As we were in the car getting ready to leave the next morning, we looked up to see a praying mantis on the back of the motorhome. I got out and found a twig and moved him to the outside and he flew away.

Back to the rattle. . . This morning it sounded loud and clear and Terry heard it. After we had the one katydid a few days ago, he became convinced we had another one. I downloaded the sound of a katydid on my computer and became certain as well that another was in our midst. I was washing the breakfast dishes and saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I looked to the floor and there sat another katydid, having fallen apparently from the air conditioning duct in the ceiling. This time I gently pinched his wings together and tossed him outside. So hopefully, our noises are gone now and the katydids are outside where they belong.

Till next time. . .


Wet and Wild!

We arrived in Charlottesville, Virginia, last Tuesday afternoon and have been spending time with Jocelyn, Tom, grandson Ronan and granddog Jericho. Grandchildren are certainly special and Ronan is no exception. I don't know what is so different about them. But they certainly are sweet. Ronan is about 16 months old, says several words and the bigger words are the most clear, I think. He takes a few steps, will stand all by himself, but prefers to drop and crawl if he has a large distance to cover. He always has a smile on his face, which will just melt your heart. He liked the piggy bank we brought him. It has large "coins" that count when you put them in the bank. It also has songs that play.

We have spent an evening walking on the UVA campus, pushing his stroller, walking the mall, and running errands for Jocelyn with Ronan in tow. Poor Tom has to work, but hopefully by getting out, we provide him with some peace and quiet. The days have been beautiful and warm with lots of sunshine. . . until today.

Today. . . well actually last night. . . the remnants of Hurricane Hannah barrelled up the eastern seaboard and we started getting a steady downpour around midnight. It continued all night and through the morning hours, stopping just after lunch. It was still overcast when we headed into town to see the kids, but there is a majesty of the Shenandoah Valley even with the rain, mist and fog. It changes the scenery and things look different but beautiful just the same. When we left them this afternoon and headed back to camp, the sun was shining and everything was even a richer green. It is easy to see why people fall in love with the mountains around this historic town and area.

We have had flash flood warnings show on our weather radio, but we are safe where we are and we have actually dried out a bit from the water we had standing around this morning.

Tomorrow will be our last day with the kids and I hate to see it end because we will miss them all. But we will see them again next spring when Ronan will be 2 years old. It hardly seems possible that he is just a few months from that milestone. I hope he does not forget Grandma Dale between now and then!

Till next time. . .


Monday, September 01, 2008

Rest in Peace, Wee Little Brody

Brody crossed the Rainbow Bridge this morning. He was the only Scotsman in the family of some dear friends and former colleagues of mine. He died of Blastomycosis, a lung disease common in Canada and many moist wooded areas. They breathe mold spores from the dirt, and it grows in their lungs. He showed no signs until a week ago today. He was not quite 2 years old.
The Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together. . . .
Author unknown
Food for Thought
Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
Take naps.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
Stop when you have had enough.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by.
We miss you, Brody.
Till next time. . .

Camp Pull-Tab

We are in beautiful St. Paris, Ohio, at Camp Pull-Tab. We arrived yesterday around 2:30 p.m. Tab and Deanna fixed us a wonderful dinner of grilled marinated chicken, Funi salad, grilled potato wedges, and rolls. It was so good. Later we drove into Piqua for ice cream at the Dairy Queen. Really good.

We always enjoy our time here with our friends. We first met them when we all started full timing in the fall of 2005. We will be leaving here this morning and heading to Gallipolis, Ohio, where we will spend the night. Then it is onward to Charlottesville and Ronan! Well, we will see his parents too, but grandson Ronan is so, so special.

Till next time. . .