Sunday, May 15, 2011

Life in the fast lane. . .

We are back over here at the Elkhart Campground after a great rally over at the Goshen Fairgrounds. Lots of friends were there and we got to reconnect and met new people as well. We have had a wild week full of fun and unexpected events as well.

Last Saturday we went shopping for clothes. This is something we rarely do, but I was tired of what I was wearing and Terry has lost so much weight that his trousers no longer fit, so we went early and did the deed. We actually found quite a bit of what we wanted and we were able to make some good selections.

We called Aunt Francis while we were eating lunch and asked if we could come visit. Terry's Uncle Bill died a year ago in January and we try to keep in touch with his aunt who has many health challenges of her own. We went over and spent a couple hours with her and talked about her winter and caught up with family news.

Sunday we were just hanging around the motorhome when Aunt Francis called us to say she had heard from relatives in Mississippi that Terry's Aunt "Teen" Earnestine had died Saturday night. She was in a nursing home, but her death was unexpected. She was a sister to Uncle Bill and Terry's Dad, Henry. We talked about going down to Mississippi for the funeral, but there wouldn't be any word until later in the day when that would be. Finally we decided that we wanted to go and it would make sense just to get ready and drive down. We could find out on the way when everything would take place and were sure that we could at least be there for the funeral. Since we were planning on attending a rally at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen starting on Wednesday, We went ahead and closed the motorhome up. We figured that would save us time when we got back on Wednesday because we had to be parked over there by 5 p.m. We got the motorhome all buttoned up and went over to the house to drop off a few things and to tell our manager where we were going. Then we left Goshen about 11:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. It was Mother's Day, but my Mom and Dad and sister were driving back from Texas and they weren't around anyway. While we were on our way down, we heard the calling would be Monday evening and the funeral Tuesday afternoon. That actually fit into our plans nicely.

We drove to Union City, Tennessee, and spent the night. On Monday we drove into Baldwyn, Mississippi, to Uncle Bob's house. He is the surviving brother and he has a huge house and is all by himself. He expected us to stay with him which was great because we enjoy being with him, and I think he was glad for the company. Later in the day we got ready and went to the funeral home. We learned that Aunt Teen's death was very sudden. She had eaten dinner at the nursing home and was exiting the dining hall with her walker. At the door she collapsed and when the staff got to her, she was already gone. Her husband, Uncle Clyde, had lingered with Alzheimer's for years and she always had said she didn't want to do that. While she did have some issues with that same disease, she was not as bad, so she did get her wish in the end. We are thankful for Aunt Teen's life and the fact that she didn't suffer like her dear husband.

The next day was the funeral and we went to that. It was short, but very comforting. The family was invited to a dinner the church was doing and I would have loved to stay, but we needed to get back on the road. We drove the Natchez Trace back to Nashville. Earlier in the spring, the Trace was briefly closed when tornadoes tore through Mississippi and Alabama and downed many trees. We saw the area and I was a little slow getting to the camera, so I just have this one shot. I believe this other field is canola. It was quite beautiful and we saw several like it. We drove all the way to Clarksville, Indiana, stopping around midnight. The next day we awoke early and drove on to Elkhart, getting here about 1 p.m. We drove the motorhome over to the fairgrounds and hoped to take a nap, but there were too many people around that we ended up talking and visiting. However, when we did lay down that evening, there was nothing that would wake us up till morning came.

The rally was lots of fun and we enjoyed eating breakfast with friends every morning. We attended many seminars and got some good information. We ended up with all new lights for in the motorhome. We are replacing the florescent lights that seem to go bad every week with LED bulbs. The light is much brighter and they are supposed to last longer. I hope so. We also bought a new "Brake in a Box." This one is made by Blue Ox. We have had a Brake Buddy for about seven years. We had been happy with it, but we cannot make it work correctly every time anymore. It's a crap shoot whether it will work and we don't like that unreliability. Especially when we go to Virginia every year and traverse mountainous terrain where the extra brake is critical. Brake Buddy has been unhelpful of late, so we switched to a different manufacturer and a different type of system entirely. We are hoping it does well for us.

Friday was a different day for us. We went over to the house and got ready to go out Friday evening. We were headed to Muncie. One of my dear friends is retiring from teaching where I taught and her retirement dinner/celebration was planned. Along the way we stopped in Claypool and saw Mom and Dad who had arrived home on Monday. We visited with them for a couple hours and then visited with Jim and Nita also.

We arrived at the Country Club in time to visit with other colleagues, some retired, some not. It was a great evening. . . much like a reunion really. There were several people retiring and the evening lasted until 10 p.m. We hopped back in the car and drove back to Elkhart, arriving around 12:30 a.m. We were tired, but it was a fun evening and we are glad we made to effort to help our friends celebrate entering the next phase of their lives.

Last evening was the last entertainment at the rally. There was a men's quartet who sang for over an hour. They were exceptional. Known as the "Four Man Fishin' Tackle Choir," they entertained with songs about fishing and hunting. Many were favorites you would recognize, but adapted with lyrics about their favorite sports. The crowd gave them a warm reception and even asked for an encore.

Today we waited until there was a lull in the rain (which has gone on much of the week) and closed up the motorhome, leaving the fairgrounds behind, and returned to "home" over at the Elkhart Campground. When we arrived we saw our friends, Alicia and Roger, checking in. We were already reserved here for the month, so we pulled in past them and were parked when they came back. They are parked right in front of us. We all timed it perfectly because once we got all set up, the rain started again. They are here for a couple days so perhaps if the rain stops, we will get out and talk a bit.

Till next time. . .


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