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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Spooling Up

One theme that's been pretty consistent in our "retired" RV lifestyle is we seem to be moving at the speed of light instead of slowing down.  Maybe we need to learn how to keep so many things from ending up on our plate?

Even though our granddaughters Anabelle and Lizzie went on vacation with their parents to the North Carolina shore, we've been busy and it's only getting ready for us to hit Warp Speed.

My dad still lives in his house and he takes pretty good care of it, but some things are beyond what he can do at 93, so Marti and I spent another couple of days working on a few maintenance projects for him, Marti inside and me outside.  I installed an additional gutter downspout for him to help alleviate some drainage problems while Marti helped him get his computer problems resolved.

Back at our RV, we've been watering the flowers at our son's house and taking in the mail, all the while getting geared up for our next cruise, leaving NYC on Saturday, 5 Sept for 7 days.  Marti's sister Gail is flying in to go with us, so we have an airport pickup for her on Tuesday.  Friday I drive out to my dad's again to pick him up for the cruise.  He's not too excited, he's already been packed for a week.  He thinks this cruise should be more fun, the last one he was on was in 1944 across the Pacific Ocean on his way to Saipan with thousands of other soldiers.  Yes, I think this one will be much more enjoyable.  The food might even be better...

I have to make some medical appointments for routine checkups at the VA for October, plus we've already been contacted by the Army Corps of Engineers as to when we're arriving there at the J. Strom Thurmond Project in South Carolina, where we volunteer over the fall and winter months.  The COE already has some jobs lined up for us, yep some even require a paintbrush.  23 Sept is our arrival date there.

I have to book a U-Haul trailer to take my motorcycle with us, Marti will follow in the car.  To make it more interesting, we also have an appointment on 21 Sept at the Gaffney Freightliner Service Center to have some routine maintenance done on the Journey.  So to make all this come together, we plan on departing New Jersey on or about 16 Sept.

There are many other little odds and ends involved, too, to make all this happen on schedule. The devil is in the details.

 So much for a lazy, retired life.  Maybe we need to go back to work so we can rest!   :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I've Been Stewing

Marti and I decided to do something special for our 38th anniversary.  It's been a long time since we had been in New York City, being close by we decided it was time.

We hopped a train instead of driving so we could be foot loose and fancy free to bop around the city and not have to find a place to park our car.  Looking back, I don't know if we'll do that again because the wait for the trains both coming and going took a very long time, hours we could have been doing something.

We lived on Governors Island just off the tip of Manhattan for three years and often ventured in the city.  Years later I did a tour back in the city (although we lived in NJ that time) and traveled all around for my job.

One thing that stood our prominently both times were the twin towers of the World Trade Center.  We had our kids up on top of the towers a couple of times and I spent many work related hours in them.  When the terrorist attacks of 9/11 happened, we were shocked and sickened to see the terrible tragedy that not only destroyed the towers, but so many lives and happy families.

We wanted to see the memorial to the towers, so we headed downtown to see them.  Instead of building new towers where the old ones stood, the "footprints" of the towers have been left free of buildings.

Instead, very thoughtful fountains have been constructed on the footprints, with waterfalls flowing over the edges like never ending tears.  All around the fountain edges are inscribed the names of the victims of the tragedy to be remembered.

Standing next to the footprint fountain I did get a little teary eyed, even though I had no personal loss of any relative or friend, I still felt the sadness of what happened here.  So senseless.

Looking around I got very upset at many of the people who were there.  There were too many that were making light of this hallowed place, laughing, joking, taking selfies with the fountains in the background.  How could this be happening at this memorial?

Another thing we noticed, there was no American flag flying anywhere on the grounds.  I know that many people from all over the world lost their lives here, but the vast majority were American citizens.  How can we as a nation not show our pride in who we are and show the world that despite a horrific attack, we still are a strong, freedom loving nation?  I am appalled that there is no flag.

Later, on the train ride home, I was sitting next to a lady who was traveling to the same stop as we were.  In our conversation, she asked what we had done on our trip and the subject of the World Trade Center came up.  I shared my feelings with her and found she appreciated them and agreed with me.  She had real pain from the attack, she told me she had lost her husband there.

I told her how very sorry I was for her loss, but how can words ever heal someone from such a terrible tragedy? 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Guest Blogger

Hi, it's me, Anabelle, writing this post for my Pa.  He sometimes lets me practice my writing skills and also my photography skills.  Pa and Mimi are lots of fun to be around, I wish they could stay with us more often, but Pa says he doesn't like snow.  How can anyone not like snow?

Of course, there is no snow now so we've been doing lots of other things together.  Their campground has a nice pool and we've spent lots of time there when we sleep over in their motorhome.

Pa has a nice big motorcycle and he brought it over to my house the other day to take me for a little ride around our cul-de-sac.  I put on my bike helmet, but then I decided I didn't want to ride on it, I'll wait until I'm a little older.

We love to go out to eat with Mimi and Pa.  We went to my favorite diner and I had the bestest desert ever!  Chocolate pudding with French Fries.  I can't get enough of it!
My sister Lizzie didn't like my desert, she just wanted to eat corn instead.  Maybe she'll like it when she gets older, she's only one year old.
My sister and I went shopping with Mimi and Pa.  I drove my own shopping cart car.  I did a great job and didn't knock over too many displays or people in the store.
Pa said I did such a good job driving that I should have my own car.  We found one just the perfect size for me by the campground.
I'm ready to drive it now, but Pa said I have to wait a few more years.  How come, I'm already three!!!
I had a good time with Pa's camera, I took a bunch of pictures, including about eleventy-leven pictures of my toes.  Aren't they pretty?
I have to go now, Mommy said I need to stop writing and take a nap!  Boy does she know how to spoil my fun!
Thanks for visiting Pa's blog and feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, August 10, 2015

How'd We Get So Busy?

So much for a peaceful time here in New Jersey.  It seems we've been busier than a no-armed paper hanger.  But that's what we like to do and why we travel.  So much fun connecting with old friends as well as spending time with Anabelle and Lizzie.

They came and spent the night with us last week.  We had a good time and spent a few hours in the campground pool.  They can't wait to come back again to Mimi and Pa's "house". 

The campground here at the Earle Navy base is really nice, it's small, but roomy.

One of the benefits here, along with nice sites and free WiFi is you are allowed to wash your rig.  I took advantage of that the other day and got up on the roof.  It gets pretty dirty and you waste your time washing the sides of your rig if you don't do the roof first, dirt will just wash down the clean sides.

It doesn't look too dirty, until you see this view:

Much better now.

While I was scrubbing the roof, several campers said I could come over and do theirs when I was done.  I told them I'd be glad to if they'd pay my fee: $100/foot.  Suddenly they changed their minds, strange, huh?  ;c)
While up on the roof, I inspected all my caulking, too.  Everything looked fine.

Now I have to wash the sides of the Journey, but I'll save that for another day.  I don't want to rush it and have nothing left to do...   :cD

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Mel's Angels

It's been interesting lately.  Nothing earth shattering, but enough to keep us busy while we're here in New Jersey.

First off, my laptop got the dreaded "unexpected_kernal_trap_mode" bug.  It appeared every once in a while, then became more and more prevalent until it made my computer unusable.  Researching on line showed it to be a driver problem, so I had to reset all my drivers.  Of course, this has wiped out many of my programs, to include Live Writer, so I've had to resort to Blogger for new posts.  Trying to reload Live Writer via a download has met with multiple failures so far.  I'll keep on trying.

When I returned from my motorcycle trip, my bike was a little on the dingy side, so out came the washing gear.

In no time I had it all suds up and grime free.

It came out sparkling clean and shiny.  In no time.  Don't I wish I could get the Journey this clean in the same amount of time!
Last week, we spent time at my Dad's house.  I rode my motorcycle up, followed by Marti in the car.  I had made arrangements with my two brothers, Dave and Gordy, to take our father for a bike ride on Saturday.  Until then, I had a bunch repairs to Dad's house to take care of for him.  At 93, he still lives very successfully on his own, but some of the maintenance is too much for him.  However, he still loves to cut the grass on his 2+ acre home on his riding tractor.   I know better than to get in his way when he is zooming around like a race care at Daytona.
We'll be coming back to stay with him again later in the month, a few more project to complete.  I have to install a matching gutter downspout on the back of his house, the existing ones are too far apart and in heavy rains the gutters overflow leading to some water in the basement problems.
I've never installed a gutter downspout before, but it can't be too hard, after all, what kind of trouble could I get myself into?   ;c)
It wasn't all work and no play.  My brothers arrived on their motorcycles, we put Dad on with Gordy and headed out for a nice ride along the Delaware River.
Mel's Angels riding again.  Gordy and my Dad, Mel.
We're back at the Journey now in the Navy Campground in Earle, NJ looking forward to some quality time with Anabelle and Lizzie.  Plus some time to clean up the Journey and complete a few maintenance items.
Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.