Thursday, December 16, 2010

Traveling again

Just a quick note.  We're on the road heading back to Virginia and plan to arrive on Sunday or Monday.  The uncertainty lies with the weather.  We understand from friends that there has already been snow, more snow is expected today and even more this weekend.  If it's really that icy and snowy, we will delay a day or two (or three).  That will make it harder to catch up with everyone, but I guess we can all blame global warming.  It's going to freeze us all....
We've been in Abita Springs, Louisiana for the past two days and it's been cold here as well.  The first day here was one fraught with RV electrical problems traced to a surge protector under the bed that burned up for no reason.  It was a little tense as the microwave almost stopped and we searched for the burning electrical smell, but we got it cleaned up and replaced with a higher quality unit.  Whew.
Yesterday we thought about driving to New Orleans for the day but ended up saving that for another trip.  We went into town and had lunch at the Abita Brew Pub which several friends had told us about.  Great beer and great lunch.  I couldn't resist the Two Napkin Roast Beef Po-Boy which was delicious and Val got some huge burger made with fresh ground meat.  It was wonderful as well.  Then after a short walk around town, a visit to two local shops (produce and fudge) it was back to the rig to relax.
This morning we pack up and head towards Montgomery, Alabama.
At least it's not snowing...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Staying a while

We like it here.  That was the first requirement for extending our stay. The second was that we meet new friends, which we have done.  And they, like us, like to play pickleball.  An added bonus.  So we are staying here for another 9 days.  Then it's off to the New Orleans area and finally a four-day jaunt to Virginia.

This morning we were eating breakfast when we both noticed two hawks in a tree by the pond.  We got our binoculars out and watched for a few minutes when all of a sudden we got to see a live National Geographic special from our site.  One hawk flew across the pond and started fighting with a snake.  It was an epic battle for a while as the 4 foot green snake struggled and tried to wrap around the hawk.  But the hawk prevailed and tired out its prey.  Despite the snake not being dead, the hawk started tearing off large pieces of the snake and devouring them.  A few minutes later the snake was dead.  I got a few telephoto pictures, but when I tried to get closer, the hawk flew to a tree farther away.  The pics aren't great, but you can get the idea.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Following the weather

Many full-time RV'ers do a good job of "following the weather", a term used for staying in moderate temperatures all year.  The snow-birders do that to some extent when they spend 6 months in the north and then migrate to Florida or Arizona during the colder months.
Although we do take temperature into account when we travel, that's not always possible when we want to go somewhere.  Last night was just a bit nippy here in Willis, Texas.  It got down in the 20's.  Here is a picture of the frosty view from our rig.

The cold weather didn't stop these guys from diving and splashing.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our family and friends.  We may not see you during the holidays, but we want you to know that we think about you all.  Often.

We are staying this week outside of Houston on Lake Conroe.  Its a smaller park, but Val picked a nice site that looks out on a pond and a grassy field.  Not bad at all.  We had a little trouble the first day with our electrical management system cutting power to our rig several times, and after figuring out that it was low voltage and not our system, we called the ranger who came and replaced the circuit breaker and 30 amp receptacle.  The problem was solved which was nice because it was in the 80's and we needed the air conditioner.  Today (Thanksgiving) it was cloudy and very warm with some occasional spitting rain, but Val and I managed to get in about an hour of pickleball practice before we had to get back to put some home-made rolls in the oven.  Then it was to the activity center where we shared a wonderful meal with about fifty other RV'ers.  We had met two couples yesterday so we sat with them.  Lot's and lots of food.  No one left hungry.

After lunch we debated on a nap, but decided to hit some more pickleball, but the court was so wet that we went to the adult lounge and played some pool; something we haven't done in a few years.  When we went back outside, the temperature had dropped almost 20 degrees and the already windy day had really started blowing.  Val and I attempted about 20 minutes of pickleball which was quite a sight as any high shot was easily blown 6 to 10 feet sideways. We were relieved when it started to drizzle, and we headed  back to the warmth of the RV and the football games.  That's where we sit now, cozy and content.

Here are a few pictures from where we were the past three weeks.  Val took the sunset picture and you can guess who took the other two.

Val made a friend when she had a few corn chips while sitting outside.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nimitz Trip

Val and I took the bike to Fredericksburg yesterday to visit the Nimitz Museum complex that our friends Russ and Jodi told us about.  The trip to Fredericksburg, about 90 minutes away, took us through new sections of the foothills, so it was a beautiful although chilly ride.  We started at the Admiral Nimitz Museum which detailed his life and career, then spent some time on the grounds looking at the memorial plaques and the Japanese Peace Garden and finished with 3 hours in the George H. W. Bush Gallery (which easily could have been stretched to double that).
The George Bush Gallery was one of the best museums we've ever seen.  It chronicled what led up to World War II and then detailed the Pacific conflict from start to finish.  We learned how each major battle developed, how our troops and the Japanese forces were deployed and how we eventually won.  I wish history classes in school had been so fascinating.

 The Admiral Nimitz Museum was originally the Nimitz Hotel.  It was quite a contrast to the modern George Bush Gallery building.

One of the walls of plaques dedicated to ships and individuals.

 I found a plaque dedicated to the ship that my father served on during the war.

A solid bronze propeller from a carrier.  It was one of four on the ship.  Can you estimate the weight? 
(Just a bit shy of 25,000 pounds.)
The Japanese Garden of Peace which was a gift from military leaders in Japan.

Inside the Bush Gallery:

A Japanese dive bomber.

An Australian tank that took a direct hit in the front.  The video monitor above the tank showed an interview with the commander of the tank who described how he survived the attack and helped a member of his crew.
An exact replica (sans plutonium of course) of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

Beware.  An editorial comment follows....

As we left the complex and walked the streets of Fredericksburg, Val and I talked about what we had seen and heard and wondered if our country would have the same resolve today that it had during World War II.  We know that circumstances are very different now, but it was interesting to note that less people were killed at the attack on Pearl Harbor than at the Twin Towers.  Civilian casualties during the war were accepted as part of the price that had to be paid, up to and including two nuclear bombs.  Today, our military personnel are forced to worry what will happen if any civilian is killed during a conflict. What a shame that our brave men and women who risk their lives every day for all of us have to worry about such matters due to "political correctness" and fear of a small minority who don't understand the principles this country was founded on and what it takes to protect our country from those who seek to destroy our way of life. 
There.  I said it.
God Bless America.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Goings On

On Monday we had our carpets cleaned so we decided to take a ride on the motorcycle while they dried.  We headed north and west into Bandera which is the cowboy capital of the world (although we didn't see any cowboys) and then headed to Medina for some lunch.  We stopped at Keese's Bar-B-Que for some excellent brisket and chicken with some potato salad, beans, pickles and onions.  We saved room for what was the waitress's favorite dessert, German chocolate upside down cake.  It was more like pie than cake; thick rich chocolate, cream cheese and coconut cooked in a cast iron skillet.  Val tasted it first as I finished my brisket, and when I looked at her face, well, it was the face of joy.  It was that good.   

Now you have to admit.  That looks good...

We headed west again after lunch to Vanderpool about 20 miles over the foothills.  Then it was north to Lost Maples State Park.  We were about 80 miles from home, so we only had time for a 60 minute hike since we wanted to be back before dusk (too many deer!).  But we lost track of time and ended up hiking longer than we expected.  The ride back was beautiful with the sun setting over the foothills and thankfully the deer stayed clear of the road.  All and all a great day.

It's hard to tell, but this was a fascinating rock formation.  It looked like half mushrooms jutting from the rock.

And a couple more from the park. And yes, the water was that color.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day Trip

We decided that we needed a few things at Costco on the outskirts of San Antonio, so we hopped on the bike and headed in to town.  The GPS took us straight in to downtown, and I commented that the area didn't look like where a Costco would be.  Val agreed and seemed a little worried since I've been known to get a little peeved at the Garmin when it steered us wrong (it's done so on several occasions).  We kept going and we were suddenly right by the Alamo, exactly where I had programmed the GPS to go.  I thought that I would surprise Val and it worked.  So we spent some time on a history refresher at the Alamo and then walked a bit downtown.  I must say that the street where the Alamo is located is somewhat odd.  Here you have such an historic structure and across the street are all types of attractions like Ripley's Believe It Or Not or a house of wax. It really doesn't fit.  The Alamo is the most visited spot in Texas, and maybe because it really doesn't take too much time to see, they figured people would want to do something else close by.  Who knows.  It's definitely worth a trip no matter what.

Today, (Saturday) has been a nice one.  The weather was cool this morning (32 degrees) but quickly warmed into the 60's.  After an unusually large breakfast for us that included a spinach and cheese omelet, sausage and home made bread, we took about a five mile walk. Then we decided to head up to the activities center to see what was going on and ended up staying for a lunch of tacos and onion rings.  After another short walk, we returned to the activity center for one dollar banana splits.   Nothing like a banana and three big scoops of icecream topped with chocolate chips, nuts, pineapple, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a cherry to take away any good that we did with the walk. (But Val and I agreed it was absolutely worth it!  And we'll do it next Saturday too...)

Self-portrait in front of the Alamo.

Alamo grounds.
Sculpture dedicated to those who died at the Alamo.

On another note, Val is really getting good at pickleball.  We've been practicing every day or two, so I think we'll be ready for competition in Florida when we get there in January.  Good times.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pipe Creek

We arrived in Pipe Creek late Tuesday afternoon after an eight hour drive.  We both agreed that that should be the last of that kind of day.  From now on we will try to stick with  4-5 hour drive at most.  It just wore us out.
But we arrived at a beautiful campground in the Texas hill country on Medina Lake, walked around a bit to find a suitable camp site and got settled in with no problems.  For reference, a suitable site for me includes access to the DirecTV satellite.  Fairly level with a view is also required.  But we're paying for TV, so we might as well get it.  In this case we can see some of the lake from our RV which is a nice touch.

The main oddity at this campground is the number of deer that walk around.  Lots.  Like everywhere.  Some people buy 50 pound bags of corn and feed them so they are not afraid to walk close to us.  Yesterday we heard a noise by our door and saw that a deer was eating our basil and mint plants that we grow along with thyme and rosemary.  I chased the deer away and put the planters on top of the picnic table.  But deer don't mind climbing up on the table to eat plants evidently.  One of them grabbed my planter and pulled it off the table.  I replaced it and put it in the center of the table.  This morning a buck decided to see what they tasted like so I threw open the door and he just looked at me like "isn't this for me?"  I went down the steps and walked closer expecting him to run, but he started nibbling again.  I yelled and he ambled off.  My plants are inside now. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Val said she felt well enough to ride to Dallas, so we headed out about 9:30 on a chilly 43 degree morning.  Thank goodness it warmed up to around 60 within the first 30 miles as the sun rose in a cloudless sky.  The trip there was uneventful until we got around Dallas where 5 lanes of highway made the last 15 miles a little tense.  I don't trust other drivers and in fact, one older guy in his minivan tried to take us out.  But we arrived safely and headed downtown to Fountain Place.  This 60 story skyscraper is known for its 172 fountains around the base.  You might remember that a young man from Jordon was arrested by the FBI last year for plotting to bomb the building.  What a shame, and I have no idea why he would pick Fountain Place.  Anyway, it was worth a stop just to see the fountains, waterfalls and dancing water.

As buildings go, this one is not the usual middle finger to the sky.  It's great from all angles.

After a little Texas barbecue, we headed to our main reason for visiting Dallas, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.  It is 66 acres of beauty on White Rock Lake with a view of the Dallas skyline.  There were water walls, landscaped lawns, sculptures and bamboo forests for just a start.  The plantings change with the seasons, but there were over 150,000 plants blooming in fall colors.  And we were there for their Great Pumpkin Festival where they brought in over 40,000 pumpkins and gourds.  They even made four houses out of pumpkins modeled after children's stories like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

We decided to get out of Dallas a little after 3 pm to miss the traffic.  Well, for those in the know, that was just a tad late on a Friday afternoon.  Instead of a lazy 90 minute trip home, we were in stop and go highway traffic for all but the last 45 minutes of a 2 1/2 hour ride.  Thank goodness the rest of the day had been relaxing because that was not.  But we made it home in one piece, and after some wine, we were doing well.

I haven't been able to load a video yet, but here are two shots of the clouds from the other day.

Tuesday is moving day as we head to Texas hill country outside of San Antonio.  The bike riding is supposed to be some of the best in Texas.  All for now.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Lonestar State

Well howdy pardner..  Okay, enough of that.  But we are in Texas (near Gordonville to be exact) and except for my lovely bride having several days of vertigo, we're happy here.  The campground is on Lake Texoma which is immense (almost 5 times as big as Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia) and our site backs up to a pond with a fountain.  Very nice.

And before I forget, and in case you missed the last post with the picture of all the HDT's, I wanted to let you all know that we were not the only school bus colored HDT at the rally.  We had a twin.  I even drove the motorcycle up to it one day after a ride before realizing my mistake.

Another bit of news is that I've played pickleball twice in the past few days.  Its been  just over 6 months since my operation and the doc said that I could start to play as long as I wear my brace.  As many of you know, I really missed playing so I'm excited to get my skill level back up before heading to Florida after Christmas. That's where the competition is fierce.  I will admit that the first lob over my head made me stop in my tracks (I lost the point) since that was how I hurt my knee in the first place.  But I've hit a few overheads since then and the fear is dissipating.

Tomorrow we're heading to Dallas for the day to see some sights assuming that Val's vertigo is better.  I'd hate to have her fall off the bike.  Of course that reminds me of the old joke where the cop pulls the guy over, walks up to the drivers door and yells "Sir, do you realize your wife fell out of your car 10 miles back?"  To which the guy says "Well that's a relief, officer.  I thought I was going deaf!"

And one last thing.  We witnessed some eerie weather a couple of days ago.  A strong front was passing through that brought a tornado about 100 miles south of us.  I'm hoping to post a video of the clouds in a day or two.  All for now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The HDT rally

The HDT (heavy duty truck) rally is over and we were not disappointed. About forty rigs showed up (most being HDT's, but there were a couple of little baby trucks too...) and the seminars were excellent.  There was lots of time for round-table discussions about our experiences and issues, and food and drink was plentiful as you would expect at a rally.  Friday was the last meal together with a pre-planned potluck that was better than any we've been to.  The best part was getting to meet so many folks that we only knew on the HDT forum.  It was great to put faces with names.  And it was fascinating to see the different trucks and RV's.  No two were alike, and they ranged from simple designs to massive works of steel with cranes and garages.

We arrived a day early, and we decided to stay an extra two days here in Hutchinson so that we could continue to visit new friends.  But we also didn't want to miss the opportunity to go to the school bus races here at the Kansas State Fairgrounds. For you race fans it might come as a surprise that Val and I have never been to any type of car racing.  Nope.  Never.  So last night was a new experience.  And we can see how you could get hooked on it, especially in a local setting where you might know some of the drivers.  Of course this was not just school bus racing.  That was just for fun (and surprisingly slow even though they did slide around the corners and push each other).  There was the modified and sprint car racing as well, and the 2010 sprint car champion was crowned. In the first sprint car race, Val quickly picked out her favorite car to root for.  She pointed it out to me just moments before it slammed into the wall on turn one, sparks flying until it came to rest, totaled. It was our first experience with the caution flag, one of many as the different cars either wrecked or, more commonly, disintegrated with sparks and smoke. 

There was really only one problem with the whole night.  Noise.  Unbelievably loud noise.  Val and I put paper towel in our ears, but most did not.  That included lots of young children and at least one baby.  Odd.

Today was supposed to be a day of rest before tomorrows trip to Gordonville, Texas, but a lack of  RV brakes required several hours under the axles replacing brake lines with a fellow HDT'er who also happens to be an RV Tech . Not hard, just tiring.  So tomorrow is the rest day and we head to Texas on Tuesday.  We plan to be there for about 6 weeks before meandering back to VA for the Christmas holidays. 
Time to head over to another rig for some drinks and dinner, so all for now.
We'll write soon.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

On the road again...

Yes folks, we're on the road again. We left good ol' Virginny on Wednesday, drove 11 hours to a quick night in Ohio and arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana Thursday morning.  We're staying at the Johnny Appleseed campground where it took me about seven tries to back in to our space.  Two trees and a sharp turn made things a little tense, but it worked out.  The campground is run by friendly folks and the area is beautiful.  Val and I took a run on the trails by the St. Joe River that borders our site and ended up going more than five miles before we got back.  Way to go Val!!
We also spotted Tom's Donuts just a short walk away, so we headed over there after lunch.  As we walked past the Fort Wayne Coliseum, I saw something about a "hamfest" flash on the board in front.  Since I was curious to find out about what that was (or if I had actually read it correctly) we paused and watched until it finally displayed again about five minutes later.  It was apparent to me when it showed again what the "Hamfest and Computer Expo" was, but Val was perplexed and commented that hams and computers are a strange mix....
After I stopped laughing, I commented that we should probably attend so that we could upgrade her processor, and I explained that it was ham radios and computers, not pork and circuits.

Anyway, we continued on to Tom's to find out that they close at 1 PM.  Disappointing, but since we had donuts on the brain, we stopped at Scott's grocery and hit the bakery.  It made the morning run worth it.

Well, it looks like we're here until late Monday at least.  The truck needs a little transmission work and we opted to do a little extra work to make sure we don't have issues on the road.

Today (Saturday) is chilly and cloudy after a rainy night, so we decided to go to the Fort Wayne Chilifest which was very different from the "hamfest" mentioned above ; )  I believe we sampled 24 chilis and several salsas, and came away full and happy.  Not bad for 5 bucks apiece.  At least one of the competitors will be going to the national chili cook-off in Texas where we will also be in November.  I doubt we'll be able to sample all of the 350+ chilis down there, but we'll try.

Before I forget, check out the new "Favorites" link after the posts.  I'll add new links as time goes by, but for now, I've put the link to Matt's blog.  He's arriving now (as I write this blog) in Florida to shoot the National Geographic Miami and the Keys travel book.  Exciting times for him!

All for now.
St. Joe Dam by the park where we're staying.

Part of the dam complex.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

sadness in Gold Hill

Our son Matt moved to Washington, DC from the Boulder area about 6 months ago to take an internship with National Geographic in the book division.  That has been an extraordinary experience.  But two days ago he received messages from his friends in Colorado that a wildfire was burning out of control in the Gold Hill area where he lived for 3 years.  The fire apparently has destroyed the house he lived in along with many others owned by his friends.  The house where he lived (and we visited a couple of times) was at 8000 feet in the Rockies with unbelievable views of the area all the way to Denver.  Please keep the people of that area in your prayers. This picture was taken on the road by the town of Gold Hill.  It's horrific.

On another note, Val's sister has regained some movement in her left leg which is wonderful news. We hope that it's the start of a major recovery!  And we are still at the beach house in Fenwick Island.  The over-hyped hurricane Earl was not bad at all (typical news media over-reacting).  The waves were huge for a day, but the wind was only gusting to 45 or so.  There was little beach erosion if any.  We've weathered much worse.  Here are a couple of pictures from the storm and the next day when boogie boarders came out in droves.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A rare occurrence...

I reckon it had to happen someday, but we've been so fortunate in our eight months of retirement.  Yes, we finally came into contact with a true assh..., um, well, jerk.  I was here at the Thousand Trails Gloucester preserve and was driving past the camp store where a family was eating their ice-cream.   As I passed them, the "jerk" screamed for me to slow down.  I was doing 8 mph, much slower than most people go through the park, really slower than the golf carts that zoom around, but also admittedly 3 mph over what they ask.  So I stopped, yelled sorry for going 8 and started to drive away when he made another comment which was too much for my former police ego to take.  I backed up and said that I had apologized, but that 8 wasn't a horrible crime. He didn't want anything to do with an apology and said that my speed was more than 50%!! over the speed limit.  By this time I was seriously considering beating the sh.., um, stuffing out of the guy, but Val's calm voice saying that it wasn't worth dealing with the assh..., um, jerk made me stop.  So I shook my head and drove away with my blood pressure quite a bit higher than normal.
Since yesterday, I've thought long and hard about this little incident.  On one side I still feel that I should have put him in his place.  But I also feel fortunate that this was the first jerk that we've met in all of our RV travels.  And when you think of it that way, we're very lucky indeed.  Showing restraint and turning the other cheek was the right thing to do. It made us better people.
But he's still an asshole...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Update, um, for the update...

We are back in Gloucester at Thousand Trails until August 25th.  We extended our stay here instead of traveling to Quinby, VA on the eastern shore since that would have been a prohibitive 4 hour drive to Richmond to see Val's sister Joanie.  We drive in to see her about every other day.  Joanie's progress is very slow, and as you can imagine for someone with a major stroke at age 42, she has her good and bad days.  We are still hoping for a great recovery!
It's been almost 4 months since my knee surgery in Florida, and I talked Val into hitting the ball around on the pickleball court here.  I had my snazzy, ocean blue carbon fiber knee brace on and it felt so good to hit some. But then two other people came, and I made the (STUPID) decision to play a little with them and not move quickly.  Uhhh, no.  Not in my competitive DNA.  10 points in I took a quick step forward and realized that this was a bad idea.  I was fine after some Advil and ice, but the doc was right.  Six months is the rule, and that's what I will do.  On a good note, we've been working out at the police academy twice a week, and the larger weights have really helped me rehab my knee. And we are back to riding the BMW again!  It feels great!

We get asked all the time how we like traveling and retirement.  We love both, but as I have expressed before, life can throw you some curve balls.  My knee injury was a setback and canceling our west coast trip due to Joanie's stroke was disappointing but the right thing to do. Despite what has happened, we both feel so fortunate that we can experience this lifestyle at our age, and we have no doubts about our decision.  We are meeting great people who, like us, have travel and adventure in their blood.

We have had the family house on the ocean at Fenwick Island  for 28 years and have never had the chance to spend more than a week or so at any given time.  Now that the renters are out for the summer, we've decided that since we're retired and still on the east coast, we should take advantage of the situation and live at the beach for a month.  It's not the west coast like we planned, but we really can't complain much, can we...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Next update

We have to apologize for the scarcity of blog posts, but there is really very little to report.  We have moved from Gloucester to Amelia and will go back to Gloucester again on the 26th.  We have canceled all of our west coast travel reservations which is very sad but necessary.  We will hopefully get out there next year for a grand adventure.  We hope to still make it to the heavy duty truck rally in Kansas in October, but we'll see how things are going when that time arrives.
Joanie is still in rehab at Sheltering Arms and has made some progress.  Her mobility is still severely hindered by the paralysis, but she is working very hard with the physical, occupational and speech therapists.  We expect her to be there for another couple of weeks and then move to some type of assisted living.  We hope to meet with the staff at Sheltering Arms next week to discuss short and long-term goals for Joanie. She continues to get daily support from her family, friends and church, and she truly appreciates that.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Update on Joanie

Many thanks to all who have read our post about my sister Joanie, and have included her in their prayers.  I am happy to report that she was discharged from the hospital yesterday and is now at Sheltering Arms Rehabilitation Hospital for physical and occupational therapy, as she still  has paralysis on her left side.  Her spirits are good, and she told us today that one of her goals is to drive again!  Joanie has the love and support of her family and many friends whose thoughts and prayers have truly made a difference.  I will share her progress with you as she continues her recovery.  

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update, links and pictures

Joanie continues to have myriad  problems.  The doctors installed a filter in her main arteries to keep more clots from entering her lungs and heart.  That procedure went well.  Unfortunately, there appear to be a large number of clots in her lungs. And it was confirmed that she has a small hole in her heart which allowed the clot to pass through to her brain.  That will need to be fixed sometime in the future when she is stabilized.  That and the diagnosis that she has a blocked carotid artery on one side which right now is inoperable keeps us all in a state of constant fear and worry.  But as of Saturday afternoon, she is resting well.

On a lighter note, for folks that didn't see the Style Weekly article about the Richmond Flying Squirrels, here is a *link* with a picture of Joanie working the stands.  She loves working there and having people ask to have their pictures taken with her. We're hoping she'll get back there one day.

Here we are at dinner after a long day at the hospital.  We're holding up as good as possible.  Having everyone around really helps.  Bill flew in from Florida yesterday afternoon to help out.

Life Changes

It's amazing how life changes so quickly.  Plans are made.  Lines are drawn on maps.  And then...
For those who haven't been notified, Val's youngest sister, Joanie, had some shortness of breath and, thank goodness, after some pressure from her sister Mary, the doctor finally agreed to do a CAT scan. It was apparent after the test that she was in immediate need of medical attention due to clots in her lungs.  She arrived at Henrico Doctor's Hospital and we all rallied around her.  That was Wednesday.  On Thursday there seemed to be some improvement in her condition, but at 3:45 PM, a clot traveled through a small hole in her heart and made it to the right side of her brain causing a stroke.  Mary and a nurse were with her so she immediately got any medical help she needed.  But despite all the care, she still remains in critical condition with loss of feeling in her entire left side.  The good news is that she still has her communication skills.  Her sense of humor and strength of spirit are still there.  But she has a long way to go.  She is going to need your support and prayers for a long time.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


It's been a different few days in a sticks and brick environment.  Its been eight months since we slept in a house.  My, how has time has flown by.  Although we feel very comfortable here in Fenwick Island at our family house, there is no regret about our move to the RV.  It's just different.  In a good way.
I'm still an early riser, a holdover from years of police work, so I took a picture of the sunrise from the lower deck yesterday:

And upper deck this morning:

Including this one with a few dolphins lazily swimming by: