Sunday, February 3, 2008

On the Road Again

Feb. 2, 2008 - really

Well, between November 1st and December 23 we were in a small campground at the edge of Coffeyville, Kansas. Coffeyville is famous as the place where the Dalton Gang met it’s demise and for the devastating flood that wiped out a huge section of the town earlier this year. While there are signs of recovery everywhere, it is heartbreaking to see street after street of once pretty little houses marked for demolition. Still there is a can do spirit that pervades the area and the people are coping.

Big Jim was working a short-term Workamper job for during their Christmas season. Since we had no Internet connection to distract me, I was supposed to be working on THE BOOK. . Oh, I didn’t stop writing, I just couldn’t prove that to anyone until now! I did get a lot done on our mystery, but being the world’s greatest procrastinator I managed to get distracted anyway.

On the morning of the 23rd, the Weather Channel warned us of another big storm moving into the area. We quickly packed up and hightailed it for Tulsa to spend Christmas with Bev and Jim. A few days later, we headed west and happened upon the most enchanting overnight spot imaginable. The city park in Childress, Texas has a few RV hookups available for only $5.00. Sounded good to us. But when we got there we found several acres of Christmas lights strewn through the trees and surrounding the lake. It was like camping in Fairyland. The next day brought us to Hobbs, New Mexico and my Dad, “Old Newsie” and his sweet Southern Lady, “B” welcomed us.

We had a great time catching up with them and my brother and sister- in- law. Big Jim was in his own personal heaven, able to watch all his favorite DVDs on their huge TV with a couple of very willing viewers. We somehow managed not to put on too much extra weight despite, B’s wonderful cooking. We had our own Hobbs Film Fest, which surely outdid anything Sundance or Cannes can serve up.

Now we are back on the road. So grab a cup of cocoa and spend a few minutes catching up with us once again. You'll find three more posts with this date attached but also including their actual dates.

See ya down the road,

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Home For Christmas

December 26, 2007

Last year we spent Christmas in Del Rio, Texas in the company of other RVers from around the country. We had been a bit worried about how we would react to the first Christmas either of us had ever spent without family. As it turned out, we had a lovely time, at a holiday pot luck dinner in the club house, with other folks in the same boat. We spent a lot of time halting conversations and smiling every time someone’s cell phone rang and one of us jumped up and went out into the chilly air to talk to our kids or grandkids. We all rejoiced knowing our families hadn’t forgotten us after all and were busy making their own memories.

This year we stepped a little farther away from the traditional family dinner. We had great fun with friends who were managing Tulsa’s Expo Square RV Park at a casino for dinner. I said no to ham and turkey and ate seafood. We all got rich with the gift of friendship as we spent a few days seeing the sites and the lights of Tulsa.

Once again we smiled and understood when the cell phones began chiming with children and friends wishing everyone a blessed Christmas. Great conversation and a sense of well-being were the familiar wrappings on a lovely day.

We are together, living our dream and we’ve learned that no matter where we go or who we are with during our second life, we will always be Home for Christmas!

See ya down the road,

Be Careful What You Wish For

December 12,2007

I meant it. Really. Honest, I was looking forward to a taste of winter. Gentle, quiet, sparkling snow covering all of the dreary browns of late fall and early winter. I anticipated making a little snowman, sprinkling birdseed and watching the cardinals leave their fragile tracks in the soft white blanket surrounding the trees and the Winnebago. It was supposed to be so cozy, snuggled here in the RV with a book and a cup of hot cider.

Yeah-right! That 4th season arrived with a drenching rain that quickly turned everything to a quagmire. The accompanying winds drove us out of the pecan grove and onto open ground yesterday morning. Today the Arctic blast has deprived most of the Tulsa area, as well as most of the towns surrounding us, of electricity.

The freezing rain broke several heavy branches laden with an inch or more of ice and they are now covering the ground where we were parked yesterday. No TV since “something” happened to the antenna-again and there’s an inch of ice on the satellite dish.

Walking is treacherous and Clancy is determined to go for a walk any way! Big Jim has to sleep most of the day so he can go in for his overnight shift so he’s no use in the walk department. Hang on Clancy, wait until I finish this blog. On second thought, could you learn to use the litter box? No, huh? All right. Let’s go.

It is freezing out there! I can‘t wait for Spring!

See ya down the road,

Fall in the Mid West

November 18th

Over the past few days, the strong winds here at the Walter Johnson RV Park in Coffeyville,Kansas, have stripped most of the colorful leaves from the oaks, beech, walnut, and pecan trees. Now as I look out my window, a little after dawn, I can see the intricate silhouettes of the trees against the pink, grey, and violet clouds that foretell a rain storm on it’s way.

The fallen leaves cover the ground surrounding our Winnebago with a fragrant crunchy carpet that reminds me of a tattered crazy quilt about to blow away. Two squirrels are calling to one another as they rush to beat the nutters who will be out soon to collect the pecans. They have captured Clancy’s attention and I can see as she sits in the front window how her body aches to be out there chasing through the leaves after them. Sorry, Girl, we’ll go out in a little while. We’ll wait until after the serious nut collectors, including the squirrels, have made their rounds and then we’ll fill our little canvas bag as we stroll through the park.

So many people cautioned us against heading for Kansas in November but I’m glad we came. I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying these Autumn days. A couple of years ago some of those folks told us we were nuts to go to the Omaha area at the same time of year but it proved to be one of our favorite times on the road. Fall is our favorite season and after too many years of desert, Pacific Northwest rains, and hot California, this time is good for our souls.

Could it be that some of our family and RV friends who have moved south or follow the sun have forgotten the sights, sounds, and smells of four seasons? While a constant 72 degrees might sound ideal, for us it would soon become boring. You need storms to clear the summer dryness and refresh the air with the dusty smell of crimson, gold, and russet.

In Owasso, Oklahoma last week, after a reunion with some of my favorite cousins, we passed a family raking leaves into a huge pile. I wanted to go join the kids as they jumped into it and scattered all of their Dad’s work back onto the lawn. A few streets away a fragrance enveloped us that we’d almost forgotten and we saw another group surrounding a burning pile of crisp colors. These are activities and sensations that remind us of our childhoods in New England.

Just now, while the coffee is brewing beside me, the wind is very strong and a rain of color is racing past the window. In a moment of heart over common sense, we chose to park the rig at the edge of a small pecan grove near a scattering of trees. Luckily, most of the nuts had already dropped and only a few have waited to bomb us in the middle of the night. The trees themselves serve as a buffer breaking up the wind and we can enjoy all of the action without suffering the impact.

No, I haven’t forgotten what comes after Autumn, but I’m actually looking forward to a taste (maybe just a nibble) of winter before we leave after the holidays.

Okay, time to begin looking for some recipes to use the 3 gallons of pecans we’ve collected.

See ya down the road,