For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Mar 31, 2018

A Very Sad Time

My dear friend and my eldest Son's Mother-in-Law has passed into peace. I spoke of her husband not too long ago. They were a wonderful couple--married over 65 years and as in love as the day they met.

Martha, quite often when Rich was alive, used to say how lucky our grandchildren were because they had all four of their grandparents. She and I bragged about them so often. When Martha lost Jim, I tried to help her as she helped me when Rich passed. She always knew what to say and what not to say. I tried to be what she had been to me, but nobody could be like Martha. Two weeks after she lost Jim, she lost her identical twin, Mary. What a brave lady to face such heartbreak with such grace and dignity.

I will miss her forever. Fortunately, for her children, Martha was a talented artist so they have so much to remember her by, in physical form. I hurt so much for my Daughter-in-Law, Lisa, but I know only time is the great healer. She and my Son are a model of Jim and Martha's marriage so I know she's in good hands. He loves her with all his heart, as do their three daughters, Amanda, Missy, and Kellie.

I will miss laughing with Martha as I did laughing with she and Jim when we went out for dinner at what we called "The Haunt". It was the old Hickory House--torn down just recently. Sort of symbolic to me.

I don't know that there is much more to say through my tears, but I couldn't let this important time in my life go without writing.

Gone From My Sight

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"

And that is dying...

Henry VanDyke

Feb 3, 2018

Just a Catch Up

I sold the truck in 1/2 hour. I had 27 responses to one ad. I told the first caller I'd give him first right of refusal at full price. The second man that called told me he'd give me $500 more sight unseen, money in hand if I would take his offer. Of course I couldn't, I had given my word to the first couple who were very nice people and I'm happy to say they bought it and--they are campers! I feel good that they will pull their camper more safely with the truck.

So the chapter ends. I miss the truck with all it's noise and lack of bells and whistles, but there are advantages to my new car. Getting in and out for one thing. When I'm at a light I wonder if I stalled (never experienced that with my truck.)

As far as new things:
I got a CRV XL

I had a dogless (rainy) weekend last week and I took advantage of it and drove up to wander around south North Carolina. I stayed in Waynesville at a Best Western. It's about 45 miles from Asheville. I can't say enough about this place. Squeaky, squeaky, clean, plush towels and enough of them, quiet, very large screen TV, Cable, Wifi, and a to go gift bag with two bottles of water, cookies and other treats. All for $89.99. Any one wanting to travel to Asheville would save money and stay at a lovely place if they chose this place.

Unfortunately, it was raining Friday and Saturday so I couldn't take many pictures, but I got a few between the raindrops. I decided to return home on Saturday afternoon. Of course, Sunday was bright and sunny.

When I left, my goal was to see Maysville where a good friend and neighbor was raised. She passed away several years ago and talked so much about the farm, etc., and the businesses that her family owned in town. Not knowing where the farm was, I just kind of rode around, but as I said I couldn't take many pictures. I did get the court house.

Guess they didn't have time to take Christmas Decorations down, yet. Again, from the window of the car. :(

I tried a few back roads in the mountains, but came to signs that said, "Pavement Ends". That would not have stopped me in the truck, but it did stop me a in the CRV. I'm not happy about that, but all good things come to an end.

Before my short sabbatical, I had Bogey and Jonah (during Susan's work hours). Quite a challenge. In anticipation of the mayhem that was to be, I emptied out a room and made it the "dog room". I only left an old couch, put the TV in it, and a time out pen for Jonah (has come in most handy). My house is topsy turvey, but that will pass. It has been a challenge. This week Susan has been in Jamaica so I only had Jonah because Michael and Laura took Bogey. Monday, the rubber meets the road, again. I'll have the two of them. I wonder how many times a day I say, "No!"
Tough Life

Bogey Always Happy to Go with Michael.

Michael had Bogey's Portrait done using the picture (below) that he had taken. I thought it was very well done. Sure wish I had done this with Jack and Lizzie.

In Just a Few short Weeks
A "Rare Moment of Brother Love"

The "Dog Room"

I took this today. Not a very good picture, but look at those paws. Lawd help me.

Jan 4, 2018

Good Bye Big Blue Truck

This marks the "real" end. I can't tell you how many times I've thought, "At least I have the truck. If I get better I could get another trailer. I could take the dogs with me." But, alas, I have to let go of pipe dreams. I'm selling big blue.

It's been a great truck. I feel as though I'm losing a good friend. I thought my son was going to buy it so I just put two brand new batteries ($355) in it and new Bridgestone tires ($1200). As it turns out, he can't take it so it's goodbye. I don't have too much trouble getting in it (habit, I guess), but when my sister visited, she did, and some of my friends have trouble, as well. I'm planning to buy a Honda CRV. I guess I should be excited about a new car, but I'm not, really.

These are not the latest pictures, but it looks pretty much the same other than a few strands of Jack and Lizzie's hair woven into the bottom of the back seats. I bought it with 25K miles, and it will soon turn 120K (mostly highway miles). They say that's a baby for a 2004 Diesel Turbo 6 (whatever that means) 3500 Dodge Ram.

I have always had the oil changed at 3K miles instead of the recommended 7.5K and have the records. Just the last change was 6K because a mechanic said I'd been throwing my money away.

It has an added hitch in the front, a new backup camera, Tonneau hard bed cover (new struts), a bed liner, and Bully Dog. The radio works, but I think it needs a fuse because there's no light. The air conditioning has been completely replaced.

I'd take pictures, today, but it's so COLD out and I need to wash it and vacuum inside. I'd love to see it go to someone who wants to pull a trailer, safely, but imagine it will go (once I advertise it) to a business owner who needs a truck.

I thought I'd post it here before advertising...stalling, I guess. However, on the chance that anyone who reads is in the market or knows someone, I feel better putting it on the blog so someone who has read could have first dibs. 

$14,500 Firm (In case anyone knows someone in Atlanta who needs a good reliable truck)

Happy Memories

Dec 13, 2017

Miss you, Blog

I don't have much to say these days, but I did want to introduce Jonah, and also tell you what a wonderful pup Bogey has turned out to be. He's my buddy. I have missed him so much. My sister visited for three weeks and fell in love with him, too. She can't walk much, either, so we did a lot of catching up.

Jonah is growing in leaps and bounds and is 21 lbs at 9-10 weeks old. He's adorable, but turns into a Tasmanian Devil at times which means crate time.

The Maine trip wound up being a bust. Beautiful because we hit the leaf season, but crowded with tourists (guess others are saying the same about me--I'm a tourist) :) Returned home two weeks early. Just not my style to travel dragging things in and out of motels, not sleeping in my own bed, and no place to sit by a fire, and stay in one place for a few days. Oh well, the trailer went to a nice couple who send me pictures of their camping trips. I sure miss it, though.

My son, John, is taking the truck so I'm going to buy/lease a Honda CRV EXL after Christmas. I can still get up into the truck, but it's difficult, and it's difficult for my sister and my friends, as well. Judy is coming down, again, in the spring so I thought I'd rent a cabin in the woods and we could take a few days and go there. If everything goes right, I'd love to take her to Charleston, as we had planned. She hurt her back so she couldn't come with Susan and me, and she's always wanted to see it. We'll probably only spend a couple of days--enough to get a taste of it on guided tours and schooner trips like last time.

The latest adventure was during an unusual snowstorm (for Georgia). A tree branch fell on a wire and set my breaker box on fire. I had a whole house surge protector, but it was glowing red. I called 911 and was ON HOLD when it burst into flames. I got the dogs out of the house and then threw one of the switches and it exploded (I was prepared to move as fast as I can in the event that I wasn't electrocuted). The firemen would not let me stay in the house so I've been squatting at Susan's house since Sunday (she's so good to open her doors to me). Because it was in the basement not much visible damage was done, but until the breaker box is fixed and electric on, I won't know if I lost any, some, or all of my appliances. More fun to come.

So, I've been busy with electricians, insurance, and the power company--none of whom seem to be able to coordinate with each other. I'll take that back. The insurance company, so far, has been very good. I have a 2K deductible, but they promise they will cover everything. I think I have the kind of policy that replaces appliances as if they were new.

I miss reading blogs but seldom get my computer out. In fact, I've been on it more since the fire than I have in a year. I keep saying I'll get better at reading blogs, but I've been in a funk. Hope anyone who still checks is doing great, and I wish everyone happy holidays and wonderful times in the New Year.

Oct 4, 2017

Where Have We Been?

On Highways and in bed too tired to blog.

Today we were in Nantucket. What a beautiful place, and a lovely ferry boat ride over and back. They have many benches only feet apart so I walked between them, took pictures, and sat down to rest. The day was beautiful--perfect degrees and clear, beautiful, blue skies. Marie is younger and very able so I told her to enjoy the day and walk to see what she wanted to see. As I was sitting on one bench I thought, "Who would have thought that I would be in Nantucket without Rich? He would have enjoyed the ferry ride and people watching."

Tomorrow we will spend in Cape Cod so I can rest one more night before continuing up the coast and so Marie can see 6A which she was told is a great drive out to the end of the peninsula.

I'll make all you RVers happy. I HATE having to go in and out of motels. I like sitting outside in the evening by a fire and having everything in its place in my trailer. Those days are over for me so advise you all to enjoy them while you can.

I do have some good news, though. Susan's puppy was born, today. Big litter of 12 puppies; 7 males and 5 females. We don't know which one is hers, yet. She has been waiting for a long time and her main criteria is temperament. The Mother and Father are beautiful dogs so some of the puppies will be show quality. Susan is just happy to have a healthy dog with a good temperament like Lizzie and Jack had.

That's about all I can think to say. I just haven't been moved to blog. I can't really say what's wrong with me. The pictures are only a taste of what Nantucket is--just what I expected--very, very pretty and so quaint. I had hoped to see more.
One of Many Churches

Watching the "Fast" Ferry Begin it's journey to Nantucket

One of the first things we saw as we were docking

The John Kennedy

Our Ferry

Taken from afar


First Glimpse of Town

From the smallest to the biggest, each dwelling has its own charm

How nice of him to spread his wings for me

Reminded me of Charleston Gardens

As I took this picture I thought, "How beautiful it must have been on the island before telephone wires and signs

Was I standing on a hill?

For Susan and Jonah and Josie

Sep 28, 2017

Thelma and Louise Take Off

I decided that I would treat myself to a trip to Maine for the month of October. I was fortunate to have an old friend (who I was going to visit in Utah with the trailer) agree to come along with me. Marie and I get along like two peas in a pod with similar likes and dislikes. She has a lovely disposition and sense of humor so I'm glad we decided to go together.

I'm still licking my wounds from the sale of my trailer. I HATED packing for this trip, and getting into the motel was a PITA. Had I been by myself, I probably would have been headed home tomorrow--my back was just unbearable until I was able to lie down. We didn't stop along the way, but we passed a little church nearby on a service road on the way to the motel and I asked the gentleman at the desk if he could tell me how to get to it, and he did. So, what was going to be a picture-less blog or no blog is now a short blog. We are in Wytheville, Virginia. I went the speed limit, we stopped for lunch, and we were six hours on the road. I "think" the driving is going to get easier now that we are off 85 which was murderous with trucks. We had some (not bad) construction slow downs, but on 85 going south there was a terrible pick up truck fire. We just hope no one was hurt.

So, short and are the only photos from the day. The church was adorable and so well kept. The door was open to everyone. We met one local man who pulled up with his little dog friendly fella. The man behind the desk at the motel is the grandson of the man who built in. He passed away. Now the young man takes care of the church and grounds.

This is Marie.