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.

Aug 26, 2012

(Old Posts) Little by Little

Monday, June 11, 2001

We got up early this morning, tried to check email, but couldn’t get authentication.  We decided to drive up to Florence and stay and explore the area.  We pulled into the RV park and what was to be a little work became several hours worth, so we lost some time.  We took a ride up the coast when we were finished, but it was raining so hard that I couldn’t take the cameras out.  I donned my Gortex™ boots and my bright blue rain jacket and pants.  I look like a big, bright blue balloon walking around.  We had a pleasant drive, nonetheless.  Given the weather, we decided to go and walk around Old Town Florence, which is a delightful seaside town.  Some beautiful, but expensive shops.  I enjoyed it in spite of the rain.

We passed a movie and Pearl Harbor was playing.  I knew Dad wanted to see it so I told him to go ahead, and I would come back to pick him up at 7:00 p.m.  The movie is three hours.  At first he hesitated, but I knew he would be bored stiff if we came back here, and I also figure it gives him a rest from driving.  We’ll see what we want to see on the way up.  For the most part, we’ve seen every nook and cranny over the past three years so we don’t have to go to some of the lighthouses, which brings me to the subject of postcards.

I have had postcards sitting on the table for two days, now, and didn’t I forget to take them with me this morning.  That makes me so mad.  I said to Dad this morning, I’ll mail them at the camp office, but he said to wait, they’d get out quicker from the Post Office.  Well, I missed the boat on that one.  So, I’m just going to curl up here with a book for a couple of hours and enjoy the rest.  Will write later.  I really enjoy the email from the boys, and of course Susan keeps in touch via phone.  I just got off with her not long ago.

Decisions for my Daughter
The phone was ringing as I got back into the car, and it was Susan.  I know that she is struggling with her decision to go to Charleston.  Her logic tells her it’s the right thing to do, but her heart wants to stay here.  I generally say go with the heart, but I think change will be the best thing in the world for Susan.  The great thing is, is that she will only be 5-1/2 hours away, there is a great campground within 10 minutes of her so we’ll get to see her often.  I just feel sorry for her—no matter how close we are, it is a lonely decision that she has to make on her own.  I wish I had the right words to comfort her—but I just don’t.  I believe that she will love it once she is there, however, and that’s what’s most important.  And, as I said to her, she always has an alternative--if she finds that she doesn’t like it, she already has a career.  She is so bright that I can’t see that happening.  Her mind is like a sponge when it comes to learning.

Today's Realities
Dad and I would feel better if she was more comfortable, financially.  In today’s world, even married women should be self-sufficient considering the divorce rate.  No one marries expecting to divorce, but it happens, nonetheless.  Sad, but true.  Women have to be able to support themselves and their kids, regardless of how happy a marriage appears to be in the beginning.  The main thing, as I told her today, is that she is happy in the moment, regardless of what she is doing.  She is a worrier.  I think she gets that from both her Dad and me.  I want her to embrace the change coming up in her life and live each moment for what it is.  I don’t know how I can convince her.  Her friend Katherine, who is already at Charleston told her that it wasn’t her “calling” but she knew she had to do it for money.  Her calling is to her faith, in my opinion.  I know her Dad is a doctor, and I think she told me her mother is, too.  I think that kind of bothered Susan, but what she doesn’t understand is that, that may be the way Katherine looks at it, but Susan would be able to concentrate in cardiology, the field that she loves.  Katherine’s love is the church.

I can’t tell you how much I love this coast—rain and all.  Peter Dueber said it very well:

Walk The Beach…(For Sherry)

"To find a treasure. To exercise the limbs, to soothe the soul. To praise God and to admire His handwork, To marvel at the birds that play against the sky and clouds. To watch the waves as they dance their way over and around the rocks. To feel the sun and the wind pressed against my face and to run from the foam grasping for my feet. To think ... to reflect. To see a million years of conflict and realize that life is as simple as ... 'THE LAND AND THE SEA'. To walk hand in hand with nature and draw upon its energy ... which is nerer-ending and as constant as the stars. And no matter how far apart my visits might measure ... I am always free to renew an old acquaintance with myself." By Peter Dueber©

Rain, Postcards, and Mitchell Field
I picked Dad up from the movie at 7:00 p.m.  He was disappointed in it.  We stopped at the supermarket, and we went home and ate a nice dinner.  It looked, for a while, like it was going to clear, but when I left at 6:45 to pick up Dad, the skies opened up and it rained so hard that it was raining sideways.  It’s supposed to start to clear tonight.  We shall see.  I finally sent the postcards that I got behind in.  I will mail some more tomorrow, and then I am caught up.  I just haven’t been on the ball finding Post Offices this time.  That, and Dad almost always talks me out of leaving them in the campsite office to be mailed because he thinks we’ll get them out faster from the Post Office—then, we don’t get to the Post Office.  Oh, well, bellyaching won’t help.  Oh, by the way, the opening scenes of the movie were at Mitchell Field where Grampa worked for so many years, as a fireman.

Aug 24, 2012

I Found Some Words

I was looking through one of our trip diaries and this was the first entry I opened to. We had been on the road for a while. What caught my eye was the gas prices in "the most expensive state". I thought some might be interested. You'll note I didn't make note of diesel--our second motorhome was a Gas--Winnebago Chieftain--I loved the inside storage space in that one.

How nice it would have been had this been a blog--I have the pictures, but they all have to be scanned, and there are thousands. One day, maybe I'll get the ambition to scan them all, and insert them. I think I remember where everyone of them was taken. I copied and pasted so no guarantee as far as grammar, etc. I didn't even proof.

July 2, 1999

 Thoughts of my mother.  Hope and wish she could see what we are seeing. (It was the anniversary of her death)

Gas is expensive in Oregon.  I guess they “justify” the price because they have someone come out to the pump.  No self-serve.  $1.41 unleaded, $1.51 9/10 power plus 1.61 9/10 power premium.  Rich heard on the TV the other night that Oregon has the highest prices and Georgia, the lowest.  Have to call Vicki Fox tonight—will try to see her for a little while when we are in Reno.  Right this moment we are in Bandon.  We are going to get a magic marker and mark a map with all the little side trips we’ve taken.  Oh, I forgot to mention that we saw harbor seals in their natural habitat yesterday.  It’s amazing how they can stand the surf that they do.  We couldn’t get pictures—too far away, but we could see them clearly with the binoculars.


Just picked up some small pieces of driftwood for everyone.  (Note:  I’m rolling on the floor laughing.  I just told your Aunt Judy about this on the phone).  Rocks, driftwood—who knows what else will make you laugh at me.  By the time I’m finished, we won’t be able to tow the truck.  The beaches are somewhat flatter on the southern coast.  Have seen a number of wind surfers.  The amount of driftwood is incredible and there are danger signs warning about being hit by waves carrying big boulders and even whole trees.  “Sneaker wave” warnings are still posted.  Swimming here would definitely not be for the faint of heart.  Many bikers, too.  Don’t know how they make these hills.  There is a bike trail along the side of the road that goes the whole coastline.  Just crossed over the highest bridge in Oregon—Thomas something—couldn’t see or take pictures, no place to stop.


The great thing about traveling in the RV is that you sit up so high and have windows surrounding you that you see so much more than when we are in the truck.  We are at our last stop in Oregon.  I kind of feel as though everything will be a sort of anti-climax after this.  Next year, it’s the whole ball of wax on the State of Oregon.  Would love to look into some property but it is just too far from all our kids—unless we could fly them out.  Hmmm—might have to be “by the group”—houses are small anywhere near the water and who knows how much they cost.  Probably a little less expensive further north but right now, in Brookings, it’s bright and sunny and breezy.  Rich is registering.  The parks are packed like parking lots out here but we don’t really spend much time at campsite, anyway.  We’ll spend through today, tomorrow, and Sunday so we’ll have one whole (maybe two) days to explore the beach and soak up the sun.  The temperature is just right for a sweatshirt and shorts.  We’ve decided to sacrifice seeing Crater Lake to do this.  It’s funny, at one point we had mountains on one side of us and ocean on the other.  What was breath taking only weeks ago hardly got a glance.  It’s like I told one woman.  After you see the Tetons and the Rockies, you’ve seen them.  They’re not something that you would interact with for the rest of your life.  (Note:  what the heck was I talking about, here?)  The coastline, however, is ever changing and you sort of interact with it.  She said a beautiful time of year to come is in January—that’s when the winter storms blow in.

For Dog Lovers Only

Who Could Resist This Face? My SO.

He has since moved to the couch with me.

(Beaches) For Dog Lovers Only

Who Could Resist This Face? My SO.

He has since moved to the couch with me.

Aug 14, 2012

Am I Getting Eccentric or Was I Always...

I'm Going to (try) to Tear a Page Out of Sherry and Sue's Books (Seems I can always cause confusion. The page I was taking out of Sherry and Sue's books was subtitling to make my blog easier to read. Had nothing to do with the subject matter in the blog.)

Yesterday was a busy day that I'm paying for, today. I had to empty the armoire so that it could be moved off to the side to be picked up on the weekend. The new TV and stand are coming on Thursday. Make way for progress? As I empty the cabinet, I wonder how I have collected all these treasures over the years. In my usual disorganized state, I look at the little jars, baskets, candlesticks, picture frames, doo-dads etc., and muse about each one and remember where or who they came from and what I was thinking at the time, and yes I love them. I also hate them. A job that should take 20 minutes takes hours and isn't done. I realize why I was so content living in my little trailer with no possessions other than necessities. It uncluttered my mind, yet kept my "other man's trash" safe. And, most importantly, the memories will always be mine and are stored for me to enjoy them for the rest of my life.

I Really Am Not a Hoarder...Just Sentimental

There's the basket that my middle son bought me when he was about 9 years old. So cute that he thought to buy me "furniture" as he called it. He's in the midst of moving himself and his daughters to a new home and stops in to say hello. He asks if I "got rid of" the armoire. Inside, I recoil (but I have already thought about what we were talking about when we bought it and console myself that it's going to a young girl that really likes it) so it's okay. I recount how I love the basket and I want him to have it in his new home. He humors me and says, "Oh, that would be nice, Mom. Thank you." He leaves. It's sitting on the coffee table. Oh, my. Look at the dust! At least he knows the story.

There is what at first glance looks like a squirrels nest in a small pewter pitcher. Forty years ago the young girl took it to a flower shop and had a beautiful dry flower arrangement put in it. Yesterday, the old lady put it in a bin. She took it out, today, and is going to throw the 40 year old dried flowers away. She is, but first she needs to think about the little shop and how pretty she thought it was when she picked it up and how pretty it looked on their coffee table, and how Rich smiled and told her that he liked it. She feels sad that the flowers will be thrown in the garbage so she decides she will set them free in the back yard. She knows that's the right thing to do. Maybe a bird can use some of it for its nest.

There's a candle stick made out of a spool that my good friend, Martha, gave me many years ago. I remember the day and how thoughtful she was to think of me. My kids will most likely wonder what it is, someday, so I write a note on the bottom. The dove I've had for many years--it looked so sad at the garage sale. I will keep that. Two more baskets from my Mother that I love already have a special place in another part of the house.

I went to Walmart and picked up a couple of bins to store the "treasures" to put them in my "attic" room upstairs, made a pile for throw away, and a little pile to keep with the new TV (DVDs and such). I did a little at a time with the old red clock that my Mother gave me and a few things still up there.

I have to get a chair to get them, today. Why is everything so difficult these days? There's a small vase that she also gave me. I dream (to myself) that I will take that to the Antique Road Show along with the baskets and clock someday. My back and shoulders hurt--they have been tested. I can't move in a room that was neat, yesterday. What happened? Jack thought he was lost behind a bin and I had to go get him. Is this progress? My sweet Jack. He doesn't think I'm peculiar. He just moves from place to place, staying at my feet.

No, I Don't Need a Flue Shot, I Just Got One

While out getting the bins, I need to pick up a prescription at the drugstore. The pleasant young pharmacist, Brian, asks, "Do you want to get your flu shot, today."

I reply, "Oh, no thanks, I just got one." He looks at me with a quizzical look on his face (and a smile) and asks, "Who gave it to you?" I answer that it was the other pharmacist, Thomas. He's looking at his computer and he says, "That was last October." I thought he was kidding. Where did the time go? Well, I don't have a shirt where the sleeve will roll up far enough so I tell him I'm going to find a corner and slip my arm out of my shirt and hope that he will vouch for me if I'm arrested for indecent exposure. He laughs--he's so pleasant. I manage to do a nice job of covering what needs to be covered and I'm ready for the shot. It's a high dose flu shot. Fluzone It seems that my advanced age gives me yet another benefit-a special old person's vaccine. ::scowl:: He gives a good shot, so it didn't hurt, but he says my arm might ache for a few days. Well, my arm does ache this morning, but it's my other arm. I have a list of side effects in my purse that I haven't read--that will prevent any of them.

I Start to Wonder if I'm Getting Strange

Well, I have to make the room neat, so I'll quit stalling and get busy. I think if I could stand for longer periods of time, I would go through the house and think about all the things that I need to put in the past...but first I must think about them and what each means to me and savor the memories. Then, let them go. Let them go to wherever they are supposed to be.

Jack Becomes Bored But Eccentric is Okay With Him

Aug 11, 2012

The Towels Were Just the Beginning of the Nightmare

Susan goes to bed early because she has to get up very early most mornings to be at the hospital preparing for surgeries. I'm more of a night owl.

We settled in once we got back from dinner and turned the TV/computers on. We noticed that there was a loud bang that occurred about every 10 minutes, which was annoying, but not enough to keep Susan awake. It did keep me awake--sounded like it was coming from the bathroom, but it wasn't. Then, at about midnight a bus full of young people (obviously not supervised by adults) arrived and the nonsense started. It lasted until 3:30 a.m. - running past the rooms, yelling, laughing, knocking on doors, etc. When they finally quieted down, I could get some sleep.

Susan got up and ran, and walked Jack. We both showered and decided we would take a ride down to Sylva and Dillsboro. It's obvious that the economy has taken its toll on many small business when you go through these small towns. They are charming to visit, however. I don't have many pictures to show for the day. In many of the little towns along the backroads, the roads are very narrow and there's no room to pull over or park.

The weather was near perfect--could have been a little cooler, but it stayed between 75 and 80 for most of the day. The ride wasn't as pretty as I had remembered it, but that may have been because I was tired. Regardless, we enjoyed the afternoon, and headed back to explore some more of Asheville.

We were trying to decide which restaurant we would go to for dinner. A friend of Susan's had suggested a few. First we'd go back to the motel to freshen up and get Jack settled in.

We arrived. The same big bus that had brought the noisy people was still there, so we knew we would be in for another night of noise. The beds were made, however sloppily. We had hung our towels to dry on the towel racks provided in the bathroom. Still, they left the dirty towels from the previous guests on the floor where we had been told to put them, yesterday. There was also a wet, dirty rag/towel left on the side of the tub--guess housekeeping was in a hurry and forgot it.

It took us about two minutes to decide that we weren't suffering through another night. We left. I stopped in the office to tell them why and to return the keys; they couldn't even provide a receipt because I had made the reservations on the internet through Orbitz. They said I would be emailed a receipt. I explained to them that when Orbitz sent me a confirmation, my ISP quarantined it because it had a virus. I was holding my temper, but it was not easy. All I got in response was a shrug. We'll see whether they shrug a complaint from headquarters off. I have a feeling that I won't get any satisfaction as I'm sure they are full most times; and the bottom line is all that most companies care about.

So, while I had a nice time with Susan, the weekend wasn't what I expected AND I'll never travel anywhere without my trailer, again! If I ever HAVE to, I'll bring my own towels. :)

The Jackson County Courthouse is an impressive building.

 Dillsboro has a stream running right along the main street

Susan relaxing on one of the many benches in Dillsboro
Dillsboro provides very nice public restrooms. They could teach the Days Inn a thing or two. 
On a quick stop in Canton, I saw this mural. 
It's 9:00 p.m. and I can feel my eyes closing. This trip just convinces me even more that the west is so far superior to travel than the east with the exception of the coastal regions.

Aug 10, 2012

Asheville - Used Towels

Jack knew something was up as I brought his water cooler and food out to the truck so he was a happy boy. Pacing up and down hardly able to contain himself. Susan arrived and walked him while I finished getting everything in, so he settled right down to sleep and slept through the whole ride. We were on the road about 9:30 this morning, missing the commute traffic. There's no sense trying to get out of Atlanta before then because of Traffic. The ride up to Asheville was very pretty and took us about 3-1/2 hours. We passed through Clayton and Franklin--I had forgotten just how nice that area is, and I was surprised by the many choices in campgrounds. They are closer to Highlands, a town I really like.

It's not always "Like Mother Like Daughter". Susan is, without a doubt, a city gal. I either forgot that the traffic is awful in the city, itself, and lots of one way streets OR it's grown that much since I was last here. It's a pretty city, but crowded. I sat in the truck with Jack and read while Susan visited a few stores so I didn't see too much. Tomorrow, I'd like to explore more of the outskirts of Asheville and head to Dillsboro and Sylva, but we'll see. I want Susan to enjoy her weekend, as well. I didn't take many pictures--hopefully more, tomorrow.
The Thomas Wolfe House Surrounded by buildings and parking lots
Flowering Trees across from the Thomas Wolfe House


Unusual Chairs in lieu of benches--nice touch

Just a snapshot that I could take while parked waiting for Susan (She brought back fudge!)

We took a ride and saw where the better half lives in the exclusive "Town of Biltmore".  There were some beautiful and charming homes in this area. Because they were private homes, I only took a quick shot of one while at a stop sign and it isn't very good.
Unfortunately, I couldn't capture the real charm

My passenger. :)
We left Jack in the motel while we went for dinner at a nearby Outback. We had a good laugh because I thought the waitress asked me if I wanted my pork chop cooked--she actually asked "how".

Now, I'm going to make your day and make you all happy that you have RVs and sleep in your own beds and use your own towels. When we arrived and put our things in the room, I checked the bathroom and was not impressed. Keep in mind that this room is $125 per night (not counting taxes, yet). The towels weren't neat on the towel racks so I went over to have a closer look and they were wet, and obviously used! I called the office and the guy said, "Oh, we were at capacity last night so we didn't have any fresh towels available when your room was cleaned, but I'll have some brought down right away."

I told him we would be out, but I'd appreciate not only new towels, but since there were two of us it would be nice to have two bath towels since we didn't care to share. I also suggested that he might want to invest in some additional towels so he would have enough clean ones for new guests after a night at full capacity. Had we arrived later in the day, the towels might have been dry, and we may not have noticed that they weren't fresh until getting out of the shower. Oh, Yuck!!!

When we returned we dropped Jack off in the room and I checked the bathroom, again. Used towels. We decided to go on to dinner and stop in the office on the way back. Again, we were told they'd bring them right over. Shortly, there was a knock on the door and there were two bath towels, one hand towel, and a wash rag. I called again and asked if each of us could have our own wash cloths. In the meantime, I'm thinking, do we want to lie on the bed (Jack, doesn't. He's on the floor). Maybe I'll join him. No problem for Susan, she's already asleep!

I had asked Susan to bring a couple of sheets from home because I don't like motels, but she forgot. Oh, well, bed bugs (and whatever) here we come!

After much ado about towels, I see this card on the bedside table.
Can you believe this!!!

Have they taken this one step further and make the towels last through several days of guests? I'm afraid Jack will catch something in this room. You can bet all the towels are going on the floor in the morning along with the ones from who ever showered in here this morning.

Now aren't you glad when you travel you don't stop in motels???
Hopefully, a more interesting post, tomorrow. Hope to see some pretty scenery.

Aug 9, 2012

Asheville Tomorrow and I Gave Myself a Surprise!

Susan and I are leaving between 9 and 10 a.m. and taking a ride up to Asheville. I'm really looking forward to getting out of the suburbs. I'm not taking the trailer. I found a dog-friendly Days Inn right in the middle of town so we'll be convenient to everything. There's been a break in the weather, so I expect that we'll have even nicer weather up there. Susan may decide to go to the Biltmore or shopping. If that's the case, I can tool around in the truck and discover some back roads.

Now for the surprise. I decided sort of on the spur of the moment, although my kids have been telling me forever to get rid of my old TV, to buy a 46" LED flat screen. If I weren't going away this weekend, it would have been delivered and set up by Monday. The TV I have now is in a lovely cherry armoire that I'm hoping someone I know would like to have. None of my kids or grandkids want it. I'm hoping someone will speak up if they want it. It's in just about perfect condition. If not, I'll have to see if the delivery/set up people from BrandSmart will be willing to put it off to the side for me and I'll call a consignment shop or if one of them want it, I'll give it to him. They are going to take the old TV away--it's so awfully heavy. I hate for it to go to people I don't know, but I have no place for it in my house. It would make a great storage cabinet for crafts if someone added shelves to the top where the TV sits. I've asked family and I'm waiting to see if anyone wants it. I know they've sort of become passe' since the flat screens arrived. If you know me and are in Atlanta and want it, let me know. Here are a couple of pictures.

I could have cleared the top of the TV off before the picture.

Aug 8, 2012

The Birthday Boy

Today is Jack's eleventh birthday, but he doesn't act old. He's a clown, and has made me laugh since the day we brought him home. He is a wonderful companion and a gentle giant of sorts. I love him with all my heart. 

The other day the hat, now more pictures. Sheesh! I'm not looking at you.

This is what I have to say about you and your flash, Nancy.

Okay, I'm getting down.

Okay, flash away. This is as interesting as it's gonna get!

Aug 6, 2012

Welcome Laura and Ron and Happy Birthday, Jack

We had a very busy weekend. Laura, the love of Michael's (my son) life flew in to spend time with him and his daughters (Keely and Peyton). First, they went to their cabin for two days, then spent time with the girls taking them to a very nice dinner, and then they all came here for the weekend. Laura and Peyton had a wonderful time baking for Susan's party while Keely and I hung out, together. Laura had sent ahead some pre-measured Barefoot Contessa recipes to take to Susan's party. They were delicious. John and Lisa and their daughters, Amanda and Missy, had not yet met Laura so it was time! Amanda, even drove down from Nashville. Everyone was here except for one granddaughter, Kellie, who had to work. We all missed her.
Michael and Laura
Cupcakes half decorated
Susan's Cupcake Holder
Peyton and Laura--think the icing was good?
Unfortunately, the pictures I took with the exception of a few, did not turn out well. I don't think this new camera does well in low light or I had the settings wrong. At any rate it was a big disappointment. They are grainy, and I don't think they will post well, but at least I have a "record" of the happy weekend we had. I also had strict instructions, from Susan, not to post a picture of Ron. :( I forgot to ask whether she meant on Facebook or somewhere else. I think I'll assume it was Facebook. :)
Even had the other pictures turned out well, Keely (on the right) was not cooperating.
Lisa and John (Michael clowning around)
Ron and Susan
We had so much fun playing games, especially charades. It was the "older" people against the young ones. To our surprise the youngest of our Grandchildren got "The Maltese Falcon". Who wudda thunk? I'm not sure of the score, but the young ones kept right up with the old ones!

The granddaughters have decided that they want to dye my hair. I talked them out of it, yesterday, but they are determined that they will do it at Thanksgiving. At least they gave up on the idea of mod colors (blue, red, pink, green) and are considering a normal color. I think I'll keep the white, thank you. Maybe I'll let them do a rinse so I can wash it out. I've over fussing with hair or anything else for that matter!

We also had something else to celebrate. Missy, who graduated with honors from UGA will be going to Duke or another school (she hasn't decided, yet) on a grant. They will pay her to go to school to get her Doctorate. How about that! We are all very proud of her.
Missy, our Scholar
I didn't realize it, but Susan was also combining the welcome/meet and greet party with a birthday party for Jack He will be eleven on the 8th. She was determined that he wear a hat (which he did not want to do).
Quit kissing me, Susie!
I DON'T want to wear a hat!
Okay, you got your way, but I'm not looking. (Keely took this picture with her phone)
Well, okay, for a bone I'll wear it.
Susan always goes above and beyond with get togethers--she even had little tiny decorations with Jack's name on the table, and a cake, flowers, and balloons. Her house is always so pretty. Another missed picture. I'll sneak this in here. She just had a new garage door installed, today, and will paint it the same color as the trim. Won't it be pretty?
Hard to believe he's 11--he was just a pup the other day!
Doors to be painted the darker color of the trim--same as the old garage doors below

We were sad to see Laura go home, but we look forward to seeing her, soon, again. The grandkids had so much fun they want to have a party at least once a month!! :)