Quartzsite rally

Silver Eagles International members arrived in Quartzsite again last week, making 2020 another fun gathering. Several of us showed up in something other than an Eagle, but we enjoyed ourselves all the same. In the past year we’ve lost four active members, so we knew the rally would be smaller this year. Other members have sold their buses and/or bought other rigs and that certainly changes the dynamics, since they get involved in those owners’ groups.

One constant at the Quartzsite rally is the Big Tent event. Most people either love it or hate it, depending upon whether you enjoy being in very close proximity with thousands of people you’ve never met, along with their dogs. In the tent, you just fall in step with the person in front of you, try not to step on their dog or dog stroller, walk when they walk and stop to browse at a booth when they stop. It sounds less than pleasant but LeRoy and I are among the ones who enjoy it. We rarely buy much, if anything, in the tent itself. It used to be primarily RV related vendors booths, but now you can find a little of everything. Two of our friends from Golden Bell were representing the RV parks of Bouse, AZ at a booth just outside the big tent and we had fun reconnecting with Max and Ted.

We never know from one time to another what the weather will be in Quartzsite, but one constant is wind. This year, the temperatures were pretty low and we were layered up trying to get warm. With overnight temps in the 30s and 40s and dry camping, we were thankful for extra blankets for the bed. This week, we’re back in Yuma and warmth. On Sunday when we were leaving for home, it was 18 degrees warmer in Yuma than Quartzsite! We appreciate temperatures in the 70s, especially when we talk to family members back in the Great Plains who have been having snow!

Stay warm, everyone, including our friends in Florida who have been “suffering” with cool temperatures. We feel your pain!

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Starting over

Welcome to 2020! I’d like to say all the issues with pictures have been resolved, but that’s not the case. We’re still here, though, and there are still people who want to hear about what’s up with us, so here I am, pictures or no pictures!

We went to church on Christmas eve and on Christmas morning, after opening our stockings, we got ready for company. Three couples we know who don’t have family close by came over for LeRoy’s chili and my potato soup for lunch. Everyone brought something and we had an enjoyable day. None of our guests knew each other, so imagine our surprise when we found out that one of each couple had Native American heritage. And even more surprising, two of the women discovered that they are second cousins! They grew up not far apart but had never met or even heard of each other. Small world indeed.

We spent New Year’s eve with Wilbur and Laura Bradbury, several of their neighbors and an Eagle bus couple who happened to be in town. We had a fun evening and even though we were home by 9:30, midnight came anyway and we woke up in 2020. We expect exciting things this year!

We’ve had a very decent side-by-side refrigerator ever since we moved into the park model a year ago. I just really wanted a bottom freezer style, and I found one on a buy/sell/trade site one day last week very reasonable priced. While we were checking out the new location of LeRoy’s favorite store, Harbor Freight, I got a call back and we went to see the refrigerator and decided to buy it. At our age, rounding up enough able-bodied guys to move two refrigerators around, one in and one out of our house, is interesting! By the end of the day, though, the new one was in place and operating and by the next day, the old one had gone to the home of someone who didn’t have a working fridge, so everyone was happy.

One of the guys who helped with the move was Marcel, the gentleman from Alberta, Canada who is renting the other side of our lot. With his RV and large enclosed trailer, our park model, RV and dune buggy, we’re pretty much full!

In just over a week, the Silver Eagles will be having their annual rally in Quartzsite and we will be going there for a few days. Even though we no longer qualify to be voting members since we sold Liberty, LeRoy is still president until the election results are official. We’ll be glad to relinquish the large coffee pot and the tub of supplies to the new president!

We have purchased tickets for a February trip to Hawaii to visit Robert and Shelly and we’re very excited about that. We haven’t seen them in a couple of years and we’ve never been to Hawaii. Shelly has been making a list of things for us to do while we’re there. They’ve already checked out all the sights to see and the food to eat, so we shouldn’t be bored or hungry! We aren’t quite counting the days yet, but close.

Happy 2020, everyone! Have a wonderful month, year and decade!

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Even in Yuma

Dreary days just happen! Fortunately, we don’t have many of them and it isn’t freezing outside. I have to say, though, we miss seeing the sun on days like this! If you have cactus plants, it’s safe to water them now because it rained here yesterday.

Christmas is sneaking up on us, even if we don’t expect it to be a white one. Desert Grace Church has a real ministry among foster families and while we’re used to Angel Trees back in Wichita, the gifts we buy for the children on the tree here are for foster children. What fun we had shopping for a two year old girl! It was extra special since our own great granddaughter is just younger than that. We left her gifts in Kansas before we came this direction, but it felt a little like shopping for her. Tonight the church has something called Christmas Workshop, where there are games and activities for families from the community around us. Unlike most churches in Kansas, though, at least some if not all of these activities (not sure since we haven’t attended before) will be outside. The youth group will even have a fireworks stand since it’s legal to have fireworks to celebrate the New Year here.

Last year when we sold Liberty, we also sold the tow dolly. In order to buy another one to pull behind the Flair (and subsequently the Pace), LeRoy sold his dune buggy. I think it’s been eating at him since we got back, so tomorrow we are going on a road trip to look at another one. Dune buggies and other off road machines are street legal in Arizona, so it would give us a second means of transportation here. We’ll see how that goes.

When LeRoy’s Aunt Tressie, Grandma to the kids, was living in her own home, she always made rice pudding when we came to visit. It was a baked custard, always made in the same dish. I never could duplicate it exactly and I blamed it on my dish. At any rate, when she moved into the nursing home, I inherited the rice pudding dish but I didn’t have the recipe. But Google has it! I made rice pudding yesterday in Tressie’s dish and it came out perfect! LeRoy was so excited to have it for breakfast this morning, just like when we went to Tressie’s house. I hope it lived up to his expectations.

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So proud!

While we sew our buttons back on, I want to share the sources of our pride. Just before we left Kansas on the 15th of November, we attended the first performance of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown performed by the musicians of Sedgwick High School. Our youngest granddaughter, Jadelyn, is a freshman and she had the female lead, Charlie’s nemesis Lucy VanPelt. The sound system did not cooperate that night and since the music quit playing, we didn’t get to hear the final two songs. However, we were very proud of Jadelyn’s love song to Schroeder

Schroeder was oblivious to the love song being poured out in front of him!

She also gave Charlie advice for a nickel.

We headed south the next morning, after stopping at an RV shop because the alarm kept telling us that our jacks were down even though they weren’t. Couple of hours later, alarm gone, we moved on and spent the night at the Paul’s Valley City Lake in Oklahoma. The weather was next to perfect, with very little wind. The following day, we met up with the only one of LeRoy’s Sayers cousins we hadn’t connected with for more than 40 years. Roberta Winningham lives with her son near Dallas.

From Farmersville, we went on to Hurst. Dallas can have their traffic!! We are very thankful for Google Maps, which helps navigate unfamiliar territory, even telling us in advance which lane we need to use and rerouting instantly if we miss a turn. We are used to seeing another cousin, Roy and Nell Delaughter, in Buena Vista, CO in the summer, but since they weren’t there this year and won’t be going back due to health issues, we spent Saturday night through Monday morning with them. We attended Sunday school and church with them and they fed us very well! For some reason, I can’t post their pictures, but we had a good time, anyway.

On the way to San Antonio for Ben’s graduation, we stopped at Tejas Camp and Retreat Center to see a young woman we met at Golden Bell camp in 2014. Anna McTaggart is now working in hospitality at a beautiful location. She showed us around the grounds, where they are preparing for Tejas Lights, which starts next weekend and has more Christmas lights and activities than I could count.

Wednesday we finally arrived at Hidden Valley RV park near San Antonio. San Antonio can keep their traffic, too! Lackland Air Force Base was within 20 minutes of our park, for which we were thankful. Beginning at 7 o’clock Thursday morning, we spent the next three days attending Ben’s graduation activities. I posted the one from the run yesterday by accident. It’s amazing to see several hundred promising men and women giving themselves for the defense of our country.

Ben was thrilled to see family!

And we were glad to see him!

The mass oath was so impressive, even though we were cold and it was raining.

The rest of the weekend was family time. We went to the Alamo that afternoon and did the Riverwalk on Saturday.

We had barbecue at Rudy’s Saturday night, an early Thanksgiving meal, I guess. We were certainly thankful! Safety in our travels and Heidi and Tim’s drive, as well as pride in our grandson and his commitment to our country. Today, while they all went to church together, we headed on our way toward our winter home in Yuma. Tonight we are in Ft. Stockton, TX and tomorrow morning, our friend Rotha Cloyd is coming to have breakfast with us. Our hearts are full!

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Our airman

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Futility

Just like people who live in houses, RVers have things that just don’t stay done. Futility is doing dishes, or laundry, or making the bed. Some days or even weeks, it seems like we just keep doing things that have to be done again. In an RV, that includes dumping the waste tank and filling the fresh one, in addition to all the inside things. This week we didn’t do anything much that was noteworthy until yesterday.

When I was in college at Friends University, I was privileged to be a member of the Singing Quakers, an elite choir that was widely known around the nation and even the world. One of the highlights for me was singing a spontaneous concert in the Air Force Academy chapel while we were on tour. Fast forward to the 1990s and Heidi was also selected to sing in the Singing Quakers. She traveled with the group on an eastern European tour and had many highlights of her own. Twenty-five years ago, a group of Singing Quaker alums under the leadership of Dr. Cecil Riney (who was my director as well as Heidi’s) started an alumni choir. They rehearse each week and once each year they perform one concert. Dr. Riney retired several years ago. Last night was their 25th anniversary celebration and the concert didn’t disappoint. Each year they have a guest conductor and this year they brought in Dr. Alan Raines from Dallas. In addition, the Northwest High School Concert Choir participated as well. This program at Northwest was new to me but the group excelled. We enjoyed the performance very much.

Our granddaughter Jadelyn turned 15 this week. We got to watch her dance team do their performance at half time of the regional football finals, which Sedgwick won. The band also marched, with Jadelyn on bass drum again. Today, we went to Texas Roadhouse after church to celebrate. Happy birthday, Jade!

This week will be full of tying up loose ends, in addition to those things that seem so futile. By Thursday, we should be ready to move the Pace Arrow outside to make room for the Flair, which we still haven’t sold. LeRoy’s hot tub will be emptied, sigh! Fortunately, there is another one waiting to be filled in Yuma. Thursday night is Jadelyn’s first performance as Lucy in “You’re a good man, Charlie Brown!” and Friday morning we will point our noses toward San Antonio. After visiting friends and relatives in a couple of places, we should be at Lackland AFB for Ben’s graduation ceremonies beginning Thursday morning very early. We are so excited for him!

See you on the road again!

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Time passes

While it seems like last week that we got here to the Landing again, in just under two weeks we will be ready to leave again. We sure hope we are ready by then, anyway. LeRoy has been working on various projects to be sure we will roll out safely. We’ve only driven this Pace Arrow from the dealership to a couple of mechanical appointments and it was empty then. Now that the cabinets and bays are full of our “stuff”, it’s important that the doors stay shut and the shelf contents stay put. LeRoy’s ingenuity comes in handy so many times! We believe we’ve solved most, if not all, of our quandries.

The pictures I’ve been trying to post for the last couple of weeks are finally available, so I’ll throw they in. The first are from a VW show on the 19th. Back in our past, LeRoy was into all things VW and dune buggy. (Who am I kidding? He STILL is!) His favorite shop was called V-Dubs and was owned and operated by Bill Tumbleson and Tom Elliott. They built two engines for us and boy, those buggies could run! We enticed a whole entourage in Osborne County into the dune buggy community and we caravanned 5 hours each direction to the Little Sahara Sand Dunes in Waynoka, OK about once a month. Recently LeRoy made contact with Tom on Facebook and we found out that he was going to be in Wichita for the VW show. He lives in Missouri now, but he brought his current VW.

While we never owned a VW van, we had two friends who owned them. Funny thing, we were probably far more hippies than they were!

Hippie wagon, even now!

On the 25th, we drove to Ellsworth to visit our oldest granddaughter and her family. We had a nice visit and really enjoyed having them all to ourselves. Usually the whole extended family is around! Many of you remember that Rachel (Rae) was born weighing 1 lb. 5 oz and spent a long time in the NICU at Wesley Hospital. Now, little miss is 18 months old and very mobile. Her favorite trick, if her parents don’t get there first, is to climb the long flights of stairs in their house! We did corral her, and her parents, for dinner before we left town, though.

Our little town of Sedgwick has a very good restaurant called Cy’s Hoof and Horn. We ate at several restaurants across Nebraska and Kansas in September that advertised the “best chicken fried steak in…”, some claimed the state, some claimed the midwest, blah, blah, blah. None of them compared, in LeRoy’s expert opinion, to Cy’s. Every time we have the opportunity, we take friends and visitors to check out their chicken fried steak. We’ve been regulars at Cy’s recently! Their prime rib is terrific, too.

Count down has begun to our departure, which is now been moved to Nov. 14. See you on the road!

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