The end of an era

Yesterday, I told LeRoy I have to write this blog, but I just couldn’t. At least, not without many tears. Today is better.

One of my Facebook friends gave me the title for this blog, the end of an era. We’ve loved every minute (well, most of them anyway) of living in Liberty and being full time RVers, but we both knew the time had come to change. We still want to travel and the bus was a hard task master, requiring lots of physical labor from LeRoy. It also created anxiety for me as the passenger/navigator. I trust LeRoy’s driving but other people don’t understand that a 40-foot bus can’t stop on a dime! So the decision was made to offer Liberty for sale. The bus market is uncertain at the least and dismal on occasion. It is unheard of for an Eagle to sell in two weeks and for very near the asking price, but that’s exactly what happened. We can’t help but see God’s hand at work on our behalf.

Monday morning, Terry and Joy Andrews were waiting at the Landing for their first in person look at Liberty. That first look was the clincher and from then on, it was just a matter of showing them all the things that living in or driving an Eagle requires. Notes? Who needs notes, I will remember. Famous last words!

The check drive went fairly smoothly, up to Newton, west to Ridge Rd. and back through Sedgwick to the Landing. That way he got in a little interstate driving, a sharply curved left exit, several miles of two lane road, with and without shoulders, sharp left turns and sharp right turns. We came back to the Landing intact and got on to the task of putting their pickup on the tow dolly. Minor, right? Wrong! The tires were too wide, so LeRoy and Terry ran all over town, into the next county to find a wheel that would fit a used narrower tire and by dinner time, they had it on and cinched down.

Tuesday morning, Terry used his phone to video as LeRoy opened each bay and talked about the various systems while the bus was building air for them to go. Papers signed, money exchanged hands and they, along with their three dogs, were ready to hit the road. Look carefully through the glare, that’s Sasha at the wheel!

About 10:30, we prayed together and they posed for the obligatory picture.

and they were off. I don’t know if they were crying, but we were!

We’ve been accused for all our full timing years of being homeless, but we said not homeless, just houseless. Well, now we truly are homeless! Our son-in-law Tim offered us a bedroom at their house anytime, so we’re taking him up on that until we leave for Yuma. Our plan has changed some. We think we probably won’t stay quiite as long as we had thought but until we rent a U-haul trailer and load up all our stuff from Liberty, we’re in Sedgwick with Pohlmans.

It seems so strange to go into the barn at the Landing and not see Liberty there. It’s a big empty place now! Well, half of it is. The other half still has all our boxes and things that will go with us from Liberty, so not exactly empty. It is beginning to sink in that she’s not coming back any time soon.

Remember about the famous last words? We’ve had a few calls since Terry and Joy left, but then the shakedown cruise is always a learning experience. I’ve had jobs where I was still getting “how to” calls a year after I left! Best wishes, Terry and Joy! We hope you love her as much as we have.

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Limbo

We are in limbo. We believe that a potential buyer for Liberty is on his way from Georgia with his wife today, so we are going on the premise that he will take her home. On that assumption, we have emptied all the bays and removed all our personal belongings from inside.

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However, we are aware that said potential buyer may see her and say, No thanks! If that happens and we have to put everything back in to leave for Yuma, at least it’s clean! More to come on that front. Until we know more, we are going to stay with Heidi and Tim.

Between deciding what can stay in the barn and what goes with us to Yuma, unloading cabinets, bays, closets, pantry and refrigerator and packing up those contents, we took time out to take grandson Ben to dinner. We haven’t seen him much this fall since he is living in the dorm at Friends University, so it was good to hear him tell about roommates and classes and dorm life.

Ben

Some of our time has been spent keeping up with my sister Florence Marie’s progress. She is in the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE working on recovery from tumor removal surgery a couple weeks ago. We are thankful that the tumor was benign, but recovery has had its pitfalls. Add in that she turned 84 this week and rehab is harder than it might be, as well. She’s looking much better, though, and sounds stronger, too.

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Another positive note is a new picture of granddaughter Jordan and little Rae. We can’t get enough of that precious baby!

Jordan & Rae

Next weekend we are looking forward to a visit from our Oklahoma granddaughter, Katrina. She will be coming on Thursday and going home on Friday, since her work schedule rarely gives her weekend days off. Saturday, granddaughter Jadelyn will have a KMEA band concert in the afternoon and Heidi and the rest of the Singing Quaker Alumni Choir will perform in the evening. After that, our time will be our own (I think) until we leave for Yuma on November 10.

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Raymond Fuller

LeRoy’s cousin Raymond Fuller passed away this past week, October 15, 2018. He had emphatically requested no service, no obituary, nothing. He was pretty much a private person. But we want to remember him and tell our friends who have been concerned about his welfare in the last 16 month or so who Raymond was before he had so many health challenges.

Raymond was the last grandchild of Elizabeth Sayers to be born on the farm that she homesteaded in the Cherokee Outlet, so he came from pioneering stock. He fondly remembered early childhood days on the farm before the family moved to town (Cherokee, OK) in 1942. His parents, Roy and Mabel Fuller, passed away from illnesses by the time he turned 8 and he was raised by his grandmother and his mother’s sister Tressie. I’m sure Raymond enjoyed his “only child” status, until LeRoy’s parents, too, died before he was 8 and Aunt Tressie took him in also.

Raymond was about the same age as his Uncle Vernie’s boys, Norman and Rodney, and they spent lots of time together growing up. Hard work was part of his life probably from the time he could pull weeds and as a teenager, he got a job working in the local nursery digging and balling trees, delivering flowers, hoeing and weeding between the trees. It seemed, though, that he was always looking for something more. He took and passed a correspondence course to become an airline ticket agent but never pursued it further. He joined the Oklahoma National Guard but never served active duty. In June before his 20th birthday, he got his chance to move away from small town Oklahoma when his uncle in Albuquerque, NM asked him to come work for him and the rest, as they say, is history. New Mexico never had a better ambassador!

During his time in Albuquerque, he began to follow local boys on the Indy car circuit, the Unser family. When LeRoy was almost 14, Raymond took him to the Indianapolis 500, a memory he loved to retell even though it wasn’t the only time he went to the race. He loved nice cars and had several in my early memory of him.

Raymond was LeRoy’s best man at our wedding.

wedding R T A L

He came to visit Aunt Tressie just about every year for a long time and they always came to see us wherever we lived.

Raymond Park City

Raymond worked for Jill’s Bakery and then for Ford Motor Credit before becoming a New Mexico Transportation bus driver. He always had adventures to recount, taking charter groups to Washington D.C. or Nashville or lots of other interesting cities.

After years of living in Albuquerque, Raymond moved to Hatch when he retired in 1999 and he painted such vivid pictures of the chili harvest that we made our first trip in the bus after retirement to the Hatch Chili Festival. Only then did we find out that Hatch is a tiny town and the chili festival itself isn’t very big, either! We volunteered at the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque because Raymond told us there was nothing in the world like it. He was right about that!

A lifetime of smoking caught up with him about the time we became fulltimers and he was on oxygen 24/7. We watched a steady decline over the last 8 years, although he assured us every time we were there that he was going to live another 10 years! A year ago in late June, he developed cellulitis in his feet and legs and lost both legs below the knee. We surprised him with a card shower on his 80th birthday. He was indeed surprised! It didn’t make sense to him that  people who had never met him were sending him cards.

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He worked hard to regain mobility and independence. By the way, that racing jacket was his prized possession and he wore it or was covered by it most of the last two years!

Raymond on legs

He was just starting to walk on his prosthetics and had moved to assisted living when he was diagnosed with spindle cell carcinoma in the throat. Since doctors were afraid his throat would swell completely closed, they did a tracheotomy and put a feeding tube in his stomach. Over this last summer, he went through chemotherapy and radiation and then was released to the nursing home in Truth or Consequences, but pneumonia and respiratory distress had him back in the hospital more than once before his death this past Monday.

Raymond, we’ll miss seeing you in November and April and sometimes in between. We’ll miss your stories about the farm and the convoluted family. (Raymond’s parents were first cousins and it was decades before LeRoy knew that Raymond’s Fuller cousins were really his cousins, too!) We already miss those calls to tell us that the Sooners won or to ask what time the OSU game is on TV and on what channel. You know what? We’ll just miss you.

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1967 Silver Eagle Model 01

1967 Silver EAGLE model 01 serial number 7211

+ converted in about 2000 for the first time and we bought her in 2010 and redecorated to suit us more.
+ Roof raised 8 1/2″

+ front end had the pins and bushings replaced in Dec/Jan of 2010/11 @ 11,490 miles

+ 8v71  na new rod, main and thrust bearings May 2011 at 16,039 miles 

+ Allison 740 overhauled  March 2013 @ about 28,784
+ air power steering and smaller padded Eagle steering wheel Oct. 2013

+ air bags on the drive axle Oct, 2015
+ Jake Brake on one bank and have most of the parts for the other side including valve cover, may need fuel tubes
+ 2 group 31 engine batteries 

+  trojan t106 house batteries
+ Front and rear model 10 caps
+ Original 01 bumpers on the rear 

+ model 10 front bumpers on the front 

+ we have the 10 rear bumpers and the 01 fronts
+ tires are all good, fronts in May 2013, 6 rears Oct. 2015

+ The odometer works showing the conversion miles. When we bought her in May 2010 with 7,541 miles and today (Oct. 14, 2018) 64,177 miles
+ R and M dash with new gauges and color rear view led monitor

+ cafe bay doors 
+ new paint April 2017

THE HOUSE
+ All around custom made oak
+ Sliding dual pane tinted windows with screens
+ Window boxes with mini blinds
+ 3 recliner chairs and the captain’s chair copilot chair.  match
+ Front and rear 32″ flat screen led TVs
+ Fluorescent valance lighting throughout

+ Windshield and the front 2 side windows,3 piece privacy screens 

+ black screen window awnings spring 2018
+ Galley with 2 burner Princess stovetop (the only lp used in the bus)
+ 10 cu. ft.house refrigerator
+ Haier microwave/convection
+ SS sink in kitchen
+ Quartz light under counters and above the bed
+ Walk thru bathroom
+ Full size 38″ house shower Neo Angle shower

+ PVC plumbing

+ DOMETIC Sealand China toilet
+ House fixtures throughout coach
+ FANTASTIC ceiling fan w/thermostat, rain sensor and remote
+ Solid wood oak cabinetry throughout
+ Large 4 door mirrored headboard closet
+ Queen walk-around bed with storage below
+ 2 Coleman Mach 13,500 btu A/C’s with heat strips
+ Toe Kick heater centrally in the Kitchen (this one works great in the winter)
+ 7 kw Onan quiet propane generator with dedicated 40# bottle and start battery

+ 2800W pure sine Magnum invertor with inside display April 2013

+ House 10 gallon electric water heater 

• SS-100 gal fresh water tank, SS-100 gal black water tank, 

+ sediment and carbon filter system

+ 2-20 Gal. propane bottles for kitchen stove
+ Registered as RV in South Dakota free and clear title in hand

Until Nov. 9 we are near Wichita, KS and by mid Nov. will be in Yuma AZ for the winter

asking $39,500

LeRoy and Anne Willis

316-708-1973 LRW

316-708-1987 ZAW

 

Shower

Linen closet

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For Sale?

Last winter we started talking about what we would do when we decided to hang up the keys to Liberty. This fall, we’re thinking that it may be time. Driving and maintaining a 51 year old bus is not the same as with a modern vehicle. Neither of us is getting any younger and it all takes its toll.

As for what’s next, we have lots of options. We don’t plan to quit traveling, just will have a different mode of transportation. Will we keep the Landing in Kansas? What about Yuma? No answers yet. It all depends on IF and when the bus sells. We’ll keep you informed!

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Best intentions

I had every intention of writing a blog last week while we were in Branson, but it just didn’t get done. It wasn’t for lack of eventful times! I’ll try to break the time up into two separate posts.

We left the Landing on Monday October 1 headed toward Branson, by way of Olathe, KS. Quite a few of the summer staffers we have worked alongside at Golden Bell for the last few years attend college at Mid America Nazarene University, as well as some of the senior volunteers, so we had put together a mini reunion at the Pizza Shoppe. Some of the group have graduated and one even drove in from St. Louis just for the occasion. We had a great time visiting! They are fun people to spend an evening with. The first couple on the left are bus friends from the KC area who came to visit, as well.

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We met up with four other buses headed to the rally the next evening and then headed on toward Branson bright and early Wednesday. The road between Springfield and Branson is always a challenge for Liberty and for some others, as well, but we made it down the hills and up the next pretty well. I think there were 25 Eagles and a couple Prevost conversions there. Beautiful, unique coaches catch a lot of attention!

 

We shopped and ate and talked and toured and ate and went to shows. And did I mention, we ate? LeRoy says a good week long rally is good for ten pounds, but fortunately most of that didn’t follow us home this time! Byron Pigg was our rally master. He and his wife Betty know how to put on a good rally and they do just that every other year in Branson.

While we were there, we went for a tram tour of Dogwood Canyon, a nature park that was started by Johnny Morris, the founder/CEO of Bass Pro Shops. We saw more wildlife in that ride than we saw all summer in Colorado!

The park is a popular place for weddings and there was one going on as we were sightseeing.

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e had hot humid weather for most of the rally, but Tuesday afternoon it started a nice warm rain. We and another couple had gone to see “Samson” at the Sight and Sound Theatre, but it was raining when we came out. If you ever get the opportunity to see a Sight and Sound show, it is worth the money. They capture Bible stories in a Broadway quality production. This one, as promised, “brought down the house”!

We came home on Wednesday and were ready for Jadelyn’s volleyball game on Thursday. This time, Jordan brought Rae to enjoy the festivities! You’ll notice, Jordan didn’t make this picture. She has learned the sad truth that once you have a baby, said child is the only person who matters anymore when you are with grandparents!

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While we were gone, my sister Florence Marie had surgery to remove a benign tumor from her chest cavity. A few complications and a tracheotomy later, she is beginning the slow process of recovery. Prayers are appreciated.

Today we had a call from Memorial Hospital in Las Cruces. We knew Raymond had been admitted there earlier in the week, but haven’t really heard much since except to get permission for an endoscope to see why he was having black stools and extremely low red blood count. They found ulcers but no bleeding. Today’s call was to verify his DNR orders. Last summer when we thought we had accomplished that with him, we didn’t get the message straight to the hospital. They tell us that he has been pretty non-responsive today and has had arrhythmia episodes. Prayers would be appreciated for him and for us, as well.

Hope we have better news next time!

 

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Nothing to write home about

When I started this blog in the fall of 2010, it was in hopes that others might like to share in our travels. Maybe it would be someone’s way of traveling to places they had never been or might not ever see. If that’s why you read our blog, then you might understand why it is difficult to motivate myself to write when we are sitting still. Over the last 8 years, we have become destination travelers, wintering in Arizona, summering in Colorado or somewhere cool and usually spending fall and spring at the Landing in Kansas. No one besides family really wants to know about routine maintenance and grandkids’ activities, do they? Hardly exciting blog material!

We really have been enjoying ourselves, though, even while we’ve been sitting still. We are signed up with a group called Boondockers Welcome, we occasionally share our space at the Landing with another traveler just passing through. This week, we had a return customer, so someone enjoys our surroundings as much as we do! We’ve been told that visitors feel like they’re sitting in a park with the grass and trees and farmland beyond our borders. One family spent two nights, played catch on the grass and saw their first lightening bugs here. Their little boy even painted us a picture! Another couple left us a CD of their worship group. When we are asked why we share our space, we just say “Because we can!” All these folks get to share in the place with which God has blessed us.

Our youngest granddaughter, Jadelyn, plays on the junior high volleyball team at Sedgwick and we’ve been pleased to watch a few of her games. That girl can serve! Twice when we were there, she served 7 or so in a row for the win. No action shots this time, but the scoreboard says it all.

She also marches with the high school band and this year their combined halftime show featured Beach Boys music so of course we couldn’t miss that.

Last weekend I got a chance to attend Friends Women Retreat with our daughter Heidi. We don’t often get to spend much time alone together and we had a great time, along with 200+ of our closest friends!  In the Friends Church, we really get to know our missionaries around the world and these women help to support the missionaries who serve  Evangelical Friends Missions in nations around the world. It feels good to be a part of God’s work worldwide.

LeRoy has been busy, too. A young couple in our church in Wichita wanted to get rid of the old deck on the end of their house and LeRoy thought it might be helpful here at the Landing, so he spent a couple of days getting it ready to move. Since we don’t have a trailer, that’s the next hurdle.

LeRoy has been a real fan of car shows for all the years we’ve been married and we try to take in some while we’re here or wherever we are, for that matter. Fall Festival in Sedgwick provided some really cool cars. This was LeRoy’s favorite and a reminder of my childhood to me. My parents 1952 Studebaker is the first car I remember us having. My grandparents had a maroon one and ours was gray. Rust is not my favorite, but that’s the new popular finish!

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Yesterday our friends Bur (Wilbur, actually) and Laura Bradbury from Yuma brought they converted purple Prevost to the Landing. It was so good to see them again!

Guess what we did before dinner? This one might almost be the right color for our tow’d!

What is it with the rust?

This week, we’re on the road again. Branson, here we come!

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