Good fun, good food and good friends

Ft. Scott, Kansas, is a relatively small town in southeast Kansas. Much larger than Alton, (92) where I grew up, but for a town of less than 8,000, it has a lot to offer. The quaint business buildings of downtown are busy with little local stores of many varieties. Yes, it has the antique stores that fill many small town main streets, but local entrepreneurs have upped the ante with a real potpourri of merchandise. There are used book stores and coffee shops, clothing stores and a place to buy many flavors of coffee beans and even a grinder to make your morning brew. We ate lunch at Nu Grille Cafe, where a two-piece chicken tender meal was way more than enough for me! Fortunately, LeRoy was along to make up for what I couldn’t eat.

In the afternoon, we went to a unique museum celebrating Unsung Heroes, many of whom were new to me. What began as a high school class project to find unsung heroes turned into a real history lesson and a trip to Poland for two girls who found and recorded the deeds of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker during World War II. Her brave, undercover actions saved the lives of 2,500 Jewish children in the Warsaw ghetto. The girls wrote a play that was presented in schools so that children everywhere know that part of world history. Several of us bought the book Life in a Jar and I’m looking forward to reading it.

After the museum, we took a trolley ride around Ft. Scott to see all the historical mansions and the National Cemetery. It took about an hour and was well worth the ride on hard wooden benches. LeRoy and I bought a house in Osborne, KS in 1975 that was built the year Kansas became a state, just about the age of many of the houses we saw in Ft. Scott, although not nearly as ornate.

Dinner that evening was at Luther’s, a really good barbecue place with one of my favorites, burnt ends, which they advertise as “meat flavored marshmallows” because they are so tender and almost sweet. If you haven’t tasted burnt ends, get with the program! They are delicious pieces of smoked meat cut from the point end of a brisket and oh, so good!

When the Kansas rally was over, all but one of the Eagles (and our Pace Arrow) caravaned to Branson to continue the fun. We made quite a parade going across the dam on our way out!

In Branson we were joined by additional buses from Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and another from Texas. We already had Missouri, Wisconsin, Oregon, Arizona and two from Texas, not counting a couple of wanderers who don’t really know where home is, like us and Gary Hatt, the owner, publisher and editor of Bus Conversion Magazine. I’m sure I’ve left someone out, but we loved being with all of them.

Again, food was a major item on the rally schedule. Krispy Kreme doughnuts each morning along with a never ending coffee pot made for a good start to the day. We were treated to a catered barbecue meal one evening which ended with ice cream, cookies and brownies. Another night, the ladies brought a wonderful variety of dishes for a potluck. Meatloaf, cowboy beans, Mexican corn, and desserts enough to fill another table. If anyone went hungry, it was their own fault! Of course, Branson and the surrounding area have a lot of restaurants for our dining pleasure as well. The ladies drove to Ozark to the Spring Creek Tea Room for lunch one day and enjoyed shopping, as well as good food. The building also houses an antique store, where many of the items aren’t as old as I am! How dare they call them antiques!

The guys went with rally master Byron Pigg to his home in Rogersville while the ladies were at the tearoom. They got to see Byron’s shop and his bus museum. I’ve been there, too, and it’s quite the place. A fellow who used to come to the rallies, Wayne St. Ange, otherwise known as “Preacher Wayne”, had some bus parts for sale and bus owners always need something extra, so they had a heyday buying bumpers, a joey bed, rear engine compartment corners, and other things that the wives would have called “stuff” but to them were treasures. Preacher Wayne isn’t doing too well these days, so he wasn’t able to attend. Even though he brought the things to be given to the bus owners, they paid what they wanted and the proceeds, along with a letter signed by all the attendees, will be sent to him.

Sunday morning, the day for goodbyes, is always hard. As soon as you hear the first Detroit engine start so the air pressure can build, you know everyone will soon be gone. We got our goodbye hugs and said our “see ya’ down the road” and left for home.

The wind was pretty bad about the last half of the way home and our Google maps program took us down some funky narrow, shoulderless roads, but we made it home in time to go to town and say hi to Heidi and Tim and the family. Tomorrow morning we have to leave the Landing by 8 to take the Pace Arrow to the repair shop to have the leveling jacks fixed. Yes, it’s early, but LeRoy has promised to take me out to breakfast later, so it’s all okay.

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Beautiful fall weather

We left the Landing on Saturday morning and headed for Crawford State Park to join up with our friends for an Eagles rally. It seems odd to be the only ones in a motor home, but the Eagles are a pretty accepting bunch and we are still non-voting members of the group. We have wonderful hosts, Mike and Susan Groves. Yesterday they provided chili for everyone and time to get together around the fire. Smoke and cold drove me out early, but I did enjoy the chili and companionship.

Today we had a group outing to a restaurant just outside Pittsburg, KS, called Chicken Annie’s. This area was coal mining country in the last century and the original Chicken Annie, Annie Pichler, began cooking and selling dinners for miners when her husband was disabled in a mining accident in 1934. Weekends found the family relocating their living room furniture to accommodate all the diners. Eventually, business grew to the point that the family moved out to open up more space and even added extra rooms because of increased demand for Annie’s chicken dinners. The restaurant moved to the larger present building in 1972, but the same good food is being served and Annie’s family still owns and operates it.

Just down the street a few doors is a competitor, Chicken Mary’s. While we haven’t eaten there, we understand sentiments run high and everyone seems to have a favorite. Chicken Annie’s chicken breast was tender and moist with very little breading and the gizzards, livers and hearts were nicely done. Next time I think we’ll have to try Chicken Mary’s just to be fair.

Back about 8 years ago, we went to see Big Brutus, the second largest electric shovel in the world.

Today our group went to see it again and it is still a jawdropping sight. Back when LeRoy was designing farm equipment, he designed a 500 bushel grain cart for John Deere. If I read the sign correctly, the bucket on Big Brutus would hold 2000 bushels and I thought that grain cart was big! (Of course, nowadays grain carts are even bigger, but that’s beside the point.) It is truly an amazing machine, a one of a kind build costing $6.5 million in 1963. LeRoy and most of the group climbed up and around the inside while Chicken Little Anne stayed on the ground after climbing to the first landing. For perspective, that’s Donna Thomas in the picture and she’s about my height or shorter.

Each of the 32 plates in the tracks weigh about a ton! No wonder it moved at the rate of about .25 miles per hour.

Tomorrow is a lazier day to give the women time to cook and these Eagle ladies do know how to cook! Just thinking about supper tomorrow night has my mouth watering already!

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700 miles

Once every 5 years, it’s time to renew our driver’s licenses. We tried to renew by mail, but because LeRoy had started the process to renew online 5 years ago, their system showed it as done online, and we had to renew in person this year. Bummer! Both of our licenses would have expired, but the South Dakota governor extended all licenses until the end of the year. Anyway, we’re legal for another 5.

Rather than add the 700 trip miles to our Escape, we rented a Nissan Altima and left the Escape with Tim and Heidi. Are we ready to trade? No sir, not a bit. This car is so low that it is difficult to enter and exit. I know what toddlers feel like now, since the passenger seat height doesn’t adjust and I could barely see out the side window! I told LeRoy I needed a booster seat!

Since our trip took us within an hour or so of my sister Florence Marie in Weeping Water, NE, we stopped on the way home and spent the night with her. It’s always fun to visit with her, especially since we only see each other about once a year or so. One of her sources of entertainment is her bird feeders, but the birds aren’t nearly as fascinating as the squirrels. As fat as they are, it may be a cold winter there. Or it may just be that they think the feeders are for their dining pleasure! They are very acrobatic, climbing the rod to get to the feeder and then hanging upside down to eat seeds.

Again, since we were in the neighborhood, we stopped in Beatrice to visit long time RVing friends. We met Ron and Carol Young in Huachuca City, AZ in 2011 I think and have parked next to or very near them in two different places in Tucson. None of us knows how much more time we have on the road or even on earth, for that matter, so it is important for us to stay connected as much as possible. We had a good time catching up with Youngs, even though they had some serious health challenges to share from the past year. We’ve decided we need to keep in touch more regularly, like our friend Loretta Carr, who calls friends at a distance on a monthly basis. We appreciate our friends all over the country and feel very blessed to have so many.

This week, we will be leaving the Landing for about a week to attend two Eagle rallies. Even though we no longer own Liberty, they still welcome us at rallies. The first rally will be at Crawford County lake for three days and then we will all move on to Branson for a four day shopping spree, er, bus rally. I got money for my birthday that is burning a hole in my pocket and the outlet stores of Branson are calling!

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Feels like fall!

After a warm welcome back to Kansas at the end of August and continued 90+ degree days through the first days of September, this week we had a taste of fall. Rainy, damp days with highs in the 50s aren’t the norm for late summer, but are definitely a reminder that autumn is just around the corner. Yesterday and today are gorgeous days for any season!

We have been so fortunate since school started that Sedgwick has had quite a few home volleyball games and we’ve been able to attend and watch Jadelyn play. Sedgwick volleyball girls have the reputation year after year of being tough competitors, and this year is no exception. They played in a tournament yesterday that we weren’t able to attend. One team, which shall remain nameless, declined an invitation to play because Sedgwick would be one of the opponents! Jadelyn and her friend Addie Jo posed with their medals afterwards.

While Heidi and Tim were cheering on the team, we drove to Abilene, KS to meet up with a group of people with whom we had volunteered at Golden Bell. We had lunch together at the Brookville Hotel. This building in a replication of the original Brookville Hotel in the tiny town of Brookville, KS. It had its origins serving railroaders but the railroad relocated its round house to Junction City and traffic slowed. The Magnuson family bought the business in 1894 and Mrs. Magnuson’s cooking gave the hotel a reputation for good food. However, it wasn’t until 1915 when the Magnuson’s daughter Helen Martin started the Family Style Chicken Dinner that it really took off. The business has been in the Martin family since 1933. My parents’ 40th wedding anniversary celebration was held there, in that original building, and yesterday’s meal seemed very similar, still served family style and still never an empty serving dish on the table. The business moved to Abilene in 1999, closer to the interstate highway that still provides customers on a regular basis on Wednesday-Sunday.

I thought I’d show a throwback to our family gathering in 1973 in the old building as well as a current room upstairs. The comparison shows how close to the period they got on the new building, wallpaper and furnishings included.

Yesterday we ate in the biggest dining room with four other couples. The food was wonderful and so was the companionship.

After a round of goodbyes, we drove to Manhattan to visit my sister Mary Jo and her husband Ray. Since it’s only about 40 miles from Abilene to Manhattan, it would have been a shame to miss seeing them. It’s been a year since we had been there. We were so busy talking that we didn’t get any pictures, but it certainly was good to spend time with them.

Today our church started having Sunday school classes again. I’m so glad, because we really miss spending time with our friends. LeRoy was on the building committee for Northridge back in the very early 1970s and we are both founding members, having at one time or another attended each of the three churches that went together to form this congregation. While the number of original members is dwindling, we still have many dear friends in the group and it is so good to see those familiar faces, as well as the younger generations that have been added.

We’re looking forward to warm days and cool nights as we get closer to the autumnal equinox. More fun times with family and friends are in the offing! Stay safe and well, everyone.

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Master Jack

Back in 1967, there was a song by a group called Four Jacks and a Jill that was called Master Jack. The lyrics came to mind this afternoon as we rode home after lunch. “It’s a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack.” I don’t really remember the rest of the song, but that first line is very appropriate for 2020. It is indeed a strange, strange world! We arrived back at the Landing last Sunday evening and while it still looks the same, the world around us is anything but business as usual. When we left in June, masks were optional, even at church where we share pews. Now we have to be sure we have a mask in pocket, purse or car any time we go somewhere. Instead of walking into a clinic to see our doctor, we call from the parking lot and wait until they are ready to accept us, take our temperature and ask the perfunctory questions. Going to buy groceries? Be sure your mask is in place and that your cart has been sanitized. Follow the green signs to shop down one way aisles. Maintain a six foot distance between you and the next shopper when you check out. Whatever you do, don’t take your mask off too soon outside or someone may be offended. Whew! What a lot has changed!

Regardless, it’s good to be back “home”. Even the weather has given us a WARM welcome! On the way home from Colorado, we were driving through the rolling hills of Rooks and Osborne counties and another song came to mind, “This is MY country”! My little home town of Alton always has Jubilee on the fourth Saturday of August, that is “always” except this year. We knew it had been canceled this year, but decided to go that way and go to church there anyway. They were having the community church service in the park, where the United Methodist church in town and Mt. Ayr Friends from south of town were together for a nice worship service outdoors. We saw a number of old friends and a few relatives there and were glad we made that side trip.

From Alton, we drove through the hill country across Wilson Dam and on to Ellsworth to visit granddaughter Jordan’s family. Rae wasn’t walking yet when we were there in June, but she practically runs now. She seemed to think that Papa was a pretty nice fellow! We were much too busy loving on her to take pictures this time, so I can’t share that sweet time together.

Saturday we got to attend a high school volleyball tournament in Sedgwick. Jadelyn plays with a great team. The tournament was played in two venues in different towns within the league because they couldn’t have that many people in one gathering. There were three schools playing in the Sedgwick part of the tournament and Sedgwick Cardinals won against both of the other teams.

Today we attended church in Wichita as we always do when we are here. There is a strange phenomenon when we go to church at Northridge Friends. The first thing friends say is that it is good to have us back and the very next thing they ask is when are you leaving. Maybe a little of our presence goes a long way! It’s always nice to be in our home church. We’ve been members of that church since its inception back in the late 1960s. Nice to be back!

We’re expecting cooler, possibly rainy days this week, although the heat doesn’t bother me as much as it does LeRoy. Maybe that’s because he’s always doing something outside and I stay inside? Chasing that perfect 75 degree day, that’s what we do.

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Change up

After a week where I saw the chiropractor twice and a medical doctor once, I’ve “resigned” as laundry lady. The manager at the laundromat in Woodland Park had told me weeks ago that she wouldn’t hire anyone shorter than 5’7″ because they don’t have the “wingspan” to fold sheets and now I believe her. Fortunately, camps are over for the season but unfortunately, there had been lots of laundry brought in the day my back gave out. I’m not sure who did all of it, just that it wasn’t me! For now, I’ll be taking care of the RV park store a couple of hours a day until we get ready to leave. LeRoy is still a jack of all trades and general handy guy.

One of our favorite things about Woodland Park is the Farmer’s Market/Arts and Craft sale every Friday morning. While we don’t buy a lot, we like to walk through it and talk to the vendors. One of them is the man who sells Brenda’s Tamales. We met him first at the market in Old Colorado City in 2011, I think. We really don’t have much need for his wife’s homemade tamales up here since we mostly have our meals served at the lodge, but as the summer winds down, we stock up for the next few months (or weeks, if we’re hungry). So for now, our freezer is stocked with pork and jalapeno tamales which we will enjoy as we leave to travel to Kansas. We also bought a yummy pecan cinnamon roll that was very reminiscent of the ones LeRoy’s Aunt Tressie used to make. Not as good or gooey, but it made a good Sunday morning breakfast.

Speaking of Sunday morning, we have enjoyed being part of the Woodland Life Center worship services this summer, masks nonwithstanding. We have the privilege of attending some wonderful churches in our travels and each of the pastors preach great sermons. Woodland Life Center has a new pastor, Matt Delp, a friend of ours who served in the administration at Golden Bell a few years back. He and his wife Jacque moved from here to Girard, KS to pastor a Nazarene church and while they were there, we stopped to visit with them. Matt is as humble a man of God as any I’ve ever met and his messages resonate with me and stir me to action. Thanks, Matt.

In just a week and a half or so, we will be pulling up stakes here and heading toward Kansas. We’ve talked about where we will land when we decide to stop travelling and that’s really a hard question to answer. On one hand, we love our house in Yuma, but the summer temperatures are just hotter than…well, hotter than we want. We love the mountains of Colorado, but I dislike cold winters even more than I dislike 115 degree summers. I love my family and half of them live in Kansas. I love Kansas, but it has both heat and cold, so it’s a real dilemma. Fortunately, we don’t have to decide just yet, so we’ll be in Kansas for the fall.

See you down the road!

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Cool Colorful Colorado

We’ve been busy with volunteer work all during July, so we haven’t done much away from Golden Bell except for some trips to Colorado Springs. We are, however, enjoying cool days and even cooler nights, which is really the reason we come to Teller County. The scenery is beautiful and the weather is just about perfect. Even work isn’t so bad when the temperature is in the 70s!

LeRoy has had a lot of variety in his work this year. He has been a mechanic, a painter, a gardener and a mower, among other things. He really likes the guys he works with and for and there’s never a dull moment. I’ve spent most of my days doing laundry and while it’s tiring, it isn’t really difficult. I’ve already been forewarned that there will be an abundance of laundry this coming week, because the lodge has been in use all weekend with a very large family reunion and a church retreat. When the governor wouldn’t allow overnight camps throughout the shutdown, they had to get creative to keep income flowing so they began day camps for children of essential workers. That has been pretty successful but now that it’s about time for school to start, either in the classroom or virtually, day camp will end in two weeks. The last residential camp was over Friday and the summer staffers have started going home, so we’re about to get really quiet. Tonight all the volunteers and summer staffers, along with the paid staff members, are celebrating with a chuckwagon meal.

One night this week, we went into Woodland Park and ate at a new-to-us restaurant, Southern Lilly. Their special for the evening was Crawfish Boil, so we split the large one. It was a beautiful, tasty meal and the crawfish were huge. No pictures of the blackberry cobbler baked on a little cast iron skillet and topped with ice cream, we just dove in and ate it all!

There is a little brown vintage travel trailer here in the RV park that has affectionately been known as the Dawson Mansion. Far from a mansion, it has provided living space for volunteers in the past, even though the pipes were so leaky that the tub and sinks were stained with rust, the bed was awful and the furnishings were uncomfortable. This year, the new camp management decided that we needed a little store here to sell the things campers forgot, as well as candy and ice cream. We think it’s the best use for this little place yet! Since I’m usually finished for the day in the laundry by 1 or 1:30 and the store is only open for a couple of hours in the afternoon, I am taking care of the store Monday through Thursday. There’s too much light to get a good picture, but you get the idea.

We also have RV supplies and grocery supplies. I have a hard time believing anyone would go on a weekend camping trip without some of these things, but I suppose it could happen. What do we sell most? Ice cream and ice, with candy thrown in as an afterthought. I haven’t been in the store since Thursday, so I’m not sure what this weekend’s campers thought they couldn’t live without!

We’re starting to make plans for our departure in just under 3 weeks. I think the volunteers are all leaving at about the same time, give or take a week. The paid staff has already started doing the housekeeping chores that the summer staff has done, so even though the rest of us can drive away, their work goes on. They deserve a rest and I’m sure they’ll get one sooner or later, but the camp is also a conference center that runs all year round, so I’m sure it will be brief and staggered.

Since it rains about every afternoon, I thought I’d leave you with a picture one of the Kansas summer staffers took. It pretty much sums up how so many people feel about Golden Bell.

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Lost in the Fifties!

Actually, lost in the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s, etc. When I bought my new computer, I finally got around to organizing, at least a little, all the photos on the old one. When we sold our house in Wichita, I had a whole box full of pictures, in no particular order. Some were my grandparents, some were me as a baby, some were our grandchildren. I went through the box for duplicates and Brownie camera pictures that were too distant or too blurry to make out the people. You remember those before-digital pictures where you ordered duplicates in case you wanted to pass them on and they came out really bad? I took the remaining several thousand to a client of mine who did scanning of pictures on trade for his ads and I had them all on first a disc and later a thumb drive. I told LeRoy that “some winter”, I would get them organized. I was envisioning a wintry day by the heater, but of course winter in southern Arizona is never snowy and cold, so the job never got done. We were planning to take both computers to the Geek Squad to get everything transferred over, but I discovered that my Geek Squad account doesn’t cover data transfer. For half the price of having them do it, I purchased an external hard drive and now all those photos reside on the new computer.

In the meantime, I went through most of those photos, giving each one a real description and organizing in folders. It sounds simple enough, right? Not so true! I quickly got lost in the memories of each one, remembering the sights and people of my childhood, my children’s hand decorated birthday cakes, the birth of grandchildren and even a great grandchild. Bear with me a bit and I’ll show you a few.

This one is me in a rocking chair on the front porch of the farmhouse. My sisters can tell lots more details, but I think there’s a story about the old barn being blown away before I was born. If I’m wrong, I’m sure someone will correct me!

This picture was taken at the Brookville Hotel when it was still in Brookville, KS. We were celebrating my parents 40th wedding anniversary and all their grandchildren in the picture have “matured”! It’s hard to believe that the three older boys have all hit 60 and only one has yet to see 50. How time flies!

LeRoy’s dad died when he was three, so we only have a few pictures of them together. This one on the horse is about my favorite. LeRoy came along after 12 years of marriage, long after they had given up, so he was very precious to them.

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Service and celebration

Since we aren’t hosting at the RV park this summer, or at least not right now, we weren’t sure what we would be doing at Golden Bell. LeRoy had a reputation with previous staff of being someone they could count on in maintenance, but this year’s management is totally new except for our friend in the office. I’ve worked in the gift shop in past years but the gift shop isn’t open now. Monday morning when we showed up for breakfast, I was asked to help serve. In the past, food was on a buffet line but due to Covid, everything has to be plated and handed to the person by a masked, gloved and aproned server. It was easy that first morning, with only the summer staffers and volunteers. The first residential campers of the year arrived that morning. The next morning, LeRoy and I both served breakfast to 150 or so people. It’s amazing how tiring that can be!

Monday after breakfast, I started washing venetian blinds and the windows behind them. The camp was started more than 50 years ago and if I didn’t know better, I’d be convinced that the blinds haven’t been cleaned since then! That project has been sort of catch as catch can, because as soon as the summer staff stripped beds in some of the rental units, I started doing laundry and didn’t get back to windows until Thursday afternoon! The laundry is done in a little room in the swimming pool building, and serves as a passthrough to the pool equipment at the other end. There are three washers and four dryers and from Monday morning until noon Thursday, all were in use. I’ve always known that everyone has their own way of folding, so it didn’t really surprise me that Golden Bell sheets, towels and blankets are folded just so. The instructions for each are laminated and posted on the dryer doors! One afternoon LeRoy came to help fold sheets but other than that, I was by myself. I know those instructions by heart!

We work a combined 10 hours a day for four days with plans to take off on Friday to celebrate our anniversary. We thought 55 years was worth celebrating! I’m not sure how that happened, because we still feel like newlyweds! We spent the day running around in Colorado Springs. My new computer (this is my first blog on it) arrived Monday and we wanted to get Best Buy’s Geek Squad to change files over from the old Dell to the new HP. Turns out, we couldn’t get an appointment to do that until next Friday, so we’ll be going down the hill again. The day we left the Landing, LeRoy discovered that one of the diamonds in his wedding ring was missing and he didn’t find it, so we took it to Helzbergs for repair since that’s where he got it five years ago. They’ll tell us when it’s ready and if we play our cards right, we might get another trip to the Springs on another Friday. We learned to enjoy Culver’s food when we were in Tucson and since there was a Culver’s almost across from Best Buy, we had lunch there. Still as yummy as ever!

Friday evening we made reservations for dinner at the Swiss Chalet in Woodland Park. It is a very nice restaurant with both inside and outside dining space. We had a table on the deck and enjoyed the mountain scenery around us as we waited and ate. We each started out with sweet chili corn chowder that was so good we think we’ll try to replicate it. LeRoy had a ribeye steak and I had pork chops with crispy fingerling potatoes. There was enough left over that we’re having it for supper tonight. It was a wonderful evening and we feel very blessed to have each other after all these years.

Tonight we’ll go to the lodge for chapel with the other volunteers and summer staffers and then tomorrow is another day. Last week, I found myself singing a scripture song that goes “His strength is perfect when our strength is gone. He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.” I can attest that it is true and we will both depend on it again this next week!

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Eventful trip, but we’re here

As we had planned, we were ready to leave in time for my follow up eye appointment. Wind notwithstanding, we made it to Ellsworth just fine. Our granddaughter Jordan and her husband Marc live there and they are the parents of our only great granddaughter (so far). We had a great time talking and playing with Rae. She even got a shot at driving the RV! She was pretty proud of herself.

When we were showing Jordan and Rae the inside of our home on wheels, we put the foot rest on my seat out to show them. It wouldn’t go back down, so LeRoy walked to town to get a fuse. Not sure it’s really fixed for good, but at least it went back down and we have spare fuses now. Since their side street is far from level and the steps couldn’t go completely out, LeRoy had put the jacks down while we were parked. None of the easy things worked, so he went underneath and drained the hydraulic fluid out to let the springs pull them up. Eventually, we were able to get on the road again.

Did I mention wind before? As long as we were going north, it was at our back but once we turned west, it was just about broadside to us. In Liberty before LeRoy added air-assist power steering, it would have been really tough and even with that addition, it took strong arms and vigilance. I’ve always said it was like driving a billboard. The Pace Arrow made it much easier, but it was still a tiring day for my driver.

The temperature was hovering near the 100 degree mark most of Monday, but the generator runs both air conditioners and we do have dash air now. The generator got hot and quit for a little bit, but eventually it did start again. Another blessing!

Just as we bumped down into the Whistle Stop RV park in Colby, the refrigerator door swung open, the water jug inside and a full quart container of yogurt fell out and broke. Two and a half gallons of water ran under our storage unit into the carpet and it’s still not quite dry, even with fans running on it all the time. The yogurt made a bigger mess at first but once it was cleaned up, we were good.

The engine in the RV tends to run just below very hot all the time, which they tell me is typical of that engine, so we left Colby early Tuesday morning hoping to escape hot weather and get up the mountain safely. Mountains are always a challenge for RVs, it seems to me, or at least the ones we’ve owned. We took the car off the dolly and I drove up to lessen the load and we made it.

The drive Tuesday was still pretty windy, enough so that the big side awning decided to unroll as we drove. So in beautiful downtown Kanorado, KS, we stopped by the side of the road and cut it off. That’s about all you can do if it won’t rewind. LeRoy carries a foldable ladder which made getting it down so much easier, even though nothing about getting it on the ground was easy! I’m no match for LeRoy’s strength!

When we arrived at Golden Bell, we got reacquainted with long time friends after we got parked in the RV park and met several new staff members at dinner. Things are somewhat different than in the past. The cushions have been removed from the couches in the lobby to aid in social distancing, even though the staff, volunteers and summer staff are about the only ones here. and every time we are in a camp building, we will wear a mask. Other than that, Golden Bell is still a wonderful place to be.

After dinner last night, I began to experience a rash on my upper body. Heidi suggested that I should send pictures to my doctor in Wichita via the patient portal and I am still waiting to hear from them. I guess we’ll see what they think and maybe go to a doctor in Woodland Park. I feel good and don’t itch too much!

This morning, because of the rash, I didn’t go to breakfast, so I took a walk to see my favorite view. I just stood and soaked in the beauty God made for us and I know all is well, no matter what.

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