Company

What an enjoyable week we’ve had! Not only has the weather been back into the temperatures we expect in an Arizona winter,we’ve also had company. I remember when a friend of ours moved from Wichita to Sedgwick, the distance of about 20 miles, she told me that it seemed to be farther from Wichita to Sedgwick than the other way. Her friends were reluctant to drive “that far” for a visit but thought nothing of asking her to come to their house. Moving to Yuma for the winter is a lot farther from friends than that 20 mile drive, but while we would drive to Tucson or another distant town to see friends, few are so inclined to come see us here. This week was different.
Our friends Phil and Pat Cox from Arkansas are in Green Valley visiting her daughter and they called this week to see if they could drive over to visit us! Our answer was YES, of course! Now that we have both a park model and an RV, we even have overnight guest space. We showed them Yuma, including our favorite fish taco stand, a driving tour past miles of vegetable fields (did we ever tell you that Yuma is the winter lettuce capital of the world?) and took them to Martha’s Gardens, a date farm and store where we made sure they had a date shake. Our neighbors were gathering for breakfast at AmVets the next morning, so we took Coxes with us and joined them. Good food, good prices and good company.
neighbors
After Phil and Pat left for home, we had another welcome visitor. We first met Lindsay Tempro when she was a student nurse working as summer staff at Golden Bell camp in the summer of 2014. She and her fellow “camp nurse” set up a table right outside the gift shop to provide campers their morning or noon or evening medications and when they were between patients, one or both would come into the gift shop just to talk when I was working there. Occasionally they both came over to the bus and visited us, so we got pretty well acquainted. In January, Lindsay sent me a message and said that she had a contract as a traveling nurse in Phoenix for a few months and Malia was helping her drive out. We weren’t able to get together while Malia was here, but Lindsay drove down Thursday to see us. It was like having one of our grandkids drop in for a visit! We went to Da Boyz pizza/Italian restaurant in downtown Yuma, in an old Kress store building.
da boys selfie
We also took her across the state line into California to show her the enormous Imperial sand dunes. And took time for another selfie back home!
lindsay
We sent her on her way Friday afternoon with the leftover pizza from the night before and instructions to stop at Dateland (milemarker 67) for a date shake. Are you sensing a pattern here? We love our date shakes and I think we’ve become pushers!
We closed the week out by picking up a few tubs of clothing from Jessie’s Closet to be washed and resorted. More volunteer hours for Jonah’s Eagle Scout project!

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A first for me

Yesterday was a busy day and it started with a first for me. We volunteered to help a Boy Scout from Desert Grace Nazarene Church with his Eagle Scout project. Several years ago the church started an organization to help foster parents called Jessie’s Closet and then helped get 501C3 status for it, making donations tax deductible. Jessie’s Closet is located in a small building in downtown Yuma which houses a thrift store on one side and a foster parent resource center on the other side. Foster parents can come and take clothing or other supplies they need for their foster children, who often come to them with only the clothes on their backs. Jonah’s project was to have the back room cleared, sort through all the bags and boxes of donated goods (mostly clothing), secure additional shelving and tubs and make it a usable space for sorting. When we arrived at 8:30, the room was piled high and our first job was to take all the “stuff” outside to make room for cleaning and moving shelving units. There were still lots of bags left inside when this picture was taken.

A group of volunteers, mostly from the church, spent from 8:30 to 1:30 sorting clothing into  those tubs and carrying them inside to be placed on existing shelves. Another group was inside moving shelves and generally cleaning up. No matter how much we sorted, those piles outside did not seem to diminish! Once the room was swept and shelves filled with tubs, there were still many untouched bags. Those had to be carried back in, but this time it was done in a way that left access to the shelves. The piles were no longer head high, so we felt successful. Quite a few of the workers had gone home by the time this picture was taken. Way to go, Team Jonah!

Last night, we attended a concert by the Master’s Quartet at the church. These guys put on an enjoyable evening of southern gospel music. We asked if they knew of the Mid-South Boys, a group we heard many times in Oklahoma, but they didn’t. They did know the Weatherfords, though, and Steve Weatherford is an Eagle bus friend on ours.

Even though I see many beautiful sunsets here, LeRoy is the early riser and now that the sun comes over the mountains before I’m out of bed, he gets in on more sunrises. He got a picture of this beauty out our living room window this week.

The warm weather we’ve been having is so enjoyable, I wish I could share it with our friends in colder country. I do love seeing your snow…in pictures, from far, far away! Stay warm, everyone!

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This and that

Let’s start off this week with something that makes me smile. I hope it works for you, too.

You’re welcome! That’s our sweet granddaughter Jordan and her 9-month-old Rae. We’re so excited every time we get pictures or a video!

This week was Valentine’s Day and my sweet valentine bought me a present I’ve wished I had for a long time, a KitchenAid mixer. I have the perfect place for it in our house!

AND in a related story, the repairman finally came and the oven is fixed! First, the oven wouldn’t light so the repairman ordered a new igniter. When it came more than a week later, it didn’t work, either. Ordered another one, another long time later he came back to install it and decided that it wasn’t really the igniter, it was the thermostat, so he replaced that. The burner lighted, so he shut it off, gave us his bill and left. Only trouble was, apparently the burners had been converted to use propane but the oven hadn’t. The flame came clear up into the oven and instead of shutting off at the 350 degrees it was set for, it shut off at 250 per the oven thermometer. Another call to the repairman and another week’s wait for the part. This time, it really is fixed (fingers crossed) and correctly calibrated. Here’s the first product, a carrot cake frosted and ready to eat. We’ve passed on parts of it to several friends. I’ll have to learn to make smaller amounts for just the two of us!

LeRoy finished up the awning on the west side of the house that he was working on in this picture. He called the contractor to tell him that the skirting and awning projects were completed so it was ready for the contractor’s checklist before calling for a county inspection. The contractor had a few suggestions to make and then he discovered that he hadn’t put the awning on the first permit application! He left to apply for an awning permit and we haven’t heard from him for a while. Oh well, we’re retired, so I guess we’re not in a hurry.

Meanwhile, I’ve been organizing on the inside. First the pantry,

then the shoe drawers using these clever holders

and then the socks and underwear drawer. Thanks, Bed Bath and Beyond!

As for LeRoy’s drawers, he’s on his own. He still has to open more than one drawer to find his stuff and he puts away his own laundry!

After a rainy, windy day yesterday, we took advantage of a bright sunny day to attend the Hank’s Day parade on Foothills Drive which pays tribute to the man credited with starting the Foothills community. Although he died in 1998, his influence is still seen all over the area where we live. He began developing the area in the 1960s when he purchased 3,000 acres east of Yuma. At one time, Hank and his family owned or founded Hank’s Market, Foothills Bank, Foothills Hardware, Schechert Family Aquatics, Far West Water and Sewer and I’m sure other businesses I don’t know about. Several of these are closed or have been sold to someone else to continue the business, but there is no doubt about the influence of the Schechert family.

Thanks, Hank. We enjoyed your parade!

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Beautiful day in the neighborhood

After a “cold” spell, we’re finally back to normal temperatures for Yuma. We have to admit, days in the 50s just aren’t why we come to Arizona in the winter! When the rest of the country is in the deep freeze, though, we can hardly complain. Well, we can but we probably shouldn’t.

We had a good time in Quartzsite this year in what our Eagle friends dubbed the Eaglet. It will take a bit of adjusting and adapting, but I think we can fit in comfortably for our spring travels.

Our rally was a bit short on Eagle buses but not short on friends. Not all of them drive Eagles, but all of them enjoy conversation and most like shopping, which is a good skill with all the vendors in Tyson Wells, not to mention the Big Tent, which opened Saturday.

Several buses came from a distance, but the white bus with blue stripes below has the distinction of having a Swiss owner. Rico has been touring the US and coming to our rally for a long time. At first, he came in a much different rig,

Now he and Elvira travel in style! Her brother and sister-in-law flew in and rented an RV to join them in seeing the sights. This year they, along with several others, made a fleeting appearance and went on to other places but we always enjoy seeing them all, however briefly.

You never know what you’re going to go home with when you go to Quartzsite. Byron Pigg, past president of the Eagles club, found this gem and made room for it in one of his bays to take home to Missouri.

This week, LeRoy will be working on the awning over our patio extension. I hope there will be pictures next time.

By the way, does anyone have recipes for using grapefruit? We seem to have an abundance from friends and I can only take so many by themselves.

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More progress!

After our annual bus rally in Quartzsite, LeRoy got busy attaching skirting to the house. One more hoop to jump through, this time to satisfy insurance underwriters.

We just got back from dinner with Eagle friends from Missouri. I’ll write more about the Eagles later when I have more time.

https://passportamerica.com?rfsn=2213904.a77b2

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Progress!

Our contractor is back and busy! Today, the heat pump was installed and tested. It works!! With one hiccup (the heat registers and air returns were hooked up backwards) it seems to do what we want it do, when we want it. That was a biggie, since we had no guarantee that the unit that came would work. We found out that it was not originally installed on this house, but has now been adapted to fit.

LeRoy spent the day getting ready to put the awning over the concrete patio on the west side of our house. Our contractor helped him with instructions, so it should go together fairly smoothly once the posts have been stood up.

On another front, we are back in the RV business. We found an older Fleetwood Flair for sale and brought it home, so we now have a way to get to the bus rally in Quartzsite this week. Bus rally, you ask? You’re right, we don’t have a bus any more, but LeRoy is still president of Eagles International until they replace him. We had planned to drive the car up and stay with friends from New Mexico who have guest space, but as it turns out, they aren’t going to be able to attend, so it’s a good thing we have our own bed!

Inside, we have work to do. First to go was a huge console which, though it furnished cupholders, made getting into the driver or passenger seat very difficult.

Next to go was the fuzzy brown seat upholstery.

We’ll get pictures as we move along. For all of you who thought you couldn’t possibly live in a 40 foot bus, we’re downsizing to 25 feet for summer. At least we usually spend more time outside in Colorado, so maybe we won’t get under each other’s feet too much! The kitchen makes me think of the little Allegro motorhome Florence Marie stayed in several winters in Tucson. It is tiny but functional. We’ll adjust to being RVers, having an RV refrigerator, using 12 volt lights, etc. I’ve already told LeRoy that those new projects have to wait until our house project is completed! How well do you think that will go?

Wednesday we’re headed to Quartzsite. Friends, shopping and the Big Tent await!

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Dragonfly

There’s something special about an Eagle bus conversion. Have you noticed that most Eagle conversions have names? That’s because there is a little bit of the owner/converter in each one that makes it unique.

This bus, Dragonfly, is well known in bus circles. Bob and Karen Ward were the first bus owners I knew.

Bob is a great storyteller and we have heard their stories of the conversion and the cross-country trips they had made, as well as the new friends they had made along the way. They have enjoyed and shared hospitality in Dragonfly for lots of years, but for all of us, there comes a time when the maintenance and driving is too much and it’s time to pass it on so another owner can love it and make it their own. It’s that time for Wards.

As a result, Dragonfly is for sale! She is unique and beautiful. Bob and Karen have asked us to offer it for sale on their behalf. A listing of what is offered follows, as well as pictures.

1988 Silver Eagle Model 15

  • Converted in about 2000
  • Roof raised 10″
  • Stripped to the frame and all tubing below the floor replaced
  • All new aluminum siding
  • Driver area raised to main floor level
  • Mid-entry door w/sandblasted eagle on a factory window as inside railing
  • Small open “attic” for ducting and wiring
  • Basement air and heat by RV Products (old Coleman Company)
  • School bus heater under the dash
  • Aluminum wheels, 11R24.5 tires
  • 6V92 and Allison 740 This is the third engine in the bus, est. at 300,000 miles
  • Bigfoot levelers
  • 20 gallon house electric water heater
  • Cafe’ bay doors
  • Electric wipers
  • Wrico 10K diesel generator
  • Stainless steel tanks, 75 gallon fresh water, 100 gallon black water tank
  • 2 30# propane bottles for stove and dryer

THE HOUSE:

  • All around custom solid maple cabinets and woodwork
  • Sliding dual pane tinted windows with screens
  • Roman shades with valances
  • Couch and swiveling captain’s chair/copilot chair
  • Living room flat screen TV
  • 12V halogen lighting throughout
  • Motorized inside screens on windshield
  • Galley has:
  • 16 cu. ft. Frigidaire house refrigerator
  • Kitchenaid 1100 watt microwave/convection oven
  • Stainless steel corner sink
  • Side bathroom with china toilet
  • Full size house shower Neo Angle shower away from bathroom
  • Stacked Maytag washer/gas dryer
  • PEX plumbing
  • Rear closet
  • House fixtures throughout coach
  • Fantastic Fan, new switch in bus ready for installation
  • Queen Murphy bed to give more floor space when up
  • Spray foam insulation
  • Trace 1224 modified sine wave inverter
  • The bus

 

This bus comes with a Tracker 4×4, painted to match which has been the tow’d, at a low $35,000. It is in Wichita, KS, but please contact LeRoy Willis (316-708-1973) or Anne Willis (316-708-1987) for more information. We are currently in Yuma, AZ but will be handling this transaction and can arrange for serious buyers to see it.

 

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