Thursday, March 20, 2008

The courage of a little boy..........

Today a trip to Richmond was on the agenda, to accompany my sister, Kathryn and 9 year old great nephew, Trey, to the plastic surgeons office. He had two moles on his face, one of which was "suspicious" so they were going to remove them. Trey's mom, Kristy, remained in MCV Hospital but is out of ICU and making "progress" with her Leukemia battle. They expect to send her home soon.
So this brave little man went with his Grannie KK and Aunt Molly to the surgeons. Not having spent a great deal of time with little Trey, I was expecting him to be a little squeamish about his procedures, but, nope, what a trooper he was. He never showed any fear and marched right into the office very calmly. When he later emerged with his battle scars, he continued his bravery all day! We spent the rest of the day together and had pizza and ice cream and ended up at the Krispy Kreme Do-nut store. He selected do-nuts for his brothers and sister so he could share when he got home.

Since our children are grown and we do not have any grandchildren, it has been awhile since I really spent any time caring for a child. What a truly delightful day was had with little Trey! He was such a joy to be with and never complained about his "stitches". I know he has been worried about his Mom, and I think about how much his life has been affected by the sickness that has stricken her. It is such a potent reminder that life is very precious and how grateful we are to have our health and the little things that we take for granted every day. It was a valuable lesson from the courage of a little boy.

We have also spent a good bit of time with our dear friends, Linda and Everett since we returned to Warsaw. Linda and Everett have been good friends for many years. We have made many RVing trips together, chased several hurricanes, worked on many projects and generally just had lots of good times together. On the 29th of September Everett suffered a massive stroke and has not walked or talked since then. After over 60 days in the hospital, he is back at home and spends his days in a wheelchair, with Linda caring for him. She is faced with the mighty task of putting their life back together. There are many tough days for her, as she deals with things "one day at a time".
It is very difficult to see Everett, his right side useless, and unable to communicate with us, as he was once a very talkative, active, and gregarious man.

This is also a vivid reminder of how precious each day is, and how grateful we should be for our health, happiness, families and friends.
One never knows what lies around the next bend, nor what will be our fate the next day. We are truly grateful for every day, and especially for the blessing of good health, friends and family!

Monday, March 10, 2008

67 Sturman Lane, Warsaw, Virginia

We arrived at 67 Sturman Lane Saturday night about 8 pm. We had a nice visit with Mom in Roanoke; spent most of the day Saturday with her and she even went out for lunch with us. Then hit the road headed East for the last leg of the trip. We stopped for dinner at Los Portales, a favorite, in Warsaw before parking in the site beside the house.
The MH is parked in it's spot beside the house, waiting for us to get back in!!

It was blowin' a gale when we pulled in. Gee..... it seems like there's been an awful lot of wind this winter!

Minkie settled right back into her old routine and found her spot in the sunroom where she always sits.....
right across from Bob's recliner.

I drove back to Richmond in Sunday morning to meet my sisters and see our niece in ICU at MCV. We had a nice day together, but it was upsetting to see Kristy suffering as she was. I went back on Tuesday with my sister and they took her off the respirator and she looked a little better. Hopefully, each day will bring improvement.

We have mostly settled into our "routine"; going to the Post Office each day...

Stopping to visit dear friends, George and Charlotte, who own The Warsaw Paint & Hardware.....

sharing a sunny afternoon with dear neighbors, Junie and Sue..

There's much to keep us busy....with the everyday things of life.
We miss our traveling friends and wish you all safe travels. See you on the road soon!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

East of the Mississippi...snowstorm in front of us!

Memphis, Tennessee tonight is the location...
crossed the Mighty Mississippi this afternoon after fighting horrid wind gusts most of the day.

The home of Elvis, Rock-n-Roll & Blues, and Bar-B-Que....

all of which are favorites of mine!!

A major winter snowstorm is just on our heels in Arkansas and another one is just in front of us, coming thru Memphis tomorrow. We are watching "Suvivor" at the moment and will most likely fire up the coach and head a little further East to move out of the direct path of the snow. Jackson, Tennessee is predicted to have snow starting tomorrow afternoon, so if we make Jackson tonight, we can get in front of the snow tomorrow and, hopefully, miss the worst of it.

Whew...this bit of playing hide-and-go-seek with the snowy weather is getting old!
We have been pushing to get back East a little faster now, as my niece is back in ICU, and very ill with an infection and side effects from the chemo and leukemia. Please keep her in your prayers...Kristy Kirby sister's daughter.

The ominous morning sky....

Arising early to get more miles behind us, we see a sky in the east that has NO sun and sure looks like s-n-o-w!! It's 35 degrees here this morning; at least it's above freezing!
So we are heading out of Oklahoma and onto I 40, still travelin' East. See you in a few days!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Still travelin' East...& dodging the S-n-o-w!

Wednesday evening finds us at the Catfish Roundup Restaurant and RV Park.....yep, first it's a restaurant, then it has a very nice campground in the back.

Nice pull thru sites with concrete slabs, full hookups with 50 amps and only $16.00!!
So we pull thru, park on the concrete and hook up; start up the washer to do laundry, then walk next door for an unbelievable catfish dinner.... Yum,Yum!!! Delicate fried Catfish, hushpuppies, apple fritters and hot yeast rolls too!!!
As if that wasn't enough, they serve homemade fried apple pies (for $1.99 each) with ice cream!! We got one to go and they gave us two....they were almost as good as Christine's (Cline's sister)fried pies, with a flaky, buttery, pan fried crust!! So those were enjoyed in the MH later while finishing the laundry:)

We are in Prague, Oklahoma, about 175 miles west of Little Rock, Arkansas. The drive today was in very gusty winds, all across Texas and Oklahoma, in the Tornado Alley. Very flat and very, very windy, making it a somewhat tedious drive for Bob.

Now, we checked and rechecked the weather forecast before taking this shot across Interstate 40. We came in just after a snow and wind storm in New Mexico and Oklahoma and it was clear the rest of the way East on Sunday's five day forecast. On Monday, we see " a chance of flurries" in Arkansas on Friday and now we see "snow" forecast for most of Tennessee and on into Roanoke, which is our destination for Saturday!!! This makes it perfectly clear not to put much faith in any weather forecast! So we'll travel as far as possible tomorrow, which should be between Memphis and Jackson, TN, then just wait up until it looks clear to make the run up I 81 through Bristol and on into Western Virginia.

Still hope to be back in Warsaw on Monday!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Travelin' East....... Route 66 and dodging the weather!

We departed Cottonwood around 8:30 on Tuesday morning and headed North on I17 to continue East on I40, climbing again up to 7200 feet and bidding the snow covered ground farewell.

We continued East on I40 thru Arizona into New Mexico. Traveling mostly through desert high plains and remaining at over 6000 feet altitude.

At one point in the day this was our view on the drivers’ side;

And below was the view on the right side:

Interstate 40 follows the historic Route 66 through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma, to Oklahoma City, where Route 66 turned North to Chicago.

The old road, which John Steinbeck affectionately named “The Mother Road” still holds an attraction to most who follow it’s path. It harkens to the time when Americans had a love affair with their automobiles and the open road, and it is a sad reminder of the price of progress. We saw many remnants of the grand old road and the motels, diners and garages which lined its route. We stopped for breakfast in Holbrook AZ (just east of Winslow and its famous corner) and realized that we had parked in this exact spot at the same diner, on our last cross country trip seven years ago.

We crossed the Continental Divide (on Route 66) near Grants, NM about an hour west of Albuquerque.
This is at 7200 feet elevation and at this point, all rainfall runoff divides to the West into the Pacific or to the East and into the Atlantic Ocean.

Stopping for the night in Santa Rosa, NM, we will continue East tomorrow and hopefully make it east of Oklahoma City. We are threading a “weather needle” with snow storms just behind and in front of us so we are timing our travel accordingly!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Leaving Las Vegas, Hoover Dam and S-n-o-w!

Well the Race is over and our guys didn’t win;

Gordon had the “Big crash” with 4 laps to go, but at least he went for it with gusto. And Jr finished second, the best of the Hendricks cars!! So it was a good race, if windy at the track, and we had a terrific time with our HOP hosts and friends. Bill and Carol Sharpe are great hosts and we always enjoy seeing them.

We shared some fun times and great meals with Peg & Earl Farmer (above) and Dennie and Ruth Stitt (above left) also, so we’ll look forward to our next “meet”!

We left Las Vegas on Monday morning and headed Southeast, crossing Hoover Dam and then continuing East to pick up I 40.
We left warm sunshine in LasVegas and traveled to 7500 feet at Williams Arizona, where the snow was almost a foot deep on either side of the road .
The San Franciso Peaks loomed ahead of us, heavily snow capped against a bright blue sky.
As we climbed the vegetation changed from desert scrub, to stately pine, cedar and fir trees.
It really was a lovely backdrop, but s-n-o-w- means c-o-l-d and brrrrr…….!!!

I watched incessantly for an elk, as they are frequently seen on the roadside, and the signs constantly warned us that it was “elk crossing” territory, but, alas, I never saw an elk. Just like the elusive moose in Maine, I searched in vain for just one big, fat elk!!

Our destination on Monday was Cottonwood,AZ to spend our final night with Ronnie and Carlean (Bob’s brother). Ronnie had been very ill over the holidays and it was nice to see him looking a good bit healthier than he did in January. We had a nice dinner with them in Old Town Cottonwood and enjoyed our visit.
Cottonwood is one of my favorite towns. Not too big, not too small; about 25,000 people and enough amenities to be comfy, yet it retains a “small town” feel and no traffic problems. The “Old Town” area has been preserved and thrives as a dining and shopping destination. There are lots of places to visit and things to do nearby. The old mining town of Jerome sits on a hillside high above Cottonwood and is a great day trip. Sedona and Prescott are a short drive away and the scenery all around is just lovely. If you’re ever near the area, you’ll enjoy the town.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

UAW Dodge 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Sunday is the Cup race here in Vegas and it is sunny and would be rather warm but the wind is blowin' a gale here; 30-35 mph sustained winds, gusting to 50mph. Gee, we can get this off the river, but didn't really expect it today! Should make for an intersting race!

Now, here is a photo I know you thought you'd never see, but this is for my sister, Wanda, in Roanoke; me wearing a Dale Jr shirt at the race!!
What can I say??!!! Let's see what Jr and Rick can do now!!!

Here are a couple of my favorite photos from The Neon Garage:

Now, it's time to go to the Race, so more later, from the drifters at the Race!