Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Work In Progress - Finished

Many mistakes were made.  I did end up with socks, and they fit.  These are my first attempt at knitting socks.  I used Magic Loop, two at a time.  I used Cat Bordi's sweet tomato heel, and a stretchy bind off.  The yarn is not sock yarn and I had issues with it splitting and I dropped a lot of stitches and had to go back and pick them up.  I did not totally understand the heel instructions until I was in bed hours after I'd finished knitting the heels and it clicked how it was supposed to work.  Even done incorrectly, the socks do have heels in them.  Next time it will go better.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Thoughts on the trip

This trip evolved.  Originally it was planned to just fly out to see Rod Ivers one more time.  He left the area fairly suddenly, and even though I did go over to say goodby the evening before he left I still wanted to see him again.  I planned for October after my medical tests that had already been scheduled were finished.  It kind of morphed into running up in a rental car to see Favorite Neighbor after she fell and it became apparent she would not be back down to Mesa for the winters again.  I have family in the area (more or less) where Rod lived, so this plan was doable.

Well, the medical tests came back showing breast cancer, and I was tied up with that until the end of the year.  Rod died in January.  It was winter in MN.  The trip got put off.  Once I had the Class A I pondered taking it, but Mom was getting so weak once she went of her thyroid medicine because of the side effects of taking it for over 35 years I stayed put.  Once Mom got straightened out and was feeling so much better, and I had the Class A, I turned the trip into a visit with family as well as the trip up to see Favorite Neighbor.

The motorhome performed wonderfully.  It is 20 years old, but runs very well.  It worked well for Mom and I traveling as well.  I turned the passenger seat around to face the living room in the evenings and she sat there and read while I went back to my bedroom and got on my computer.  It is comfortable to ride in while driving, and nice to be able to stop anywhere.  I had enough on my mind with this being my first long trip in an RV that we mostly stayed in RV parks.  We did boondock one night at the Kansas Star casino and that went well, even though there was a huge storm during the night.

I managed to dodge the storms while traveling, and most rain fell during the nights.  It seemed a blessed trip in many ways.  I got used to driving in a stiff broadside wind.  At one point I told Mom that I wouldn't know how to drive on a flat, good road with no wind.  I never had all three at the same time on the way out.  It was better on the way home.

Some take away thoughts:

It sucks not having a car while traveling.  We did no sight seeing at all.  I was not comfortable taking the motorhome far off the interstate.  This is my nerves and lack of experience, not the motorhome.  The size and worry about getting into and out of parking lots is the issue.  After paying for fuel on this trip, which averaged $100/day of travel, I don't have the money to set up the motorhome to pull the car.  This is an ongoing issue.  I'm still pondering.

I was ready to get 'home'.  Mostly back to the Southwest.  I apparently have a strong sense of 'place'.  I need to factor this into future plans.  I said going into this that, given that I 'retired' with little money I might just end up going from the Valley (Mesa/Apache Junction) in the winters and to Payson in the summers to follow the weather and that was ok.  I don't need to make any decisions right now as I'm in a good place right where I am. 

For now I need to sit tight, pay some bills, sort and get rid of a bunch of stuff and chill.  The car issue, and not having it if I leave in the motorhome or the cat issue if I take off in the car and tent camp is my biggest hurdle.  I don't have to solve that right now.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Let's see, where was I again?

Take it easy

Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy  

The previous post left us in a small town north of Kansas City. Mom and I and Bosley the cat left Payson on the morning of Mother’s Day. I drove for 4 days to get to family, parking in my Uncle’s driveway. He let us plug in so we had electricity to run the coffee makers, an important part of any plans.

  While there we took part of one day with my Uncle and put flowers on the family grave sites. At one point I remarked that we seemed to come from a long line of granite. Alone with visiting my grandparents and great aunts and uncles graves we went to the small graveyard where my Dad is buried and where Mom and I will end up. It is a nice place on a small hill.

My Aunt and Uncle also live in that small town, and I walked back and forth, the only member of my family that walks instead of driving to get between the two places. It is maybe 3 blocks. I saw another Class A motorhome parked along the side street on my walk. As my time there continued, they stayed as well. Doc and Erin finally were cornered on our last day there and I waxed on and on about various links and get togethers and forums for full time RV’ing. If you are reading this, welcome again. Sorry I’ve been too out of it to answer your comments in the previous entry. I did not go up to Ferris', I would have called first to verify if they had a dump facility, but decided in the end to just get a spot with full hookups that night.

My Aunt took Mom and I up to St Jo so Mom could visit some friends. One friend who timidly answered our knock thought we were missionaries. Our dress should have told her otherwise, but she didn’t have on her glasses. Once she opened the door she recognized Mom, and we went in and had a nice visit. At the complex where Mom used to live before she moved to Phoenix we did the same thing, just knocked on the door unannounced. It turned out there was a potluck lunch going on that day, so my Aunt and I left Mom to visit and we went to Taco Bell. A trip to a thrift store where Mom bought a small Singer portable sewing machine (she doesn’t like my computer controlled one) and I bought shorts, and I was done with touring around. Mom and my Aunt went the other direction and visited family the next day as well.

After 3 days it was time to head further north to MN. The entire way from AZ to MO I fought a strong gusty south wind. The morning we were to start heading north Mom looked out at my Uncle’s flag and noticed that the wind had shifted to the east. Of course it had… I drove the entire 520 miles up to Mille Lacs that day. Every time I’d stop and check the weather there was a rain icon for the next day. I’m used to living in a desert. Rain while driving the motorhome seemed more scary than just continuing to drive.

We stayed there for 3 days. We were fed well, and enjoyed the visit with Favorite Neighbor and her son and daughter in law. These folks have treated Mom and I like we are family and it was nice to visit them in their home. We got a driving tour around the lake, and took Favorite Neighbor out shopping one day. I hope they can get back down to Mesa again and have time to stay for awhile.

I drove back to my Uncle’s driveway, all 520 miles, again in one day. My other Aunt and cousin came in for Memorial Day weekend, and there was much visiting of cousins and kids and commotion. I hid in the motorhome a lot of the time.

We left Tuesday after Memorial Day. It took 4 days to get home again. I was like a horse heading for the barn door.

The first night we stayed in a Passport America park in Guthrie, OK. It was nice, and only $18 with the PA membership. The next night I stopped at another PA park on the east side of Amarillo. It was ok, and only $12.50, but there were no amenities. We didn’t really need any as it had full hookups, but Mom said she would pay if we went back to Oasis on the the west side of Amarillo. I went for an evening walk and was waved over to a group that was grilling. These guys were linemen who live in their 5th wheels near the job sites. They said there were maybe 25 guys and some wives. More due next week as their kids got out of school for the summer. I was given a bottle(!) of root beer and could have had supper with them. Really nice folks.

The last night we went back to Enchanted Trails in Albuquerque. With the PA membership the price was only $18. Why didn’t they tell me the other times I stayed there about the PA price? I had intended on trying the RV Park on the other side of the interstate on the way home, but the PA price was so much cheaper that I went back to Enchanted Trails after all.

I was totally trashed when I pulled into Payson. Thoughts on the trip in another post.