Sunday, September 20, 2020

'20/#20 Lets Make Blog '20/#20 Better Than The Year 2020

 20-20. The 20th blog of 2020. Well let's see what is going on. Our time here in South Dakota is coming to an end. It is the 4th quarter and the clock is ticking. If you follow this blog you know that the 4th quarter is the final segment of our commitment when hitch-itch (the urge to hook up and hit the road) gets the strongest. Our nomadic lifestyle dictates that we roam and sitting still too long makes us antsy. Also the "4th quarter" is the time that everything gets on your nerves. Some call it short-timer syndrome. Whatever it is called it is getting close to the time to leave.

As workcampers we feel that our jobs are to be flexible. This is a temporary job to fill a short term need. We are hired based on our work resumes and our accumulated life skills. Some feel that they are hired for one specific job and will do no more than that job. The options are either the employer accepts that or the employee moves on. We feel that if we can fill more than one position we become more valuable to the employer. That adds to and improves our resume. A good work ethic, the ability to work with others, and the ability to be flexible to get the job done are all assets that employers look for. The difficult worker... well not so much. Sorry about this little tirade, it is the hitch-itch coming out. 

If you have been following us on Facebook you know we have been seeing some of the sites in the area.  Some we have seen before and were worth another look and others we didn't get to see our last time in this neighborhood. We are also on the western edge of the middle of the country. This means wide open spaces making the area ideal for wind farms. No too long ago we saw the components for a new turbine being delivered. We took some pictures to show the size of these wind turbines. My estimate is the blades are over 200' long. That is our truck and the other is me pacing it off. Mind boggling!

Back to our hitch-itch. It looks like we will be returning to Florida for a full season for the first time in over four years. More about that when things get finalized. Today is our day off so we will do some laundry, make plans for our departure in about two weeks, and just rest a bit. So I will sign off so I can get busy not doing too much from our home in Hermosa because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Friday, September 4, 2020

'20/#19 Off The Beaten Path

 We are still in South Dakota and just chillin' and checking things out at our leisure. One day while driving down Highway 79 we saw a sign for Buffalo Gap and thought we would see what we might see. The whole town is just under 200 acres and populated by less than 150 souls according to the last census. We took about 10 minutes to drive around the whole town at a crawl. There were mostly older wood frame homes, the occasional block building, and a few of the requisite mobile homes.

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One thing we did not see were people. It was a Sunday afternoon on a nice, comfortable, and slightly overcast day and there were NO people. We saw cows but no people. There were a few horses but no people. We even saw some wild turkeys but NO people. There was a grill smoking in a side yard but there was no one attending the fire or the food that may have been cooking on the grill. Plenty of decade old cars with what appeared to be current tags but no one to drive them.

It started to feel a little spooky and there was nothing else to see so we left with a sense that this might just be a little ghost town here in southeast South Dakota. It was good o get back to our RV park with people and our home here in Hermosa because....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Thursday, August 27, 2020

'20/#18 Staying Well And Staying Busy

 It has been another month since I last blogged so here is the update. Shipshewana is in our rear view mirror. All the work that need to be done to the new RV is finished and we are back on the road again. This year has been totally disrupted by the Covid19 virus as many of you are also dealing with. It is no different for those of us out on the road. Travel plans are changed, gatherings are cancelled, and visits a have been curtailed. We understand that everyone has their own risk threshold and we have accepted and respected those wishes.

Since our plans were thrown out the window we decided to see if we could find a workcamping job for the rest of the summer. Yes this was going to be the summer we didn't work but..... After putting a few resumes out there we were invited to Hemosa South Dakota. It is a little town just outside of Rapid City and in the middle of the Black Hills. If you have been following us for more than a couple of years you know we spent some time here in 2017. 

We will revisit some of the place we saw back then and try to fit in some more during our stay. The Black Hills are beautiful and there is always Mt Rushmore. The Badlands are mind boggling and always changing. The people we are working with are great and Corona virus spread is minimal around here. Mask are not required in S Dakota but we wear them when we are inside with other people. Some stores mandate them while others do not. We make the decision to wear them based on our own risk assessment while respecting others decisions.

While we are here we will contine to make the new RV home. Some modifications and more organization and time will make that happen. The heat has been unseasonable with temps reaching 100 degrees. Cooler weather is forecast for the next week and it will be easier to work outside. We are also working on our plans for the winter and will keep you informed. So for now this is goodbye from our home in Hermosa because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

'20/#17 ...And Life Goes On

It has been a month since the last blog and it is for my own reasons. During these  trying times everyone (I hope) has been trying to be socially responsible. Now I know that means different things to different people depending on their own circumstances. Some stay away from anyone with covid-19, while others stay away from everybody, and there are people everywhere in between. I am not judging but I will say don't force your opinions on anyone else. Respect their choice and ask them to respect yours. Now off the soap box.

We have been traveling in our mobile social isolation unit and seeing people as we travel. We use masks in public, wash hands regularly, and get together with people we trust to act responsibly. That being said we have had a great time seeing friends that we haven't seen in a long time. Mary even caught up with an elementary school pal after 44 years! As I opened with, life goes on.

We are now in Shipshewana IN to get some warranty work done on our trailer. Nothing major but a list of things that got overlooked during the quality control check. This should take us no more than 2 weeks with most of the time spent getting all the parts together. We are right next to the Shipshewana Flea Market so we took a stroll over to see all the stuff we didn't need. We did buy a few things and ate some of the Amish treats but the biggest treat was a surprise.

While browsing one of the booths we ran into an old friend from Florida. It has been many years since we saw her, and situations have changed, but it was still good to run into her. We also went to one of the local groceries that feature Amish made products. This is one of the places we used to frequent when this area was a regular stop on our travels. We have to take the truck in for some regular service and will check out more of the local flavors while we are here. I hear the flea market calling.

Well I will sign off now and plan to blog a little more often from our home here in Shipshewana because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, June 22, 2020

'20/#16 Home But Not Home

Well it has been two plus weeks since we arrived in Florida. We are settled in at what will be our home until the first week in July and then we start the wheels turning again. It has been good seeing friends and family, some of which we haven't seen in close to ten years. There are more friends we will see before we leave as well as getting our annual physicals.

Some of the people we know and keep in touch with on line have asked how we can visit with all these people during this pandemic. We say that we are careful who we meet and how we get together. The people we meet are close enough that we know that if there was any issue the visit would be cancelled. Some have chosen not to get together and we respect that also. There is a line between cautious and paranoid and everyone needs to decide where that line falls for them. Between unavoidable contact with people and underlying conditions that line differs from person to person and we understand and respect what ever decision they make that makes them confortable. All that we want is for everyone to stay safe and stay healthy. When the time is right we will share time together in a way that suits everyone.

Now about the title of this blog. We are back where this whole adventure of Mary and Frank started. We have more friends and family in the Tampa-St Pete area than anywhere else in the country so it is kind of home. For the past ten years we have been on the road and nowhere really feels like home anymore. We visit friends all over the country and we make new ones wherever we go and that makes us feel at home just about everywhere. To say that any one place is home would be saying that the nomadic adventure we are on is coming to an end. We are not ready for that to happen just yet. I am sure the time will come when the wanderlust starts to get old or just too difficult. This life keeps us young but the calander still says that I am getting older so at some point this lifestyle will not work with my achy bones. Just not yet.

I am finishing a project in the trailer so I will sign off now from our nomadic home here in Zephyrhills because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

'20/#15 Sunshine State? Um...NO!

Our first trip with the new rig is over and except for a few minor issues the RV performed great. The weather was another thing. It rained every day from south Texas to central Florida. Sometimes it was only a drizzle and other times I wondered if we should have bought a boat instead! In north Texas I was seriously concerned that the water was going to crest the shoulder and flood the highway but we made it through OK. On the positive side we know that there are no leaks in the roof, at the windows, or around the slides. There are a couple of things that need to be taken care of like sticky doors, loose drawers, and a few other minor things. We will make a list and get them all taken care of after the next shake down run.

Right now we are in Zephyrhills Florida, in the same park we worked at for three years. We know and like the area, and it is centrally located to see and do everything we want. After the first two days of torrential rain the sky is starting to clear and we were able to take care of some business. Mary's drivers license expires this year so we took care of that and we finished up all that is involved in registering a vehicle from out of state here in Florida. Even thogh we don't have a permanent home Florida is where we are domiciled. Basically we have an address that we call home for all our official business. Not to confuse you non-nomadic types who may correspond with us through the Post Office this is not the same as our mailing address so don't change the Texas address that you may be using.

With over fifty combined years of living in Florida we have a lot of friends and family here and we will see as many as we can while we are here. We will do this in a safe and socially responsible way that is comfortable with everyone during these times of covid-19 social distancing. We have already seen a few friends and are making plans to see more before we are on the road again.

With the sun finally shining it is time for us to get up and get going so I will say goodby for now from our home in Zephyrhills because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

'20/#14 Transition Complete?

Well it has been three weeks since we took possession of our new RV. First let me thank everyone for their well wishes on our new home. We look forward to many years and many miles and many adventures with the new rig. The last three weeks have been exhausting. Moving is never fun, whether it is between house, apartment, or RV. Every space is different and will accomodate "stuff" differently. Nowhere is that more evident than in an RV.

 Space is always at a premium in an RV so there must be a place for everything and everything in it's place. Not only does it have to fit in it's place, it has to stay there while traveling. After fifteen years we had this aspect of RV life down pat, or so we thought. Everything worked well in the Sunnybrook but the Solitude is another story. I describe it as having a home with square spaces and all your square stuff fits pefectly. Now buy a new home with round spaces and make it fit. Yeah, I'm saying we are trying to cram square pegs into round holes, and we all know how well that works! Well let me tell you that my wife is a genius at this. While I would probably make trips to the trash she is finding a home for most everything we have. Granted I may never find out where she put the stuff, but it is in the trailer somewhere.

That being said, there were a number of trips to the trash, a big pile of items donated to charity, and enough stuff sold on line to put a few dollars in our pocket. Fifteen years of living accumulates A LOT of stuff. We found things we didn't know we had, things we knew we had and couldn't find, and things that just made us go "what were we thinking?". The transition is almost complete. When we hit the road a week from now and see how everything travels, and make adjustments along the way, we will be ready for the next stage of this adventure we call full time RVing.

There are things to do over the next few days so I am signing off from our new home here in Pharr, Texas because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary