Sunday, September 25, 2011

'11/#46 Good, Great, & Even Better News

Well we have been as busy as I had predicted, even only working 3 days this week. The rig needed to go in the shop for some adjustments to the suspension. It was a job that the mobile tech couldn't take care of so we had to unhook the water, sewer, & electric then hook up the truck & head on down to the shop. As we were driving with the trailer behind us our "hitch-itch" flared up again. It was tempting to just keep on driving on down the road to our next destination but we have some things to take care of first. Anyway, the rig went into the shop & was taken care of. The adjustments worked just as I had planned & that was good news. The bill was less than I had expected & that was even better news. Again as we headed home our minds wandered to travel on the open road but first things first. Before we backed in to our site we loaded my motorcycle since we weren't planning on using it much & it will simplify our leaving in a couple of weeks.

Thursday Mary had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon to follow up on her MRI results. It seems that the fracture is healing nicely & there is some straining, inflammation, & minor tissue tearing that is causing her pain. It is also something that will heal up with time & some therapy but NO cast. That news was the best we could have heard so we were very happy. Mary has also promised to NEVER fall again. I know she will try but accidents will happen.

We work this weekend & then have 4 days off. Dollywood is going to be crazy these few days so we will enjoy the rest of the week. We also figured that we only have to work 6 more days over the next 2 weeks so we know we will be on the road soon. Our days off are filling up quickly so we can take advantage of the perks we get while working in the "Wood" before we leave.

Well, we are getting ready for work so I will sign off now from our home near Dollywood in Pigeon Forge because ......

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Monday, September 19, 2011

'11/#45 Short Timin'

The summer has flown by & it's hard to believe we will be on the road in just 4 short weeks. With only 2 more weeks of work, more friends coming to visit, & things to do before we hit the road the time will be gone before we know it. Add in doctors visits to get Mary all healed up I guess it will be kind of hectic. Ahhh, life on the road as a full time RVer.

Our friend from the PO came & introduced us to her husband. We all got along & had a good time. We couldn't stay with them at Dollywood because of a previous commitment but promises were made to keep in touch. With DW closed on Tuesdays & Thursdays we decided to do something by ourselves. There is a new attraction that opened just 3 weeks ago. It is called the Lumberjack Feud. Lets call it dinner theater with a lumberjack competition theme. As Dolly employees we got a discount. Another perk for working in the "Wood". It was entertaining, the food was good, & we got to enjoy a night out.

As I said earlier we will be leaving soon. We are getting a case of "hitch-itch" & need to get the wheels rolling. Also I believe we may have stayed a little too long here with the mountain folk. Mary's twang is getting a little more pronounced & it is getting noticed by more & more people. It has even gotten to the point that it bothers her & she can't stop it. Hopefully once we get back to FL she will have that same sweet mildly southern accent that she denies having.

Well I will call it a night & Mary will say g'night y'all from our home in Tennessee because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

'11/#44 Me & Gimpy Doin' Our Best

As we hoped everyone had a good time this weekend. In spite of Mary's hand hurting & "Stampeding" again we really enjoyed spending time with our friends. The best part about old friends is meeting new friends & that is what we did. Actually friends this good are really family. Not relatives but family. These are people you care about & know they care about you, not because they are supposed to but because they want to. We did the Dollywood thing after the Stampede & before we knew it it was time for our friends to leave.

Just the other day Mary was contacted by an old friend from the PO who had transferred out of state years ago. She was coming to Pigeon Forge & wanted to get together. We will be going back to Dollywood. I know I sound like I am complaining but it really is fun to take friends to the park & the Stampede. Our perks let us do more & we get to act like "big-shots"! And the best thing is we get to do something nice for our friends.

Monday we went on our train ride through the Nantahala Gorge. We had a really good time. It is not often that we get to ride on a "real" train. I am not talking about the trains that run around Dollywood or Disney or any other private property. I am talking about a train that is still running on the tracks it used when it was used for transportation & commerce. The Great Smoky Mountain RR hauled people, lumber, & minerals into & out of the Smoky Mountains. The train has been running as a tourist excursion since 1988 & provides a view of the Smokys that you don't see from the road. The ride back was relaxing The clickity-clack of the trains wheels was so rhythmic that Mary fell asleep. The fact that she hasn't slept well since hurting her hand helped. She looked so cute that I & our fellow passengers just let her sleep. We also chuckled a little while I took a few pictures of "sleeping beauty".

It was a long day & we called it a night. Tomorrow was going to be an early morning for Mary's follow-up with the doctor. We saw the doctor & a possible fracture was found. Now there was a referral to an orthopedic. There was an appointment that afternoon but we had to go into Knoxville. The ortho didn't like the x-rays so he has ordered an MRI. We are waiting for workers-comp to schedule that. In the meantime our friend from the PO arrived from Indiana with her husband. We met for dinner & made plans for the next day.

I will close & hope Mary hears the clickity-clack that will put her to sleep here in our home in Tennessee because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Friday, September 9, 2011

'11/#43 Crazy Times & Good Times

Let's see, what's new? Well Mary saw the workers comp chick(note tone of disgust) who sent her to the Dr. The doc prescribed her with drugs for the pain & sent her back to work because Dollywood said "they would find work for her". This sounds a lot like the Post Office! The next day Mary took the drugs as prescribed & went to work. By the time we got to work the drugs had kicked in & she was staggering like a drunk. Of course the workers comp chick said she couldn't work like this. She also told Mary not to take the drugs "prescribed by the doctor" & prescribed or suggested alternative OTC drugs. I guess she is a workers comp chick/doctor. Again it sounds a lot like the PO. After Mary, in her drugged stupor, told this broad(more disgust)that she sucked she was sent home where she belonged in the first place. So much for finding work for her.

That evening, after the drugs wore off, I took her out to dinner. Some of the crew were meeting for pizza after work as a farewell to Cassidy, one of the guys from Red's who is moving on to a better & more stable job. It also let everyone see that Mary was OK. We had a good time but Mary was still a little light headed so we went home right after dinner. The next day we woke up, had some breakfast, & Mary went back to bed. These must be some good drugs! Up at 9:30am, back to bed by 11am. I did some wood carving, e-mailing, a little TV, some dinner, & I finally was able to get her up at 9:30pm! She ate a little & it was back to bed by 1am. All this rest with all the drugs & her wrist was still hurting. She goes back to the doctor next week & we will see what's up at that time.

This weekend we have friends coming to see us & do the "Dolly" thing. We are looking forward to spending time with our friend who also just happens to be our family doctor. THIS is one special doctor. She is also one special friend so I know it will be fun. We have the next week off & if Mary is up to it(that means awake)we hope to take the train ride I spoke about previously in the blog.

So l will bid all adieu as we plan to relax & have some fun here in our home in TN because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

'11/#42 Just A Short "She is All Right"

The word has gotten out that Mary had fallen & was taken to the hospital. We want to let everyone know that she is going to be just fine. She has a wrist sprain & a severely bruised hip. Yes it happened at Dollywood while we were working in Red's Drive-In. The ambulance & hospital visit were primarily a precaution in case she was seriously hurt. Anytime ambulance & ER are used in the same sentence people think the worst, but as is often the case it was not. Mary will be sore for a little while & won't be working for the next week or so anyway because we have friends coming to town. The time off & good friends will be the best medicine for her.

Again we want to thank everyone in our Red's "family" for their help when Mary got hurt. Also we want to thank them & everyone else for their concern, well wishes, & prayers. We are truly fortunate to have so many & such good friends. We don't want to comment anymore on the incident right now. Just join us in being relieved that it didn't turn out any worse.

Again, THANK-YOU to everyone from our home here in Pigeon Forge because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Saturday, September 3, 2011

'11/#41 Winding Down

We are back into our routine for the next few weeks. One month from now we will be done at Dollywood & shortly after that we will start our migration to Florida. Mary has planned several outings & we still have some friends coming to visit. This week we will work 4 days & then be off for a whole week.

Work is different lately. With the peak season over the park is closed 2 days a week. Attendance is way down so we are very slow at Red's & they are cutting hours across the board. With hours being cut some of the work campers are getting ready to leave. Add to that the locals are looking for jobs that will give them more hours & stability. We are enjoying the cut in hours & plan on staying until the first week of October.

Later on this week we have friends from FL visiting. They will only be here 3 days so we have planned things out to make the most of their time. After they leave Mary has booked us on a train ride through the Smokys. Yes a train! This is an antique train through parts of the mountains where the roads don't go. We will travel over the Nantahala Gorge. I can spell it but I can't say it. The best part is it is FREE! Another perk thanks to Dolly. In a couple of weeks will we take another train ride someplace else I can't pronounce.

On another note, have been doing a little more of my wood carving. In the starter kit I got there were several beginner projects. I've just finished carving a little boot. Yep a boot. I don't know what I'm going to do with it but I think it came out pretty decent & will try the nativity set next. For now I will let the wood chips fly, work at Dolly's, visit with friends, & see more of the beautiful Smokys from our home in TN because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank & Mary

Thursday, September 1, 2011

'11/#40 A Good Tired

We worked out 2 days in the "Wood" & made plans to ride the bikes to Charlotte NC. Yes Mary did talk about selling her bike & no she didn't change her mind. It turned out that a friend of ours wanted a motorcycle & his wife wanted to buy it for him. I guess there are other awesome wives out there. That was how I got my bike. Plans were made for us to drop the bike off on our way back to Florida.

With our reduced work schedule we had a crazy thought. What if we got the bike to Bob early? Mary contacted Terri with our idea & she was all for it so she could surprise hubby with what he already knew he was getting. Monday morning we headed out starting with a ride through the Smoky Mountain Park. We stopped in Waynesville NC to see a friend. Two years ago we spent a month at his RV park while we enjoyed the Blue Ridge Parkway. We figured that we were about an hour into our 5 hour trip. Kenny & all the locals said we had a good 6-7 hours to go.
What the ?!?!?! The map planner said it was only 4 1/2 hours! Have we been going the wrong direction for the last hour??? We stopped for gas and asked some guy what he thought. Again he said about 6 hours, but after telling him the route I was taking he said it should only be about 3 hours. How do these people plan there trips? Do they get PAID by the mile? Well we left with hopes that the map software was right.

After about 2 more hours, with a stop for lunch, we stopped to rest & gas up while we were there. The guy at the gas station said we had about an hour to go. After chatting with the Florida transplant & flexing all our muscles & joints we hit the last stretch of our journey. An hour later we were on the bypass around Charlotte. Of course we hit it just as rush hour was peaking. It wasn't as bad as I've seen in NY, Atlanta, or Tampa but there was some stop & go traffic. By the time we got to our exit Mary's hands were bothering her & she was sure she had made the right decision to sell her bike. We got to Bob & Terri's, pulled into the driveway, & leaned on the horns. Terri was out in a second with the camera & Bob came out wondering what was going on. Well he looked like it was Christmas morning & Santa got his letter.

After the usual greetings Bob disappeared & reappeared in jeans with a brand new helmet ready to go for a ride. A quick spin around he neighborhood & he had to park it so we could all get some dinner. I think there might have been a little pout about parking it but mostly there was a smile that he couldn't wipe off his face. We stayed a couple of days enjoying good friends before we had to turn around & head for home.

Packing on one bike took a little creativity but we managed to hit the road early enough to get home at areasonable hour. The trip was uneventful including lunch,a stop for gas, & 2 stops just to stretch. At the last stop Mary had to delete a bunch of pics from her camera. As a passenger she had all this free time to take pictures. Somehow she filled a 600 picture memory card. Go figure. We made it home in just over 5 hours & were glad to be there.

We have a few things to take care of before we go back to Red's. So after our chores are done we will call it a night here in our home in TN because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary