Thursday, December 28, 2017

'17/#38 Just Things I Have Noticed

Well I hope everyone had a Happy Chanukah or Merry Christmas or what ever you did to celebrate this holiday season. We kept it real quiet. Christmas day was spent in our PJs binge watching all the Christmas shows we recorded all during the month of December. New Years will be much the same. There is a New Years party at the club house but our tradition is to watch the ball drop in Times Square. Since that is 11pm here, our New Year starts a little earlier than everyone else's around these parts.

Pharr Texas has been our home now for two months and I have noticed a couple of things. The first thing that stood out was the fashion sense of the women in the RGV or Rio Grande Valley. It doesn't matter what their size or age but the clothing leans toward "model sexy" if you know what I mean. Pants are too tight, skirts are too short, shorts are too tight and too short, and all this is accompanied by heels that just seem a bit too tall. Now don't get me wrong, there are some women of an age and body shape who can pull off this style and that is not the issue. It is the women who have reached the age where it looks ridiculous. I mean 60 years old and dressing like a teenager? Some of them are in great shape and could wear almost anything and look good....but c'mon! And regardless of age, there are those who can only get part of themselves into these clothes. It is the parts that are not covered and hanging out that make it just not right. And the shoes! So many of these women look like they are in pain and in danger of falling over. This is not a new phenomenon but it just seems more like the rule and not the exception around here.

Another thing we see around here and especially in McAllen are birds. We all know that birds fly south for the winter, but what I didn't know was that they all seem to come to McAllen. In Florida a parking spot in the shade of a tree is a bonanza. Here in McAllen it is a curse. I found a great parking spot near the door, under a tree in the shade and gave myself a mental "high-five".  You all know what I mean. We were inside the grocery store for less than an hour and by the time we returned to the parking lot the truck was covered in bird crap. If we had stayed in there for two hours I fear that we would have come back to a truck size pile of bird crap! When I got the truck to the car wash the guy told me that this is common around here. The other cars at car wash were no better off than our truck. Now I don't care how hot it gets or how bright the sun shines I will not park under a tree! In fact I scope out all the trees and strategically place the truck equidistant from every tree I see! The amount of birds is more than amazing, it is kind of scary. Mary says it reminds her of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds". You decide for yourself. It has gotten worse since these pictures were taken!

It is only a few more days until the New Year and time to put Christmas behind us. I am signing off now because today we will start taking down the decorations in our home here in Pharr Texas in the RGV because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Sunday, December 17, 2017

'17/#37 'Tis The Season

There are only eight days until Christmas and we are in the middle of celebrating Chanukah and the air is filled with good will. It is a wonderful time of year. It is a shame that this feeling and attitude can't stay around all year long. In our RV park there is an "Angel Tree" to try and give needy children a Merry Christmas, some of the women are weaving mats out of recycled plastic bags for the homeless, and of course there have been food collections going on since before Thanksgiving. We joined a number of other couples and donated our time to ring the bells for the Salvation Army at the Neighbohood Market.
We try to be charitable all year long and I know many others do also but this seems to be the time of year that most people step up. If you are one of those I thank you for your effots but also encourage you to think this way the rest of the year.

Our park has it's own bus and there are always trips going out to all kinds of events in the area. The residents go to concerts, shows, shopping, and restaurants as a group with Merlin as their chauffeur. This week we are joining them. One night we are going over to Hidalgo to see Christmas lights. Apparently there is quite the display in that town. Later on in the week we will take the bus to Progresso and do a little shopping in Mexico before Christmas. We don't need anything but it is fun to go and wander around. I'm sure we will find something we just can't live without.

We are just about done with all our own Christmas preparations. The decorations are done inside and we have an inflatable to set up outside. All the gifts we have gotten for family have been shipped and Christmas cards are almost done. A little grocery shopping for our Christmas Eve and Day dinners and then we will just sit back and binge watch holiday classics we have been recording all month.

I will try to blog again before Christmas but just in case Merry Chistmas from our home in Pharr Texas because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Friday, December 8, 2017

'17/#36 Vacation? From What?!?

We are still in Texas and this morning we are watching it snow outside our windows. The temperature was 34 degrees when I woke this morning and the high is expected to be in the mid 40's. We high-tailed it out of South Dakota to get away from the winter weather and this morning it is warmer in Keystone than it is here in Pharr. Go figure. Fortunately this weather is not the norm for this area, or so we've been told. Next week it is supposed to warm up again. Right now Mary has gone back to bed and is buried under the covers trying to stay warm.

The past 3 days we spent up in San Antonio, TX. It is a place I have been trying to take Mary for a number of years and we finally made it. Working 12 hours a week is exhausting and we needed a vacation. LOL! It was a 3 1/2 hour drive from Pharr to San Antonio and we stayed in a very nice hotel near the Riverwalk. We walked along the river and took a boat tour and enjoyed all the Christmas lights decorating the shops and landscaping along the Riverwalk.

Like I said we stayed in a nice hotel and for those of you familiar with RVing you know that the one thing that is missing in the bathroom is a tub. Within minutes of getting back to our room Mary was in the tub and soaking all here troubles away. I think she was looking forward to that tub more than seeing San Antonio. With the sounds of splashing and aaahs coming from the tub I just relaxed and let Mary enjoy herself until she became a giant prune. Life is good!

We did a little shopping while we were in San Antonio for things we couldn't find in Pharr. Being from New York I like my bagels and the frozen grocery store things they call bagels just won't do. We found a great bagel shop and stocked up so I could have my bagel fix every once in a while. I was doubly excited to see that they had bialys. If I have to tell you what a bialy is you wouldn't understand. Needless to say I was as happy with my bagels as Mary was with her bathtub.

While we were in San Antonio we were able to catch up with our friends Tommie and Burnie. We workcamped with them several years ago in Cody Wyoming and have stayed in touch with them. We actually haven't seen them since 2012 but it was like we had seen them just yesterday. The joys of the RV community and the connectivity of the internet, you gotta love it!

Well that is enough for now. I am going to enjoy one of my bagels here in our home in Pharr Texas because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, December 2, 2017

'17/#35 Texas vs Florida

Well we have been here in Texas a little over a month now and are settling in nicely. We have met a lot of great people and more are arriving every day as the winter progresses. Speaking of progressing, where has the year gone? Can you believe that it is already December? The rest of the holiday season and then 2018! WOW!

After spending 30 plus years in Florida we are noticing a few differences between the people who head south to avoid the cold and snow. They all like their Bingo and their social get togethers and there always seems to be a group on the shuffleboard courts. Golf seems to be the main attraction in Florida while here in Texas ready access to Mexico and the inexpensive drugs  and dentistry is the reason for so many who winter here. Another difference is their self-given titles. In Florida we know them as Snow Birds but here they are called Winter Texans. What ever you do don't call them Snow Birds down here. They take offense to that and that is why the locals cater to them even putting out a newspaper for them. Ain't that special?

 I guess we are now Winter Texans and will be part of the group until we leave sometime in the spring. Then we head north for a yet to be determined destination for the summer. I don't know what we will be called next winter. We might be back in Texas or find something in Arizona or New Mexico or even southern California. Our house is on wheels and our plans are written in jello, so we will see when the time comes.

Our day at work is almost over so I will close this blog for now at our home in Pharr Texas because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

'17/#34 Thanksgiving In Texas

Here we are in Texas, a thousand miles away from family and friends, but we still celebrate the holidays. Rvers can be a very close knit community so there is never a shortage of friends to share good times with. Many travel south for the winter and are just as far from family yet still wish to celebrate. In that spirit there is always a Thanksgiving dinner to go to or a party to participate in.

This year we are having Thanksgiving with many of our new friends here in Pharr. Dinner will be of the pot luck design and promises to be fun and as tasty as any we have had in the past. Since there will be over 100 people at this Thanksgiving, groups of sixteen are gathered and the pot luck is organized for that group. There will be turkey and ham and all the usual sides that come with Thanksgiving dinners and everyone will be able to share their own specialty as well as try other's take on holiday traditions. We look forward to the camaraderie as well as the good food.

One challenge in all of this is cooking for sixteen people in an RV kitchen. Close quarters and small appliances inspire creativity. Mary is making her traditional stuffing/dressing and I will be making my home baked bread, both of which seem to go over very well wherever we go. The oven will be working overtime and we will use it in shifts to get everything done by dinner time Thursday.

To those of you who are celebrating with family and friends elsewhere we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a safe one as well. Many people travel this time of year and there are the inevitable accidents that come with the increase in traffic. Another reason we like to participate within the safety of our RV park.

I have to go now because it looks like it may be my turn in the kitchen here in Pharr Texas because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Thursday, November 16, 2017

'17/#33 A New World Of Shopping

If you are following us on this blog or on facebook you know that we are spending the winter in very south Texas. We are literally 15 minutes from Mexico and the area is dominated by the Hispanic culture. I am not sure whether English or Spanish is the most used language here. Either way the culture is found everywhere and no where is it more prevalent than at the grocery store. In my youth I was exposed to more ethnic (ahem) delicacies than Mary was so I was not taken aback by some of the things we came across. I'm not saying I am going to eat them but I have seen them.

Mary was a little shocked to see these large slabs of meat that she was convinced were still covered in blood. I guess she is used to seeing everything portion sized and neatly wrapped in plastic. Based on my past experience with my own grandparents larger less expensive pieces of meat were brought home and then cut into the size and shape need to prepare different meals. Tubs of chicken parts, whole cat fish, and fish heads did nothing to make her understand that this is normal food used in different styles of cooking. But there is more!

 When we moved on to some of  the more unique pieces Mary was to say the least
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kind of grossed out. She could not comprehend why in the world anyone would want to eat beef tongue, cheek meat, or sweat breads once she found out what they were. Nor could she figure out what you would do with beef feet, beef tripe, or beef tripas which translates in English to beef "guts"! It looked like intestines or worse if you asked Mary. She couldn't look at it any more and had to get away from (and these are her words) the blood bath!

I personally couldn't stop laughing but I can understand the culture shock involved. Mary is starting to understand some of the differences in the local cuisine but I don't think she is looking in any cook books for ideas. I am just as happy about that myself as I don't think I am up to trying any of those "exotic" foods either. My main concern is the potential nightmares Mary might have after her traumatic experience at the grocery store.

Well this is goodnight (I hope a dream free night) from our home in Pharr because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, November 11, 2017

'17/#32 More Than Just Another Day

Today we woke up and went through our usual morning rituals. After a short walk to work we settled in for our scheduled Saturday shift. As I was thinking about what to blog about this morning it occurred to me that today was a holiday. Being retired sometimes the days run into each other. Well today is a day we must not forget. Veteran's Day is a holiday that we all should acknowledge. Today there are no Republicans or Democrats, no Christians or Muslims or Jews, no white or black or brown or yellow. Today we are Americans. Today is the day we set aside to honor those who have defended our country. So to all the veterans out there I want to thank you for your service, not just today but every day.

Another serious note for today's blog. Yesterday I got a text message from my bank or so it appeared. I bypassed the instructions in the text and contacted the bank directly. It was as I expected a scam. I guess I am now one of those old people that these scammers target. Well I am just passing along this warning about text scams that tell you that your credit/debit card is locked and to call the attached number to correct the situation. IT IS A SCAM! Don't reply! Your bank will not contact you by text or phone on matters like this. Just consider this my public service announcement for the day.

Well two hours have passed and it is kinda slow. A few guests have come in and chatted, Mary is playing on the internet, and I have blogged. Life is rough! LOL. Only six more hours to go here at work near our home in Pharr because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, November 4, 2017

'17/#31 Still Just Tourists

It has not been quite two weeks here in south Texas but we are starting to find our way around. We have found the stores that we are familiar with and are checking out the ones that are known in this region. This is one of the joys of Rving. We get to experience so many different things throughout the country. There is a Walmart and Target nearby as well as a Walgreens and CVS. Good things to find when on the road. We have found our new grocery store called H.E.B. It is a chain primarily in Texas with great looking produce and really good prices over all.

Since we not working full time we will be doing a lot more cooking at home and will be trying some of the local vegetables and other products. With that said, we will still go out on occasion so we are looking for restaurants in the area. We have found some of our favorite chains in the area and are looking into some with a more local flavor. That local flavor will be leaning towards Mexican since we are only ten miles from Mexico as the crow flies.

Speaking of Mexico we took a drive down to Progresso TX which is supposed to be the place to cross the boarder for us gringos. As instructed, we parked in Texas and walked the International Bridge across the Rio Grande. As you can see we were underwhelmed by the actual crossing.
It is like going to an old school amusement park or subway. Put your quarters in and walk through the turnstile. Once in Progresso Mexico it was a whole different story.

The sidewalks were crammed with vendors selling anything from hand painted items to NFL team wear. Kind of what to expect if you ever went on a western Carribean cruise. Now the actual store fronts were something else. Over half the the stores were dentists or pharmacies or both with people outside trying to get customers to come in and see all that they offered. If it wasn't a dentist or pharmacy it was a general store with tourist oriented products and a pharmacy! Are you getting sense of what we are seeing?

We had to check it out. Once inside the general store we found all the usual Mexican trinkets that are meant to entice tourist to part with their money. There was also the food section where if we didn't recognize the product the label was no help. And then there was the pharmacy. They had a lot of what we buy over the counter at very reasonable prices but what really got our attention was all the prescription drugs that they sell as over the counter. Everything from A to Z literally, amoxicillin to Zoloft, and at prices 50% to 70% less than in the US. It makes you wonder about the truth behind the claims that the drug companies are ripping off the American public.

Well we are back in the good old USA and taking it easy in our home here in Pharr Texas because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, October 28, 2017

'17/#30 First Day Issues (and I'm not talking philatelic)

Here we are on our first day of work in Pharr Texas. This job is supposed to be simple and for the most part stress free but as with most plans things happened. We showed up on time, like good little workers, and our key wouldn't work. That means we can't get into the office. That also means we can't get to the list of phone numbers (in the office) we need to call someone for help. Security was able to get in contact with the park manager and she let us in and straightened out the key issue. Our day finally started but it must have been an omen.

We opened the office, logged on to the computers, set up the cash drawer, and turned on the phones with no problem. We were on a roll...or were we? The first customer of the day came to check in and ooops! The system won't let us in to do anything so another call, this time to the office manager. We didn't want to bother the park manager again. Our purpose of being here is to allow the regular staff to have the weekends off. We were off to a good start.

Until the office manager gets here to fix the computer problem we are hard at work. I am blogging and Mary is entertaining herself on her phone. We have been told this is what we will be doing most of the time we are here. Life is rough! LOL.

I am going to sign off now because we are so busy (NOT!) and I need another cup of coffee to keep me awake on the job near our home in Pharr TX because....                  
Home is where we park it, 
Frank and Mary

Thursday, October 26, 2017

'17/#29 Hola From Our Winter Home

We have arrived in Pharr Texas, just north of Mexico, and are getting settled in. The first thing we encountered was another electrical problem (*#$@%$^) but fortunately it turned out to be just a loose connection. Our site is a good size, it's orientation is ideal for our satellite TV, and it is conveniently located to everything around the office/club house. We got to meet the people we are going to work with and by first impressions it is going to be a fun winter.

The past two days we have been driving around finding grocery stores, department stores, pharmacies, etc. This area is called the Rio Grande Valley and it has become a mecca for snowbirds. Everything we need and things we didn't know we needed is nearby. Traffic is starting to build but it is not a problem after 30 years in Florida dealing with snowbird traffic. Like every place else we will find the short-cuts around the area.

We will do a couple of hours of orientation and officially start work this weekend. It doesn't seem to be anything we can't handle and look forward to meeting the rest of our coworkers and the soon to arrive winter residents. This is a very active park so we won't be bored. I'm going to sign off for now so we can finish setting up for our stay here in our home in Pharr Texas because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, October 23, 2017

'17/#28 The Next Adventure Is On The Horizon

Golden Colorado was fun. It was good to see Scott and spend some time with an old friend. Our last day there we went to the Coors Brewery. The tour was interesting and with the three of us it was down right hilarious. Since Mary doesn't drink beer I got to drink all her free samples. Add that to the lack of breakfast that morning and I got a pretty good buzz. We fixed that with an awesome lunch at a local sandwich shop called Snarfs. If you ever pass through Golden and are looking for some good food check out Snarfs.

Our next destination is south Texas. We are not planning to burn up the highway so we will take four days getting there. The first night was in Dalhart, TX, the second was in Loraine, TX and tonight is just outside of San Antonio. Tomorrow we should be in Pharr TX and that will be our home for the winter. The people we are working for down there are as excited as we are about our arrival.

Tonight we will get to bed early so we can get on the road early. We would like to get settled in so we can get the lay of the land. It will take a few days to find all the local stores, restaurants, laundromats, and other retailers in the area. Of course we will find our favorites and establish our regular haunts. That is why we take our home with us.

Well dinner is ready and our home here in San Antonio is smelling good because...
Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Friday, October 20, 2017

'17/#27 And The Wheels On The Rig Go Round And Round....

Everything is fixed and the jello has settled. It is time to hit the road and that time is 6:15 am. Keystone this time of year is winding down it's season and at this hour the downtown area is a ghost town. This is the last picture of us heading out of Keystone and on to our next adventure.

Our next stop is Golden CO where we will stay for a couple of days. The drive was easy with perfect weather all the way. 400 plus miles is a good day for us now that we don't live by a time clock. We are looking forward to meeting up with a friend of ours from our post office days while we are here. Scott, a co-worker and friend, has retired and is now living in the area so we will visit while we are here. He has only been living here for a few months so we will all go see the Coors brewery together.

Scott must be as excited to see us as we are to see him. He arrived at the RV park the same time we did and we had some time to just sit and shoot the breeze. Later that evening we went out to dinner at Woody's Wood Fired Pizza in downtown Golden. Awesome pizza and even better company...who could ask for more? Tomorrow we head to the brewery.

It has been a good day but a long day so we are going to call it a night here in our home in Golden CO because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

'17/#26 What? Still Here!?!?

One more blog from Keystone SD. We had an electrical problem in the trailer and want to get it fixed before we roll. We could have left and taken care of it later but the inconvenience of not being able to cook in the rig wasn't worth it.

A mobile tech came out to us and diagnosed the problem. It seems the power transfer switch has gone bad and needs replacing. He will get the part and be back today and we should be ready to hit the road.

Depending on how late he gets the job done will determine when we leave. It could be this afternoon or early tomorrow. We shall see. Like I have said in the past...our home is on wheels and our plans are written in jello.  The jello has been shaken up once again.

The next blog will be from our home, hopefully from some place other than Keystone SD because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, October 16, 2017

'17/#25 It's Done!

The hotels are closed and we are done working here in Keystone SD. We will be leaving in the next few days. Laundry has to be done and final preparations to get the rig on the road again. The truck has new tires, fresh oil, and it's safety check from Ford so it is ready to go. This morning we are having some electrical issues and will get it taken care of tomorrow or somewhere down the road. Either way we will have the wheels rolling by Friday the latest.

This summer has been a lot of fun and we will miss many of the friends we have made here. Some of the work campers have swapped information and promises to keep in touch with the potential of meeting down the road in the future. The international girls that were here have moved on but are keeping in touch as they travel. Some have gone home and back to school while others are taking some time to travel and see more of the United States. Either way they have stayed in touch and shared stories and pictures from their adventures.

Right now we are doing our laundry and saying our goodbyes to the girls who work here. We have gotten friendly with them coming here every week. Laundromats are more than a place to get your clothes clean. It is also a gathering place for travelers and locals alike. We get to share tales of our travels and learn about local things to see and do. Like I've said before, it is the people that we meet that make some of our sweetest memories.

Well the laundry is almost done and will not fold itself. My next blog will be from somewhere down the road, so this is goodbye for the last time from our home in Keystone SD because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, October 2, 2017

'17/#24 One Last Outing

In my last blog I told everyone that our time here in South Dakota was coming to an end. We have seen everything and done everything we hoped to while we were here. It seems that the only thing left is to finish our job commitment and get the rig ready to roll.

But wait, there was one more thing we had to see before leaving. Every fall Custer State Park has a buffalo round-up. The herd is gathered into a corral and examined by veterinarians, the new calves are tagged branded and inoculated, and the excess buffalo are sold at auction. This is a maintained herd and the grasses in the area they are contained in will only support 1000 buffalo through the winter. With new calves being born throughout the year the herd could be as much as 1400 hence the buffalo auction. Yes Mary wants a buffalo and no Frank won't let her have one. I'm such a meany!

The round-up is open to the public and draws crowds between 15 and 20 thousand viewers each year. This year we wanted to be in that group. To get there so we could, first of all get in, and secondly get a good spot to view meant we had to get up at 3am. After a couple of snoozes and packing the truck we were on the road. We arrived at the park around 4:30 and got to the line entering the round-up by 5am. A small group of about 25 buffalo ran right through traffic as we headed into the parking area and we watched several run right past our window. One big bull plowed into another pickup and took off like it was nothing. We were parked by 6am and at the breakfast tent at 6:15 as they opened. Then a quick trip to the souvenir tent and then to our seats making friends with other round-up watchers. Our timing was perfect.

Soon after the cowboys and cowgirls came out and were letting us know which way that they hoped the herd would go but apparently the herd was being ornery and anything could happen. Soon after that the noise started and....

the buffalo started coming over the hill. It was amazing and something we will never forget. We came, we saw, we got the t-shirt (literally), and we have another memory.

This is why we love our life and the lifestyle we have chosen. less than 3 weeks and we will be on the road. So while we prepare for our departure this is goodbye for now from our home in Keystone SD because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Friday, September 22, 2017

'17/#23 Time Is Winding Down

The Labor Day Weekend rush is over and the local tourist season is starting to wind down. Most of the stores and hotels here in Keystone will close for the winter even though Mt Rushmore is open year round. Two of the hotels have already closed and the hotels we are working in are starting to close some of the rooms. The crowds are gone and the streets are empty so a lot of the local merchants are starting to curtail their hours. They are also starting some of their end of season sales. Fortunately there isn't much that we want so we aren't spending too much money.

Another thing that is missing are the international girls that worked here over the summer. They have to get home to start school so they have been leaving us a few at a time over the past few weeks. We have gotten quite attached to them and will miss them. They have enriched our experience in South Dakota and we hope that we made a positive impression on them as well. By the end of September the last of the girls will be gone and we will be nearing the end of our stay.

The two hotels we are working in will be closed by the middle of October and we hope to be on the road by the 20th of the month. Our next destination will be south Texas with a stop over in Colorado to see a friend we worked with in the Post Office. The trip will take us a week or so because we aren't in any hurry. We do have jobs in Texas but we will not be working as hard or as many hours as here in Keystone.

Well I am on the clock and have to get back to work so until the next blog this is goodbye from work near our home in Keystone SD because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, September 11, 2017

'17/#22 Motivation Needed

It's been a while since I have blogged and I have no good excuses. Too busy? Too tired? Too little to write about? No, just too lazy. We have been busy and working hard but we also have been having a lot of fun. In the past few weeks we have traveled in and around the Keystone area seeing some of the local attractions.

A couple of weeks ago we went to Hot Springs to check out the Mammoth Site. There is an ongoing excavation of a prehistoric sink hole that contains the skeletons of wooly and Columbian mammoths. To date they have uncovered over 20 skeletons and have been able to remove some of them for further examination. It is a little hard to imagine these giant creatures roaming North America in the land where buffalo used to roam. Seeing the tusks still attached to the skulls and surrounded by what appears to be complete skeletons after more than 25 centuries was .... well it was awesome! It was well worth the trip and I have been recomending it to the tourists visiting the area.

Last week we finally found our way up to Deadwood. Yes that Deadwood. The one of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, and others that came to this spot in the Black Hills looking for gold. The bus tour through the city and out to the "Boot Hill" cemetery was informative as well as entertaining. We spent several hours just roaming around looking at some of the notable places restored and maintained for history. There are a lot more casinos in town since the last time we were here 10 years ago. Legalized gambling was needed to fund the preservation of the town and the money is being put to good use.

Now to the motivation for me sitting down to blog at this time. Anyone who follows us knows we are from Florida and have family and friends there. And anyone not living under a rock knows of Hurricane Irma. The past few days have been filled with worry and concern for everyone we know and the rest of Florida. Being 2000 miles away and not being able to do anything is frustrating. I am happy to report that we have heard from just about everyone that they have survived Irma and are dealing mostly with debris and power outages. No homes lost, no injuries, and no doubt that everyone will bounce back in time.

Again, my motivation comes from the frustration of not being able to help. I do want everyone to know we have been and still are thinking of you and hope for a quick return to normalcy. We are sorry we can't be there to help but our positive thoughts are with you. Maybe this blog will make you smile a little thinking about us and you will feel better for a moment. That is all I can do for now and hope is enough. Keep smiling as you clean up after Irma (that bitch) and know we are with you in spirit if not in body.

Wishing you all the best from our home in Keystone SD because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

'17/#21 It's Tourist Season...Not Tourist Hunting Season

The next round of insanity has begun here in South Dakota. Welcome to the Sturgis Bike Rally. The motorcycles are here! Every hotel within an hour of Sturgis is filling up and we are no exception. Tens of thousands of bikers are on the roads, in the restaurants, and at all the usual tourist stops for the next 10 days.
For the most part they are nice respectable users of what the area has to offer but as with any time a large group congregates in one place a few will ruin it for the rest. Speeding tail-gating and general rudeness on the road by those few has the locals wishing bikers gone. The local police forces are having a field day by enforcing the law to the letter, again a byproduct of a large group meeting in one area. Bottom line is we are and will be busy the next week or so.

Last week on our days off we went into Custer State Park and a couple of our international girls tagged along. It was a nice relaxing day and we all had a good time. We enjoyed the scenery and got to see buffalo, deer, prong horn deer and prairie dogs. We also got up close and personal with the wild burros.
We enjoy taking the girls out to see some of the sights and they are so appreciative. This is supposed to be a social experience for them as well as a working opportunity and we feel like we are contributing.

Sturgis is 10 days long and the rumble from the motorcycles is continuous background noise. As long as they don't start trouble we will deal with it and look forward to some peace and quiet when they are gone. For now it is rumble, rumble, rumble here in our home here in Keystone SD because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, July 24, 2017

'17/#20 Still Here At Mt Rushmore

I can't believe how long it has been since my last blog. Work has kept us busy now that we are in full swing vacation season. The hotels we are working at have been sold out or nearly so every night for the past 3 weeks. 4th of July must have been the kick-off for the insanity season. We are seeing a new side to the hotel business. I will say that I won't workcamp at a hotel again.

On the flip side we have seen some amazing things in this part of South Dakota. A couple of weeks ago we went up to Spearfish Canyon. It was a scenic drive along the Spearfish Creek surrounded by shear rock walls. We visited an old fish hatchery in Spearfish which gave us a look at how the lakes of the west were stocked for sport fisherman. It was an amazing day and we still marvel at the terrain and how diffeent it is from where we spent most of our lives.

This is why we live this RV lifestyle. There will be more to see and do and I will try to blog more often. So for now I am signing off here from our home in South Dakota because.....

Hom is where we park it,
Frank and mary

Sunday, June 18, 2017

'17/#19 It's All About The People Part II

This will be a short blog. Last blog I talked about travelers and work campers and vacationers, but this one is about the locals. Today we took the girls to the Keystone Community Center where the local community members and the fire department put together a picnic for the foreign workers and other seasonal workers. It was just their way of welcoming us to the community and for us to get a chance to meet some of the locals. There was the usual food and games and socializing that goes on at any normal picnic with an international flair. The older attendees talked and got to know each other while the younger ones did the same and made plans to go to the local volley ball field to have some fun.
 It was a nice turn out and a great way for the local community to show how much they appreciate all that the seasonal workers do for the local economy.
 Well it has been a busy two days so I am keeping this short and getting some rest here in our home in Keystone South Dakota because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, June 17, 2017

'17/#18 It's All About The People

If you have been following our travels at all you know that we have been to some wonderful places and seen some amazing things. Mary posts photos on Facebook all the time but the pictures do no justice to what we are seeing. As much as we enjoy all these places and sights, the thing that makes the biggest impression is the people we meet. When we stay in one place for a while, like we are here in Keystone, we get to meet and make friends with some of the locals. That gives us a better perspective of the area we have chosen as our temporary home. We find those hidden gems that a tourist just doesn't have the time to find on a one or two week vacation. I like to call us born-again locals. By the time we leave we have become part of the community and take with us memories of not just places but people that will stay with us for a lifetime.

We also meet a lot of travelers in our adopted home towns. Some are on vacation and others are here, like us, for an extended period of time. Vacationers are always amazed at the concept of work camping and with few exceptions are envious. I always tell them that we love it but the lifestyle is not for everyone. Then there are work campers like us who live the gypsy life. The work camping community is large and diverse, so as work campers we share our experiences with each other. This is a big part of the network of work camping opportunities. We also make lifetime friends with many of our fellow work campers. To this day we keep in touch and get together when the logistics of our travels allows.

And then there are other extended stay workers. Most of our work camping jobs are seasonal so a large part of the work force is made up of young people looking to make some money and have a life experience that they can keep and maybe use in the future. Here in Keystone we have a group of international student from several different Asian countries. We work side by side with them and as much as they are learning about life in the United States we are learning about their lives in their respective home countries. Mary and I have semi-adopted a group of these girls and have taken them on some outings and are planning on doing so throughout the summer. As you can see we have already taken them to Mt Rushmore. We have also taken them shopping at the local stores for their daily necessities. They know the value of a dollar and want to go to Rapid City and shop at Walmart and The Dollar Tree. Smart girls! We will plan that trip after their next pay day.

Well I am going to sign off for now. We work later this afternoon and need to get ready. So good bye from the two of us and our new friends here in our home in Keystone South Dakota because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, June 10, 2017

'17/#17 Busy, Busy, Busy

It has been two weeks since my last blog, but as they say, time flies when you are having fun. The jobs we have here in Keystone are very new to me and it is taking me a little longer to get comfortable with the routine. Mary has worked similar positions and is adapting much quicker. I am at work right now, so the fact that I have some time to blog must be an indication that I am getting the hang of the job. Our bosses Randy and Robinn have been awesome. Patient and awesome. In spite of several screw ups they seem to be pleased with our work.

Since we have been here we have had a few opportunities to do some sight seeing. One day we drove into the city of Custer and then into Custer State Park. We only did a small portion of the park. We wanted to drive the Needles Highway and see Sylvan Lake. Needles highway was quite the driving experience. It was well paved but very narrow. Driving a dually wheeled pick-up just made the road seem narrower. The scenery was beautiful and then there were the tunnels! The first tunnel was one lane and two way. Everyone was courteous and alternated turns passing through. The second tunnel was the same but a group of car buffs decided it was their tunnel and at least a dozen cars crept through not letting anyone pass in the other direction. Mary and another passenger from our side got out and stopped traffic so the line of cars that had formed on our side could pass through. We weren't in a hurry but there is still no need to be rude!

Thinking that would be the worst experience of the day we pressed on. The third tunnel called Needles Eye  had me sweating bullets! The fenders on the truck barely cleared the sides. It was so close that I had to swerve back and forth to avoid the rock formations jutting out from the walls.

Exiting the tunnel I finally breathed again and was grateful for the parking lot at Sylvan Lake. The lake was surrounded by sheer rock walls and was freezing, yet people were still kayaking and paddle boarding. We walked around a bit and relaxed after my tunnel ordeal and headed on back home.

That was enough for the day, after all we are here until October. So good bye until our next adventure from our home in South Dakota because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Friday, May 26, 2017

'17/#16 Feels Like Home

It has been a week since we arrived here in Keystone and we are starting to settle in. We are getting to know our coworkers and the bosses and it is starting to feel like we belong. We are getting the hang of the job and the bosses seem happy with how we are taking to the routine. They also like that we are willing to be flexible about hours, days off, responsibilities. It's just the way we are and it always seems to pay us back later. A sure sign that Karma does exist.

We are also starting to check out the city of Keystone. Keystone exists only because of it's proximity to Mt Rushmore. The population here in the last census was 335. That means more than 20 times the city's population goes to see the presidents, just 2 miles away, on average every day. Talk about a town built on tourism. We walked the tourist part of town, just 2 blocks long, and only a block or so away from where we are working and staying. The shops have the usual made in China trinkets found in every other tourist town in America, just themed towards Mt Rushmore. Key chains, magnets, hats, t-shirts, etc, etc etc. Then there are the restaurants with burgers and pizza, plus a few with real sit down dining experiences. We haven't tried any yet but we will. It will come in handy when the guest at our hotels start asking for recommendations.

Our next day off I think we will drive around outside of Keystone to see what there is to see and also to share with those traveling through the area. Right now we are doing our laundry so I have to go back to the laundromat near our home in Keystone SD because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

'17/#15 Our New Home For The Summer

Well, we finally made it to Keystone South Dakota and are pretty much settled in. Checked out the local shopping, most of which is in Rapid City about 20 miles away. Laundry, restaurants, propane, and hardware stores are all in the same 15 to 20 mile distance from us. The people we will be working with all seem very nice and it looks like we are going to have an awesome summer.

The weather is still a bit chilly with overnight temps dropping into the low 30's and daytime temps not quite reaching 60 degrees. It has also been raining off and on making it feel even colder. It will warm up soon, but nothing like our friends in Florida are feeling. Once it starts to warm up the tourists will start arriving and we will become busy here in Keystone.

Keystone is the closest town to Mt Rushmore so the tourist will come. We are so close that we can see Mt Rushmore from our back door. If you look close at the far left side of the mountain you can see George, Tom, and part of Teddy. Since we are neighbors we are now on a first name basis(LOL). More pics later.

It is time to get ready for work so I will sign off for now from our home here in Keystone SD because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Friday, May 19, 2017

'17/#14 Feeling Competent

We have been traveling around the country for ten years now and feel confident handling our rig where ever we go. On the road we try to give the professional drivers the road. After all they are just trying to make a living. Our rig is the size of a small tractor-trailer so we often use truck stops to fuel our truck. When we do we try to get out of the way as soon as possible so as not to get in the way of the truckers.

After all that, I have to relate an incident that has happened a few times. While waiting out a storm at a truck stop I parked way back in the truck parking area. It took me two or three tries to get it exactly where I wanted it. Once settled in we watched a couple of truckers parking near us. After watching these professionals take five or six tries to park their rigs I started to feel real good about my driving abilities. Like I said this has happened a few times at different truck stops and every time it boosts my confidence just a little bit more.

Well we are settling down for the night in our home in Hermosa SD because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Thursday, May 18, 2017

'17/#13 It's Good To Have Friends

I do not have as big an internet presence as many others but I am there to keep in touch while we are on the road. I do have this blog and am considered a "lurker" on facebook but that is not where I am going. What I want to talk about is the others out there keeping an eye on us as we travel. There was some severe weather we were passing through the past few days and we monitor several weather apps to keep our travels safe. During those weather events we were getting numerous phone calls, texts, emails, and other electronic messages from friends all around the country. It feels good to have friends who care.

Anyway, we survived all the weather and stopped for an overnight stay in a casino parking lot in Iowa. It got quite a bit colder during the night and it was still drizzling when we woke up. After a quick breakfast and a second cup of coffee we hit the road. By trying to out run some of the weather the day before we were able to make good time and had made it farther down the road than we planned. This will make the rest of our trip two short days. It's always nice to get to our destination early in the day to give us time to get settled in.

Well we are settling down for the night in our home here in Plankinton South Dakota because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, May 15, 2017

'17/#12 Jello, Jello, Everywhere

The only thing you can be sure of is that things will change. Like I've said before, our plans are written in jello. Our plans to work in Michigan didn't work out. The work ethic that has served us well for many years apparently created a conflict of personalities with another work camper couple. Since we were the "newbies" and not planning to return like the other couple we were asked to leave. To avoid any drama on a minimum wage job we took our pay for the time we worked and hit the road.

Many people have asked how we deal with the uncertainties of living on the road. Well we left Silver Lake and found a fair ground with camping facilities for the night. Fair grounds are famous for reasonable rates and this one was no different. While we relocated Mary put out feelers for another work camping job. Just 24 hours after being asked to leave we got offered jobs for $13 an hour near Mt Rushmore. It looks like the jello is starting to set again.

We went shopping and bought a few things. Tonight we are cooking our butts off to have some meals precooked for the road. If all goes as planned we might just hit the road tomorrow morning and be in South Dakota by the weekend.

I'll blog again soon but for now this is so long from our awesome smelling kitchen in our home in Mt Pleasant Michigan because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, May 8, 2017

'17/#11 We're Heeeere!

After our tire incident in Florida the rest of our trip was uneventful. A little bit of rain was the only detriment on our journey but it did not slow us down. We were able to stop and see a friend of ours in Indiana and made excellent time. This allowed us to get to Mears a day early.

The site we are on has perfect sight lines for our satellite and once leveled we got our home set up for the season. Our site is a little out of level so we will have to make a set of stairs to make up for the height of the bottom step. When we got here the temperature was 53 degrees but the wind made it feel like 41 degrees. I guess we aren't in Florida any more! The weather apps are putting out frost warnings for the next few days. This morning we woke up to 32 degree temps. Well woke up, Mary stayed under the covers until it had risen to at least 40 degrees.

The park owner came over to meet us and give us some info before we start working later this week. He seems as nice in person as he was on the phone. We are looking forward to a good summer. Today we will build our steps and go meet some more of the workcampers.

Right now it is time to get to work around our home here in Mears Michigan because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

'17/#10 Counting My Lucky Stars

We are in St Augustine now and are going to do some tourist stuff. If you know us or have been following here on the blog, you kow that St Augustine is special to us as it was the site of our honeymoon. Or as I like to call it, the scene of the crime. If all goes as planned (and we know how that goes) we will not be back in the area for quite some time.

Speaking of plans and plans gone awry, after last year's multiple tire failure episodes we checked the rest of our tires on the trailer and found one that was getting close to it's expiration date. Yes tires have a date on them as well as a life expectancy. Look up DOT tire codes on Google to read more. The plan was to get to Michigan and replace that tire sometime over the summer. Oh well, our plans are written in jello so....the tire let go on the way accross I-4. We got off the road and Mary and I had it changed and were back on the road in about 20 minutes. Best wife ever!

We got to St Augustine and again working as a team we got the rig all set up, situated, utilities attached, and inside set up for the few days we will be spending here. Mary found a tire locally and we went and got it, brought it back, and with my wonderful wife got it on the trailer and the spare stowed. A shower and a short rest and we treated ouselves to dinner at Harry's, one of our favorite restaurants here in St Augustine.

The more we travel and the more people we meet the more I count my lucky stars that I have a wife like Mary. I see way too many couples traveling where the wife either sits in the vehicle or at the picnic table while the husband does all the work. Watching it bothers Mary even more than it bothers me. What would happen if something happened to the husband? Wives need to know everything about their RV. They need to know how to drive it, hook it up, connect all the utilities. Being out on the road can leave one in a very vulnerable position and you need to be prepared. There are many wives out there that do know what to do and do their share as well as husbands that share the cooking, cleaning, and laundry duties. That is the way it should be! Marriage is a team effort and more so is marriage on the road. I have the best partner to travel throgh this life and on the road and I don't ever want to take her for granted.

Well into down town for more touristy stuff so I will sign off from our home here in St Augustine because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, April 29, 2017

'17/#9 Almost Ready To Hit The Road

Only two more days until we embark on the next stage of our adventure. Over the years many people have had opinions and/or made comments about our chosen life style. I came across this poster a while back and I have to say that it sums up how we feel. Everyone has dreams about the future and things they would like to see or do. We are living our dream and that is the advice we give to so many people. If there is something you want to do, make plans, find a way, make it happen. I read on a marquee somewhere "A wish is just a dream without a plan". If you want something go out and get it. No one is going to just give it to you.

The next two days we will be finalizing our preparations. We will also see our kids and grandkids to say our goodbyes. Monday is D-Day. "D" is for departure. We will make a few stops and see a few friends on our trip to Michigan. It should take us just about a week. We are just looking forward to having the wheels rolling again.

Well it is time to relax a moment before we get back to our travel check list. So goodbye for now from our home in Zephyrhills because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, April 22, 2017

'17/#8 Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?

It has been a long time since my last blog but it is time to bring it back to life. My last blog was about a death to someone close to us and all that that entails. Like many family deaths the aftermath turned ugly and someone we considered family turned out to be a lying, money hungry, back stabber. We were very disappointed and disillusioned afterward. Hence the absence of my blog. That is all I am going to say on the subject. From now on we are looking forward.

We have been back in Zephyrhills for over a month now and are ready to continue our adventure. Having worked here for 3 years and our proximity to Pinellas County meant that we would be spending a lot of time socializing with friends and family. After 6 weeks here we can count on our fingers the number of times we have eaten at home. It is nice to go out for dinner but we both like to cook and are looking forward to the meals we make in our RV kitchen. We have seen the kids and grandkids and are planning one more visit with them before we hit the road. There are one or two friends we will see to finish the list of people we wanted to see. Probably one or two last minute doctors visits and a final check on the truck and trailer will finish out our stay.

The adventure that is our life is taking us north to Michigan this year. We will stop in St Augustine and Indiana along the way to our destination in the Michigan Silver Lake Dunes Area. We have never spent any time in Michigan and are looking forward to seeing a new (to us) part of the country. Mary has lined up a workcamper position for us this summer that will cover most of our expenses and allow time to explore. We also have many friends who still summer in Michigan and would like to get together to show us their home state.

We are looking forward to our travels, but for now we are taking care of things to prepare for this next stage in our adventure. I will also try to blog more often, and please, if you are reading and enjoying the blog let me know with a comment. I get a lot more readers than commenters and would love to hear from you. As always Mary and I will put it out on facebook when I post.

Until the next post this is goodbye from our home in Zephyrhills because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, February 27, 2017

'17/#7 Family Is Tough work

It has been 2 weeks since we arrived in Port St Lucie and have we been busy! Grace is in her final resting place and now we are getting Uncle Don ready for the next step in his life. The house has an accumulation of 90 years of living, and did she live. After 39 years as a secretary to the Supreme Court in Washington DC there was quite a bit of political memorabilia. We found programs and invitations to presidential inaugurations from Eisenhower to Regan, group photos of the Supreme Court and staff. It was like going through a museum.

Then there was all the personal things. Memberships to the Masons, Eastern Star, and so many other community organizations. If Grace could make something better she joined and did her best, whether it was her church or the city beautification commitee, she was there.  Oh, did I mention that Grace was an avid crafts person? We found one whole room full of  needle point, embroidery, hook rugs, sewing, crochet, knitting, counted cross stich and more. There was a full Santa suit that was hand made years ago by Grace for her husband "Woody" that would rival and out shine any store bought suit. But there is more! Grace liked to hand sew quilts. We found a bunch of them in the house. And not just any size quilts, mostly queen and king size quilts.

It has taken us 2 full weeks to go through the house and get ready for a garage sale so Uncle Don can move on with his life. He wants to down size and doesn't need this big house and all the things and work that go with it. He is actually thinking about moving to the west coast of Florida so he will be near our kids and grandkids. I think the kids are more excited about it than he is. We have worked hard and put in some long hours to help but that is what family does. It is tough work but for real family it is a labor of love and we wouldn't have it any other way.

We are tired and will sleep well in Uncle Don's home because ours is in his driveway here in Port St Lucie because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Thursday, February 16, 2017

'17/#6 Time To Say Goodbye

We made it to Port St Lucie and got the rig settled in the driveway at Grace and Don's house. Greetings, including hugs and belly rubs for Tessa the dog out of the way we just relaxed for the rest of the day. The real work will start soon enough. Time to enjoy each others company.

The house is very large and is full of years of accumulated memories, also known as stuff. We respect and love our elder family members but the stuff can be overwhelming. Now don't misunderstand, we didnt finish any one room but we did get a good start on each. Switching rooms gives us a break from the work. Keep, sell, or throw away. Decisions, decisions, decisions. We will get this done because no one else will.

Today is the day we will say goodbye to Grace. Funerals are not fun but death is a part of life. I personally hate the term "celebration of life" but Grace's life is one worth celebrating. I won't go into details but the stories about the places she went, the things she has seen, and the people she has met could entertain for hours. More important was the people who met Grace. They got to meet a special woman with style, grace, and compasion. I feel very fortunate to have met Grace and only regret not meeting her sooner. She will be missed but will be with her beloved "Woody". I can only hope to have a life as full as hers. Goodbye Grace.

We will be leaving Grace's home soon while our home is in her driveway in Port St Lucie because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Sunday, February 12, 2017

'17/#5 Chasing The Jello!

Saturday morning I realized how early 5am comes around. That is when we pulled out of Forsyth MO and started our trek to Florida. We had talked about how we were looking forward to some warmer weather and what does mother nature do? The last few days in Missouri we have temps in the 60's and 70's. Where was that weather a couple of weeks ago? With no interstates on our route through southern Missouri and northern Arkansas it was all state and county highways until we got close to Little Rock. Then we hooked up with I-40 and it will be interstates all the way. Not necessarily the most scenic route, but this trip we wanted to cover some ground quickly. It was a long 13 hour day. We stopped for the night at a truck stop near the Alabama-Georgia border. 600 miles is a long day towing a 40' trailer. Day 2 was a little easier. All interstate, only 500 miles, and 9 1/2 hours. Also we lost an hour crossing time zones. Tomrrow we should be in Port St Lucie. An easy day of 4 hours and only 200 miles. Time for a rest.

Our second night will be spent in St Augustine. This will be one of the rare times we don't spend time in our honeymoon city or as I like to call it "the scene of the crime"! Even though we didn't stay long we did get a chance to have dinner with some very good friends that we hadn't seen in a while. It was good to see them and catch up. Tonight will be another early night. Tomorrow we will sleep in until 6:30 or 7 am and be on the road by 8am.

After 1300 miles we will be glad to be sitting anywhere but in the truck. We will spend time with Uncle Don and help take care of everything that needs to be done when a loved one passes away. As time allows, we will travel accross the state and see our kids and grandkids as well as some of our friends before we have to be on the road again.

So goodnight from our home for tonight in St Augustine because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Thursday, February 2, 2017

'17/#4 A Rant And Some Warm Jello?!?!?

I need to blow off a little steam. I am not much of a presence on facebook but I did read a lot of what was posted. I was what people called a "lurker", mostly I read and posted very little. I enjoyed reading about what other people like to share about themselves. I was entertained by videos that ranged from cute to bizarre. The RV community was always interesting to me so that I could learn more about the lifestyle we have chosen and share what we have learned with others. What I didn't like was the meanness that some felt was OK to spew all over the internet while staying basically anonymous. The vile and obviously unsubstantiated political comments ( from both sides) throughout the election process made my stomach turn, but the continuation of this asinine rhetoric has pushed me over the edge. There is no way that I can enjoy facebook while the world finds this platform a place to attack from a position that has no accountability. For that reason I am boycotting facebook for the foreseeable future. I will no longer "lurk" nor post. Any information I will get will be relayed to me in person by those who can get past the incivility on facebook. I am sorry to those who might miss my presence, but anyone whom I really want to communicate with and vice versa, well, we will find a way.

In my last blog I talked about the passing of Aunt Grace and what family does for each other. Well it looks like we will be heading to Florida a little sooner than we had planned. It looks like we will be needed by Uncle Don, so we will take our jello south to a warmer climate.It will be nice not being so cold, but we would have liked it to be for different reasons.

And the prep work begins. This week is Mary's last at work and the next will be our last in Missouri. We will be getting the rig ready to travel over that time. This will entail a little more than usual because of all the winterizing we did earlier in the season. We have enjoyed our time here and as usual we have meet a lot of great people and made some good friends. Leaving is always the hardest part of living this lifestyle but it also allows us meet more people while discovering this fantastic country. We try not to say "good bye" but " see you down the road". You never know when our travels will bring us back this way so that we can talk more about our home in Missouri because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Friday, January 27, 2017

'17/#3 And Our House Is On Wheels....

We are still in Forsyth MO and doing just fine. The weather has been a little unpredictable with temperatures ranging from a low of 4 degrees to a high of 68 degrees, and that is all within a period of 3 weeks. Layering has become a way of life and I am sure we will survive the winter. The wind has also made it interesting. Some days there is nary a whisper of a breeze and other times it feels like the trailer is going to tip over. It really hasn't come to that point but the trailer does rock pretty good sometimes.

Mary is still working her "part-time" job and for the most part she is enjoying it. She likes the people she works with and is getting to know quite a few of the locals. Some she even refers to as her "regulars". I am not sure about the "part-time" part of it. In the last month there have been some personel issues at the store and Mary has offered to work extra hours to help out. She really likes her store manager and wants to help out any way she can. Sometimes that means more hours than she planned, or that I care for, but if you know Mary, she is going to do what she wants. Just today one of the girls has been diagnosed with chicken-pox and will be out for a week. Mary has already said she would help cover the lost hours so her schedule will change I'm sure.

On a sadder note, we just found out that Mary's Aunt Grace passed away. That leaves Uncle Don alone in Florida. We know he is okay but are still concerned as any family would be. At this time no plans have been made, so we are on hold for now. Like I've always said, "our house is on wheels and our plans are written in jello". If need be, we can be in Florida in a couple of days or have our whole rig back in just a few more than that. Family is family and we will do what is needed. For now we will just keep doing what we are doing until the "jello" gets shaken.

Sad for now in our home in Forsyth because....
Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Sunday, January 8, 2017

'17/#2 And The New Year Starts!

I had a little episode this week and asked Mary not to say anything to anyone. I came very close to passing out at home and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. Preliminary tests point tentatively to a bleeding ulcer, leading to anemia, and a blood pressure drop. We and our doctors are on top of everything and I am feeling much better. This is not the first ulcer I have been diagnosed with but it has been many years since I have had any problem. Hopefully it will be many more, or better yet never, that I have to deal with this again. The one bright side is that I have made a good dent into our annual deductible on our health insurance.

In the last blog I told you we were expecting a little cold snap, but not as cold as we've had before. They lied! It is every bit as cold as it was before. We've had two mornings with wake up temps in single digits. One morning it was only 5 degrees!!! Good news is that our winterizing, furnace, and space heaters are working out well. I have been pumping quite a bit of propane for the locals and feel for those who have run out during the night. Everyone here is looking forward to the warm spell predicted this week. We are expecting 60 degrees on Tuesday. Quite a change in just a few days. Hopefully the park's water pipes will thaw today and we can get back on city water instead of our fresh water holding tank. That's what it is for but it is a limited amount of water that won't last forever.

Mary has been off for several days now, taking care of me. She was pretty upset with my trip to the hospital and is now relaxing. Prior to the new year she had worked more hours than usual to help out some of the girls she works with and has earned and is enjoying her time off. It is also nice that she doesn't have to go out in the cold weather that we are having. Resting, staying warm, and watching trashy TV....what a way to relax!

As of now I am doing well and we are just relaxing here in our home in Forsyth Missouri because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Sunday, January 1, 2017

"17/#1 Happy New Year!

Well another year has come and gone. Many people are saying good riddance to 2016 and bemoaning all that has occurred over the past 12 months. 2016, while unique, is no different than any other year. Once examined you will find good and bad has happened every year and will continue to do so forever. Some events are more important than others to each individual, but overall, for all the bad things in 2016 there are just as many good things.

As for us, we are grateful for 2016 and looking forward to 2017. Our health is reasonably good as is that of our family and friends. We are still living our dream out here on the road and 2017 has more adventures in store for us. Our grandchildren are all doing well in school and our children are doing the same in their professional lives. 2017 looks to be another good year. Like I've said before, it is not all unicorns and rainbows. We had more than our share of flat tires this year and Mary needed surgery on her knee but those are things that happen and can't be avoided. That is life. What you do about those bumps in the road and how you let it affect your future is what will determine a good year or a bad year and ultimately a good life or a bad life! Optimist or pessimist, glass half full or glass half empty? The person in the mirror will decide if you have a good year or a bad one!

New Years Eve was quiet for us. A lot like Christmas. I spent it with my best friend as I will the rest of 2017 and beyond. New Years Day will be the same while we relax and have a lazy day. The next week looks like it will be a cold one, but we are ready. It won't be as cold as it was a couple of weeks ago but it will last for about 4-5 days. Electric heaters, propane furnace, warm clothes, and warm blankets and we will be just fine. Wintering up north is not that bad. I don't know if we will do it again.... but at least we know we can.

For now we are enjoying the unseasonably warm weather for another day or two here in our home in Missouri because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary