Old Diary

Get Ready, Get Set….

Organizing Success

2014121409070611 It took 8 months but we finally made a giant leap forward on our cabinet organization.  Peggy said, “Why not put the Salad bowl on the other side of the coach” and that was the beginning of the solution.  It’s fascinating the way ‘ideas’ take shape and sometimes a little kernel grows into a mighty cornstalk. Our mini-library has changed sides (mostly all cookbooks), all of our cooking utensils are all on the same side now (they had been spread out on both sides of the coach for some reason), and it just feels right.  Why is that?  Everything still takes the same amount of space but it seems right!

Moving Prep

Will tomorrow be moving day?  We’re still hoping.  In anticipation thereof I bought a sheet of plywood.  The idea that we have been waiting for the ground to dry before moving IN has given rise to a parallel thought:  what might happen when we want to leave?  If a Spring departure should coincide with Spring Showers we might find ourselves in ruts!

So, off to The Home Depot!  I bought a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood.  The Home Depot guy cut it up for me — I didn’t even have to pay for the cuts.  Out of that 4′  x 8′ sheet I now have 4 – 2′ x 2′ squares and 16 – 1′ x 1′ squares.  Along with plywood we bought 4 handles and 50 screws and now all I have to do is assemble my new jack pads.  A 2’x2′ sheet is large enough to sit under the rear tandems, and way big enough to sit under the steer axle as well so when we back in we’ll position those behind the wheels just before we reach our final position.  levelingBlocksAnd I will glue and screw 4 of those 1’x1′ sheets into a 4ply jack block to go under our jacks.

While out walking on Friday I saw at least one coach that had pulled into their site when the ground was wet and is now settling into the earth.  That put the fear of sinking into my brain and got me out of neutral and into gear to make new pads for our move.  We do have  pads — I talked a little about this recently — but they are both taller — which I don’t want, and narrower which may not be sufficient to prevent their sinking into the soil — so discretion was the better part of valor and set ourselves to crafting wider ones.

Concrete Nightmares (not ours)


This is a lot of concrete!


Whole Lot Concrete


These furrows are deep enough you could farm on this site!


A $3,000 slab….. Ok….

I have mentioned that RV’ers have been prevailing on the management to add more and more concrete to the park.  The concrete truck has been here 3 times in 2 weeks with a full load each time.

I’m befuddled by what is happening at some sites.  Some sites have a modest patio (perhaps 8-10 feet by 15-20 feet — nice enough to spend some time outside, set up your lawn chairs and BBQ and picnic table.  I understand that renters who return for more than one season have some leverage over the management team to pour an initial slab, or expand on that slab but things are loosey-goosey enough that any parameters about slabs are unwritten guidelines rather than documented policy.  And some people seem determined never to have to deal with wet grass in their lives (and also exacerbate the drainage issue at the same time. How much concrete is needed/wanted and that concrete should goes seems a very curious topic:

  • Some sites have just added a rectangle patio next to the coach.
  • Some sites have added a pair of pads spaced properly for the wheels of the RV to back in on, and rest upon during the ‘season.’
  • Some sites have concreted a patio as well as a full concrete slab underneath the entire portion over which the RV backs and rests.
  • And then there are the Complete Package RV’ers who have basically concreted their entire site.  Or are attempting to do so.
concrete truck

There’s a limit to how far that chute will extend!!!!!!!! And it’s NOT 90′

All of these shenanigan are ‘fun’ to watch in a mean sort of way. Some folks are hard at work, others are hoisted on their own petard.

The concrete site approach is causing one renter no end of problems.  It was agreed that their entire site would be concreted over that; and the workmen came and formed it all out.  ALL of it.  Now that in itself is a bit unusual.  You don’t normally see a single concrete form that is +30′ x +80′ in size.  In the midwest that would be several pours spaced out by the time it takes each concrete form to dry — adding a couple weeks at least to the time it would take to create a pad that large.  But,  they dug out the entire site, and laid it with rebar and forms.

Now, (and you have to be ready for this) when the cement truck shows up, the driver tells the workmen, and the workmen tell the renter, and the renter tells the park manager (because it’s the renter who’s over at the office commiserating with the management)  that in order to pour this LONG, LONG pad he is going to have to back up onto the neighboring turf to reach with his chute.


Not sure who’s gonna pay to bring in a bad boy like this to pump concrete for a tiny little job…..

And herein lies the problem.  For underneath where the weighty cement truck has to drive is a  typical modern plastic septic line and driving over it will most likely crush the line and cause problems for that site and the several others on the wrong side of the septic drain.    Now I have to say to myself:  why did no one think about this before now?  Pouring concrete isn’t exactly an elusive art — there are rules and guidelines and things you always do.  And there’s no concrete truth that has a 110 foot long delivery chute to pour concrete 90′ away from the street.  So why didn’t someone think about it.

The last I saw, the cement truck pulled away, delivered concrete to several other sites and left.  The RV site with the full site concrete form is still sitting with no concrete poured and the renter walked away from the office looking disconsolate.  I heard him mumbling that they’ll just have to rent a concrete pumper.  But I’m sure the contractor isn’t going to be in any big hurry to rent a truck that costs $100’s an hour.  Fortunately that site is on the other end of the park. We don’t have to look at it.  🙂


I’ve been seeing some of these awning ‘extenders and protectors. A curtain that comes down along the end of the awning front, side, and rear. You can even make an extension to your awning this way. Interesting.

And with frustration comes good news.  I hear that approval has been granted and some agreement reached to have roads repaved or repaired.  When, and how long that will take has yet to be seen, discussed, or publicly announced!

Ya know — it’s almost like working for the Forest Service.  <chuckle>

Christmas Spirit

We spent the last two days mostly within the Campground.  It’s nice just to be in a place.  And even though we’re renting, it’s nice to have a place to ‘call your own’ for a while.  A few of the chores on our list are not off the list.  I’ve gotten a little reading done.  We’ve schmoozed with the neighbors — it’s almost like living in sticks & bricks:  that’s a bit scary.

In addition, w2014121213390901e’ve been waiting on deliveries.  Also, our son-in-law Michael came through with his version of holiday spirit.  He sent both my prescription meds, and included in the package a beautiful holiday wreath to go on the front of the coach!

No Heat

Recall that we arrived in a cold spell.  We needed a little heat for the first few days, but since then we have had the space heaters turned off day and night.  Our overnight lows are mostly in the 60’s (for now) It’s quite nice overnight with a bedside window open and the lounge exhaust fan on low — moving our expiration humidity outside.  Humidity in an RV is something to be concerned about. And, in the morning we turn off the fan until the temps warm up and then we turn the fans back on to keep the coach comfortable in the 70º temps we have been having.  All in all we are quite comfortable.  And enjoying the quiet of Serendipity compared to the noisy heating system in Journey.

Eyes peeled
Ears to the ground,
Hand to the plough,
Shoulder to the wheel,
Nose to the grindstone

ears to the groundI’m not a nosey man, but when I choose I have a way insinuating into the intricacies of wherever we may be. Mind you, I don’t like gossip, I don’t like sitting around talking about people.  But I like to know where I stand, what’s expected of me and what I can expect of others — so I ask questions.  And I listen.  A lot.

Please don’t misunderstand.  On occasion it may sound like there are a lot of negatives in this park.  However, I’ve never found Utopia.  It seems there are trade-offs no matter what you’re doing and no matter where you are. The trade-offs may be larger when you don’t have a huge bankroll — for $$$$$ are always part of the tradeoff.  If you have enough of them you don’t have to compromise — but then if you don’t want to compromise it’s going to cost you more $$$$$ — which IS the compromise:  you pay for what you get.balance

So, what I’m doing (for ourselves — and you are listening in) is making my own list of pros and cons.  In our grand search for a ‘place’ to retire, we are still asking the question: is there a place we like or are we going to be unending vagabonds across the face of the earth?  We don’t know.  We’re looking.  Will there be such a place; or will there be such a place that’s good for 6 months a year.  So many RV’ers do that 6 & 6 dance and we don’t know if that’s for us.  So, my list is growing.  Little things here, little things there.

If you’ve been following for a while you’ll remember that this is really the 1st  winter that we’re really free to be ourselves.  The first two retirement winters we were still dealing with our old house.  Last winter we sort of weren’t retired:  we were volunteering for the Forest Service and we were too busy to just kick back and enjoy life.  To say nothing of the fact that in Oregon during the winter you don’t sit out on your patio and enjoy the sun.  And you don’t sit out on your patio and bask in the heat.  And you will spend more time dealing with mold and mildew than you ever guessed.  None of those apply here. We are LIKING this.

Still and all, the forever trick is to figure out what makes a place unique and decide whether you can work within that framework — or if you wish, try to change what you don’t like — but chances are the place was as it is now long before you arrived:  change may not be in the future.  We like this place.  Stop.  Now we are learning what makes it tick and whether the drawbacks are enough that they would send us looking elsewhere.  But remember, we put up with Wisconsin winters for 65 years.  Life doesn’t have to be perfect for Peg and Myself — it just needs to meet some minimums.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.  Let’s hope we’re in our chosen site by then!