Old Diary

Always Something New

This Tops Them All…

I’ve seen it all.  Well, in MY world this tops the pile.  An RV made specifically for ice fishing (BRRRRRR!) — with holes in the floor to fish through! Our neighbor at the RV park here pulls an ICE CASTLE RV:

If you’re into ice fishing I can see how this could be a really cool thing.  But to me, it’s just a curiosity.   I’ll never cease to be amazed at the toys people think up!

Vroom, Vroom, Vroooooooooom!

The secret that the Wisconsin State Fair RV Park doesn’t tell you is that with your camping fee you get a free subscription to the audio track of the Milwaukee Mile — the local 1 mile race car track.

file photo

file photo

I can be silly or sarcastic, but the truth is we weren’t here much of the day when someone was racing around the track.  The event was the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience where for the right number of greenbacks you can drive a race car around a 1 mile oval.  Considering that the fare varies between $200 and $900 it’s not the cheapest ride in town, but I suspect it might be the most exciting.  Oh, and don’t forget — there’s a place on the order form where you can pay $60.00 for insurance in case something YOU do damages the race car.  That might be money well spent….  But it’s good for a laugh when you don’t have to listen to them all day long.   A little info about the track:

The Milwaukee Mile is a approximately one mile-long (1.6 km) oval race track located on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, Wisconsin, a suburb west of Milwaukee. Its grandstand and bleachers seat approximately 37,000 spectators. Paved in 1954, it was originally a dirt track. In addition to the asphalt-paved oval, there is a 1.8 miles (2.9 km) asphalt-paved road circuit located on the infield.

The Milwaukee Mile’s premier distinction is as the oldest operating motor speedway in the world, hosting at least one auto race every year since 1903 (except during U.S. involvement in World War II).[1] The track is located at the grounds for the Wisconsin State Fair. The track has held events sanctioned by major sanctioning bodies, such as the American Automobile Association,USACNASCARCART/Champ Car World Series, and the IndyCar Series. There have also been many races in regional series such as ARTGO.

Milwaukee Art Museum


The newest outdoor exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Peg and I have always enjoyed walking the lakefront near the Milwaukee Art Museum.  I see they are making repairs to the old structure and planning additions to the new section.


Panorama from Veteran’s Park on the Michigan lake shore.

Since we left last autumn they have added this piece in the outdoor gallery:  an old dodge (well not SO old) convertible, wrapped around a pole.  All I have to say is… OK.  Art is in the eye of the beholder.


The MAM with the wings raised. (from too far away to do it justice with an iPhone.

It was a beautiful day for a walk and we were there in time to see the musical raising of the Calatrava wings on the hour.  We put in a couple miles or so, and just revealed in the sensation of near autumn.

imageLake Michigan and Veteran’s Park

Also since our departure I seem to find a new bronze sculpture in Veteran’s Park.  Not sure when it went up, but it looks nice and is a good tribute to slain warriors.  (IMHO)

We have been walking this lakefront for 40 years or more.  And it never ceases to be a source of contentment and satisfaction.  There are always changes.  After our time on the Coast, Peggy kiddingly said she was a ‘blow’ — alluding to the whales she hoped to see more of on the Oregon Coast — but here the spray of water and air was just the waves hitting the Milwaukee breakwater.  Oh well.

We did see three something interesting though, that we have never observed before.  Three kayakers in identically outfitted gear were trolling the marina in an organized route.  I wonder if there is some kind of study going on, or research going on either for water quality,  resident species or for improvements/dredging of the marina. There is a major water research institute here — connected with the University of Wisconsin:  the Global Water Center. Perhaps it had to do with them. ????  It’s interesting to see all sorts of new things in the works when you’ve been gone for a year!

Ok — that’s if for today.  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.   🙂 🙂 🙂


Old Diary


One of the questions asked of new full timers seems to be:  “have you learned to slow down yet?”  This surely is a trick to be mastered after a lifetime of hard work — and often after a rush to rid yourself of bricks & sticks before going  mobile.  I know that’s the very reason we love spending a week or two (or longer) at a single place before moving on.

There’s an online community I frequent from time to tim and here is an interesting approach to starting to slow down that I wanted to share.

Here is something I did the day I went fulltime…
Find a rest area and pull in.
Any rest area will do.
Find a comfortable place to sit in your rig. Turn on some music. (Classical piano works great).
Set the timer for 1 hour. Just 1 hour.
Sit still. Do nothing. No TV. no computer. No talking. No phone. Nothing.
And, every single time your head tells you that there is something to do, add 10 minutes to the timer, then sit still again.

I came to realize very quickly that rest areas are awesome, that I had not done this in a very long time if ever, and most importantly that I had been denying myself of some simple pleasures that this lifestyle will offer me. Anytime I want em. 🙂 

Sometimes a little forced idleness is a good thing.  (Says the guy who is almost never idle unless he’s asleep and the guy who doesn’t pay much attention to his limits when he wants to get something done.)


Michael finishing the turkey with a blowtorch.

My son in law Michael is a great guy; I often say that of all the guys my daughter ever dated that he’s the only one we would have wanted as a SIL.  And he’s pushing, pushing, pushing himself to get the house habitable  — and I fully understand.  In some ways I’m a lot like him (except that I know nothing about cars and finishing furniture — but then there are things I know that he doesn’t — gotcha!  )  Some day that pushing will change; or someday his body will force him to change — it really doesn’t matter — nothing stays the same; everything changes.

While we are sitting here waiting on a doctor’s appointment on Monday it’s easy to get reflective.

While we were on the Forest I had been thinking how Peg & I have been living the retirement that my father would have loved.  He loved travel, he wanted to get an RV and take off down the road but my mom was geographically anchored.  She had to be near her friends and family on regular intervals and she never gave in to dad’s desire to be gone for multiple months at a time.  When she gave in it was usually for 2-3 weeks, on rare occasions they might leave for as long as 6 weeks, but that was very rare indeed.

My dad, 4 days before he passed.

My dad, 4 days before he passed.

My dad had his first heart attack at age 55 — He had been planning to retire at 55 and in fact that was just what he did.  And shortly thereafter had his first of several heart attacks.  He lived a reasonably comfortable life to 80 with two open heart surgeries including 1 valve replacement.   And he was always making fun of the fact that he had a cow heart valve in him.

We lived for 25 years in a family owned apartment building.  Each of us in a different apartment and each apartment with a suitable LOCK on the door.  The rule had always been if the door is unlocked you’re welcome in;  if the door is locked — go away, don’t stand there knocking on the door (or rattling the doorknob).  That rule worked for us and at one time we had 5 generations of the family living there:  My fathers parents, my mother’s mother, my parents, Peg and I, our daughter Kathryn and her husband Michael, and finally our grandchild Melanie.  Each family group had it’s own apartment and we were close but not too close; we did things together but not all the time.

The last 10 or 15 years of my father’s life I was working out of the house.  Part of that time I was publishing a small Christian journal, which meant editing, layout, typesetting (before the days of desktop publishing as we know it now), printing, collating, and sorting for mailing.  Dad and I worked side by side on that project for a good long while.  All he wanted was to be useful and to hang out with me.  Those were good times.

The last 5 years of his life he didn’t make it more than 3 months without a visit to the hospital.  There were all sorts of problem, none of them took him down — he just cruised through them all, taking them in stride — and in the end he died a peaceful death in his sleep the night after returning home from 4 wonderful days with family.

I’ve been pretty healthy all my life. Overweight, but healthy.  I had my gall bladder removed by a surgeon with huge hands before the days of minimally invasive surgery — I have a scar that looks long enough to have been from open heart surgery — except at the bottom of my torso not the top.

Where I’m going with all of this is that when we decided we’d had enough volunteering on the forest and we wanted to get back to retirement I got to thinking about a number of older gentlemen I’ve known in my life who had had near-end-of-life strokes leaving them either partially paralyzed or mute.  I wasn’t feeling sorry for them; rather I was admiring the way that these guys who had been firebrands in early life had adjusted to the situation God had allowed in their life with grace and aplomb.  My dad was not a showy Christian; he believed but he wasn’t always going around making a big deal about it to others who didn’t believe — I knew him best of all — and he had become a gentle man.  He wasn’t always.  In fact my mom told the story about when they had recently gotten married and they were arguing and my dad got upset and stormed out of the house.  Mom, being nosy, was watching him through the kitchen window.  He went out into the yard, picked up a fallen apple off the ground and threw it so hard at the barn that it splattered all over the barn door.  Mom would always say that she realized at that moment if he could do that to an apple that he could do that to her too and she forever changed her ‘way’ toward him.  Not out of fear;  but out of respect.  That sounds a chilling thing, but 50 years later they were still together, cuddling, and romantic so her change towards him resulted in a change towards her as well.  Point being — he wasn’t always a ‘gentle’ man.

Stillness, enforced or otherwise, changes us.  Over the three years that we have been retired a large part of that time we have spent waiting on things:

  • sale of the house
  • sale of the kid’s house
  • renovation of the new house
  • waiting on insurance issues and changing insurances several times ( goodbye COBRA, hello Wisconsin HIRSP, then goodbye HIRSP and welcome MEDICARE, and OH, don’t forget to get your supplemental insurance too.)
  • waiting to figure out the job we were supposed to do on the Forest and where to find the help I needed
  • issues with finances
  • waiting for our solar installation
  • waiting for our coach at the dealership

It seems right now with the kids getting close to having the occupancy permit on their new house that perhaps 3 years of having tension under the surface may be just about over.  And then this little (we hope it’s little) hiccup with my own health.  But, that’s life.  And we started this blog about an unscripted life — this is unscripted.

I have often thought about how my dad coped with those regular hospital stays — he was always the nurses favorite — he was an easy patient.  But he was also stubborn.  He was up on his feet recuperating as fast as they would allow him, and he pushed himself hard to get better — FAST.

Frank a few years before his passing.

Frank a few years before his passing.

By contrast, my father in law, Frank had been pretty health all his life.  He needed heart surgery and after 11 hours in surgery the doctor came out to talk with the family and literally his first words to US were, “I had a hard day.”  The story was not good.  Frank spent 12 weeks in hospital, most of that time in intensive care, 1 day in a nursing home, another 2 weeks in hospital and then about the same in a local hospice.  He was virtually non-communicative that entire time.  He had a  breathing tube down his throat for weeks; when they finally removed it he could hardly speak.  Peg and I alternated staying in OHIO with him until the end.  After the 1 day he spent in the nursing home I was sitting with him in the ER where the ambulance had brought him and he sort of croaked at me with what voice he could muster, “Shoot me, just shoot me.”  That was not my most favorite moment as his son-in-law.  He was a good stubborn German (sometimes there are reasons for clichés.)  He was not happy being where he was, he did not want to do physical therapy, had not wanted to do physical therapy at any time during his convalescence.  HIs surgery had not turned out the way he intended and he was P.O.’d.  Here, a guy who seemed to be gentle his entire life, was changed by what he endured.

Life changes us.  We don’t know how we will react to what may happen in the future.  But as a Christian, as a Believer, I have listened to people complain about how suddenly their life has changed and they no longer have time to study the Bible (or any other number of complaints).  And I have always felt that the times when we study, the times when we pray, they times when we are alone with our Creator — those are the times when we are building up strength for whatever challenges we will face in the future.  Like exercising muscles, Christians are kind of supposed to grow their spiritual muscles so that when they need them they have them, and they are strong.  Just because I don’t talk about my faith all the time doesn’t minimize my faith.  I don’t write to proselytize; I don’t write to evangelize.  I write as a way of processing the experiences in my own life; to share with others; and to keep in touch with those I love.

Peggy had a mammogram the same day I went in to see the doctor.  When the results letter came in I asked her if she wanted to read it; and she didn’t really care about what it said:  she hadn’t felt any bumps, she had no reason to suspect that anything was wrong, and what’s the big deal? In fact there was no big deal her results were normal.

I have had a heart murmur (mitral valve) since I was a teenager — following Scarlet Fever.  The doctor says there’s been some change.  Ok.  After probably 55 years of being that way I guess that’s not anything to be surprised about — I’m not getting younger.  I feel fine.  I don’t notice any differences other than things I associate with just getting older.  So, we’ll wait till Monday to see what the specialist says but this is an unscripted life and we’ll deal with what we have to deal with.

And maybe we’ll do some more waiting.  We’ll have some time to be still.  To enjoy the quiet.  This last 12 months have been so busy I don’t really mind hanging out here.  We’re close to family;  we’re in a nice spot and the weather is still reasonable.  FINALLY we’re getting some down time!   Besides, I can sit here and look out the RV window and watch the cranes 2 blocks away building a new bridge over the Interstate highway… that’s something my mom would have loved doing — just sitting here watching the world go by. 🙂  Love you mom.

Enough rambling for the day.  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Old Diary, RV Living

Time for a few updates

Well, one nice thing about being here on the Forest is that with fewer tethering expenses I saved up enough money to tackle pay for a few repairs that I don’t want to do myself.  I know I could probably do them given long enough, but there are some repairs I’m more comfortable paying for.  (Mostly ones involving electricity!)

  • 201201101229JOUR2751When we had the flooring replaced we never thought to check our entry point light switches and it appears that somehow when Bradd & Hall put things back together our exterior patio light no longer works.
  • I had our dealer (Lichtsinn Motors) send us the sensors and circuit board from Winnebago to replace our old-style in-the-tank black/gray/fresh water level sensors.


    The sensor and circuit board update will make this old style levels gage just like new.

  • Some place along the line we popped a marker light off. (Way back at the tail end of Journey on the passengers’ side 5 feet off the grounds — still haven’t figured out how we DID that.
  • And we have a wonky dresser drawer made worse by retracting the bedroom slide while the door was slightly ajar — bending the nightstand drawer mechanism
  • And I have to decide whether now is the time I want to replace our old Winegard crackup antenna with a newer King Controls Jack antenna.  (We are hooked up to DISH right now, and as long as we stay here we won’t be using it,  But why not have it all done at one time?  and pay ONE service call?) I have no doubt I’m going to make the change — just when to do it.  For those of you who may not have noticed, Winnebago has switched to the King Controls antenna on their new models.  Our crank-up Winegard has just about exhausted it’s natural life and by the time we paid to replace the internal gears we’d just have an outdated antenna with new innards — so we might as well do the whole job and do it right.

mop boards make the finished project finished… but it took me 5 years to put mine down. go figure.

I’ll give the local RV service guy a call.  The question is when.  It’s easy to have Peg take a day off to stay home while he’s working on Journey.  Or I might take a day off and send HER into work.  But this is a test.  I’ve been known to get this far on a project and just put completion off for … well… who knows how long?  I’m not really a procrastinator; not about most things.  And yet there are areas of life that I am very Un-Peter.  When we were living in a place three houses ago I remodeled the bathroom.  Replacing everything except for the bathtub and making our own custom full wall lighting system I completed the entire bathroom in about a month.  And then it took me 5 years to put down the splash tiles/mob boards, whatever you want to call them.

wall-anchors-4 wall-anchors-2We reached a decision about those forms deliveries I mentioned the other day.  Clipboards won out by a landslide.  But given that attaching them to the inside of the door wasn’t working out well, the roving caretakers will moly bolt them to  the wall and forms will always be available for the volunteers when they need them.  Hoo Rah!

We’re still having a lot of drama on the forest.  The boss ended up with their ear ringing after an early morning phone call about that washer and dryer I talked about a week ago.  Making exceptions to general rules for individuals  often comes back to haunt a person.  The boss is getting a reminder of that reality.   But as long as it’s not MY phone ringing, and as long as I’m not the one at fault —  I’m going to stay out of that battle!  They don’t pay me enough < chuckle, chuckle >

I’ve got arrival dates for two sets of new volunteers.  One of them called me late last night (a Volunteer Coordinator’s phone is never turned off).  I was actually glad for the call.  I expected the call three days before but I guess they wanted to make sure the date they gave me was doable.  So, they called when they had a real answer; a courtesy I actually appreciated!

The Forest is starting to look pretty well ‘manned’ right now.  Still a couple positions to fill, and there’s always the risk that someone who SAYS they are coming will back out and leave us in the lurch.  But we’re getting to the point that I’ll start taking some of our Volunteer.gov adverts down.

And making exceptions may once again become an issue.  We had a long time volunteer check out today.  We knew they were leaving — they gave us a reasonable notice and we are sad to see them leave in some ways.  But for some reason the staff here, who knew that the volunteer’s trailer was in pretty rough shape, agreed that they could leave the trailer on Federal property and that the staff would move it, or get rid of it, or … well… I don’t know what else…  And I have a new host coming into that spot in 7 more days.  Hopefully some staffer will get it moved before new hosts arrive.  It bothers me because that’s really the volunteers responsibility;  no matter how much damage or value there might be to that old trailer it’s really an expense to the forest to get it disposed of no matter how they do it: sell it, give it away, haul it away.

The boss is out of the office tomorrow; off to the Forest offices in Corvallis.  It’s credentials time; even staffers have to renew their credentials periodically.  I wish they could stop off at the help desk and nudge my computer profile forward.  I’m really getting tired of logging into someone else’s account and using their email.

There are days I feel like this…

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow!

Old Diary

Living Not Vacationing

Slow travelI was reading another blog the other day and their comments.  I came across the expression “We are slow travelers.”  I like that.

At the beginning of our journey in Journey I commented several times about not having an objective of seeing and doing all the things that might be present in any given location; but that our purpose was to visit new places and experience what it’s like to LIVE there, not to VISIT.


That’s pretty much what we’ve been doing here.  There are a lot of tourist attractions we could be visiting; I suppose we will visit more of them as time goes on, but our purpose was to / is to experience as many of these places that we visit as people who live there do.

It’s easy for us in some ways.  We aren’t attracted to places where large numbers of people gather.  When we were younger we did the State Fairs, and the Summerfest’s, and the tourist attractions. We travelled widely in the U.S. and there aren’t a lot of major attractions we haven’t seen — but having seen them we don’t need to see them again (except perhaps for the parks and forests and refuges which may stay the same on the macro scale but are constantly changing on the micro scale).

I like having projects on my plate.  Not necessarily a job – though we seem to have one temporarily.    If I don’t have a project I make them.  That’s who I am.  I don’t sit in front of the TV — it may be on in the background but I am always DOING something else: writing, bookkeeping, working on images, puttering around the RV with improvement ideas (or dreams), RV maintenance.  There is always noise in the background — but that is white noise to help me focus on whatever I’m doing.

On a weekend I might get up a 5, but it’s rare that we’ll have breakfast before 9 or even 10, and left to our own rhythms we might not be on the move until nearly noon.  For now we seem to be in a semi-forcred  schedule where we are out of Journey by 8:30 and back by 1 or 2 or 3 p.m. depending on what’s going on that day.  So, we’re kind of out of our natural sync.  I’m not sure we have completely adjusted to Pacific time either.  I find myself waking at the same time I used to get up — and then falling asleep again for two more hours — but my internal clock is still ‘stuck’ on Central Time.    In that regard I’m not sure I’m ‘traveling’ at all!  But I have always had a hard time with time changes.

Our trip from the Midwest to the Coast took us 6 weeks.  I think we have only stayed one night at a park three times since we left Milwaukee in May of ’13.  Even that 6 week trip  was a faster trip than I would have preferred. But John was holding a volunteer position for us and we didn’t want to dawdle more than necessary; but much of the route was first-time-in-an-RV and we didn’t want to hurry.

I’m sure when we leave Oregon (whenever it might be) we’ll go back to that slow pace.  Or slower still.

I love seeing how different our 13 mile route to Reedsport is every single day.  Almost every day we have fog — but not in the same place each day, and not as heavy or light.  I am LOVING ever single iteration of  fog.  When it rains the rain is different than in the Midwest.  No thunder. No lightning.  No heavy downpours yet.  Sort of different versions of drizzle.  I am loving every single iteration of rain.  The sun comes as a surprise every day.  We are supposed to be overcast and rainy, but every day that we see the sun is a blessing.  And it doesn’t happen the same way two days in a row.  We have a forecast for rain, and the day begins with rain, but all of a sudden there is Old Sol!  All of a sudden the clouds part — literally — and there it is pouring light and heat into a place that is ‘supposed to be’ gloomy this time of year — and I love every single interation of sun breaking through the clouds.

This is what I wanted in retirement.  Not exploring in the sense of going out to FIND something.  Exploring in the sense of staying open to the world around us; breathing it all in, seeing it all,  and sometimes spitting into the wind just to see what happens.

I had no idea what retirement would be like.  I’ve said before that we never thought much about retirement when we were working. We didn’t think we’d retire this early; and we didn’t have ‘plans’ — we were to busy with living our work-a-day lives.  That’s sort of who we are — staying in the moment as much as we can — with loose plans for the future.

I can never express how glad I am that one summer’s day I took my wife along with me to look at a van that we were talking about buying for photo trips — big enough for a mattress and cameras and suitcases — and on a whim we stopped at a dealer down the street from that lot and looked at a Roadtrek 210, and then at a Roadtrek Sprinter Van conversion, and next thing you know we’d committed to sell the house, to buy Journey and to hit the road.

None of it was pre-planned, no more than some of our journeys have been preplanned.  But even out-of-control retirement has been better than we ever expected.  So Far…

After good days with the boss I’m in a good mood.  There will be bad days with the boss and I’ll be frustrated.  But none of that takes away from the fact that we are blessed to enjoy this time in a place we’ve wanted to visit and to be some benefit to others.  Whatever life has in store this has been a pretty good way to start off on a new path…

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

“Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels.”
– Nikos Kazantzakis


Journey DL, Old Diary

One Month On The Job

It doesn't seem like a month….

It doesn’t seem like a month….

Can it be that we’ve been on the job for a month?   We started work October 21.

Or that we’ve been on site for 6 weeks?  We arrived in Siuslaw October 11 — in the middle of The Shutdown

It surely doesn’t seem that way.  But that doesn’t mean what you might think.  Because in some ways it feels like we’ve been here forever; and in other ways it feels like we just arrived.

We’re  comfortable here.  That’s good.  The people are great. The job is doable — and enjoyably so. The scenery is terrific.  And at least so far the weather has been not-too-bad.  In other ways it seems we just got here — because there are still a lot of question marks in our head.  The remaining question marks aren’t surprising — it’s a new life for us.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t real causes for a volunteer’s uncertainty.

I realized this evening  ( it was one of those senior-long-time-awake nights )  that one reasons for demonstrated confusion here (our own, and among other volunteers),  is that there is a serious language gap.  The Forest Service have their own lingo and I really don’t think they realize when they’ve fallen out of English and into ‘Forest-Speak’.  You can’t blame them.  They are professionals dealing with a very unique set of circumstances, it’s only natural that their language has adapted to meet their special needs.  But I notice that I am frequently stopping my boss to explain her terms.  I wonder how many of the other volunteers are as bold as I am to interrupt the boss?  I’m sure it’s not as many as I would hope.  I guess as I move forward I’ll work on that.  Peg and I have been told repeatedly that we are the Forest Service’s ‘eyes and ears’ as we move around our 1/2 of the Dunes Recreation Area.  We know that part of our ‘job’ — an easy one — is taking time to talk with the camp hosts, and the campground caretakers — to see what’s on their minds, what their problems might be — and I think also to make a point of interpreting Forest-speak into English.

When we had our Thanksgiving pot-luck a couple weeks ago the boss mentioned that she was attending a Forest wide “Volunteer Meeting”:

  • what she meant was a meeting held among Forest Service managers to discuss  how they were going to change or alter their volunteer work force.
  • what fully 1/2 of the volunteers heard was there was another volunteer meeting they had to attend.  And some went further, becoming upset because the date of the meeting was on a Monday (not a Wednesday which is their usual volunteer meeting day) and meant that they would lose a day off.

chalktalk_LMIt’s easy to see how that would happen.  Who doesn’t hear first what applies to them, and hear later what they are slightly less interested in?  I can understand if you hear the word ‘volunteer’ and you are a volunteer that you might think this is a meeting you have to attend.  And I can understand how a staffer who is going to a meeting about volunteers might never even dream that the volunteers in your audience might think that the meeting you were soliciting suggestions about was not something the volunteers would have to attend.

But clearly… both sides of this little meeting were not “hearing the other side.”

They didn’t include “translator” on our job description — but maybe they should have.

These are NOT OUR WATER Lines -- But we don't want this to happen!!!!!

These are NOT OUR WATER Lines — But we don’t want this to happen!!!!!

This is also the coldest night on the reservation as it were…. As I write the temp outside is 27 degrees and our water line is frozen.  We have not been staying in areas below freezing and I should have disconnected the water line last night — I will today — because tonight will be a second below freezing night.

We are also noticing some issue with Journey‘s  propane heating system.  I’ll see what happens during the day and we’ll go from there.  Can a propane line freeze?  I have no idea.  I don’t think so because our propane water heater is working.  But at the moment the furnace is blowing cold air until it reaches the no-pilot-shut-off and then it shuts down.  It seemed to work just fine over night before the temp dropped below freezing — so we’ll just have to see what happens during the day when it warms to 50 degrees.  Maybe we’ll need to insulate something….  Depending on what happens today we might end up having the Mobile RV service guy come out to look at the system.  But, we’re still comfy.  We have two electric heaters and that gives us enough heat to keep the inside of the RV comfortable.   We did that last October / November in Wisconsin and we know it’s workable.

So, there you have it.  A month on the job, lots of interesting things going on — at least to US they are interesting, and lots of things still to be learned.  We haven’t gotten too far in terms of exploring our new region.  That is on our hit list but we are enjoying just being here;  we don’t really need to be going in order to enjoy where we are.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.


‘The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.’

~Henry Miller

I’ve been thinking about this quote for a while now.  Even before we closed on the house.  There is something magical about stopping to smell the roses, or taking a moment, or just opening your eyes to your surroundings.

When I was working I never had the time — or I thought I never had the time to do such things.  I practiced “seeing” on a small scale — and I suppose my small scale was a lot larger than some people — but it was nothing to what I’ve been “seeing” since retirement.

I have no regrets about my life — but I have to say, had I not lived this long I would have missed a lot.  The world is a new place to me.  A better place; not because of what man has done, but because I’m seeing with new eyes what has been there all along:  God’s magnificent creation.

Pay A Little Attention to Something