Monday, September 11, 2017

Wandering With The Wrights
September 11th, 2017

Before I start the blog I just want to acknowledge that today is 9/11 and We Will Never Forget!

It has been four months since our last blog.  We spent those months at Illinois Beach State Park as comp hosts.  We were fortunate to get the Mon-Wed shift from 7:30am-12:30pm.  Nice and quiet.  We enjoyed the friendship with all the other camp hosts this summer and look forward to next year.

We spent a great deal of our time visiting friends and family which of course is awesome!  We also took care of all of the essentials: doctors, dentists, car serviced, etc.  We were part of a Wednesday night bible study that we enjoyed and really thank our friends Laura & Eric Main for inviting us.

My mom and I spent a week-end in Peoria visiting my brother Brian and my sister-in-law Anita.

I was also able to go with Carol Meisinger and Audrey Slosser out to Iowa to visit Mame Sage - the four of us all worked at EMCO Chemical's and have been friends for more years than any of us like to admit.

Except for one week-end in July we spent all of our time at Illinois Beach - which is not a bad place to hang out during the summer - we are separated from Lake Michigan by a sand dune - it is lovely at night to lay in bed and hear the waves lapping at the shore as well as a beautiful place to take Teddy for walks.

The week-end away was to House On The Rock in Spring Green, WI.  We traveled with our grandson Calvin, his dad Chris & Chris' folks Peter & Becky Wright - Cal is surrounded by grandparents and a dad who are always right - lol.

On August 6th Jerry and I hosted my mom's 94th birthday at the motorhome.  It was wonderful.    Some people drove quiet a distance to share this special day with her.  They had predicted rain but we were blessed and it stayed away.

We also celebrated my son's birthday on August 17th.
And another big birthday August 15th was with Gary & Sue Bouton.  5 years ago Gary received my kidney and what a joy to celebrate his birthday with him!!  Can't believe it has been 5 years - he has taken good care of HC, the name they gave the kidney and they are all doing well!!

Also in August, as if there wasn't enough going on - Jerry, Eric Main and Eric & Laura's four boys spent a day, a very long day, at the Oshkosh Air Show.  We also celebrated a great birthday evening for Jerry with his son Robert and daughter-in-law Amy on August 29th.  Must admit I was happy when September rolled around and we had all the August birthdays taken care of.

One of the few disadvantages we have found with the full-time life style is saying goodbye at the end of the summer
We will miss many but especially our grandchildren who are growing so fast - Calvin who will be 14 next month and his little sister Jeana who will be 5.
My son's family - hard to say goodbye to all of those smiling/loving faces
And our youngest grandson Vincent.  Such a joy and such a good little guy.  Jerry and I held him every second we could.  We got to see him rollover and he will be walking the next time we see him.

Had to add this in case some of you haven't seen this.  What a fabulous invention - a Baby Brezza.  The dry formula goes in the top, water is stored on the side, you put the bottle in push a button and bang - perfect temperature, which you pre-set, formula.  No shaking it on your wrist to see if it is to hot or when it is to hot running the bottle under cold water to cool it off while the little one screams.

 We left for the winter a bit earlier this year because on Jerry's Bucket List for 50 years has been to attend the Reno, NV Air Races.  This year they are 9/11 - 9/18.

We left on 9/2 and Teddy was a little anxious so I put his Thunder Shirt on - think it worked :-)
 It was a much faster pace trip that normal since we only had 8 days to get to Reno.  We did have a rest day in the middle but for the most part got up every morning and hit the road.  We traveled 1,990 miles.  We traveled Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.  We were able to add Utah to the states map we have showing which ones we have spend at least one night in.

We did stop at this wonderful museum in Kearney, Nebraska
It was very well done and very interesting
We took I-80 west which is the old Oregon Trail that settlers took when they moved west.  We sure have it good traveling in our motorhome compared to all that they faced.
When we checked into the campground in Rawlins, WY we received two little baggies.  One was for Teddy with two little dog bones in it and one was ours with two mints - very clever!
Saw a lot of these signs
Not that we would ever go that fast in the motorhome but 80 was the speed limit at times.
Our route on I-80 took us through Salt Lake City, Utah.  Up until then we had had great roads and minimal traffic.  However, Salt Lake changed all that.  We were so happy when we got through!!

We then started passing all the salt flats - I had never seen such a thing and guess I never was interested enough when I heard about salt flats to investigate.  Miles and miles of salt fields.

The top is very crusty and you can break the salt off.  There were people taking some home in containers.
We had not planned on spending the night out there (we were on a paved section) but it was BLM land and we were allowed so figured why not.  It was just our coach and us after sun et.  It was beautiful and quiet.
We are now in Reno parked in a field very near the Air Races.  From our rig we can see and hear (they started practicing at 6:00am this morning) the planes.  The time trials start on Wednesday and the big race days are over this coming weekend.  We are with several other couples and of course they are all into planes so Jerry is in his glory.  I am so excited that he has this opportunity to experience this dream and will fill you in on it in the next blog.

In the meantime hugs and blessings to each of you - Jerry, Carol and Teddy

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Wandering With The Wrights
May 7th, 2017

In our last post we were heading to Red Bay, Alabama where our Tiffin Motorhome was made for some annual preventative work.

Jerry and the maintenance men checking everything underneath - it is very impressive to watch that huge machine lifted up in the air.
Jerry checking things out
Hard to see but there are gallons of oil draining into that bucket - they did find something wrong and we were able to get it fixed - would much rather it was discovered before it was a problem on the road.

We spent the next two nights in Walmart parking lots as we traveled North - definitely much cooler and wetter.  Arrived in Marengo, IL Thursday night and headed immediately to Elgin to meet our new grandson.  It was a fun weekend hanging with Stephen and Juliette and getting to know Vincent.  Even convinced them to go out to dinner one night so we could have him to ourselves :-)
Vincent checking Grandpa out

Nana snuggling with this cutie
Vincent and Grandpa Jerry having a serious discussion

Sunday we all went up to visit my mom - she sure loves holding her great-grandson.  I hadn't seen mom since Christmas - it was great to see her and get hugs.
Four generation picture - 70 years ago I was the baby in a shot similar to this.
Stephen and Juliette - so happy they found each other!!

The first time Vincent played with a toy - looks pretty happy with himself
 We left Monday morning and drove 60 miles to Illinois Beach State Park where we will spend the summer camp hosting.

Our home for the summer
We have a sand dune separating us from beautiful Lake Michigan
We also get to see lots of deer - especially during the week when the campground is pretty empty of campers
Since we arrived a week ago we have seen my mom several times, visited other friends and family, joined a couples bible study and joined the health club here at the park, received computer training on the software here at the park and attended a mandatory host meeting.  This morning we attended church at our home church - Gurnee Community.  It has been so awesome to see everyone.
We will be working at the campground Mon. - Wed. from 7:30am - 12:30pm.

Unless something exciting happens there won't be as many blogs this summer as life will be pretty much status quo.  If you live in the area we would love for you to stop by!!

Hugs and Blessings until next time - - - - - -

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Wandering With The Wrights
April 23, 2017

Hard to believe it has been two weeks since the last blog!  Much has happened :-)  

We finished the last two weeks of our 6th NOMAD project in Lake Junaluska, NC.  Even though we have enjoyed each project and loved the people we served with the beauty of Lake Junaluska is unbeatable as you will see.
We had stripped wallpaper off of a 20 x 40 conference room and all the glue it left behind had to be removed - big big job
Ceiling tiles looked bad after we started painting so decided to replace all of those also.  I unfortunately forgot to take a picture after we were done but it was beautiful!
Kay's and my arms after cover all the walls with primer.

One evening after working hard we decided we deserved a treat so headed for Jack the Dipper
They make the waffle cones individually for your order 

So the cone is still warm when they hand it to you!!

The entire team enjoying Jack the Dipper

We were told Joey's Pancake House was a must so we checked it out

It was the Friday before Easter so we were greeted by the easter bear with a tray full of jelly beans
We all agreed Joey's was a great place for pancakes!!
 Even though we had been working in various buildings for two weeks at Lake Junaluska - a Methodist Retreat Center Jerry and I hadn't had a chance to visit some of the beautiful buildings.

One of the things I loved about this area is how they use all the local stone

Beautiful chapel

Gorgeous stain glass windows in the chapel

The alter was beautifully carved

The cross that overlooks Lake Junaluska

So pretty

Love the buildings reflecting in the calm lake -

A beautiful area for prayer and reflection

Huge cross laying on the stone

View of the cross and the lake from Inspiration Point

40 years ago this July my late husband and I left Midway Island, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where we had lived for 3 years with our two sons while Dick was in the Navy.  While on the island I worked as the supply clerk for the one and only school on the island and a lady named Allison Stenson was the school
secretary.  We quickly became dear friends and enjoyed working together.  We had no contact for 39 years when we found each other on FB last summer.  

She lives a half hour from Lake Junaluska so she and her husband had us over for dinner.
These were the appetizers!!  Edible egg chicks and candy hidden under the grass

Allison laughing as we reminisced

There home is 4300 feet up in the mountains.  Unfortunately it was a cloudy day but the view was still spectacular

Allison and I saying goodbye and promising it will not be 40 years again - (cause we would both be dead - lol)
Easter Sunday found us in an auditorium for service.  Long's Chapel that we had been attending has 3 services on Sunday but for Easter they combine all three and hold them in an auditorium at Lake Junaluska. 
In my last post I mentioned the Squirrel Man that attends Long's Chapel - Easter Sunday we had a chance to meet him and take pictures.  He was delightful
Squirrel Man and Angel his friend.

Squirrel man lets the children bet Angel but he always covers his head so there is no chance of the children being bit - he is very tame but no sense taking chances.  Squirrel Man was actually part of the procession at the beginning of the service.  He came in after the cross, the pastors, etc with a cardboard sign.  Everyone in the procession went up on stage but Squirrel Man stayed down - faced the congregation and held up a sign that said on one side "I Will Rise" and then turned it over and it said "Will You".  It is hard to explain but it was very touching and emotional.  It all tied in with a video they showed prior to the service.

The procession was led by a bagpiper who stayed around after the service and played for everyone.

Our NOMADS group Easter morning

We could have gone to a buffet at Lake Junaluska but all the NOMADS decided we would rather cook and have our own celebration. 
One of the couples fixed ham in the can!

Loved the colored deviled eggs
We had a delicious meal and even had homemade apple and pecan pie for dessert.

We still had another week of work and Jerry and I painted a large hallway floor - had to scrape and sand before painting

Top part done - lower part not yet pained

After a long day of work sometimes we all need a nap 
The last afternoon Cheri and I made up a LOT of bunk beds for youth that were coming in for a retreat.

Vincent Michael telling us good morning!!
Our own little lion - Vincent

Can't wait to get my hands on this little guy

The Tuesday before we left they had an appreciation breakfast for all of the local volunteers at Lake Junaluska and they invited the NOMADS also - one of our team, Cheri, sang a solo - she has a beautiful voice.

Wednesday night Lake Junaluska treated the team to a private dinner and gave us all Lake Junaluska mugs.  Thursday night the team went out for our own farewell dinner and Friday night we went one more time to the local auction - more info in the last post.  Saturday morning we all said good-bye and headed off in separate directions. Our plan for months had been to start heading North stopping off in Dayton, Ohio at the Air Museum and then heading to Illinois.  But one of the things we love about this life style is that plans are easy to change.  4 days before leaving we read an article about a place in Red Bay, AL that does a great job on yearly maintenance we wanted done on our motorhome.  We had discussed where to have it done in IL but knew that they would keep the coach for a night or two and we would be "homeless".  This company came highly recommended and does the work in 3 - 4 hours.  We figured we would never get an appointment on such short notice but we called and they said they could take us Monday at 11:30 am which fit perfectly into our schedule because we have to be home Thursday to meet our grandson!!  So instead of going North yesterday morning we went west and south a little. We left NC, traveled to TN, then into GA, then back into TN and finally into Alabama.  We have some NOMAD friends who live in Cullen, AL.  They had invited us to spend the night at their home, they have a full hook-up sight for RV's on their property.  We got closer to Cullen then we expected yesterday so decided to give them a call and drop in for the night.  Long story short - they were at their grandson's birthday party and didn't get our call right away.  So we went to a local Walmart to either spend the night or move over to our friends if we heard from them.  We parked in the lot which was within walking distance of a barber so Jerry decided to get his hair cut.  He came back and we were just thinking about getting some dinner when our phones went off telling us of possible tornadoes and heavy hail.  We turned on the local TV and at first it looked like it was way North of us but then suddenly they were talking about where we were so we grabbed my computer, purse, and Teddy and headed for the Walmart.  They could have objected to our bringing Teddy in, who we had put in a cart, but they welcomed us in.  They wouldn't let anyone leave and instructed us all where to go to be safe.  That were very professional and courteous and obviously had been trained on how to handle these situations.  Poor Teddy was so scared - shaking really hard.  Many employees stopped and petted him and assured him we would be fine - it was so sweet.  After about 40 minutes we were allowed to leave.  It was raining hard but we didn't see any damage (until this morning when we were leaving town and we saw several large downed trees several miles from where we had been.)  While we were in the Walmart our friends Phyllis & Len called.  After getting back to the motorhome we called them back and they met us and took us to their new home.  We had some dinner and then visited with them.  Jerry, Teddy and I slept really well.  This morning we went to church with them and to Cracker Barrel for breakfast before driving the 100 miles to Red Bay, AL where our appt. is for preventative maintenance.
Our friends Phyllis & Len - they sponsored us into NOMADS - visiting in our motorhome after church this morning.

A tornado shelter along the side of the road - we are told this area has tornado's and lots of warning so there are many such shelters.

We are now in Red Bay, AL will get our maintenance done tomorrow and Tuesday leave and head North to meet Vincent, see our children, grandkids, our friends and my mom.  It will be wonderful to see everyone and get lots of hugs!!