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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

RVing again Part 3

Cullman, AL

June 12

Last blog had us planning on meeting up with Daughter Terri and SIL Steve for dinner that night.  That we did but first Biscuit had to meet their dogs Cane and Jack.



Our site at Hershey Preserve Thousand Trails.  This was our 7th stay at that campground.


The next few days were spent restocking the pantry and catching up with laundry, visiting and just sitting around.    AND walking Biscuit at least 5 times daily.

June 16

Our nephew JR, wife Vadra and their son Ryan drove the 3 hour drive to visit at Terri's house.  With that visit Minie (their dog) and Biscuit got reacquainted.  All four dogs had a fun day.





June 17 

Later in the day our friends Jim and Darlene came by who were at the campground.    They had with them Jim's mothers dog as she was in the hospital following a valve replacement.




June 18

My sister, Debbie, came to the campground for a two night visit.

June 19.

Len, Debbie and I drove to Hanover, PA where whenever we are in that area we shop at some of the local factory outlets.   We buy canned goods by the case plus Hanover frozen vegetables.  We also shop at Snyders of Hanover for snack items including Pepperidge Farms cookies.

June 20.

Terri took off work, Darlene was off work and Grandson Justin took the train up from Philadelphia to Lancaster.  We all met at Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA.   Love this place.




We got our favorite Peach Salsa, Hot sweet pickles and beets and horseradish mustard.  Then it was time for lunch.



We would have stayed longer but we saw the dark clouds coming.  Len and I headed to our truck.  Shortly after Terri and Justin jumped with us to wait out the downpour.    Poor Debbie and Darlene didn't do so well.   Drenched.   Really drenched.    As Debbie had to be back to work the next day, we said our so-longs along with a few tears.  And Terri took Justin back to the train station.

That night Steve and Terri FINALLY got to meet Jim and Darlene. (Terri had met Darlene).  Dang - once again I meant to take a picture but we were having too much fun and I forgot.

June 21.

Terri, Steve, Len and I met for lunch.   Terri works from home on Fridays and Steve works in town.  At that time we said our good-byes and promises to see each other soon.

In the afternoon we drove to MD and got our granddaughters who are here with us a Alabama for a few weeks.

June 22.

Time to pull up stakes in PA and travel.   We drove over 400 miles and over-nighted in the same parking lot as we did when going north in May..

June 23.

Girls and Biscuit slept a good part of the time.





Even though it was again a bit more than 400 mile drive we arrived home just a few minutes after 12 noon.   This was because we left Virginia at 4:30 am and had a one hour time change.

It's good to be home! So much to do.  And thrilled to see our lone duck is still here.

Until next time.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

RVing Again Part 2

Hershey Preserve  Thousand Trails
Lebanon,   PA


June 5, 2019

We pulled up stakes at Sea Pines in Southern NJ and drove only about one hour to Mooch Dock in our friends driveway for a week.    When we got there, Shirley called us into the house for a much appreciated lunch.


Lyn and Shirley Mooneyham are gracious hosts who invite us to pull in and plug up whenever in the area.  They have a lovely home and busy nursery.   We thank them for their hospitality.

Len and I drove over to where I retired to see two co-workers.  Scott, Tina and I were the HR department back then.  It has grown since.

June 6

We always make an effort to have a visit with my cousin from the maternal side of the family, Sis (real name Thelma),   Sis is in her early 90's but has the energy and spark of someone half her age.  We adore her.   My sister, Debbie joined us for a late lunch in a neighboring town.   Len had the best Prime Rib he's had a years.   Again, I forgot to take a picture.

June 7

I met up with 3 schoolmates for lunch.   It's so nice to get caught up and  maybe even a wee bit of gossip.    Here is Linda, Vi and Risti.



June 8

First thing..... hair cuts.  No one cuts our hair like Kathy.   When in town, it's a must stop.

Then dinner with my sister Debbie and another cousin.   Mae is from my paternal side of the family.   Mae recently moved into a local senior complex.   She was so proud showing us her new home.   Happy for her.   This is Mae and Debbie.


June 9

First thing (after getting coffee and breakfast sandwich at WAWA) ... attendance at our previous"home church" Deerfield United Methodist in Upper Deerfield, NJ.  This is the pastor Josh.  When in the area on a Sunday, Deerfield is a must stop.  We do miss our church family from NJ.



After church we drove the 92 miles to daughter Amy's house in Maryland for dinner and a visit.  This is their pup Charlie and our Biscuit getting acquainted.  Granddaughter Charlotte was over-seeing their play.  Dang!   No picture of Abby but there will be plenty to come when she returns with us to Alabama in 10 days.


June 10

This is a special day.  It is Abby's 10th birthday and our 30th anniversary.   When we try to remember how long we've been married we think of Abby's age and add 20.

For breakfast we went to our favorite diner in the area.   We had our usual eggs, home-fries, toast, OJ, coffee and scrapple.   Don't know what scrapple is or never had it????  You are missing something!

In the afternoon we met with our Financial Planner.  Bill has worked with us for on our financials and retirement planning for 29 years.  This is one of the wisest choices we ever made.

Then at dinner..... friend Michelle, who I know from where I used to work, came to our rig for dinner.  Michelle would tend to our  dog and horses when we took vacations.   She, more than anyone I know, has a love for animals.  INCLUDING PET RATS!  EEK.  This is a lousy picture.  I should have used my camera with a flash and not my phone.


June 11

Another meal out.   My friend Linda since 1962 and I got together for a long lunch and then coffee.  As always, we had a lot of catching up to do.


This morning we got up early to take advantage of coffee and breakfast sandwich at our favorite convenience store WAWA.  If you don't live in the northeast or Florida and don't know about WAWA, you have my deepest sympathy.

Then we pulled out for the 3 hour drive to where we are now.

That makes 10 meals that I just wrote about.  Just in case you were wondering what we did while in our old hometown.

We are now camped just a few miles from my daughter Terri and SIL Steves.  We are meeting in about an hour to go out for dinner.    So scratch 10 and make it 11.

Until next time.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Brought tears to our eyes.

Upper Deerfield Twp
Cumberland County,  NJ

In 1992 Leonard and I purchased a beautiful house and 2 acres surrounded on all sides by a nursery in rural Cumberland County, NJ.   The house was soundly built in 1850.   Through the years we added two rooms, a deck, a shop, a barn and two outbuildings.  We had the original oak floors refinished.  We completely renovated one of the bathrooms.   We lovingly kept the yard and gardens.

When we retired and left to full-time RV in 2010, our daughter Terri and her husband Steve purchased the house and property from us.   They put even more hard work and funds into making the house and grounds into something to be proud of.   We, and then them, held annual yard parties where it numbered up to 125 people.  We loved doing this as did Steve and Terri.

A few years after buying the house Terri was offered a position near Hershey PA.  She accepted with the only heartbreak was leaving this house.    We understood a couple with lots of dogs purchased the property.  We saw they almost immediately built ugly fences all over the property.



After only two years we heard the house was being foreclosed.  We saw it was listed for sale.  A friend of Terri's contacted the realtor and toured the house.   She told Terri there was major damage in the house.   As we continued to check on the status, we found the house is no longer listed     The house has sat empty two years.   Today Leonard and I checked it out. We are sick.  As are Terri and Steve who did the same thing in April.

Our back yard and barn before:


And now.



Picnic area with an outhouse that was put there in the 1930's by the CCC.


What is left of that area and historic outhouse.



The deck and three-season room we added



How it looks now.  


Side of the house with flower beds and raised vegetable beds.


Now.


The fish pond Leonard and our son-in-law Scott dug.  With flower beds around it.


Where the pond was.


We have mixed feelings.  We would love to see the inside of the house but it would probably make us even more upset.    We understood the bank now owned it.   Len called a friend of ours who is the Township Construction Dept. Administrative Officer.   She says according to township records the people who purchased the house still own it.  If they own it, why would they leave it sit like this.

We still have keys.  Wondering if locks were changed.  Nope...... not worth being arrested.

Until next time.  (Provided we don't kept tempted.   How many of you would donate to our bail money.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

RVing Again....... Part 1

Sea Pines Thousand Trails RV Park
Swainton,  New Jersey

May 26, 2019

It's been a while since living in an RV.  And the first time ever having a travel companion.  Biscuit made himself at home the very first day.


He chose a bunk and has claimed it.   This is the bunk our granddaughter usually uses.  She will be joining us later this month and seems to have no problem with sharing.

We left Alabama Sunday morning May 26.   We drove north to Rural Retreat, VA (approximately 410 miles) to near the home of one of my sister's sons Jason and his family.  After finding a near-by parking lot to park for the night, my great-nephew picked us up and took us to my great-niece Emilie's HS graduation party.

This is Emilie and my sister Debbie.


May 27

The next day, being Memorial Day, it was slow moving in some areas.  One area of slow-down was to allow the uninterrupted movement of this group.


Traffic was not really heavy until the Baltimore Beltway.   I dislike in this area, especially when towing.   Not long after getting on I-95 we decided to take Route 40 up to NJ.  Another 400+ miles day of traveling.   Biscuit never complained.

Finally late in the afternoon we arrived at our friends Shirley and Lyn where we Mooch-docked for the night.  We frequent their hospitality when we need a place to park in the area where we once lived.  Shirley pulled out some burgers and salad and fed us well.  Biscuit briefly met their pit Lucy.

May 28

After a good nights sleep we drove the one hour to our current location in the Cape May, NJ area.

May 29

My sister Debbie arrived to spend this time with us.   She works about an hour away but would be here each evening.

May 31

My nephew Norman (JR), wife Vadra and son Ryan came to the campground for a visit.  And their pooch Minie.   Minie and Biscuit got acquainted.


JR and Ryan:


Leonard and Vadra:


June 1

Our grandson Justin and girlfriend Karlie came down from Philadelphia to visit for the day.  Dang.... was so busy talking and visiting I forgot to take a picture.

June 3

Our friend Kathy Clarke has a seasonal site here at the campground and she also works here during the summer months.   She and her late husband Gene, used to live across from us at a small campground for a year prior to us starting our traveling years.   We enjoyed having Kathy at our site last night along with Debbie for Tacos.  Another goof up... no pictures taken then either.

June 4

What would be a trip to the area be without a ride to the bottom tip of NJ... Cape May point.  (Right Betty Barnes?)   We loaded up Biscuit this morning for a visit.

Cape May lighthouse


Passing by the marina


Len and Biscuit on the beach


The Atlantis.   This was one of 11 concrete ships built during WW1.  She broke off from her mooring at Cape May and became stuck where she sits since 1926.  When I was a child this ship was mostly intact and was clearly a concrete ship.  The years have passed and this is all that is left to be seen.


Tomorrow we hook up and travel a bit more.

Until next time.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Big happenings in celebration of recovery.

Cullman,   AL


April of 2011 will long be remembered for the path of destruction from tornadoes that ripped through the south.   It was the 2011 Super Outbreak that hit 216 towns, killed 348 people of which 248 lived in Alabama.   In Cullman the EF4 tornado of April 27, 2011 destroyed or damaged 867 residences, 94 businesses and took the lives of 6 people.   You can see the extensive damage by Googling Cullman Tornado 2011.

We came here to visit our son and family shortly after the tornado.   We saw the damage in town and along highway 278 that was in the path of the tornado.   There are still empty lots with steps leading up to where houses once stood.  Almost eerie.

One year after the tornado, the town held a celebration of recovery.  It was to be a one time event.  However, the celebration has expanded to the point that it has outgrown the original 15 acre site in town.

We travel back roads when we head to the south end of town.  Starting last week we noticed a large plot of ground was having roads laid on it.  Our first thought was a housing development.  Each time we went by we became more curious.  It no longer looked like houses were going there. A few days ago we saw this.



Rows and rows of Porta potties.   Yes, there were lots of workers in the area, but this many?

We also noticed a couple of semi's parked a few miles away that looked to be carrying scaffolding.  We found out they were to construct a stage.


Yesterday we saw large generators sitting in the field.  And electrical work being done.  What is going on?????

Well this morning my friend Stephanie was on Facebook talking about how fast the work is progressing up the road.  I asked her what was going on.   OKAY.... now it makes sense.   Welcome to ROCK THE SOUTH.


The 15 acres no longer can accommodate the crowd so starting this year it moves to this 140 acre field.

We went by the site this morning when taking our Biscuit to the vet for a much needed bath.



They are expecting over 65,000 people to the event next weekend.  (We will be in NJ).  The headliners this year are Kid Rock,  Brooks and Dunn and Florida Georgia Line.  Plus loads of other less well known names.  In past years they had Hank Williams Jr (who used to live in Cullman) and Alan Jackson to name only two.

As of last year the event has raised over $640,000 for local charities.  Want to go?  Can you afford it?

Parking   $50.  For two days of shows:    General admission  $109.00  .   Seating $159.00.   VIP $339. (Gets you closer to the stage).  Ultimate VIP $629,  (private entrance, cocktail server, priority parking)

Want to bring own accommodations?   RV parking $650.    Tent camping  ..... sorry sold out.

Or how about Glamping for 2 people.   $1,700.  (beds, linens, private tent with electric)

Next year if you want to go but want cheaper accommodations, let's talk.  Hey, we could use the cash.

Until next time.




Saturday, May 18, 2019

He's changed our lives

Cullman,  AL


When we retired and hit the road to fulltime RV for 7 years, we sold our house in NJ to our daughter and husband.   Along with the house and property came our wonderful Labrador retriever Sparky.   He did not like coming in the house or the truck.   He was not suitable for traveling.   Terri and Steve took good care of him during his final years.  He lived to be 15.

Both Leonard and I agreed we would not have a dog while traveling but when we settled we might get a dog but it would not live it the house.

Something changed our lives!

Late on Easter, after our guests had left, I saw a dog laying on our front porch right up next to the door.   I walked out and he moved and wanted to be petted.   He appeared underfed and was full of ticks.  And he wasn't about to leave.  Except for short times when he would run the woods.


I immediately fell in love with him.  I bought dog food and Frontline.   It killed off the ticks.

 Len would not pet him or interact with him.   I sent pics to various family members.   Granddaughter Abby said his name should be Biscuit.

We found he is very low key and quiet.  EXCEPT the first few times the neighbors peacocks visited.  Howl.    And if he caught a scent of a rabbit.   He got one tapped in a hollow tree and tried for an hour to get it out.



We tried to find whom he might belong to.   We went to the local animal shelter.   They said no one had contacted them about a lost beagle.   I asked about getting him adopted.  They didn't sound promising and would not commit to how long he would be there before being euthanized.  No!

I called neighbors.   No leads there.   I put his picture out on local Facebook pages for missing animals.  Nothing.   Two people said they would take him.   We visited one man who has 4 other beagles.  We asked if he would keep him just while we visited family in the northeast starting next week.   This appeared to be a solution. He could stay there when we were gone.

We wanted to see if he was leash trained.   We got him a cheap halter.  Wasn't on him the next morning.   Got him a good halter.  Put the leash on but no walking.   We had to take him for a drag.  Tried several days. 

But all of a sudden I heard Leonard speaking about him in a different manner.  We took him to the Vet on Monday and had him scanned.   No chip.   So, Len said he needs shots.  Okay then.  He got his shots.  Doctor said he is about 3.   He had loaded up easily into the truck and laid on the back seat.   Yea, I did say that Len had said he could NEVER be in his truck

After the Vet, Len said let's get him a hammock type cover for the back seat.  So off to Pet Depot.  We got a sturdy reflective collar on which to hang his vaccination tags and a truck seat cover that protects him from falling off the seat to the floor.    As Len was paying, Biscuit and I went outside to wait (and him to do his business).   I was wondering what was taking Len so long in the store.   He came out with an ID tag with Biscuits name on it and on the other side LENS NAME AND PHONE NUMBER.    This from a man who wanted nothing to do with this dog.   Biscuit won him over big time.

It was then Len said Biscuit would be traveling with us.   And living in the house.

We gave him a bath last weekend. 



The next morning he was outside.  When he came up on the porch to me he stunk.  Was wet.  Had green gunk on him.   He had gone out to the pond and rolled in duck poop.  Geeze.

On Wednesday we had another appointment at the Vet.  He lost his manhood.  He stayed overnight and we picked him up Thursday.    We also bought a tie out cable as he will have to be tied up in campgrounds when we have him outside with us.   By Friday he had not peed nor pooed.  We called the vet.  They said to give him a tablespoon of pumpkin.    It worked.  Never heard of this before.

He now walks on a leash beautifully.   He knows to do his business outside.  One funny thing.  We go outside and he runs to the truck.  Puts his front legs on the running board.   He loves taking rides.


I had noticed he had what looked like a sore on his side.  This morning there was another and hair falling out around them.  Back to the Vet.  They are old sores where he was scraped.  So old the skin was flaking and hair falling out.   We have meds now to heal them.  Also, he's been licking a certain area since Wednesday.   So the solution.


Isn't that look pathetic?

He is unbelievably good.  Well mannered.  Smart. Calm.   (Unless he catches the scent of a rabbit)

So, we will travel.  I will get my exercise walking several times a day.  We will dote on our new family member.   He's changed our lives.   And also emptied our bank account. 

Until next time.