Our Schedule

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Rain and getting stronger

Buena,  NJ

Weather here has been quite a contrast.  Cold, warm, dry, wet.  

Yesterday mostly wet, real wet,  The remnants of Hurricane Patricia in South Jersey.   In midst of this the usual beautiful display of changing leaves:

Entering the campground

This is an area of electric and water only.   I've only seen two rigs there for over-nighting.

We are in an area of permanent sites.  $495 a month plus electric.  Our own satellite and Internet.

Yesterday, each time I got out of the truck I faced a downpour as evident in the above picture.

Leonard is getting stronger every day.  He has physical therapy twice a day and is now able to take longer walks using the walker.   His special treat is finally being able to shower.  I am thankful for that too!    He will be coming home on Saturday but must use a walker for stability.  Thank you to my sister Debbie who has a walker to lend to him.

We look forward to getting out and about as soon as he is able.

In the parking lot of the rehab center were these fellows.  I always heard turkeys are so stupid they don't know how to get out of the rain.  This proves that theory.

Until next time.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A new knee

Buena Vista Campground
Buena,   NJ

Over the years Len has had 3 surgeries on his right knee to fix two torn meniscus.   Recently the knee has given him increased pain to the point it has been difficult for him to walk.  It was time for a total knee replacement.

We came back to NJ as our family doctor, cardiologist and the surgeon who repaired the last torn meniscus ten years ago are all here.  

His surgery was on Wednesday.   Yesterday he was moved into a rehab center.    Thursday he did well.  Only took short walks with the walker.  Friday a little more.  Yesterday more exercises and today even more.

He is now feeling the pain and exhaustion.  So am I.   I went to the rehab this morning and watched him as he exercised.   Once he got back to the room, he slept.  So I came back to the campground.  I went back this afternoon and helped him shower  (wow did  he need it).  Again he is exhausted and got back in bed to sleep.  I came back to the campground.  The last two days he has no appetite at all.  Eating very little.

Tomorrow is another day.  Hoping both the pain goes away and he gets his appetite back.

Thanks for each of you who sent well wishes.  It is much appreciated.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Back to the 50's???

Buena Vista Campground
Buena,   NJ

A few days ago we left this Thousands Trails park

and set up "home" for the next month or more here at Buena Vista Campground.  This campground is just 10 miles from the hospital where Leonard will have a total right knee replacement on Wednesday.  He is expected to spend 3 nights in the hospital and up to a week in a rehab center.

But for now, back to our time at Lake and Shore.   The past few weeks have seen sites getting ready for Halloween.   How's this for our RVing friends and family?   Cute!

Being at the Jersey Shore and not too far, we took a ride to a place made famous by the Bobby Rydell song in the 60's.

Wildwood is famous for it's 50's motif motels.   Mid October is a grand time to slowly ride the ocean front streets.  No traffic, neither vehicle or pedestrian.

What da ya say?   Nifty, cool, far out.

In these parts, everyone loves the Convenience store Wawa.   The newer ones have gas/diesel pumps.
Most look like typical gas pumps.

But not in Wildwood.  Keeping to the 50's theme.

Until next time.......

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The bottom of New Jersey

Ocean View, NJ

Sunset Beach at Cape May Point is at the southern tip of NJ.  This position allows visitors to view the sunsets with a 100% obscured horizon line.    Across the Bay is Lewes, Delaware.  

Cape May was ideally situated as a look out for enemy ships during World War II.  Still located here in a lookout tower and this bunker.

It seems like only a few years ago this bunker was surrounded by water.  But due to shifting shore lines and replenishing of the beach it is now entirely on land.  Then for a while it was only partially in water.  At that time there were picnic tables on top side and it was a favorite of fishermen.  It is now barricaded and entry is prohibited.

Due to a shortage of steel during WWI, the federal government experimented with concrete ships.  Twelve were built.  The Atlantus was launched in November 1918.  At the end of the war, steel ships were again available.  The Atlantus was sent to the bone yard in Norfolk, VA and later purchased by a salvage company.

In 1926 the Atlantus was towed to Cape May with a plan to use it as a ferry to Lewes.  However the Atlantus broke loose of her moorings during a storm and went aground.  Attempts to move her were unsuccessful.  So there she remains.  

When I was a child in the late 40's and 50's and even into the 60's she was still recognized as a ship.  She, too, was much further from the shore due to the shift of shoreline.  Not much of the ship remains.  Every time I visit the area, less is left.   Soon she will be gone, no doubt.

We did not see any the day we visited, but dolphins are plentiful in this area.  A dolphin viewing excursion.

As she is camping again right behind us, my sister, Debbie,  was with us when we drove down to Cape May last week.  September and October are definitely the best months to visit the Southern Jersey shore.    Mild weather (provided no hurricanes) and no crowds.

Cape May is a favorite site for "birders".   We could see two Eagles soaring above but they were not close enough to get a good picture.   But these pretties were aplenty.

Until next time........

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A life well lived

Ocean View,   NJ

In 1992 we moved to the small rural community of Upper Deerfield Township in southern New Jersey.  We bought a farm house built in 1850.   The house had been owned by a drug/alcohol facility about 1/2 miles up the road.  The main building at that facility once was the family home of a man by last name of Seabrook who was the founder of a large farming and frozen food company.

The first day we moved in, the maintenance manager at Seabrook House introduced himself to us. As our new house had sat empty for two years, Jim was in charge of maintenance on it.  He asked Leonard if he had ever considered doing community work and invited him to come to the local firehouse and talk about joining.  Len went and joined.

On his first call, Len rushed to the firehouse.  Not knowing the area, he asked a man headed to the fire if he could ride with him.  The man told him that since he didn't know him, no.  Leonard followed the man in his own truck.

But Len quickly got to know Calvin.  It seemed everyone in the township knew Calvin.   Calvin worked for a small family owned grocery store for 30 years until it closed in the late 90s.   Calvin was illiterate.  However, he had a way with people that many people considered "slow" often have. Keeping a constant smile on his face.

He was dedicated to Seabrook Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company and would remain that way his entire life.  He could always be counted on.  Once the men returned from a call and quite a while later someone asked, Where is Calvin?  He had been told to stay at the corner until relieved.  That he did.  Long after the situation was over.  Another time Len, as assistant chief, placed him down the road from a scene and told him "Don't let anyone through"   Once again he did as told......stopping the State Police with lights flashing, telling the officer he couldn't go any further.

Calvin never married.  Had no children.  He was one of ten children  His other family were the firefighters.  When he lost his job, Chief Jim got him on Social Security and handled his money for him.  When Jim moved and resigned, another responsible firefighter took over and assured Calvin had a place to live, a vehicle and other necessities.   Calvin earned extra spending money by an agreement with the Fire Company.  They had build a banquet hall.  They paid Calvin to attend each function.   In the contract the people renting the hall had to agree to feed Calvin.  Most also gave him a tip.   He made sure the place was always clean when the renters left.  He loved this responsibility.

We got a call from former Chief Neher a few months ago.  Calvin was dying of cancer.  His one vice were his cigarettes.  Lung cancer.  Only a couple of months to live.

He died while we were in Michigan last week.  We were thankful to be back in the area on Tuesday to attend the services.  

A testament to the love the entire community had for Calvin.   Crowds at the funeral home.   Long lines going to the grave site.

As befitting a person so dedicated to his friends and community, Calvin's body was transported to the cemetery on a firetruck.

A final drive by the station.

Entering the cemetery

Nearing  his final resting place

An emotional "final call".

A modest man with little education.  But always, always a smile on his face.  So many children in the township will always remember Santa sitting on the back of a firetruck and waving to them on Christmas eve.   The rest of us are reminded that it's not those material things or status that really matter,  It's really about having compassion and love in our hearts.  And a smile on our face.

Rest In Peace, Calvin.  You will be missed.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

NOMADS annual meeting and beyond

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

The past week had been one of meeting new friends and giving and getting hugs from old ones.

On Friday September 5, we arrived at

Each year NOMADS  ( www.nomadsumc.org ) get together for their annual business meeting.  This year 307 members were in attendance.  There were about 150 RV's.    We not only tend to the organizations business but raise money for project funding, socialize, hear great speakers, plan for the coming year and most of all Praise God for the gifts he given to us as volunteers to show His love throughout the country.

This is our Board of Directors ( some recently installed. others serving their last day of a four year term.)

One night was a sort of pot luck and our "Tables of 8"

Each morning devotions and then business meetings drew a crowd.

Music is a big part of our celebrations

This is John and Kitty who were presented with a recognition of having worked  100 projects.

Many agencies we serve do not have the funds for materials.  NOMADS evaluate each situation and in many instances grant project funding.   At the annual meeting we hold both a silent and live auction.  The auctioneers are a sweet couple we call friends.   Wayne and Edie.  This years auction raised $40,000.

Len met his match here......    Doesn't he and Mary look spiffy!

Several seminars are held over two days.   We attend one on public safety.   Two fine officers from the local police department spoke with the attendees regarding keeping oneself safe.

All sorts of seminars are available.   We have been asked to give one next year where we will teach a few Country Line Dances.  Mary better come dressed again like she is above and ready to vine and chacha!     We have also been asked to Chair the Hospitality Committee.  Next years meeting will be in Branson.

We left Kalamazoo and Michigan Friday morning headed back to NJ as Len has doctors appointments on Monday to clear him for knee replacement in two weeks.   We were concerned about the Hurricane headed up the coast.   Driving east across I-80 in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania we met almost constant head winds.

In Ohio we saw smoke ahead.

As we got closer the smoke turned black and increased.  I was pretty sure of what that meant.  Sure enough in the west bound lane was a Motorhome almost entirely engulfed.

People were standing in back of it about 100 feet.  Neither Police nor Fire Equipment had arrived yet.  We met several as we proceeded east. We were reminded of how quickly these things burn.  Prayers for all concerned offered.

Last night we spend at Camp Walmart in Clearfield, PA.   Today we arrived at our friends driveway where we will stay until Tuesday.

We had reservations at Lake and Shore Campground near Cape May, NJ starting Sunday.  However, with the winds and water and some flooding in that area, it is closed until Tuesday.   There are some winds here and today has been cool and drizzly but we are comfy and warm in our little home.

Time for dinner.  I need not be concerned.  Dear Shirley here gave us plenty of chicken pot pie (south NJ style), mashed potatoes, limas and cole slaw.  Just have to plate up and pop in the microwave.  YUM.