Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


YES we are on the road again.

It was sort of an odd feeling to pack up in Middleboro (Massachusetts) on Monday morning and head out for 203 miles (I think that was the number!!)! It's been since May that we've done any real travel and it really really felt great to be back on our "adventure" ~ headed to parts unknown.

We left Middleboro around 10:00 am Monday (for whatever reason 10:00 seems to be our departure time no matter WHAT we have to do prior to "departure"). Monday we really did have a lot to do - usually the day/night before heading out we try to pack up whatever we have outside, and I try to do whatever can be done (although that seems to be minimal) inside, leaving us only disconnecting water and electric (we try to empty the grey and black tanks the night before and packing up the "sewer" stuff, thereby eliminating a chore on departure day). But, as I started to say, we did have a lot to do on Monday as we had disconnected the trailer and it was stored in a separate area of the campground so we had to go through the re-connect stuff as well as load the car. We used to, sometimes, load the car the night before also, but we just aren't comfortable with doing that lately - what if we need it in an emergency situation .... (reality check) so we don't load it ahead now.

So, yes we headed west .... and arrived at a terrific campground in Elizaville, NY (another chapter) called "Brook N Wood" - truly our kind of place .... huge sites, grass yards, quiet, peaceful, nearby restaurants, shopping if needed (within 10 miles) but most importantly quiet and very nicely maintained.

Below is an "on the road" photo .... I think (dah!!) it was somewhere along the Mass Pike in the Berkshires (which the mountains are). Every time we travel that area I am fondly reminded of when Rick bought me my bike and my maiden voyage on it was out to Great Barrington/Stockbridge, MA area .... what a great adventure that was in Arlo (yes Sir's name sake) Guthrie land .... that trip seems like so long ago! I was so frightened to travel all that way on my bike ....

Anyway, we arrived at this lovely campground mid afternoon yesterday and "set up" (in our usual sloooooooooow pace - slowed even further by high temperatures and HIGH humidity - (does she ever stop complaining about the weather?).

I was inside creating dinner when I looked out into a neighboring (distantly neighboring!!) yard and saw Mr. Woodchuck. Then I noticed two more in the yard next door. I couldn't help but ask these guys .........

"How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"
I didn't get a reply, so I stated (or questioned?) to them ....
"A woodchuck would chuck all the wood, if a woodchuck could chuck wood"

BUT, these guys just kept on eating and didn't have too much interest in me (or Sir Arlo) or the question I posed to them! HUH the nerve!
I had a real need to see the Hudson River today (have no clue why) so we traveled and traveled and finally found an "access point" (it seemed so easy looking at a map - NOT). Sir really needed some water play space ... it was quite muddy (and "they" talk about the muddy mighty mississippi ..... hmmmm) but Sir did have fun (I think) chasing sticks we threw to him. The water wasn't deep enough that he could swim at all but it did cool him off I suppose and seems to have "worn him out" as he's been laying pretty low since we got home ....

So, the photos above are Sir and Rick playing in the Hudson with the gorgeous Catskill Mountains behind ....

We are booked to be here for a week, but we are talking about extending our stay by a couple days ... this is such a great campground and there seems to be a lot to do in the area.

Plus, the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is just down the road. Rick is an airplane "aficionado" and especially biplanes. Unfortunately the place is only open on weekends and it seems that biplane rides need to be scheduled ahead of time (Rick really and truly "needs" to finally do a biplane ride - I think).

We have the "Peck Family Christmas Bar-b-que" on Saturday, so that leaves Sunday for the Aerodrome ... we need to extend our stay - we can't be doing Aerodrome and packing up to leave in the same day now could we!

We want to get the bikes out, hopefully tomorrow, and head to Woodstock and perhaps another day to Max Yasgur's Farm in Bethel (there must be an historical marker there right?), where the event was held 40 (yikes) years ago, so we really may need more time in the area.

This is how it goes - we make a "plan" ... change a "plan" .... make another "plan" then change that one too!

BUT the one thing that won't change is that we get to celebrate, celebrate, celebrate with the "PECK FAMILY CHRISTMAS BBQ" on Saturday ..... I can't wait! Shirley, you rule the planet for coming up with the event!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It is so bittersweet

We just got back from Pat and Beth's and are getting ready to start battening down the hatches around the coach in anticipation of getting on the road tomorrow morning.

Pat and Beth had a cookout with extended family and our friends Richie and Mary ~ sort of our last hoorah here for quite a while. They do great cookouts - go way overboard with too much food too many sweets, but put their hearts and soles into it - as well as lots of love and tons of work! And, "Grill Master P" is a terrific cook!

AHHHHHHHH the four of us .... - who took this picture? Beth I think - you are so good Bethie about taking the important photos! Thank you :-)
Speaking of Beth - Paige is certainly enjoying the puppet show of five little monkeys jumping on the bed! This was a glove with obviously the five monkeys, but the faces were different on each of them - Paige was very intent on watching the show and listening to the song! An incredibly alert five month old she is ~ very very aware of everything going on around her!
It was bittersweet leaving there today - we are so looking forward to getting back on the road but knowing that we won't see them until February (either in FL or NH) for Paige's first birthday is tough - and we will be missing so many stages she will be going through in that time. We have the same problem with Connor - we only see him twice a year when they were in CA and we were in MA - if Josh hadn't had his deployments I don't know if we even would have been there that often - At any rate we will miss our Muffin terribly (and of course everyone else here in New England that we got to play and visit with while we were here. But this is the life we chose and the life we are thoroughly enjoying.

Speaking of the friends and loved ones we spent time with here since May - The other night I was honored that Amy included me in a trip for her to start wedding dress shopping. How she had the patience to try on all the dresses she did is beyond me. Earlier that day I had lunch with an old friend of the Peck family. "Aunt Corrine" and my mom used to work together many years ago and one of her sons was my "best bud" in high school. Rick and I met up with him (Robert) a week ago to have an adult beverage or two. It was so so nice to "reconnect" with important people in my life that I'd lost touch with over the years ~ how wonderful this virtual world is that is such an aid in reconnecting!

That's it for now ... gotta start getting things squared away - well maybe after a short catnap?!?!

The next post will be from New York.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Muffin day

Sunday was baptism day for Paige Elizabeth L. Whelan. Above she is getting dressed in the dress Beth wore a few years ago at her own christening. The ensemble that Bethie wore didn't have booties so I made a pair for her (Paige) and embellished them with parts of Betty's (Beth's Mom) wedding dress .... it is rare that I give myself a pat on the back, but those booties were absolutely precious - I was quite proud of them. Patrick is putting them on her in the photo above but it is a lousy shot of them - don't think there is a clear shot. Above, obviously is Pat, Beth, Muffin, Beth's Mom (Betty) and yours truly.
TAH DAH ..... Ms Muffin ready for her day!!
Above is Beth's grandfather (Vovo) and Beth's Dad (Roy). Below is the Minister that did the "ceremony" and Beth's brother and Paige's new Godfather (Tim)
And below is Tim's fiance and Paige's new Godmother (Amanda)

Other things in these parts ~ we had some terrific neighbors for the weekend. Often times when we see that someone pulling in next to us with kids and a dog we are not particularly thrilled (sites in these parts are much too close together). Last Friday provided the same reaction .... We couldn't have been any more wrong with our reaction - what a delightful family we had for neighbors - Mike and Beth and their children Mikey and Noah - Noah was just the sweetest five year old ... The photo below is Mikey - I looked over on Saturday night and the kids were working on the marshmallows for their s'mores (Noah came over to ask us if we wanted one) by the time I got back from the coach Noah was no longer working on the marshmallow part - but it was a great profile around the fire ....

The fella below joined us around our fire early on Saturday - I swear he was two inches long!!!

Yesterday afternoon as Rick and I were chilling after working our butts off cleaning all the outside cabinets a tour bus came into the campground and left about 25 young teens in our backyard! Our reaction to that was similar to the reaction mentioned above about small children and dogs ..... It was so so entertaining to watch some of the princesses try to set up a tent! They finally got their three assembled with lots of help. Then came the gathering listening to rules and regulations from the councillors (or those in "authority"). We still don't know the story behind the story - who, what and where ... but thankfully when we got back to the coach around 9:00 last night it was reasonably quiet in the 'hood! And they were up and out on their day's adventure by 8:15 this morning.

Today is raining - it's been a while since we've had serious precipitation so I won't whine about it .... Rick and I (and probably Sir) are off to do a couple errands in a while then I have a couple tests later this afternoon - thought the medical stuff was over but I was able to get these scheduled here before we hit the road and medical stuff is sort of hit or miss.

Happy birthday tomorrow to my honey and to Trisha.

Friday, July 17, 2009

One of the things about friends

Is that it's just so good to be with them ... it's such a warm and sniggly feeling to hang out with pals .... two feet or four ... it's just a good thing (oh please, I was NOT quoting Martha there trust me I would NEVER quote Martha, never, ever ever!)

I had mentioned in my previous post (or perhaps the one before that) that last weekend our friends Richie and Mary (and Arlo's best friend Casey) had been here in Middleboro with us ~ above is a photo that I finally loaded from my phone to the laptop - Casey and Arlo trying to get a drink of water from the same bowl at the same time - it was pretty comical - Arlo being 89.3 pounds and Casey weighing ..... um maybe 70 pounds (???)
Friends .... last night "Moelicious" came to Middleboro to hang out with us - it was so so so much fun to spend time with her again. Maureen and I worked together for several years but prior to that Maureen and Rick's wife Nancy (Patrick's Mom) had a long long long history (fond history) that Maureen and I figured out about the second day we worked together (it was that darned Weymouth craziness - UGH I guess I was a victim of it at that point - in a GOOD way!). In addition to that (or to continue the connection I guess), Chad had done architectural drawings for a remodel of a restaurant in Weymouth that Maureen's grandfather owned many years ago, one of Rick's old stomping grounds and a place that Donna (sister of Rick's wife, Pat's Mom ~ Nancy) had worked at for quite some time, many years ago .... are y'all confused with all that? Sorry, but it is ALL good stuff .... warm, loving, good stuff.

Anyway, when Maureen (aka "Moelicious" - Rick gave her that name .... what can I say?) would visit us at this campground years ago she always delighted in the garnishes I'd do for the "vacation cocktails" I'd create for us ... example above and below. Does Maureen have the most beautiful smile or what!?! I've missed you lots Maureen and was so happy to see you last night ...
Today was a great day for us Whelan's .... Rick got on his bike to attend to a Social Security error of great significance ~ he had a great ride ... Sir and I did a couple walks around the campground, then Sir got to go swimming at a close by herring run (inactive at this time of year) then he and I went for a nice ride to the "wood man" (where we buy our campfire wood) and came home and we just "chilled" outside (well were we really chilling if it was 85 degrees - probably not but we had a great mental chill - much needed after a week that was pretty intense - too intense) and Rick returned a couple hours later and was pretty happy to just join the Arlo/Tracey chillfest!

In closing this post I am trying to fathom the things that Walter Cronkite (R.I.P.) had seen in his life, in his career .... gosh, how many events ~ wonderful, historical, awesome, sad ~ it surely ran the gamete .... what a life he had, what a career he had.

"And that's the way it is"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

No pictures, no video ;-(

Appreciated your comment Bethalene - I swear you and "Good Paul" are the only two that have stuck with me through these post "pauses". I still can't seem to upload the video (Rick told me a long time ago not to whine on the blog about my technical inability (read challenges) so I won't go there!

Rick and I have gotten through three days of labs, scans and doctors appointments. The BEST BEST BEST was yesterday when Rick's cancer doctor "cleared" him for another year.

While waiting for me to get done with my doctor Rick ran into an old friend JJ - who was more surprised to see the other I'm not sure!

This evening around our our campfire (much to Rick's chagrin ~ perhaps a topic for another "slow post" post) this evening I asked Rick how his doctor was (they have a looooooong history together) and if Dr. Carl had asked about Rick's travels (as he usually does) and Rick's reply among other things was that Dr. Carl had asked him if he had learned any new skills along the way! Isn't that an interesting question?!?! I am certain I will still be pondering that at 3:00 AM. I was trying to recall when was the last time I "learned a new skill" and I guess it would have been within the last six months (thankfully, because I was certain my mind was far beyond (and not in a GOOD way) learning ...) how to finally do a "proper" quilt binding by hand. I've been quilting for about 100 (alright maybe 35) years and finally "got it" with the binding thing!

So when was the last time YOU learned a "new skill"? I just LOVE that question.

Now with medical appointments almost over we will work on our "to do" list (see even in a motor home we have that flippin' list) ... not to mention a list of things we need to take care of in our "old area".

Speaking of our "old area" we had a WONDERFUL dinner with our former neighbors last night and I was delighted that the boys - Joe and Patrick - remembered us! I had very very VERY mixed emotions about seeing our old house ... it was in fact, bittersweet, BUT the new owner (a single guy in his late 20's or early 30's) has really done a fabulous job on the yard (he wasn't home - thankfully or not) ... he has put lots and lots of work into what I thought was a nice yard - he put me to shame .... it was so very sad to see my perennials gone - some of them had a family history - they were offspring from my Mom's gorgeous gardens, but that is a price you pay when you sell a property with gardens I guess! But the yard now is far superior to what we left! I really wanted to see inside the house because I knew from talking with him two years ago he had MAJOR plans and I really would loved to have seem the results ... Maybe it was a "blessing in disguise" that he wasn't there - who knows. I guess I will "let the mystery be". I was delighted with what I saw however, and didn't have a "nervous breakdown" over it.

That's it for this post I guess ... off to la la land (!!!!) for me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back in MA

We left New Hampshire last Friday and arrived at our "old stomping grounds". We are at a KOA in Middleboro where we often came for weekends when when we were in Whitman.

Our friends Richie and Mary and Arlo's best friend Casey were here with us for the weekend - we often camped together in the old days ... it was a great time.

This week is health week for us - lab work yesterday, Rick's scan this morning and doctor this afternoon and we both have doctor appointments tomorrow. After these appointments it is sort of hang loose and relax time. Tonight we are having dinner at our old neighbors - can't wait to see them.

Hopefully I'll get myself to the laundry room here soon. Rick discovered a major lint buildup in the dryer vent in the coach and we haven't had a chance to rectify it so until then it's community laundry areas, which is alright by me - at least it's quicker!

Below is Sir and his new toy from Snoopy. Arlo just loves this chicken. I took a couple videos of him playing with and "talking" to his chicken but can't seem to upload them ~ gonna keep trying though because it is pretty funny.

Friday, July 3, 2009

It's a bird, it's a plane


After constant rain for the last several weeks it finally happened!

A few days ago we were in Concord (in the car of course) and stopped at a restaurant in Hopkinton on the way home (actually, I think it was the day of my trip to the Concord Hospital) - check out this old Cadillac - Rick was pretty impressed!

Last weekend we went to visit my nephew and his wife and son (Owen, Jess and Brayden). Below are Rick and Brayden looking over some old (really old) Peck family photos. Brayden is quite a bundle of energy - I had forgotten how much energy and 23 month old has, but boy is he entertaining and just a funny funny little boy who LOVES his dog!

And once again, proof of what a tough life Sir Arlo has!

We are still in New Hampshire but headed to Middleboro, MA on Friday for a couple weeks before leaving New England. Rick will have his doctors appointments while we are staying in Middleboro. We will be heading to the Peck Family Christmas BBQ on August 1 then may or may not be heading to a motorhome rally in VT before heading to the Great Lakes before starting our journey south to the Keys!! Yippy, the Keys again!