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

Monday, June 17, 2013


So here I am one year (well the clock is 50 seconds away from striking the midnight hour, so by the time I hit the post button it will be one year and one day but who's counting at this point!) later trying to do a blog post!  A lot on seems to have changed in this year ~ what a surprise that is!

Several people have asked me over the last year what's up with the blog so let me try to explain.  For our first four and a half years on the road Sir Arlo was a HUGE part of our adventures as we traversed this great country north to south and east to west and around and around for some 40,000 or so miles.  When Arlo passed away just over a year ago my heart was just broken, the wind taken out of my sails to say the least, not sure if I posted about the total breakdown of our adventure as we tried to get back on the road the next day to fulfill a work camping adventure in VT for the summer, but that trip was a MESS, mishaps with the coach after far too many hours on the road (a better diversion that sitting in a campground crying), me ending up in the hospital etc.  Obviously, we did make it to our destination and fulfilled that commitment (that was where the last post was from!!).  Since Sir Arlo was such a BIG part of the posts I just couldn't do it with such a key player (character) missing I just didn't really see the point.  Besides that fact we really weren't traveling like we had been ~ we were in one place for four months so what was the point?  Oh do tell?  
This post will try to trace back the last twelve months and perhaps, just maybe, get me back to posting ... we shall see, we shall see..
While we were in VT we had some weekends off so we spent lots of time with family and friends away from our campsite.

Our friend Mia resting after playing ball with Rick

Two sisters creating a meal ... well one instructing one learning!
Me on the left (learning) while sister Candy (the gourmet amongst us)
is trying to instruct.

Dear friend and brother in law Jack (younger sister Kimberly's husband) being
photographed photographing!  A very tolerant man he was when the
Peck sisters got together

For the record, the sister doing bunny ears is the MOST serious of the
 three sisters ... a wild and crazy moment "baby sister" Kimmy!!

Not only did King Richard get to teach his granddaughter how to play baseball (AWESOME), he got to enjoy a game at Fenway Park with his son Patrick

We left our VT commitment just after labor day (2012) and went back to MA for a week or two to do MA doctors stuff and a final visit with family and friends before we headed to our house in FL (the one we'd bought two weeks prior to getting on the road heading north in the spring time, the one where Sir took his final romp around a yard etc.)  

While we were in MA I got to see Gillette Stadium (not for a game, still have never gone to a pro football game, still on the bucket list!), but I was so darned happy to see the stadium!

We had a couple great weekends with friends at the campground in MA

and granddaughter Paige displayed her newly found egg cracking talent ~ she was so so proud of this!

On our way south we went to Hershey PA, another one of those things I've longed to see.  Well suffice it to say glad I saw it but ... been there done that!  Love the streetlights 

and the amount of Reece's cups coming off that line was just insane for a chocoholic like me!

Next big stop ..... TAH DAH, North Carolina to son, daughter in law and grandson.  I thought it might be fun if grandson Connor helped us create a meal so Rick was overseeing the creation of homemade baked macaroni and cheese.  Not sure who made the menu decision but it was a good one I think!  Connor seemed to really enjoy being THE key player in meal preparation

The next day Rick got to be the homework watcher.  Connor is a VERY serious student (2nd grade).  He starts his homework as soon as he gets home, and he LOVES to read ... love love loves it which delights me to no end.

We continued south and stayed in the Myrtle Beach area (yet again) for a couple weeks.  When we are in the area we like to do a ride down to Georgetown an easy 50 or so miles down and a fun little town with nice restaurants and shops.  While there we spotted this boat from the outside dining are at a place we'd stopped.  Seriously how fun does this look!  Don't you just love the colors and the FUN attitude!

After we left Myrtle Beach we continued our south bound journey along route 17 (trying to avoid interstates as we sometimes do).  Along 17 there are many (like 50 plus along a maybe 20 mile stretch) of these stands selling sweetgrass baskets.  I remember seeing these stands when I was in SC in 1997 (??) when my oldest son graduated basic at USMC Paris Island and I've always been so intrigued by them (and certain I should own at least four or five of the baskets!) but it is very difficult to stop at these roadside stands when you are a 38' motorhome towing a 30' trailer (lots of things are challenging when you are that big!!)

So we continued on our way, the further south we got the less tired Rick got driving so we completed our journey in FL at a campground about ten miles from the house.  We didn't plan to pull into our property with the coach and trailer right away ... we wanted to "survey" the situation and see what shape the yard was in after our five and a half month absence!  As it turned out things were fine ... some fallen limbs/branches and tall grass but nothing major so we kept the coach at the campground but slept at the house for three or four nights then brought the coach/trailer here.  Not an easy task trying to back the trailer into it's parking spot but thankfully a neighbor helped us out with that.
We've spent a great deal of the winter back and forth (flying) to New England.  It has been a very very bittersweet winter to say the least.  We said good by to our dear brother in law Jack and we were blessed with a new granddaughter in February ....

Big sister Paige welcomes sister Claire to the world!

I was particularly proud and happy how baby Claire's quilt turned out ~ I like to think I don't usually brag about my creations, but I am really happy with this one!!

We were back in New England again in April for Jack's memorial service and to watch my younger son Chad run the Boston Marathon.  Chad was 1/2 mile from the finish line when disaster struck, we were on the same block where the second bomb went off (we'd been leaning on the mailbox where that bomb was only 1/2 hour prior to the explosion).  Chad had the emotional strength and fortitude to go back a few weeks later to complete the marathon and vows that he will run again next year!  I am still overwhelmed with the hatred involved in the event and find myself "lost in space and just zoning out" with the reality of the situation at times.

So life in FL for us looks like this ....

Below are photos of our friend (and non rent paying tenant) whom we refer to as "Tubby".  Tubby is a gopher tortoise (an endangered species here in FL) who lives on our property, as well as three other of his relatives.  We are so intrigued with him and his friends.  I wish I knew how to post videos because I've taken many!!!  Although I'm not sure how exciting it would be for anyone else to watch my tortoise videos, so perhaps it's a good thing I don't know how to post them huh!!  BUT here is a link to a very interesting video about a gopher tortoise relocation ... Cousin Bonnie Bennett I think you might enjoy this!!!

Rick went on a poker run the other day (his first in a I don't remember how many years, but I'm guessing at least six!!)  These used to be nearly weekly events for us before we retired.  This one was a fundraiser for "Boots on the Ground".  

On a brighter, much brighter, happier note .... we found out a couple months ago that ...... Connor will be a big brother (after eight and a half years!!) ... his baby brother is due mid September!!!  Congratulations Joshua (GSgt), Trisha and Connor ....

If I remember correctly, I used to close the blog posts with .... stay tuned!  It's really late (1:55 am at this point) so I'll do a quick, really quick spell check and hit the post button.

By the way, we are back on the road next week!!!  YIPPEEE......

stay tuned.........