January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Enjoyed the day!

Bridgeton,  NJ

As is our usual practice, one of the first things we do when we visit a town, is find the local Methodist Church.  To our delight, Zion Methodist in Freeland, MD was right around the corner from the campground.  On Sunday morning we were warmly welcomed and asked to tell them about NOMADS.  No one there had heard of the group, not surprising even though it is a mission of the United Methodist church.

Late in the afternoon, Amy, Scott, Charlotte and Abby came to the campground for dinner. Leonard grilled some great pork steaks.  We also had fresh green beans and potatoes and corn on the cob.

Charlotte was our guest for the night.   On Monday we took her to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA.

At first she was timid about going on any of the rides.   We finally convinced her to try the log ride.

This is a very mild ride.   Later we rode the log flume.  I guess she thought it was like the other log ride and she patiently waited in line until our turn.  It was not until she realized we would be going up two inclines and come down rapidly with a big splash that she cried to get off.  Too late!  So she hid her head in Grandpa's lap.  Wasn't so bad after all.

Surprisingly her favorite ride was the Sky Ride - a cable ride.  We went on it twice.  

Dutch Wonderland has lots of rides for the little ones.   She managed quite well on the little train where she had to propel it by turning the wheel.  By the end of the track, her little arms were getting tired.

Like a lot of 4 year old girls, Charlotte thinks she is a Princess.   This is a shot of her with the resident Princess.

When we got back to Amy's house, sister Abby was so glad to see us.

That all changed when we left.   We believe Abby thought she was now coming with us.   As we drove off, both girls were crying.    We will see them again in about two weeks.   We made a promise - next time we take them both of Storybook Land down near Atlantic City.

After stopping at a local restaurent for dinner, we headed back to the campground and crashed!   I was asleep by 7:30 while Len fixed himself in front of the TV.

This morning we packed up and left the campground by 8:30.

We mostly drove through heavy rains for the entire 103 miles, arriving back at Terri's shortly before 11.  The rain let up enough to let us partially set up.  About on hour or so later it ceased and now the sun is shining brightly.    We are still crashing!  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our days are full

Freeland,   MD

On Tuesday we laid my mother to rest.   The visitation and service was held in her home church, followed by the burial and reception.    It is so sad that we only see many people at occasions such as this.  We all say we will keep in touch, but it seldom happens.   

After the service, etc. we hooked up our home to the truck and left NJ about 2:00 headed to our campsite for the next week in Freeland, Maryland, about 14 miles from daughter Amys' home.    We took Charlotte with us for the drive down.  Leonard had brought her a "Princess" outfit that she found behind his chair almost the minute she entered our fifthwheel while parked in NJ.   We told her she could not open it until we got to the campsite.   She held it for most of the 2 1/2 hour drive.  She was surprisingly very patient.

Once we arrived at the campground, Charlotte sat at the picnic table playing with her gift while we set up camp.

Displays on the way to camp office.

This is a nice enough campground but as a fulltimer, could not afford to stay here often.   Also, lots of rules.  Lots and lots of rules.

We are in a beautiful section of Northern Maryland.  Rolling hills.  Lovely state parks.  A beautiful place for our daughter and son-in-law to raise our granddaughters.

Wednesday -  We went bike riding on the bike path at Eden Mill Nature Center.  Amy often takes the girls riding, pulling them in a bike cart.   I tried, could not even get started.  I had enough difficulty just pedaling myself!   The ride was about 4 miles long.  Quite a ride for someone like me who has not been on a bike in almost two years.   Then we went for a hike of about a mile to see the Falling Creek waterfall, the second tallest waterfall in Maryland.  This is not far from Amy's home in Harford County.

Thursday -  Amy and I drove about 45 minutes to Quarryville, PA to an Amish run grocery store.  Amy goes there often as they have a large selection of luncheon meats and cheeses at reasonable prices, lots of gluten free treats that are suitable for Charlotte and inexpensive canned and boxed goods (check the expiration dates!).     If I had more room for grocery storage in the fiver, I would have bought a lot more.  Leonard stayed at the house with Charlotte, Abby went shopping with us.    Once back to the house, Amy cooked dinner for all of us.

Friday -  We brought Abby back to the campground with us Thursday night.    On Friday we took her to the pool.  That girl loves the water.

In the afternoon I went with Amy to Charlotte's doctor where she got her bi-monthly shot for her various allergies.   She is on a gluten (wheat, oats, rye, barley products), egg, dairy, tomato, peanut, chocolate and apple free diet.    Again, we stayed for dinner at their house. 

Saturday - Charlotte had a morning appointment at the dentist.  After that, we met the family and kept the girls for the day.   Once more it was the swimming pool and playground.

Next to the campground is a Bison farm.   There is a sign with the days and hours available to purchase bison meat.  We very much wanted some steaks but  before we had time to get there, the sign announced they were sold out.   

Yup, it was a busy week.   These granddaughters kept us busy almost full time.   So glad to have them near as we remember the life and love of my mother.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Gathering together

Williamstown,  NJ

Yesterday my sister, brother and I and some of our children and their families got together at my brother's house to discuss funeral services, etc to be held Tuesday for our mother.   We had decided before we met with the undertaker last week that everything would be on one day and held at the Cross Keys United Methodist church.    Mom was the longest continuous member of that church.

Seated -great- nephew Bradens GF - Tori
Standing - grandson Justin, daughter Terri, SIL Steve
Back to us - my sister Debbie
Nephew Jim's wife Wanda

eatin and cookin
Cookin - Sister in law Nora
Eatin - Sister Debbie

Back to us - brother Norm
Nephews wife - Kelly
Niece Kelly
Niece Kristy
Niece Jill

We are all doing well.   

Tomorrow, after the funeral, we will be leaving for a week at Merry Meadows Campground in Freeland, MD, not far from daughter Amy's house.   Looking forward to spending time with granddaughters Abby and Charlotte.  Exactly what we need.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We let her go

Bridgeton,   NJ

My dear mother, Edythe Fowler, died shortly after noon today at age 86.

Len and I, as we have done each day for the last week, went to the hospital/rehab to visit with Mom.   We stopped in the hallway for talk to a friend of Mom's who is also a resident at the long term section of the facility where Mom had been since Saturday.     The contact person we met with two days ago regarding Hospice came up to us and told us the doctor whom we wanted to see was at the nurses station at the end of the hall.

We saw him there and walked in his direction, a distance of about 50 feet.  That quickly he was gone.  As we rounded the corner we heard and saw a commotion around Mom's room and heard someone say there was no heartbeat.     An aide stopped us and asked that we stay right there.  She got the doctor who took us into a private room.  He told us her heart had stopped and she was in full cardiac arrest.  He said if they brought her back she would be on life support.   He asked what we wanted done.

I called my brother who was having lunch two miles away.  My sister drives a school bus and could not answer the phone. 

By this time they were putting Mom in the ambulance to transport her to the hospital, which is the building right next door.    We followed the ambulance as my brother and wife pulled into the parking lot.   They took her out of the ambulance still performing CPR.   Once they got her in the ER, they came out and talked to Norm and I.  We were in agreement.   Stop all treatment.    Let her go.

She told me yesterday she wanted to die.   I told her I loved her and it was okay.   She said she was tired and loved us too.   

This is Mom last about a year and a half ago when we spent time with daughter Amy and her girls in Maryland.     Mom with Charlotte (being silly) and Abby.

That day was very special.   We had a "tea party" for us gals.

Amy came up from Maryland on Saturday and spent about two hours with her Grandmom.   Terri spent about three hours last night with her along with my brother.    We are so grateful we decided to return to NJ and arrived back a week ago.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tough decisions

Bridgeton,  NJ

Here we are still "camped" in our daughters side yard.

Some of our time has been spent at the hospital with Mom.  She is sleeping more each day.   During her waking moments she is very aware of where she is and her long term memory is excellent.  A few times I had been thinking about some people of my childhood.  She is quick remembering their names and will even add some other detail.   However, she is often depressed, anxious or fearful.    I understand this is normal.

Yesterday Len, my nephew JR and my brother Norm built a handicap ramp at Mom's house with the expectation that she will return home.     Today Len, my sister Debbie and I met with the hospital's social services director to discuss options.    No decision will be made until after I talk with the doctor tomorrow.

Over the weekend we ordered new recliners for the fiver.  We have been wanting to replace the current ones with Lazy Boy wall huggers.  The ones we have now need to sit about 18 inches from the wall to totally recline.   The wall huggers need only 4 inches of wall clearance.   As each of you know, every inch floor space in an RV is precious.    It is expected they will be ready in 6 weeks.

Today we ordered an air-ride King Pin for the fiver that will be installed this Saturday.   Towing the rig, this new truck does not give an inch.  Some of the Interstates and even other roads, can make for one jogging ride.   After traveling from Lexington, Va and arriving here, all but about 5 items actually bounced off our bedroom closet rod and were laying in a heap on the closet floor.   Now that must have taken some bouncing.  It is our hope the new King Pin will make us more comfortable and prevent damage to items inside the rig.

On the way from the hospital today, we went a different route.   What a delight when we saw this at Franklinvile, NJ a neighboring town from where I used to live.

 Looks like they moved an old train depot there, plus some track and signage.    No one seemed to be around.  There is a small public lake behind it.  Perhaps this is being used as park headquarters? 
Depending of what of doctor tells me tomorrow, we are hoping to spend next week at a Merry Meadows campground near my other daugher at Maryland.  It is only two hours from here.   We want to take the granddaughters on little day trips. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Back in NJ

Bridgeton,  NJ

We arrived back in NJ yesterday around 1.  Parked the rig in daughters yard and went to hospital to check on Mom.  She looked better than I expected.  However, today she was not doing as well.

I met with the doctor who told me Mom will not get any better than she is now.   They will send her to rehab tomorrow for a few days but there is a point where we need to decide that further hospitalizations will not help.    Then Hospice care will start and just keep her comfortable.   I don't think she realizes this is a possibility.

My brother, my sister and I need to come to an agreement on the best way to proceed.

This morning we took the truck in for it's first oil change.   Then we went shopping for Lazy Boy recliners.   We like the style and color in our rig but prefer to have "wall hugger" that take up less floor space as they do not need to be pulled out from the wall except for about 3 inches.     They had nothing suitable in separate recliners so we are considering the "love seat" type recliners.   Really need to think about this one for a while. 

We also are thinking of getting an air-ride type King Pin.   The ride with the new F350 and rig is beating us up.   On this latest trip a ceiling light over the TV fell out and broke.   Most of our clothing in the closet jumped off the rod and landed in a heap on the floor.

There is a Camping World about 20 miles from here.  We will take a ride over there tomorrow morning and ask about the King Pin and see if they suitable recliners.    Sure wish there was a custom RV furniture maker around here!

Oh - welcome to City Gal.  I tried to comment on your blog, but as with a lot of blogs, it will not accept my comments.  Just keep going in the loop with Google.  On some blogs I can post as Anonymous but yours does not list Anonymous as an option.  Looking forward to following your renovations.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Felt a need to go "home"

Lexington,  VA

My mother at age 86 is having more health concerns.   When we were in NJ for the house settlement two weeks ago, she was admitted in the hospital.    I have called her every day until Sunday.   At each call I could sense a weakening on her part.  On Sunday she could hardly talk.    Most times I called she would cry.  She is frustrated and becoming more and more depressed.    She no longer can answer her phone right next to the bed.  

So, Len and I decided to leave Houston as planned on Monday.  But instead of heading north, to return to NJ.    We left Houston 3:30 am Monday and made it to Cullman, AL to Len's sons yesterday at 5:45 pm, exhausted.     A distance of 730 miles.

We left Cullman this morning at 5:40 and planned on stopping at a rest area around 6 tonight.    We just could not make it.  We are in a campground right off I81 in Lexington.   We stopped at 4:00 pm having driven 526 miles.  We have 312 miles to go.

We agreed we needed to rest tonight, have full hookups with A/C.  

After visiting for a while with Mom and if she is doing better, we plan on staying closer to NJ, traveling no further than a 3 or 4 hour drive.     This is not the time to be RVing great distances from home.  I have to admit, I am not real optimistic as to her prognosis. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Long weekend in Houston area.

Houston, TX.

Welcome to The Good Luck Duck and Kris Watson, our new followers.   Good the find you here.

We left Louisiana Thursday morning and after a short 3 hour or so drive arrived at our friends Lola and Olans' home around 11:00 am.   We love this couple.  They are the nicest people anyone would hope to have for friends.

We got set up in their back yard near where they keep their rig.   Very comfortable here.

Tired of the frustration of using the antenna for TV reception and being in the middle of a program and losing  it, we decided now is the time to finally move to satellite.    We headed to the nearby Camping World right off I10 in Katy.

Back to the fiver to get it set up.

After lots of calls to DirecTV, Len finally got the living room TV working.  Then we realized we needed another receiver for the bedroom set.   So back to Camping World.  (Forget about the basement TV, we have that set up to a DVD player or will just watch via the antenna).   Len is still working on getting the bedroom set up to receive the satellite. 

Granddaughter Alex graduated HS on Friday night.    She lives about 35 miles from where we are staying.    To get to their house in Clear Lake, south of Houston, there is no way but in the horrendous Houston traffic.  We find all hours of the day and night, we will be sitting in traffic on I10, I610 and I45.

Alex before graduation.

What a huge class.  I estimated it to be between 775 and 800.   We were told it is the second largest graduating class in Texas.

On Saturday afternoon younger granddaughter Lindsey had a dance recital.  No flash allowed.  I did manage to get this one at the end.

Lindsey and me after the recital.

Then it was a crawfish boil!   Lots of good eats.

This morning we attended church with Lola and Olan.  This afternoon burgers on the grill, potato salad, pineapple, brownie sundaes, etc.   Tomorrow we pull out.   So far we think it will be to Lake Georgetown, north of Austin.

Still working on getting that bedroom receiver to receive!