Sunday, March 15, 2020

Coronatour 2020 Draws to a Close

So our Ill-fated adventure draws to a close. We’ve decided to return home what with the world seeming to melt down sound us it didn’t feel right to continue luxuriating in the sun. So we made the decision on Thursday to leave on Saturday. Now we are in north Florida with three more days of driving ahead of us before we get home.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1XOFPeNaOXxnkfI75uJylNbB969r0IzPa
Russell and I visited with Marge Guiberson (a family friend) and Alfie https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1YNSjEF9BmhAINX-660IqDkEBvrMQRb-D
I bought this cute project at Lycette in Palm Beach. It reminded me of grocery shopping with my mom. She would always say I could have one thing and I would usually choose animal crackers (for the box mostly!)

One of the reasons we chose to leave Florida is because the Spring Needlepoint Show which was to be the final stop on our tour was cancelled which was just as well since the Magic Kingdom where we were going to stay subsequently announced it was closing as well. Another reason for our premature departure (as if we needed another) was that our friends that we were going to visit in LaBelle, FL had announced to us a week earlier that they were leaving early and weren’t going to be able to see us. So that was a bummer but we were still going to go because we had agreed to teach a needlepoint class. But then when gatherings of more than a few people started to get cancelled we figured it was only a matter of time before that event would be cancelled too. So it was kind of a no-brainer to start the journey home.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1oemAKs9aliq2DNdu_ws8eiYX-bay4jky
Dinner is servedhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1YWSGRDMi5ntYhc9HyRYbYpumxgRV_PPg
My stitching station

On our last day with Russell’s mom we had a wonderful lunch together with a beautiful view of turquoise water and swaying palms (no lie). The dogs got coiffed again and we did what we’ve managed to do a fair bit of on this trip — namely needlepoint, relax, enjoy the outdoors and the pleasant weather and being away from the store. Despite some of the difficulties we’ve encountered and there were more than either of us expected we’ve still enjoyed ourselves and our new RV and being together once again ... on the road.
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1SpsfqXhFjqOoms4MO5fX_0HS0UvfK2fC
Ready to go

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Update: We Arrive

So, first off please excuse me for not having written for the past couple of days. It took me a little while to regain my sunny disposition (only kidding) But we did have a couple more “adventures” and I thought you might be growing tired of them so I decided to wait until I could share them in a spirit of good cheer. So here goes.


Now where were we? In South Carolina I do believe. So once we left South Carolina (where our parting gift was being told by the campground management — a campground that we have stayed at repeatedly over the years— that it was South Carolina state law that all dogs must be on leashes at all times — this after we had played ball with the dogs on a gigantic lawn area well removed from all the other campers for like literally seven minutes of that — after having been ratted out by a nasty-looking woman with four ill-behaved boxers who were also off-leash but inside the tiny campground pet area yet jumping like gazelles to get at our dogs) we proceeded to north Florida. Jacksonville specifically. The drive there was thankfully uneventful. The wind that had been a problem abated and the traffic wasn’t so bad so we had a good day. As for the campground Russell had warned me not to expect much. This place apparently was his third or perhaps fourth choice (this being March in Florida campgrounds are tending to the full side of the spectrum).  The “campground” was basically a trailer park/mobile home park on the less desirable side of town. However, having said that it was not as bad as that might sound even though that is indeed an accurate description of what it was. Oh, and did I mention the four lane state highway out front and the fact that the vast majority of the folks staying there were residents and not travelers? No, I thought I might have forgotten to mention that. But hey buck up you latte-drinking city slickers y’all know me, I’m down with the people — I can handle this, no problem. Heavy sigh.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1W2-S6MKV5q0eGglKsu3w2YNpFy3OCnH7
From my seathttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1p09_jowf6RbwNEj1VxCIB9ZVU-gEy6SM
Only $150 because of credit card authorization NOT because we were full!

So, that night, Russell asks me where the keys to the car are to which I confidently reply that they are in the dashboard drawer which is where he had explained to me that he wanted them kept. For sure I had put them there right after I turned off the car from re-charging the battery when we arrived at the campground (this is one of my assigned duties if you will). So we sleep and the next morning I go to get the keys so I can put the car into the proper mode for towing. Only problem is that they are not in the drawer where I had confidently declared that they would be. Strange. So I go to the car. And the door is unlocked. Also strange. Are the keys in the car? Why, yes they are! Huh. That’s really odd. Did I ...leave the car running? Did I forget to turn the car off after I turned it on to re-charge the batteries? I try to start the car. Nothing. Has the car run out of gas? Oh no! This is not good. “Uhmmm, Russell. Can you come over here for a second? You see ... the thing is ... you remember when I said the keys were ...and now it won’t ... it might be out of gas” Russell, to his credit, doesn’t freak out on me (in large part because he is pre-occupied with some other pressing matter the nature of which I cannot recall right now) but he also quickly concludes that the car is not, in fact, out of gas, but rather that the battery is dead for apparently I did not even start the car to re-charge the battery in the first place. So, my malfeasance actually preceded what I had supposed! Amazing. Usually I overestimate my degree of culpability but in this instance I actually underestimated it. Impressive.  Anyhow, we got a “jump” from a nice guy who I think worked for the trailer park but I’m not totally sure. He didn’t want to take any money but I think Russell was able to get him to accept some. I sure hope so because he helped us out but even so we were not able to get on the road until eleven because we had to wait twenty minutes to let the battery re-charge (but it was actually probably more like fifteen minutes a detail which will become important later on).

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1gYuTXqumGONFWOKMFVJDS4kXEHzdgH6aDuct tape — it’s the new band-aid!https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=18hjzsTY91gd64A19eSBV-lQpOobWzyB7
Don’t buy a new RV if stuff like this going to drive you crazy

The drive from Jacksonville to our final destination the Palm Beach Motor Coach Resort in Jupiter was stressful. For one thing the wind was back up again and this mini bus doesn’t handle too well in the wind. Russell is used to driving luxury coaches with three axles and this one only has two and it’s very top heavy plus there is a lot of play in the steering which makes keeping the vehicle in its lane in the wind a challenge. Add that to traffic and drivers who cannot maintain a consistent speed and you’ve got yourself a whole bunch of stress. But we arrived. Alive. And with our remaining nineteen fingers intact. Hah. So that’s a good thing.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ZeA8XU65GttPW-i6mTYSqu7tbh6xV6-t
Our current campsite 

The campground is nice. Most people would say it’s very very nice. And it is. But to be honest I’ve seen better. Not many mind you but still the design is kind of basic (one big loop) with lots going off on both sides and a big artificial lake in the middle complete with the requisite illuminated fountain. It’s a own/rent situation so some of the owners are beginning to invest in improving their lots with landscaping and lighting. In other places like this they have cabanas that are outfitted with all kinds of amenities or landscaping and pavers that are way over the top. Even custom golf carts. People are crazy. Anyway they can compete they will. It’s all about showing off. There is some of that here, of course, but it hasn’t gotten too out of control which now that I think about it is a good thing though if you are just dropping in I got to tell you that the out-of-control, “can you top this?” competition is pretty fun to gawk at (and criticize) for a week or so but I digress.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_q6BEeUrgvAn0xCO8nhB5Qu0S2WnSCLCNeedlepoint Land is at left — the wine store at right says it’s “Open for Business”https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1S_MH9FPjKWOpeZXBy6xXHsQ4bnYTShKB
Note temp on dashboard display — 90 degrees today

So we arrived. And it’s a nice place. Palm trees. Crabgrass. Expensive RVs. Rules. Gates. You get the picture. We are in site 37. It’s a back-in. So we have to disconnect the car. No problem. Except ... the car is dead — again. So we need a jump — again.  And we’ve only just arrived and we look like two rubes who don’t know how to properly tow a car (because if you knew how to tow a car properly it wouldn’t be dead on arrival) but never mind that sir can we just get a jump for our 2015 Subaru from your hundred thousand dollar Escalade? Idiots. But he does it and that’s great. (Later we find out from our friend that the car requires at least forty-five minutes to properly recharge the battery) 
Russell backs into the site but not before he receives a few dirty looks from the neighbors after he turns the wheel too sharply and goes way up onto the grass. Ooops. There goes that perfect landscaping. Oh well it’s Florida wait five minutes it’ll grow back. 
So, I decide to take the dogs for a walk and at some point yet another crisis develops — the mystery of the non-functioning toilet. This, although never fully expressed to me, seems to have gained a fair bit of urgency I’m guessing now from having recently been used, let’s just say. And I think we all know that I was taking a walk with the dogs, right? So ... the toilet isn’t working and it’s a crisis and Russell is on the phone with the RV manufacturer — their emergency line but all of their operators are assisting other callers please wait on the line your call is important to us and I have been ordered (and I do mean ordered) to call the RV park office to get their electrician to come. The park electrician arrives and he is clearly perplexed about how he is supposed to help with a plumbing-related situation inside someone’s coach let alone a someone who maybe is just a little bit intense and the plumber guy isn’t the sort of person who is inclined to be that helpful anyway and he may also be just a little bit homophobic too so he decides to skeedaddle PDQ. Which forces Mr. Russell to put back on his thinking cap and this time for real because it doesn’t look like the cavalry is going to be riding in to save the day anytime soon. To whit he discovers a loose wire which he unplugs then plugs back in and voila problem solved. Hallelujah.


So, that was our arrival here at the Palm Beach Motor Coach Resort. What, you may ask, have we been doing since we arrived?A legitimate question, for sure. One for which I’m afraid I haven’t a great answer. Decompressing mostly which I think we can all agree was very much needed. We’ve both been needlepointing. And we’ve gone to do some errands. I took the dogs to the dog park today. It was quite a lovely dog park too. So lucky that these places exist now. I’m telling you when I lived in Fairmount thirty years ago there was nothing. Now they have these dog parks with agility set-ups and benches and dog fountains and doggie bathing facilities. It’s amazing. So nice. Anyhow, we’ve been taking the dogs for a lot of walks. And they went to get their hair done. OMG — they looked so good afterwards. Especially Winnie! She was like a different dog. So elegant and beautiful. And Tigger was so white. They did a really nice job and they were super nice. But let me tell you two dogs (especially one that’s only a little over a year old) in a modest-sized RV is a whole lot of dog! And I’m not really used to having them around me twenty-four, seven. It’s a lot.
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1pAa-0VnM6H3MWYQFOfp-8keBe9R8UWxehttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1HHrFJcYIYadcmUdNlyRgxXJpa416oiA1https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1l73jfuyOWOkUxwxeGuIihYCwOklCtdghhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1N4A4rgKmEqWXRChUbDoYeBaSC2AIGG6M


In fact, it’s a lot of togetherness. I got to be honest. I like my space and it can be hard sometimes. But Russell is good. He puts on his headphones and he watches TV on his tablet so I can read or do needlepoint in peace and quiet and that works well for me (and I hope for him as well, at least he says it does!) But that time he says, and I agree, is sort of our “separate time” even though we may actually be physically in the same space. Also I tend to stay up later in the evening so I can read while he sleeps and he very kindly has learned how to go to sleep with me having the light on.


Anyhow back to what we’ve been doing. Today, and you will never believe this, but today we went to a needlepoint store. I know. Too ridiculous but I did not bring enough thread with me to complete my ANG project. I do not know what I was thinking. Well, clearly I wasn’t thinking or I would have brought an adequate amount. But not to worry we found a lovely store in Stuart, FL call Needlepoint Land and the owner Erin was really nice to us and I found loads of thread to finish my piece. It was so nice because we don’t always get such a warm reception at needlepoint stores. I know it’s hard to believe but there are people out there who don’t like us (even me!) and well we won’t go there but Erin was really nice and she showed us her grandmother’s needlework and her mom’s needlework and it was just amazing. So if you are ever in the Stuart, FL area, stop in to see her. It’s a nice shop and she’s a nice person. And she’s got a good selection of thread.


Well I’ve talked too much. First nothing and now all this! It’s too much. Give us a break. I know, I know. Sorry. I’ll try to keep it briefer tomorrow. Briefer. That’s a funny word. I wonder if it is a word. Maybe I should say more brief. Probably safer. I’ll try to keep it more brief tomorrow. No briefer. I think briefer. What do you think? You know what? I am going to be succinct tomorrow. There. Good night.

Sunday March 8, 2020

Not too much to report but it’s been a couple of days so I thought I better check in. The day after we visited Needlepoint Land, we visited Needlepoint Alley in North Palm Beach. Actually, they have a “new” address (I say new in quotations because they have actually been there going on two years but it was Russell and my — I?— mine? — first visit to this location) which I guess is technically not North Palm Beach But sure is close. I know, two needlepoint stores in two days? Really guys? And this is supposed to be a vacation? Hey, what can I say? I like needlepoint! And also I was in need of a solitary skein of DMC #5 Perle cotton (color 975 if you must know or was it 949) to insure that I would have enough to complete the background on this bloody belt I’ve been working on for what feels like forever. But I digress. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1a_9WFWAsEqs2dSUsmULnGvhLAuM4uZs2
The needlepoint belt project I’ve been working on for God knows how long

Of course, I couldn’t just buy one little skein of Perle cotton and Kathy, the owner, had several other items that I “needed” plus we had a real nice time visiting with her. She’s got a great shop and she’s a hard-working, business woman who has been running a successful operation in a competitive marketplace for 22 years now. If you are ever in the Palm Beach/Jupiter area be sure to visit Needlepoint Alley.


After picking up my needlepoint supplies we went to another favorite place of mine — Palm Beach Gardens Mall!! Wahooo. Oh yah! With Nordstrom’s, Saks, and Bloomingdales as anchor stores all it is missing is Nieman’s and it could be heaven. But seriously I was soooo disappointed. For one thing the place was d-e-a-d, like nobody around. And, for another thing, I couldn’t really find much that I was crazy about. Normally I have to really RESTRAIN myself but this time it was like I had to TRY. Imagine. Now, don’t cry a river for me because you know I succeeded finding some absolute pearls amidst the dross but I did let the big fish get away from me in the form of a pair of Feragamo sandals that were darn near perfect and uber classy but also obscenely expensive so shockingly reason got the best of me and I moved on. So unlike me. I hardly recognized myself.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1rsES95m6PFCLoITzyFIdjEy3uToj-VtX
If this picture is loading sideways do not ask me why for I know not. It is of the Palm Beach Gardens Mall (formerly?) known to me as Mecca

Russell has been cooking up some mighty tasty meals in the RV. He’s a master, what can I say? It’s amazing what you (he) can do in a limited space and he even says that to some degree it’s easier than in his big kitchen at home but of course I think this has also to do with the sorts of meals he chooses to prepare in one space as opposed to the other.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1wgbweg-HL6kfLmEDT2qeJ25R3ajAtq5l
Just one of the tasty meals R has been preparing

In the evenings he usually watches his programs on the tablet using his headphones while I am stitching dutifully away on my ANG (American Needlepoint Guild) project that is when we are not otherwise engaged — eeuuuww gross did I just say that? 


The dogs have been enjoying daily trips to the dog park and they have been doing so well I must say. They don’t have a lot of experience with dog parks or other dogs in general but of course they have each other and they do have some experience with other dogs but I was somewhat concerned. I needn’t have been because today they were in the park with like thirty or forty other dogs and they did fine. It is so nice to have dogs that can be trusted around other dogs. It makes life so much easier. In the past we had one Standard who didn’t like other dogs and man was it annoying.


We took the dogs over to Russell’s mom’s new place and I am happy to report that they behaved themselves and even did a good deal of charming and impressing so that was very good. They had such a fun time frolicking on the Bermuda grass with Phyllis and Hilma (Russell’s Mom’s assistant). Russell’s brother Steve was there also and he was very impressed at how intently the dogs waited for Russell when he left the room to use the bathroom. Too funny.https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=18Gwj7-2VCEiyMOcxbZ9qgmCNumWNU_w2

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1CZUNZPpCYJo-aS5GUl-Y0b4kZuUtbGiEhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1uhhpUdhReZ6bnUoP4FsZLEOidWmTwdjN

Mom-mom as we sometimes call her is looking wonderful and doing well so that is truly a gift. She treated the two of us and Steve to a lovely lunch pool- and surf-side. Unfortunately, our weather here has turned a bit unsettled, windy with mostly cloudy skies and temps in the sixties. It is due to settle down and gradually warm back up though as this new week progresses.
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1dt9PU9YDxUrMGwpA5hWbpLQFG0Lb482h
Tigger watching basketball at Mom-Mom’s

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1PCmUUR19K3-qBvYqlocK1bKMRMrntStr
Russell meets our friends Tom and Dina’s hairless cat

Today we had a terrific time with two friends we met several years ago while cruising the Mediterranean. They visit Philadelphia regularly and we, obviously, come down this way occasionally and so when we are in each other’s neck of the woods we make it a point to get together. They are lots of fun to be with and we always have a good time with them, today being no different. Actually, that’s not right. Today was different because we got to see their house and that’s always nice isn’t it? When you get to see someone’s house? You always feel like you have a better understanding of the person, who they are, and where they are coming from. So that was super nice that they felt comfortable enough with us to share their home. I was honored.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Z8uy8MCqK4uIuvU8rP_9hLlB_PHhai8wJust in case you missed it the first time!https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1mDeAGzu3Jz3DuP7KBmjqsfjIQHBimk7r
At lunch today with Tom and Dina

Ok, well once again I have rambled on way too long. I mean if you’ve made it this far God help you. I’ll check back in again real soon. Regards. S

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Minor Setback

After a somewhat fitful night of sleep (new bed and all that), I discovered at breakfast this morning that my finger, despite having been wrapped tightly last night with bandages and duct tape, had managed to bleed through and was still apparently bleeding some twenty-four hours after our driveway mishap. This concerned me greatly and I decided to take off the bandages to see what was going on and well It didn’t look too good to me so I suggested that we go to the nearest urgent care facility where I was hoping they would be able to staunch the flow of blood by wrapping it properly. 
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1YwuGS51_xqz1jbbq5zVF3gKUBi5pju5j
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1dv0JMxIluwFEu0zMz94EL6Jp-iYUBAxW
It turned out that there was an immediate care facility not too far away (5 miles) and so we went and after an hour-and-a-half plus one x-ray (no fracture) they informed me that what I really needed to do was to see a hand specialist — today. So I left there with a fist full of phone numbers to local doctors none of whom could see me today at which point I started to get more than a little frustrated. All I wanted was to get some help for my hurt finger and it seemed an impossible task. I was ready to throw in the towel and — in some truly twisted thinking known only to couples who have been in a relationship for a long time — blame it all on my husband — but then then the very same took charge of the situation by bringing me to the local emergency room where I did, in fact, receive the treatment that I needed. Namely four stitches — two of which went through my finger and two of which went through both the finger and the nail to hold it in place. I also received a small hole drilled in the nail to allow the blood that had collected to drain (it’s graphic, I know, I’m sorry). Anyhow, the whole emergency room experience took two and a half hours and then we had to go to the drug store to get my antibiotic prescription and the pain med filled so we didn’t end up back at the RV until around four. Needless to say we made no progress toward a Florida today. Russell called the campgrounds and moved our dates back a day and it wasn’t a problem (thankfully). So we are hoping to take off tomorrow a.m. come hell or high water as they say. 
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1vXLjjDv6He3ir1yJZvMkRrT8krK-XNhNhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1g1bGD0wsVAv6ebjEabTvt53DwXeWCS8e

A Better Day

Well, we made progress today — driving from Richmond, VA to Florence, SC. Russell was up bright and early and took the dogs to the campground’s pet area where Tigger was able to play with another dog — Dante — for a good long while. Then it was on the road. We encountered traffic right away but it was just rubber-necking at a pretty bad accident on the other side of the highway and for the rest of the day it was pretty much smooth sailing. We listened to The TED Radio Hour, How I Built This  , some classical, some ABBA, some disco and some “classical music playlist: sleeping” (which was heavy on the sleeping and light on the classical if you ask me).
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1HhVDln-uoCWoI1qaZVL_agUEZvjcuERz
Anyhow, we got in to our campground around three/three-thirty in the afternoon which is pretty much our preferred time of arrival. Early enough so we can chill before dinner. We’ve stayed at this campground before. It’s a former KOA with an artificial lake, some weird looking Muscovy ducks, a very small pool, palmetto palms, an A-frame office building and sandy sites. I’m sure it’s hot as heck most of the year but since I’ve only stayed here in the winter I associate it with cold, mostly unpleasant weather. Today was more of an exception to the rule as it was sunny this afternoon and in the upper fifties. Russell took the dogs and played ball with them while ai took a shower and shaved — something I was badly in need of. Let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve lathered yourself with a Glad bag on your hand in an RV shower! Nevertheless it felt good and I was definitely refreshed. 
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1j19teTz5uLBC2fz7STvGmkRCIMDRYRmC
Funny thing happened after my shower though. Russell wanted to take a shower also so I went to empty the gray tank. Naturally, I pulled the gray lever (there was a black one and a gray one  which I assumed corresponded to the black and gray tanks). So I pulled the gray one and after five minutes Russell informs me that the gray tank is still reading full. To which I responded that I didn’t know what to tell him. I opened the gray tank and that I presumed he would have to wait for the tank to reset itself. More time goes by. More questions from Russell. More annoyance from Stephen. And a still full reading on the gray tank. So finally I return to the scene of the crime. Now, let me explain one thing that I neglected to mention. The sewer hook up for this site is about a quarter mile UPHILL from where it should be. So I’m thinking maybe all the water is backed up and not emtptying because it has to go uphill? So I decide to help it along by walking the hose toward the sewer intake. Well right away I can feel there isn’t much water in the line — which is suspicious— and then when I get to the see-through part of the Jose right before it disappears down the drain I can see that the water is yellow?! Yellow! That’s not gray water! That’s black water! So I go back to the RV and I close the gray valve and I open the black valve and lo and behold the gray water tank starts emptying with a tremendous whoosh, something that had been conspicuously absent when I initially opened the gray valve. So I go to tell Russell and before I can tell him he says, “Hey, the gray water tank is going down!” Ay carumba!
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1sM2GuVP0dP_GJxmhoBKkHJpyDWqb8uaghttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ajhWKj0kJQFESPUdFs0XZfi-T9NCJ_dZ
The evening was spent working on my ANG certification project. Do not even ask me why I am doing this but doing it I am. I’m too far deep now to turn back (or at least I sincerely hope I am!) This project is just the FIRST STEP in becoming a master needle pointer and I won’t even tell you how long it has taken me to complete something that I am sure your average person blows through in a couple of months. But me? Oh no, not me. I have to complicate everything and make it way harder than it has to be. So here I am agonizing over ever laid stitch and every compensated stitch — it’s maddening! And the thing is diabolically difficult because there are all these angles which requires loads of partial stitches and of course you want to compensate them each the same way each time and blah blah blah. Russell asked me if I was having fun stitching it. The best I could come up with was: “Well, I’m working on it which is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time” But honestly now I’m wondering if that’s good enough? I suppose it’s going to have to be because this is one project I will be seeing through to the end. I’ve already made up my mind on that one. It’s kind of like the RV trip to Florida. Am I enjoying it? Well it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and I’m seeing it through to the end.
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1wBaAgIkLxszStdbOicHv68eVLuTdwgLL

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Big Day

So, today was departure day. But before I get to that a brief word about what we’ve been doing for the last few days. Mostly running around tying up loose ends. We experienced a slight setback when we hooked the car up to the motorhome. The passenger side brake light and turn signal were not operating. Fortunately we had a second cord to run between the two so we were quickly able to determine the problem wasn’t the cord because the second cord duplicated the results we obtained with the first cord. So it was off to “The Hitch Man” for us. This was the outfit that fitted out the car so that it could be towed on all four wheels. They quickly determined the problem and fixed it for us while we waited. Crisis averted because both of us had visions of having to bring both the RV and the tow vehicle to the RV dealership on the day of our departure to get the situation settled. But such was not necessary.
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Jfsro8bnpPHoaWg5rCKQ1lHWk7u_94W-
I spent a fair bit of time agonizing between which of the many, many books and needlepoint projects I was going to bring with me and which I would have to leave behind. I know this probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to you but to someone like me it’s cause for much gnashing of teeth, pulling of hair, and wasting of time. It decide I did taking four (only) needlepoint projects with me (yeah me!) but like fifteen (yikes) books (not-so-good for me).
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1jnlNnE0gfxPCUGaEP340p1CYeLe0xXvC
Once the books were packed and the needlepoint stowed, all that was left was to get anxious which I did to my usual high degree. The anxiety came as somewhat of a shock to me. I didn’t think I would get anxious about leaving and going in an RV again but I was concerned. 

So it was a relief this morning when the big day arrived. Beautiful morning. Cold and windy but sunny too. I had time to relax and enjoy breakfast but then it was nine and time to go. Russell pulled the RV out of the parking spot well only taking out a few crocuses that were in bloom but for the most part missing the garden. We hooked the car up with no issue and then I’m it was time for my “ceremony”. I had told Russell a couple of days earlier that I wanted to perform a departure ritual. I purchased a ritual-in-a-box from Amazon (smudge sticks, shell, herbs, etc.) earlier and my idea was that we would write our intentions for the trip down, make an offering of flowers/fruit/nuts, and observe a moment of silent meditation while we burned our intentions and smudge-d stick-ed around, and who the heck knows what I was thinking? I just wanted to have a little going away ritual but it didn’t really work out because it was windy and the paper wouldn’t stay lit and it was cold and we were anxious to get going and blah blah blah

And get going we did! After the requisite photo of the family in front of the new RV we headed down the driveway. I clicked the gate opener and problem one revealed itself: the gate to the trash container had blown open and was sticking out into the driveway. Both Russell and I later admitted to one another that we thought about getting out and closing it but neither of us did and instead I assured him that he had plenty of room on my side, tons in fact I think I said until whoops not only did we not have any room but we were now hard up against the gate access panel and so I got out in a panic to assess the situation and oh now now the gates were automatically closing only problem being that the tow car wasn’t completely through so I’m freaking out now because the gates are closing on the car and the RV is stuck on the access panel and ... believe it or not I am still recording   all this — and at about this time the dogs jump out and are now refusing to get back into the motorhome and I’ve managed to find the gate opener and relieved the pressure at least in regards to that problem and then Russell wrangles the dogs back into the RV and while I am pulling the gate panel away from the motor home he pulls forward and awwh shit he crushes my finger between the panel and the RV and I get a big cut and rip back my nail visciiusly and now I am bleeding profusely the RV — the brand new RV has a ten foot scratch along the side of it and we haven’t even left the driveway. So much for my bloody smudge stick!

Well, needless to say it took us awhile, and by us I mean me, to regroup from that departure especially since my finger hurt like the dickens! It still does, ensconced as it now in three layers of bandages plus duct tape to finally staunch the bleeding many hours later. The rest of today’s drive was fortunately far less eventful and who knows my smudge stick ceremony may have saved us from something far worse (don’t laugh, it’s possible). So you never know. The drive was stressful of course for Russell though as he had not driven one of these beasts for awhile and the northeast corridor isn’t necessarily the best place to re-learn. Plus it was quite the windy day and RVs plus wind are not a match made in heaven. Being giant boxes on wheels they get pushed around a lot by gusty winds and can become a challenge to keep under control.
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1XRzxqbOi1I7XWjZNJ5nXmXg6-u0p3icu

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ajjReDYD9Pun8H05Stsq_sCKU6pSUfIyhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ZjVF5YYL9n5HgN2rANikqqUGEEa1i3l1
But we arrived at our campground around two thirty to three o’clock which was pretty good considering we did encounter a couple of spots of traffic. We’ve stayed at this campground before. It’s fine for an overnight or perhaps a day or two but I wouldn’t want to stay much longer than that. It’s not that the campground isn’t perfectly adequate and they try hard it’s just that there isn’t much to do in the immediate area and I find the presence of the permanent or semi-permanent folks to be depressing . 
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_QAvhJ7QllgvmB4bKkXcWXojjIpk4Zwt
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1PE-sBcyauVBuPOWvd1l43cd1Llo4nPdN
Dinner was leftover Pizza Pie (literally a pie with pizza type fill inside — delicious) and an oatmeal raisin cookie. The dogs seem distressed about the lack of exercise but so far no opportunity has presented itself. I must try to keep my eye out for an opportunity for them tomorrow. They need it. Winnie got up in my lap while Russell was driving today and she stayed there for almost i would say forty minutes - something like that. Right now they are both in the bed with Russell and me, sprawled out acting advice if it’s the most normal thing in the world to have your two gay owners design their vacations around you and sleep in discomfort so that they may have their fears assuaged not to mention their comfort accommodated.

But they are adjusting. We are all adjusting. As nice as it is, and this RV is very nice, it’s still an RV and it’s still a tiny space to call home no matter the features. 

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