Sunday, November 23, 2008


After someone you love dies there is emptiness inside that permeates every conversation, every daily action and every thought you have for a very long time. She was so loved and so loving, her passing has left a big hole in our hearts and we will forever celebrate having her in our lives. Our Aunt Elaine will be missed more than we can say.

Helen "Elaine" Cahill
Elaine lost her battle with cancer on November 17, 2008. She was the loving mother of Shannon (Brad) Towle, Jonelle (Jim) Bauserman, John "Jody" Cahill and Casey Cahill; and wife of John Cahill who predeceased her on July 8, 1983. Born to George and Hazel Ellison in Glenns Ferry, Idaho on May 15, 1926 she was the beloved older sister to Beverly (Don) Eagan. [Joy’s note: Also the much-loved younger sister of four older siblings by her father’s first marriage: Violet Fisher, Ethel Swigart, Harry Ellison and Elma Anderson, who also predeceased her]. She adored her grandchildren, Justin (Crystal) Towle, Beau and Dane Bauserman, Lacey Cahill, Kelsey and Lindsey Cahill; great grandchildren Braden and Laken Towle; and her numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. She and John started their married life together in Alturas, California where she graduated from Modoc Union High School in 1945. Her favorite summer trips were to visit with her beloved classmates and friends who still live in the Alturas and Susanville area. Elaine lived most of her adult life in the Federal Way and Puyallup, Washington areas. In her later years, after retiring from United Airlines, she traveled to Yuma, Arizona during the winter months to enjoy the sunny weather and the friendship of her fellow "Snow Birds". Her large, extended family and loving circle of friends were dear to her and are invited to celebrate her life at a future date after the holidays.
I read a lot of different blogs—leave comments on many of them and really enjoy hearing about other bloggers daily lives and interests and learning from their experiences. Most of my favorites are written by other Rvers but I also read blogs written by happy and dedicated homemakers, foodies, crafters, authors, artists, and family members along with every other type of blog you can imagine. If you can think of it, there are people out there blogging about it! At this stage of my life, I avoid any that are controversial and prefer blogs that are upbeat, agreeable and instructive. All this reading does take time and using that valuable time for such a purely selfish activity pleases me very much but also lays a lot of guilt on me however, never fear—I will persevere.

In my reading adventures the other day, I saw a label (blog title) similar to this in a particular blog that gave me a good laugh and reminded me of myself so I decided to share it with you: “Even though she doesn’t have much to talk about, she didn’t let that stop her.” All week I make notes and contemplate what I’m going to write about but still worry that my mind will go blank on Sunday morning, the appointed time to begin my blog. However, it seems like once I start typing, the words are there … be they to the point or off the wall and I really identified with that statement and I’m sure some of my readers will concur.
To many it may seem that fulltime Rvers are bouncing across the country like the steel orb in a pinball machine on its roll to the bottom of the playing field but believe it or not, usually that is not the game plan. We may resist acknowledging its presence but most of us have a strategy of sorts, a semi-structured timetable if you will in order to be in certain places at certain times. What we all have in common is the freedom to choose our route according to our own individual wishes. Most of us have a “theme” or a fixed mission we will try and fit into that plan. Several of those might include National Parks, Memorials and Monuments, fishing in every state, and a variety of museums or major league ball parks. Here at Backroad Chronicles we have two. Whenever possible, we arrange our route to include some of the above but most importantly we try to include the capital city and administrative building of the states we pass through. If it is possible, we will tour and take pictures inside but often times we make these treks on the weekend (when the traffic in the city is minimal) and sometimes the building is closed. When that happens, we are content to photograph the exterior and call it good. Also, in order to search out the U. S. Post Offices in the cities and villages along our day trips we will wander off the highway in each little back road community and take a picture. This picture usually includes the town name, state and zip code but it always surprises us when we find one without these of which there have been several. Neither Phil nor I can remember when we started this file but as we unhurriedly pass through many small towns and settlements tucked away off the mainstream thoroughfares it usually adds sights and sounds in each town we might not otherwise experience. Some day I will share some of those photos with you, some are really a kick!
This past week although we are grieving, life did go on. We were invited to dinner and had a wonderful visit with Phil’s cousin Norm and his charming wife, Susanna in San Diego, Another day we went to two tapings in a row (they needed warm bodies to fill the seats) of the Dr. Phil Show in Hollywood. We also spent an afternoon at the San Diego Zoo and in between those accomplishments managed to get our laundry done. One day I will explain the ordeal we go through on “laundry day” which is all due to my obsessive compulsive behavior when it comes to the simple act of washing our dirty clothes but I will save that dissertation for a week when nothing else has happened! Lucky you!

Until next time ...


  1. Joy and Phil, we are sorry about your Aunt Elaine's passing, but as you noted, you are celebrating the joys of having had her as part of your life.

    We enjoy your blogs immensely, even if they happen to go "off the wall" occasionally.

    Have you ever gotten a picture of the post office in Muleshoe, Texas? We have that one, and will gladly email it to you if you'd like to have it for your collection. We included it in one of our blog postings earlier this year, somewhere between White Sands National Monument and Palo Verde Canyon.

    Stay well, keep blogging!

  2. Hi guys.... Sorry to hear about your aunt...It is always sad losing people we love but the memories we have keep them in our hearts... Looks like you had a lot of fun in San Diego and LA... Hopefully we will get back there one day... Right now we have had our wings clipped and will be hanging out around Pinellas County in Florida for a while... A few minor health issues... So until then my post will be full of fluff too... Have a Blessed Day...


  3. Dear Joy..Very sorry about your aunt. Yes, sadness is hard to shake.

    BTW I read the Post Office comment. Brownie and I have been photographing post offices for almost 25 years. We have volumes of them. Thank goodness for digital now :) A few years ago we decided to just get all of TN P.O. which makes nice day and weekend trips. We have not been able to do it for a couple a years, certainly hope we can again. There is actually a club!

  4. Hi Joy! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about your blog. It is realy a treasure chest of information for our future RV adventures. You write beautifully! Everything you wrote is interesting and well expressed. I loved reading through some of your posts. Sorry to hear of your Aunt's passing but in so many ways this age is our season of good-byes. Even so, you don't get used to it. I admire you and Phil for living your dream and thanks for letting me read your posting about your adventures. I'm adding you to my favorites and will be checking in on your blog from time to time if you don't mind. Be safe and God bless.

  5. So sorry to hear about Aunt Elaine's death.

  6. Thanks for saying my Grandmother was Pretty!

    That means so much to know that she touched so many lives, and that she was loved by so many.

    Justin Towle (Grandson)