Sunday, November 08, 2009


Unfortunately, I am starting my post today with a sad report. My biological father died over 40 years ago but he had been absent from my life since I was seven years old so even though I was saddened by his untimely death (he was 54) it was not devastating. Shortly after he left my world, he remarried and had two children, a boy and a girl. His second wife passed when the little girl was very young and their grandmother, our father’s mother, raised these children. He did not marry again and as an adult I had a couple pleasant visits with him. When our father died, my half brother and sister decided to ignore my presence in his (and their) life and we became estranged. That was in 1968. I tried to communicate over the years without any luck. Thanks to my genealogy work, a cousin on my father’s side of the family has reestablished contact with me after several years and her first bit of family news was that both of my siblings have died. My half-brother last year and my half-sister just last month. Both were only 60 years old. It was a shock but for obvious reasons I am not deeply saddened, maybe a bit stunned because they were both so young. Honestly, I am more concerned because my father died from a heart attack and both of these children also died of sudden heart attacks. Without going on too much more, I have to admit I am a bit apprehensive even though my heart has been just fine in all prior tests and I will be a chipper and thriving 70 the end of this month. I wish my siblings and I had been able to solve our problems during the past 40 years but it was not to be. Hopefully, they will rest in peace.

Now, moving on to happier news. We drove The Lone Ranger to New Orleans, LA (NOLA) and had a great vacation for two days in the French Quarter where they had virtually no water damage (on high ground) and are going great guns! What a fun place but we had to admit—so wasted on old fogies like us. We had a good time even though dancing and club hopping were not on our agenda. Our advice, go to NOLA when you are young—it is a real party place!! Music coming from every doorway (shops too, not just bars), dancing and street musicians on every corner, The weather was perfect—no humidity to speak of and in the mid-70s during the day. Balmy evenings and cool nights, can’t ask for much better than that. Our hotel was on Bourbon Street in the middle of the French Quarter and was a bit noisy at night but it was good music so we just let it lull us to sleep. The food we ate while there was very good but I gave up on the oysters and switched to steak. I’ll tell you about that later. We took a three-hour city tour, which started out kinda shaky but ended up being very well done and informative.

We drove I-10 west to NOLA (good road but SO boring) but our drive home (east to Summerdale, AL) on US highway 90 was much better. Much of it was along the gulf and we got a good look at the Katrina damage and restoration going on. We are keeping an eye on Hurricane Ida … may have to make a run for it. Fortunately, our home is on wheels ;) Lots of pictures to share this week … enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. Good Morning Joy & Phil... Sorry to hear about your siblings... It is still sad! Looks like you had a great time in New Orleans... The pictures and commentary were fabulous. You made it sound so inviting that maybe we'll have to hit it on the way back next fall.
    Have fun & Travel Safely

  2. Sorry to read about your half-siblings passing.

    Stay safe from Ida - the winds here in central Florida are rocking this big ol' motor home!

  3. It is always sad to hear that a family member is gone, no matter how long it has been since you have had contact.

    Have fun and stay safe!

  4. Joy, sorry to hear about your siblings. I hope you are dry and warm. I have looked at your weather, not good. :) Thank you for your kind words on my blog. I appreciate it very much. Have a great day!

  5. Donna, Margie, Kathy and Nikki,

    Thank you for the kind words. Siblings or not, estranged or not, it is always sad when someone dies suddenly so young.

    Ida was downgraded to a tropical storm before landfall and the worst we got was some heavy rain and a few gusts of bumpy wind. All is well here in Summerdale, Alabama and thank you so much for thinking of us!

  6. Anonymous5:59 PM

    Just a lurker coming out of hiding, love to read your blog and the pictures are great, would love to do what you are doing when we retire, just don't know if we would have the funding to do it, but it looks like a lot of fun. Linda B.

  7. Linda B.
    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. We are always happy to hear from our readers and you are welcome anytime!

    Come back soon :)