Wednesday, March 30, 2005

9:22 PM Wednesday March 30, 2005

Not long after we bought our motorhome back in June 2004, I wrote about what a great deal we found and because of that, we would be willing to spend whatever was necessary to cover repairs that might come along. After we brought our motorhome to Shelton we replaced the radiator, all hoses, the fan clutch and all the belts costing nearly $2,500. Recently, while in Seguin, TX we had to have a complete tune-up replacing plugs, plug wires, distributor cap; got a lube oil and filter and a new rotor and also repaired one jack that refused to come down. That came to nearly $800 and I wrote about how happy we were with the results in the blog. Well, two weeks ago in Oklahoma City, OK we were in the shop again. This time we had to replace the alternator to the tune of almost $500. In all three instances, our motorhome never quit … she just kept going and got us where we needed to go to have repairs done. We’ve been very fortunate to find qualified and honest mechanics each time and we’ve been given top priority that has put us back on the road in no time. We can add “Big O” who owns “Brakes Etc.” in OK City to our list of A-1 mechanics we’ve found in our times of need. In less than a year, we have spent $3,800 without complaint. Our new home continues to be a safe and comfortable place to live and we remain thankful for every day we can enjoy our new lifestyle.
Our motorhome waiting outside for her alternator to be delivered and installed.  Posted by Hello
"Big O", owner and mechanic at "Brakes, Etc." in Oklahoma City, OK who diagnosed and repaired our wheel estate quickly, accurately and for a reasonable price. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

8:25 PM Tuesday March 29, 2005

As of today, we have been traveling and living in our motorhome or four months. One time since we weighed anchor on this our maiden voyage, Phil took the desktop computer, (built by cousin, Randy) apart and cleaned it thoroughly. We believed it had started the annoying glitch of shutting down after running just a few minutes because it had collected a significant amount of dust inside the case. But, as it turned out, after cleaning we still had the same problem. Eventually, through the process of elimination, we figured out it was a malfunctioning GFI receptacle that was tripping the circuit and had to be replaced. Oh well, we had a nice clean computer and it has run flawlessly until a couple days ago. So, we’re going to try that again only this time, it’s the USB ports that won’t work. We’ve lost our printer connection, our ability to download pictures from the digital camera and our cordless mouse link bringing us to the conclusion … the USB port is either dirty or broken. If cleaning doesn’t fix the problem, then we may get our first lesson in replacing a part on the computer, after receiving a crash course in computer hardware 101 from Randy, of course. Unfortunately, there will be no new pictures for the blog until we solve our dilemma. I’ll keep you posted.

Friday, March 25, 2005

8:07 PM Friday March 25, 2005

Hind sights …
When we were discussing stops along our planned route last summer, one important pause was in Oklahoma City, OK. I have extended family (you met them a week or so ago in the blog) living there I wanted to spend some time with and of course, I wanted to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The Memorial honors the victims, survivors, rescuers and all who were changed forever on April 19, 1995 at 9:02 AM when the Murrah Federal Building was bombed. We viewed the Gates of Time; Reflecting Pool; Field of Empty Chairs; The Fence and the Survivor Tree then came back the next day and went through the Memorial Museum (no cameras were allowed) housed in one end of the Journal Record Building that was right across the street and still stands after some major repair and reconstruction following the blast. The entire experience was very heartrending and although terribly saddened, we were glad that we went.
The Survivor Tree , a 90 year old American Elm bears witness to the violence of April 19, 1995 and now stands as a profound symbol of human resilience. Posted by Hello
The Gates of Time frame the moment of destruction, 9:02 AM. The East Gate is inscribed with 9:01 AM, representing the innocence of the city before the attack and the West Gate represents 9:03 AM the moment when all Americans were changed forever.  Posted by Hello
168 chairs made of bronze and stone are in nine rows representing the nine floors of the building. Each chair's glass base is etched with the name of a victim and symbolizes the absence felt by family members and friends. Nineteen smaller chairs represent the children lost. The field's perimeter matches the footprint of the Federal Building and is lined by a granite path ... granite salvaged from the Murrah Plaza.  Posted by Hello
The Reflecting Pool is located where N.W. 5th street was in front of the Murrah Federal Building; the street where the terrorist parked his truck full of explosives. It is very shallow and flows gently over a narrow ledge around the edge where it is circulated back into the pool. The soothing sound has a very calming and peaceful affect.  Posted by Hello
At first the fence was installed to protect the site of the Murrah Building. Later, about 200 feet of the original fence was moved to it's present location the day of the groundbreaking for the Memorial. Eventually, over 60,000 tokens of love, remembrance and hope were collected and preserved in the Memorial archives and more are added each day. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

9:57 PM Tuesday, March 22 2005

We’ve gone as far east as we’re going this trip. Starting tomorrow, we will turn our noses west and begin the trek back to Washington. What our course will be is still somewhat undecided but we’ll make those decisions as we move along the highways and byways from day to day. We’re hoping to find some sunshine and warm weather after being subjected to cold, rain and wind for so long. Phil’s been chasing a leak in the bathroom and has slowed it down but not stopped it completely. We need to dry out so he can do some more caulking.
Joy, Phil's nephew, Rick and Phil. Posted by Hello
Back row, L to R: Richard, Amy, Mason, Tammy, Chris and Rob. Front, L - R: Dustin, Rick (Phil's nephew), Abby and Aron.  Posted by Hello
Aron and Rob's pool and house on the lake in Missouri. Posted by Hello
Aron's dock ... full of fisher-people ... some fishing, some wishing they were fishing! Posted by Hello
Sammy, Aron's cute little dog. Posted by Hello
Aron and the neighbor's pet goat "playing".  Posted by Hello
Phil and me with my cousins in OK City, OK. L to R: My cousin Larry and his wife Angela then Cheryl, wife of my cousin Bob (Larry's dad) on the right front. We had just finished a great dinner (Larry's treat!) at the Western Sizzlin, a restaurant very similar to the Golden Corral except you can get your steak to order. Yummy! Thank you Larry! Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

10:35 AM Monday March 21, 2005

NO BLOG since the 14th!!! So sorry for worrying you’all, (Can you tell I’ve been in Texas and Oklahoma for awhile?) and seeming to drop off the face of the earth until now. I guess there is really no excuse except the truth … we’ve just been having too much fun visiting with family and meeting family we’ve never seen before to have much down time for writing. Phil has taken dozens and dozens of pictures (wait until you see the goat!) and I’m looking forward to sharing those as well as telling you all about our latest adventures. This morning, we’re packing up the motorhome and moving from our quiet little RV park (so isolated there is no TV reception) in Richmond and driving south to Iola, Kansas. We will be there for a couple days and do day trips to EUREKA (no RV parks there) where I’m hoping to find and make copies from a bonanza of a paper trail left by my COX ancestors. Stay tuned! The weather (or lack of it) will be our guide from that point on as we head west and north toward Washington. Phil is pouring over the maps and the campground listings plotting our course while I’m writing this. I’m watching the southern sky out our picture window (the motorhome’s windshield) as it grows darker and the wind increases. Also, I can see the few rain drops left from the last sprinkle wondering what we will find as we move in that direction. While we planned our new lifestyle, the one thing I didn’t realize we would keep uppermost in our mind as we traveled is … the weather. Maybe we’re just scaredycats but it is a part of our life now as much as keeping the motor running and the tires inflated. Please be patient with me … I will answer the e-mails and get the blog caught up real soon!

Monday, March 14, 2005

9:20 PM Monday March 14, 2005

Yesterday, Phil's niece, Debbie took time out of her busy schedule and drove Phil and I into Dallas to see where JFK was killed back in 1963. The city has created a museum on the sixth floor of the book depository and the corner where the shooter was set up is glassed in and staged like it was found the day of the assassination. Since we all remembered the day like it happened yesterday, it was very moving to be in the same room where a $12 rifle changed the course of history for the United States of America. Outside, we were approached by a man who was selling papers and magazines retelling the story. Even though we told him we weren't interested, he proceeded to show and tell a fabulous hands on tour taking us from Dealy Plaza, across Elm Street and onto the "grassy knoll". All the while we were following him he was relating the entire episode and showing us where the witnesses who testified were standing and where the "conspirators" were supposedly holed up. He was very animated and we appreciated his discourse, especially since he remained neutral and presented both sides; the single shooter and the conspiracy theory. We're leaving Mansfield in the morning heading north to Oklahoma City, OK. The weather forecast on our travel day is not the best (rain and cold) but we'll move on anyway and hope for the best.
Phil's niece, Debbie, her husband Connie and their precocious and adorable grandson, Austin. Posted by Hello
Phil's wonderful niece, Debbie, her Aunt Joy and Uncle Phil standing on the bridge over Elm Street with the Texas School Book Depository (now a museum) in the background where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.  Posted by Hello
Texas sunset in Dallas. Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005

11:35 AM March 13, 2005

After years of saying we would come to visit someday, here we are in Arlington, Texas making good on those words. Phil’s extended family has embraced us with warm hugs, kisses and delicious food making us feel so very welcome it has been a wonderful experience for both of us! The children of his older brother, nieces, Debbie and Pam and their brothers, Lee and Rick lived with Phil’s family for several years and he feels very close to all four of them because they were more like younger siblings than nieces and nephews during his teens. Debbie’s husband, Connie is a master chef in the kitchen and has fed us like royalty since we’ve been here; really going over the top with his famous barbecued brisket at the family picnic yesterday. The entire buffet was delicious with side dishes contributed by all the other family that came to spend time with Uncle Phil and Joy. Sadly, nephew, Rick lives in Kansas so we have missed him at these get-togethers but his home in Garnett is on our itinerary when we leave Texas.
Phil's niece, Debbie and her husband Connie in Arlington, TX.  Posted by Hello
It's March 12th, 2005 and Phil is preparing to wet a line for the first time since leaving WA this past November in this slough off Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie, TX. Posted by Hello
Phil is thinking, "Okay, let's see if I remember how to do this?" Posted by Hello
Aaaaahhhh! Life is good! Posted by Hello
Phil and his nephew Lee meeting again for the first time in 33 years.  Posted by Hello
Phil's niece, Pam, her son, Triston (age eight) and granddaughter, Lexie (age four) at Aunt Debbie's house after the picnic.  Posted by Hello
Pert and pretty, Phil's great, great niece, Miss Alexis Lee (Lexie), age four. She loved Uncle Phil 'cause he taught her how to fish.  Posted by Hello
Phil's great nephew, Matt, his pretty partner, Theresa and their son Anthony (under the towel) who is camera shy! Posted by Hello