NEW ORLEANS – LOUISIANA – ADVENTURES ON THE ROAD

May 1, 2016, our first day actually traveling in our motorhome, Steve held onto the steering wheel with all his might. I was scared, so I asked him, “Steve, are you okay with driving this? Are you worried?” No, he wasn’t worried or scared. I found out years later that it was all he could do not to freak out. No use telling me, he knew. His secret motto was: Do not let Carol Ann know anything that might make her more afraid than she already is. This worked out well for us. I had no idea he was having a tough first day of driving. We were on our way to our first destination: New Orleans, Louisiana. What we called destinations were the places we wanted to spend time. All the other places were stops along the way. Steve promised me we would take our time. I planned our trips to cover about 200 miles per day.

We stayed in six parks on the way to New Orleans, one in New Mexico, three in Texas, and two in Louisiana. We arrived at River Ridge, Louisiana, on May 20, 2016, only twenty minutes away from New Orleans. (There are no RV Parks in the City of New Orleans.)

We drove the Jeep to the great but little City of New Orleans on the 21st day of May, 2016, which was a Saturday. We found a restaurant on Royal Street that looked inviting. The name of it was Pere Antoine. It was lunch time. We ordered several items on the menu so we could try many Cajun foods, including Jambalaya. We each had a beer with our meal. We traded foods so we could taste it all.

Steve
Carol Ann

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WHO IS CAROL ANN RITCHEY – WHY THE CHANGE –

Buddy for David, the novel, was published January 1, 2014. The screenplay I have written is also entitled Buddy for David, by Carol Ann Ritchey, my new pen name.

Carol Ann Hoel was my married name when my novel was copyrighted in year 2009. The book was published January 1, 2014. I married Steve mid-year 2013. My husband whose last name was Hoel had passed away in year 2012, but I retained the pen name Carol Ann Hoel because the copyright registration says the author is Carol Ann Hoel. Steve’s last name is very long and hard to spell and pronounce; therefore, Carol Ann Ritchey is my easy-to-spell-pronounce-and-remember pen name for my screenplay, Buddy for David.

I am Carol Ann Ritchey. Who woulda thunk it?

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HOME SWEET HOME – BACK ON OUR LOT AFTER THREE NIGHTS AND FOUR DAYS AWAY – WHERE DID WE GO – TO GIANT RECREATION WORLD – THAT’S AN RV SERVICE CENTER – NOT A RESORT –

Steve washed the coach when we returned. Look how it shines!

What could go wrong that needs fixing, one might ask. Just like a house, stuff happens, but when something happens to a house, if you cannot fix it yourself, someone comes to repair it for you. An RV must be driven to a service center for repairs most of the time. There are a few mobile repair services and we use them when possible. It’s true, the RV life is not all fun and games.

We needed to replace our refrigerator, so off to the service center we did go. We thought our massive windshield would have to be removed (at great expense) to allow enough space to take out the old appliance and bring in the new, a two or three day job. We hoped to turn our inconvenience into a vacation, so we made reservations at a nice hotel in the tourist district of Orlando and dropped off our RV at Giant Recreation World in Winter Garden, Florida.

Did we forget we are still in a Pandemic? Florida is open for business, but business in the tourist area was not booming. We seemed to be alone in our hotel. Having our Jeep we were able to travel. We had put off shopping at Costco for a long time, because it is a distance away from our RV park. This seemed like the time to do it. We drove out to Costco in Altamonte Springs, shopped, and then dined at Bahama Breeze, conveniently located on the parking lot of the Mall. Would you call this a vacation? We did eat, drink, and be merry for three days. We do that all the time. (Yes. We are blessed and grateful.)

We are also very grateful to the service techs at Giant Recreation World for finding a way to get our RV back to us on time. Rather than calling on the very busy people who remove RV windshields, they found a way to make the exchange by removing the window over our couch. Tight squeeze! They took the doors off both appliances and did whatever was necessary to accomplish the job, disconnecting the old and installing the new. We are very pleased with our new Frigidaire residential-size refrigerator. AND we are glad to be back in our HOME SWEET HOME.

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WHOA – STILL DWELLING IN OUR MOTORHOME – TWO YEARS NOT TRAVELING – FINALLY HAVE INTERNET WE CAN USE – ADAPTED MY NOVEL INTO A SCREENPLAY – THAT WAS FUN – HAD A LOT TO LEARN AND LEARNED WHILE WRITING – NOW READY TO SELL – DUH – PANDEMIC – YOU GOT TO BE KIDDNIG – STILL – OUR GOD REIGNS – THE LORD IS ALWAYS GOOD –

I admit it. I forgot how to do this. If you see this post, it’s a miracle. I tried for an hour or more yesterday to prepare this. I seem to have forgotten most of what I need to know. Yesterday I was unable to insert the photo you see today, so maybe this will happen, my first post after a long absence. I can’t say it’s coming along easily.

Dining at IHOP

That’s a mask under my chin.

Steve and I are fortunate to be in Florida where we can dine out and live almost normal lives during the pandemic. We read and hear criticisms about our state, but we have not experienced those negative things we read and hear.

My dear granddaughter, mother of my great granddaughter, came down with Covid-19 right before Christmas. The first few days were awful, she said. On the third day she washed her car.

Youth, why did you leave me? I’m sure I wouldn’t have been washing my car on the third day of Covid.

I love my grand-daughter and am thrilled to see her well again and prosperous as though she had never been ill.

I’m sure I speak for all people when I say, “I want this pandemic to end.”

We are still in the same very nice park but on another lot. We will stay here another year. Maybe we’ll get a house someday. Maybe not.

We acquired our motorhome in Year 2015 in September. Since leaving our stick-and-brick home in Arizona, we have been without Internet except for the hotspot kind until a few months ago when we moved onto this lot. We have it now, which enables me to consider engaging in my blog again.

While I’m doing this, Steve is outside washing our motorhome. I am also baking a potato as I type. The potato is now done. I’ve been so absorbed in this pursuit, I forgot to prepare the pork chop to go with the potato! Lunch may be late. Okay. Here goes. I’m going to hit PUBLISH!

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Our Rocking Rolling 2018 Tour in Our Motorhome – Living Life – Like Everyone Else – Lots of Good Times – Some Trials and Tribulations – But in the End – It’s All Good – God is Good –

St. Augustine Beach Campsite – Notice the item leaning against the tree. Our Rock Guard.

How does our rock guard fit into this post? This ordinary piece of equipment played a part in changing the course of our 2018 tour. Before I explain, let me expose first, for the sake of chronology, events along the way that marked our journey this year as one to remember like one might recall a roller coaster ride.

We left Arizona after incurring a huge unexpected expense we thought would be paid for by our extended warranty. It was not. An uncomfortable beginning.

Fort Stockton, Texas, was enjoyable except for driving to an emergency room for Steve during the night after a fall an hour before dark. We found the hospital, he was thoroughly examined and dismissed, and we made it back to our campsite without a mishap. No changes in plans were necessary at this point. Steve was sore but able to drive.

We continued to San Antonio, stayed a month, during which time Steve had Mohs surgery to remove a small cancer on his face. Successful. Very good. We met with friends in San Antonio. We did the River Walk there and saw the Alamo. We met them again in Austin, where we found The Broken Spoke, a nightclub with country music and dancing. We went dancing twice. All was well. No changes in sight.

Next we traveled north to Dallas to visit family and friends. As Steve was driving the Jeep we encountered a huge spiked metal apparatus on the highway. Steve had no way to avoid it. He hit it as did three other drivers. Two new tires on our Jeep were shredded by this object. The other three drivers’ vehicles were also towed to Discount Tires where we all bought new tires. Alas! Very expensive. But all was well. No change.

Proceeding on our planned route Steve drove the motorhome south on Interstate 20 through Louisiana, stopping three times, including a stop in New Orleans. By this time we were more tired than interested in having fun. We rested in our New Orleans campground. Still no changes considered.

Next stop was Pensacola, Florida. There we had an accident in the Jeep. No one was injured, but damage to both vehicles was extensive. Thank God, Steve was able to disengage the other driver’s fender from our bumper so he could drive the Jeep. We left Pensacola according to plans since our insurance company was willing to let us have our Jeep repaired at our stop in Winter Garden, Florida, an area where my family resides. Still no changes.

On our way into Winter Garden driving on the Florida Turnpike a piece of retread tire appeared in the road in front of us. Steve could have avoided it until a car from another lane switched into our lane, hit the piece of tire, and tossed it directly in our path. As we passed over it we felt a thump from beneath. Steve checked under the coach as soon as we arrived in our Winter Garden campsite. Our generator exhaust pipe was missing. Troubles seemed to multiply.

We placed the Jeep in a shop for repairs. We were invited to spend a few days together with my family members in a beach house at Anna Maria Island on the west coast. Fun, fun, fun! After Anna Maria Island, we returned to Winter Garden and placed our motorhome in a service center for repair of the generator exhaust pipe. Both of these ongoing repairs threatened our ability to get to Steve’s son in South Carolina on time. His son had reserved his vacation for the week we would be there. It became obvious we would not be leaving on the day we planned. The Jeep repairs were not finished, nor was the exhaust pipe job completed. Now changes had to be made. We shortened our stay in St. Augustine Beach.

As seen in the photo above, our rock guard was leaning against a tree in plain view, yet we left St. Augustine Beach without it. Three days later we noticed the rock guard was missing and phoned St. Augustine Beach KOA. (We didn’t disconnect the Jeep from the tow bar for three days, thus we didn’t notice the rock guard was missing.) The owner said he would be glad to hold our rock guard until we could return to pick it up. Now we had a dilemma requiring another schedule change.

We arrived on time to visit Steve’s son and other family members. A great time was had by all, including two days at Myrtle Beach with Steve’s daughter and son-in-law. Before leaving South Carolina we would need to make some major changes in destinations. Steve gave the situation his undivided attention and came up with an extraordinary revision to our 2018 tour.

We canceled our one-month stay in Savannah, Georgia. Beside giving us time to return to St. Augustine, it saved us a chunk of cash. Yes, we were charged a fee for canceling our reservation, but we saved a good amount. We returned to St. Augustine Beach, picked up our rock guard, and had trouble with our house batteries while we were there, another large expense we would soon incur. We spent one day working on the house batteries. The very next day we heard that Hurricane Florence was headed to the Atlantic side of Florida. St. Augustine Beach is an island off the coast of Florida, and it was on the edge of the forecast cone at that time.

We left the island but not before making one more astounding change in our plans. We were booked in Panama City Beach, Florida, at the Emerald Coast RV Resort on October 11-24. We canceled this expensive two-week reservation.  Again, we paid a fee for canceling, but the amount we saved was significant. Not only did we save money and get needed rest in our winter campground, we missed having to run from Hurricane Michael. This storm made landfall in Panama City Beach on October 10, the day before we would have arrived. We had no clue about that when we changed our plans. We believe the Lord was watching out for us as He always does.

September 9 we arrived in Clermont, Florida, at Rolling Ridge RV Resort 53 days early for our winter destination, welcomed by the owner of the lot we had rented before we left Arizona. This is a beautiful park with rolling hills as its name implies. The people here are friendly. There are many social events, more and better than any others we have encountered. The scheduled events are emailed to all residents so everyone knows and is invited. We will be here at least until the end of April, 2019, living life one day at a time, thankful for the grace of God and His bountiful provision. As for our troubles, we believe as the Bible says in Romans 8:28 – All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. We look forward to a winter season with our family and our many new friends in Rolling Ridge RV Resort.

 

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So Long – So Long – Not Goodbye but Too Long not to Post – We Live the RV Life – Data Costs More than We Like – Posting Requires Data – Almost Decided to Quit Posting – Catch Up Time –

We left our Arizona campground the end of April traveling down Interstate 10 from Arizona to New Mexico, stopping for a week in Las Cruces, then on to West Texas. Van Horn was the first stop in Texas, then Fort Stockton, where the above photo was taken as Steve and I walked along the gravel road outside the campground. We stayed a week in this RV park. Desert all around as far as the eye could see. Winds that effectively blew away anything not tied down. We refer to this park as the Texas-One-Night-Stand Park because each morning RVs left in droves and each afternoon they came in one after another almost like a parade until the park was filled again. If we had nothing else to do, we could sit and watch the evacuation and infiltration unfold. Very interesting to see all the different RVs, motorhomes, fifth wheels, campers, and trailers passing by.

Life goes on while living the RV life just as it does for people living in houses and apartments. Troubles happen. Blessings abound. I won’t try to fit all the momentous stuff that happened along the way into one post, at least not this one. It’s time for me to prepare sweet potatoes for Steve to cook on the grill. While he does that, I’ll fry some Tilapia dusted in flour and Cajun spices. Life is good because God is good.

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I Opened the Shades to See the Sun Rise – Black Storm Clouds Loomed – What Would Sunrise Look Like – Would the Light Shine Through – YES – Gloom Gave Way to Bursting Shades of Purple Pink and Lavendar – Reminding Me of Troubled Times that Shrink When Grace and Truth Appear – God Is Good – Hang on When Trouble Hides the Light – Ashes Blow Away – Beauty Remains –

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Jesus quoted this scripture in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. He left out the words “and the day of vengeance of our God.” Those words pertain to another time. Jesus was introducing the day of grace that He would bring through His crucifixion. We live in the days of grace. Receive His love freely. Expect His mercy. God loves you.

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Sunrise at Van Horn RV Park in Van Horn, Texas – Small Town – Excellent Park – We Are Resting Here – Calm Blue Skies in the Morning – Motorhomes and Fifth Wheels and Campers Coming and Going Each Day – We Love It –

This is our third tour in our Motorhome. We started this one in mid-April calling it our 2018-2019 tour. It will end April 30, 2019, making this tour a few days longer than a year. (This is the plan subject to any revisions as needed.) However, from November 1, 2018, until April 30, 2019, we will be resting in our winter campground. We travel six months and rest six months, living in our motorhome, because it is our only home. We identify with the little phrase we often see in camping shops: Home is where you park it. This is true for us. You would be surprised how much anyplace can seem like home when all your stuff is with you and only your surroundings change.

Van Horn RV Park

Looking out the window
What do I see – land – and
Mountains on the horizon –
Still as castle walls –
Like stone soldiers
Intently looking down on
Brown Texas sand –
And people like me –
Looking out their windows
Admiring the trees –
And the grass – (what
Little of it there is) –
We are noticing the blue sky
Has turned to gray – but the
Mountains on the horizon –
They remain the same –

Carol Ann Hoel – Just sayin’

 

 

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Books Books – I Read – I Read – And I Wrote the Novel – Buddy for David – Key Words – Crime – Family – Hope – Despair – Adventure – Boy – Dog – Ex Convicts – Love – Courage – Victory – Rich in Action Scenes and Dialogue – Movie to Be –

Boy David Anderod

Canine Friend Buddy

Unexpected Unwelcome
Traumatic Event

Family in Distress

Bart and Kepper – Child Abduction –

Simple Prayer of Captive Boy David

Three Days in the lives of David, his family, his captors, law enforcement officers, and others not named in this ad

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Beginning Our 2018-19 Tour in our Motorhome – And the Excitement Builds – What Could Be So Exciting – For Me – Looking Out Our Windows Beholding New Surroundings – I Love It –

This is the view from the driver-side window this morning. Yesterday we looked out that same window and saw a row of empty campsites on the street in the park where we camped for 5-1/2 months. (A few weeks ago the park was full. We stayed longer than most.) Today the view has changed! I doubt that many would claim this new view was the most thrilling part of the RV life, but for me, little else is better. We will be here for only three days. We are on our way to somewhere else and linger here only to rest a few days and enjoy living the simple life.

If you are looking at this post on FaceBook, you may see only one photo. I never know which one will show, but if you click the link to my blog, you can see the entire post and photos. This is the view out the window where we have our meals. Coffee in the morning happens here before the sun rises. See the light reflecting off the Oak tree leaves (I think it’s an Oak). I haven’t seen trees outside our window in a long while. Notice the mountains in the background of the other photo. Awesome.

I have not posted in a long time. We had fun with our friends, and that was good. BUT. We both had the flu and a few weeks later I got another virus that seemed worse than the flu. AND. Our cooling system had a problem that turned out to cost us nearly $8000, which we expected our extended warranty to cover. Our expectations were not met and now we owe, we owe. Life may dish out disappointments, but our Lord never fails. We will be fine. We try to be frugal, but that’s so inconvenient! But we can do it. Sure we can.

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Blue Sky – Blue Sky – Morning Is My Favorite Time of Day –

Blue Sky – Blue Sky

Blackish blue night sky
Quiet Moonbeams cry
All through the night
Stars twinkling bright

Morning brings a splash
Of blue – The new day
Bathed in predawn dew –
Then panoramic baby blue –

Purple sky – dusky blue –
Hails the end of baby blue –
Til morning finds her way – and
Day begins anew in blue

Carol Ann Hoel
Author – Buddy for David
Novel

Photo taken in Prescott, Arizona, 2016.

When we get up in the morning, often the sun has yet to rise. Morning is my favorite time of day. As soon as a shard of light appears on the edge of our shades, I pull them up to expose the morning blue sky.

We are wintering in Arizona this year, 2018. Next year, 2019, we plan to winter in Florida and will give ourselves until November 2018 to get there. Steve and I both have family in the east. While seeing the country is our objective, visiting family we find more enjoyable than anything else. We expect to return to Arizona for the winter of 2019.

Steve and I have just recovered from a harsh virus, maybe the flu, maybe not. God is good. We are fine and will resume having fun with our friends and family soon.

 

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Bikes in Our Future – Steve Turning 80 Soon – Carol Ann 70 – We Think We Can Ride Them and Have Fun – Good Exercise – A Recap of Challenging Journey – Different from Our First Year that Happened without a Hitch –

Shopping for bikes was a project that took some time, but we have found the right bikes for us, we think.

Yes, I can mount it. In fact, I’ve been riding it. Steve also has been riding his. We plan to purchase helmets next. Very soon.

As the photo indicates, we are residing in an RV park in Arizona for this winter season. We enjoyed our 2017 tour of the country. The highlights of this year’s exciting journey are told in former posts. We experienced our share of challenges, towing a jeep with a dead battery, changing our bookings to accommodate a longer stay in Nashville, lingering longer than planned in Pensacola, Florida, avoiding bumping into Hurricane Harvey, rerouting north to dodge the storm, delay for a mechanical breakdown in Louisiana, and enduring five days of nonstop downpours as we traversed Texas ushering in the end of their drought.

This is the view from the driver side window:

This is where we will practice riding our bikes until we feel comfortable on them. We will not ride on public roads. Rest at ease, Arizona.

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Las Cruces New Mexico – Destination for Fun with Friends – Fellow RVers Meet Us Here – We Dine Together at Local Restaurants – And There Are Plenty – Steve Had Coach and Jeep Washed after Five Days of Rain and Mud in Texas – Now They Shine Again –

Here we are in Las Cruces, New Mexico, all shiny and sparkly again after wind, rain, and mud accumulated during our altered trip through Texas. We had to reroute to escape the terrors of Hurricane Harvey. Barely out of Harvey’s reach we stopped in Louisiana about 50 miles from New Orleans, where our airbag deflated and would not inflate again. This airbag was part of the brake suspension system. We were immobile until we could have it repaired. I thoroughly enjoyed the wait in that simple but adequate RV park, but Steve, not so much. He wanted to move on, which by the grace of God we eventually did.

Our arrival in Las Cruces happened several days later than we first planned. This year we discovered that sometimes we are not in total control of our world. Sometimes we must go with the flow until we can know what we know. What we know is that God loves us and has not forgotten to keep us in His loving care.  We and our friends have spent many hours enjoying the goodness of God together and loving it. All we do is eat, as some of our other friends have pointed out, but we don’t just eat. We talk, share our life stories, discuss our future plans, and drive around the city seeing the sights. What a beautiful country is the USA. How happy we are to live in it here and there and everywhere.

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Long Time No Post – Spent All Our Time Having Fun with Family – But Then Moved on and Parked Here in Louisiana – View of the Bayou – Simple but Adequate RV Park – Staying Longer than Scheduled – Again Diverging from Our Original Plan –

Here we are stuck. We moved about four feet forward and could not proceed because of a mechanical problem. Steve is working on it diligently, but we are having to change our reservations going forward, and this is not the first time this year! This is the third time we have had to make changes. Last year we made it all the way through our tour without a hitch.

The first required change happened when we received a call canceling a booking in Arkansas because of flooding. Next, an unexpected event caused us to spend more time in Nashville, Tennessee. Then we stayed longer in Pensacola, FL, than we had planned.

We had a wonderful extended time in Nashville. We met up with an old friend of mine there and spent time with them. The change in plans was a pleasant experience once we settled into the idea that we could not do what we first intended. We also enjoyed the extended stay in Pensacola while we waited to see if we would have to reroute because of Hurricane Harvey. I’m enjoying this time in Louisiana, too, in spite of the anxiety that comes with a mechanical breakdown. Steve is busy familiarizing himself with the part he hopes to install on the coach. If it is not possible, we will be here even longer getting it repaired at a service center.

New for me: We dined in Pensacola at Peg Leg Pete’s, an oyster bar. I’ve never been to an oyster bar before. This was an expensive lunch! Steve said I used to be a cheap date but no longer. Spending more time here in Louisiana, we dined at Prejean’s Seafood Restaurant that served Cajun favorites. Steve and I both had our first taste of crawfish and were delighted. We need to get back to McDonald and Taco Bell. We have blown our restaurant budget.

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Moving toward Our Next Destination – Driving a Comfortable Distance – Following Our Plan – Reaching Parks We Booked Months Earlier – Three Days to Rest – Three Days that Fly By –

Chattanooga nearby, Cleveland, Tennessee, is our stomping grounds for three days unless we choose to drive the extra distance to Chattanooga. We probably will not because we have only three days to relax and enjoy life. These are new surroundings, but home is where we park it until we leave. Steve and I went for a walk around this beautiful RV park. Today was sunny, as was yesterday, and probably tomorrow, a nice change from many rainy days in a row. When it rains, we get to hear the sound of it dancing on our roof. Some campsites are muddy in the rain and some are not. Our last spot was a mudslide, but we enjoy life even when it rains.

During our walk we stopped in the camp store to see what they had. Steve likes to send his daughter a small memento from each place we stay. He found a little windmill that looks like a sunflower. Now we must find a post office. While shopping, I asked the clerk what grocery store in the area he thought was the nicest. He paused. I told him we were looking for a full-service grocery store with excellent produce. Food City was his immediate answer. As we left the store I told Steve what he had told me. Another camper overheard our conversation and gave us his own recommendation, which happened to be the same one – Food City. He and his wife gave us their Food City card so we could take advantage of the discount from the card. We assume they knew they were finished with it. They probably will leave tomorrow.

GPS is a blessing to us as is my iPhone that gives us Google and Maps, two sources of GPS from which to choose. Using these resources we found Food City without a problem and did our shopping. We were delighted with this grocery store. It did not disappoint us one bit.

 

 

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Everyday Life for People that Live in an RV – What Could Be Better than to Wake Up in the Morning to New Surroundings yet Being in Your Own Home – It’s the Little Things in Life that Make it Okay –

Bellefonte, Ohio, RV park, not where we were the day before and not where we were three days later. We were in this town seeing whatever there was to see. Sometimes we have to drive the Jeep a little distance to find restaurants and stores in new places, but usually not too far.

What do we do all the time? We do the same things we used to do when we lived in a stick and brick home. We have coffee and cereal in the morning. I pull out meat from the freezer for our main meal, which we like to have at midday. Steve grills the meat after I get it ready for him, and I cook the sides on my propane gas range. Other days we go out for lunch like we did today. Laundry is an everyday endeavor, one or two loads. The washer and dryer are small, but that’s fine. Steve finds plenty to do outside until 4:00 when we turn on TV and celebrate happy hour at home with a beer or a cocktail.

We are in Mount Vernon, Kentucky as I write this post. This is our second day here. We went to town using the GPS on my iPhone to find the local Pizza Hut. When we got there, GPS instructed us to turn right, which Steve did, even though it didn’t look like a road or a driveway. It went straight up, almost. I was afraid we might slide backward if Steve did not keep his foot steadily on the gas. There was a gas station at the top of the first rise, then a sharp curve that took us higher yet, and another one. At the top of the knob sure enough there was a Pizza Hut! The edge of the parking lot looked like a good place to fall off the side of the mountain. Photos never show true depth. This one is no different. The incline was steeper that this photo reveals.

The restaurant is not shown in this photo. It was on the other side of the parking lot.

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Had to Share this Photo of Lake Erie Shore – We Arrived this Afternoon Greeted by a Wasp that Flew into the Small Window Used to Pay Tolls from the Driver’s Seat – Last Year Hornets Invaded the Cockpit – One Huge Wasp Was Just as Effective in Slowing Down our Progress until We Smacked it Silly and Tossed it in the Trash –

I snapped this photo while Steve was disconnecting the Jeep from the tow bar. This is the view from our campsite! Isn’t it fabulous?

We got out of bed this morning at 5:00 a.m., as we usually do when a driving day is ahead of us. We arrived here in mid-afternoon and have finally finished setting up at about 4:30 p.m. Typically, if everything goes as planned, it takes us about an hour and a half to turn our RV into our home. If any one part of the routine misfires, we end up tired when we finish. This time disconnecting the Jeep took some extra time as well as exterminating the wasp that took control of the cockpit for a short period of time. It didn’t help that a section of road work on I-75 had us moving at a crawl for about 12 minutes. I won’t complain, however, as we had a safe and successful trip.

A very nice treat happened when we pulled into a plaza on the Ohio Turnpike. We had sandwiches at Panera Bread! We rarely get to eat out on the road. Our RV towing our Jeep is too long to find a place to park at a restaurant. Our home is ready, and now we will relax, watch TV, and enjoy a snack together.

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Where Have We Been – Up to Flagstaff Arizona – Albuquerque and Santa Rosa New Mexico – Amarillo Texas – Oklahoma City – West Memphis Arkansas – Nashville Tennessee – Virginia – Pennsylvania – Long Island New York – Ohio now – Heading for Michigan in a Few Days – South to Florida, West through Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and New Mexico – Back to AZ –

Here we are pausing for a week in Streetsboro, Ohio, not far from Cleveland. This park is a beautiful place. If we were to see nothing else in this area, we would be waking up each morning to natural beauty all around us and many other campers lining the narrow streets in the campground. We look like an elephant in a hallway driving into and out of RV parks, this one being no different. Our spot is generous. Sometimes camping sites are very narrow. We are enjoying the journey. This stop is not on our destination list. By that I mean it is not a place where we intend to stay and visit family or see the sights. It’s a stop on the way. We enjoy the spots on the way. We explore our surroundings, restock our refrigerator and basement, and find a brewery or restaurant in which to spend our time and our dime.

I have failed to post as often as I wish I would have. Many of our stops were for three days only. Three-day stops are better than one-day stops, but we still feel rushed. This year we had to be rushed to make it all the way to the east coast, Long Island (where we attended a family wedding), and now Ohio, then Michigan, down to Florida, across Texas, stopping again this year in New Orleans and winding up our tour with an entire month in Las Cruces, New Mexico, then back to our winter place in Arizona. Next year we plan to plan a restful tour! We will stay on the west side of the country and book long stays. Saying we will plan and successfully planning are two different things, but we will work hard to play more and drive less on our next tour.

 

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Camping on Little Pigeon River Makes Up for Being Canceled by Our RV Park on the Mighty Mississippi – Which Flooded Her Banks This Year – Here We Are on Another Riverbank – Enjoying the View –

We arrived yesterday at 4:00 in the afternoon. We set up our campsite. Steve handled the outside work, connecting utilities, unhooking the Jeep from the tow bar, setting up our grill, and many other related chores. I unpacked our stowed items, which means I put the coffee pot back on the counter, as well as all other items that sit out and would fly across the room as we drove if not stowed away in plastic containers. Only three containers are needed to hold such items until we arrive at our destination. The entire process takes about an hour. Today was no different.

Time to explore. The name of the park being Riverside RV Park and Resort we decided there was the hint of a river running through it. It took only moments to realize the river bank was just across the way. People were settled on the shore fishing and enjoying cool breezes and their campfires as well. I took some photos at the time, but the one you see here, I snapped this morning while the sun was shedding more light.

We were disappointed when we heard about a week before we were due to arrive at our campground on the Mississippi River that our reservation had been canceled due to flooding. In fact, it was more than a little disturbing, as my thoughts were filled with images of floating cars and people in trouble. As it turned out, we were able to reserve a spot at a land-bound campground nearby. The one that canceled us was located directly on the shore of the expanding Mississippi. The flood was not so bad as I imagined, but was only an inconvenience to the park during years of high water.

Little Pigeon River runs through Sevierville, Tennessee, a city a few miles from the Smoky Mountain National Park, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, all places of interest to tourists. We will be here only three days, so we will not be seeing very much. Our trip this year is driven by the necessity to arrive on Long Island for a June wedding, a feat which leaves not much room for long stays between Arizona and New York. Nevertheless, we are having fun and living the life.

Carol Ann Hoel
Author, Buddy for David
Novel, Christian Fiction
Mystery, Suspense

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Growing – Learning – Believing – Confidence – Resting – Our Inheritance in Christ –

Living a better way now – taming the thoughts I think –
You ask – Why make a change – why not think the same –

Learning things I should have known raised my
Expectations in this life from good to astonishing –

Hearing the gospel preached clearly – Hearing plain
Talk – so good that people tend to doubt it’s true –

Emboldened me – thrilled me- challenged me –
Made me believe God’s Word – doubting nothing – believing in

Healing – power over spirits – strength to use authority –
Grace that conquers fear – confidence that endures confrontation –

Resting in Jesus’ work at Calvary  and knowing it’s finished –
Knowing every provision is ours by faith forever –

Grew into a way of life inspired by new perspective –
Why should I settle for less – This is our inheritance in Christ –

By Carol Ann Hoel © May 13, 2017

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