Thursday April 11 Gold Canyon, Arizona
I Can Hear Clearly To-Day
Linda's legs. Linda's legs after she used a brand new razor. Remember this photo as it may be one of the last ones of Linda's legs you will see. I was informed that anymore photos of her legs such as this and this body part will be join her bu## in being banned from the Daily Journal.
I'd had my hearing aids for nearly four years, or I should say four marvelous years. I'd suffered a significant hearing loss when I was 16, but in December of 2008 I got a pair of Zounds hearing aids and my Life has been so much better ever since. Today I got a new pair with the latest technology. Happy Bob.
One of the reasons I wasn't hearing quite as well as I had been was this. Seems like the foam tip that goes in my ear that I thought I had lost, wasn't lost, it was where it was supposed to be, just not how it was supposed to be there. Sheepish Bob.
It didn't take me long to wonder whether or not it had been a good idea about the new hearing aids. When Linda mentioned washing the Explorer I could no longer pretend not to hear her, I heard her only too plainly. In the end I was happy the hearing aids worked so well, that the Explorer was nice and clean, and most importantly, that Linda was one happy girl. If I'd have known it was that easy to make her happy I'd have stopped and gotten new hearing aids last year when we were through here.
Visiting with a former coworker. Bob talks, Kay and Bruce wonder what in the world he is talking about, and Tressa thinks Bob hasn't changed a bit since she worked with him and because of that, needs a drink. Enjoying Life whenever the opportunity arises, what more can we ask.
I want to end today with the following which was part of a home page article I wrote just after I originally got my hearing aids in 2008. It was an attempt to put into words what it meant and was patterned after one of my favorite songs from way back when.
I can hear clearly now, the pain is gone,
I can hear all the sounds comin' my way
Gone is the silence that led me astray
It's gonna be a loud, loud, loud, loud Wonderful day.
Yes, it will be a loud, loud, loud, loud Wonderful day.
Oh yes, I can hear it now, the pain is gone
And all the lost meanings have disappeared
Hearin' the low sounds I'd missed before
It's gonna be a loud loud, loud, loud, loud Wonderful day.
Hear all around, there's nothin' but real sounds
Even 'round my head, nothin' but real sounds.
I can hear clearly now, the pain is gone,
I can hear all the sounds comin' my way
Gone is the silence that led me astray
It's gonna be a loud, loud, loud, loud Wonderful day.
It's gonna be a real real, real real Wonderful day.
Oh yes, Today's a real, loud, loud, loud Wonderful day.
Friday April 12 Gold Canyon, Arizona
A Relative Day
We had the coach washed today. This is Linda's attempt to take a photo of the dirty water running down the windshield. At least you can tell which company we had washing the coach. FYI the cost to wash the coach in the Phoenix area is the same as a wash and wax in the Rio Grand Valley. They said they had to wash the roof three times to get all the dirt off. Linda told them that was why we were having them wash it instead of doing it ourselves. Tough Linda. Lucky Bob.
Linda's niece Jo, and her awesome family. It was a great time visiting over pizza.
I did say pizza didn't I.
After the pizza feast Linda disappeared. Some time later three plates of cookies and ice cream appeared. In a short time the three plates of cookies and ice cream had disappeared. It had been a wonderful evening. Tomorrow we begin out trek to California, probably arriving in Sacramento by mid-week. I'll end the day with a quote from Samuel Smiles: Life will always be to a large extent what we ourselves make it.
Saturday April 13 Needles, California
A Travel Day
We have driven through Phoenix many times. I always avoid driving through the downtown tunnel by taking Hwy 60 around the south side of town.
Guess I can no longer say we always take Hwy 60 around the south side of town. At least it was Saturday morning and traffic was fairly light. A tunnel, why did it have to be a tunnel? I don't like tunnels. After we were through the tunnel, which isn't really very long, Linda turned to me and said, "Guess you took the wrong road." Truer words were never spoken. As for me, six lanes of traffic, how in the world am I supposed to pay any attention to the GPS.
One of our favorite places, Quartzsite, where we always stop. We stopped for fuel, we looked at the clock, it was 12:15, we decided to drive on to Needles for the night. Another always I can never again use. What can I say, we go where we want to go, do what we want to do, we don't have any set itinerary we have to follow. Usually.
Good Bob. Linda took a number of photos trying to get a picture of an ocotilla in bloom. Bob didn't post any of the non-ocotilla photos. Bob didn't post any of the blurry ocotilla photos. Smart Bob.
Tired Bob. Sleeping Bob. The next time Linda takes a nap it is open mouth pay back time.
Our first night at an Elks Club. A level FHU site with 50 amps in Needles.
An unexpected pleasure. Life is indeed good.
Sunday April 14 Mojave, California
A Little Wind To-Day
Today's drive was pretty straight forward, I-40, Hwy 58 and Hwy 14. It took about four hours and it went through about as much of nothing as there is. The boredom of the drive was broken on occasion by something interesting that passed us by, interesting being relative. We have never stopped anywhere along this route and today's drive drive once again confirmed why.
As we drove along we listened to an interesting audio book, then Linda got excited. It was the first Joshua Tree we passed. Some days the thrill of the journey can be measured in small units. Today was one of those days.
Three hours and forty-five minutes of boredom, followed by fifteen minutes of white knuckle driving. The winds came up as we approached Mojave, the coach wanted to go in a different direction that I wanted it to go. Note the way the steering wheel is turned to the right. That was the only way to keep the coach in the lane. And yes I was glad when we pulled into the RV park in Mojave we always stop at, and usually for this very reason. Exhausted Bob.
Even though this looks like the photo of something I have been banned from posting a photo of, it is not. Look at those awesome looking calves, the well formed muscles. Is that something for a woman of a somewhat advanced age or what. I got really lucky when I met Linda on that blind date, and I never would have guessed that all these years later she would still have the ability to make my head snap around to look at her. Very Lucky Bob.
Monday April 15 Mojave, California
More Wind To-Day
For the past year we have been putting up with a Linksys router that oftentimes didn't want to rout. It was so bad that it didn't want to do anything on occasion, and it took an inordinate amount of wiggling its wires to get it to do its wireless thing. Today we took a page out of Popeye's book and proclaimed: That's all we can stand, we can't stands no more.
At first our new D-Link router wanted to do exactly what our old Linksys router wanted to do, which was to not connect to anything. Then Linda found a forum post that was the answer and within a couple of minutes everything was coming up roses. Now the new router is really routing and the old router is in the trash. Happy Linda. Happy Bob.
Mojave is home to the Mojave Spaceport, so we drove in town to take a look. While there wasn't much to see, what there was we found interesting. In this case, not every great idea works out. If you're interested, check out what a rotary rocket is here.
The wind blew about 30 mph for most of the morning. We were doing some sightseeing in that wind. When the Explorer was parked broadside to the wind the door didn't want to open. The solution was to lower the window, then the door could be opened. Now we know why even though we have stopped in Mojave a number of times over the years we have never unhooked the Explorer.
Tuesday April 16 Visalia, California
There was more down than up during today's drive from Mojave to Visalia. The first part was the up, which was also a time of being buffeted by the wind, but soon we were out of it and the remainder of the drive was much easier.
Since we left Retama we have been driving west, but as this sign says, we are about to begin our next leg. For the next thousand miles or so we will be heading north. There will be a month long stop in the Sacramento area to visit family, then stops in Oregon to have various things done on the coach. And in between those stops there are always places to discover and interesting things to do that our ever present guide, Sara N. Dippty will lead us to.
There was an interesting discussion that took place a couple days. "You didn't want to get propane before we left Retama, and now we need it."
"We don't need it, you're just worried that it might be low."
"It sure is low, the gauge is only showing the last light."
"Those gauges aren't that accurate, I'll bet we still have plenty of propane."
At this point I will fast forward to the point where a certain woman agreed that we were so glad to be leaving Retama that neither of us thought about about getting propane. Then she found the Flying J just north of Bakersfield sold propane. I could visualize what that would mean, and I could also visualize what telling her we would be better off getting propane some other but unknown place, would result in. So I just said, "Sounds good to me," and maintained peace.
It is nice that Flying J has dedicated RV lanes, what is not nice is that the people who design those lanes don't have a clue about how they should be designed. Lets just say that the lane was extremely narrow, the turn at the exit was designed for a Smart car, not an RV, and the propane tank was on the wrong for a motorhome. I ended up turing around and pulling in the lane the wrong way to have the coach's tank on the side needed. From all the forms that were filled out and protective gear the fellow put on there must have been a hellacious propane accident lawsuit filled against Flying J once upon a time. Interestingly enough the price was reasonable, but none the less, it confirmed why we only ever use the truck pumps for diesel at Flying J's. After we left Linda had to agree that we would never again get propane at a Flying J, and neither would we use their RV pumps. Oh, and before I forget it, that very large tumbleweed in the photo, Linda had to get out of the coach and kick it so the wind would blow it out of the way as it was in the RV lane when we drove up. The reason for the kick was because you only ever grab a tumbleweed with your hands once, and for Linda that was a very, very long time ago.
I believe this falls within the category of non-verbal communication. I noted there was a great deal of extra sweeping in the area immediately beside where I normally sit. I shall say nothing more. Smart Bob.
When we are going to be near someone we know during our traveled, we like to surprise them. Today it was Ron and Barb, who also have a place in Retama that got a visit and we had a great visit catching up on each other's travels. It's why we say: Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early.
Wednesday April 17 Visalia, California
High winds were forecast for the area south of Sacramento today, so instead of driving and braving them, we decided to stay another day in Visalia. Having our usual affinity for small towns, we spent the late morning and early afternoon taking in the sights of downtown Visalia. While Linda shopped in the stores along Main Street, I visited many of the historic buildings. In the end my feet gave out before Linda's money ran out, but she was nice about it and said she could spend what she had left when we got to Sacramento. Lucky Bob.
About the photo of me and the Cigar Store Indian. It really was a Cigar Store Indian as it was in front of a cigar store. I had a wonderful conversation with the owner, and even had my my photo taken with the Indian. Sara N. Dippity was with with me for sure.
When we came back to the coach Linda went on a cleaning spree. I decided it was a woman thing. I can't imagine that our grandson Zachary will notice whether it the coach is clean or not. Maybe Linda just wants to make sure that if he does notice it will be clean. Then again, I have to wonder why if it needs to be clean for any children or grandchildren that will visit the coach, why it wasn't necessary to have it clean for me all along? I think this is where I say no more, and may have already said too much.
Wednesday April 18 Sacramento, California
The primary reason for joining the Elks was to be able to use the RV parking at any lodges we might be near during our travels. So far that has been one night in Needles and two nights here in Visalia. Needles was a FHU pull thru site and here it is a back-in with electric and water. So far we have been more than pleased with the experience. As far as whether or not we will save any money over regular RV parks, it remains to seen because we have to offset the cost of our annual dues. But taking into account the location and condition of the two places we have stayed at, we are already far ahead in that department.
Linda takes all those photos of flowers, and sometimes I find a way of posting one. In this case I thought the sun over the canopy and the light rays was worthy of posting. It's also unusual to be the only one at the truck pumps, sometimes we just get lucky.
Too many lanes of traffic for me. It's why we love the small towns. In this case it is near where our family lives, our three kids and four grandchildren, and where we will be staying for the next month.
While grandpa has grown wider, Zachary has grown taller. Life is indeed good.
Friday April 19 Sacramento, California
Somewhere along the line I got off on what day it was or something to do with which day was the date of the day. Today we are back on the straight and narrow, having the day and the date in proper order.
But back to the task at hand, which is the reason why Linda is sweeping the concrete where the coach is parked. Back up a year where the law was laid down by a certain woman who resides in a certain coach where yours truly also resides. Some twelve months ago we resided in this self same RV park. At that time Linda decreed that no one associated in any form with our coach would set foot upon the gravel area between the coach and the place where the explorer is parked. Today she re-invoked that dictum, and yours truly was knowledgeable enough to understand that what she said is what shall ever be. Hence the photo to prove that cleanliness is next to being on Linda's good side. Which is where Bob most assuredly desires to be. Smart Bob.
In the afternoon we watched our special needs grandson while our daughter went to a weekend church retreat. During the watching, Linda discovered our daughter had bought some chocolate covered expresso beans and had then hidden them in the back recesses of her pantry. Never underestimate the ability of Linda to ferret out what she simply can not resist. The result was an opened container and a gobbling of said beans. However, being the considerate husband, I would never divulge the fact Linda ate our daughters chocolate covered expresso beans. Good Bob.
It is not what you want it to be, it is what it is, Justin and I had a great time playing cards, never mind what the cards mean, it is the fact that we were laughing at each other over things that had no meaning that mattered the most.
Life doesn't always give us what we want, but if we enjoy what it is that Life gives us, what more could we ask. I feel sorry for the people who cry over what might have been. In the meantime we are thankful for what is. Each of us has a choice. Which choice do we make? Justin, we love love you so much, thank you for being our grandson.
Saturday April 20 Sacramento, California
Zachary is going to be spending time with us over the next month. This morning we drove to the nearby Smart and Final to buy some of the things he likes. Without divulging too much, after all it is fun to surprise someone, we bought a number of the things he likes. As for grandma, she couldn't pass up this jumbo bag of chips. As for grandpa, well there are some of Zachary's favorite dips for chips buried in that cart. In my case, my grandpa was very special to me. Now it is my grandchildren who are very special to me. Thanks grandpa for loving me the way you did.
Justin is so special, not just in a special needs way, but also in an unconditional loving way. Did grandma fix a good lunch? There is no doubt, just look at the thumbs up gramdma got for her efforts. May we all be so open and honest in how we interrelate with one another. You may not agree with my actions, but if you look deep enough you will see that what I show or say is the truth. Thank you Justin for opening our eyes to what really is.
Back to reality. The front air conditioner was not working. Linda was a very, very unhappy camper. She had reached the end of her patience, it was time for me to do something. It was hot inside the coach. Linda was hotter than the inside of the coach. I was about to to be emasculated, which would not be a good thing in spite of what 65 year old women might think.
My first preventitive measure was to make sure that all the connections, fuses and anything else pertaining to the front air conditioner was in working order. Unfortunately it was. But more unfortunately, it did not fix the problem of the non-functioning air conditioner. Ask it to cool and the all it did was blow hot air.
Linda was threatening to call in a mobile repair service, which got me to say that before she did I wanted to go up the roof and take a look at the guts of the air conditioner/heat pump. That was when I noticed something that didn't look right. Can you spot it in this photo?
Sorry for the slightly blurry photo, but this is the problem. It is the solenoid that switches between the cooling and heating mode. Allow me to explain in the next photo.
This is the rear air conditioner/heat pump which was working, and the view is the exact same on as the front unit which was not working. The difference is a screw that holds the solenoid in place. It was missing in the front unit, but present in the rear unit. A little change, taking the screw out of the rear unit, and putting it in the front unit, and the problem was solved, the front unit was functioning as it should and the rear unit was not working. Smart Bob. Lucky Linda.
What can I say. We are grandparents. Have you ever known a grandparent that wasn't button bursting proud of their grandchildren? That certainly describes Linda and I. This is Abby, softball player extrodinaire today. She may not be the fastest pitcher, but is by far the most accurate. We watched quite a few softball games to today. There are balls and there are strikes. Most of the games had more balls pitched in an inning than Abby pitched during her entire game. In the end her team lost the game she pitched, but considering the team she faced, she was a winner in more ways than one. Thank you for being our granddaughter Abby, you are the greatest. Just like your brother Justin and sister Lindsey. We are the luckiest grandparents in the the world.
Grandma's are very special people. If you have to ask why I love Linda the way I do, you will never understand. Heck, even I don't understand, and I've been married to her for over 45 years. some people are beyond special and she is one of those unbelievably special people.
The next thing you hear is the crack of the bat as Abby hits a solid single between first and second. I can't think of any reason why we shouldn't be proud of her.
I want to end the day with mention of our other granddaughter, Lindsey. Back in Folsom, she umpired four rec league softball games today, then found a ride to and from Church tonight. I think we have every right right to be proud of our grandchildren, after all, we are grandparents.
In case you are not old enough to have grandchildren I can assure you there is nothing more precious in the entire world. If you should doubt it, read the previous sentence. In my life I had a great aunt and uncle who had no children as will as an aunt and uncle who had no children. It meant I had four sets of grandparents, and it has made me a better person because of it. Thank you Grandpa and Alice, Grandpa and Agnes, Aunt Jane and Uncle Nick, and most of all, Aunt Fern and Unky, who weren't my real grandparents, but were in reality, my truly real grandparents. I am who I am because of you. I will never forget Eucher and hot cornstarch pudding on white bread. I Love You. Thanks for Your Unconditional Love of Me. And may I be the grandparent to my grandchildren that you you were to me.