Friday July 11 Mission, TX
A Busy Day
It was a very busy day even though we spent most of our time behind our computers. Planning was the game, changing plans was the name. We ended up significantly revising what we were going to do in Stockholm, deciding to forego trips to the Archipelago and Sigtuna so we can spend less time traveling and more time enjoying Life. A trip to Birka is still on, but it is the kind of thing we came to Scandinavia to discover - Viking history. Excited Linda.
This is the only photo of the coach house I will post today. I've got a couple dozen, but they are more so we can document what was done. The object above the doorway is the interior unit of our split air conditioner/heat pump. It is so quiet you can just barely hear it, or at least Linda can. One of those - expensive but worth every penny - things. In fact, I can't hear it at all unless I turn up the volume on my hearing aids. Smart Bob for not turning up the hearing volume. I do that and Linda will start thinking I can actually hear everything.
Part of the bathroom. So maybe I did say I would only post one construction photo today. All I can say is: Bad Bob.
The "kitchen" area. 12 by 24 feet doesn't give you a lot to work with, but it is amazing what you can do with it. And with that, this really is the last coach house photo for today.
Every Friday night finds us up at the community center for the grill your own get together. Bring your meat to grill and a dish to share, then have a great time for several hours. It is a great way to end the week and it lets us get better acquainted with some of our neighbors. Besides that, all the ladies get to bring one of their specialties to share. I overheard Linda talking about the cabbage salad she brought. I didn't overhear Linda mentioning that Bob had thin sliced all the cabbage. I'm not complaining though. As she taught me decades ago, and I quote, "Complaining will get you nowhere." Actually it does, it gets me in the doghouse, a place I'd rather not be. Teachable Bob.
I'm not saying there is any truth to this quote attributed to Barbara Streisand, but it does seem rather sensible. Why does a woman work ten years to change a man's habits and then complain that he's not the man she married?
Saturday July 12 Mission, TX
A Quiet Day
77° with 91% humidity when we finished our morning walk. Those people who spend the summer in Minnesota look like they know what they are doing. The temperatures in Scandinavia are forecast in the 70's next week, so it looks like nicer weather is just ahead, though Linda is still concerned with what she is going to be eating. I try to help her out by telling her that salted cod and pickled herring are delicious, but for some unknown reason she rather violently disagrees with me. Maybe I should emphasize the reindeer instead. Puzzled Bob.
Every time we enter the coach after our morning walk Linda says the same thing. The air conditioner is running, it is cold in there and she says, "It's like entering the 40 below room." The 40 below room was a place we visited when we were in Fairbanks during our Alaskan summer a few years ago. This may not be exactly the same thing, but the point is well taken.
In case you are wondering, the object in her left hand is one of my hankies which she uses to constantly wipe the sweat off her face as we walk. She is always asking me if I want to use it to wipe my own face. I always politely decline, though on occasion I do add that by leaving the sweat there it evaporates and helps cool me. At that point she she starts talking about sweat running off, damp cleavage, being uncomfortable and other things. I just keep my mouth shut, mostly so my sweat doesn't get in it, but it keeps me from also putting my foot in it by saying the wrong thing at that moment.
Fungus photo by Linda. If I leave it out I just know I will hear about. Good Bob.
The day's coach house photo. The taping is progressing and it looks they will be able to start painting on Wednesday. And yes, this really is the only construction photo I will be posting today as Linda let me know exactly what she thought of my extra photos the other day. Chastised Bob.
I've been watching many of the World Cup matches. Needless to say, after watching a European Cup match in a town square in the Netherlands a few years ago, I was rooting for Netherlands in this match. They scored their first goal when Linda had stepped outside the coach for a moment, yes she watches too as it is non-stop action. When she came back in she told me she knew Netherlands had scored because she could hear me yelling goooooaaaaaaaaaaaal even though though the airconditoners were running in the coach. Yes, I really do get into the matches. If Germany loses tomorrow I promise not to riot, but I can understand how those things might take place. And I really love the fact you don't have to be a physical freak to play the game at this level.
We had a visitor in one of our flower pots.
Linda used a pair of tongs to encourage it to find another residence.
Another fish taco meal. Another night of cooking the fish outside. Life is GREAT!
Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early.
Sunday July 13 Mission, TX
A Quiet Sun-Day
Church this morning, and it is more than a little different from those many, many years of being Presbyterians. They had a big announcement and announced they were going to build a new youth building. No mention of needing to donate money, they already have it from the regular giving. Back in those Presbyterian days the big announcement would have been the new building fund drive, with a plea to give extra above your regular giving, then as almost an after thought, the fact they were going to build a youth building. And the old mainline churches wonder why their membership continues to decline.
A stop at Home Depot to buy the paint for the coach house. Three gallons of primer, two of ceiling paint and three of wall paint.
A smiling coach house owner. Paint color choices by Linda. Agreement by Bob. Smart Bob.
A glimpse of the future. Watching the World Cup final at our neighbor's. I was amazed how drained I was when Germany won in the final minutes of the second overtime period. The back and forth flow of the sport is awesome. We watch the ads at the Superbowl, not the game as it almost always boring. This match was edge of your seat the entire time.
I did find a definition of soccer written a number of years ago by an Englishman. Soccer is a sport played on a large field by 22 men who kick a ball around for 90 minutes and in the end the Germans win. How true, how true. Yea Germany!
Monday July 14 Mission, TX
A This and That Day
This is a time of trying to tie up all those loose ends and complete the little details before we leave, and believe me there are a lot of loose ends to tie up when you leave on a three month trip to Europe. Normally in our RV travels when we are ready to leave we just put things away in the coach, hookup the Explorer and drive to the next place. Going to Europe is just a little bit harder, especially when you are living out of one small suitcase for the next three months.
Linda was doing one of those little jobs this morning. Happy that her sewing machine is now working, she was tightening up the band on her favorite sunvisor. She bought it during our 2008 trip while we were in Germany and has never found one like it in the states. Maybe it time for her to buy another one. Or maybe it time for Bob to buy her one. Oh, the possibilities.
Another of those details is emptying out the frig. We've got it mostly done, the freezer being empty except for the fish and meat for the remaining evening meals. The frig still has a few things in it, but we will be eating the last of that on Sunday so we can pull the plug and get it ready.
What you see is another of those details, but Linda was up to the task. John and Judy, who we are traveling with for a while during our time in Europe, had given us a container of bourbon infused cherries when we met then in Oregon in December. Linda has jealously guarded them, letting me know they are hers, and what is hers is hers. One at a time the contents dwindled, and now it was time to eat the last of them.
Maybe it was my sad puppy look, or maybe she just felt guilty for eating them all herself, but whatever the reason, I was given the opportunity to eat one of the last two. If she thought I was going to be magnanimous and let her have them both she was living in a dream world. Though once that cherry entered my mouth I knew better than to say anything. Smiling Silent Bob.
This is what happens when the fish tacos are so good. You don't have time to take a photo until they are all gone. What can I say, we eat good, you'll just have to use your imagination to visualize just how good, good really was.
And on that note I'll end with this quote that is attributed to the actress Gillian Anderson who played Dana Sculley on the X Files.
“I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that.”
Tuesday July 15 Mission, TX
A Getting Ready Day
It was time to say goodbye to the Canadian outhouse, so into the trash it went. I should make some remark about how it was a crappy idea in the first place, but I won't. Nice Bob.
How most of the day was spent, reading information. The realization that we have only a few days to get everything lined up is hitting home. We are still tweaking where we are going and what we are going to do, especially the latter. How is it that once you think you know what you are going to do, a new website is found that unveils a raft of things you never knew about. At least we did get confirmation that we would be on an evening English language tour of the Reichstag in Berlin, which was what we had hoped to get. It's not the spur of the moment things that cause problems, it's the ones where you have to get reservations far in advance. At least this one is no longer a concern.
Getting better at photographing our fish tacos, the only things missing in this one are the fish and tortillas. Busy days coming up so the posts may be short, but there will be posts. And as far as posts from Europe, I think I may do like I did on our last trip and post them on blogger. Thinking Bob.
Sunday July 20 Mission, TX
An Almost Ready Day
This is not what we have been doing for the past few days. the sitting down part that is. All those last minute things that need to be done are mostly done though Linda has this fear that we have left a few loose ends here and there. My answer is always the same, "If we forget it we will will buy it over there." The coach house really does look nice but there is still a huge amount of work to be done when we return, but first there are those three wonderful months in Europe.
Taking Linda's potted plants to the pot sitter, then again, maybe I could have phrased that a different way.
Linda is so organized, Bob is less organized. Note that I did not classify myself as disorganized as every organizer needs someone to go get it or go do it, and that is my job. I did have to laugh the other morning when I opened the egg carton the discover this. Paper notes and lists are one thing. Notes on eggs are something else. It also reminds me of why, even after our nearly fifty years together, I am still so very much in love with the awesome girl I was lucky enough to marry.
Note the date and time.
Note the temperature, then note the "feels like" temperature. Scandinavia here we come.
The last really major job has been done and our meal planning paid off as we managed to eat nearly everything in the frig. Tomorrow (Monday) we need to empty our bags and go through Linda's check lists for the last time as we repack them, disconnect the coach, pull in the slides, then at 11am head off to the airport, whence our latest European adventure will begin.
We smile every time this Geico commercial comes on, so it is fitting to use it as we leave, a smile on our faces and in our hearts.
I do want to let readers know that I will be posting daily about our travels, though at times the posts my be delayed, like the next two, one for the 21st and possibly the 22nd as we will be traveling overnight on the flight to Europe, then a little out of it that first day there. We arrive in Stockholm about noon on Tuesday, but will pretty much just try to stay awake the rest of the day then go the bed in the early evening.
I will probably use the blogger account to post for the trip but will be posting the link as the Daily Journal article here. Plus Linda tells me she has her Facebook account set to "sweep" the blogger posts there also. I trust that is everything I wanted to post but if not, I will follow my own advice to Linda and just post it from over there.
The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes 'sight-seeing.' Daniel J. Boorstin, historian.
May we be Travelers.