Visiting With Friends

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Malcolm has been working at the office starting on Tuesday. He will be working here through Friday, though he might put in a few hours over the weekend to make up for being out on Monday for packing duties. Val has been over at the Miltons’ home during the day on Tuesday and Wednesday working with their daughter, Kate, on a sewing project. Today, Val ran our laundry over to the laundromat to catch up on that. Malcolm drove over to town to meet her for lunch.

The last three evenings have been spent having dinner with friends. Tuesday night, we headed over to Logan’s Roadhouse in Prattville and met John and Rana Krussow, some of our Heartland friends, for dinner. We ended up talking and visiting until after the restaurant closed. It was great to catch up with them. Once back at the campground, the gate was already locked, but we let ourselves in since we know the combination to the gate lock.

Wednesday night was the annual chili cook-off and cotton ride (instead of hay) at the Smiths’ house out in Autauga county. It is an annual church get-together that we’re glad we happened to be in town for. We got to see a lot of our church family here. David joined us for this dinner. We left early enough to get into the campground without having to let ourselves in through the gate.

This evening, we had dinner at Steven and Ashley Leonard’s home. We’ve known Steve and his daughter, Tori, for several years. Ashley cooked a great meal for us and it happened to be chicken, which Val can eat (she’s had problems with beef and pork ever since her gall bladder surgery). David also came over and joined all of us. He headed out before we did as he has to be at the recruiter’s office early in the morning. We headed out, too, so that we could get back and put laundry away.

Moving Stuff

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Sunday we met David at church for morning service. Afterwards, all three of us met some friends at Moe’s for lunch and talked to them for quite some time. We got back to the trailer around 3:00 or so. We had planned on heading to the golf driving range but got lazy and made up our own driving range in the large grassy area behind the trailer, using foam golf balls.

David came over after dinner and spent the night with us so that we could get up early this morning and head over to the storage units. We loaded up the truck with about half of Elizabeth’s things and headed downtown to the ABF freight terminal where they already had a U-Pack container sitting out for us. We loaded all of the first load in, locked it up and headed back to the storage place.

First load ready to go

First load ready to go

The cube

The cube

We got all the rest of her stuff in the truck in the second load and had it strapped into the U-Pack container by about noon. Malcolm let the terminal manager know we were done and he signed some paperwork saying that we had turned it over to them for shipping to Tacoma.

All ready to go

All ready to go

Back at the storage unit, we put a trundle bed frame in the back of the truck (pretty much the only thing we couldn’t fit in the cube) to take to the thrift store. We headed up to Zaxby’s for lunch and forgot to stop by the thrift store. Malcolm ran back out to do that while Val and David organized his stuff and our stuff into the larger of our two storage units.

When Malcolm got back, he helped finish up the consolidation, put the hitch and our storage totes back in the truck and stop by the office to release the smaller unit and pay a few months on the single remaining unit. We paid through the end of January. David thinks he might come up sometime and move all his stuff down closer to his base in Florida.

One unit emptied

One unit emptied

We dropped David off at the campground and he headed on to his friend’s house for the night. Val and Malcolm sat outside the trailer and sorted through several boxes of family pictures and other items so that Malcolm has a fresh batch of pictures to scan. After that, we headed over to San Marcos for dinner, then back to the trailer to flop down into our recliners.

Sorting Stuff

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Friday was a work day for Malcolm. He was back at the office after getting over what we figure was a pretty good allergy attack. He doesn’t really have any lingering symptoms that would have been indicative of a cold. Friday evening we cooked dinner out on the new grill and generally relaxed around the trailer. We did treat ourselves to a frozen treat at DQ later.

This morning, Malcolm borrowed the camp host’s golf cart and the sewer tote that we donated to the campground earlier this year and emptied the tanks on the trailer. Both gray tanks were very full. The black tank was not so bad. After the tanks were emptied and everything returned to the camp host’s site, we hopped in the truck and headed to our storage units.

Today’s main task at the storage units was to get all of Elizabeth’s stuff that we could ready to be packed into a U-Pack cube to be sent out west. We are supposed to load everything into the cube down in Montgomery starting Monday morning. We sorted out her stuff into the hallway of the storage building and, using the measurements from the U-Pack website, taped off a 6 foot by 6 1/2 foot square on the floor. We arranged all of her stuff into the square so that it is ready to haul to the cube and pack inside of it.

Starting to sort through stuff

Starting to sort through stuff

The target square

The target square

Everything squeezed into the square

Everything squeezed into the square

After arranging all of Elizabeth’s stuff, we put all the other stuff back into our two storage units and locked them back up. David had come down mid-way during the process to assist in organizing, grabbing some of his items out of a few boxes and helping in lifting heavy boxes and moving things around. We were done by lunch time and actually had about three boxes of stuff to take to the local thrift store to donate.

We dropped that stuff off and met up with David at Taco Bell for lunch. He headed on out to visit with friends and we headed down to Harbor Freight to pick up packing blankets and ratchet straps. We also stopped by Lowes and Home Depot looking for a suitable box to store a large mirror in, but didn’t find one. We decided sufficient padding should be fine. We also picked up a lock that met the specifications of the U-Pack literature we had downloaded.

We headed back to the trailer to relax outside. Dinner was postponed indefinitely and we decided to just snack this evening. It felt good to just sit and relax after all the moving and sorting this morning.

Back to Work

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Monday was back to work for Malcolm. While he was busy working, Val and David headed to the laundromat to wash a lot of clothes. Malcolm rode into town at lunch with a co-worker and joined Val and David at San Marcos for lunch. After lunch, Val and David headed to the storage unit to start sorting through our stuff, his stuff and Elizabeth’s stuff.

Monday evening’s forecast called for overnight storms as a big front was moving through. This front had been sweeping across the entire country for a couple days and had left some damage in its wake. Fortunately for us, it only produced some rain and a little thunder and lightning. Malcolm had set up the weather radio and the only time it went off was to announce a tornado watch. We lucked out on the weather.

Tuesday, Val went shopping at Costco, Target and other places. Malcolm had a busy day at work and stayed at his desk for lunch. On Wednesday, Val did grocery shopping while Malcolm worked. Malcolm had been sneezing and sniffling since late Tuesday night and by Wednesday afternoon felt miserable enough to head home a bit early from the office.

Today, Malcolm was still sniffling and sneezing so he decided to work from the trailer. Val headed out mid-morning to have lunch with some friends. Malcolm got in a full day of work and we feeling much better by mid-afternoon. We suspect he just had an allergy attack instead of a cold.

Seeing Old Friends

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Today we headed to our old church – First Presbyterian in Prattville. David met us there and changed into his dress blues. We all sat together on the same pew. We got to see folks we haven’t seen for about 6 months, and David got to see some he hadn’t seen in almost as long. The church was ordaining a new assistant pastor today, so it was a good service to come back to. We’ll be here two more Sundays, so we’ll get to see folks a couple more times before we head on.

After church, we ate lunch at Steak ‘N Shake. Val and Malcolm headed to Target and David headed over to his friend’s house (after stopping by Target to get something from the truck). After David headed over to his friend’s house from Target, we headed over to the house of our good friends – Steve and Debbie Milton. We had our mail forwarded to their house and it was there, so we picked it up. Malcolm went through it while we sat and chatted with them.

After visiting with the Miltons for a couple hours, we headed back to the trailer, stopping by Winn-Dixie for a couple items for dinner. Once back at the trailer, Malcolm fired up our new grill and worked on making room for it in the side compartment where the original grill was located. He removed the sliding platform and stored it in the back of the trailer (to get rid of at our next rally). The new grill folds down and fits perfect back in the compartment.

Removing the slide-out platform

Removing the slide-out platform

Slide-out platform removed

Slide-out platform removed

The new grill

The new grill

The new grill stowed away

The new grill stowed away

We cooked dinner on the new grill and David stopped by to eat with us, pick up a few items and head back to his friend’s house. We chatted with our camp host for a bit then headed inside for the evening.