Big Catch-Up Post

We’ve been back in Alabama for about a week now. Malcolm is working in the office here in Alabama. Not a whole lot going on other than that and the day to day stuff.

We’ve been having difficulty finding a new primary care physician. Malcolm has called around and so far has found that many don’t take our insurance and one even doesn’t take anyone over 55 (Malcolm is 56).

Malcolm finally went to an urgent care clinic and asked if they could do a physical (something we’re both overdue on) and the girl at the desk said yes. Unfortunately, the doctor on call said they don’t do preventive, well-patient physicals. However, he could treat anything that Malcolm had a concern with, so they went with high cholesterol issues.

We’ll continue to try to find someone in this area (Alabama) since we tend to end up here in the winter. We haven’t exhausted our list yet, but with an impending flight out west for Christmas and reservations all over the state of Florida all of January, it might be February before we nail something down.

Another thing we’re keeping an eye on is that our mail service, and thus our “permanent” address, is through the Escapees club out of Texas. They are looking at possibly being able to offer the same services and an address in Tennessee next year. That would be a good deal, as we could set up in Tennessee and find a doctor up in the Nashville area. Malcolm’s employer’s payroll department would like that, as well.

We’re still dealing with fallout from our accident in late September. Our truck is still running on temporary tags. The dealer had to FedEx us a new one for December while we were still in Florida. Supposedly we should have our Texas tags delivered to the mailbox soon. We’ll have them forwarded up here so we can license the truck properly. That might be after we get back from being out of town for Christmas.

Also, our trailer that has been sitting in storage in Evansville is finally getting attention from the insurance company. We’ve been getting very slow movement from the insurance company until Malcolm complained about it on an open forum run by the insurance company’s parent company. We now have the head of the RV insurance division personally working on getting something done on our trailer.

They apparently have gotten Lippert, the frame manufacturer, to agree to take the trailer to one of their shops and look at repairing the frame. They are supposed to be sending a transport to come pick it up sometime (no time frame given). The insurance company is also going to reimburse us for storage fees and winterization we had done on the trailer. We’ll see where all this goes. If the trailer is fixed, we’ll be putting it up for sale.

Looks like a nice weekend coming up. Malcolm will probably be doing some outside chores on Saturday. He will definitely be emptying gray and black tanks into the tote and running it over to the dump station.

We’ve finished our travel season (in the trailer) for the year. We pulled one trailer or another (we’ve had three this year) 18 more miles than we did last year. We also visited the same number of states (though not the same states) as we did last year – 22. Had the accident not interrupted our travels, we would have had about 1,000 more miles and at least one additional state on our list.



Another Catch-Up Post

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Sorry we’ve gone missing, but it’s been a busy several days. Here’s a recap:

Tuesday the 3rd – Ran several errands, primarily getting ready for Frontier Days here at Fort Toulouse.

Wednesday the 4th – Volunteered for Frontier Days. Malcolm parked cars, Val helped around where she could. It was warm and sunny. Good turnout.

Thursday the 5th – Volunteered for Frontier Days. Malcolm parked cars, Val helped around where she could. Very warm (record high temperature for the day at 88 degrees). Good turnout.

Friday the 6th – Volunteered for Frontier Days. Rain drizzles off and on, but still fairly warm. Pretty good turnout. Val worked with unloading and loading buses. Malcolm parked cars.

Saturday the 7th – Volunteered for Frontier Days. The threat of rain scared off our usual Saturday crowd, which made it nice and manageable. Val worked at the front gate, Malcolm directed traffic and helped park cars.

Sunday the 8th – Went to church in Prattville. Ate lunch out then headed back to the trailer to organize things.

Monday the 9th – Val dropped Malcolm off at work in the morning then headed into Montgomery to do some shopping and laundry. Malcolm hitched a ride into town with a co-worker at lunch (and bought his lunch) to meet Val and drive her back to the trailer. Malcolm worked the rest of the afternoon at the office.

Tuesday the 10th – Malcolm drove Val up to our friends, the Miltons, and dropped her off then headed on into work. Val cooked our Thanksgiving turkey there and carved it up to put in storage containers. Once home, we put them in the freezer. Val stayed all day and Malcolm drove over after work. During the evening, it was the prayer shawl ministry get-together. We both headed on home after that.

Today – Malcolm worked at the office all day while Val cleaned around the trailer and got things ready to go for travel tomorrow.

Tomorrow we head down to Panama City to visit our son and go to the Air Force Thanksgiving lunch on base on Friday.

Rally and Settling In

Current Location: Nashville KOA, Nashville, Tennessee

We enjoyed the Heartland Owners Club rally here at the KOA last weekend. Lots of folks were glad to see us and we were so glad to be able to get here with the new trailer. As usual, there was plenty of food, fun and fellowship. On Friday and Saturday evenings there were get-togethers with food pitched in by all in attendance. On Sunday afternoon, a group of 14 of us went to dinner at Gondola House. Pretty much everyone had left by Monday.

Malcolm was back in the office this week. We rented a car on Sunday afternoon so he would have a ride into town and Val could still run errands. She has been busy unpacking stuff, organizing it and getting it put away. We’ve also been buying items to add to the rig similar to what we’ve done on the previous two rigs. Since a lot of them are repeats, we won’t delve into all the details.

We will be here until Saturday morning when we will head south for a while. We have an upcoming rally in Louisiana that we are looking forward to, followed by a volunteer stint at Fort Toulouse for Frontier Days.

At this point, the truck is all settled. The trailer insurance is still churning the estimate around their claims department. They may want to send another adjuster out to look at the trailer again.

Hello, We’re Back

Current Location: Seattle-Tacoma KOA, Kent, Washington

Malcolm often says “We’re Back” when we revisit a campground, even if it is a year later. In this case, it’s only been eight days. The lady at the KOA desk recognized Malcolm after he mentioned that we’d been here several days ago for one night. We moved up here on Tuesday after taking our time in the morning and meeting Elizabeth and the girls for lunch at Casa Mia in downtown Puyallup for lunch.

Once back at the park around 12:30 PM, we pulled in the slides, unplugged the trailer, hooked it up and headed out. After dumping the tanks at the Auburn park, we were on the way for our 15 mile trip up highway 167. We got the trailer backed in here, hooked it up, let the cat out and headed out to visit with Elizabeth and the girls at the house as well as start our laundry in their washer and dryer.

We took our swim suits with us and met Cole and the girls at the Fife swimming pool. They both had their swim lessons, then we put on our suits and joined them for the free swim afterwards. We headed on home from the pool.

Malcolm worked until 10:00 this morning, then we headed over to Elizabeth’s to grab the last of the laundry. Since Elizabeth wasn’t feeling well, we helped entertain the girls. We headed to the grocery store and picked up some fixins for dinner. Malcolm made his stir fry for the family. The girls were sorta grumpy as they got up early and hadn’t eaten much all day. We decided to take leave a bit early and stopped for ice cream in Auburn before heading back to the trailer for the evening.

Catching Up To Our Week

Current Location: Auburn City Campground, Auburn, Washington

Here’s another weekly roundup for you. One thing we didn’t mention in our last post was that our son-in-law’s grandfather, Keith Call, passed away last Monday (Labor Day). There was a short memorial service for him this afternoon. Keep the family in your thoughts and prayers as they move forward.

Malcolm worked part-time this past week, generally in the mornings from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM. After that, we would enjoy our time with family or take care of little errands or shopping. That was the bulk of our daytime activities on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Thursday, we drove up to Port Angeles, Washington, about a two hour drive out onto the Olympic Peninsula. We visited the visitor center for Olympic National Park and got our National Park Passport book stamped and bought a t-shirt for our quilt. We drove back to Sequim, Washington (about 15 miles east) and shopped around downtown for a while. We were there to meet our friend Lucy Brixey.

The Brixeys are good friends from way back when we lived in Indianapolis in the 1990s. Their daughter, Claire, was our daughter’s maid of honor in her wedding and was like a sister to her growing up. It was great to see Lucy again. We had dinner at the Alder Wood Bistro and visited for a couple hours after our dinner. We said our goodbyes and headed back to the trailer.

On Friday morning, we drove up to Elizabeth’s house and met her and the girls. We all loaded into their SUV and headed down to Puyallup. Friday was the first day of the Washington State Fair. They kick off the morning by offering a $2 breakfast of pancakes, eggs and sausage along with coffee, juice and water. We all had a great breakfast after setting our chairs up along Meridian Street.

Lined up waiting for the parade

Lined up waiting for the parade

The girls' seat (that wagon has paid for itself many times over)

The girls’ seat (that wagon has paid for itself many times over)

Around 10:00, the cattle drive starts down the street to the fair, followed by a parade of local school bands, horse-drawn wagons and other parade activity. At the end of the parade, the street remains closed and fair-goers are invited to follow the parade on into the fairgrounds. Malcolm has more pictures of the parade and a few of the fair on his photography website. Click here to see them.

On opening day, until noon, you could get into the fair free by donating at least one can of food to the local food bank who was collecting the food outside the fairground entrance. After Elizabeth moved the car to an approved parking lot, we all headed to the fair, dropped off our canned goods and went inside for a few hours. We mainly walked around the exhibits, saw the horses and other animals and had some fair food for lunch. We got our hands stamped and headed back to the house.

Later, after dinner, we all headed back to the fair, including Cole (who had a free pass ticket) and spent the rest of the evening at the fair, walking around some more of the exhibitor halls. Elizabeth and Malcolm rode one ride – the giant tower ride called the Extreme Scream. We plan on heading back to the fair this week (maybe Thursday) to ride the rides with all day passes.

Sunset at the fair

Sunset at the fair

Going up!

Going up!

And up...

And up…

On Saturday, we spent the morning doing laundry at a laundromat in Auburn. We also did some shopping and had lunch out. Afterwards, we headed out to Fox Island to visit with the family. Elizabeth cooked spaghetti dinner and we all celebrated our youngest granddaughter, Scarlet’s third birthday with cake and ice cream. We headed on back to the trailer afterwards. Elizabeth, Cole and the girls stayed overnight in their camper at the island and headed home mid-day on Sunday.

The birthday girl and her ladybug cake and wings

The birthday girl and her ladybug cake and wings

Malcolm doing some pencil coloring with his buddy LuLu

Malcolm doing some pencil coloring with his buddy LuLu

We headed out to do some shopping Sunday morning, including a trip to Costco for things we needed and a few things Elizabeth needed. We dropped their stuff off at the same time they got back from the island. Since they had family in town for Monday’s memorial service, we decided to do our own thing. Malcolm stained the wood air intakes we bought to replace the metal one in the trailer (it had sharp fins).

Afterwards, he finished up scanning the last of the pictures that we’ve been working on forever. We have around 17,000 digital images on the computer now that need to be sorted out and organized. The pictures are from both Malcolm’s family and Val’s family, including our own pictures taken before the digital camera age.

Today, as mentioned, we went to the memorial service in Puyallup, then headed over to Cole’s parents’ house for snacks and family time to visit with those who came for the service and to give their condolences. We headed back home to the trailer after dark.

Tomorrow, we make one more move back to the KOA, where we will stay until it is time to head back east. We were supposed to move their today, originally, since the Auburn campground has a seven day limit. When he realized we would have to be moving at the same time as the memorial service, Malcolm called the Auburn City Parks department and got approval from a supervisor to stay an additional day (paid, of course).