Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!
We are parked at the Wilmington KOA and have been since December 16.

We got the monthly rate even though we will not be staying an entire month.  It is still cheaper that way.  It's a great campground with lots of amenities and a KOA president's award winner. Level camp sites (of course this is not difficult here since Eastern North Carolina is about the flattest place on the planet) and moderate temperatures (about seven degrees warmer than Charlotte because of it's location on the coast, close to the Gulf Stream), it is a snowbird RV park and, with the exception of tent sites, has been almost full the whole time we have been here .

Again, I have to apologize for the delay in making a post but I have a very good excuse!  We Have been busy! We have seen a lot of family and close friends and celebrated Christmas with them. Here are pictures of some of them:





Brett and Chris.

Deaglan and his new wrist watch.



Chris, Deaglan, Katie and Emory.

Sidney. (I know how you feel.)

Angie and CJ.


Sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean is Bogue Fishing Pier in Emerald Isle seen from the beach house CJ and Angie rented for a holiday week.




One of my Christmas presents is this tea towel that reads, "Dog Hair both a condiment and a fashion accessory." A true statement.
Katie and Chris.


Joanie gets a chance to rest with Smokie Joe, Brandon's pet wiener dog. 
And our calendar is still full.  We both agree that it sure doesn't feel like we are "retired" but what does "retired" feel like?  We don't know.
We had a great luncheon with Katherine and Ray Brandi today.  It was really great catching up with Wilmington through them. They are great folks who have been friends for years.
We hope to entertain Deaglan in the motorhome on New Year's Day with a sleep over.
May Our Lord Jesus pour forth His blessings on you and your family in the new year!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Ha! I didn't realize that I had the temperature, time, date and the wet bay temperature here in Wilmington in my photo of our Crèche we have next to the tree. It is going to be 70 degrees today and lots of rain as a big storm that started yesterday moves up the coast. 
25 years ago to the day another big storm took the same path up the coast and dumped a large amount of moisture and the people here still talk about that storm! "The storm of the century", they called it and as Christmas Eve rolls around every year for the last 24 years they remember.  This year the local newspaper recalled it on the front page.  The storm dumped 24 inches of snow on the city halting all Christmas shopping 2 days before Christmas and paralyzing the city. Only the staunchest of 4-wheel drive vehicles were able to run and then only for emergencies as the city had no way to plow the anomaly of that much white stuff.  Usually in the South snow doesn't hang around long and you just have to wait for it to melt, usually one or two days. With this storm came zero degree cold air that stayed long enough to make life uncomfortable for many lasting most of the week.
Many of us got I.O.U.'s for Christmas that year but for those of us who could cope and were blessed to be with our families, it was the most peaceful, beautiful Christmas ever!
photo courtesy WECT website

photo courtesy WECT website

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Getting ready for Christmas...

In the Church's calendar the Christmas season runs from December 25 to January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany (The visit of "the three wise men"). The commercialization of the holy day of the birth of our Lord has it now begin before Thanksgiving in modern times and then end abruptly.  It is so sad to see people throw out their Christmas trees the day after Christmas, when Christmas is just getting started.  If we really celebrate Christmas during it's season, I believe we would have a much better chance to celebrate it all year long. Wouldn't that be great!

Just to show my age, when I was a kid, we put up the tree and decorated the house on Christmas Eve as did most people back then.  Now that would make any kid super excited and it made us much more aware of the significance of the Holy Day than it does for families today. What if people today could enjoy the spiritual experience that the Holy Day is really meant to be?! Wow, wouldn't that be great! So that is my Christmas wish for all of you! That the Presence of the Christ Child will be with you now and through out the year and that you will enjoy all the Peace and Joy that the Christ Child brings.

We are parked at the KOA in Wilmington, NC. We have been very busy helping Chris and Katie and our grandkids through a real rough spot of colds, upper respiratory infections and stomach flu (the stuff that breeds so well in pre and elementary schools). So far Joanie and I have been immune.  We will keep taking our vitamins and drinking plenty of liquids but not getting enough rest.  We have also been to school "holiday" and Christmas pageants while trying to do some shopping, take care of the dogs and do the household chores.
Our first Christmas tree in the new home.
All the ornaments are from our old house - just fewer of them.

We even get RV style Christmas cards.
Deaglan at school.

Deaglan at his school's "holiday" pageant.
Emory's pre-school pageant.

I was able to get a better photo of Emory at their reception after the pageant.
Emory on the jungle gym.

Deaglan says, "I can do that, too!"

Being good before Christmas!
I ran across this Christmas story of RVer's.  It's not a tear jerker but it is typical of the lifestyle of which we are a part. I hope I don't get into any copyright trouble by putting it here. I picked it up off the website.

‘No RV is too small to celebrate Christmas’ — former Navy wife’s favorite RV holiday memory

“We were a Navy family,” writes reader Irma Smith of Norfolk, Va. “We were in our early 30’s, with two sons, Bill, 9 and Blaise, 11. We got orders in December 1978 to move from Patuxent River, Maryland, to Norfolk, Virginia.

“We moved out of Navy housing. We hooked up our 21-foot Sunline travel trailer with 19 feet of living space with no slide-outs to the Chevy Nomad station wagon. We packed in our kids and two dogs for our trek to Norfolk.

“In Norfolk the motels were way too expensive for us, the list to get into Navy housing was way too long, and apartments to rent for our family were scarce. We decided to try living in our RV Trailer with two kids, two dogs, and daddy working rotating shifts of Days, Mids, and Eves until we could get Navy Housing in ten months. It was the best financial decision for us but Christmas was only days away.

“What do you get for Christmas, for two sons, that fit’s in 19 feet of space? Where do you put the Christmas tree? Would that little oven cook a feast for Christmas Dinner? Yes, Yes, and Yes!

“Santa got the boys brand new fishing poles and gear, my mom sent them three-foot coloring-books, we bought them board games like Monopoly, stockings were hung under the small tree on a table in the living area. The boys could not believe that Santa found them. They were worried about that. It was a great Christmas morning!

“That little oven cooked a small ham fully dressed with pineapples and cherries. The ham was complimented with sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, and cranberry sauce. Best Christmas Dinner ever. No RV is too small to celebrate Christmas.

“The following October we moved into Navy housing. We sold the trailer to another Navy family when the kids got older, I started work, and no one had time to camp.

“Ten years ago we bought a Class C and use it for RVing. It was because of all those memories of long ago that we wanted to go RVing again. Those months living in the camper are the best memories for the boys and us. Nothing can ever match the years of fun in that little travel trailer.”
– Irma Smith, Norfolk, Va.

Photo: The Smith Family, (front) Bill III (8) and Blaise (10); (back) Irma and Bill. Christmas 1977 in Patuxent River Maryland Navy housing. Illustration source:


Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Busy Christmas Season

Just because we have divested ourselves of a stick and brick domicile and a huge portion of our worldly possessions, it doesn't mean that our life style has change all that much.  We still go to church as before, we still socialize as before (perhaps more!). 

On December 8 we drove to Charlotte to await a Doctor's appointment I needed.  While there we went to Mass at our old parish and on Sunday evening went to the Knights of Columbus Christmas Party with so many of our old friends including the "Saturday Night Regulars".

Brendon and Rosemary part of the "SNR". (I apologize for the poor photos I was using my old smart phone that does not do well under low light conditions.)

Joan (also a SNR) and "SNR" Brendon.

Mary (a new member of the SNRs) and Jane whom I sit next to in the choir and keeps me on the right page.

Al, Boots (a SNR) and  his wife Joan.

We found out that Mary and Father Ed can really cut a rug.

Yeah, Mary's quite the Rocker!

That's us also SNR's.

Don't let anyone tell ya that them ol' folks can't have a good time!

I'll catch you up on our travels soon.  Busy, busy, busy!  Gotta run!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Lingering New England

We spent most of autumn in Massachusetts.  What a glorious autumn it was, too.  The colors were brilliant and vibrant.
Culture in New England is everywhere; even the architecture exudes it.  Museums are everywhere and they are good ones, too, since they have been collecting longer than most.


New England's home-town charm has become an American cliché.

The narrow, winding roads were a challenge to navigate.  They were a roller coaster ride at times fraught with blind curves and hidden drives. These roads are narrow because they were once just trails that became wagon roads so a lot of the old houses, country stores and inns are right out on the road.

Stone is everywhere.  The farmers in New England still plow up big rocks and boulders which they have always used for foundations and walls.  I came across old stone fences while hiking through the woods where 70 year old trees now stand that were once farm fields and pastures.
And if you love history, you will find plenty here.

We gladly leave behind New England's weather!  

But hardest of all to leave is family.  We love you guys!


And now, new adventures await us.