Monday, March 30, 2015

Enjoyin'...

There some days that are just more glorious than others.  You can count them on one hand.  Today was one of those days that God sends you to remind you how much He loves us, that He created all this for us. 

 This is a non-photoshoped picture.

Mondays are laundry days (unless we are traveling).  We do chores and minor repairs.  Joanie wanted to launder the king size quilt that we have on the queen size bed.  Our little washer cannot handle an item of that size so she walked to the RV park's laundry to use their  oversize machine.  She noted how blue the sky was, how bright the sun, how clean, fresh and dry the air.  So we have been enjoying God's creation out on our patio; saw a striking sea bird circle overhead gliding on the thermals.  Perhaps it was an angel enjoying the day, too.  Joanie prayed her Chaplet of Divine Mercy and later we will take the dogs on a nice long walk.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Who the heck is Chris Kankelfritz?

For the last year Joanie has been working on her family tree through Ancestry.com.  Her drive to find her paternal grandfather has taken hours, nay, days or even weeks of searching on the computer.  Indeed our trip to Kissimmee was to search local records and find where her grandfather was buried.
We made some calls and visited a funeral home and found Michael John's grave.
 
 
The dead ends and wrong turns of doing these searches is frustrating, to say the least.  Joanie finally broke down and paid for her grandfather’s official death certificate from the state of Florida which has opened the flood gates of finding relatives and brought some relief to the frustration. Many of the relatives we are now finding, we knew about already but who the heck is Chris Kankelfritz?  In Ancestry.com when you make a connection to a relative, anybody else who has made a connection suddenly are displayed.  Because we learned about dead ends and wrong turns, we know that many connections may have been made in error by other searchers on Ancestry.com.  You have to spend more time on Ancestry.com to clean the leaves out of your tree that blew in and don’t belong there.

I’m starting to think Ancestry.com has a racket going on here.

I have also learned that US census takers were not very tenacious for ascertaining accurate records; that people who gave the census workers the information made stuff up and that the givers and takers create dead ends by not spelling very well.

For example, Joanie has been searching for her grandfather Michael John Rogers.  There were times it was spelled ROGERS or RODGERS and Michael John seemed to be OK with either.  We ran across some information that Irish members of the Church of Rome (Catholics) preferred ROGERS while Irish Orangemen (Protestants) preferred the spelling RODGERS.  We are still not too sure of this. If you know anything about the history of Ireland you know that the steamy emotions leading up to the Irish fight for independence continue to this day especially in Northern Ireland.

Census information, draft records and military records, and all kinds of public records allow us to start to put a life story together.
Joanie found records that her grandfather worked for Tide Water Oil Company, Bayonne, NJ in the 1920's.  He worked and retired from the oil company as a locomotive engineer that the company used in their large refinery.  It was only a couple miles of track but still one cool job!
 
The next time we get together with family, we will have some interesting stuff to chew.

And who is Chris Kankelfritz?  Just a leaf blowing in the wind?

 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Trains...
 
 

While we were in Lake Worth visiting my dad he remembered the trains he had when he was a kid and we talked about the trains I had when I was growing up. I have never analyzed (nor have I been analyzed) why trains are fascinating.  They can hold kids of any age spellbound.  My dad said that he wished he had a train again and that the third bedroom which had little in it would be a great place for it. 

So Joanie and I talked about it and decided to get this 93 year old man an electric train and set it up for him to run.

We found a train oriented hobby shop close by in Lake Worth. Wow, what a place! It is a mom & pop business with quality layouts.  Masterfully done, detailed layouts. It is no wonder that the place is successful - the layouts sell!  This is all "gotta have", quality stuff - no "toys" here.  Serious hobbyists only!



 








 
 
We got dad a Lionel set of an old New York Central freight.  We purchased some extra track and switches so that he could really "run a railroad".  The sound effects are great with a whistle, bell, chugging and sounds of the station when she is halted.  Never had anything like this when I was a kid.
 


 
  
video
  
Dad seemed very pleased with his railroad and had to show Rea the first chance he could. 
 
We left Lake Worth and headed to Kissimmee to work on our taxes.  We'll stay in Kissimmee for 30 days while we decide where to go next.  
 
 
 

 

Monday, March 23, 2015

RV Blogs

In my busy day of doing nothing I sometimes have time to read other RV blogs.  My list of these reading materials is short due to time restraints and a limited data plan.  However, one I read regularly and subscribe to is The Adventure Hounds penned by Dorothy McDaniel
http://www.adventure-hounds.com/?p=6344 .  Dorothy and Randy also drive a Tiffin Phaeton and have been on the road since 2013 also with two dogs. I have never met The Adventure Hounds nor spoken to them on the phone nor have we ever exchanged e-mails but I can tell from Dorothy's writing that they are kindred spirits to Joanie and me.  The Adventure Hounds have a similar priority for connecting to Jesus. And we share a love of the road.  It is one of the advantages of the internet.

DSC_0725


Over on the right is a list of RV blogs I read.  Poke your nose around the internet and you will find dozens more.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

John Prince Park, Lake Worth, Florida or the French State of South Florida ...

"The Great Migration" South each winter by rail, air or highway includes the large species commonly referred to as RVs.  They include travel trailers, 5th wheels and various sizes of motorhomes. They may travel individually or, on rare occasion, pairs or small groups.  However, their numbers makes it seem that they are all part of a coordinated migration.  Scientific studies have proven that the migration is triggered by air temperatures that are uncomfortably cold and by late December the migratory flow peaks.   

Perhaps the largest wintering grounds for the species is central to south Florida and in particular the east coast of Florida where you will see numerous license plates identifying the occupants as being from Ontario, Qu├ębec, and Manitoba.  You will also see plates from northern USA but the number of French speaking parts of Canada are overwhelmingly  represented.

We were very fortunate to get a spot in John Prince Park, a huge favorite for "French speakers".  We were there for only 10 days and the place was 100% full.  We were told at the office that there would not be any openings until the end of March when the migration would reverse itself and the "snowbirds" would once again head home. (I believe most visas are for 90 days and the Canadians have to get back across the boarder or risk fines or jail).

Our next door neighbor at the park was French speaking and besides giving commands to his dog in French, had regular gatherings on this "patio" of other people who understood and spoke his language.




 
 
You can see from these photos that the park is "full" .  John Prince Park is a county run facility with nice, well maintained amenities, paved roads and parking pads.  95% of the sights are back-ins and some back up to a lake. Traffic throughout the park is brisk all day with foot traffic, bikes, trikes, motor cycles, and trailers coming and going to the dump station.  While the park is nice, it is also a little claustrophobic during the "season". 
 
Bocce ball tournaments were held regularly several time a week.  Since I do not speak French, I could not tell you what the topic of conversation was but it was very serious indeed!
 
 It is not uncommon to hear French being spoken in the supermarket and at restaurants.  In deed, we encountered more French than we did Spanish.
 
Since these folks live here for 3 months out of the year, every year, should we not give them a quarter of a vote?  Just sayin'...
                                                      
 
During our stay we were driving in fairly heavy traffic on Congress Blvd in Lake Worth, FL.  I was looking into the next lane getting ready to make a lane change when Joanie yelled at me to stop!  The car immediately in front of me had come to a halt.  I swerved around it and saw that there was a 6 foot alligator (a young ’un) in front of his bumper.  It makes you want to ask: “Why’d the alligator cross the road?” 
 
 
 
 



Thursday, March 12, 2015

 
Family Visit...

My dad lives close to where we are currently parked so we are visiting him at the same time as my oldest sister and brother.  We have not been together for 4 years.  And let me add that I have four more siblings who were not here. 

Lake Worth Beach.

Lake Worth Beach.
 
Rae and dad.
 
Me, Donna and Stu.  We have always referred to ourselves as the "Big 3".  We are the three oldest of seven kids.
 
Me, Diane and Stu.

Diane and Stu.

My dad, me, my sister Donna and brother Stu

Don and Donna.
 
My sister's friend Don, Joanie, and dad.
 
 

 
 
 
My sister Donna and Don and my brother Stu and Diane were only in town a short time.  I wish it could have been longer.
 
 
 
 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

From the West Coast to the East Coast ...

... of Florida.  We have moved from Ruskin and Manatee RV Park (which we have come to love) to John Prince Park in Lake Worth, Florida.  The cross peninsula highways are far from being freeways and the interior of Florida is its heartland:  large cattle ranches and horse farms, miles of orange groves and truck farms.  The vast majority of Florida's traffic flow is North-South on I-95, The Florida Turnpike and I-75.  So we were relegated to two lane roads most of the trip.


 
 
 
Speaking of transportation, the inhabitants of  Manatee RV Park used a variety of transportation methods besides bipedal that included bicycles, tricycles of the adult type and the ubiquitous golf cart for just getting around the property.  A pedestrian had to be alert to the quiet electric type golf cart sneaking up behind them.

 

 

 
While we are on the subject of transportation, I thought I'd mention that I purchased my very first ever pair of Jesus shoes.  It is sort of the trend of footwear in Florida for retired men.  I still can't give up my socks, though.  Maybe I am "cold footed" but I like my wool hiking socks.
 
Enjoying another perfect day in paradise with the dogs.

Juniper poses when I aim the camera at her.

Lobo can't be bothered from checking his messages.

We took a beginning line dancing class while at Manatee RV Park. I don't think I passed.
 
Full moon rising in the East over Manatee RV Park.

We got together with old friends Boots and his wife Joan who were staying at an RV park about and hour north of us.  We met halfway in Seffner, Florida and had lunch and got caught up on adventure tales.

And, yes, we never have any fun!
 
And we have begun work on our taxes or Joanie has. We are going to try and get them done in the next few days.