A salt and pepper shaker combo on our table started a conversation you might find interesting.
Shelly and I have found that gratitude is amazing experience. Being grateful for everything you have creates more to be grateful for!
Our conversation turned to the people who have made such a difference to us, and have played their very crucial role to allow us to live a life we are so very blessed to enjoy.
(As we are in Islamorada in the Florida Keys camped next to a banana tree on the ocean side watching the sun set in a balmy 71 degrees!)
One of the people who came to mind was Michael Moore in Atlanta. Without Michael, we might not have been able to financially finish building High Country Stables. Michael was so supportive and helpful in several endeavors during our time in Atlanta, as well as being almost an uncle to the boys as they became Eagle Scouts and young men. Thanks Michael!
Rick and Mary Grubb also played instrumental parts in our lives in Atlanta. Without Rick there might not have been a farm at all. He supplied all the slate and literally tons of chicken manure fertilizer to help make our rings, roads, stables, and pastures a reality. And he was a great friend. Thanks Rick and Mary! (And we sure hope you are spending time in HHI!)
David Bates has become a friend while helping us along our rv travels. We are praying for the best outcome with his health challenges. David introduced us to his brother Paul here in the Keys and we are super grateful for both of these wonderful people.
Tim and Liz Tate out in Red River New Mexico took us in and made us feel very welcome and wanted for our winter out there. We surely hope to see them soon.
David White came into our lives and has helped us in ways hard to understand. (But Dave does!)
And those shakers are the coolest thing. When we were sailing, salt always soaked up the salt air and required lots of rice to stay fresh. Our good friend Dr Angel Tribuno gifted us these cool shakers that have collapsible lids to keep moisture out. She was also there for us our whole time in Atlanta as our Chiropractor and medical guru as we were rising two boys. Friends like Angel are very hard to come by.
There are so many more like Wade and Nickie, Joe and Sue and so many more. Including of course our boys who have made our life so fulfilling.
We are so very grateful to each and every one of you. Thank you!
And that is our update for today. Be grateful. It opens gates you would never believe possible.
We are working on our next travel update. Yes we are still traveling!
There is just something exciting about the shortening days before starting another adventure!
Final preparations making ready for being on the road again, completing all the projects to which you have committed, to making those last Amazon orders so you know you will get them in time, all add to fill those few quickly lessening remaining days until departure.
In addition to all that, Shelly is off to Memphis TN, (without me!) to attend a Assistance Dog training conference with the folks she has been helping at Atlas Service Dogs. She is off to the airport in Joplin Mo. Wednesday and back on Saturday. We leave Sunday morning!
Our 4 months here at Grand Lake Sailing Club in Grove OK have been super nice. We have enjoyed this so much, we are actually seriously considering coming back next year!
Although we did not travel and explore as we would have liked – we did get a quick trip to Little Rock Ar to have dinner with Ian when the Air Force evacuated out of Michael’s way.
After the surgery on my knee started healing this week we took a trip to Natural Falls to hike 3 miles or so in the cool October weather. Goose loved it!
Last week we had a nice strong thunderstorm with 70+ mph winds that took down an old oak tree, narrowly missing 4 sailboats up on the hill on trailers!
We have become birdwatchers as Shelly has feeders and hummingbird feeders right outside our dining table window. It has been fun and interesting to watch and learn the different birds. My favorites were the yellow finches, tanagers, and the little woodpeckers. We also had a running battle with squirrels. Shelly would wait until they were close and then blast them with a hose hanging on the window. The squirrels learned to listen for the faintest noise of the screen sliding open as Shelly slowly reached for the hose nozzle! This proved to be quite entertaining and kept our neighborhood squirrels properly bathed!
In the meantime – there are two projects to be done. The FEW, a nonprofit group we help when we can, has been donated a 37′ Silverton motor yacht in Galveston Bay in Houston. We are headed south to see what is needed to get that boat operating and what is best for the organization.
The loose plans from Texas are a leisurely seafood engorging trip across the gulf coast back to Stuart Fl to see about getting a 58′ Hatteras motor yacht in the water after being up on the hard for 6 years.
Somewhere in there will be Thanksgiving and Christmas with family.
So look for more posts as we start new adventures!
Oklahoma is much different than I had thought it would be. (This happens all the time to me!) Early October and it is still beautiful weather – warm sunny, breezy days and cool nights for sleeping – but not cold.
Since mid-July we have lived in a beautiful setting, up on a hill, surrounded by huge old oak trees, with tons of wildlife around us. We overlook the lake and the marina which is down the hill a few hundred yards. There is a large herd of deer that drive Goose nuts, the rabbit under the shed right next to us, and lots of little critters and birds.
Sometimes, on the weekends, there will be a few people on their boats but for the most part we get paid to sit here and make sure unused boats do not sink at the dock!
Shelly volunteered to help train some puppies at the local shelter and had a ball doing it. Thankfully she didn’t bring any home!
It is time to go. Our feet are awfully itchy to be moving! We have recruited another couple to take our place for the winter and early spring and left the door open to coming back if it all works out.
As usual we have been busy. There were several sailboats requiring attention, including an engine rebuild, lots of canvas work for Shelly as well as projects around the club grounds. We have met some awfully nice people and made new friends!
More importantly, and the main reason we came here, was the work done on the RV. We knew this site had a really nice steel cover that allowed me to do some major repairs.
The bedroom slideout had to removed completely out of the RV by disassembling the bed and all interior trim work, as well as the exterior trim and sealing pieces. Once the slideout was supported by legs, we were able to remove the old floor and install a new one.
The new floor was built prior to the removal of the slide-out and I was really hoping it would fit!
We were able to replace the old floor in a day, then replace carpet, bed, and interior trim so we could use the bed that night. The exterior trim had to be cleaned of all caulking and rusted screws and replaced.
Next was the job of replacing the two 4×6 pieces of painted steel skirt around the hitch that got bent when someone dropped the RV on the truck back in Atlanta. ;-). This one was worrying me until a call to Newmar notified us that not only did they have the two parts in stock but they would ship them to us free for only $140! I was floored. When they arrived I had the old pieces off and had sanded, cleaned and re-insulated in the framework and was ready for installation.
It seemed easy enough to just use the old pieces as a template and cut the same pattern. Nope. The first piece was too short by almost 4 inches. Bummer. Luckily Newmar had another piece! That job, though tedious, turned out to really look great!
Next up was a project I had been mulling over for a year. The basement doors on the outside were huge, heavy, vertically hung from the top with no support once they were opened over your head! There was a door on each side of the rv that allows access to the large storage space under the forward bedroom. These things were just wrong but I was not sure about how to fix them.
I finally just bit the bullet, removed them, sawed them in half and hung them horizontally. With some creative use of aluminum channel and lots of trials I have to admit to being a very proud papa of these doors.
Of course, the sawing kinda messed up the paint so I had to learn about acrylic paints and how to spray a metallic automotive paint with a compressor. It turned out pretty nice according to my biggest supporter! (After a few trials and lots of sanding!)
Next we tackled the old carpet inside. Once we ripped it out and removed all the layers of 10 years of dirt and grime underneath, a new hardwood replica (teak!) vinyl floor really spiffed up the living area. Shelly is happy!
Last week, knowing we are about to hit the road again, we invested in 6 really good tires for the truck and an oil change and we are good to go!
Tomorrow we head to Fayetteville Arkansas VA hospital for an outpatient meniscus surgery to clean up torn ligaments from skiing in Red River last year. Surgery probably means no skiing this year but we will see!
The loose plan is to head south into Texas and then east along the Gulf Coast. We might go back to Stuart Fl to put that Hatteras we worked on last spring in the water. Christmas will probably be in Asheville NC.
Between here and there, who knows? If we come back to Oklahoma, it will not be until March at least so we have lots of time to explore.