Saturday, April 28, 2012

Where Did the Time Go?

It has been almost 2 weeks since our last post (seems like 2 days).  Spring still hadn’t come to Duluth by the time we left on Thursday, but it has come to the Minneapolis area.  The leaves are out and the flowering trees are looking great.  There is even a good looking crop of dandelions growing.

Paige’s mother is now back in her house, with therapy specialists providing home visits and 2 other daughters helping out while we get more granddaughter-time.  She’s doing very well and we’re looking forward to having her at the cabin in a month or so.

Later today Paige is taking all 4 granddaughters to a live performance of “Mamma Mia”, as one of their Christmas presents then out for a pizza supper.  Yesterday we went to an Art Show at the school where Brett’s girls go.  Sophie was in a vocal performance there.

Tomorrow we will attend an event at the University of Minnesota where Valentina is presenting a history project with 2 other students.  They have been in competition starting at their school then the region.  They have made it to the state level and awards will be presented tomorrow at the end of a 9 hour event.  We’re cheering for Valentina and her team!!

On Tuesday we’re leaving for Disney World with Olivia.  This is our fourth and last trip with the granddaughters.  We always enjoy their excitement!  We will post an update on this trip when we return home in a week or so.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Where is Spring?

It is now Sunday evening and things are quieting down.  We brought 3 granddaughters with us to Duluth on Friday evening.  David and Valentina met us here a little later, so we had all of our granddaughters with us for the weekend.  Physical rehabilitation for Paige’s mother has been going very well, and she might be able to go home later this week.  She has been able to get out and about by calling for a special van but yesterday was her first ride in a car since mid-January.  We came for the weekend, and brought all the girls, so they could attend a Tea Party with their Great Grandmother.  Here is the whole gang (less the guys):

Last year at this time we were just starting to head back here from eastern Tennessee and had spring-like weather most of the way.  This year we beat Spring here.  Although the snow is gone, and the grass is greening up, the leaves have not yet come out.  Yesterday was quite pleasant, but today is cold, wet, and windy.  There is some snow in the forecast for tonight (hopefully not much).
At least we don't have the storms seen in OK, KS and NE (where we were last week).

We will be spending the next week and a half here in Duluth, getting her house ready for Joyce’s return home.  We will keep busy doing whatever needs to be done.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Back in Minnesota

It was a long day of driving on Monday, but we arrived at Brett and Jen’s place a little after 4 PM.  The driving was also quite tiring due to a 20 mph head- and side-wind. 

We will have a couple of days here before taking the granddaughters to Duluth to spend some time with their Great Grandmother over the weekend.  We will be touching bases with friends and family while here and taking care of some paperwork issues.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Still Rolling

It is now Monday morning, and we are still traveling.  With any luck, we should arrive at Brett’s place later today and stop moving for awhile.  We had planned to get there before Easter, but our adventures in Flagstaff delayed us too much.  Instead, we arrived at Mary and Bill’s farm in Nebraska on Saturday night and shared a home cooked dinner with them.  We all went to Easter services at their local church, followed by a southern-style brunch at our place. 

We were packed up by mid-day and rolled into Iowa where we stopped for the night about ½ hour across the border.  Our Easter dinner was at a truck stop along I-80, just a short walk from an RVpark
We’re looking forward to seeing all the granddaughters and family!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Finally out of Flagstaff

Here it is, Thursday already, and we have finally made it out of Flagstaff.  When we had last posted, the big tow truck had dropped us off at the Freightliner service center for the weekend.  We found a very nice church in town for Palm Sunday services.  It was very pleasant to be a part of a larger congregation, especially with lots of children.  Both factors have been missing from our experiences for quite awhile.
The Scenic Mountains in Flagstaff

Monday was “Hurry Up and Wait” for inspection and diagnostics.  Tuesday was more of the same.  Our confidence in the service department faded as we became more aware of their lack of customer service.  Late Tuesday afternoon we found a CATERPILLAR service shop nearby and mentioned our plight to the owner, who gave us a much better feeling of confidence.  Wednesday morning we paid Freightliner too much for their limited diagnostics and had the big tow truck move us 3 miles before 9:00 AM.  By 5:15 PM we were rolling once again…..Whew!
Waiting for the Motorhome to be fixed

An old saying is “It’s not so much what happens to you, it’s how you react that’s important.”  Let’s say the past 4 days was a memorable experience, and let it go at that.  We are very happy to be rolling once again, just a little later than we had originally planned.

On a brighter note, this situation allowed us to connect with John and Ginny from the San Diego area, who were also captives at Camp Freightliner.  We shared a couple of meals with them and found we had quite a few things in common.  Connecting with new people is one way to “make lemonade, when you’re handed some lemons.” (Brett's advice to us!) 

We’re now on our trek back to Minnesota.  We won’t make it for Easter which is a disappointment.  We just hope that the trip goes without any further delays!

Paige’s mom saw her surgeon on Monday and the good news is that she is now able to put pressure on her left leg.  Therapy has started and she is working hard to walk again.  We have no doubt that she will be getting out soon.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Not an April Fool’s Story

Saturday morning we left Needles CA under sunny skies and made good time to Seligman AZ.  This is where the effort to “Save Route 66” got started.  We stopped to have lunch there with Elvis.  He is sitting on the bumper of an Edsel:

Although he was a mannequin, the following is for real, not a joke:

Saturday’s temperatures were in the 90’s in northern Arizona.  Today, Sunday afternoon, we are still here and it is 44 degrees windy, cloudy, and occasional flurries.  Winds are gusting to at least 40 miles per hour.  Maybe it’s a good thing we are not traveling?

The bad news is that we can’t travel.  Our engine died at the top of an exit ramp yesterday afternoon and wouldn’t restart.  A “side-of-the-road” diagnosis was the high pressure fuel pump is gone, but we won’t find out for sure until sometime on Monday.

What does it take to tow a motorhome?.....A BIG Towtruck
So we are now spending a few days shopping and sightseeing in Flagstaff.  We are enjoying all the amenities of “Camp Freightliner” which amounts to 108Volts at the end of a long extension cord (maybe 12 amps max, before we pull the line below minimum voltage and we go offline).

We're hoping that the repair will be quick on Monday and that we will be on the road back to MN again soon!