Because We Can - Fulltime RV'ing

Journal Archive 4/11 - 4/20 2011

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Apr 11 Monday

A walk in the park


The view to the front, and one of the reasons why we like this place, not that it is some grand view, rather that it is so different from what our view has been of late. Given the way the sites are placed, there may be someone in any of those sites on occasion, but then we only need to look out the sides of the coach to have a different view of springtime in Mississippi.


Looking back at the coach from one of those sites, the site a large tree fell onto smashing the concrete pad and the electrical box. This may also be a contributing factor as to why these sites might remain empty, that fear that another tree could fall, possibly hitting an RV parked here. Note how we are positioned up on top of the knoll, in the full sun a reasonable distance from the base of any trees.


The weather forecast was calling for rain or thunderstorms this afternoon, so we decided to take a walk around the park in the morning. This is called Grand Gulf Military Park park because it encompasses the area where the Battle of Grand Gulf took place, making it a very special place, particularly to the history lover in me. Our route took us along the park road, a road that at least in Linda's mind went in only one direction, up.

Actually it didn't, but the problem was that the ups caused the downs and the flats to be quickly pushed from her mind. I thought about trying to explain that the Confederate artillery wasn't going to be placed at the bottom of the hill, but decided that if I mentioned it, she would probably come back with, "Well they should have."


Even though the battle was fought nearly 150 years ago, it is really something to be able to stand, looking at these gun emplacements and be carried by your thoughts back to those distant days. It's also interesting that the gun emplacements still exist today after all these years. Standing here, Linda wondered if we had any relatives that were in the battle. It is a "yes, but" answer. Yes the 3rd Ohio Battery was here, but it was held in reserve, and so never participated in the actual fighting. Sometimes you take any connection you can get.


One might assume that when the park was dedicated in 1962, this tower stood above the surrounding trees and provided a panoramic view of the ground where the battle took place. Today that is not the case, a fact I could easily see, but Linda was determined to see what she couldn't see, so up we went. Sometimes I think she gets a perverse kind of pleasure from doing this, knowing that while I don't fear heights the way I once did, I have a decided level of discomfort up when on high. You fall out of a second story window when you are two years old like I did and see if it doesn't make a lifelong impression on you about heights.


"Look Bob, no hands, it isn't scary at all." Now if that isn't a taunt I don't know what is. And believe me, I would have done something about it if I would have been able to lift one of my hands off the railing. You try to take photo looking down like that while keeping both hands on the railing like I did and you'll know what I mean.


Having the responsibility of being our tour guide resting upon my shoulders, here I point down river from the top of the observation tower to give Linda a little more background into the overall picture of the war in this area. Basically the Confederates were trying to retain control of the Mississippi River and the Yankees were trying to take control of it, all of which centered around Vicksburg, some 30 miles or so to the north as the crow flies but much further in river miles.


If you think observation tower, you think hill, because just like artillery pieces, they tend to place them on the highest ground they can. Thus Linda decided it was time to head back to the RV as she had enough ups for the day. The trail was pretty much all downhill from there, and at the bottom we decided to save the museum for another day when we saw a tour bus in the parking lot.

There are a number of these markers around the park which detail what happened during the battle in that specific spot, and we happened on this one while returning to the coach. Grand Gulf may be one of those many small battles that were fought during the war that never rated a book being written about it, but that doesn't mean that it has been forgotten. But then we haven't been over to the museum where the gift shop is, so who knows what I will discover there to satisfy my history hunger.


The view uphill from that last marker. At last, an artillery position that wasn't at the top of a hill, but its location was very special because of what was at the top of the hill. It is just slowly starting to sink in that we are really in the midst of a Civil War battlefield, and that history is not only around us, it is literally right here.

As predicted, the line of storms came through in the afternoon and the rain came down, bringing with it that fresh rain smell that we so so seldom get to enjoy. Reading on my part, facebooking on Linda's, it was an enjoyable day of fun and relaxation. And yes, Linda did do some packing, realizing that I wasn't going to be there to carry and lift her backpack for her. Maybe there is checked luggage in her future, or maybe she's going to be more well muscled when she returns. For my part, I just hope I don't regress in any of my daily goals, though I really think she will be most pleasantly surprised to find that I have even further improved when she returns, at least I hope so. No, I know so.

Apr 12 Tuesday

Back in time


With Linda heading back to California tomorrow, she did the sweetest thing, she fixed me a dessert for each of the days she would be gone. Interesting way of doing it too. "What do want me to fix you for dessert while I am gone?" "Ah." As you can tell she caught me totally unawares and unprepared.

"How about brownies?" "Yes!" "What kind?" "Ah." Once again I show the innate ability of men to be on a completely different wavelength than women. "What kind of brownies do you want?" said with just the barest hint of edge, which the big smile on her face canceled out. "Ah, well, ah, what kind do you mean?" At least I was now talking in more than monosyllables.

"Flour or bean?" Now we were getting somewhere, a question I actually had an answer for, "Flour." "You'll need to keep them in the refrigerator or they will spoil." Now I had the top hand, who was she trying to kid, those puppies are going to be going into my mouth. In the end she was the winner, cutting them into 24 piece, 23 of which found there way into the refrigerator. I had a good idea of what happened to the 24th piece, but I sure wasn't going to ask.


Among the things we did during the day was to visit the area of the park around the entrance where there are a number of outdoor exhibits, as well as the museum. Sometimes we had to use a little imagination, but the history was definitely there. Doesn't look like much, but Linda really liked it. (I did too.) It's what's left of a Confederate sternwheel transport that helped ferry across the river the cannons that defended Grand Gulf. If you're wondering, it is the paddle wheel frame.


Something else special for Linda, a section of a petrified tree. As she observed, this is the largest section of a petrified tree we have seen outside the Petrified Forest. It's completely different than the colorful ones there, yet in it's own way it is impressive. It also served to remind us that petrified wood is found in all the states.


You can tell she was really interested in this exhibit, most likely because of the ingenuity that went making it. It being a home made, one man submarine powered by a Model T engine. But the best part was what it was used for, bootlegging whiskey and rum during the early part of prohibition.


Linda wasn't the only one finding interesting things as this photo of me standing in the remains of the fort's powder magazine attests. Not just history, but the actions of the people who fought here nearly 148 years ago. A place that has been largely bypassed by time, but where gunboats battled field artillery, a stepping stone towards the final siege of Vicksburg. The history books feature the big splashes, but there were many small pebbles that made ripples before that huge splash that rocked the war, and this was one of them.


Some things need no explanation, though a caption may be called for. I think, "Still Life" fits perfectly. I did hear her remark that it was certainly beat up, and even though I never saw one on the place she grew up, after all I wasn't a blood relative, I have to yield to her knowledge about these things. Life lived, Life enjoyed, because Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Apr 13 Wednesday

Leaving on a jet plane

If there ever was a "just do it", it was timed to coincide with the alarm clock going off this morning. Now maybe this morning isn't what everyone would use to describe it, no doubt preferring 'middle of the night', but whatever it was, the time was 2:30 when we were jarred awake by the alarm's raucous call to arise and get going. Suddenly the cub moved, other sounds could be heard under the screeching of the alarm, and then there was a moment of silence broken only by the body next to mine settling back down onto the bed.

Now this could get interesting I was thinking, what if she falls back asleep, do I wake her in a few minutes or simply get up and start fixing breakfast, then wake her when it is done? As I was about to get up, a loud beeping began, a different sound than what had first awakened me. Then I realized what it was, that woman had set two different alarm clocks to make absolutely sure we got up at the appointed time. You never know exactly what all you are getting when you stand up there and say "I do", do you.


Then that last alarm was knocked off the shelf, still beeping, the bed was jostled as the search began, and at last silence closed in once again. This time there was no head returning to the pillow, no, the covers were flung off the bed as if they were saying "Get up and get going Bob, you've got to get her to the airport."

So now here it is, 2:35 AM, and I've got to get up, get dressed, fix breakfast, drive the hour and a half to the airport, wait an hour and a half at the airport to make sure she gets off okay, then drive the hour and a half back to the coach. Knowing I'd better get going, or that cub as going to grow into an enraged grizzly very quickly, I hopped out of bed and proceed to get ready.

"Two eggs please, plain, scrambled." I'd just walked out into the kitchen when those words came from the back of the coach. I had to smile because I'd already planned to make plain eggs, and the fact she wanted two meant she wasn't nervous about the trip. For the next half hour I was busy, as was she, and while I engaged in intermittent chatter, she very seldom responded, which was very unusual for her. As I was to learn during a phone call while she was waiting at DFW for her flight to California, she never did completely wake up because she didn't need to, she knew I would take care of things.

We got to the Jackson-Evers Airport even earlier than she had planned, and except for having to circle the terminal once because I didn't turn into the parking area when I should have, it was an uneventful trip with virtually no traffic. It was made with the headlights piercing the darkness and little else, which made the return trip all that better when I got to see what was alongside the road.

We said our good-byes, and I watched as she made her way through security, then disappeared around the corner. As I waited for her plane to takeoff, I looked at some of the displays in the terminal building, including one that especially wrenched at my emotions. Through photos and words, a section portrays the civil rights struggles in Mississippi, with emphasis on Medgar Evers who was murdered in 1963 by Byron De La Beckwith, a crime that went unpunished for 30 years, but in the end justice prevailed. Why do we judge people simply because of the color of their skin, the country they live in, the religion they believe in, or for that matter, the way they desire to live?


By following Linda's flight with the Droid using using a flight tracker website, I was able to wait until the flight was in the air before leaving to drive back to the coach. I had thought I would be tired, but I wasn't, possibly from being so keyed up over the past six hours, but as I opened the coach door it hit me, the dirty dishes from breakfast staring back at me in the darkness, the sounds of silence filling my ears, and the realization of how I had been talking without speaking and hearing without listening. Life lived, lessons learned.


That was not the morning dishes in that photo, it was the day's dishes. Typical man you might think, but that would be no different than what I wrote about judging people, now would it. The reason wasn't a lack of motivation or a case of ignorance, it was a choice, one where I got to catch up on my blog reading. One where I got to read a book and watch a movie or two. One where I wrote the Daily Journal that I had intended to write the night before. One where I settled in to my new existence, thinking of it as the pause before the well structured storm of tomorrow when I try to have the Daily Journal written in the early morning, and follow that with a walk through the park. Yes, exercise is in my immediate future.

By 8 o'clock my body was telling me that it had indeed been a long day, and that it was time to call it quits. That was when Linda came to the rescue, having left me those brownies as well as as two cups of chocolate pudding. It proved to be a double rescue, a wonderful dessert with sweet thoughts, and, with all that chocolate, a rescue from the desire to sleep. It was tough, the light had to come back on several times as more pages were read, but eventually the rigors of the day overcame the rush of the chocolate, and sleep settled over me as I thought of what tomorrow would bring. May it be a day of renewal and rededication, a day to live Life.

Apr 14 Thursday

A lone Life


What a difference a day can make, guess you could say it was as different as one day is to the next. The early morning sound of the birds, breakfast for one, the routine of writing the daily journal, listening to music, reading blogs and books, enjoying the peace and solitude of Grand Gulf. But most of all a feeling of missing something, missing a key part of my Life, missing that smile, and yes, even missing the occasional grizzly attack.

I may have to search out more blogs to read, or at least find some more that post on a daily basis, pull out one of the boxes of books done in the bay, or even stoop to mop the floor of the coach. Maybe there are some new recipes I could try out or geocaches to find, but in the end, much of what I was looking for was fulfilled by two walks along the park road.

Linda has this thing about taking flower photos, but today it was my turn to stop as I walked and observed the beauty of nature. It is interesting how many of the plants, the bushes and the trees I do not know. Take the flowers in this photo for example, they are pretty but it will take some searching through a few websites to figure out what they are. For now they will be known as bushes that grow alongside the road with delicate white flowers.


Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

Student of the past, lover of history, immersed in what once was, sounds swirling in my head as I walked along the road. It all went to make what happened here real. A great, great, great uncle lounging by his artillery piece, his Battery one of the reserve units, a minor stop along the years of war he participated in. It was at this time of year in this area in 1863. Did he note the white flowers in a time of reflection as he waited? Did he want a drink just as I did? Did he wonder what was down the road and around the next bend?


The view to the side. Birds that come every day and ever so slowly walk through the grass occasionally pecking at something unseen, hidden by the green blades. It reminds me of Linda, of the mob of birds that I can see out the front window at the spot where she scattered a handful of bird seed before she left. Unfortunately the view is through the sunshade, and when I try to go outside and take a photo, they immediately take flight. A simple matter of raising the shade but I don't. I vow tomorrow will be different, and it shall.


Actually it tasted much better than it looks. Cooked completely differently than how I would normally fix it, not on the grill but in a skillet on the stove, the washed out color of the squash, the soggy bun and the runny beans say that something is not the same. It is Linda, and I miss her. We talk each day, I hear the excitement in her voice, I share my day just as she shares her's, but I miss her presence, and even though it will only be 18 days, 4 hours and 17 minutes until I met her at the Jackson-Evers airport, days filled with things to do and unanticipated adventures to be experienced, still I think of she who's sparkling eyes, bright smile and gentle laugh often makes me feel like a teenager as another day ends with the wonderful taste of a chocolate brownie.

Apr 15 Friday

Drifting in the wind


I have always enjoyed the peace and solitude of the early morning and this morning was no different. The one constant is the background music, the uplifting, cheerful songs of my feathered friends. The location in the RV park where we are staying is up on the bluff, yet it is surrounded by tall trees, most of which are oaks, and on whose branches sits a chirping chorus whose songs of joy ripple through the air.

It is dark and I sit in front of the computer, the words I want to say not breaking loose from their hiding place, caught behind the raft of emotions filling my brain that stem their flow. Slowly they come, building till they pour out, cascading off my fingertips to appear on the screen. The Daily Journal written, the emotions set down in words, it is time to get on with Life.

Still there are reminders, and this is one of the sweetest. The day before she left, Linda had been outside the coach, I'd heard the bay doors open and close. When she came back inside I gave her a puzzled look to which she simply said, "I was putting a little pile of seed out for the birds." Maybe those birds this morning were singing a song of thanks, or maybe they were just glad to be able to live Life.


There was another line of storms sweeping through Mississippi today, but we were lucky as they passed either to the north or the south of Grand Gulf. Yes there were a few moments of light rain, times when intermittent sprinkles would fall, and the occasional whipping of the branches and leaves of the trees, but it was something else that had the greatest impact on me.

Since I have as one of my "just do it" items for the week, the taking of a daily walk around the park, I was near one of the higher points of the park when it happened. It was the roar of the cannons of the gunboats in the river. Maybe it to others it was merely the boom of distant thunder, but to me it could only be the sound of those cannons as the bombardment of Grand Gulf got under way. It sent chills throughout my body, and I closed my eyes and I was there.


Among the other things I busied myself with during the day was to seek out a geocache that located in this area of the park. Using the listed GPS co-ordinates, I set out to find it. As always there was a bit of wandering before getting the direction I needed to walk figured out, and then some off trail bushwhacking to the general area where it was located. The GPS was indicating I had to be within 10 feet of it, but I was really flying blind on this one, as hadn't even checked to see what size the cache was. Thinking it was a micro I spent time looking in all the wrong places, then widening my search area, I almost stepped on it before I saw it.


This was what the area I was searching looked like, tall grass and downed trees, which made an excellent area to hide a cache out in plain sight. There are several more nearby, all within a walking distance of a mile or so, which means the fun of finding them will be coupled with the exercise obtained in walking there and back. Some people say they have heard of geocaching, but have never tried it, others say they may someday do it, and meanwhile Life goes on.


This one is for Linda. Evening flock after I scattered another handful of seed, one person here missing you is enough.


Typical man food, though after this second evening meal in a row of beans and something else, the else being shrimp in this case, that is going to be changing. I've heard people say it is hard to cook for just one and I have to heartily agree, so tomorrow there is going to be some time spent with the South Beach cookbooks. This is a grand opportunity I have been given to try out some new recipes or fix some of those we previously enjoyed that for one reason or another have been forgotten. How easy it is look at Life and miss the opportunities that stare us in the face.

Apr 16 Saturday

Dead end road


Interesting day, and one of split personalities, or maybe better, split purposes. Up early, Daily Journal written before the sun climbed into the sky, a great start to the day. As you can see, breakfast was delicious and a change from the oatmeal of the past few days. Of course the fact that I used the last of the milk yesterday and am not planning on going to the store until Monday probably had something to do with having eggs for breakfast.


For today's outing, it was off down the road, down to where it dead ends. Along the way I planned to find another geocache, but that was not to be. Directly in front of me was where the coordinates said it should be. Unfortunately I was in the middle of a field, over 100 feet from the nearest object where I would have thought the cache could have been hidden. The fact that others were reporting they found it made me wonder if perhaps I had managed to enter the wrong coordinates into the GPS. Oh well, finding it wasn't the main reason to walk down there anyway, exercise was, and I got plenty of that before the morning was over.


The area I was walking through was the site of the former town of Grand Gulf, and a town was what it had been in the 1830's before a tornado torn up much of the town, then later yellow fever and cholera took their toll, after which the river started to swallow up whole blocks of it. Then during the civil war the town was destroyed by Federal forces, never to be rebuilt. To complete the cycle the river shifted, moving away from where the town once had stood. Today there are only a few decaying reminders of what had once been a bustling city of over 1000 people.


While there is no town, there are a number of structures that are more modern scattered around the area. Here the river is all powerful and even though it has only been a few days since we arrived, already the sense that Life is lived in rhythm with the river can readily be seen. The river is going to flood, so build your abode up above those flood waters if you live on the flood plain. The bluffs provide a natural levee to contain the river water as it rises and falls with the seasons. Right now they are saying that high water will reach us on April 29th. Even we visitors learn that the river is an actual living thing that does at it chooses, and we need to respect it.


I have been hearing noises on occasion that sound like a diesel idling, a slow plane or train, or just a low rumbling. Today during my walk I learned what that noise actually was. They are powerful, they are long and they are slow, plus they make the noise I had been hearing. Also the telephoto picture makes the river appear closer and smaller than it really is.


Another photo for Linda. These are blooming along the road on the outskirts of where Grand Gulf once stood. This wasn't the end of the road, and I walked all the way to the end where the photo of the tow boat was taken, which was also where the Confederate fortification that was on the up river side of Grand Gulf stood. As I stood there I got a call from our son who was in his day before his first triathlon mode, which meant he was watching triathlon videos. Linda is going to go watch him and provide me with phone updates on his progress. Just because you can't be with those you love doesn't mean you can't live Life. If you want to, you will find a way. Either that or you can just keep trying to learn your lines, hoping for the dress rehearsal that never comes.

As far as that split day referred to in that first paragraph, the entire morning was spent out walking and enjoying the area. The afternoon and evening were spent in front of the TV being sloth Bob, broken only by a sausage patty, beans and cole slaw supper. Sometimes living Life is just doing nothing.

Apr 17 Sunday

Another lazy day

Now I think I understand why most of the RV blogs written by single travelers are on the brief side. Looking at what I usually write, much of it is either observations on Linda, or the interplay we have during the day. That is not in any way to suggest the daily activities of a single are any less interesting than a couple, but from what is happening in my little world, I miss those things that have always rounded out my day. In a way, it gives me a very tiny glimpse of just how devastating it could be to lose a spouse or partner.


Today is the day our son competes in his first triathlon, and I had my chair ready from which I could follow the action. With cell phone reception being much better outside the coach that inside, I set my chair up nearby and received phone calls from Linda updating me on his progress. Even though I wasn't there to see it, I still got to watch it through Linda's eyes and words. I was also able to get about a third of the way through a Stephanie Plum story between phone calls so it was a win all around.

Speaking of wins, no he did not win in the sense of where he finished, but since his real goal was to finish while doing the best he could, he was definitely a winner. He's one of those old middle age guys who was very much out of shape just three months ago, and here he was finishing his first triathlon in under two hours. That makes him awesome and a real winner in my book. It also makes me a proud dad. Great job Rich!! Linda will be sending me a photo or two, and naturally I will have to post them.


This one is for Linda, yes I did remember how, and yes there are whites and colors in there. I think it is a guy thing. Unfortunately for anyone looking for more today, that's it, mostly because if you start one of those Stephanie Plum stories you're going to have to finish it, and then read another one. Between that, reading those RV blogs, and falling asleep in the lawn chair, that was my day. About that falling asleep, I think it was because I was so keyed up and excited about the triathlon. I know it couldn't be that I was imitating those old men I knew as child who would fall asleep on Sunday afternoon.

To end the day we got an email from our friends John and Judy asking if we remembered where we were two years ago today. How could we forget, it was Barcelona, Spain and we four stood with thousands holding white palm fronds in front of The Basilica of the Sagrada Família, also known as Gaudi's cathedral, for the Palm Sunday service. Later we had lunch at a sidewalk cafe, walked through the park, explored the back alleys and corners of Barcelona and had a fabulous evening meal. It wasn't a case of someday I'll, it was a day of Life lived. Who could ask for anything more.

Apr 18 Monday

Around town


Interesting church, or at least the object on the top of the steeple is. But before I go to far into what it is, today the plan called for spending time in Port Gibson, so I spent the morning doing a whole lot of nothing that seemed like it was something at the time. When I did go into town, it was around one o'clock with the humidity and the temperature hovering around 80, something I will not be doing again.


Now you know what it is, a golden hand pointing toward heaven. There are several versions of the story of how it came to be, but the basics are that a young man made it from wood, and a round 1901 the original was replaced with the metal one of today. Driving down the main highway through town you pass right by it, but the fact there are trees lining the road, and you are focusing on your driving, means that you will likely never notice it. Getting out of your vehicle and wandering around town is the way to discover things. It's what I did for the rest of the afternoon.


This one is for Linda. It's drooping but it is still alive. I think it misses you so much and is so sad, it is hanging its head. I've been putting it out when the wind isn't blowing to give it some fresh air. If it dies while you are gone it's going to be because it committed suicide due to being extremely depressed over your absence, not because I inadvertently killed it.


Port Gibson is not a very big town, so there is not much to choose from when it comes to where to buy groceries, so Piggly Wiggly it was. My list was short, and after looking at what they had, my list of purchases looked like it was going to be even shorter. Most of the produce was blemished in one way or another, causing me to wonder if it had not been bought that way. The meat section was also interesting in what cuts, or parts were there, but I'll save that for the day when I buy meat.


I also bought some things that were not on my list, thinking that when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Had the field peas with snaps for dinner and they were very good, though I will be boiling them instead of microwaving them next time. Maybe I should have paid closer attention to the fact there were no microwave instructions on the package.


My attempt at local cuisine given what I had. Field peas and snaps, fried cabbage, fried squash, fried sausage patty on a bun. It actually tasted great, it just wasn't that great health wise. Maybe next time I will try a healthier version of the same foods. I guess I could have just decided that fixing it this way was too unhealthy, and never have had it in the first place. Do I want to live the nothing ventured nothing gained life, or do I want to experience Life? It really isn't a difficult question to answer, is it.

Apr 19 Tuesday

Fun things

I want to clear something up before I dot another "i" and cross another "t". Fun things refers to something other than what I did today, not that what I did wasn't fun, it was, however.... There was copious amounts of reading, at least three walks, great food, long phone conversations with our son and also with Linda, plus several interesting shows on TV. But the best part was what they emailed me, some of which is included in what follows.


Though I'd already been up for several hours, my day really got started at 6:30 when our son called. Yesterday he had said he really wasn't sore from the triathlon, today he said that maybe there was a place he wasn't sore, but he hadn't found it yet. I had to laugh at that one because over the years I've had that same experience more than just a few times. It's like once the excitement is past the pain begins. It must not have been too bad because he was already talking about participating in another triathlon near the end of the summer. Yahoo! You rock Rich.

Later Linda called, excited about how her week was going with our special needs grandson, Justin. I got another good laugh as she was talking about "Velcro", her nickname for him. Our daughter calls him 'The Shadow', and that was what he was with grandma. Linda was amazed how he can stay six inches from her at all times, yet never bump into her. However, it seems that when she gets into a corner she has to tell him to back up so she can get out of it.

Is it true that she has maintained her bear cub persona? Around here if I get close to her it's "Get away, just get away! You know I need my space!" This change could be either good or bad. Maybe she has become a little more laid back, or maybe she will need have five feet of space at all times when she returns, just to recover. It shouldn't take long to find out.

About that photo, it is to show that I was reduced to head lettuce at the Piggly Wiggly, but it certainly does make for a great container for everything at lunch. It also reminded me that I forgot to get cottage cheese and chips. We had a whole bag of chips but unfortunately on one of my, I've to eat something right now moments of a few days ago, that's exactly what I did, and an empty bag was the result. Chipotle jalapeno chips, no wonder I ate them all at once, food doesn't get better than that.


Triathlon athlete in action. As he said, he met his goals of finishing the race and being under two hours which I thought was wonderful for an old guy like him, he being as old as I was at his age.


The thrill of victory. When Rich finished the first part, the swim, the bikes were parked a good distance up a hill. He had to run from the water to the bike and he said it was so neat that our grandson Zachary was running beside him all the way yelling, "Go Uncle Richie, go!" Later on the bike course he rounded a corner and all he could here was "Go bro, go!" coming from his twin sister, Meg. It wasn't just Rich out there, the whole family was with him, including me via phone to Linda. who would ever think that a triathlon could make everyone feel so close. Indeed, Life is not a dress rehearsal.


I really think that Linda just might have participated in the triathlon without telling me. From this photo it sure looks like she could have. On reflection, there has never been a drop of water touch her face while she is in a pool or lake, so the swimming is out. She never biked when she was young, so she's probably not going to taking it up now. And as far a running. I suspect her actual running time would be reasonable, but after adding in the 1,237 times she had to stop and take a rock out of her shoe, 24 hours would probably be closer to her overall time. Good thing she's in California and probably doesn't have time to read this or I could be in big trouble.


It's at the foot of the page so I just had to include this photo. I think it's cute and it's also great she is having such a good time. Since we aren't going to get out of this world alive, it's a good idea to live Life while you're here. Linda, thanks for bringing a smile to my face and joy to my heart. Keep emailing photos. You just had your first ever pedicure, what's next, or maybe I don't want to know.

Apr 20 Wednesday

Lazy day

I had good intentions today of going back into town and doing some more sightseeing, but it never happened. Those darn Debbie Macomber books of Linda's having completely captivated me to point where they are almost impossible to put down. If you are a reader you know what I mean by almost impossible to put down. If you're not a reader you've missed out on one of the joys of Life.


One thing that has happened deals with food, which were the only photos I took today. The word is onions. In the Pacific Northwest they are Walla Walla's. In Texas they are Texas Sweet Onions. They are the only kind of onions we prefer to buy. The difference in taste to any other onion, and especially to the ones that masquerade as sweet onions, are sold as sweet onions, but aren't sweet at all, is unreal. We especially dislike the Mayan sweet onions that Walmart sells as sweet onions for a higher price than yellow onions. They are garbage. I've never figured out why someone doesn't sue them for false and misleading advertising. I know they will never rip us off with those so-called sweet onions again.

But all that is in the past, or a long ways away. Here it is Vidalia Sweet Onions, and we've discovered they are just as good as the Walla Walla's and Texas Sweet Onions. So my breakfast egg dish today was really chopped onions with egg holding them together.


When I started back writing the Daily Journal I promised myself that I would write something each day, even if it wasn't the best. It was part of the just do it attitude that I think about each morning and review each evening. The photo is my evening meal, and for a change it was grilled and not fried, which was another goal I set for myself. The hardest goal, but one that I have reached the past two days was not eating anything between meals. That has been the hardest thing to do.

As I sit here typing it is nine o'clock in the evening. The temperature is 79° and the humidity 75%. To say it is somewhat sticky would be very accurate. But the best thing to say is that the Daily Journal has been written. Certainly not my most scintillating bit of prose, but I just did it. It's not always the journey, sometimes it's the destination, and today's destination was simply seeing it done.

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