Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wednesday June 22, 2016-Marina Bay/Lake Cove RV Resort

We were up at the ungodly hour of 5 AM yesterday to get Stella to the hospital in Webster for her first-of-two cataract operations. It really wasn't that bad once my feet hit the floor, and I was showered and ready to go with one cup of decaf down before 6. 

We made the quick drive to Webster and used the valet parking service at the hospital. While Stella got checked in, I secured a couple of chairs for our wait. It wasn't very long before we were called back to the prep area and not too long after that before Kim showed up. 

I should point out that this particular wing of the hospital was PACKED with folks having eye surgery! Just about every chair was taken in the waiting area! We would see many of these faces again later today. Most were in our age group, and I thought, with approximately 50 patients being processed a week and at a cost of about $900-1,000 per, some doctors are keeping the Mercedes dealers prosperous!

Stella's surgery was scheduled for 8 AM and we were ready to go a bit after 9. She suffered no pain and had a couple of tiny red marks around her eye. Since she is in recovery, I asked her what she wanted for breakfast. She can't bend or stoop or lift anything, so I decided to treat her to the breakfast of her choice instead f asking her to make breakfast hen we got back home. She only wanted a donut, so that was easy enough. We stopped at Shipleys Donuts  and we were done! What a guy I am...

We came back home to eat and her to take it easy for the rest of the day. We both napped throughout the day so we had a nice day. We had to return to the doctor this afternoon at 4:30, so we made the short drive to the doctor's office. This is where we saw faces that we had seen this morning. Several of them looked tired and out of sorts, so I guess they didn't get a nap in like we did. 

The doctor told Stella that her eye looked great and told her to keep putting the drops in her eye and to come back in a week. Hopefully, he will schedule her second surgery then and we can hit the road again. 

I want to make a short report on this RV park. I was impressed by Suzy, the manager, when I called to inquire about the amenities of the park. She bragged that they had just spent a lot of money on their wifi Internet service, but if they did, they should ask for a refund. Reception is very limited but when I complained, she told me that "everyone else" love it and has no problems with it. I plan to ask other guests while I am walking and check her story. I'll let you know...

Speaking of other guests, I have been observing others around us. Most of them are construction workers, in the area for work. We have seen this before in other parks but these guys and gals seem to come and go more than usual. And not just moving away when the job is done, they leave their trailer here and just disappear! there was a fellow named Chris that helped me get backed in when we arrived. I saw hiim fr a day or two after, but he's gone now. His trailer is still here but he's MIA. The man next door is the same way. We've been here for two weeks and he's only been here for a couple of days a week or so ago. The guy on the other side has been in and out for the time we've been here. He comes in for a few days and then leaves. Then about four days ago, a woman showed up and now he's gone. I don't get it.

So long.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday June 20, 2016-Marina Bay/Lake Cove RV Resort

This is the entrance to the Jesse James farmhouse, owned and operated by Clay County Missouri. Our friend and fellow Heartland owner, Roy Evans, lived in the basement below the museum building for several years while he worked as a Deputy Sheriff.

The new siding has been peeled back to reveal the original log home style used.

This is a home in town where Jesse lived and where he died.

Jesse was straightening this picture when he was shot in the head from behind. In the top center of the frame below, you can see a bullet hole.

An artist's perception of what happened when Jesse died.

Jesse's body was tied in an upright position in this house, which was opened to the public for viewing.

Jesse's original place of burial, on the family-owned farmhouse property. It is noted that Jesse's mother's bed was placed in the front room of the house in  position for her to see the plot and frequently she woke in the night to run looker away.

This photo of Jesse's mother standing beside the original marker over the grave. The marker was more than 7 feet tall originall.

This is all that remains of the original marker.

This is the bank building that was the site of the first daylight bank robbery in American history and attributed to the James gang.

The original teller windows.

Jesse Woodson James (September 5, 1847 – April 3, 1882) was an American outlaw,guerrillagang leaderbank robbertrain robber, and murderer from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. Jesse and his brother Frank James were Confederate guerrillas or bushwhackers during the Civil War. They were accused of participating in atrocities committed against Union soldiers, including the Centralia Massacre. After the war, as members of various gangs of outlaws, they robbed banks, stagecoaches, and trains.
The James brothers were most active as members of their own gang from about 1866 until 1876, when as a result of their attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota, several members of the gang were captured or killed. They continued in crime for several years, recruiting new members, but were under increasing pressure from law enforcement. On April 3, 1882, Jesse James was killed by Robert Ford, a member of his own gang who hoped to collect a reward on James' head. Already a celebrity when he was alive, James became a legendary figure of the Wild West after his death.
Despite popular portrayals of James as an embodiment of Robin Hood, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, there is no evidence that he and his gang shared their loot from the robberies they committed. Scholars usually place his actions in the context of regional insurgencies of ex-Confederates following the Civil War rather than a manifestation of alleged economic justice or of frontier lawlessness. 
Thank you Wikipedia
So long.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wednesday June 15, 2016-Lost Cove RV Resort

We've been busy since we've been here, with doctor appointments galore. It has rained a couple of times but all that did was make it steamier than ever. It is only June and the temps are already into the mid 90's with heat index's in the mid 100's. Whew!!

The doctor appointments aren't too bad...yet. Mine was just a check-up after my little problem in Oklahoma on our way here.The doc wants to do my scheduled tests early, so I'll get them knocked out soon. 

Stella is well on her way to having her cataracts removed so she can see again. We've been to the PCP and got a release for the operation, the cardiologist where she had an echocardiagram which will be read and she will go back for a follow up. Her first surgery is scheduled for the 21st, so maybe we'll be finished by the first part of August.

Dr. visit count                   Stella                Jay
Primary Care                        2                    0
Cardiologist                          2                    1
Eye Doc                               2

And we've only been back 6 days, including the weekend.

Getting old sucks!

We have had some time to visit with friends and family too. We went to Deer Park to visit Tommy and Susan in a heavy rainstorm. And we went to Galveston to meet my brother Phil and his wife Carol and Aunt Janie, who came to Galveston for a visit. Janie is recovering from a broken ankle but still looks wonderful. We enjoyed our time together and will be looking forward to seeing her again soon.

That's all I've got for now.

So long.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday June 9, 2016-Moving Day-I-45 RV Park to Maruna Bay/Lake Cove Resort, Dickinson TX

I woke pretty early to check everything including the outside TV antenna. We are the only mobile RV in this park and we were a little nervous about being the nicest rig here, with a busy freeway right in front of us. Of course everything was just fine, but it didn't hurt to check.

I went in to take a shower and was very surprised when there was no hot water. The water had been warm when I first got in but then began to get colder. I figured that I was already rinsed down and went ahead with my cold shower. I felt much better when I was through, and you can bet that I had something to say to the inside queen of the trailer. It was only when I asked about turning the water heater on that she remembered that she hadn't flipped the switch. Oh well, it woke me up! 

We made but one stop at the rest area near Huntsville, which was fine but soon after starting out again we hit a large traffic backup. Police and firemen had side streets and cross roads blocked off but we never actually saw anything to cause the backup. We saw some burn marks on the shoulder of the road but no burned vehicle. We saw a couple of disabled vehicles, probably from overheating but no obvious problems. All I know is that it slowed us down by about 30 minutes. It really didn't matter to me, but Stella had her stops planned out and thought she could make it from the Huntsville stop to Dickinson. She did make it, but just barely!

We pulled into the Lake Cove Resort and met Suzy, the friendly manager who got us all checked in and processed. We had a bit of backing in problem but a nice neighbor, Chris, helped guide me back into the site, so we were soon done. I had forgotten how hot it is in south Texas in the summer. And to think I spent many years here in Dickinson, working in the Patrol Division, outside in the blistering heat. Wow, I must have been tough, or maybe I just got soft. I remember coming home with a wringing wet tee shirt from my ballistic vest and dark shirt in the heat. Glad that is over!

Grandson Cameron had a minor traffic accident this afternoon. He was rear-ended and luckily not injured. At least no one got hurt and both drivers had insurance. 

So long.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wednesday June 8, 2016-Moving Day-Checotah KOA to I-45 RV Park, Fairfield TX

We made up for yesterday by having everything ready to go early this morning. We don't usually put much "stuff" out on an overnight stay and this was no exception. I had left our chairs out after we sat outside with Dave and Nancy yesterday afternoon, so that was all that I had to put away this morning. The pack up went very well and we pulled out about 8:50 this morning.

We made a nice drive along US 69 in Oklahoma and much of it has been resurfaced and it was a nice drive. We had one "instant karma" situation when we came into a construction zone. The left lane ended with several signs warning drivers to merge and when the lane began to actually close, one pickup driver decided that he didn't want to be behind two trailers and tried to come around Dave to cut in front of him. Unfortunately there was not enough room for him to squeeze in and he hit one of those orange barrels. I don't think it caused any damage to his truck but it probably caused some bad words and hurt feelings but it served him right. We all had a laugh about it when we stopped at the Texas Welcome Center just inside the border. We said our goodbyes to Dave and Nancy here with hugs and handshakes. We have been traveling with them since March and have made all the rallies except the Louisiana rally when they had to go home. 

I noticed something else while traveling today. I know and have seen almost everyone that sees an emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder change lanes to give them a wide berth. Did you know that the same law applies to vehicles on the inside median? I saw a motor cop with a car stopped in the middle median and two cars just sped on by without slowing or changing lanes. Just a word to the wise...

I was gratified to note the number of comments from friends and family about my medical issues. Thanks to everyone that left me a note, they are appreciated. I have an appointment with my cardiologist on Monday, the first date he had open. We won't be back in Dickinson until tomorrow afternoon and he doesn't take patients on Friday or the weekend, so I'll get checked out on Monday.

We drove a little over 300 miles, just about the perfect number, and found this place on the Internet. It is brand new place and there is NOTHING here. There is an empty office and a laundry room with one washer and dryer and a drop box for you to leave your money. The sites need a little more gravel and the grass needs mowing but the electricity works well and there is good water pressure, so it's all good. Maybe our trailer here will attract others, who knows. 

One thing I remembered about yesterday's entry. Rex lives near Lake Eufaula. It is the largest capacity lake in the state of Oklahoma with a volume of 2,099,000 acre feet, a surface area of 102,000 acres and 600 miles of shoreline. A pretty good size pond by Texas standards. I remember that a lot of trophy fish have come out of this lake. The thing I noticed yesterday was that someone with a sense of humor named one of the roads Lotawatah. There is indeed a lotta water around here. 

That's all I got, be home tomorrow.

So long.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tuesday June 7, 2016-Checotah KOA

I got an early start this morning, and ate a light breakfast of a leftover sweet roll. I got dressed and decided to go for a walk around the park. I walked nearly a mile when I was offered a cup of coffee by the KOA employees on the back porch of the office. Having been here a few times before, I knew that there was a morning group of coffee drinkers that gathered there, so I poured myself a cup and chatted with them for a few minutes before returning home to begin the preparations to leave.

I began to feel bad with chest pains and heart palpitations. I went inside and began to feel worse, sweating and clammy feeling. I sat down in my chair and asked Stella to call an ambulance because we didn't trust our blood pressure monitor. I took a couple of baby aspirin and my regular medicines and it seemed like as soon as Stella gave the ambulance workers the directions to the RV park, I began to feel better and by the time they arrived, I was feeling fine. They took my blood pressure and although it was a bit high, not dangerously high at 150/100. A few minutes later they took it again and got readings of 140/82, or getting back into a better range. I was still feeling good and declined to go to the hospital with them. After signing the proper forms, they left.

We decided to stay here for another day to rest and not take a chance on havng a medical issue while driving. I went over to talk to Dave and to tell hi of our decision. He said that they would stay as well, so it was settled. I came back inside and napped in my chair and woke feeling much better. 

We decided to go eat later in the afternoon in nearby Checotah, but while Dave drove over there I got a call from the Oklahoma Chapter Leaders Rex and Stacey, inviting us to come over to their house in Henryetta after we ate, about 20 miles from Checotah. We decided to drive to Henryetta to eat at the Classic Diner there. The meal was good and we were all hungry and enjoyed out meal. After finishing our meal we drove out into the country to Rex and Stacey's house where we visited with them until almost 8PM. It ended up being a good day and we were glad that we had stayed. We'll continue our journey home tomorrow and Dave and Nancy will go home. 

So long.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday June 6, 2016-Moving Day-Basswood R Resort to Checotah KOA,

We were up early to get started on packing up to move toward Texas. It's a total of almost 900 miles back to Dickinson and we wanted to get a good start today. Things went well with the load-up and we pulled out a few minutes after 9, or right about on time.

We were delayed for a few minutes by Chapter Leader Larry, when he had a low tire on his trailer. He stopped by Roy's place to get some air and found the problem was a leaking valve stem. The tires and valves are brand new, so there is no reason for this to happen. We learned later in the day that he got the tire repaired but then had a bigger problem with a broken spring hanger on the trailer. Bummer!

We were soon on the road and made good time. Stella was outstanding, waiting almost an hour and a half before having to make a pit stop! I know I make a big deal of her frequent bathroom stops, but someday we'll look back on these stories and have a good laugh. And besides that, you may have these same issues yourself and get a laugh about hers.

It was a glorious day to drive, with warm temperatures and clear skies and we made excellent time. I am puzzled by the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and their policy of collecting fees near the end of the Indian Nation Turnpike and then refunding a portion of the money when you exit. It seems to me that it would be much more efficient to eliminate one toll booth and charge people as they exit the pike, charging the correct amount. So much for my rant!

We pulled into the beautiful little Checotah KOA about 4:30. We have stayed here a couple of times before and like it. They usually have a small cafe that is open for breakfast and supper but today the cook was sick, so no fresh supper for us tonight. Oh well, we made do and will continue our trip tomorrow. We will lose our traveling partners tomorrow when Dave and Nancy peel off to go to their home in Terrell. We will continue on to Fairfield tomorrow and Dickinson on Wednesday. Those doctors need some payment made on their fancy cars, so we'll do our part.

So long.

Sunday June 4, 2016-Basswood RV Resort

Well, the Missouri spring rally is over and it was a great one! Our friend and Missouri chapter member, Roy and his wife Sally did a great job of researching attractions in the area, some of which he had a personal interest in. Roy is a retired Deputy Sheriff and at one time he lived in the Jesse James farmhouse museum. He actually lived in the basement for a few years, furnishing security for the property. He was full of stories of incidents that happened there.

I'm sure that everyone knows the story of Frank and Jesse James. The suburbs of Kansas City are where he lived and committed his first bank robbery (another story). The farmhouse belonged to Jesse's mother Zerelda and her husband, and upon Jesse's death, his body was brought there for burial in the front yard. The story is that she slept in her room with a view of the grave site to keep lookers away. The original stone marker over the grave was approximately 7 feet tall but people came and chipped off pieces of the stone as a keepsake and all that remains of it is now about 2 1/2 feet tall.

We also went over to St. Jo to see the house where Jesse was killed by Bob Ford, one of his gang members. They had come to this house to hide out from the law, and since Jesse had a large reward out for him, when Jesse climbed on a chair to straighten a picture, Ford shot him. The picture and chair is still in the house as well as a hole in the wall, where it came out of Jesse's head. I took photos of the farmhouse and the house where Jesse was killed, but right now I am having Internet problems and am not able to load them. 

Actually, I am going to close out this entry without finishing up telling about the sights we saw because I am tired from driving today. When we get to Dickinson, we are supposed to have a better Internet service and I will finish it then. Please return and I promise to have photos and more stories.

So long.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Monday May 30, 2016-Moving Day-Ozark RV Park to Basswood RV Resort, Platte City MO

We were up early to get packed up to leave this morning. After a quick shower and breakfast, I went out to get started. Some of my work had been done yesterday and Stella had gotten a lot of her work done too. I stopped by the office to say goodbye to Andy, the park owner and others that were there to drink coffee and probably stayed longer than I should have, but it's a nice friendly place and I know we'll be back.

I stopped off to say goodbye to a new friend named Tommy who has a new Bighorn. He is considering putting disk brakes on his trailer and I wanted to talk to him about them. As soon as I got back, we loaded the trailer onto the truck and we were on our way! It was bittersweet to leave, but as I said, we'll be back!

We made good time and made our first stop (for Stella) in Leslie, a small town about 30 miles away. Actually, her frequent stops worked out well for us, giving us a chance to stretch our legs, and we actually made pretty good time. We ran into some pretty heavy rain around Carthage Missouri, but no problems occurred. We pulled into the park here about 4:30, not a bad time considering the stops we made. 

We did have a little Oh-Oh when we got here. The switch for the front landing gear refused to work but we managed to use the leveling control to get things done and I will call Lippert and get a new switch ordered. 

It's good to be here for the last chapter rally of the spring and we'll soon be going back to Dickinson for doctor visits and to get Stella's eyes operated on. Wish us luck!

So long.