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Sunday, May 31, 2009

We are in Maine!

We are finally in Maine. I should probably attach a picture out the windshield of the bus of Penobscot Bay, but it is currently gray and rainy. It was an easy five hours from Brookline, NH to Belfast ME. Last night we had a wonderful supper and even more enjoyable visit with a dear friend and her husband, Bob. Leslie Jelalian and I go back twenty years when she worked for me as lead engineer for the CNI antennas for the F-22. "We done good!" 'Twas a fine visit. We arrived in time to get set up just in time for the first happy hour of the season with the Dunns. They hosted us at their place and provided a warm welcome for our arrival in Maine. More later. Tomorrow I'll check in at the Belfast schools admin office to get signed up as a volunteer tutor for their summer session.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Today we made a visit to my sister, Marian. They are in the process of building their dream house. It is a 4000 square foot log cabin using 12 inch logs from Montana. They have been at it for several years and it will be in it before winter. They will never be done. I won't belabor you with the particulars, but this is NOT your typical log cabin. Hundred mile views are not the sort of thing that you associate with Massachusetts. Wild turkeys are a nuisance and there are bear paw prints on a downstairs window. The two pictures show a current view of the cabin and a view from one of the windows.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Grandson Dave's Graduation

This is the reason we made the stop in NH. Today grandson Dave graduated from the Whittemore School of Business at UNH. Next month's task will be to pass the CPA exams. It was a splendid day in Durham for a graduation but no rain. In one of those pleasant little episodes, it was an overcast day except for a brief moment of perhaps 30 seconds during the chaplain's words when the clouds parted and the sun beamed down. The large crowd applauded. UNH did a fine job of managing the logistic difficulties of such an event. The speeches were brief and followed the green theme of sustainability. UNH has put their money where their mouth is. The entire school's power is provide by turbines powered by methane from landfills. The awarding of degrees read the names of only the PhD. graduates. All others were introduced and had degrees presented as groups by college. You would be hard pressed to find a graduate who was disappointed that his name was not read aloud.
A word on the pictures...there are three pictures of the with his brother and one of his sisters, one with his parents and one with his grandparents. There is also a picture of his daughter, Brielle, our great granddaughter. On a personal note you might appreciate an unusual circumstance that happened prior to the ceremonies. Durelle and I had arrived early to save a few seats. I was standing up looking around for the rest of the party when a voice from four rows behind me called out my name. It was John Harrell. John is from Texas with no apparent connection to UNH. What was he doing here? A close friend's daughter was graduating, and John saw fit to attend. For nearly the last decade of my working career John was my cohort, counterpart, manager and friend as we jointly waged the battles that were a necessary part of seeing the F-22 on its way to successful production. It was an astounding surprise and pleasant reconnection.
After the ceremonies, we returned to the bus, walked Belle and returned to Mark and Heather's for grilled hamburgers and such. The past two days have been long ones. Both the ceremonial nature of the events and the length of the drive to Durham contributed. We wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Grandson Dave's honors convocation

Today we drove over to Durham, NH to the Wittemore Center at the University of NH. Dave graduates tomorrow. Tonight recognized those that will graduate with honors. One of the little ironies is that the fellow camper here that we enlisted to feed and walk Belle while we were gone worked at the Nashua FAA Center years ago with Dave's other grandfather. After the ceremonies we returned to Mark's place in Nashua for pizza and beer. We all sat around a firepit and visited. I guess that's also a little irony in that we left a campground to go to our kid's house to sit around a campfire.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Greetings, we have arrived in NH. We are ensconced at the Field and Stream RV Park in Brookline and will be until the 31st. Cindy asked for pictures of lilacs because she has missed them. Well there just happens to be a small lilac bush right in our front yard, so this picture is for you, Cindy. As you can see, Durelle and Belle seem pleasantly relaxed. We pulled out of our Lickdale campsite at 0720! By the time we paid a visit to the dumpster and bought a paper, we were on the road at 0725. That's probably a personal best, but we had a 390 mile day ahead. We had a couple of fairly brief stops and arrived just a few minutes after 1500. We took I-81 to I-84 in Scranton thence east Sturbridge, MA and north on I-290 and I-190 to Leominster, MA then north on route 13 to Brookline. We have emailed the NH clan and are looking forward to a number of visits. We hope to spend the week connecting with NH friends and family for a week or so. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today was an easy day of just over 200 miles. We left Fairfax, VA and stopped in Lickdale, PA. The two pictures are of the bus in front of the Wegners' house in Fairfax and a shot of Durelle, Joyce, Allen, and Belle...a pretty good looking bunch of seventy-somethings. Of course Belle is ninety -something in dog years. We probably should have gone beyond Lickdale, but we had reservations where we knew we could get satellite, so we stopped. We also know that we can get to NH from here with no trouble tomorrow because we have done it many times. The weather was outstanding, and we look forward to another fine day tomorrow. We made a fuel stop in Carlisle, PA. Prices are climbing. Diesel was $2.379, a two bits per gallon increase, but we are still managing over 8 mpg.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Farfax, VA

This evening we parked in front of the house of dear friends, Al and Joyce Wegner. They were neighbors who took us under their wings when we first reported to Keesler AFB, Mississippi in the fall of 1960 as brand new "brown bars". Today was an easy drive of just over 225 miles. Driving the rig through the center of downtown Fairfax is not for the faint of heart, but otherwise it was an easy day. We had a fine meal as is typical for Joyce. In the evening their son, Brent, dropped by. We were at USAFA when Brent showed up as a new cadet. We sorta sponsored him until he changed his career goals. It was a good visit. If any of you are traveling I-95 in northern NC, get off at exit 154 to Enfield and pick up a few cans of Aunt Ruby's peanuts. We did. We gave some to Joyce as a hostess gift. The rest are stored under the bed until everyone gets to Belfast. George and Duane, don't take all summer.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

2009 Adventures

Greetings to all. We're "On the Road Again". This is day 1 of the summer 2009 escapades. We'll return to SC in mid-October. The picture is our rig all hooked up and ready to depart. You can be certain that this year will not be as action packed as last summer. After a couple of weeks in NH to reconnect with friends and to attend grandson David's graduation from UNH, we'll head to the Moorings RV Park in Belfast Maine. With minor adjustments we'll be there for the months of June, July, August, and September.
Today was an easy 310 miles to a KOA in Enfield, NC...just south of the VA border. There were a couple of accidents in the rain that cost us over an hour. At the one north of Fayetteville it took us an hour to go three miles. The temperature has dropped dramatically. We started out in the 80s, and tonight we'll be in the 40s! Tomorrow night we'll park in front of the home of Al and Joyce Wegner...close friends since 1960. Keep in touch.