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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

We are on the road!

         We are precisely 700 miles north of Hanahan. Yesterday was 310 miles, as planned; today was 390, which was not. Yesterday we got away at 1350! It was hectic and confused. From Thursday until Sunday the bus was in the driveway being loaded. Then I pulled the slides in so that I could back it out into the street where it could be level enough for the refrigerator. We heard a strange noise, and shortly thereafter, as I was turning on the propane, I discovered a half of a phenolic roller. So, Monday morning I called the shop so they could order the part. The part was $2.70; express, overnight shipping was $63.00, and the minimum one hour labor rate was $108.00. But, I was able to pick up the bus and leave there with the Jeep in tow about 1130. Then we finished loading the bus... mostly the refrigerator. Cindy was a magnificent help. Without her, we wouldn't have left until Wednesday.
     We arrived in Enfield, NC at 1905...310 miles in 315 minutes. Today we met the Wegners and the Looses for lunch in Marshall, VA where 17 meets I-66. It was a wonderful reunion with our first AirForce neighbors and mentors from 1960 and Cindy and Mark's next door babysitter from 1964. This morning we decided to make reservations ahead so we nailed down Lickdale, PA and Sturbridge, MA.

     For Jackie; here is the requisite picture. The bus turned 60,000 yesterday, so our total on class A's alone is over 350,000 miles. We'll be in Maine on the Friday before the fourth.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Cindy's Charleston

     While I've been sitting here whimpering and waiting to get headed north, I have not been making pictures or activities that would be blog fodder. My last picture, for heaven's sake, was of a gecko! Fortunately, we have a daughter who works on the edge of Charleston's historic district, appreciates the history of downtown Charleston, has a page designer's eye for composition, AND who loves to chalk up ten to twenty thousand clicks on her pedometer. So here are a half dozen or so of her most recent pictures. I'll start with one that has been on the AP wires of late...The Mother Emanuel church.

     Next is the Huguenot Church.

     And finally, Saint Philips.

     Charleston's nickname, as you may recall, is, "the Holy City". Sharing Cindy's walking around the district is the clip-clop of horses or mules pulling the many guided carriage rides throughout the city.

     Since this is about peak season for the blooming of the crepe myrtle, she took a couple of pictures of them.

    In addition, she took a picture of one of her favorite window boxes on King Street.

 I'll close with one of the iconic tombs in one of the local cemeteries. Remember John C. Calhoun?

     She may correct me, but I believe that all these pictures were taken yesterday.  I think that they represent an fine set of shots from one stroll around our city. By the way, the pictures were taken on Durelle's and my 56th anniversary!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Rest In Peace, Baxter

     He did the best that he could for as long as he could. Many remember that he wasn't expected to handle the stairs in the motorhome last year, but he managed somehow. He began to struggle in the start of 2016. Phenobarbital handled his seizures, but it was a prodigious effort for him to get to his feet.
     In the past month he could (would) not get up to go to his food or water. We had to place it between his paws. Because of my recent back surgery, I could not help him up. 

Fortunately, when he had to go out, Durelle discovered that clipping his leash to his collar usually provided enough additional motivation to get him to his feet. In the past few weeks his bladder was no longer able to last through the night. For all the time that we had him he would let us sleep in as long as we wanted, so for him to start that pitiful bark at four or five in the morning was totally out of character. During the day he was stretched out asleep and oblivious to the world. Occasionally he would rouse himself enough to rub the sides of his face on the floor to scratch the growths on his lower gum lines, but that was almost the extent of his activity.
     This was not the Baxter we knew and loved since 28 September of 2009. That Baxter was a loyal and adventuresome companion for thousands of miles in the motorhome.

     He was the typical Golden. In his eyes there were two categories of people: those he liked and those he hadn't met yet. There was never a shortage of volunteer dog walkers at the campground if we were going to be away from the bus for any length of time. He loved RVing in Maine.

     He had had a tough life during the eight or so years before we adopted him. He was picked up by an animal control officer in Hartford, CT with an embedded BB and a torn ear to show for his adventures. The Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue league rehabilitated him and we were the lucky adopters. You can be sure that the subsequent half of his life was spent in the role of pampered dog.
     So, today we made our last trip to the vet with him and left with a gnawing emptiness softened only by the knowledge that he is waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge. Dr. Lerma and his staff were both competent and kind. One of the techs rounded up a chocolate frosted doughnut! Baxter ate "the whole thing" one bite at a time. I got a chuckle when I said, "Chocolate is bad for dogs". Baxter went out in style