Thursday, January 29, 2009

Update #2

Hi all from sunny, warm southern LA,

We had a nice long visit with our son, Tim, and his girlfriend, Kat, in Jacksonville. They had us moving. We saw our first rugby game with two Australian teams. It was quite fast-paced, a little like football, but much faster, no helmets, no padding, no stopping to announce 1st and 10, just continual movement…it was quite exciting. One full day we spent in St. Augustine, visited Fort Matanzas, San Sebastian Winery, A1A Ale for dinner with Kat’s parents, Fishing in the Atlantic (too cold and a lot of wave action). Tim took Ken biking for over an hour through the wilds of the state park, switchbacks, hills, etc. Quite a bumpy road…then he put his father through the rigors of Frisbee. We did a lot of eating out at the local restaurants – mainly seafood. Nothing better than fresh fish or shrimp, only hours old.

The weather turned chilly – I can’t say cold because cold is what we have in PA. It got down in the 30’s and Tuesday it is to get down to the 20’s…brrrrrr. Our son says we always bring the cold down with us.

(left to right: Julie, Ken, Tim, Kat)

We left last Tuesday morning to head to Moss Point, MS. People are slowly coming back from Katrina’s devastation. Our campsite was reserved for us at Dantzler UM Church and they were ready for us. We have been going to Moss Point for the last four years and we could not pass our friends by and help them out a bit.

We worked on cabinets in the parsonage which had to take a back seat to the other destruction. Ken sanded and sprayed 57 cabinet doors and I helped him hand paint 14 drawers. They look exceptionally well and so white.

(Ken spraying cabinets) (cabinets lined up to dry)

We had a nice visit with Mrs. Finklea, the pecan pie lady and then went to visit Ernest and Callee Young. They were so excited that we had not forgotten them and came to visit them. Callee lost her mother in September. She was 98 years old. We reminisced and laughed with them as we remembered her little quirky ways. Ernest has prostate cancer, but he is in denial and says it isn’t bad. Callee knows how bad it is and she is quite worried.

Pastor David’s wife, Sandra, is a member of the “Happy Hookers”, a group of women that ‘hook’ rugs. She invited me along to their three-day event but I only went to an hour session.
This is one of their samples.

David and Sandra made sure our stomachs were filled. Another couple, LaVerne & Frank, also entertained us at their ‘fishing camp’. Their fishing camp is a lovely renovated house on 10’ stilts that is beautiful…not your typical fishing camp.

(left to right, Frank, Sandra, LaVerne, Pastor David)

We are now headed to Galveston, TX to more destruction. Talk to y'all later.

julie & ken

Thursday, January 15, 2009

First Update

Hello to all our northern friends and those of you enjoying the not so cold weather!

We began our trip with, what we thought would be uneventful. But those of you that are caregivers know there is nothing ‘uneventful’. We were celebrating Orthodox Christmas early on Saturday the 3rd and my sister picked my mother up only to find out she had fallen and didn’t tell anyone because she ‘didn’t want to bother anyone’. Luckily she was only bruised and sore, it didn’t appear that there was anything broken, although her elbow looked like it has a goose egg. My sister, Helen, is keeping an eye out on her.

So we headed out, as planned, on Sunday Jan 4th (Happy Birthday Billy!) We made it to the church campground we always stay at, Rippling Waters, in Romance, WVA. Of course, we were the only campers there. The man who runs it said we are the only ones he has seen in a very long time! The campground is about 5 miles off the interstate, but it is the only one that is open this time of year on our trek south.

We kept ahead of the cold front that seemed to be following us. Overnight temps Sunday were in the 30’s, but not freezing.

As many of you know, Ken fell off a ladder at church and cracked his tailbone so driving is quite uncomfortable for him. He just cannot seem to get a comfortable position, so we are taking our time and making stops so he can stand up for a while.

The weather was drizzly and overcast but once we got through the tunnel of the Big Mountain in WVA/VA the sun began to shine. Although every thing is brown, it is still very bright out.

Our first visit (Monday) was with a couple that used to attend our church, Merrianne & Dave in Huntersville, NC. Merrianne, with the help of Dave, made a wonderful supper and we had a very nice, leisurely visit with them.

Ellen & Andrew in Greenville, SC were our next stop (Tuesday). Ellen and I used to work together as a team with event planning for a Fortune 500 company in Houston, TX. We have established a ‘tradition’ (as she calls it) of going to Carrabba’s for dinner, taking pictures and going over to her home.

Andrew is growing by leaps and bounds and is now 5 ½ years old and quite the little man. He
and Ken played with dinosaurs, cars and anything else Andrew had while Ellen and I visited. A lot has happened in both our lives that we had to catch up on.

My sister, Cookie in Columbus, GA was our next stop (Wednesday). The campground was less than four miles from her apartment, so coming and going was quite easy. We all went out to another one of our favorite restaurants, Fuddruckers, and had a great meal.

Linda & Tom in Ocala, FL (Thursday) were our next stop. Linda and I have been friends since
1968. Although we try to get together in PA we can never manage, so we meet in FL. (she is also a snowbird). They have a lovely home on Lake Weir which we visited last year.

Brother George and his family in Bradenton, FL were next where Ken and George ended up

repairing the floor in my mother’s home due to some water damage. George helped for the first two hours and had to go to a funeral so that left his wife, Sherry and I to ‘supervise’ Ken. It turned out to be a six hour repair job…but it was done.

We then headed even further south to visit Dixie & Rea in Naples, FL (Monday & Tuesday) who

are friends from our church in PA…they too are snowbirds, but they are TRUE snowbirds…they leave PA in October and do not come back until May. We have been celebrating Dixie’s birthday with her on the 13th each year for many years…another tradition…it seems, that this is the year for traditions. We really surprised her this year when we took her out for lunch and the waitresses sang happy birthday to her. She could not find any place to hide. When we first arrived, it was very warm day and then turned cooler. Of course, we were comfortable, but Dixie and Rea were not – they had turned on the heat and put on winter clothing.

We are currently on our way to Jacksonville, FL to visit our son, Tim. The weather is quite cool this the 40's...tonight will be the 30's...brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...of course, not like PA.

That is the update for this week. Stay tuned.

julie & ken