This is a two-part greeting. The first (and most important) part is our Christmas greeting to you, while the second part is a re-cap of our 2020 year. We sure hope you’ll take the time to read the first few paragraphs at least, and then if you’re interested in how this year has gone for us .. you can read on.
You’ll see throughout this letter that there are hyperlinks under some text. These links (if you click on them) will take you to earlier blog posts or external pages that give greater detail and photos about the subject.
Boy, what a year it’s been! Different for all of us, eh?
Kathy and I want to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season filled with low stress, time to relax, and even in this Covid time, an opportunity to share some time with your friends and family (safely of course!)
Although we’ve all been blasted with a lot of negative statements and images this year, let’s work toward filling our own lives and of those we love with positive thoughts in the year to come.
Let’s work to not dwell on things that we have no control over and instead working to appreciate what we do have, loving those close to us, and taking steps every day to make someone else’s day just a little bit brighter.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!
NOW FOR PART TWO …
We started the year at our RV site at Rovers Roost RV Park just west of Casa Grande, Arizona. This was our second winter there and it was great to have some “down time” while enjoying meeting up with old friends again that we got to know the previous year. We also made new friends with the new leaseholders that came on board this season.
We got involved again this year by chairing the Veterans Day Recognition Lunch, the Christmas Party, the monthly Birthday Party and the New Member Orientation Committee as well as serving on the Marketing Committee. There’s always an opportunity to get involved when you’re a member of a co-op. You don’t get to just sit back and pay the rent! The more we all do, the lower our costs are and that’s one of the great advantages that make the SKP Co-Op Parks such a great value.
In mid-January, we pulled out of the park and headed about 3 hours west to Quartzite Arizona where we spent the next two weeks living in the desert.
Although there are over 100,000 others “boondocking” in the “Q” vicinity during a typical winter, the open areas are so vast that you can always find a good flat spot away from any close neighbors if you like. For the first ten days or so we chose to camp with about two hundred fellow Escapee RV Club members. We enjoyed hot breakfasts and fresh campfire coffee in the mornings, seminars and lessons during the days, and movies, music, or slide shows around the camp fire at night.
We left camp after the Big Tent RV Show was over and joined friends Brian and Jeanette along with Duane and Jean a little further east for a few days truly on our own in the middle of nowhere .. it was wonderful spot to relax, do a little hiking in the nearby hills, and enjoy evenings around the campfire.
After our January stay in the desert of western Arizona, we made our way to Potrero, California where we hooked up with about 50 other members of our RV club. From Potrero we worked our way down into the Baja California peninsula of Mexico. We spent two weeks immersing ourselves in the Mexican culture. It was a great eye-opening experience and we look forward to our next visit to Mexico.
Our time in Mexico ended in late February so we headed back to Rover’s Roost RV Park in Casa Grande for just a few days before leaving Arizona for the season and starting east on March 1st. We had reservations in an Escapee RV Club park in Bushnell, Florida for the 2nd and 3rd week of March. And when we got there, the news of Covid was everywhere.
Nobody really knew what was happening or how bad it would get. At that point, we went ahead with our plans to visit friends and family in Florida and although there were no hand shakes or hugs, I don’t remember that any of us were wearing masks at that point.
We spent our two weeks in Florida and then started making our way north toward Waynesville, North Carolina where we had a job lined up as Workampers in a small, privately owned campground nestled in the Smoky Mountains. We were to work there April, May, and June.
But as we made our way north there were lots of mixed messages coming our way via radio and TV. There were questions about whether or not it was safe to travel, whether or not any campgrounds, restaurants, or even truck stops or highway rest areas would be open. Would we be able to cross the state lines as we traveled north?
Concerned about how we might be able to proceed (or maybe be forced to stay somewhere we didn’t want to be), we decided at the last minute to cancel out our Workamping gig in North Carolina and just head on up to Ohio. We called the kids to tell them we’d be coming earlier than originally planned.
We are so thankful that Sara and Stu (who now own our old home in Ohio) are providing us with a safe and comfortable place to live. Although we had originally planned on only being here from July until late August, it’s turned into all summer, the fall, and now well into winter. The bunkhouse is working out great for us in that we have our own private little space to stay while the coach is in heated storage for the winter.
After being here for a month or so … and in order to keep from going nuts … I picked up a part-time job driving a bus for the county transportation agency. We transport clients to medical appointments and shopping. I work about 30 hours a week while Kathy “holds down the fort” taking care of the bunkhouse (and the kids house) domestic duties as well as keeping the grand-dogs company while Sara and Stu are at work.
We had, up until recently, also been preparing the evening meals over here at the bunkhouse and then the kids would join us when they got home from work. But lately, since Stu’s place of employment (a nursing home) has had an outbreak of Covid, he’s been staying away from us. So, Sara comes over and gets their meal “to go”. It’s just not the same …
Although David, Lisa, and grandson Garret live just about a mile up the road, we’ve seen them less often. David is fortunate to be able to work from home and Lisa has taken on a new job of driving one of the local Amish fellas to job sites around central Ohio. Garret is attending middle school two days a week with 3 days/week in a “virtual” classroom. He enjoys riding and working on dirt bikes, getting ready to start up a small repair shop in the barn.
Now that the election (and all subsequent lawsuits) are over, the first (and now the second) vaccine is approved for distribution, (with more on the way) and the new administration is to take office in January … we’re looking forward to a better and brighter future. Now if only we can somehow bring this nation together – I don’t know if that’s possible but it’s our hope for the future.
As I’ve written in a previous post our plan for 2021 is to leave Ohio in March and head down to Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park in Kentucky (near Lake Cumberland) where we will serve as Camp Hosts for April, May, and June. We’ll then come back up to be with family for a week or so before heading north into Michigan. We’ll be there for a few days while we visit friends and family as well as seeing old friends we made when we worked at an RV park in Baldwin, Michigan during the summers of ’17 and ’18. I’m sure during all this we’ll still be social distancing and wearing masks.
After that, and if (and it’s a BIG IF) the Canadian border is open, we head further north into the Upper Peninsula and into Canada at Sault Saint Marie. From there we’ll start slowly making our way westward all the way over to Vancouver, British Columbia and eventually down through Washington, Oregon, northern California, Nevada and ultimatey back to Rover’s Roost by November 1st where we’ll spend our 3rd winter back again in the warm Arizona sun with our “winter brothers and sisters” at the Roost.
If Canada’s not open, we’ll instead go across the Michigan U.P. into northern Wisconsin, down into Iowa and then Missouri to visit fellow RV friends we missed this past year. Then back up to North Dakota, westward through Montana and Idaho to continue our trip down along the Pacific Coast and eventually back down to Arizona for the winter.
Where will summer of ’22 find us? Too soon to tell – a lot can happen ‘tween now and then right?
Until next time .. take care of yourself and your loved ones.
And again … here’s Herb and Kathy wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.