Thursday, May 31, 2012

5/31/2012 I’m a Crossing Guard for Turtles!

I added a new job title to my resume today. Turtle Crossing Guard. It’s egg laying time again here lower Delaware.

The poor things found their way to the boat ramp and just walked right out into the parking lot.


At first they gravitated to the white painted stripes on the blacktop and I guess they thought it was sand. They sure tried to dig into it.


She would soon figure out that there was going to be no hole digging here and move on across the parking lot to the grassy, sandy, wooded area on the other side.


I followed them across the lot in case a truck/boat trailer came in to launch. One of the state employees suggested I pick her up and move her to the area she was headed and I would have but when I went near her that mouth opened wide and it kind of scared me. I was content to stop traffic so she could cross safely.

This turtle is just covered in barnacles. I didn’t see where she came from until she was in the middle of the road.


The last one to make a crossing across the parking lot today. She knew exactly where she was going and didn’t take the time to try to dig on the white painted lines on the parking lot. She was definitely on a mission!


I’ve had several people ask me for a picture of me in my hat. Here it is, I’m happy to oblige! Happy now LaVon?


When I got off work I met up with Deb as soon as Bob left to go over to the marina. She was interested in seeing the Fenwick Island Lighthouse. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the lighthouse so we went in search of it.

We didn’t have to travel far as Fenwick Island is just 7 miles or so down the road. We found it without much trouble and was surprised to find that it wasn’t actually on the waterfront but rather about a city block off the main drag through the beach area.


This August will celebrate 153 years since the first lighting of this lighthouse. In 1856 Congress appropriated $25,000 to build the lighthouse on a 10 acre tract bought for $50.00. Since there was a 60 mile span between the two lighthouses already in operation, this was a needed beacon in the night.

Next to the lighthouse is two story frame house that has a 2,500 gallon cistern in the basement used to collect rain water off the roof.

After several years a second dwelling was built on the other side of the structure for an assistant lighthouse keeper.


One Christmas morning, likely in 1931, as a keeper was extinguishing the light, he noticed a small boat stranded on a sandbar about a half mile south of the lighthouse. Seeing what appeared to be a person huddled inside the craft, the keeper set out for the boat and discovered the occupant to be an unconscious man clothed in fur garments. The keeper took the man back to the lighthouse, where he soon recovered. Amazingly, the man turned out to be an Eskimo who weeks earlier had embarked on a solo journey from Greenland to Alaska via the Panama Canal. After regaining his strength and taking on new provisions, the Eskimo resumed his lengthy journey to Alaska. (Excerpt taken from Lighthouse

From Fenwick we went to Bethany Beach. I had some business in the Town Office. Well, not really business, I wanted to get copies of the calendars they had listing all the activities for the summer. This gave Deb a chance to get a picture of Delaware’s Peter Toth carving. She later said something about seeing each Toth carving in each state she visits.

I was more interested in a bed of daisies.


We walked up to the beach and took note of the sea grass planted.


I did learn something from Deb that I didn’t know. Hydrangea bushes will give multi-colored blooms on the same bush if exposed to salt air. You learn something new every day.


You may have noticed that I haven’t posted a picture of Deb. I took two, but neither was flattering and you know my rule about not posting pictures that don’t do my friends justice. Neither was her fault, the fault lies completely with me the picture taker.

From Bethany Beach we went to a local RV dealership so that she could look around and see what’s out there. She’s in the market to upgrade her camper. What she has is nice but too small to live in full time.

After dinner we hung out at her place and talked the night away. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her in real life. Her plans include Florida next winter so I’m hoping we meet up again then.

Deb will be gone tomorrow by the time I get off work so we said our so longs this evening.

Safe travels my friend.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5/30/2012 A Day Spent with My Friend, Deb

I took a ride with Deb this morning to Lewes (pronounced Loo-iss) so that she could make reservations for the ferry on Friday. It’s a damp, drizzlin’ kind of day so this was a good time to get this taken care of. Deb is going to be spending some time in South Jersey admiring the Painted Ladies in the region. No, I’m not talking about the Jersey girls with the over the top make up. Think TV’s shows like Jersey Shore (the other Snooki, geez, she even spells it wrong) or Jerseylicious. No, the Painted Ladies aren’t even human beings but rather grand old Victorian homes painted in three or more colors with great detail work and lots and lots of gingerbread. Maybe someday this summer, if I can down enough Dramamine, I too will hop the ferry and go over and photograph some Painted Ladies myself. They are beautifully done and a sight to behold.

Deb decided that taking the ferry to Jersey, even at a cost of over $70.00 for her truck and camper was the way to go since the tolls total almost $15.00, fuel was going to run close to $45.00 and since it is race weekend in Dover this weekend, what normally would be a three to three and half hour drive would certainly turn in to six or more. I have to agree with her, it is money well spent.

Yes, NASCAR is racing in Delaware this weekend. This means Dover will be near gridlock and the beaches will feel the crunch because very few want to brave Dover to get here. I’ve already heard there are plenty of campsites available this weekend. Dover and all of her businesses will make a killing though!

Reservations made we stopped at a store to pick up a few things and then headed back to the Inlet. I helped Deb with her blog, getting a few gadgets added and just talking about the importance of always taking the camera everywhere she goes and how everything is potential blog material.

I don’t think Deb will mind if I give you a little background here. My friend lost her husband, her beloved Les, six weeks ago. It was their dream to fulltime RV and she has decided to go ahead with the plan. She needed to get away after being the fulltime caregiver for the last four months and decided to take her first trip now. She left New Hampshire and visited friends in Lancaster, then came to see me and will head to New Jersey for a week and then back up to her home. Her home that she will now head full bore into getting ready for the market. She’s loving her first venture out and is looking forward to traveling and exploring and making lots of new friends along the way. Deb isn’t traveling alone, she has her long haired dachshund, Duncan, with her, and even he is enjoying all the new smells to explore.

After dinner Deb and I headed to Rehoboth Beach to walk the boards and to wander in and out of the shops that were open this early in the season during the week. I would venture to say that a third of them aren’t yet.

Strolling the boards and window shopping can take a lot of energy and one needs to refuel that ol’ tank of get up and go every once in awhile. Deb and I debated on which fuel we should go with and decided on Ice Cream!

There seemed to be pretty long line at this one shop so we took that as a good sign. Little did we know.

My favorite ice cream is butter pecan. That said, I still decided to look at the flavors just in case something else struck my fancy. Deb looked at me and said, “Bacon ice cream?” I looked at her like she had grown another head and then looked at the board because surely she is misreading something. Nope, bacon ice cream was on the board. Along with Third Trimester, Zombie, Crack, Ooey Gooey, Cereal Killer and the ever popular BOOGER! I kid you not.

Now they would give you small samples if you asked but neither one of us would or even could, unlike the fudge shop. I stuck with my tried and true butter pecan and Deb ordered strawberry cheesecake flavor.

I wonder who does the taste testing for these flavors in the development stage? I also wonder what they use as their taste guide? A plate of bacon, ok, I can go with that. But Third Trimester? And BOOGER? Oh please. There is not enough money for me to take that job!


When we got back to the campground we took Duncan for a walk and just as we got across from my site I took a nasty fall. The sand had eroded away from the blacktop road and I didn’t see it in the dark. My knee was pretty banged up, my palm, and toes were scraped thanks to wearing flip-flops. I’m sure I’ll live.

Another day for the history books.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

5/29/2012 Let the Eyeball Bleeding Begin!

Oh what a slow day again at the ramp. Just dead!

Since I had so much free time I decided to take some pictures of my surroundings.

There’s the marina, of course.


This is a little café/convenience store here at the marina, ironically named, The Marina Café.


Another view of the marina. (Take note of this gorgeous weather!)


Here’s the café on the left and the bigger building houses the State Park Rangers, a laundry room, and men and women’s showers for the boat people in the marina, public restrooms, and the offices for the Delaware State Seashore Park and all that it entails.


So that’s the main area of the marina. I’ll show you the rest on another day. (Which means when I take the pictures of the rest of the area)

Is it just me or does this shadow look like it belongs to a partridge (think in a pear tree) rather than a seagull?


I knew it was going to be a slow day so I took two nearly stale rolls with me. What a mistake that was!

I thought I’d feed one or two seagulls a good lunch but then the next thing I know the whole darn flock showed up!


I only had two rolls and they all wanted to eat.



I fed as many as I could by breaking it up into smaller pieces. When the rolls were gone I announced, “ALL GONE” but they wouldn’t leave. I even tried moving the golf cart a little bit in hopes they would take off. Uh-uh, not happening. I moved to the other side of the parking lot, they followed me. Note to self: Don’t bring food for the seagulls anymore!

Towards the end of my shift I found out I was supposed to be off today. There has been much confusion and talk about which days were going to be ours and evidently a decision had been made but no one told us. So I went home to tell Bob that he didn’t have to go in that its our day off. He was glad because the ramp isn’t busy but wished he had known ahead of time so that he could have gone fishing. Oh well, it’ll all work out.

I walked over to the fee booth to talk with my friend Lynn and as I was sitting there visiting my online friend, Deb from New Hampshire, pulled in. She’s been reading the blog for the last four years and we’re Facebook friends so when she hit the road for a vacation she included Delaware in her plans. She’ll be here until Friday morning we have lots to cram in the next few days.

After dinner Deb and I walked over to the water’s edge to watch the sunset. Now you all have been let off easy so far, we’ve been here three weeks now and you haven’t seen nary a sunset picture. Well, that stops now! New readers, get ready, since we are extremely lucky to have the most fantastic sunsets, you will see so many sunset pics over the next three months your eyes will bleed!



Ok, I’m done.

Monday, May 28, 2012

5/28/2012 Memorial Day 2012

Memorial Day clipart

No, we’ll never forget the men and women from Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard who gave their all, the ultimate price for our freedom and way of life we live today.

Remember, its not about the BBQ or the day at the beach, its so much more.

To say the boat ramp was slow today would be an understatement. I think dead would more aptly describe the ramp activity. I had a total of four boats go out and two of them come back in during my watch. It was so slow Bob got sent home early because by late afternoon there were no boats. The holiday weekend was over and school isn’t out yet in this area so family vacations haven’t started. One fella told us to enjoy this time because summer is right around the corner.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

5/27/2012 No Peeing From the Dock!

It seems Bob liked the afternoon shift so I took the first shift again today. This suits me fine because I would rather work the morning hours and have the afternoon hours for the beach or laundry / housework and whatever else I may want to get into.

The morning hours were steady, never a great rush and nice breaks in between boat launchings that I got some reading in. The day was once again sunny, a nice bay breeze and all around a pleasant day. I love my job!

So there I am reading my trashy, summer beach novel, well, not really, but that reads better than… so there I am reading another edition of the detective series I’m into. Anyway, I happen to look up and towards the dock because a boat was about to be launched when I saw him. I could not believe my eyes. There for all the world to see was this fella standing on my floating dock peeing into the water. My jaw dropped. I was stunned to say the least. I just never expected to look up and see some guy who had whipped it out and peeing off my dock. After a few seconds I gathered my senses about me and knew I had to put a stop to this now! I yelled, “EXCUSE ME!” His fellow boaters looked at me and I pointed, “He’s peeing off the dock!!!” Their jaws also dropped and then I heard, “Matt! What did mommy tell you about peeing outside?” Yes indeed, this four year old was caught, shall we say, red-handed. He was certainly red-faced when he realized he was busted. Mom and Dad made him apologize to me and continued launching their boat and I went back to my book. And that was my excitement for the day.

Bob, on the other hand, had some excitement of a different kind. While my boats all went in at different times and either singly or maybe two at a time, Bob had nine boats to deal with at one time. One going out and eight coming in. Needless to say the eight all wanted to be first. We do things in a first come, first serve basis and four boats were lined up to come in, two of those at the courtesy dock, one to go out and four more to come in. The four out in the water didn’t want to hear that the courtesy dock boats were in front of them or that no one could come in the one ramp until the one going out got launched. I’m sure it was one confusing, hectic hour and a quarter until the dock was empty again. Luckily, these boaters were quite familiar with launching and pulling their boats out because each one went quickly and they finished the final tie downs in the parking lot out of the way. I imagine there will be days when most of our is spent with situations like this. I hope not, but its bound to happen.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

5/26/2012 Add Ramp Masters to our Resume

Bob and I decided that we would both work for the entire day even though it was only required that one work each shift. We figured since it was Memorial Day Weekend which usually proves to be a huge weekend at Delaware beaches and waterways, that it would be a good idea so we could help each other this first day.

We picked up our radios and keys to our golf carts and to the docks we went. Actually I went to the boat ramps and Bob covered the parking lot where the larger truck/trailer combos are parked. This lot is in the area of where the head boats and chartered fishing boats go out of and some people don’t pay attention that they are parking in very long parking lanes, or they just don’t care and they figure they’ll park there because it is 10 feet closer to the boats. Bob kept those people moving to regular sized parking spaces.

When I got to the boat ramp there were already a half dozen truck/trailer combos parked in my lot and we got there at seven! I didn’t have a huge rush of people wanting to launch their boats but rather a comfortable stream of boaters. The drivers of the larger truck/trailer combos were sent to Bob’s lot to park and he would drive them back to my area in the golf cart.

This is my view while I tend the boat ramps.


Just to my left is the marina.


The ramps we oversee.


It seems the boaters are well versed in where to stage their boats and I really don’t have anything more to do than check for their ramp stickers, and if they don’t have them. then to direct them to Hook ‘Em and Cook ‘Em, a marina store, to get their permits/stickers. I also direct where they park in my lot and determine who has to go to the remote lot, because believe me. it doesn’t seem to bother them if they hang four feet over the end of the parking lane.

I also get asked questions like what’s biting, what’s the legal for size for a sea bass, are Fish &Wildlife patrolling the Inlet and when is the next high tide. The answers? Nothing. Twelve and a half inches. Sure they are. Mid-afternoon around two I think.

Since we are not busy every single minute of our shift I bring a book with me. Bob manages to find someone to talk rods, reels, bait, jigs and who knows what else with.

At noon, we had lunch on one of the picnic tables near Bob’s parking lot so that we could keep an eye on it. Not knowing how busy the afternoon would be we thought it best to keep that lot cleared of stray cars.

All day long boats are being taken out of the dry stack building.


I met this couple, John & Vicky from the Philly area, in the parking lot where their boat is still in dry dock because its being worked on. Poor John is so frustrated, it seems like its one thing after another with this boat. He made appointments with a boat mechanic two weekends ago but then the mechanic got tied up elsewhere and couldn’t get there and then when he did show parts were needed that had to be ordered, this guy just can’t get a break. Well, it finally got fixed this weekend. Unfortunately, by the time it did a lot of cars parked in the parking lot and the boat lift wouldn’t fit in to get to the boat. Next weekend, it will get put in next weekend. The boat is named Slip Away, I hope it just gets away from the slip once its put in the water.

Just as I predicted, it was a beautiful sunny day today and guess who forgot the sunblock? Guess who didn’t bring anything to prevent sunburned lips? Guess who brought a floppy hat and it never got out of the truck? Guess whose ears are sunburned, (new haircut), guess whose peeling face was in the sun all day, guess whose lips are sunburned again? I don’t have to guess, I’m living it! Someday I’ll learn! I hope.

Because the fish aren’t biting, BBQ’s are taking place, whatever the reason most of the boaters were back and out of the water by 3:30. The marina manager came by a little bit later and said that we could go, that there was no need for us to hang around for so few boats. Well, if you insist!

So we have our first day under our belts and tomorrow we’ll start our split shifts.

I was able to get a picture of the bridge. I’m not real pleased with it and I need to play with the settings on my camera more and change locations to get the picture I want. All of the cables are lit when its dark. This angle just doesn’t show it like I thought it was going to. I’ll work on getting the picture.


When I got home from picture taking Bob asked if I would work the morning shift. It seems he’s just not sleeping well and would like to try to sleep in tomorrow morning. It doesn’t matter to me one way or the other so it looks like I’m on first tomorrow.

Friday, May 25, 2012

5/25/2012 Last Day of “Vacation”

Tomorrow we start work so today we used our time to catch up on things. I got a much needed haircut. Did some grocery shopping, (happen to score boneless chicken breast for $1.99 a pound so I stocked up and bought 15 pounds) did laundry and Bob fished.

The campers have been coming in a steady stream since yesterday. Every campsite is reserved as is every tent site.

I also picked up our mail today, the first time we’ve gotten it in a month. It was enough that it came in a box rather than the cardboard envelope we usually get. I think I know what made it so much. This is what I’ve been sent in just the last month. More address labels! A half dozen cards, which I’ll use for sure, note pads and a gift bag.


When we were here two years a new bridge across the Inlet was being built. This is what we see of it from our front door.


Starting tonight it will be lit. I don’t know exactly what that means so we’re anxious to see our view will be at nighttime.

A few days ago I wrote a status post in Facebook that I enjoyed waking to the song of the seagulls.


I’d like to re-visit that now. I am no longer enjoying that annoying squawking of those noisy birds.

There are some avid kite flyers in the park right now. This kite pictured below is so fun to watch. Each part of it spins independently of the other. One spins clockwise and the other counter-clockwise. This picture doesn’t do it justice to reflect just how large this kite is.


VACATION is over!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

5/23/2012 Getting Anxious to Start Workamping

I can’t believe I just typed out the title of this post like I did. GETTING ANXIOUS TO START WORKAMPING Who thought that up? Whoa, we’re at the beach why would I be anxious to start our summer job? There actually is a reason. I figure once we start working over at the Marina the sun will come out, the temperature will go up and the fish will start biting. This will undoubtedly happen this coming Saturday. Undoubtedly.

In years past we used to get a surf tag which meant the state gave us a license plate to put on the front of our truck (Delaware only puts license plates on the back of cars, not front and back) which would allow us to drive on the beach. Unfortunately, dually wheels prevents us from doing that anymore and also we have “soft” sand rather than hard packed sand so the weight of our truck would not be conducive to driving on the beach approaches where the sand can be deep. There is a reason I’m telling you this.

Bob would rather surf fish than stand at the rail along the inlet. He enjoys both but would rather fish from the beach. When he was in the fishing tournament our first weekend here it took him 4 trips over a pretty big sand dune to get everything to the beach. since he plans on getting his fill of fishing in this year he knew he had to something to make the transporting of stuff to the beach easier. We took care of that today.

We made a trip to K-Mart because the last time we were there Bob took notice of a sand cart. He gave it a closer look today to see if he could modify it to meet his needs. It seems it will work.


Bob took some PVC pipe and cut it to length and then screwed it onto the frame to hold the surf poles.


He marked off 2 inch increments on one of the rod holders so that he could measure a fish because we have length limits here in Delaware.


When he first started this he was using large tackle box which really added a lot of weight. To remedy that he moved things around between this large box and smaller one he has.



So it carries a tackle box, two poles, a sand spike a small seat and carry all bag which I think he used to stow the beer and a bucket.

Now Bob wasn’t the only one buying things today. I snagged two really nice pairs of shorts and a hat. Oh, the hat. I am so not a hat person. I only got one because I am going to be in the sun so much this summer. I can’t take the chance of getting these blisters on my lips again like I just did recently. On top of that this past Saturday I got sunburned on my face and I’m peeling now, so I have to do the hat thing. (Bob isn’t here or I would have him take of picture with me wearing it)


Actually, it doesn’t even fit that well, I’m in need of a haircut.

This is what we’re up to.

Monday, May 21, 2012

5/21/2012 Answering Questions

A reader wrote in a few days ago and asked what would happen if we decided not to work through a whole season. Well, so far that has only happened once. If you remember, our very first workamping job in Fountain, Florida did not turn out that well. That was just a bad situation all the way around. An office manager that only allowed me to collect the mail from the mailbox, run the vacuum and pick up pinecones. Bob on the other hand was expected to make a major renovation to a men’s shower room which included moving water lines, putting in a door to the outside where there wasn’t one, tile work and rebuilding an out of plumb wall. After a few weeks we left that job. We felt bad until we found out we were the 4th couple in a two month span to hit the road. This is why our house has wheels!

This reader also thought our job this summer sounded like a lot of work. We’re not seeing it that way. Yes, it’s more hours than we would like to work but you have to think about where we are. Workamping jobs that are near major attractions like the beach/ocean always command more hours because these positions are sought after. Another change for us will be working separate shifts. Since someone has to be at the docks when all the boats get put in, someone also has to be there when they get pulled out. Ours shifts will be from 7 to 12 in the morning and from 1 to 6 in the afternoon. We’ll alternate shifts so that neither one of us has to work all mornings or all afternoons. If one of us has something to do (a deep sea fishing trip or a girlfriend day) the other will work both shifts. Overall, the job seems pretty easy.

Have we had jobs we would have liked to leave early? To be honest this has crossed our minds. Only because hitch itch sets in and we have a strong desire to be on the road again. We haven’t followed through on it, but yes, we’ve thought about it.

We have found that we don’t like workkamping commitments that are 5 or more months long. Its too long to be in one place. This summer we’ll be here from Memorial Day till one week after Labor Day. Next winter we have a two month commitment in the Florida Keys giving us plenty time to stop in Savannah and Charleston on the way down and travel and explore Florida before and after our workamping stint. That two months will give us some time to rest, do anything to the 5th wheel that needs to be done and to put some money away to play with later.

Another reader asked what our favorite places have been. We would both answer Alaska as our most favorite. That state just has so much to offer as far as things to see and do. We both fell in love with Arizona and New Mexico. I would have to list Utah right up there too and I know Bob would put Oregon high on his list.

This same reader asked what else we would like to see. We would like to finish our States Map so a trip to the northeast to visit Rhode Island, Vermont and Connecticut would be in order. We also have to go to Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Now let’s not forget Hawaii, I know we can’t take the RV there but I’m making plans for this one too.

As for individual cities or attractions are concerned I would have to say we would like to visit Williamsburg, VA for one. I’d like to see the Biltmore in North Carolina and Niagara Falls in New York. I’d like to go to Washington D.C. but I think Bob would balk at that one. Bob would opt for some time in the Outer Banks of NC for some great fishing. I could do that one too. There are really too many to list here. When you have two people who like to travel like we do our lists would really be endless. We’re always anxious to see what’s around the next bend and over the next hill.

For right now? We’re content to live at the beach for the next three and a half months.

Another question was how do we get our mail? What little mail we get is sent to our legal address in Texas. Yes, we became Texans and hold Texas driver’s licenses, voter registration cards, the whole nine yards. When we are going to be in once place for several months I make arrangements for it to be sent twice a month. Usually to General Delivery to the local post office.

If you have questions about our lifestyle, please, feel free to ask.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

5/20/2012 A Laid Back Day,A REALLY Laid Back Day

Let me start this with,,,,,yesterday a lot of beers were drank.

We went to breakfast at the VFW for their breakfast buffet. Bob’s sister, Carol, her guy, Pat, our friend Steve and a fishing buddy of his, Josh, Bob and I. We left the Inlet campground at ten and were on the other side of the bay within 15 minutes. We were surprised at so few cars in the parking lot as Bob, Carol and Pat ate here last week and it was packed. Carol did remember that it was Mother’s Day last week so that would certainly explain the crowd. However, these buffets are really good and we expected more of a crowd than this. The sign was still up outside, Breakfast buffet on Sunday’s so we were baffled. We soon found out that there isn’t a buffet this Sunday. I, for one, was really disappointed because they raved about how good it was last week. We were able to order off the menu so we did have breakfast there anyway. My pancakes were good and everyone enjoyed theirs except for the scrapple. It was cut too thin and cooked too long. Carol picked hers up and tapped it on her plate and it didn’t even bend, not even a little bit.

After breakfast, Steve and Josh went their way, Pat and Carol headed home to Jersey and Bob and his recliner were joined as if they were one the rest of the day.

It was a pretty miserable day too. A good day to stay indoors because of the cold, the rain and especially if you are hung over from the day before. Don’t look at me, I don’t drink!

One more week off before we start our summer workamping job.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

5/19/2012 I Go To Work!

I was up early this morning. Before the alarm even went off. The wind was blowing pretty hard and that was not a sound I wanted to hear. Since I’m going to be right on the water I knew it was going to be on the chilly side. I got a sets of sweats out just in case. I got there right on time and went in to find out what I was supposed to do first. Keys to the golf cart in hand I went and picked one out and headed to the docks. I met up with Wayne, a full time employee and he went over a few things and then left me.

So here I am, its windy, chilly damn cold and there is no action at the docks. Not a boat in sight. This is going to be a long day I say to myself. Finally the first boat comes. I check to see if its registered to Delaware and it is. These guys paid me no mind. They knew exactly what to do and my help wasn’t needed at all. Twenty minutes later a fellow with a jet ski comes. A jet ski? Really? That water is cold! He got it offloaded, parked his truck/trailer and off he went. I did get the chance to ask him if he was nuts before he pulled away from the dock. Two more boats were put in and the next thing I know Jetski Man is back. I just looked at him and laughed. He laughed back and said, “I should have listened to you!” He had a wet suit on but it only covered his torso, upper arms and thighs. The rest was bare and subject to the cold water. He couldn’t get that jet ski out fast enough.

At 9:15 I was told to go home. The crowd they were expecting just isn’t here. Come back next weekend I’m told. They didn’t have to tell me twice.

By the time I got back to our site Bob’s sister Carol and her main squeeze Pat were there along with brother Gene and sister-in-law Linda. Hugs all around, I settled in a lawn chair, work already forgotten.

The sun had come out and jackets and sweatshirts were shed and we talked and ate and drank and laughed. Most of all we laughed.

Gene, Carol, Bob




Carol and Linda


Gene, Bob, Linda, Carol and Me


Gene, Pat and Bob


Take notice of how tan Bob is already. Can you imagine what he’s going to look like come August?

We had hoped Gene and Linda would spend the night but it just wasn’t in their plans this weekend. Hopefully, before the summer is over they’ll be back for a weekend.

Friday, May 18, 2012

5/18/2012 Oops..Forgot Some Stuff

I hit publish too quickly yesterday and didn’t read it first to make sure I had everything in the post that I wanted to.

During our meeting with Marina Mike yesterday the marina manager, Theresa, came in. She asked us when we were supposed to start and we told her Memorial Day weekend. She looked at Mike and said, “We’re supposed to be very busy this coming weekend.” I looked at Bob, Bob looked at me and no one was saying a thing. The silence was deafening. A very definite pregnant pause. Finally I spoke up and said, “Well, we can cover that.” I could feel Bob’s eyes on me. Mike responded with “Great, be here at 8 a.m.!” We got out in the hallway and Bob said, “Snook, I have family coming this weekend.” What was I supposed to do? It was obvious they were waiting for one of us to say something. I assured Bob that he wouldn’t miss anytime with his family, that I would work the weekend, I had it covered. If only we had gotten out of the office just a few minutes earlier. Oh well, it is what it is.

The weather hasn’t been exactly the best here. We seem to be under a stationary cloud. It’s not exactly cold but its not warm either. We haven’t turned to long pants and sweatshirts so at least that’s something. Still, we are longing for sunshiny days and temps near 80. After all, we are at the beach!

I’ve been to the grocery store and all I can is YIKES! The prices here on the east coast are so much higher than they were in Texas. I’ve also noticed that a lot of the shelves are covered because they are empty. I happen to ask why when I was checking out and the clerk told me that they don’t stock as much during the winter months because the population just can’t support the store at full capacity. Hopefully the tourist season will bring the prices down. I can see where Bob and I are going to have to travel to Dover at least once a month and do a big shopping at Dover Air Force Base. Paying $12.99 for Maxwell House coffee just isn’t going to work for me. Not when I was spending $8.99 just a month a half ago, less when I had a coupon.

All in all its good to be home.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5/16/2012 We Meet with Marina Mike

At ten this morning we drove over to the Marina to meet with Mike, the Marina Assistant Manager. He gave us a tour and explained everything we’ll be doing during our work shifts. It seems it will be quite hectic at times, especially during the holiday weekends.

We’ll be responsible for keeping order at the docks as far as the boaters off-loading and on-loading their boats from and to their trailers. Once the parking lot at the dock fills we’ll have to escort the boaters to a remote parking lot, get them parked and give the driver a ride back to the docks to their boat.

We will also be the first contact in case of an oil spill on the water and we’ll have to contact the authorities. We have access to the booms to contain the spill and absorbent materials should oil leak onto the loading ramp. We are both seriously hoping we don’t have to deal with that.

Bob and I will work a split shift. Its up to us how we want to work it, who works the first shift, who works the second. The morning shift is from 7 – 12 and the afternoon shift is 1 – 6. I think that may be changed just a little bit in the near future. We are also assigned litter patrol here in the campground for one loop and we have to have time for that. We haven’t figured out how we’re going to do our time. A lot will depend on tides, (think fishing) on whether or not I have a girlfriend coming down for an afternoon on the beach, what’s for dinner (the one who works mornings will have to cook dinners) and who knows what else will come into play as the summer progresses.

We made a run to Home Depot and K-mart for new lawn chairs in the afternoon.

Other than this we just hung out. Before I close this I want to send out a Happy Birthday wish to one of our friends. Happy Birthday KK! See you soon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5/15/2012 Everyday Life at the Beach

Today was a “let’s get things done and finished” day.

I still had knick-knacks to get out, things that make this 5th wheel home if you will. Laundry had to be done, food shopping had to be done, and a general straightening up had to be accomplished.

We got our new throw rugs down. (this is for the lady in Kohl’s who helped me find the right sizes and colors) The new ones are the rust colored ones and the tan one in front of the sofa. Whatever it takes to keep from having these carpets cleaned every other month or so. That gets expensive.


Bob had chairs and a BBQ to get out and set up and bikes to put together again. He had to get our flag out and put our outside lamp together and get our name plaque put on it once again.

In the meantime we had friends stopping by and campers we met two years ago who remembered us stop and say hello and before you know it 10 minutes here and 20 minutes there and the day is over. At the least the hours of the day that we consider the time to get things done in were over. We still had lots of day left to relax in. Isn’t that how its done?

Monday, May 14, 2012

5/14/2012 Back to the Beach

Mom and Dad brought me back to the beach today. We drove in and out of rain showers on the way down and by the time we reached the beach the sky was blue and the sun was out.

Bob was surprised at all the bags we unloaded from the trunk of the car and all that I had bought and especially pleased when I told him how much I spent. Or maybe that should be how much I didn’t spend.

His sister and brother-in-law stopped by to say so long and that they would be back Friday.

I also missed our friends Steve and Kerry this weekend but they’ll be back Wednesday for two weeks. Kerry and I will get some serious beach time in I’m sure.

There is one thing that I haven’t mentioned at all in the past week that is still giving me problems. The day we went to the Kentucky Derby (the 5th) I was out in the sun for 12+ hours without sunscreen. I already had a base tan and I wasn’t really concerned about it. However, I never gave thought to being out that long and not using some kind of sunblock on my lips. Two days after the Derby my bottom lip broke out with these horrible blisters and one side swelled considerably. Well, the swelling has gone down but the blisters are still giving me problems. Some of them have healed and disappeared but one just won’t heal no matter what I put on it. Besides keeping me out of the sun its preventing me from enjoying a Capriotti’s sub as yet. I’m not really a hat person but that may change here very soon. At least until this heals.

Panama hat clip art

Sunday, May 13, 2012

5/13/2012 Happy Mother’s Day

Up early again, the cards already dealt, we were able to play two games before mom left for church.

We didn’t do much today, sat on the porch and watched the world go by as we talked about days gone by and the summer we’re just beginning.

Cindy joined us when we out to our favorite Italian restaurant for a Mother’s Day dinner. We all ate too much and got home just in time for us to sit down and watch the Survivor finale.

After that was over? Cindy headed home and mom and I headed for the kitchen table where the cards were waiting. Once again, we played until the wee hours of the morning.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

5/12/2010 We Shopped All Day

Mom and I were both up a little after seven. By seven twenty we had the cards for our first game of Hand and Foot dealt. She likes this game!

We played until I just had to break away so that I could get ready to go shopping with one of my best friends, Cindy.

We have no sales tax here in Delaware and there were some pricey things I wanted to get for our home and some clothes needed to be bought for both of us.

Cindy arrived right on time and after hello’s and how are you’s with my parents we were on our way. First stop was Kohl’s. We have light colored carpeting in the 5th wheel and because we want to keep it as clean as possible we use throw rugs in the walking areas. I had seen throw rugs that I liked when we were in Texas but they didn’t have enough of them and I’m not real crazy about paying sales tax if I don’t have to. So today I got them. There $54.99 a piece on sale, because of Mother’s Day I guess, for $27.49 and then Cindy put it on her charge for me so I could get another 30% off which took them down $19.24. Quite a savings when you consider I bought four of them.

Bob needed new pocket tee shirts in assorted colors, I bought a knife set, some bathroom accessories, two towels and a pillow protector. All totaled I spent $205.19. After all the sales and discounts I walked away paying 108.63 for this trip.

From here it was to Boscov’s. I love this store. I went crazy buying clothes here. Well, crazy for me. Five pairs of shorts and six tops, earrings and a few other small household things. Total here was $245 and change. After sales and a 15% military discount I walked out spending $109.00.

Spending like this is totally out of line for this Queen of Cheap but I hit such good sales, and face it, sometimes you just have to spend money. I don’t have sprees like this often so when I do, I don’t cringe too much.

We did go back to Kohl’s for things I couldn’t make my mind up about the first time there. The damage to my wallet wasn’t too bad, I spent less than fifty dollars this time.

All totaled, I bought $621 and change worth of stuff for $258 and change. Not a bad day’s shopping.

Cindy stayed for dinner and we had a nice relaxing time sitting around the table talking.

Bob called to let me know that his sister Carol and brother-in-law Pat were down for the weekend but would be back the following so I’ll get to see them then. He also told me that the fish weren’t biting all that much during the tournament. All the same he enjoyed being out there and it felt good to be fishing again.

After Cindy left Mom and I broke out the decks of cards and played until the wee hours of the morning.

Friday, May 11, 2012

5/11/2012 Both Hectic and Relaxing

Shortly after morning coffee Bob took off for the beach. He has a hectic day today, a lot to accomplish in order to be in the fishing tournament tomorrow.

His fishing license has to be purchased, he has to dig his fishing poles out, empty the basement storage area of the 5th wheel in order to even get to his tackle boxes, make a trip to the tackle and bait store to find out what the fish are biting on, buy appropriate bait, re-string his reels for surely what’s on there has to be dry rotted by now, make a run to the grocery store for lunch stuff, a trip to the beer store for adult liquid refreshment and probably a half dozen other things I can’t think of the right now to add to this paragraph long sentence! Whew, I’m tired.

I, on the other hand, had a very relaxing day talking with mom and dad, playing Hand and Foot with mom and going to my favorite restaurant for some delicious Crab Imperial.

He had a rushed, hurried, hectic day. I had the relaxing, serene, laid back day. Life is good.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

5/10/2012 Six Hundred Twenty One

Six hundred twenty one days since I’ve seen my mom and dad. That count comes to an end today.

Bob and I got up this morning and set to getting tasks that we had to do…done. We didn’t rush by any means but we worked pretty steady. We also took our normal computer time in the morning and we took time for showers. I packed a bag with enough for four days and with some things I was taking up to Wilmington.

A little after eleven we got on our way. Our way home. Home being Wilmington.

I saw the first mileage sign about ten miles out.

Wilmington 84

We took note along the way of things that changed in the nearly two years since we last passed this way.

Wilmington 74

Bob has decided that he’s heading back to the beach tomorrow morning. There’s a fishing tournament Saturday and he has a great need to drown some worms.

Wilmington 64

This is fine with me, I need some one on one time with my parents.

Wilmington 54

We talk about what we’re having for dinner our first night in Wilmington. There is no doubt we are having Casapulla’s cheesesteaks.

Wilmington 44

Its at this mile marker that I realize I didn’t bring anything to wear to church on Sunday. Too far away to turn around now.

Wilmington 34

I call mom to let her know we’re just a half hour away.

Wilmington 24

I’m going to be spending Saturday afternoon with one of my BFF’s, Cindy. We’re going shopping. I make mental notes of what I need to look for.

Wilmington 14

Fifteen minutes to go and we’ll be there. A lump is forming in my throat already. I can’t wait to see them.

We’re inside the town limits. We look to see what has changed and what has stayed the same.

Bob turns the truck onto the street I grew up on. I can see their car in the driveway. Hurry up already, put the pedal to the metal these last hundred yards.

I wait patiently for the engine to cool so that he can shut it off. I tell him I can’t wait and he says, “Go, you don’t have to wait.” Like a flash I’m out of the truck and running up the sidewalk and up the five steps to the front door.

Mom opened the door as soon as I reached the top step. I took a few steps into the enclosed front porch and walked right into her arms. Oh, that hug. Nothing has ever felt sweeter. She clung to me and in return I squeezed her tighter.

Bob walked in and I moved aside so he could get his hug and I turned to Dad. He held me tight and whispered in my ear, “Welcome home babe.” The lump in my throat was so big and tears just slid down my cheeks. We were home. I was home.

All talking at once we settled around the kitchen table. Eventually, Bob and Dad found their chairs on the porch talking about men things and mom and I sat at the kitchen table bouncing from subject to subject.

Tummies started rumbling and talk to turned to dinner. I placed our orders on the telephone and then drove through the streets I played on as a kid to go pick up our cheesesteaks.

As soon as I walked into Casapulla’s, Vicky greeted me with, “I’ve been waiting for you, I knew you were going to be in soon.” Vicky follows the blog and knew we were back in town.

Back at home we sat around the kitchen table again and unwrapped our sandwiches. Oh, that first bite. Heaven. Pure heaven. We haven’t had cheesesteaks since we were home in 2010. Now those of you who have sub and steak sandwich shops where you live, trust me, it isn’t the same. Unless you’ve had a cheesesteak from the mid Atlantic states, my friend, you haven’t had a cheesesteak. We’ve tried subs and cheesesteaks around the country but we don’t do that anymore because we’re disappointed every time.

The men watched TV and I taught mom how to play a card game called Hand and Foot. The guys went to bed around 11:30. We were up till one playing cards.

We’re home. It feels so good. I needed this so badly. It’s going to be a great summer!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

5/9/2012 We Finish Setting Up

As anxious as I am to get to the northern part of Delaware we have to spend another day here at the beach getting our home set up for the summer. Besides, Bob really needs a day away from the steering wheel of the truck.

Laundry is caught up, the rig is set up, knick-knacks are set out, the matting between dinner plates has been removed and we’re ready for summer.

Bob found some paperwork that I filled out for our workamping job in the marina this summer and it had the date May 10th on it. He thought that was our start date. I was thinking it was the 15th because that's the date we started last time. I was certainly hoping it was the 15th because we just had to make it up to Wilmington before we start workamping.

I called the volunteer coordinator, Kim, to verify our start date. Imagine our surprise when she said Memorial Day Weekend. Great, we’re off for the next two weeks!

She did ask us to come over to the Marina to meet the Marina manager and assistant manager. We did that in the afternoon and we’ll go back to the Marina on the 16th to get shown around and be given our uniform shirts and an outline of our duties. The fellow we’re going to work closely with, Mike, seems very nice and friendly.

Back home, I started to get things together for the next few days in Wilmington.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

5/8/2012 First Sightings

We were both up at the crack of dawn this morning. It was going to be a long day driving for Bob and an even longer one for me just sitting. I had a book but I just couldn’t get into it.

We had a rough day on the road today as the idiots were out in full force. We saw signs of a right lane closure and got over to the lane left lane as soon as we safely could. Of course there are always those who stay in the right lane until it actually runs out and then expect traffic to stop so they can be let in. We couldn’t see any reason for the right lane to be closed but the left lane was getting slower, even at a standstill sometimes, because of the bottle neck happening because of the impatient drivers. At this point we still couldn’t see where the right lane ended and couldn’t figure out why the highway workers posted signs so far in advance. The left lane of traffic went on for as far as we could see and a steady stream kept passing us on the right despite the signs saying lane closure ahead. At one point, those passing us got to the point of being ridiculous and Bob moved our truck/rig to the center of the two lane road in hopes of those behind us getting the message to get in line and be patient. Well, that didn’t happen.

We reached a section in the road where a ramp was in place and cars were coming down and seeing the backed up traffic with no end in sight and they started backing up on the ramp to get back on the road they just came off of so they could get off at the next exit. So now we’ve got a five cars backing up on the ramp and two coming down. Talk about an accident waiting to happen!

Finally the car behind us had had enough of the people passing us and adding to the bottle neck and they came up along side of us and straddled the lane and shoulder of the road so that no one could get between them and us and still not be able to pass them on the shoulder.

Finally we got to the actual lane closure only to find no workers, no equipment, nothing. It was like the work was done but no one bothered to take the signs or cones or barrier away. All this time lost, all this frustration for a lot of people, all for nothing.

Maryland! We feel like we’re in our neighborhood now.


Traveling was not without incident here either. We were on a slight downgrade, traveling at about 62 miles an hour on the Interstate 95. We were in a road construction area so cones were set out and ramp barriers in place but there weren’t any workers around and traffic was moving very nicely. So we’re coming down this small hill and at the bottom there was an on ramp. There is only one lane available to us so we have to stay where we are. Two cars are on the on ramp and are evidently traveling together. We got this idea because the first car enters I-95 and STOPS to wave the car behind him on the ramp to come around him and take the lead. The car got on I-95 and STOPPED. Are you getting the picture here? Twenty seven thousands pounds of truck and 5th wheel are traveling 62 miles an hour downhill and this idiot driver gets on the Interstate and STOPS. Bob literally slammed on the brake, laid on the horn in hopes of getting this guy to move. The driver must have looked in his rear view mirror and saw us coming because he then laid on his horn and started motioning to his buddy to get moving. Needless to say they took off like bats outta hell trying to get away from us. I think that was a very good idea.

As we got closer to the Maryland/Delaware border I saw my first Delaware related sign. Rehoboth Beach, that’s where we’re headed.


I got goose bumps when I saw this one. We were home again!


My heart skipped a beat at this first.


I got excited when I saw this!


This was our first glimpse of the new bridge that just opened over the Indian River Inlet. They were still in the beginning stages of building it when we were here two years ago.


Our first ride over the bridge. Only one side is open as yet but north and south bound lanes should be open by Memorial Day.


Our first look at where we’ll spend our summer. Delaware State Seashore Campground.


Our first look at the Atlantic ocean,,,in two years!


We were greeted by our friend Lynn at the gate and spent a few minutes with her catching up.

We got settled in our site and started the process of setting up for the summer. I have to say, we just did what absolutely had to be done today, its been a long busy month getting here and we’re tired.

We’re so glad to be home.