Sunday, March 31, 2013

3/31/2013 Easter 2013

(Wilmington, DE)


Happy Easter!

We started our day by attending church services.  Mom, me and my friend Cindy.
It was a longer than usual service because there were 14 baptisms and communion was given.


The church was beautifully decorated with dozens and dozens of Easter lilies.
After church, later in the afternoon, mom and I went to Michelle’s mothers house for Easter dinner.  Michelle, my sister-in-law, has an older sister, Patty, that I was close friends with all through our school years and after.  We’ve known this family for fifty years.  We know all the kids, the in-laws, the whole family.  It was very comfortable being there as we’ve attended lots of family gatherings with them all.


Twenty five for dinner.  Ham with all salads, baked ziti, several desserts and there was so much food that there was plenty of leftovers for anyone who wanted it to take some home.  We were some of those that lined up for leftovers.  Everything was so good that one meal was just not enough.


Friday, March 29, 2013

3/29/2013 The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives Without Him

(Wilmington, DE)

Yes, I know the title says the first day and that my dad has in actuality been gone five days now.  I look as today as the new beginning now that the funeral is over.  It’s certainly not a beginning we want but one we have to deal with.

I’m confused.  We don’t cry.  My mom won’t cry in front of me and in return I won’t cry in front of her.  So both of us are holding our hurt and raw emotions in.  This can’t be healthy for either one of us, yet neither one will give in and let it all out.  At one point I watched her fill up a little bit and told her to let it go, that its ok to cry but darn if she didn’t suck it up and get past it.  I thought we were suppose to cry.  Aren't we?

I think about him and the fact that I won’t talk with him again while I’m still on this earth.   That makes me so sad but I can’t cry.  I’ve held it in so much this past week and buried it so deep that I can’t get it back to the surface.  Will it ever come out?  A month from now?  Six months from now?

Friends have told me it just hasn’t hit yet.  All the same I feel like the coldest person on earth because I haven’t had that sobbing, heart wrenching, headache inducing, cry yet.  Maybe it will never come.

Today we started packing up his clothes.  I called the Veteran’s Hospital Living Community (nursing home) and asked if they could use pajamas or anything else and was met with an enthusiastic yes!  We figured there could be some men that maybe don’t have families in the area to buy things for them as they are needed.  The lady said they what they couldn’t use would be passed on to the organization that helps homeless veterans.  It just seemed like the perfect match considering my dad’s military career.  It wasn’t a job completed in one day, it was just a start.  Actually, we need more boxes.

I’d like to take the time to thank all you that have left comments, written me heartwarming and  thoughtful emails, sent sympathy cards and called me.  Each and every gesture is much appreciated.

I saw my first sign of spring today.  My first robin.  They’ve been here a while now but I took notice for the first time today.  That said, spring is taking its good ol’ time getting here.  Winter jackets and long pants are the norm when we go out.  It’s just as well, I didn’t pack any shorts and tees anyway.  Mom keeps reminding me that its only March which is hard for me to remember because when I talk with Bob with every night he tells me that its in the  mid-80’s now and 90’s are in the 10 day forecast.  Here it’s the 50’s with the high 50’s in the forecast.  I am so ready for warm weather.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

3/28/2013 The Final Salute

(Wilmington, DE)

Another day dawned with both mom and I rising from a nights sleep tired.  We slept better than we had been but this week has just been so hectic, stressful and emotionally draining that a good nights sleep just simply eludes us.

Showered, dressed, breakfast out of the way, it was time to go to the funeral home.  I’ve been dreading this day in the worst way.  Even though it was only a five minute walk to the funeral home we still drove.

We arrived just ten minutes later because we made a stop at the local convenience store first.  Billy and Michelle were already there, waiting for us.

I knew this would be hard, walking into the room where the services would be.  It was my dad’s wish to be cremated so it was decided to have visitation, service and burial all in one day.

We brought with us five photo boards, two trophies, a silver cup he won in a pistol match and his dog tags.  We got busy with the help of the funeral home director setting the boards on easels, displaying the trophies on a small table and he took care of draping the dog tags over the urn.

We were done with the setting up the photo boards, pictures of my dad from his teens to this past Christmas.  Vacation pictures, family gatherings, pictures of him in uniform at pistol and rifle matches, the day he swore me in to his beloved Delaware National Guard.  His life in pictures, spanning sixty five or so years.

Since my dad was a military man through and through we picked out an urn that was just so fitting.  The mahogany box had a panel attached to the front of it that was covered in the dark blue material that Army soldiers dress blue uniforms are made of.  Across the bottom was a red ribbon with the gold braid.  At the top, centered, was the emblem of the United States Army.  His dog tags draped over.  We had asked flowers be omitted so there were vases of roses and fresh seasonal flowers from us and cousins.

Up until this point I knew my dad had died but until I stood before his urn it didn’t seem real.  Now reality was tapping me on the shoulder.  I put it that way rather than reality smacking me in the face because I am, for all intents and purposes, numb.

People started coming for the visitation period.  Lots of people came.  Men and women my dad worked with through the years, extended family, family friends, Billy’s friends, friends of mine and some friends that traveled considerable distances to show us their support and to pay their respect.

Being a Guard member myself and also working for the Guard full time, just like my dad, I knew a lot of his co-workers, people I hadn’t seen in years.  Even though my dad retired just over thirty years ago his co-workers, now retired themselves, still came.  I think what I’ve heard over and over again through the years finally proved itself true, The Guard is family.

I think the most heart wrenching thing to watch at the funeral home was the gesture of the utmost respect.  The Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard attended the services.  He attends every service of a National Guardsman.  If that wasn’t the case I think he would have still been here today.  He’s known my dad since he was a little boy.  His dad, a Guardsman too, would often bring him to the Armory for one reason or another.  His parents and mine were friends socially and we would go their house when I was just a little girl on a Saturday nights to play cards.  He is, in fact, a lifelong friend.
We watched, as the General, stood in front of the urn and gave a perfect, very slowly executed, salute.  It just tore at my heart to see that, but I never felt so proud at the same time.

Visitation over, it was time for the service by our Pastor.  Our pastor is new to our church, transplanted from North Carolina just six months ago.  I loved hearing him say “Bill” as he talked about my dad.  It came out Beel.  He said all the right words, comforting words, yet ones that drove home the fact that life was going to be very different for the Rhoads family now.

Service over we went out to the cars already lined up with the orange funeral procession placards hanging from the rearview mirrors.

It took us about a half hour to make the drive from the neighborhood funeral home to the Delaware Veteran’s Cemetery.  Our procession was quite long but funeral home people did an outstanding job blocking traffic at intersections so that our procession could stay together.

After everyone got parked we stood at the front of the chapel and the the funeral director called Billy and me to the back of the hearse.  While he was talking quietly to us the honor guard assembled along both sides of the walkway to the building.  They stood there in their dress uniforms, at parade rest with their rifles.

Bill, the funeral director, handed me the flag, folded in that all too familiar triangle.  He handed my brother our dad’s urn.  Together Billy and I led everyone into the chapel, through the honor guard that now stood at attention.

I clutched that flag to my chest, and as I write this, I don’t know how I ever made it inside.  It’s a wonder I didn’t trip somehow because everything was a blur due to the tears that filled my eyes.  This, our final walk together.

Reluctantly, I handed the flag over so that it could be put on the display stand for the service.  Pastor Scott stood at the front and brief service began.  Finished, he stood aside and we knew what was coming next.  We all braced ourselves as we listened for the twenty one gun salute and those mournful notes of Taps.  I felt my mom stiffen in her seat and I understood her reaction completely.

The detail unfolded the flag and re-folded it and with great precision and very kind words presented it to my mother.

It just gets harder and harder.

Afterwards we invited everyone to the Elks Lodge for a luncheon.  My nephew Dusty and a friend of his prepared a wonderful feast for us all.  We talked, we reminisced with our guests, we ate, we laughed and one by one they took their leave.

This day was over.  It was time for us to continue on in our new normal.  I hate this new normal.

I miss my dad.  Very. Much.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

3/25–3/27/2013 Three Days–Total Blur

(Wilmington, DE)

Monday:  Today we went to the funeral home, mom, me and Billy.  I thought this would be so hard but the director asked all the right questions and at times we actually laughed out loud.  Somehow I never thought laughter would be heard within those walls but I came to the realization that death is very much a part of life.
So many decisions to be made, more than I ever imagined.  This has been an eye-opener to say the least.

This doesn’t feel real yet.

Mom and I are so tired.  Good sleep isn’t coming.

Tuesday:  Lots of phone calls made today, letting friends and family know what has happened.

Our first look at his obituary in the newspaper.

In the evening mom and I went through all the family photo albums and picked out pictures of dad.  Billy and Michelle did the same thing at their house.

We picked out two trophies dad won for the Pistol and Rifle teams he was on during his National Guard years.

We went through a box of ribbons and pins, picking out unit insignia that would give a small indication of his 42 years in the military.

We found the picture taken of him swearing me in the National Guard.

We needed to go through these albums.  We played a lot remember when and we laughed a lot.

Wednesday:  We need a sense of normalcy.  So we did normal everyday things.  We went to the grocery store.  We went to the bank.  We did laundry.

There was one out of the ordinary task today.  I taught mom how to pump gas.  She had never, ever, done it before.  Years ago gas station attendants pumped the gas (and washed the windshield and checked the oil) and then my dad just did it.  If it was running low and she noticed it she just told him, we need gas and he’d go fill it up.  We’ll pump gas one more time before I leave here just to make sure she can do it.  I was dumbstruck when she told me she didn’t know how.

Wednesday evening we went to Billy’s to make up the photo boards for the funeral home.  It was fun but sad at the same time.  Fun to tell the stories that went with the photos but sad because we had to do this at all.

Monday, March 25, 2013

William F. (Bill) Rhoads Memorial Service Info

LaVon Baker, back here with you again with more information.

Snookie's dad, Mr. William F. Rhoads will be memorialized on Thursday, March 28, 2013, at 2:00 P.M. at

Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Bear, New Castle County, Delaware
2465 Chesapeake City Road
Bear, DE 19701
(302) 834-8046

The Rhoads family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be sent in memory of

William F. "Bill" Rhoads
First Baptist Church
901 E. Basin Road
New Castle, DE 19720

or to the charity of your choice. Please ask your charity to send notice of memorial to:
Mrs. Bill Rhoads and Family
8 Poplar Ave.
Wilmington, DE 19805

Please continue to keep Snookie and her family in your prayers. She is very appreciative.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

With heavy heart...

Dear friends of Snookie and Bob Quinn,
I am LaVon Baker and it is with a heavy heart that I am here to inform you, for her, that Snookie's dad has left his earthly home and gone to be with his Heavenly Father. The undetected blood clot in his brain caused him to have a massive stroke and there has been no brain activity since that time a few nights ago. This sudden and unexpected stroke and the passing of Mr. Rhoads is so hard on the family, as you can imagine, and they appreciate so much your prayers for strength and comfort.
Cards of encouragement and sympathy may be sent to:
Snookie and Bob Quinn
8 Poplar Ave.
Wilmington, DE 19805

When there is more information, I will post it here. Thank you all so much for your love and friendship of Snookie and Bob. We love them so much. 

Snookie will read your words of comfort in due time here. An outpouring of your love will mean so much to her when she is able to be back online and read you comments.

3/24/2013 The Worst Day of My Life

(Wilmington, DE)

Once again mom and I got out of bed tired.  Too much is happening too fast.  Thoughts race a million miles a minute around the clock.  The stress level for both of us is maxed out.  I’m sure my brother is experiencing the same thing,  however, he is our rock right now and is masking his stress and emotional being for our sake.  As much as I’m trying to be strong for my mom I’m not doing the job as well as he is and I’m ok with that.

We didn’t go into the hospital right away today.  Billy called the hospital first thing this morning and was told there was still no change, no response.  We went to church first.  Even though our final hours together are few we needed to take some of them and spend them in the Lord’s house.  I think mom needed some sense of normalcy if only for an hour and she found it there.  I’ll be honest with you, I’m not a regular church-goer but being there today just felt right.

We spoke with the pastor and told him what was going on and he assured my mom he would be at the hospital that afternoon.
We pulled into the hospital parking lot and I didn’t want to get out of the car.  Since there was no change, no response, I knew what could and would probably happen today.  I wanted no parts of it.
Billy and Michelle were already there and both looked so tired.
No change.  No response.  Every two hours the tests were performed.  The tests that would tell us if he was coming out of this coma.  The answer was always the same.  No change.  No response.

A meeting was set up for 3:30 with the doctor’s and my family.  It was at this time that Pastor Scott arrived at the hospital.  My mom stayed with him and my dad while my brother, his wife, his daughter-in-law and myself met with the doctors.  Michelle and Brittany are both nurse practitioners and we thought it best that they be there because they may think of questions that Billy and I wouldn’t know to ask.  That said, Michelle would have certainly been included in this meeting anyway.

My dad never wanted to be hooked up to machines to live.  He had a Living Will stating so even though they aren’t truly legal documents it at least let’s the hospital know what his wishes are.
I hated the room we were in.  It was a small conference room and with six of us in there the walls seemed to close in on me.  I hated what we were being told.  Once again, No change, No response.  Oh how I’ve come to hate those words!  The doctor was very forthright in what life for my dad would be like.  There would be no quality of life.  There was too much damage.  He would breathe only because a machine was doing it for him.  He would never enjoy his favorite meals again but be fed through a sterile tube.  He was emphatic in discussions about these matters.  No machines!  We were being asked what we wanted to do.  This is one of the hardest decisions a person can be asked to make.  Although Billy and I knew what was best, and what he wanted, an answer needed to be given and I could only sit there.  Billy looked at me and I looked at him, my vision blurred because of tears welling up.  I could only nod and Billy voiced our decision.

We decided to wait until visiting hours were over, things would be quieter and more peaceful since the other visitors to this ICU unit would be gone.  Besides, we wanted as much time as we could get.
We continued to talk to him throughout the day.  I reminded him of the time he and I went fishing and he told me to throw the anchor over.  I did, with gusto.  As it sailed through the air my dad realized he had forgotten to tie the rope onto this brand new anchor.  His first reaction was to get mad at me.  I looked at him and laughed and then he realized I was just doing what I was told to do.  He laughed too.  Then I caught the first fish.

Billy told him how his beloved U of D Women’s Basketball team was doing as the game was on the TV in his room.

Mom just quietly held his hand.

At six o’clock the nurse came in to do the tests.  The results were no different.  No change.  No response.

Billy got a take out menu from the nurses station and we ordered dinner.  We had to keep our strength up as it was going to be a long day and none of us had eaten a thing as yet.

It was good for us to get away from that crowded hospital room for a little while.  Billy went to pick up our order and we met him in the hospital cafeteria.  We ate. Not a whole of talking went on.  We were all lost in our own thoughts and memories.

Back in his room once again we noticed that some of the machines were shut off.  No more beeps, colorful lines and occasional bells.  Everything was now being monitored in the nurses station.  Some of the IV’s were removed which made it easier to hold his hands.
Time seemed to be flying by now, whereas, before our decision was made the minutes and hours dragged by.

After visiting hours were over we were asked to leave the room for a little while.  I called LaVon.  I told her what was going  on and asked her to take over my blog and Facebook wall. I knew she would write just the right things.

There’s no need for any more detail. 

Tonight I said goodbye to the first man that loved me and the first man I loved.

Dad, I’ll miss you every day and I’ll love you forever.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

3/23/2013 I Don’t Know What to Call This Post

(Wilmington, DE)

I didn’t sleep much last night.  After mom and I talked for two hours and me just being wound up and still on Arizona time, well, sleep just didn’t come.  My mom didn’t sleep either.

My mind raced all night long, mom tried her best to prepare me for what I was going to see when we went into the hospital.  I’m not going into graphic detail here, I’ll just say there were lots of machines and wires and tubes.  Surgery was performed when my dad arrived in the hospital to relieve pressure in his head.

I went in and told my dad I was there and I pray that he heard me.  The nurses assured me that he did.

The doctors say the first 72 hours are crucial and we’re down more than 24 already.  So far there is no response from dad.  Not to verbal commands, no pain reflexes or to light.  Every two hours, around the clock they try to get him to respond and each time my heart breaks a little more because we’re not gaining any ground here.

Relatives came in and out all day long.  They weren’t holding us to immediate family which to me was telling in itself.

My brother and I are well aware that there is very little hope for a response from dad.  My mom is talking about when when he comes home,,,,when he wakes up.We don’t say it out loud because then it will make it true and I don’t think any of us are ready for this.  I know I’m not.  My sister-in-law is a nurse practitioner so I’m sure she’s sharing her knowledge with Billy.  I know in my heart what’s coming but I don’t allow myself to go there too much.

Mom and I left around seven.  Spending all day in the hospital is exhausting.  We stare at him in hopes of catching a glimpse of an eyelid fluttering or fingers moving.

And we talk to him.  A lot.  He’s hearing us and he’s fighting his way out of this coma, that’s what I tell myself.  That’s what I pray for but I think God has other plans for my dad.

This is so incredibly hard.

Friday, March 22, 2013

3/22/2013 The Phone Call I Never, Ever Wanted

(Tucson, AZ - Wilmington, DE)

The sun was barely up, not hardly light yet but certainly not the darkness of night.  I was woken up by a strange sound and realized it was the new ringtone Bob put on his phone.  What the heck?  Who is calling this early?  It was 5:15 a.m..

I listened and heard Bob say, “Ok, Bill.”  My heart started racing.  I knew this wasn’t going to be good.  I heard myself yelling out loud, “No!”  “No!” and then I heard Bob walking.  He was coming to tell me bad news.  It was either my dad, Bill, calling to give bad news about my mom or is was my brother, Bill calling giving news about one of my parents. 

I sat on the side of the bed and waited for what seemed an eternity but in reality was only seconds.  Bob said, “That was Billy.”  I knew then it was my brother.  I looked at him, tears streaming down my face and asked, “Which one?”  He said, “Its your dad, he’s had a stroke.”  Afraid to ask but having to know I asked, “Is he alive?”  Bob assured me he was.  Oh, thank God.  I asked how bad it was and Bob said, “You need to go home Snook, I’ll get online and start looking for a plane ticket and you get packed.”

I needed to talk to my brother.  I called and asked him to tell me what happened.  It was then I heard the word massive for the first time.  Even though I knew what I was going to do I asked Billy if I should come home.  I heard him take a breath and answer, “Yeah, you need to get here.”  This was bad.  This was the phone call I never, ever wanted to get.

I sat there, frozen in time, too numb to think or move.  I was jolted when the phone rang again.  It was Jim from Florida and he started the phone conversation with, “I might as well just say this up right up front.”  I braced myself for what surely was going to be more bad news.  He said, “Montana is out, we can’t go, Ar has an aneurysm in her carotid artery.”  Oh no, what more can go wrong?  I told him what was going on in our lives.  After consoling each other and giving a pep talk we agreed to keep in touch and that we could call each other any time of day or night.

I threw clothes in a suitcase and truly didn’t know what I was packing let alone keeping the difference in seasons in mind.

Bob found me a flight into Philly airport leaving Tucson at 1:05 and landing on the east coast at 10 pm their time.  This was going to be the longest day of my life.

It was so hard to leave Bob.  I hated the idea of making this trip by myself but Bob needed to stay here in Tucson with our 5th wheel.  There have been too many instances where the people who move the rigs around the property just park it and don’t plug it in to the power supply.  He also has a doctor’s appointment next week that has been scheduled for quite a while and one he has to keep.  It was just as hard on him, seeing me off in the state I was in and wanting to be in Delaware with the rest of us for whatever was to come.

As I thought, the flight took forever.  We got into Philly a half hour ahead of schedule but got stacked up and had to circle for 20 minutes.

Billy had stayed with my dad in the hospital all night and was exhausted.  His daughter, my niece, Ryann came to pick me up.  Nothing had changed since I boarded the plane in Tucson.  No improvements were forthcoming.

We stopped to get something eat as I hadn’t eaten since the day before.

At eleven I was finally walking into my parent’s home, the house I grew up in.  Mom just held me tight and then finally we sat and she told me every detail as to what has happened so far.

I think we have hope.  I want to have hope.

3/22/2013 I'm Going Home

Hi folks,

Just to let you know I'm gonna be away from my computer for a little while.  I'm flying home to Delaware this afternoon as I'm needed there.  Please keep my family in your prayers.  My dad, has had a massive stroke and I need to go home.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

3/20/2013 Back in the Rig Again.

(Tucson, AZ)

We returned to Lazy Days after a miserable night of,,,,well, we can’t call it sleep because neither one of us got much at all.

The bed was uncomfortable, the pillows too soft, the sheets felt like burlap and it was noisy.  Between people coming and going and highway traffic, it was just a miserable night. 

We came back to the service lot to find out that we would be able to move back into the 5th wheel at the end of day.  Dan, our service tech added hydraulic fluid, tightened a few things and it looks like we’re good to go.  He measured where our jacks were sitting and we’re hoping there is no change come morning.  If there isn’t then it will prove that these extra problems were all due to a low fluid level.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Bob wanted a sub sandwich for dinner.  I got online to find a sub shop and I checked out a few websites that were complete with pictures and they just don’t make subs like we have on the east coast.  We finally opted for a trip to the grocery store to buy rolls and lunchmeats and cheese and we’ll make sandwiches tonight for dinner.  We’re both hankering for a good cheese steak or sub.

It sure was good to get back home this evening.  Familiar surroundings, soft sheets, fluffy towels, yep, good to be home.

I called Jim this evening to check on Arlene and could not have received any better news.  She’s off the ventilator, the tubes have been removed, she’s asking for ice and popsicles and is doing very well considering where she was a few days ago.  Again, thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers.  They were answered!

Day 8 of these full-timers lives in a visit to a service center  -  down.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3/19/2013 Guess where We Are?

(Tucson, AZ)

Did you guess Lazy Days?  You’d be partly right.  Our home is in Lazy Days RV Center but we’re in a Days Inn!

The hydraulic leak we came in here for has caused our fluid level to get too low and the hydraulic jacks can not do their job the way they should now.  Because we weren’t scheduled for service today to have this addressed the front end was really low and dropping.  When this was pointed out to our service advisor things moved quickly and we were taken to the service bay within the hour.  Because they put it on jack stands we were not permitted to stay in it so we ended up at the Days Inn down the street.
Jim called us early this afternoon to give us an update on Arlene.  They were taking her out of sedation but she still wasn’t responding.

After dinner at Denny’s we settled in for the evening.

Before it got too late I called Jim to see if there was any change and he relayed some good news.  When he went back to the hospital after dinner he gave his usual “Ar, I’m here” greeting.  Much to his delight she opened her eyes.  He held her hand and asked her to squeeze.  He said she nearly ripped it off his hand.  He moved to the other side of her bed and tried that side.  Once again she showed good strength as she squeezed.  Folks, she’s coming back!

He went to tell me that in the morning she’ll be given an MRA.  Maybe that’s a more intense test than an MRI….I forget what he told me.  Anyway, if that turns out good they will remove the tubes and ventilator.

Jim and all those who hold Arlene dear thank you for your prayers.   So far it looks like they are being answered.

This was our Day 7 in Lazy Days Tucson.

Monday, March 18, 2013

3/18/2013 Lazy Days–Day Six????

(Tucson, AZ)

I think this is Day 6 here in Lazy Days Tucson

After hearing about our friend Arlene things are kind of topsy-turvy and we pretty much don’t know which end is up.

Arlene is still under sedation and they tried to bring her out of it enough to communicate but still no response.  Your prayers are still welcomed and needed.

On to life here at the service bay.  We were told that we were going to have to move today from one side of the lot we’re in to the other.  Seems as though a rally is scheduled here starting Wednesday and our 50 amp spot has been rented by the rally attendees so we have to move to a 30 amp site.  Thankfully, it isn’t that hot today so its no big deal for us.

We’re not scheduled for the service bay today.  We have an AC that has decided to send out a slight vibration so I walked down to add that to our list of things to get attended to.  While there our Service Advisor, Liz, said that she could get us in tomorrow but if Rally participants came in we could lose our spot.  I talked it over with Bob and we decided to wait till Wednesday for service because we couldn’t take the chance of losing our spot since we have an extra freezer on board and we need to be plugged in to power.  So nothing is getting done for two days. 

Ah, the life of a full-timer!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

3/17/2013 St. Patrick’s Day

(Tucson, AZ)
I had plans of making today’s post all about St. Patrick’s Day.  With a last name of Quinn, would you expect anything less?  I had collected Maxine cartoons and stories and jokes and I had it all planned out.  But last night all that changed.
I called Arlene last night.  Arlene of Arlene and Jim.  The friends we made at the beach last summer, the ones who we met in Cocoa Beach, Florida in October and then spent a week together in Key Largo this past November.  The Arlene and Jim that we’re supposed to go to Montana with this summer.
I had reason to call her last night and Jim answered the phone which is unusual.  At least when I call.  I started the conversation with, “Hey Jim, how’s it going?” and I got a shock when he said, “Not good, Snookie.”  I knew immediately I wasn’t in for good news.
A little background is in order.  A week ago Arlene flew to Baltimore to be with her toddler granddaughter who was in John Hopkins hospital and to help her daughter once the little one was discharged.  All was good on their home front and Arlene flew home.  So, so far we have two plane rides and time spent in the hospital.
Wednesday Arlene came down with what she thought was a 36 hours stomach virus.  Something that was making its rounds in Baltimore.
It turned out to be something more.  I’m not going into medical detail here because the details aren’t mine to give.
I will tell you that Arlene is in the hospital in ICU.  Friends, Arlene is very sick.  I tell you all this in hopes that those of you who pray will do so for our friend.  She needs your prayers.  Jim needs your prayers. 
I will also tell you that Arlene is heavily sedated and when they try to bring her out of it so that she can communicate through eye blinking or hand squeezing she is not responsive.  I tell you this so that you understand the magnitude of what they’re dealing with and why I come to you for prayers and or at the very least good thoughts for our friends.
Thank you.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

3/16/2013 Saturday in the Service Lot

(Tucson, AZ)

No work getting done on our rig today.  Still waiting on authorization.  I think we’re beginning to hate that word.   AUTH-OR-I-ZA-TION  Yep, we hate it.

We took a ride to look for a Ford dealership because we’re due for an oil change and past due for shocks.  Could make for a very long ride to Montana if we don’t get the shocks replaced.  So we found the dealership and we were in the Fast Track Lane and this young fellow comes out and asks what we need, our name, our phone number and he took the VIN number.  He left us with, “Ok, someone will call you with a day and time.”  What?  No appointment date can be given today?  The whole thing just really seemed strange to us.  I think if we had gone inside we would left with a date and time.  They must do things differently here in Tucson.  And we don’t think too much of it.

Another stop at Safeway to pick up a few things and we headed back to Lazy Days to settle in.

When we returned I decided to go over and find out what activities there were because the days are starting to get long and boring here.  I found out there were in fact no planned activities.  Oh great!  I stopped in the Florizona Restaurant to pick up a sample menu while I was there. 

Before heading back to the house I stopped to meet the couple from Delaware.  They were from downstate Delaware and were on their way out the door when I stopped by.  It was still nice to talk to someone who talks and sounds like me!

It was warm this afternoon but not unbearable so I decided to take a walk with my camera.  My attention was caught by a row of small travel trailers on the outskirts of the main block in the Lazy Days property.

This is the latest in small trailers.

Did I say small?  How about this?  I can’t even imagine climbing in through that door!


Interior shots.


The whole thing is a bed with an air conditioner two small shelves and two small cabinets.
Another small storage area.  I imagine one would keep the clothes and other things in the tow vehicle.


Of course even people who own this teeny tiny trailer must eat and there IS a kitchen!
A sink, a stovetop, storage, counter space and a shelf but I don’t see a fridge.


I did get a chuckle out of this.


That little gem retails for $10.000.00!



…..turns into this.


You can see the table and it drops down to help make the platform which is covered with seating cushions to make the bed.  (Oh my achin’ back!)


This next one is a bit bigger than the first one I showed you.  Not much, but some.


The inside.



Makes me so thankful for our 38 footer!

PRIVATE NOTE:  To the reader who types my name into the Bing search box to find the blog, the follower and very frequent reader who was in San Antonio but now in Corpus Christi, why don’t you just put the blog in your favorite places, make it easy on yourself Mrs. E!    <<<<<(very big grin)>>>>>

Friday, March 15, 2013

3/15/2013 Nothing Getting Done Today

(Tucson, AZ)

By eight o’clock we were ready to vacate the 5th wheel.  We decided to play it smart today and wait till our service tech, Dan, arrived to find out if he wanted the slides pulled in so that it could be moved or could we keep it as is with the AC running.  For now it was ok he told us but he didn’t know if it was going to be moved later in the day or not.  We would have to check with Liz, the one who makes these decisions, to find out if we were going to be moved or not.

There wasn’t much he could do today anyway because we’re still waiting on authorization from DRV to get the warranty work done.  We really don’t understand this part because we have a bumper to bumper warranty and everything is covered anyway, so just fix it!  Procedures.  Procedures must be followed.

Once again we headed to the waiting area to get our morning computer time in.  While Bob got settled in I checked with Liz about the possibility of being moved today and she said that yes, we would be moved to the service waiting lot for the weekend.  That was fine, it has electric and water hookups so we would be comfortable.

Around 10:30 this elderly couple came in to sit also.  Soon after they arrived a fellow dressed in shirt and tie (and pants of course) came in to talk to them.  Evidently they were going to be here for the weekend and he said that he would make arrangements for them to stay in the same lot we were going to.  He went on to tell them he would get them moved over soon because 50 amp electric service was limited and since they had a large motorhome they would certainly need a 50 amp site.  What?  Wait!  We need 50 amp too, we have two air conditioners to run and it was going to be in the mid 90’s this weekend.

Bob and I looked at each other and neither one of us had to say anything.  I got up and went to talk to Liz.  I explained that we were going to be moved and would like to make arrangements for a 50 amp site.  She told me it was a first come – first serve lot and that she couldn’t guarantee a 50 amp site.  She further explained that around one o’clock the people who were coming for the weekend because they had early morning appointments on Monday would start arriving.  She said that as soon as Dan was finished with our rig he would call to have it moved.

I didn’t even stop to talk with Bob to tell him what I found out.  I went straight to Dan.  I asked him what he had planned today and we went over the list of things to be done.  Half the list is done already as they were just nit picky little things anyway and were easy fixes.  The other half we were waiting on authorization but he could take some more pictures to send in to DRV and he could replace the kitchen faucet. 

I told him about the weather forecast and our need for a 50 amp site.  He said he understood and would call Liz as soon as he was done.  I asked him if the faucet could wait until next week, after all, it wasn’t leaking it was just loose.  He said he didn’t have a problem with it waiting if we didn’t.

So he took the two pictures he needed to take and he called Liz.  Within a half hour we were settled into the service lot for the weekend.

Sometimes it just pays to eavesdrop.

We spent the afternoon talking with our new neighbors and slipping inside from time to time to get out of the strong Arizona sun.

Day Three – Down

Thursday, March 14, 2013

3/14/2013 Lazy Days - Day Two

(Tucson, AZ)

Once again the alarm was set for six.  We got up at six fifteen.  We’re doing better!
We were out of the house by 7:00 as I wanted to go over to the Lazy Days Campground to get a shower.

When I came out Bob asked if I noticed the white truck that was sitting there when I went in.  I hadn’t.  He told me that it had Delaware tags.  We drove through the campground to check it out and did see the white truck again so I’m hoping to get to meet them.
This campground is very nice.  Lots of fruit trees, a nice pool area with hot tub, a large meeting place with pool tables and other activities.  We have access to everything there so we’re going to have to get a list of when and what kind of activities takes place.  It will help pass the time.

After closing the 5th wheel up, in case they had to move it inside the bay, we went for breakfast at the restaurant on the property.  They combined Lazy Day locations and came up with the name Florizona.


For breakfast they have a breakfast buffet and today’s buffet items were scrambled eggs, a Mexican egg dish I can’t pronounce and we didn’t have any of, sausage links, pancakes, fruit tarts, an assortment of bagels and other breads and watermelon slices.  One could go back as many times as one chooses but once was enough for us.

After breakfast we headed back to the waiting area in the service area.  We hadn’t checked our email or done any of our normal “computer things” yet. 

We were the only ones in the area for a good part of the morning. Two other couples came in but they knew they were only going to be here for the day.  Nonetheless we enjoyed sharing experiences with them.

By five o’clock were able to return to our rig in front of Bay # 39.

Day Two – down.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3/13/2013 Lazy Days Here We Come!

(Tucson, AZ)

The alarm went off at 6 a.m. this morning.  We didn’t get up but the alarm went off.  We had good intentions.

It didn’t really matter because within an hour we were ready to go and just hung around so that we didn’t get caught up in the early morning rush.

I walked up to our on-site post office to mail a card and saw quite a few people in the Cantina.  Breakfast was being served.  A free breakfast.  Two of our full time residents, Keith and Bonnie, make breakfast every Wednesday morning for anyone who wants it.  There was biscuits and gravy, sausage, eggs, pancakes and a few other things I don’t recall right now.  They do this out of the goodness of their hearts.  I did hear that some of the residents contribute dishes or groceries for the breakfast to be made.  The most amazing people live here in this park.

Our neighbors all came out to say so long but we told them all we’d be back as soon as the work was done.

It was as uneventful hours drive to Tucson and we pulled in Lazy Days well ahead of our 11:00 appointment time. 


This is where it all begins.  The doorways along this thruway belong to service writers, the cashier, a break room and a few other personnel.


They took us right away and we started the process of getting the things we wanted corrected into the computer.  Our service writer is Liz and she seemed to know the right questions to ask when I got stuck in explaining what we wanted corrected.  What I tell her has to be condensed to a sentence for the service tech’s computer printout.

As you can see in the picture above, there is not an RV in the thruway.  This place is not the zoo that Lazy Days in Tampa was.  We are glad!

They took our 5th wheel right away and settled into the waiting area.  There is a very nice sitting area outside under a sun screen.  There are several table and chair sets, comfy chairs and low tables.  There is a mural painted on the back wall also.  I’ll have to get a better picture of that.


When it gets too warm to sit outside, and it does, we move inside.  There is a nice lounge with tables and chairs for computer users and large screen TV hooked up to DirecTV.


The room is divided by a large bookcase where books and table games are kept.  On the the other side is the pet area.  No carpet.


We hung around in case there any questions about what needs to be done.  WIFI is available for us to use our computers and be able to connect to the Internet.

We met a very nice couple, Rich and Cookie, who are also full-timers.  Rich is also retired military and they workamp also so we had plenty to talk about.  It really helped to pass the afternoon away.

By five we were able to get back to our house on wheels.  We’ll be spending the night in front of bay # 39.  Day one is down.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3/7-3/12/2013 Still Nuttin’ Much!

(Arizona City, AZ)

On Thursday we had our 5th wheel washed with spotless water.  Spotless water?  Yep, its trucked in.  The water is so incredibly hard in Arizona, at least in this part of Arizona, that if you don’t wipe it off right away horrible spots are left.  There are several small businesses in this area that truck in “soft water” and will wash your rig for a fairly reasonable price.  For our 38 footer is was $57.00. Money well spent Bob says.  It took the three guys about an hour to wash and dry it.

Of course on Friday it rained.  Hard water.  Spots everywhere.  Sometimes you’re the dog and sometimes the hydrant.

I have another video I want to share with you.  My good friend Bonnie sent this to me and message is just so spot on I just need to share it.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  CLICK HERE.

While I’m sharing videos I’ve got one more.  People are truly amazing!  CLICK HERE.  Watch for the guy with footballs!  Again, thanks to Bonnie.

The park model is rented!  The best part?  People we know are renting it and they want it from December through March.  Life is good, very good!

The weatherman was right, we’re hitting high 80’s and low 90’s.  Needless to say, the pool is very, very busy.

Monday night I played pool and did fairly well which surprised me.  Bob played cards and also had a good night.

Tuesday we spent the morning in town so Bob could get his blood drawn for a future doctor’s appointment and we went to the grocery store and to get gas.  Did we think to stop and pick up his prescription that was called in the day before?  Nope.  Back to town he went.  I stayed home and started getting the 5th wheel ready for travel.  Tomorrow we go to Tucson.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

3/3-3/6/2013 Nuttin’ Much

(Arizona City, AZ)

Not much goin’ on here in the desert.  A little bit of a cold front came through again so Sunday and Monday were kind of cool.

I’m sure a lot of you have probably seen this wedding video, through your email or on Facebook, but I just have to share it.  What a great speech this dad gave as he gave her hand at the alter.  CLICK HERE.

I wish I had a dog like this!  See all that Jesse the Jack Russell Terrier can do!  CLICK HERE.

As I mentioned yesterday we’ll be leaving here soon.  Not for long and not for good but we have to go Tucson for a few days,,,or two weeks.  Hopefully, no more than two weeks.  So why are we going to Tucson?  We have some nit-picky things to get taken care of on the 5th wheel.  Since we are under warranty we let the dealership take care of everything.  We don’t want to hear those dreaded words, “You shouldn’t have done that, you voided your warranty.”  So we’re heading to Lazy Days Tucson.

I have family in Tucson so I’m hoping to get to see them.  There are also lots of things in this area we haven’t seen so I’m hoping I can get Bob away from the dealership to go do something.

The weatherman says 90 degree days are coming, I can’t wait!

We have decided to list our park model for rent again next year.  It just makes sense to do so.


The rent covers all the expenses associated with the park model and its less expensive for us to  rent an RV space than pay park model rent.  Besides, we have a new RV and its wonderful and we want to live in it!

Hopefully, someone will be looking for a place a to stay next winter.  January through March would be good but December through March would be great!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

3/2/2013 Fly Away Birds!

(Arizona City, AZ)

The other day while Bob was golfing, I was sitting outside with friends Karen and Diane.  Our neighbor who lives behind us came over and asked if I knew a pair of doves were building a nest on our ladder which is attached to the permanent ladder on our 5th wheel.  I told her that no, I didn’t, but would let Bob know.  The destroying of bird nests falls under Bob’s list of household duties.

We don’t often put up the shade that covers our back window because we back right up to our neighbors and Bob has this thing about it.  Its his thing, not mine, but I don’t argue with him over it as long as all the other shades are up and its not dark like we are living in a cave.  Because of this we didn’t see the nest building take place and I had actually forgotten about it.

Thankfully, these two birds weren’t really fast at building this nest.

I remembered the nest building this morning and put the back shade up.  Sure enough, there was mama dove putting the pieces of nesting material that papa dove brought to her in place.  When Bob came down from getting dressed I pointed out the birds and he said to me, “You know, we’re leaving here in a week and half and that can’t stay there.”  Well, yeah I knew that.  So outside he went.

As he turned the corner around the end of the rig the mama bird flew off.  Her mate was out hunting nesting material and was nowhere to be seen.  Bob took the ladder down and what they had in place flew everywhere.  He slid the ladder under the rig where it will stay until we leave here.

Well.  A few minutes later the male dove returned, a piece of straw or something like that in his beak.  He landed on the permanent ladder and dropped the piece of nesting material as he opened his beak in what had to be disbelief. 

He looked to the left…..


then to the right……


….and back again.


Pretty soon the female came back and they just kept looking and wondering what happened. 


They came back several times throughout the day in hopes of finding the beginnings of their nest.

Friday, March 1, 2013

3/1/2013 A Good Night’s Sleep….AT LAST!

(Arizona City, AZ)

The mattress delivery people called early this morning, a little after seven, to let me know that my delivery time was between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m..  This is good.  I was afraid it would be this morning and we had our mini golf at ten and I sure didn’t want to miss that.

After mini golf I stripped the bed and took everything to the laundry.  I was going to make this the best night’s sleep in every way I could.

Around three they arrived.  In less than 15 minutes they had that thing that was supposed to pass for a mattress out and our new one in place.

Yes, that’s the space we need to fill.

Back in December I bought a four inch foam topper in hopes that it would make that sorry excuse for a mattress better.  It didn’t.  I had thought I would put a notice up on the notices board in the laundry room that I had it for sale but then thought, we wouldn’t buy a used mattress topper and very probably no one else would either.  Even if it was only a few months old and super clean,,,,nope, we just wouldn’t go there.  So I had an idea….and Bob had the same one.

We measured the space we had to fill and cut the topper into four sections just that width.  Bob brought out the chalk line tool he uses to make a cutting line and then with a good sized razor blade made the cuts.


In no time we had a stack of four, eleven and a half inch wide foam pieces. 


We left a little room to make making the bed a little easier.  With the top end of the mattress between the wall and the built in night stand it was awkward at best to get the fitted mattress pad and sheet on.

I had to a friend here in the park about helping me make a cover but then I remembered I had a bottom sheet for a queen bed in the linen closet.  We fitted the sheet around the stack of foam and then kept turning the whole thing to wrap the sheet all the around, taking our time to fit the ends in neatly. 


It was a perfect fit!


With the mattress pad on, you wouldn’t even know if you didn’t know.


When its completely made with sheets and bedspread, you’d never know.

So we ended up saving an additional $150.00 for using our noodles and making do with what we had.  Since the stack of foam is on the side I sleep on its just a matter of scooting over eleven and a half inches to get on the very comfortable queen mattress.  That’s a small price to pay for a great night’s sleep!

Happy campers live here!