Friday, July 28, 2006
BooMama's home tour
In this photo, the camera is looking forward from the garden bath area. The "kitchen" is to the left, with the dining table to the right. Forward of that is the couch on the left that converts to a bed & on the right, the entry steps and a chair. Ahead of that are the driver & passenger seats. Out of the photo, the garden bath has a walk-in shower, wash basin, toilet in it's own room & closets. At the rear of the coach is an island queen size bed. Island means you can walk on three sides of it. Here is the photo:
Go click on the link above to start the tour at BooMama's. Diane's site has a link in my sidebar. There are supposed to be two hundred or more who are participating in this Blogger event. The posts are supposed to be made today but like all posts they should stay on the Web at least until deleted. Have fun.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
One thing K really wanted to try was the paddle boats in the lagoon. They are for children up to 60 pounds so she, at 44 pounds, was perfect. She caught on to getting around in them right away. Two years ago my other grand daughter also enjoyed the same boats. Here is K out on the lagoon (it is about 1 foot deep):
This day was the one year anniversary of the death of my Annie and I wanted to go to church. After looking around the campground, the kids headed for their hotel to see if they could get checked in early while I drove to St. Paul's Episcopal Church that is on the campus in Cheney. It is a small church but nice and with some great people, including the parents of a couple of ladies who we attended church with at St. Matthew, Auburn! Isn't it a small world. Here is an interior view of the sanctuary:
After church we met back at the RV, then drove back to Cheney for lunch at the Zip's Drivein there. I took a photo of the time/temperature sign as we were leaving to show what the temperature was that afternoon:
Later that day there was a beautiful sunset. I often feel that Annie is sending these to me occasionally to enjoy, especially when they come on a special day. My DIL & I grabbed our cameras and walked over to the edge of the park to take some photos of the sun as it was setting over the golf course that is beside the RV park. Here is one of those I took:
M, J & K headed off to their hotel to go to bed as they had a long day, leaving home a bit after 04:00 to get over here to surprise me. I read, checked blogs & email & cuddled Huggy until time for bed myself. It was a pretty good day for me, considering who I have lost in my life.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Annie, 20 Dec 1942 - 23 Jul 2005
This photo of Annie was taken the day before her 61st birthday on 19 Dec 2003. It was just eleven days before I retired and was one of the first photos I took with my then new Sony DSC-10 digital camera. It was taken in the living room of a long time friend and former neighbor of ours from Auburn. It's one of my favorites of the recent photos of Annie and is the one we used on the cover of the booklet for her Memorial Service last Aug 3rd.
After more than 37 1/2 years of marriage, my Annie died while I was holding her in my arms at 10:40am a year ago today at Skagit Valley Hospital, Mount Vernon WA. We hadn't expected her to die. She was just there to have some wounds that opened up over pressure points in her body treated. It looked like it might be a long hospital stay but she had been through long stays before. However, this time, she caught pneumonia on the 21st and couldn't fight that off along with all the other things that seemed to start going wrong at once.
On Valentine's Day this year I found a wonderful poem that had been posted on Susan's blog by emob called, "Within You", written by S. Hancock. It seemed to me as though that poem had been written by Annie for me & was somehow put in a place where I would find it on that day for lovers. I love it and thought I'd post it again today as there are people reading here now that were not back then.
If I be the first of us to die,
Let grief not blacken long your sky.
Be bold yet modest in your grieving.
There is a change but not a leaving.
For just as death is part of life,
The dead live on forever in the living.
And all the gathered riches of our journey,
The moments shared, the mysteries explored,
The steady layering of intimacy stored,
The things that made us laugh or weep or sing,
The joy of sunlit snow or first unfurling of the spring,
The wordless language of look and touch,
Each giving and each taking,
These are not flowers that fade,
Nor trees that fall and crumble,
Nor are they stone,
For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand
And mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand.
What we were, we are.
What we had, we have.
A conjoined past imperishably present.
So when you walk the wood where once we walked together
And scan in vain the dappled bank beside you for my shadow,
Or pause where we always did upon the hill to gaze across the land,
And spotting something, reach by habit for my hand,
And finding none, feel sorrow start to steal upon you,
Close your eyes.
Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.
I was getting ready this morning to leave to drive to church at St Paul's in Cheney, when I looked out the RV window & here were my son M, J & K walking up to the rig! They had gotten up early, left home at 04:30 and driven over to surprise me. They are staying the night in a motel about two miles away & we will have tomorrow together before they leave for home in the late afternoon. I also got the chance to talk with my other son, B, tonight on the phone. I guess after today I will not have so many firsts to face without my Annie as most of them will already have happened. There was a fantastic sunset tonight that I feel was sent to us to enjoy by Annie. I took some photos but want to post this now so will have to do those photos at a later date.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
A visit to my old college
On Thursday we went back to Cheney (the town) to visit my old college, now known as Eastern Washington University. It has been around since 1882 in it's various forms, mostly related to training school teachers. Annie graduated from the western Washington equivalent on our side of the mountains in Bellingham. The school is much larger now, with more than three times the number of students that were there when I was from 1961 to 1963. It also has a lot of new buildings & some that were there with me are now gone.
Two of those that are gone were what we called the cardboard dorms. They were never intended to be permanent and the grass field around them became a sea of mud when it rained. The area where they were is now a beautiful lawn with trees, fountains, brick walkways & circles and ampitheaters. This photo was taken from one of those walkways with a fountain, a circle & a sign with the school name:
One of the earliest buildings that is still in use is Showalter Hall. It has a large lawn in front that is well shaded by trees & was a favorite place to go to study when I was there. I guess that newer central planting area is more centrally located as Showalter is at an edge of the campus but it is still as beautiful as it ever was. Here is a part of the lawn with the building in the background:
Here is the front door of the building in a closer view. It is pretty typical of buildings constructed in the early 1900s:
As I said this school has a background of training teachers. This little building is an orginal one-room school house that has been turned into a museum:
This view includes the same fountain that is in the first photo but it was taken looking in the opposite direction. The building in the background is the John F Kennedy Library, which has been built since I attended school there:
The central green space area is quite large, as shown in this photo of just a part of it:
When I was there the student union building was known as the SUB & had the bookstore located in one end of the building. The student union building is now known as the PUB. I don't think they sell beer or wine there, even though it is called a pub, but they do have at least two mocha outlets. Showalter Hall & probably other buildings have their own mocha outlets. This photo shows a part of the bookstore, that I think is about as large as the whole SUB used to be:
There are two of these buildings that are co-ed dorms. When I was there & we were out on the ROTC drill field, they were starting construction on the first of these, with pile drivers putting pilings down. My older son attended school here one year in 1993-94 & he lived in this dorm, called Pierce Hall. They are about a dozen stories tall & offer a nice view of the surrounding countryside:
My brother is planning to return to school here this fall to take some classes just for the fun of it. I live too far away to do that but it does sound like a good thing to do. I think I may take another class or two this fall at my local college.
Friday, July 21, 2006
More photos from Life on Wheels
There are a group of ladies who have a travel trailer that they use regularly at the local Farmer's Market in Moscow to sell mochas and other things from. After the market closes about noon the Saturday when we are parking RVs on campus, they move up to a regular spot by the big tents & setup their trailer. We were able to get espresso drinks, snacks, sandwichs and other things from there right near our RVs since that Sat afternoon. Here is a photo of some of them and a part of their workspace:
There are many classrooms of various sizes used for this conference. This one is Renfrow 112, the class is Electronic Communications from the Road and the instructor is Mike Steffan. Mike teaches classes at all of the sessions so anyone who has attended LoW at any of the satellite sites has probably taken a class from Mike:
After you have attended four conferences you graduate and are presented with your diploma at the final session. Annie & I graduated here at Moscow last year before she died three weeks later. This year there were ten diplomas presented, most to couples. This couple is C & V who also worked on the Parking Crew with me:
On the last Friday night a group of us went to dinner together at the Moscow Elks Club for their cook-it-yourself steak BBQ dinner. It was excellent and a great way to unwind and eat a good meal while visiting with friends. This is J & D finishing up their dinners. The gals were on one side of our table with the guys on the other so their husbands were over by me:
It always seems like the Conference is over before it should be. I guess this is because we have always enjoyed it so much. It is a great learning opportunity and becomes a fun social event. We attended our first one here in Moscow in July, 2002 while I was still working at Metro Transit in Seattle. For the 2003 session I was also still working but our house was on the real estate market then so we only took a minimum amount of time to come over. After 2003 I was retired so we had a lot more time to spend and the 2004 year was wonderful. Last year Annie wasn't feeling very good during it so we didn't attend as many classes or events as in the past but we did enjoy the Conference. Anyone who is interested in RVing should try to attend at least one & the session in Moscow is the longest & I think the best. Here is a link to their site on the U of Idaho web site: RV Life on Wheels Conference.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Hi from Yogi Bear Campground
I called Verizon Wireless about my phone problem. The tech person was very helpful but we came to the conclusion that my phone had a major problem. It connects to their system, every thing looks normal, I can place calls that go through (or receive them) but I cannot hear the person nor can they hear me. The good news is I have had the phone about two years so could go to a Verizon store on Monday & replace it with much of the cost covered.
I spent the rest of the day with L & had dinner with he & S when she got home from her bike ride. On Monday I met him at his house & we started out for a Verizon store but with a much needed stop at a do-it-yourself car wash to clean the dirt from towing my car from home to Moscow, then up here. I got a new LG phone & they transfered my old phone number to it along with my phone book so I didn't even have to enter those.
Boy, those phones have changed in just two years! This one has a higher quality camera, will take a memory card, has GPS built-in that, if I subscribe to the service, will allow me to enter a location I want to go to and it will give me directions both verbally & on the screen. It will do music & I guess I can even get TV shows & movies if I want to pay for & watch them on that mini-screen. I don't have those extras but did add a Bluetooth device so I can wear it on my ear and talk & control the phone within about 30' of it via the Bluetooth thing. Now I have to learn to use it.
After the phone L & I went out to visit our aunt & uncle who live fairly close to the phone store. They are both in their 90s & doing pretty well. She is our Mother's sister. I had dinner again with L & S, then back home to feed Huggy her special dinner & spend the rest of the evening at home.
Tuesday L came out here & we drove on to Cheney, about 6 miles away. Cheney is the home of Eastern Wash. State Univ. where both L & I attended school in the 1960s. It sure has changed over the years & is close to three times as large as when I was there. L is planning on taking classes there this fall, just for fun. We were able to buy our mochas for the day at the student union building & ate lunch there. I shopped at Safeway for a couple of things I needed, then came home. L headed for town while I spent the rest of the evening here. I got a phone call that evening from A, a friend I went all the way through grade & high school with. I'll see him Sat at the Grant Elementary School reunion potluck at a park near the school.
Yesterday L & I went to Costco where I managed to escape without spending money! Well, we did have lunch there, their Polish dog & pop combo for $1.50 plus tax & I filled the gas tank of the Saturn for $2.949/gal. Back to L's house to leave the food, then off to Hasting's Books. I like that store but I can't get out of there without spending money. But, all but one (I bought seven) were from their discounted books section and three are early Christmas present purchases. Dinner was again at L & S's, then I came home to take care of Huggy & read.
The weather has been warm although not as hot (yet) as in much of the country. But the TV news this morning is saying they expect to break record highs over the next few days, with temps over 100 on Sat & Sun. My biggest concern is that while I leave the AC on in the RV to keep Huggy comfortable while I am away, if anything goes wrong with that system or power source, the RV is closed up & it would get very hot inside with no ventilation. By the first of the week it is supposed to cool down to the mid-90s. The humidity will be low so it won't be as bad as in some parts of the country where the temp & humidity have both approached the 100 mark.
Enough for now. It is time to get ready to go back to Cheney, this time with my camera, to get some photos of the campus. I'll probably post some of them later. The park here has a good miniature golf course & maybe I can talk L into trying it with me later.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
After Life on Wheels
This morning at 11:30 I was across the highway at the Palouse Mall using the laundromat to wash & dry clothes. I also visited Starbucks there for my mocha as the ladies who have been here all week are back downtown at the Farmer's Market today. I will go to Walmart & Winco Foods again later today on a shopping trip & may have dinner at the Chinese buffet in the mall. I don't cook much.
This LoW was a lot different for me in many ways. It was the first one in Moscow without Annie being with me, after we had been here together for the last four years. I sure missed her. Secondly I am parked on the opposite side of A lot from where we usually have been for the last three years. I arrived early and worked on the parking crew. That was fun but very tiring. I didn't feel back to normal until Wed. But I plan to do it again next year. There are 18 class periods with 8 to 12 classes offered in each period, over four & a half days. I attended 7 periods, six classes (one, Digital Photography, was a double period one.) That is about the same number of classes I attended last year. I now know more people than I did before & I'll look forward to seeing them again at various places on the road. That is part of the charm of the RV life style. I have a few more photos that I'll try to get up when I get to Spokane. I am hoping for a broadband connection there.
I guess life goes on, whether we want it to or not. Somehow the future just looks pretty bleak.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
The thank-you dinner and the Rainbow
This first photo shows some of the people who were there, enjoying conversations with each other:
Here are a few more of those who attended. Anyone who has been at previous sessions will probably recognize at least some of the folks in these photos:
Gaylord is shown here in the green shirt, talking with instructors Joe & Vicki Kieva & someone with his back to the camera:
Gaylord has a beautiful home on acreage but he is selling it soon to move to a home that is less labor intensive to keep up. I can't blame him. The pond and acres of lawn as well as the gardens are beautiful but very labor intensive. Here is a view of a part the house:
You can imagine sitting on the deck shown in the above photo or inside looking out the picture windows and seeing this view of part of the lawn and the pond:
We had some light rain about the time dinner was ready. It wasn't enough rain to cause a problem with the party but it did create a beautiful rainbow, in fact it was a double one as you will see in this photo. This view is from near the edge of the pond, looking over the dock toward the rainbow:
This is a broader view of the pond and shows more of the rainbow. It was beautiful but lasted only a few minutes. I sure am glad that I thought to take my Nikon camera along on this outing:
Today is the last full day of classes. I have stayed home from them this morning in order to get these photos edited, uploaded to Flickr and this post made, but I'll be in class this afternoon. Tonight is the play at Hartung Theatre here on campus. I won't be able to take photos there probably but I'll let you know tomorrow how I liked it. Huggy is currently sleeping in her basket on the RV dashboard.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Photos from Life on Wheels (LoW)
This first one shows the "A" lot before the RVs arrived. The two large tents are up and there actually is one RV in place, the one that hauls all the books, shirts, etc. that are sold around from one conference to the next:
This photo shows the same area from a higher viewpoint up by the Kibbey Dome after the RVs were parked. My friend, D S and I were the ones who parked the rigs here. Our own are also in this lot and were parked first. The photo shows some of the spectacular scenery around Moscow:
This is lot "B", the upper part of which is paved while the lower part is gravel. You can see some RVs in the background as we were able to park them in place when they arrived after Thursday morning on lot "B":
This is a photo from about the same location showing lot "B". You can't see too much as the viewpoint isn't high enough to see over them. There are only three spaces left in this lot:
Here is my RV parked in it's space. I have the covers over the windshield that is facing south. These help a lot to keep the heat out as the sun heats them but they are outside the glass. You can see out from inside but not in from outside, except at night when it is darker outside than inside with lights on. The flags are the US, Washington State and US Navy. I was in the Army but son B is in the Navy:
The star of this blog is Huggy, my cat. She likes to explore outside and does so on a rope that her leash is put on. In this photo she is under the back end of the RV checking out the quality of the grass, that she likes to eat. The black thing in front of her is the heavy rubber brush thingey that helps to keep rocks and other road debris from flying up & hitting the Saturn car we tow:
Huggy is standing on the bottom step at the entrance to the RV. You can see a bit of why she is a Russian Blue cat. When the light is just right she almost does look like she has blue fur:
There are activities planned at night here, too. Last night we went to a slide show & talk about RVing in Baja, Mexico. Tonight there was a no-host get together (that means you have to buy your own drinks) at the University Inn. Each year this event seems to get better attendance. This photo is kind of an over view of some of the tables of people who were there on the terrace at the hotel:
This table is the one where I was seated and I am in the picture as J S took the photo with my camera. The guy to my right is D S who I worked with for years at Metro Transit in Seattle. The lady to my left is staying in the hotel as she hasn't bought an RV yet but is here to learn about them. This is a wise move to make before spending quite a few thousand dollars on something you might decide was the wrong type or size for you after you have bought it. Two of the ladies represent a large RV dealership at Junction City, Oregon and the other couples are RV owners who we have gotten to know over the years attending LoW:
There was a multi-media presentation tonight after the get-together on traveling by RV to Alaska. I didn't make it as I stayed to talk too long, then wanted to get these photos ready to post & the post made. I also made a run to Winco Foods, a store here I really like to shop in. I wish we had one in Mt. Vernon. It is now 00:30 so I must get this posted, then to bed. I want to be up in time to attend a double session tomorrow morning on digital photography that starts at 08:00. I'll get more photos & post them through the week. Good night for now.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
We're getting there!
We got into our spaces on A lot about 13:45 Friday and we have 24 hour electric power here. Huggy loves to go outside on the grass. I have a fairly long rope that hooks to the awning support in front of the RV & the ladder on the back of the rig that her leash goes over so she has quite a few feet to run in and the grass here is really great. I took photos of the area before the RVs arrived and will get some after they are in & will post them.
The weather has been great since I've been here. Yesterday it was in the high 80s & I understand today will be into the low 90s. Huggy is getting used to living with air conditioning. She would rather have the windows open for fresh air but that doesn't work well with the AC on. Yesterday it kept the inside temp down to about 77 so while she may have thought she was hot, it sure could have been worse. Like if she were outside.
We have two handicapped rigs (special parking) to arrive today & maybe another 20 or so to fill lot A. A group of 26 are down in Lewiston at a Newby's rally. This is something Life on Wheels started last year for people new to the RV lifestyle. They will all leave there about noon today and arrive up here half an hour or so later. I think most of them will be in lot B. I heard there were 511 people registered before this week and some have arrived unregistered to raise that total higher. Then add in we workers and the instructors, so there probably will be around 600 here.
There is a Farmer's Market in downtown Moscow that operates Sat morning. After it ended yesterday our mocha cart lady moved up here to the campus where she will be for the week. She will be here at 8 this morning & that is when I start work, so I must end this, get it sent & go get my daily mocha. More later.
Friday, July 07, 2006
I arrived at Life on Wheels
I guess it rained here, a short but fairly hard shower, not long before I arrived and the chalk marks on the paved parking lot surface were washed off. So, one of my first duties was to help re-mark the parking spaces. Once that was done there was not too much else to do except park the few early rigs who arrived yesterday. Most will come today and tomorrow. We ourselves are just parked on the car parking area as no one can get into the "A" lot until sometime later today. The A lot is grass and more comfortable to be on, especailly if it gets hot. The forecast is for low 90s tomorrow & high 90s on Sunday, with possible rain showers again on Monday.
Right now it is nearly 07:00, I have finished breakfast, just started the generator to brew coffee and am writing this post. The sun is shining, the temp inside the rig when I got up was 53 so I burned a little propane to run the furnace to take the edge off. It will be plenty warm later in the day. Huggy is again getting used to being in the RV. She seems to enjoy all the windows and where we are parked now we have a pasture in front of us & she can see for miles out over a valley. Once we get into our A lot space I will put out her cat run rope and she can spend some time out in the grass, with the awning up to help keep the rig cooler by shading it, & her cat run area. My coffee is ready, so I'll end & post this, then relax & drink coffee while I can. We start work at 8.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I'm a little behind here.....
On Friday my brother, L, retired after 37 years with the same employer. He came over to visit me, dropping off one of his sons to visit a college friend on the way. One of the things L & I did was to attend the SOVERN Vintage Sports Car Races at Pacific Raceways in Auburn, WA. They are held every year there over the 4th of July holiday weekend as a fund raiser for Children's Hospital in Seattle. I used to attend them pretty regularly & now that I am back getting involved with a car club I decided to go again. The day was hot & sunny, nearly perfect weather for an event like this. Those displaying their cars in a corral get to go out on the course to drive two laps around it during the lunch break. This is a fairly fast trip but not racing speeds. We were lead by a car that controlled the speed & we could't pass the vehicle in front of us.
Each year they select a different marque to feature, the only requirement being that they be older than 1974. This year it was the Allard or Cad Allard as most of them had Cadillac V-8 engines. They were built in the US in the early 1950s and were kind of brutish cars, not at all like many of the later ones that were delicate in comparison. Here is a photo of one of the 22 or so of these cars that were there:
Not all of the Allards participated in the race. Many were there as Car Club Corral vehicles but were fun to look over. However, some did race and here is one of those going at speed around turn 8:
When actual racing started, the pace car led each race group once around the track before they actually started racing. This is the start of one of the small bore (smaller cars) groups passing by some of the new but not yet open grand stands on the other side of the track. Those new stands are mainly for drag races as they will be too far away from the road course for good viewing. This photo shows some of the many different cars that participated:
I am not sure just what this car is. I have a program that should list them all, but it is at home and I am sitting in my RV in Ellensburg, about half way to Life on Wheels, so I don't have that. I will try to remember to check when I get home & edit this post and the listing on Flickr to add the name. It is a bigger & faster car than the first race group:
These photos were all taken with my 70 - 300mm zoom lens, most at or near 300mm. It was too long to take good photos in the pits as people would walk through my photo since I had to be so far away. My brother did take some photos with a standard lens but his photos are on my desktop PC, also at home, so I can't add them here. Maybe later when I get to Spokane where he lives.
We spent the rest of the weekend playing around Mt. Vernon. We did go see the new "Superman" movie on Saturday, drank a mocha a day & of course visited a couple of book stores. I bought a small MP-3 player which I have never owned before & we got some music transferred to it from my CDs. I bought some individual songs online. It was fun having him there & I hated to have him leave the morning of the 4th. But he needed to get home & I needed to start loading my RV for this trip I am now on.
The evening of the 4th I was invited to my son M's home 20 miles south of me for a yard picnic & to watch their neighborhood fireworks display. My other son was also there with three of his kids & step kids. Here are those three GKs waiting for the start of the fireworks. It started before dark with some of those that are mainly made for daytime use:
This is one of son M's little nieces who isn't at all sure she likes all that smoke & noise:
As darkness fell sparklers were brought out and all but the smallest ones got to play with them under close supervison. This is one of M's SILs, lighted only by the sparkler. The focus isn't perfect but I don't do real well hand holding real slow exposures & it wasn't a time for posed shots with a tripod:
This is one of the aerial displays. You can see the light trail as it climbed to blowup. I was bracing myself on the car to improve the sharpness & it is better:
This is one of the final ones, looking nearly straight up. Again you can see the trail it left as it climbed to blowup & leave so many "stars":
These firework photos were all taken with my small Sony camera. I wish I had taken the Nikon but didn't want to have to carry it all evening. It sure does a better job, though.
I finished loading the RV this morning and got away from home about 12:30, driving to Ellensburg, WA which is about half way to Moscow, Idaho where the Life on Wheels Conference will be at the University of Idaho. I will get a fairly early start tomorrow morning for what should be less than a four hour drive. We who are on the parking crew have to be there before the start of the event to get the parking areas setup, then people will start arriving on Friday. We'll park them when they arrive, finishing about 14:00 on Sunday, in time for the opening ceremonies about 15:00. After that I get to attend classes, visit with friends & enjoy the event. I will for sure get some photos there. Now to upload this rather large post.