Trimoot's Weblog

Triathetes, running, life

Made it!

A bit late in posting but we did make it to our RV site in Outdoor Resorts in Melbourne Beach.

Thought I’d share some mileage info:

Spokane to Florida October 3rd, 2020 at 10:45 AM, arrived in Melbourne Beach October 31st around 5:00 PM.

Mileage at start: 58678
Mileage at end: 62959
Total Miles: 4280

Total cost of gas for the RV from Spokane to Florida – $1,450.69

Miles per gallon on average was just under 7, which was pretty good considering we were overloaded AND pulling a 3100 pound car.

Lots going on down here, avoiding hurricanes is the biggest challenge! We’ve had lots of wind and rain, but today it’s sunny and 81! I think a dip in the ocean is in the plans today!

November 13, 2020 Posted by | triathlete | Leave a comment

Out Running Zeta!

OH MY GOSH! There’s a snow storm behind us and a hurricane in front of us….what do we do? RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This full-timing RV life is not for the faint of heart we’re learning.

We left San Antonio and headed up to Austin to look at an RV that showed promise of it being “The One”. It was a beautiful drive, with many rolling hills covered in juniper trees and more green than southern Texas was.

Once we left Austin without our new (to us) DP (a bit more than we wanted to spend plus it had lite oak cabinets) we decided to push north up to Nacogdoches where I had been talking with a salesman since February, Motorhomes of Texas. When we pulled in I was a little underwhelmed as there were only about 10 or 12 Class A DP’s scattered around the lot. “Dang”, I thought, “We traveled all this way for this?”. Well little did I know there was another 20 or so across the street. Sadly we were not able to find one that pushed all our buttons AND was affordable. Well, there was one….but we found out later (after we had worked up our excitement) it was sold the day before!!!!

So, we said goodbye and then started hearing rumblings of Zeta and thought, oh boy…what do we do? Do we hold up in Baton Rouge for a day or two or hightail it down to Gulfport Mississippi (I just loving spelling that state! Remember times when we all were learning to spell it? So fun!)

While crossing the Mississippi river was exciting, it didn’t last long as there was a terrible car accident westbound which tied up traffic for 3 hours and sent 4 people to the hospital. We said a quick prayer for them and just now I sent an email to the news desk at WAFB asking if there is anymore news on the people involved.

Not much further down the road, eastbound, we were stopped by a minor accident and were VERY thankful to have gotten off the road a short time later. And again it was in a Walmart parking lot which has been working out perfectly. We pull in around 5 or 6 PM, if needed, we pop in for groceries.

The next morning we decided to push hard towards Gulfport, MS and traveled down I-49S towards Lake Charles. We left early in the morning and arrived at Gulfport right as hurricane Zeta was flexing it’s muscles and the wind was gusting enough that it made driving stressful.

As soon as we saw the ocean, we pulled the rig over and hopped out and dipped our toes into the ocean…so WARM!! It also was brown…ugh. I’m assuming from the strong wind and waves churning it up. Or is it always that way? Not sure.

Gulfport, MS

But we were not out of the storm YET! We could see on the map that Gulfport was going to get clobbered so we pushed on until we arrived at Panama City Beach which made this day our longest at well over 400 miles! (We did some wrong turns here and there so it all added up!)

Once we arrived at Panama City Sandy contacted a friend of hers and we went over and spent time with her and her son, and then went out to dinner. Very nice folks and I enjoyed playing the guitar with the son and watching the 16 year old perform tricks on his skateboard. I told him what my skateboard looked like back in 1968 and he asked if I wanted to try his. I said, “Ah…no thanks, I want to be able to walk tomorrow when I get up!”

We again parked in a Walmart parking lot making sure it was okay by using an app that so far as been 100% accurate (RVPARKY).

After arranging our RV so that it was pointing in the SE direction to not offer the long side to the wind, I went to the back and sat in a chair to “enjoy” the swirling warm air as the rain had not started yet.

We felt somewhat safe as when we passed through a tollbooth we asked the lady how dangerous this was, and she said, “Oh, no, it’s not dangerous. They didn’t cancel school today and they won’t tomorrow.”

So I sat out there until around 10:30 and a police officer drove up and told us that we are not welcome to stay there. He said he knew the Walmart manager personally and he doesn’t want RVers there, plus there’s a ordinance that doesn’t allow it. Well…. I said I would move.

But after thinking about it and attempting to go into the Walmart and ask the manager (It was closed due to the storm) I walked back to the officer who was checking out a derelict RV and showed him the app. I said, “See, this one here shows, OK to stay overnight, while the one down the street shows NOT OK to stay overnight”. Plus I told him we had driven over 400 miles and I was tired, and I promised to be out 1st thing the morning. He demurred and said it was okay to stay. Actually what he said was, “I’m not telling you to get out, I’m just telling you what the law is and what the manager told me”. So we stayed. 🙂

We left the next morning after Sandy invited her friend to come over and chat while I was working in a different Walmart parking lot (wanted to keep my promise).

We headed out of Panama City via 98S toward St Joe where we stopped to eat. Wow! We found a wonderful place called Provisions and had the best meal of our entire trip! I had Chicken Picatta and Sandy had Saint Joe Saute (Shrimp Scampi). It was one of those meals that with each bite we muttered, “Hmmmm”.

It was a bit late when we hit the road again, but it was the best part of the trip, completely by the water! It was so pretty I just took my time and did about 50MPH which really made the drive enjoyable.

Oh, almost forgot, before we got to St Joe, we passed through Mexico City. If you remember, it was hit with a category 5 hurricane, Michael, back in October, 2018. There was 25 BILLION dollars of damage done. I expected to still see those terrible images of houses completely flattened, but in 18 months many of them have been completely or partially rebuilt.

Here’s what it looked like back in 2018:

Mexico Beach, 10/2018

We didn’t get any good pictures of it today, but they are still rebuilding and I would imagine it will be still a number of years before it’s back to normal…if ever.

Finally we arrived at our camp spot for the evening, Holiday Campground on Ochlockonee Bay. This is the view out our front window as soon as I put the jacks down.

I wished we would have gotten here sooner as it looks to be a very nice campground and even has a pool, which perhaps we’ll try tomorrow before we leave.

I must say I was a little nostalgic tonight as this leg of our adventure is almost over. We will have traveled over 4000 miles once we get to Melbourne Beach (we only have 327 more to go) and have enjoyed so many wonderful things and people.

And of course it goes without saying, that we could not have done this without the help from all our family and friends and of course God watching over us each and every day.

Thank you, one and all.

October 29, 2020 Posted by | triathlete | Leave a comment

San Antonio

WOW! What a GREAT TOWN!

Arrived here on the 21st of October from Fort Stockton where we spent the night at Walmart. Gotta love these Walmart’s that allow you to spend the night, although…we are finding that it’s not as cheap as you might think, as sometimes we wander in and spend a shocking amount of money on food and items we probably don’t really need….although those socks sure have come in handy when my laundry bag is full!

Speaking of Fort Stockton, we met a couple of RVers, one named “Sandmand” on IRV2 and a couple from Alaska, Jim & Jeannine, who have been on the road for over a year. They spent some time in Mexico and then when COVID hit, they were not able to get back across the border to Canada and Alaska so they’ve been wandering around and loving it. It was pretty cool, as they were also heading to San Antonio and then Florida…just like us! Although they were doing a more direct route and we are sort of moseying our way.

So San Antonio was great. We found an RV place, Travelers World, just south of town and within biking distance on a bike path. We biked in, about 5 miles along the SA river onto the “River Walk”, which we found out later is named that because “you’re supposed to walk it, not bike it!”. But it was a Thursday and there wasn’t anyone around (to speak of) during the morning (I took it off from work). So we tooled along and saw some great sites along the walk. Here’s some pics:

Sandy on one of the many bridges
https://www.sanantoniomag.com/coming-home-to-the-briscoe-installed-along-river-walk/
La Villita Historic Village

We had a wonderful time there wandering through all the amazing walkways, restaurants and even took a boat ride which allowed us to see it in a different perspective. Well worth the $10 (senior discounts!)

Video of the boat ride (short version): https://photos.app.goo.gl/eEriBbJXK2ecBSrHA

Even had time to gussel a margarita!

And of course we had to go see the Alamo, which I had heard from other folks that it’s a bit of a let down, but still, seeing it was pretty cool and although it was quick and a bit sterile, walking through and trying to imagine what went on there was sobering.

https://www.history.com/topics/mexico/alamo

On our way back to the RV we crossed under the interstate I-35 and saw a cool site of these suspended fish. Not only was it a cool site, but the guy with the dog in the picture told us that in the evening over 50K bats fly out from the cave, circle around and once they’re all out, fly off to hunt for dinner.

https://culturenow.org/entry&permalink=12080&seo=FISH_Donald-Lipski-and-Public-Art-San-Antonio

Bat Link: https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/species/bats/bat-watching-sites/camden-street-bridge.phtml

What was interesting about these bats, the 1st night we pulled into our RV site, we were lounging in the pool (nope…NO ONE was at the pool…amazing) and we both heard this unusual sound, sort of like birds, but different, and looked up, and about 20 bats in a V formation were winging there way south looking for dinner! This happened twice while we were in the RV park. And these bats were BIG!

After dinner on our last night there, we went out for a short bike ride to see the San Jose Mission that was only a few miles away. WOW WOW WOW! This was an amazing site. We of course walked around and took pictures, and there was a pretty amazing peace around that place, as well as awe.

Mission San Jose
https://www.nps.gov/saan/planyourvisit/sanjose.htm

I was in San Antonio over 46 years ago when I was in the Air Force and just knew that we would both love to spend some time in this amazing city. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

October 25, 2020 Posted by | triathlete | 2 Comments

Las Cruses, NM

Our adventure continues….

We are currently in Las Cruses NM to visit with my 91 year old uncle but due to the Covid issue, his girlfriend doesn’t want us near them, so that’s a bit of a let down.

When planning started on this trip back in February, I had scheduled a weeks long stay here so I could visit with them. And here I sit under my awning at Hacienda RV resort (oh..whenever you see “resort”, just think of sardines in a can) after having spent less than 2 hours with my uncle yesterday sitting outside the closed club house, and he told me that’s all we can visit……sigh.

I get it, but it sure doesn’t make it any better.

So, we’re going to catch up on some needed chores (laundry being at the top of the list) and perhaps some more RV hunting.

While we were in Phoenix a couple days ago, we found an RV that pushed some of our buttons and proceeded to move forward to purchase it. We put down $500.00 just to hold it while we found inspectors, a windshield and tires, which we knew it needed. We told the dealership, SteedsRV.Com that the $500 is just a good faith deposit that tells him we are serious, and after the inspection or if issues come up that prevent us from going forward with the purchase, we’d want the money back. Unless of course it was for a silly thing like, “oh we don’t like the color”, or some small issue. We both agreed.

Well, it took us less than 12 hours to find out that the windshield would not be able to make it’s way to Glendale, Az for 3 to 4 WEEKS! Since it was over 100 degrees and our RV’s ONE air conditioner was having a tough time keeping up, we decided that was too long to wait. So we told him that and asked for our money back. Of COURSE.. he refused. Jerk.

HA! Gosh, how do people like that live with themselves?

But we prayed, and waited till the next morning after we spent a night at this WONDERFUL RV Resort (Okay…this time you can’t think of sardines in a can, as each RV site was HUGE!) Oh..and the two pools weren’t too bad either!

https://www.robertsresorts.com/resorts-locations/arizona/pueblo-el-mirage/amenities

The next morning we packed up and stopped at SteedsRV and we walked up, I put my hands behind my back and said, (in a John Wayne kinda voice), “We’re hear for our money”. Pretty sure that did it, as he said, “Okay, I’m giving you the money back”. But not before he belittled and berated us. I think his nick name is “Power Player”, meaning, “I’m in control”. Oh well, whatever floats your boat, I was just glad to get the money back.

So, tomorrow we’ll continue heading south and east. Not exactly sure when we’ll arrive in Florida, but I know it should be soon as I joined a softball team and they’re having their 1st game WITH OUT ME!!

October 19, 2020 Posted by | triathlete | Leave a comment

Our Adventure REALLY Begins!

So today, 10/7/2020, felt like the REAL start of our “Florida or Bust” adventure.

For the past few days we have been in Marsing and Caldwell ID visiting family and it has been great…but..it didn’t really feel like the start of our adventure.

Today we left Caldwell and headed south and stopped at Mt Home, ID where I lived for a few years while in the Air Force. What a hoot!

We drove all around and just looked at all the changes and found some of the things that haven’t changed, and it made me smile as many thoughts and memories came pouring in.

We drove through town and the 2 lane route underneath the railroad track has been widen to 4 lanes, and there were a couple more traffic lights.

We continued out to the small airport where memories came flooding back of learning how to parachute and jumping out of Cessna 142 and 170 airplanes, piloted by Dan Gable or Ricky Ryerson.

I ‘think’ the green building is where we learned to fold our parachutes, it’s the only original building left, but I could be wrong.

Probably the most fun was going to the Mountain Home Museum. There we found some wonderful curators and large amounts of history of the area dating back to the 40’s.

The BIGGEST find was going through a 3 ring binder from 1970’s when I was station there and low and behold we found a picture of someone we knew!

Jeanne Novich! We know her as Jeanne Rund! They were married in Stanley Lake, ID back in 1977 and are still together today!

It was so shocking to find someone we knew! I got goosebumps!

After leaving Mountain Home, we traveled down to Heyburn, ID where we found a very nice RV park which cost $26.00, which included power, water, & sewer.

I have to say that today was the one that made me feel like we’re REALLY DOING THIS!

We are FULL-TIMERS and we are heading to Florida for our 1st “Snow-Bird” experience. Sooooooooo exciting…..and a bit nervous.

But we feel God’s hand on our decision to do this and so we continue to move forward to see what God has in store for us.

Tomorrow we are heading towards Salt Lake, Ut and a small town called Mantua, Ut, north of Ogden. We have some friends there from our days in Pocatello and may stay there one night.

Then from there we will travel south, but exactly where to, we’re not 100% sure.

Our plan is to look at some RV’s on our way south to Florida and Arizona has quite a few possibilities as well as New Mexico and Texas.

So, perhaps tomorrow night we’ll sit down and figure out exactly where we’re going!!!

Stay TUNED!

October 7, 2020 Posted by | triathlete | Leave a comment

FLORIDA or BUST!

Welp…here we GO!

What an amazing last two years. When I say amazing…I mean a LOT OF WORK!

Thin out the clutter of the house, fix all those annoying things in the house that you put up with but would hinder the sale of it, then fix those things, only to say, “Gee, why did we live with this all these years?”, thin out some more, paint, fix, make dump runs, sell things at yard sales, pack, rent storage space, clean, sell the house, move from a 4K square foot house to a 32′ RV with NO SLIDES, spend some cold months in the RV during December & January, empty the storage place, put all the MUST KEEP items into a 6×12 covered trailer, and now fix all those things in the RV that “Gee, why did we live with this all these months?” kind of work.

BUT…in four days we start our inaugural snow-bird adventure to Melbourne Beach Florida! WOOHOO!!

And when I say “WOOHOO” I kinda mean…”Oh boy”.

I will attempt to write a bit of a journal as we make our way from Spokane, WA to Florida.

But for today….this is all the time I have to write!

September 29, 2020 Posted by | triathlete | | Leave a comment

Long time no write

Wow..So it’s been a while..well okay, it’s been over 1 year and 1 month since I last posted anything on my blog! But I have lots of reason why..but who cares really…it’s just life.

So before I post anything else I need to make sure no one is still subscribed to it that way I can feel free to update and put all my whining and complaints and no one will even notice…perfect.

Okay..that’s done. Only had a few followers so that was quick.

Now…what should I write about?

More like..where should I begin?!

I guess I could do a quick overview of what happen in 2019 as 2018 is too far back to recall anything too exciting.  Of course in 2017 the big event was my Dad passing.  My last parent. Mom had passed back in 2008 and Dad had been doing great for so long…amazing actually.  Even jumped out of an airplane back in February of 2017…..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvUr1aHezk4&feature=youtu.be

I think the 1st thing I should do is change a few things on the page….not really a triathlete anymore. Don’t do any running and very little bike and swim…although I just ran the Spokane Turkey Trot with my daughter on this past Thanksgiving Day.  Almost made me want to keep at it…almost.

Random thoughts here:

So today is December 4th, normally my Mom’s birthday and I would always call, send flowers maybe candy. Sure do miss her. Posted pics on FB…..mainly for my brother and sister to see. Most people don’t think of you after  you pass..maybe here and there, and like me today, although I do think of my Dad a lot. Used to call him a LOT! Used to call 3 or 4 times a week just to hear his voice and check in on him.  Not sure if wanted me to call that much or not…but I sure enjoyed chatting. Many times I’d just listen to him go through his day, and as he got older I learned not to interrupt him as he’d loose his train of thought…heck..I’m like that already!

So yeah…2019..busy year. My #2 daughter told us at Christmas of 2018 that we were going to be grandparents…my wife let out a scream that lasted a very long time..so funny.  Then in March when we were celebrating my son’s birthday, we had everyone over and #2 daughter gave him a baby jumper that said, “My favorite Uncle”….and it was pink.  But somehow we missed that obvious hint until I had daughter #1 on FaceTime and she saw it and yelled out, “IT’S A GIRL!”…I guess we’re a bit slow.

2019 was also the time we got serious about selling the house as the market here is crazy out of control and even crud houses are going for a lot more money than they should.  So we got busy working on the house, painting, repairing, and sprucing up and sometime in July we put it on the market and then went on vacation to the Oregon coast. Great trip in the RV. First time we ever pulled a car along behind. A bit stressful at first but didn’t take long to trust that it would just follow close behind us.

Here’s the mileage chart:

Mileage:
Spokane to Whispering Pines RV Park: (Cle Elum) – 196 Miles, 3 hours *Have to be there before 9:30 PM
Cle Elum to Chimacum (Rachael’s farm): 164 Miles, 3 Hours (Probably 4)
Chimacum to Fort Stevens SP: 187 Miles – 4 hours (Probably 5)
Fort Stevens to Shorewood RV Park (Nehalem Bay): 50 Miles, 1 ½ hours (Probably 2) *Be there before 5
Shorewood to Sea & Sand RV Park (Depoe Bay): 66 Miles, 1 ¾ hours (Probably 2.5)
*Note: If we left from Newport, which is a few miles south of our last CG it’s 483 miles back to Spokane, 10 hours, so we’ll want to work out way back and wing it as far as campgrounds go.

I think this seemed to work out nicely as it was never stressful and all the drives were nice and short which left us lots of time to enjoy the campground and surrounding area.

Best camp shot was Sea & Sand RV Park..it was also the most expensive. Right above the beach and beautiful sound and smells.

View out the front Window in the morning when having coffee:

While on vacation we got an offer for the house, we took it.

Don’t really miss the house.  It was a wonderful house, we put a lot of work into it, and I’m so glad my wife talked me into buying it as all I saw was this broken down house that needed a LOT..no..TONS of work!

We were living in the RV (You can see it in the picture off to the right) on the 2nd lot while we cleaned and staged the house, and then went on vacation, and when we came back we continued to live in it for another week. After we closed on the 30th of August we lived in the RV out near Valleyford in the Spokane Valley. We then moved into a rental house that belonged to snowbirds who traveled to CA from October to December then return home in December and leave again in January. So today, Dec 4th, we’re back in the RV and will be there until January 7th.

Spent some time and money getting it ready to live in during the cold. From September 1st to October 14th we lived in it without putting skirting around it. Since I knew we’d be back in December I went ahead and added skirting, put ½” closed cell rubber mats on top of all the vinyl flooring in the kitchen, under the table and in the bathroom…made a big difference.  Probably will do a bit more, maybe add some reflective aluminum sheeting on the windows to keep the cold out.  We spent our 1st night back in the RV last night (Dec 3rd) and it was great…very warm and comfortable. No complaints.

Before we added the skirting: (Taken in October):


Then I added the skirting, the 125 gallon propane tank, and other things:

This is what it looked like last night:

Trying to decide if I’m going to get surgery on my neck. Turns out I have C6 & C7 disk rupture and was causing a great deal of pain back in April and until a few weeks ago. Finally got a shot to the neck which helped, but not completely. Doctor prescribed Gabapentin and BOOM! four pills later… no pain..at all. However, the tingling in the left thumb and 1st two fingers persist. But if I get the surgery I can’t lift anything for 10 weeks and unfortunately in the RV each morning I have to lift up the scissor bed and it’s a challenge now. So most likely will hold off.  Just don’t know when a good time would be do it.


Well, that’s about all for now.  Hopefully I’ll start posting more often. 

Next topic…”Am I ready for retirement?”

December 4, 2019 Posted by | triathlete | 2 Comments

Starman and Tesla – 2/6/2018

**UPDATE! – To continue following where the Roadster is:
Go here: http://www.whereisroadster.com/index.html

 

Wow! What an amazing couple of days!

I heard about the launching of Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy space rocket a day or two before it was scheduled to launch but I had NO IDEA there was going to be a Tesla Roadster car on the front of it!

teslacar

Amazing!

So I was all set to watch the launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida during my lunch and had my 3 screens all set.  I had one on the SpaceX.com site so I could get the latest info on delays and updates, and another one a CBS camera that was set up near the launch area and showed the swaying palm trees and flying birds while the sun shone down on the launch site in the background.

launch

However, the launch went from 10:30 AM to 12:45 PM and I had already made some lunch plans.  So I made sure I could see everything on my phone and headed over to my favorite lunch spot, Senor Froggy’s.

senor-froggy-mexican

(Best place for a fast food Mexican treat and lots of ambience)

So as the countdown continued down, I went up to the order desk and told everyone there what was happening (I was actually surprised no one knew this was happening?  I mean this was HUGE!), they all gathered around my phone to watch the lift off of the LARGEST ROCKET in the WORLD!

Falcon Heavy Launch from Launch Pad 39A

INCREDIBLE!  I was soooooo NERVOUS!
Elon Musk had said in a statement before the launch that he wasn’t sure if it would even make it off the launching pad as there were so many things that could go wrong!

Each one of those rockets (there are three) had 9 gigantic engines firing off at the same time providing LOTS of thrust.  Can you imagine? 27 ENGINES ALL FIRING AT ONCE!

engines

Remind me not to stand behind them when they go off!

So the entire time I’m standing at the counter showing everyone the lift off I’m thinking, “Okay…this is where it’s going to explode!”
I know that’s terrible, but even Elon was nervous about that very thing so why wouldn’t I be?!

But sure enough everything went as planned and about 3 minutes later the booster rockets broke off from the main rocket and headed back to Florida to land.

boosterslanding

Can you imagine being there and watching these things land all on their own! Perfectly synchronized!  Just amazing!

Here’s a GIF of them landing

boosterslandingandmoving

Meanwhile the main rocket along with the hidden Tesla insides its nose cone continued up into space.

boostersinspace

You see the lower two pictures are just before the booster rockets are sperated from the main rocket.  The top two pictures shows the main rocket and the engine housing of the main rocket.

And finally once the main rocket was done pushing the rocket with the Tesla payload it seperated and returned to earth were it was supposed to land in the ocean on a floating platform.  A FLOATING PLATFORM? Are you kidding me?

Well this is not your Daddy’s floating platform, and the actual name is, “Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship”.  There’s just too much info on these things so I’m just going to provide a link where you can go read up on them yourself.  (Here)

But unfortunately, the main rocket was not able to return to the platform due to 2 of it’s 3 re-entry engines not firing.  So it crashed into the sea doing about 300 MPH.

But had it worked, it would have looked like this as they have already had some of these land on the floating platforms. (Just the 1st one)

mainenginelanding

But here’s where I love that Elon just didn’t add cement and steel inside the payload area to test out the rocket, he put his own personal Tesla Roadster inside so we, the public, could enjoy this for hours!

Starman in Space

Thank you Elon for providing an experience I will never forget!
This reminded me of the times when my Dad would take us outside to watch the space rockets fly by either in the day time or nighttime down in North Palm Beach, Florida.
Good times Dad.

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February 7, 2018 Posted by | triathlete | Leave a comment

Paul J ‘Puzzy’ Mooter….My Dad

Mom&Dad_styling3_001.jpgDad

Paul J ‘Puzzy’ Mooter and Matilda ‘Mattie’ Mooter

Click here to see a photo album of Dad.
Click here to see a photo album of Mom.
Click here to see Dad’s Obituary.
Click here to see Mom’s Obituary.

It’s funny I wrote this about Mom back in 2008 – “It’s difficult to put into words a lifetime of memories about my Mom.  For me, I have a million images that have been burnt into my memory.  If I was an artist I would paint a “Life Scape” of warmth, patience, commitment, understanding, humor & Love that would span 53 years and many many canvases.”

So 9 years later I guess I could use those same words for Dad.  He was very patient, had a great sense of humor.  It wasn’t till his later years that he actually could ‘give’ a good hug as I don’t think he was raised to be a touchy feely kind of guy.  But as he got older he did.

Dad passed away on the 13th of September, 2017 after living 91 years.  It was during hurricane Irma when he passed at a hospice house.  I know that’s not what he wanted, he wanted to be home but it just wasn’t possible.

Dad was a great father and friend.  I loved talking with him and would often call him 3 times a week just to hear his voice and laugh with him.  Whenever I was walking home from work, or driving on an errand I’d call just to check on him and I could always tell how he was doing on how he answered the phone.  Sometimes he was really energetic and talkative and would want to share what went on with his days.  Other times I could tell he was a little down, but he would go through the motions of telling me the daily events anyway.

He loved going out to breakfast at Bob Evans.  I think that was his big social time of the week as well as working out with his good friend Dave at the gym.  Dave and Dad worked out together for many years and they didn’t just pass the time..they WORKED OUT!  I mean really pushed themselves but of course paying close attention to their heart rates to make sure they didn’t over do it.  Dave is still working out 3 times a week, but I know it’s not quite the same for him.

Another thing that Dad loved was going to church at Lighthouse Assembly of God and listening to Pastor Pete preach.  My Dad was never a church goer when we were growing up but once Mom passed he found this church and he grew to love the people and they loved him back.  In particular he really loved ‘Birdy’ who is a real pray warrior and whenever Dad needed someone to pray for something he would talk with Birdy and she would always check back with Dad to see how things were going.

Pastor Pete was a real integral part of Dad’s life and whenever Dad was struggling, especially near the end, Pastor Pete was there.  He had a way with Dad that cut through right to the heart of the matter and he was able to get Dad back to focusing on what was right and important. Thank you so much Pastor Pete for always being there for him and for us the family.

There’s so much to say about Dad that I almost don’t know where to start.

So Dad’s grandparents owned a grocery/gas station right on the border of Illinois and Indiana called Sanford, IL.  Here’s what it looked like back when he was a kid.  That picture is so funny!  It’s Dad, his grandfather, and his cousin Wanda.  And here’s a picture of Dad and Wana looking at the back of that building back in 2009.  This is the Google Map location and it’s difficult to see but the house now has a fake brick front and it’s still being worked on here in 2017 compared to the picture back in 2009.  And one more of a very young Wanda and Dad (looking cool) and his Grandma and Grandpa.  If you look closely you can see the gas was .17 cents a gallon.  And those were the REALLY old gas pumps where you pump up the amount of gas someone wants, say two or three gallons, and it puts it into the glass container on top and then you take the nozzle down and let it flow into the car’s gas tank.

Dad lost his father when he was 2 years old from a mining accident.  His Dad, who I was named after, was leading some mules into an elevator while walking backwards to make sure the mules were behaving.  The guy who was ‘supposed’ to be operating the elevator was taking a “break” and had left the door up…but the elevator was down.  So he just fell to his death.  A terrible way to die.  Here’s a picture of Dad at his Dad’s grave when he was two.

I was at that site back in 2009 with my Dad and it was really that trip that I really felt I connected with my Dad’s side of the family.  Here’s a picture of Dad and Wanda in 2009 and the grave stone that Wanda had made.  You can see Wanda’s mother Bertha Selvia, 1907 – 1929 and Dad’s father Paul, 1904 – 1927.  Dad was born in 1925.  This was at the Pisgah Cemetery in …I’m thinking Illinois, but still trying to track that down.  Here’s a picture of Wanda and Dad in front of the sign.

Dad was was born with good sight in both eyes but he said something went wrong with his left eye due to looking at something while he was in the crib…not sure I have the story exactly right, but it was something like that.  But if you look at this picture of his Dad and him, you can see his left eye is a bit off.

So here’s the story of Dad and Wanda, who were very close growing up due to some tragic circumstances.

When Wanda was a baby, her mother was killed in a house fire, but before she died, she was able to toss Wanda and her older brother out into the snow which basically saved them both and which cost her her life.  So at an early age Wanda went to live with her Grandparents Bessie and Frank Mooter.  I am going to try and talk with Wanda to see if she can fill in some of those years.  In the meantime Dad was being raised by his mother Ethel who at some point married someone else and they had a boy named Carl.  As they got older his mother realized that his half-brother was a bad influence on Dad so she sent him off to live with her parents, Frank and Bessie.  I’m not 100% sure, but I believe this picture shows Ethel, Wanda & Dad and the new husband which I think was named Charlie..but again, not 100% sure.

He said when he joined the army he had his half brother, Carl, go in and take his eye test for him as he was almost completely blind in it.  He said that if he moved his eye around he could detect a little light but otherwise it was useless.  He did say that he was a good marksman while in the Army and he didn’t have to close an eye, so that worked out pretty well.  I remember when he would come home from working at RCA over in Palm Beach Gardens that once in awhile he would play catch with me and as long as I didn’t throw too hard or too low he was able to catch the ball.  Try it sometime.  Have someone throw you a ‘soft’ ball while you have one eye closed. Not easy.  And yet, he did it just to please. That was my Dad.

I’m going to add more to this blog, but this weekend, October 28th 2017, my sister is having a memorial for Dad mainly for his friends and her family that are close by.  My brother and I are ‘planning’ on going down sometime next spring to finish Dad’s wishes of having his ashes placed in the ocean just like he did for Mom.

In the meantime, go back to the top of the blog and click on those pictures.  I’m hoping to add more as time allows.

Until then..I’ll just continue to miss my Dad and mourn the loss of a good man and try and learn how to move on.

Love you Dad.

October 27, 2017 Posted by | triathlete | Leave a comment

Knee Update – 12/7/2015

Well, I survived!  HA!

We left the house and it was snowing a good amount.  The road was already covered and we had this big hill to climb.  Unfortunately, a little front wheeled car got in front of us and started up the hill.  I waited to make sure it would make it but because of another car behind me I went ahead and started up.  Sure enough the little car was struggling and thank goodness it pulled over to the side and I was able to zoom right up the hill in my 2000 Isuzu 4×4 (I LOVE THAT SUV!!)

Normally I would have stopped to help but we had to be there at 8:00 AM and I never like being late.

We got checked in and few minutes they took us to the room and started to get me ready for surgery:PriorToSurgery

Here they’re just finishing off shaving my leg (ugh, my pasty legs, I NEED the hair!).  They had already put the IV in and had yet to give me any funny juice.  Everyone was professional and kind.  This was at Sacred Heart and they’ve always done a great job there. (Beth was taken care of here initially)

One by one all the folks that were going to be in the operating room filed in and introduced themselves and told me what to expect, and finally the doctor came in and did the same.  I told Dr. Vanderwilde that I had watched two video’s of the same knee surgery I was going to have today and what was apparent to me was…they just needed more room to work on my knee!  I told him, “Don’t limit yourself to such a small cut, feel free to open that baby up so you can do accurate measurements and make smooth cuts on those bones”  He assured me I didn’t need to worry and that three inches were enough to get the job done.  I didn’t say any more but I’ll let you decide.  Click HERE if you want to see just an animation of what they did on my knee.  But click here if you want to see an actual video..BUT BE CAREFUL!!! the actual video is VERY GROSS!  I had to watch it in small doses.

Well hopefully you’re back and your stomach is still full.

FINALLY they gave me what I had been waiting for the entire week, the ‘Happy Juice’, the ‘Forgetaboutit Juice’, the ‘This will be the last thing you remember before you wake up in the recovery room Juice’.  And it was!

MyPatheticLook

Actually, this was supposed to be my ‘pathetic’ look, either description works!

Sandy told me later as I don’t recall ANY of it, that when she asked me if I could feel the medication that I put my hand in front of my forehead and made a motion of something flowing all down the front of my head and that I said something like, “I feel…………I feel………….” and that’s about all I got out.  Except I could tell they were making fun of me and so I said something like I was still under control and that I could name the 7 layers of the TCPIP stack.  And I kept saying that over and over, although I’m not sure I actually said any of the layers (I think I may have called one the avocado layer)

Anyway, off I went into the operating room and I wish I could describe the amazing smells and bright lights and all the blue gowned doctor’s and nurses, but I can’t…I don’t recall a thing!

But I ‘hoped’ it looked something like this:

What I hope the OperatingRoom looks like

And not something like this:

ScaryOperatingRoom

But needless to say things went very well, and the next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room and as I looked around everyone was in various stages of recovery, some completely out, some being taken to their rooms and ones like me, sort of in and sort of out.  But I was awake enough to ask for some ice chips and they tasted like heaven!  They did tell me that my wife had been called and that they were going to wait for a few more minutes and take me to my room on the 4th floor.  I really don’t have a solid flow of consciousness after that.  I just sort of arrived at my room and looked down to see if my leg was still attached. (I did actually have a dream prior to the surgery that when I woke up my lower leg was missing!!!  The doctor said (In an English accent), “Ah yes, Mr. xxxxx, I see you’re awake.  Jolly Good.  So..some good news and some bad news.  Good news, We didn’t have to replace your knee!  Yes, splendid.  Bad news…we did have to cut off your leg.  Sorry about that old chap.”

But all was well:

LegAfterSurgery

The hospital stay was pretty much what I expected.  They wake you up to give you medicine.  They wake you up to take blood samples.  They wake you up to see if you need anything to help you sleep….jeepers.

But again, everything went well and after two days I was out the door and slowly working my way up our stairs into the bed Sandy and I had set up in the office.

The physical therapist (PT), his name was Ed, had prepared me quite well for how to handle getting in and out of a car as well as getting up stairs, so other than it being a wee bit scary (under the influence and all) I made my way up and carefully flopped into bed, which felt wonderful!

I’ve been home 3 days now and was visited by a nurse and a PT once and given numerous exercises to do, and I’ve been doing them, probably not as often as I should as there are other things I have to attend to.  One of which was a real surprise and let down.

I had been laid off of work since the end of May and have been looking for work ever since.  I finally got a job through Volt at a local blood lab company (I won’t say which one).  It had been my 2nd time interviewing with this company I must say both times I think the interview went well, and I felt very comfortable talking with everyone, the supervisor and all the potential co-workers.  It felt like family.

So after I was settled into my room and visiting was over I checked my email on my phone only to discover the job had fallen through due to funding problems with the position.  Dang.  Not what I had hoped and prayed for.  Very very disappointed.  I may have even asked for more meds…can’t remember.

BUT…I’m home and continuing to look for work and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt God’s got something good for me right around the corner.

I was feeling a little down yesterday and asked one of my daughters if she wanted to join Sandy and I for a romp around the North Town Mall.  So we piled into the car and found the nearest wheelchair and went shopping!

ShoppingWithRachaelAfterSurgery

Well, THEY went shopping, I went buzzing around all the different stores and hallways pretending I was doing a Bloomsday run only ‘inside’. HA!

It was a way to help with the cabin fever and always a joy to watch as ‘other people’ spent money!

TirMoot out!

December 7, 2015 Posted by | triathlete | 1 Comment