Wednesday, December 31, 2008



Happy New Year

to our friends, old and new,
at Rockport 35 RV Park!

Pat and Keith Williams



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Step Brothers Work Hard

Today (Tuesday, Dec. 30) the step brothers started early and finished late. Well, late for retired guys, that is.

Photo of Rob, John, and Ted building steps.
Many residents of Rockport 35 RV Park have enjoyed the stability and added safety of "add-on" wooden steps. Today, Rob, John, and Ted decided their families and visitors could benefit from such an addition so went at it.

They did a very professional-looking job and made lots of sawdust in the process—a large part of which landed on John!

The picture below shows one of the finished sets of steps, at Rob and Pat's trailer on Fourth Street.

Photo of finished steps at John and Pat's trailer.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Computer Help

The second Computer Help session will be Tuesday at Two in the clubhouse.

Come and help others solve their problems, get some of yours solved, or learn how to do some new task with your computer.

The plan is that these sessions will continue each Tuesday at Two through January, February, and into March.

Christmas at Rockport 35 RV Park

What could be look more like Christmas than Linda and Bev in their red sweaters?

The big question is, are these two plotting or are they planning? In this rare case, the answer is neither. They are simply looking forward to a great turkey dinner in the clubhouse, courtesy of Allison and Tony and made possible by all the volunteer elves.

Again, the park residents had a great meal and wonderful fellowship at the Christmas dinner.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Computers: Challenges and Benefits

Photo of computer repairman.
Beginning tomorrow (December 23) I'll be moderating a session billed as "Computer Help." This session will be held each Tuesday at 2PM in the clubhouse.

We've all benefited from the convenience and great things computers allow us to do. And we've all been frustrated by them, too!

On Tuesday afternoons, we'll explore some of the neat things computers can do to make our lives more interesting. Maybe you'd like to explore ways of making your great photos available for your friends and relatives up north to enjoy. Or maybe you'd like to start a blog, sort of like this one, for yourself or your family.

These are the sorts of new things you might learn about. Come and let us know what you'd like to hear discussed.

On the other hand, we've all had problems with our computers. Some small; others huge. We'll try to find solutions to problems, but be aware that not all problems are solved instantly!

Three types of people are especially invited to these sessions:
  • Those who are interested in learning how to do new things with their computer

  • Those who have a problem, large or small, or don't know how to do something they want to do with their computer

  • Those who have any level of compter knowledge and are willing to share it with fellow residents of Rockport 35 RV Park
Most users fit in all three categories, so grab your computer (optional) and come. See you in the clubhouse at 2 on Tuesdays!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December at Rockport 35 RV Park

We arrived back at our Winter home Tuesday evening. It was great to be greeted by old friends and to meet new ones!

Several improvements to the park were noticed even before we arrived at our spot. Tony and his crew have been busy! The park looks great!

Just because we live in RVs does not mean that we can't decorate for Christmas. Here are a couple of pictures taken at the park.

Photo of an Itasca motorhome decorated for Christmas

I really chuckled when I saw this one! I ran home and picked up my camera. Then I met Barbara and John, who are both motorcyclists—which pretty much explains their display. Not only that, but John is a radio controlled airplane enthusiast, so I'm sure we'll have some more discussions!

Photo of a Santa riding a motorcycle

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Beauty of the Earth

This link will take you to a video of pictures of Earth taken from a satellite. There are some beautiful pictures, taken from a viewpoint that even we RVers never get to see.

At the end, there are pictures taken at the Space Lab.

Blue Beauty

* * * *

We'll be leaving Cedar Rapids Friday. See those of you who are already at Rockport 35 RV Park December 20 or earlier.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Did We Wait Too Long......

.....to go from this:
Photo of Keith and Pat's place in Cedar Rapids, IA, on December 30, 2008
to
this:
Photo of Rockport 35 RV Park, Rockport, TX

Possibly. But the wait won't be much longer. We're planning to leave Cedar Rapids December 12 and arrive at Rockport 35 RV Park not later than December 20.

We want to spend Christmas with our 35 RV friends!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thankgiving, Friends!

Photo of two wild turkeys in Toro Regional Park, Monterey County, CA
During this season of Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate that we sit back and think for awhile about the things for which we are thankful. Here's the beginning of my list, in no particular order:

  • Parents and grandparents who taught me the really important things of life
  • The village which helped raise me
  • My country
  • My wife!!!
  • A few close friends
  • The fact that our home was not damaged by natural disasters this summer
  • Good health
  • A great part-time job
  • Wonderful neighbors, both in Cedar Rapids and Rockport, Texas
  • Two healthy (and cute!) additions to our family this year
  • A head and educational system which prepared me to contribute to society
  • A job which allowed me to see many parts of the world and meet interesting people in many countries
  • ...and many more



Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm Thankful For........

In a few days, it will be Thanksgiving. This day was set aside by early settlers to our country to give thanks for that which they had, in spite of the very difficult months before.

I'm going to work on a list of things for which I am thankful this year and seriously invite you to do the same.

A short list or a long list, it doesn't matter. Just make your list and email it to me not later than 6PM Wednesday. I'll figure out a way to create an article for this page using your list. Please give me permission to use your name, if you don't mind. (No permission, no name listed.)

Send those emails to: kaw@syntheticsaves.com


Young Resident at Rockport 35 RV Park

Allison sent me this picture of a young resident at the park. If we're lucky, we might all get to see him/her, especially if you happen to be parked next to the green space to the north or woods to the west.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lucille Returned Home!

I'm happy to report that Lucille Carlson returned home to Rockport 35 RV Park October 28.

This was a major and most welcome step in recovery from the fall in March which resulted in compound fractures of both legs.

We'll be able to give her our personal "Welcome Home, Lucille!" about December 20th.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Two Favorite Girls....

Last Sunday, we went to Minnesota to visit Miss Molly. She's not so little now!
Photo of Molly and Pat
Molly will be six months old in a few days. She has two teeth, can sit up (usually), and has discovered that she can jabber.

In about a month, we'll be headed for Rockport 35 RV Park to join old friends and meet new ones.

But we'll miss Miss Molly for three months.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rockport 35 RV Park Picture Album

I've just discovered yet another Google tool (this blog is one Google tool) which has some pretty amazing capabilities and which you might find useful.

It's a photo album of all the pictures posted on this blog! It's so good, in fact, that it posts some of the pictures multiple times–Marv is pictured five times for a reason not yet clear to me.

Just click on the picture below and it will take you there! Once there, click on a few things to do a little exploring. Especially, you might want to go over on the right side and click "View All" right after the words "People in This Album."

Rockport 35 RV Park

The Last Rose of Summer


’Tis the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
To give sigh for sigh.
by Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

He wrote the poem. Pat Williams grew the rose.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall Beauty in Iowa

No, this isn't Vermont or New Hampshire. It's Iowa! The NE corner of Iowa was missed by the last glacier so is very hilly. That means lots of woods, crooked roads, and funny shaped fields. It also means pretty foliage in the Fall!


Each year, we try to hit the peak season and go on a "leaf drive." This year, the day was October 10, Pat's birthday. This picture was taken a few miles west of Guttenburg, which is on the Mississippi River. It's one of the best "calendar pictures" I've ever taken.

A Few Updates From The Park . . . .

Lucille is looking and doing WONDERFULLY!
She'll be home here at the park--probably by November 1! YEAH!!

Winter folk have begun arriving...
we're working hard to accomodate all the long rigs!


These comments are from Allison, on October 17. Thanks for the info, Allison!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Little Person in Our Life

Not so much that I knew you were dying to see a picture of Molly, but that Pat would keep asking, "Why isn't there a picture of Molly on the site?"

Photo of Miss Molly Woodrich.



















So wait no longer; here she is! As you can see, she's been eating fairly well during her five months!

If you've recently stumbled onto this site, Molly is our (Pat and Keith) great-granddaughter and lives in Owatonna, MN.

Lucille: Getting Out and Getting Up

Lucille has been diligent in her rehabilitation and it is paying off!

Photo of Lucille climbing practice stairs at rehab.Here's a note from Allison, dated September 27:
We had a wonderful soup 'n' Salad dinner last night—as usual, the cooks outdid themselves!

Lucille Carlson was present—and looking great. Hopefully, you'll receive a picture from Dick, soon. (I did; it's to the right.)

She is doing stairs now and has a month to improve on that—then, hopefully, home to The Park. Yeah!

It's great to see that she is getting up in the world and has gotten out to the park. Certainly we look forward to seeing her when we arrive in December—and to getting a good, relaxing, back rub from Dick!

Can Retirees Take Vacation?

I certainly hope so, as Pat and I did just that. We were in Minnesota September 19-27, prompted mainly by my need to attend a refresher course for flight instructors. (I passed and am now "legit" for another two years.)

Form Cedar Rapids, we went to the Twin Cities area. Pat enjoyed being with her sister while a was in school. Then from there, northward to Duluth where we enjoyed the hospitality of my cousin who lives about 40 miles south of Duluth.

We whizzed past Shoreview (Isn't that where Bill and Hazel live?) but didn't stop. I figured Bill would be out walkin Heidi anyway.

And then blew past Hugo, home of Tom and Julee. They were probably still at the lake, catching fish after fish after fish. But we needed to get to their neighboring town, Forest Lake, to catch Pat's brother before lunch. We didn't.

My cousin suggested that we take a harbor tour of Duluth harbor. It was interesting!


As a sidelight, nearly 50 years ago a spent a winter in Duluth. I was still in the USAF and was based there for nearly a year. One morning it was -42*, the coldest I've ever experienced.

Duluth has changed a lot in the last half-century. But it still gets very, very, cold there!

All of this is to attempt to give an excuse for the lateness in updating the blog, which I'm finally getting to today as the NASCAR race is in progress.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain/Palin Visit Cedar Rapids

Today the GOP nominees for president and vice president of the United States of America visited Cedar Rapids.

Their speeches were carried on CNN. If you were watching, you didn't see me there. I would have liked to have been there and I even had a ticket. But I was simply unwilling to put up with the hassle of going.

The event was held in a hangar around which there is very little parking area. Attendees were being shuttle-bussed there from somewhere, probably the main parking area for the terminal. And then there's the security issue, which I won't even get into.

Furthermore, I was told that I could not take my gun, umbrella, or flag pole.

So I stayed home and mowed the lawn. I did watch some of McCain's speech on CNN but did not think to do so early enough to catch Sarah Palin's talk.

From a presentation on her which Allison sent me, I learned that she flies her own plane—probably that neat little sea plane parked in her back yard. If you saw the Charlie Gibson interview, you could see it.

In Alaska, planes are used pretty much like we use pickups here, due to the vast distances and lack of other transportation. Small planes are all over the state, and many of them are sea planes.

Assuming Sarah Palin flies her own seaplane, she can do something I'm not allowed do; I'm only licensed to fly land-based planes.

Which leads me to a little tidbit in my life for this week. Just yesterday, I was in the very hangar where the rally was held today. I met with my student and the examiner prior to the student pilot taking his practical test to become a licensed pilot.

By noon, Jeff held a Private Pilot certificate. (You can check out a web page I made for him here if you wish: http://syntheticsaves.com/jdw/.) Actually, this is the second student to "graduate" in less than a month. http://syntheticsaves.com/bb/

I've done a lot of flying this summer. Having these two graduate with the minimum number of hours required were great accomplishments.

Pat keeps asking, "When are you going to fix "this" or clean up "that"?"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Post-Hurricane Report

Sit back, relax. "Our" park is fine. That's the good news.

This morning, I called and talked with Lena and Allison. Their comments follow.

Hurricane-related news from Rockport 35 RV Park:
  • Not a drop of water.
  • Only modest wind; no damage.
  • Everyone evacuated.
  • Tony and Alison returned and held church services yesterday.
  • Tony and crew will be de-shuttering the office and clubhouse today.
  • In spite of the inconveniences cause by the evacuation, everyone is in good spirits.
Now some bad news. Tony and Allison have two sons living in the Houston/Galveston area.

One son, who lives very near Galveston, lost his house. It is too early to tell for certain, but Allison believes it is probably damaged beyond repair. The family and pets are OK.

At the other son's home, some trees were lost and a fence damage.

Lucille is getting along quite well. She still is not permitted to walk without her fancy boots but it shouldn't be too long before she is. She was evacuated, along with all the other residents of the care center. They, too, are now back at the center.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday Morning Update

This from Allison this morning:
"Ike is turning more north--they are speculating Port Lavaca (not far) and Houston will get it--our kids are there. Ike has a wide swath so we are going. PLUS, hurricanes are tricksters.

It is so beautiful here...sunny, warm--just lovely. Tomorrow that will change.

We'll leave within the hour. We're taking the opportunity to go see my sister (convalescing from triple bypass) in Mineral Wells TX."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hurricane Ike Headed Our Way

This morning, Allison had this to say:
"We are preparing to evacuate Rockport 35...and trusting God with everything.
Thank you for your prayers.
Allison"
And later today, Julee sent me this from one of her bridge buddies who lives in Rockport:
"Just wanted to let everyone know we're planning to evacuate unless Ike really changes course soon. .... Ron will start boarding up the house today. .....We really need some rain, our wetlands are about dried up except for 3 deep ponds, but don't need that wind. According to the NOAA storm surge maps, it will take a category 4 for a storm surge strong enough to reach our house. So hope that doesn't happen. The house construction including the roof was built under the state wind code so hopefully we won't have too much damage with a cat 2 or 3 anyway. Still hope it goes south and comes ashore on one of those big ranches like the King or Kennedy that don't have many buildings or people, but right now it's headed straight for us."

It sounds as if the palm trees at Rockport 35 RV Park and Resort might get ruffled. Let's hope that is all that happens.

I'm sure Tony and his able crew will have everything done which can be done to protect the property. Of course we hope that all their preparation will turn out to be unnecessary.

I asked Allison to make sure Space 80 didn't blow away. Her response:
"We're trusting God with EVERYTHING--including Space 80!"

Thanks, Allison. You can't get much better prepared than that!





Sunday, August 17, 2008

Carlson's Celebrate 54th Anniversary!!!

We at RV 35 are having a 54th wedding anniversary dinner for Dick & Lucille this Friday, August 22 (4:30 p.m.).

Coastal Care van will bring Lucille for the event.

After over 5 months!! of lying flat on her back, she is working hard to regain her health and her footing. God willing, Lucille will be back participating with us this winter season.

Allison

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lucille Hits the Parallel Bars—
Gold Medal Expected!


Here's the photo we've all waited months to see: Lucille back on her feet!

Way to go, Lucille! Congratulations!

The message is in the picture, so no further comments from me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wildlife at the Williams' Home

Today we got a good view of some of God's beautiful creations right in our own yard.

Photo of fawn resting in Pat and Keith's yard.
A fawn came wandering through the back yard and helped him/herself to a green apple. Then, strolled over to the hedge at the edge of our lawn and laid down for a rest. This was the first fawn we've seen this year, although we have seen an adult pass through on several occasions, eying the apple tree each time.

Photo of cone flowers and a butterfly in Pat's flower garden.
Pat has a modestly extensive flower garden. Or two or three. Right now, the cone flowers are blooming abundantly. The butterfly must have thought they were attractive, too, so stopped by.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Al Johnson Improving

Al Johnson is expecting to return to the park next week--that's his expectation, we hope it materializes. He got the okay, yesterday, to put weight on his left leg.

He's in Gulf Point Plaza, 1008 Enterprise Blvd, Rockport 78382.

Thank you, Allison, for the above report.

Lucille Update #6

Lucille is much closer to "home" now. Here's information from Allison:

Lucille Carlson moved to Rockport Coastal Care; 1004 S. Young Street; Rockport 78382
Room 305.


This is indeed good news! We're thankful that she can be closer to Dick and 35 RV and that she has healed well enough to permit this move.

We hope that healing continues at a speedy rate!

Hurricane Dolly Report

Here's a report from Allison regarding the effect of Dolly:

Hurricane Dolly did NOT come here! She went well south of us.

We got cloudy skies, beginning about noon on Wednesday. Some mild to moderate rain--which we needed and moderate wind.

A few small branches and leaves were shaken from the trees. No problem with awnings, chairs, etc.

The weather stations do like to sensationalize and we are very grateful to those who were concerned enough to call or email to say you and others are praying for us.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lucille Update #5: Move to Rockport Planned

Photo of Lucille Carlson sitting on edge of bed.There's good news from the Carlson Camp this week:
  • Lucille is feeling and eating much, much, better and has apparently recovered from her bout of severe dehydration.

  • X-rays this week showed that one leg could support about 60% of her weight, the other leg no weight. To be safe, then, she is still to put no weight on either of them.

  • Plans are for her to move to a facility in Rockport Monday, July 21.
The picture above shows Lucille showing off her sporty new boots (actually casts) which keep the bones in place during healing. No pins were inserted to hold them together.

Below, Lucille has a nice smile because the fruit salad and Coke for lunch looks very inviting!


Photo of Lucille Carlson and her lunch.
These pictures, taken July 17, were provided by Dick—and we thank him for them. Now if he could just send up one of his good back rubs attached to an email, we'd all feel better!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Miss Molly Baptised

Photo of Keith Williams and Miss Molly Nicole Woodrich, Owatonna, MNThere's a reason for everything. Here's the reason for our weekend trip to Owatonna, MN: Molly was baptised and we wanted, of course, to be part of it. Besides, we hadn't seen her since she was four days old. My, what a change!

Here she is, with her great-grandpa Keith. All 14 pounds of her. She now smiles and "talks" and has all the makin's of a real person!

And she's cute.

Iowans Meet For Lunch

Photo of Gene and Donna Lackore and Pat WilliamsLast Friday (July 11), Keith & Pat Williams were on their way to Owatonna, MN. The route is only 20 miles from Garner, Iowa—home of Gene & Donna Lackore.

It looked like a great opportunity for a mini-Rockport 35 RV reunion. Gene agreed to drive over to Clear Lake so we could have lunch together.

The Lackores are fine and looked as energetic as ever! They recently moved from the Senior Citizens Housing back to their previous home, as it had not sold. Gene reported tht there were 85 houses for sale in their little town!

It was great to get together with friends from Rockport 35 RV! We had a good and long lunch!

Anyone ever go through Cedar Rapids? Give us a call; there are lots of good places for lunch here, too!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cedar Rapids Flood Update

The river has been back where it belongs for a couple of weeks or more now. It retreated quickly—but it came up quickly, too!

I live about six miles from downtown Cedar Rapids, where the damage was the greatest. And Pat and I escaped unaffected, for which we are very, very, thankful. Because of this, it would be very easy for us to simply go on with our lives as if nothing had happened. And it would probably be even easier for you to go on as if nothing had happened.

But that's not the case for everyone.

The Chamber of Commerce pointed out that about 800 businesses had been affected, which usually means that their place of business had been flooded by from an inch to ten feet of dirty river water. Many of these are already operating from temporary locations where ever they could find a space. And along with this, there are 9,000 people who lost their jobs, some of them permanently.

There are about a thousand homes which are uninhabitable currently and may eventually be demolished. And each of these homes housed one or more families, all of whom's possessions are lost to the flood waters.

A drive through the hardest hit residential areas is depressing, to say the least. Refuse is piled on either side of the street, like giant snowbanks left by the snowplow. These winrows contain teddy bears, refrigerators, exercise machines, dining room sets, dishes, plaster and lath, tires, electric fans, dehumidifiers, toys, pitchers and pictures, bedding, and clothes.

How did all this stuff get to the curb? Residents, owners, their friends, their relatives, and volunteers came into their former home and place of refuge, waded through the muck, and carried out the once-precious belongings.

For two days, I've helped with this, working on emptying three basements. On such a job, I wear fairly high rubbers (I have always hated wet shoes), a thin white Tyvek coverall to keep some of the dirt of my clothes, and a 3M mask designed to keep mold spores and other bad things out of my lungs.

In the first house, the water and muck was about three inches deep when we started. As work progressed, we removed sandbags from drains and directed water to them, so the general condition was much better when we left.

The downtown business area looks like a war zone. The streets are lined, on both sides, with generators and huge fans, dumpsters, trucks, and an occasional motorhome. All of this, plus the accompanying workers, in an attempt to get the businesses back in business as soon as possible.

About 25 churches were damaged by the flood, with Salem United Methodist and St. Patrick's Catholic churches probably being the most notable casualties. They are across the street from each other and only about two blocks from the river. We have two "refugee" congregations worshiping in our church building now.

The Cedar Rapids Library was damaged and all the adult materials were considered a loss. They feel the children's collection will be OK because it was on the second floor.

It's easy to say this should have been done and that should have been done to reduce the loss of property. However, it should be remembered that the water became ten feet higher than it had ever been before, and nearly that many feet higher than the "experts" predicted.

Iowa City, Coralville, and the University of Iowa are also suffering. Ten buildings at "the U" suffered flood damage, including Hancher Auditorium. The cost to recover use of these public buildings and public properties, including roads and bridges, throughout the state, will be staggering.

In case you haven't heard of it, there was at least one case of looting. A thirty-something lady apparently didn't want the liquor in a flooded bar to go to waste, so she was "rescuing" it bottle-by-bottle. She was caught and prosecuted.

One couple defrauded the authorities and received monetary aid to which they were not entitled. They, too, were caught.

And several people have reported theft of property from their flooded-out garages or houses. What kind of human slim must it be who wades through the river slim to take that which belongs to others?

I've written this to try to give you an idea what it is like here in the flood area. Hopefully, it will encourage you to be even more thankful for the life you are living.

If you feel moved to make a contribution, I've heard that the Red Cross and Salvation Army are doing wonderful jobs. Also, there are numerous worthy and well-run funds set up in the area to receive and administer funds. Many churches also have Iowa Flood funds set up.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tidbits From 35 RV

Here is some news provided by Allison on June 29:
  • Al Johnson (S-25), who fell about a month ago and broke his left leg and left arm, is convalescing at Gulf Point Plaza. Saw him today and he is in good spirits—eager to get home.

  • Tony & I just returned from my sister's memorial service. I was able to spend the last few weeks with her. She is safe with Jesus.

  • Dorothy Preisel (S-151) has sold her rig to Mackie (S-108)—the transition should take place in September.

  • Al & Audrey left, today, for 5 weeks vacation in Michigan.
Thanks for the news, Allison! Keep it coming!

Allison's Sister Passes Away

Allison's sister passed away recently. She had been in failing health for the last few years that I am aware of.

Allison spent five weeks with her this spring and was with her when she went to be with the Lord.

Here are the words to the song Allison sang at her service:
Our prayers have all been answered, I finally arrived!
The healing that had been delayed has now been realized.
No one's in a hurry here, no schedules to keep...
We're all enjoying Jesus, sitting at His feet.

If you could see me now, I'm walking streets of gold!
If you could see me now, I'm standing tall and whole!
If you could see me now, you'd know I've seen His face!
If you could see me now, you'd see the pain's erased!
You wouldn't want me to ever leave this place
If you could only see me now!

My light and temporary trials have worked out for my good,
To know it brought Him glory when I misunderstood
Yes, we had our sorrows, but nothing can compare!
What Jesus has in store for us no language can share!

(Refrain repeated)

You wouldn't want me to ever leave this perfect place
If you could only see me now!
If you could see me now.

July 4th at Rockport 35 RV Park

We had an excellent 4th—rig and people-wise.

We had some much needed rain--but campers stayed in good spirits. Tony said it was the best thing that had happened for Rockport in a while: He drove downtown and every restaurant and store lot was jam-packed! Fishermen were buying items at Ace Hardware and congregating in the parking lot to install whatever on their boats & just chat. The weather cleared up and it was beautiful for the fireworks.

Those who stay here on the park got together for food and fellowship at the clubhouse—it was really nice. After we do this, we always say, "We need to do this more often!"

Note: This update on park activities was provided by Allison.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

This article will be short and sweet as the main message is right there in the heading.

These days, the Fourth has become the day to take in a parade during the day, watch local fireworks at night, possibly watch one of the good musicals on Public TV or one of the networks, BBQ a good steak or hamburger, possibly do a little yard work, or maybe just kick back and relax, with absolutely nothing on the agenda.

But while we do one or more of the above, we should remember that we have the FREEDOM to pick and choose which activities we will do and where we will do them. If we want to stage a protest against our leaders or a newly enacted tax or the government in general we can do that.

Not so in many places in the world.

Many of our friends and neighbors wherever we live, including several Rockport 35RV Park residents, served their country to make sure you and I can still enjoy those freedoms.

To-Do list for July Fourth:
  • Thank a veteran.

  • Explain to a youngster exactly why today is so special to Americans.

  • Be thankful that we live in such a wonderful country.

  • Enjoy!


Photo of Keith, checking the corn on July Fourth.

PS: And if you live in Iowa, be sure to measure the corn! (Here, tradition has it that corn should be knee high by July 4.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Lucille Update #4: GREAT NEWS!

This info was just received from Rick regarding Lucille, his Mother:

This morning she went into surgery to remove those external supports on her legs. This is the same surgery she was to have on Monday but she had some problems (her blood pressure dropped and her pulse rate went over 200 bps) they canceled it.

The doctor just stopped by and told dad & me when they removed the supports this morning all went GREAT. When they removed the supports there was not any infection and they didn't put the internal supports in.

The doctor said they are putting temp. casts on her legs (back and sides only), he is not sure she will ever need the internal pins and screws. She will not have to see this doctor for 2 weeks, at that time they will check the bones again and make sure all is well.

We asked the doctor if she will be here in the hospital for the next 2 weeks and he said no, she should be able to go to a facility that would give her physical therapy (PT), like the place in Rockport. No I don't know when that will be I will let you know asap.

As I am typing this mom was taken back to her room, this means she came out of recovery very fast. Dad went up with her and I'm on my way.

I'll update everyone when I find out anything more.

Rick

That's the best news we've had since the day she fell in March. Let's hope the news continues to be good!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lucille Update #3

Rick has just supplied me with some bad news and some good news regarding his mother, Lucille Carlson. (For those just joining us, Lucille fell from the porch of their trailer in March. This resulted in compound fractures of both legs near the ankle. She's in a Corpus Christi hospital.)

First, the bad news:
In April, Lucille moved from the hospital to another medical facility where she could receive long-term care and therapy to keep her healthy while her legs healed.

Unfortunately, things did not work out as planned and her health actually deteriorated, possibly to crisis proportions last week. Son Rick and daughter Linda returned to Rockport to support Dick and Lucille get through this phase.

Now the good news:
A week ago (9th) she was moved back to the hospital. She was severely dehydrated and getting fluids into her has improved her condition greatly. Further significant improvement is expected over the next few days.

That brings us to today, June 16th. Rick said:

Mom is going to surgery on Monday (6/16) to remove the outer stabalizers (rods/pins) on her legs that were installed on March 14, but at this point I'm not sure how they will support her legs once the internal rods/pins are in place. Guess we will find out on Monday. Removing the external hardware will allow her to be more mobile, via a wheelchair; however, she won't be walking for a long time. She has been confined to her hospital room for the last 3 months and wants to get out of that room badly. This surgery will also allow her to participate more actively in PT, and this, we are hoping, will let her build her body back up so when her leg fractures are healed the rest of her body will be ready too.

Late update (2:30pm) from Rick: The surgery has been postponed until, possibly, later this week.

The Carlson family is in need of our prayers and moral support during this difficult year.

You can contact them here:

Lucille Carlson
Site 40
4851 N. Highway 35
Rockport, TX 78382

We're High and Dry, Safe and Sound

We had no idea people thought much about us, but the well-publicized flood in Iowa and specifically here in Cedar Rapids has resulted in phone calls and emails from all around the country—often from friends we've not heard from for months. And some were from Rockport 35 RV Park friends, which does not surprise us!

"Are you OK?" is the question, of course.

We're thankful that the answer is, "Yes!"

We're about 6 miles from downtown and about 4 miles from the river at its closest point. There are 1,000+ blocks downtown, homes, businesses—everything—which are under water. The first floor of those buildings nearest the river are nearly full. I don't think the water reached the second floor anyplace. In short, it is a mess of huge proportions.

The good news is that the water is going down faster than expected—down maybe 10 feet from the crest. Some are now getting back into their homes to find a discouraging mess.

Our only inconvenience is that I have not had internet, so could not post. Now I have re-subscribed to dial-up service so am back on the air—albeit slowly.

I apologize for not getting the comments to this blog up earlier. "The system" is supposed to send me a message as soon as someone submits a comment. It didn't.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Safe From Tornadoes in Iowa & Minnesota

Some have been concerned about your 35 RV neighbors who live in Iowa and Minnesota because of the tornadoes this week.

Iowa was hit particularly hard, with one town of under 2000 people losing 220 homes, with seven lives also being lost in the area. The pictures make it look as if the houses were all tossed into a giant blender, the power turned on for a minute, then what was left scattered over the area from which the houses came. It was total destruction for about 1/3 of Parkersburg, Iowa.

This tornado was on the ground for 43 miles, so was able to do a lot of damage. Based on the evidence left behind, the weather experts rated the tornado an "EF5", which means the winds were at least 205 mph. It was the strongest tornado to hit Iowa for 32 years.

This town is roughly half-way between the homes of Gene and Donna Lackore and Keith and Pat Williams. There was no damage at either of our homes.

Picture of tornado damage in Hugo, MN.Tornadoes also hit Minnesota, with one at Hugo, home of Tom and Julee Crever. This note from Julee:
"Thanks Keith for caring.....our RV family.....they are the finest! Yes we are fine. Our home is about 5 miles southeast of where the terrible destruction hit.....it is so sad. I will try to send you pictures our son took yesterday helping a very dear, close friend of his, do some boarding up and picking up items at his home which was in that area."

Picture of tornado damage in Hugo, MN.
We are thankful that we are safe and sound and pray for healing of body and spirit of those directly affected.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day


This morning I went to Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery here in Cedar Rapids to take a few pictures. It is indeed a beautiful resting place for generations of Cedar Rapidians.

The cemetery does a great job of recognizing and honoring veterans, as you can see in these pictures.

The same will happen in cemeteries across the country. In my hometown—Lime Springs, Iowa—the American Legion will put a brass emblem with flag at the grave of each veteran. Legionairs will hold a brief ceremony, then fire a salute over a miniature field of white wooden crosses, symbolizing Flanders Field.

Prior to the ceremony at the cemetery, there will have been a program at the local school gym, complete with band, speaker, and music.

Later, locals and those visiting will gather at the Community Center for lunch and, more importantly, a time of reminiscing about those who have gone before and genuinely enjoying each others company.

Our Great-Granddaughter Arrived

May 15, 2008, was the day she arrived. She was a week late, but I've always found that to make something perfect it takes a little longer.

Stephanie, Molly, and PatMolly Nicole Woodrich is our first great-grandchild so was eagerly awaited, to say the least. Here you see tired mom Stephanie, happy great-grandmother Pat, and content little Molly, 7+ pounds and two days old.

Molly lives in Owatonna, MN. Her grandmother Woodrich also lives there. Grandmother Hawkins lives 14 miles away in Waseca, MN, Pat's hometown.

Molly Nicole Woodrich, Owatonna, MNBoth of Molly's grandfathers have passed away, so I am the only grandpa she'll ever have. It's a great responsibility, but I'll try hard to fulfill the role admirably.

"Molly" (Amalia, actually) was the name of Pat's mother. The new Miss Molly joins one other great-great-granddaughter in sharing the name.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Note From Betty King----

Betty and Gibby King were on Fourth Street, next to Del Calhoun a year ago. It's good to know that they still remember several of us!

As you'll see from here note, this was a bad year for bones in Texas! In addition to Betty, Lucille, and Pat, one of our friends from back home fell in Pharr, dislocated parts in her back which pinched nerves, and had surgery when she got back here. And another acquaintance fell and broke his wrist. Let's hope next year is a kinder and gentler year for bones!


"Keith, I'm glad to hear Lucille is doing better. Our prayers are with both her and Dick.

We are still in the valley and I guess we will be staying. In fact we are looking at a piece of property. I fell (Betty) 3/31 and broke my wrist pretty bad. They operated and put in a plate and 10 screws and I am in PT 3 times a week for 4 weeks. Then back to doctor on 5/22.

We really like the valley though. Not particularly crazy about the wind but just like they said about the rain last year when we were at RV35 they said the same thing about the wind here this year. Hasn't been that bad for years and years!!! I'm almost afraid to say aloud but probably will have the hottest summer, since we are here. LOL LOL

We are in Rio Hondo Tx right on the banks of the Arroyo Colorado river. I didn't see them but was told there were 4 dolphins out here last week. I can see the river from my dining room table and really like that. We are in this park until 7/6 and hopefully our land should be straight by then.

We are planning to live in our 5th wheel but at least I can get a storage shed and get some stuff out of here that we have no other place for. I doubt we will go cross country in this anymore but at some time we may get rid of this and get a mobile home and a smaller trailer - all depends on fuel prices. We just bought a new (used) Dodge Grand Caravan today and will go back to Va later this year in that.

Also wanted to tell you Gibby really likes the awning lock. Not sure if I'll ever see my awning out down here in the valley but at least I know it won't unfurl like it did when we left Rockport on Dec 15th to come to the valley.

I really enjoy reading the RV35 blog and hearing about everyone.

Betty and Gibby King"

BIG Raid in ------Iowa!!!

Yesterday, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and local law enforcement friends raided a meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa. Over 300 were arrested. This was the largest such raid in Iowa history.

Postville is a quiet little town of fewer than 2,000 people. It has become famous, and now possibly infamous, in recent years because of a meat processing plant which has brought workers from all over the world: Russia, Israel, many others, and of course Mexico.

This makes Postville unique in rock-solid white NE Iowa, which is, for the most part, composed of farmers and those businesses and few industries which support agriculture. A book has even been published about its uniqueness: Postville.

In general, life in the town has been interesting, peaceful, and certainly different! They have a soccer league. Cleverly, one of the rules is that there may be no more than two players on each team from the same country!

A couple of years ago, there was a similar raid on a plant in Marshalltown. They took "everyone," leaving kids at home with no parent. The Feds took a lot of heat for that! This time, the officials did release several people for "humanitarian reasons," most notably child care. They made certain that there was a responsible person remaining home for each child.

It's nice to know that government officials can learn from past behavior and can be a bit flexible and exhibit common sense.

Charges range from multiple persons with the same social security number and identity theft to just plain being there illegally. There were nearly 700 warrants!

There was no mention of any arrests or charges brought against the plant management who hired these folks.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

And a Note From Keith Riley in PA

Keith and Cathy spent a couple of months on 4th street. I was glad to meet him for several reasons:
-----and all of this before we had even met! Another great example of meeting neat and interesting folks at Rockport 35 RV Park.

His note follows, edited to include the parts of general interest to others.

"Hi Keith

Good to hear from you also. Glad you got home safe and sound. .............

Checked out your new blog for the 35 RV Park and enjoyed it very much. Good job.

We will probably be staying in PA this summer. Staying with my mother and have much work to do here. She lives alone and everything here needs repairs or replaced. Got my work cut out for me. Like you said I haven't planned much further ahead than that.

You are right we met a lot of nice people at the 35 RV Park. We would have liked to have spent more time visiting with you. Maybe our paths will cross again.

Happy Trails,

Keith Riley"


Interesting Information

You can get more information than you ever wanted to know about Rockport—or your hometown—at the site whose link is at the end of this post.

The first page gives data, but I suggest you click the "Charts" tab. That compares your city with your state and the US. And it looks neat!

When you click, this should come up set to Rockport. In the little box in the upper right, type in any other ZIP code in which you are interested and it'll bring up info for that area.

The source of this info is simply the U.S. Census data from 2000.

The source of this link was Julee. Thanks, Julee!

See the data here: http://zipskinny.com

Lucille Report #3 (May 3)

Yesterday, this very welcome email came with an update on Lucille's condition. For those who weren't there or happen to be visiting this site to get a feel for Rockport 35 RV Park, Lucille and Dick are several-year Winter Texans at the park. This year, Lucille fell to the ground from the landing at the top of the steps to their trailer's front door. She suffered compound fractures of both legs just above the ankle.

This note is from their daughter Linda who, fortuitously, happened to be working as a Visiting Nurse this Winter in Corpus Christi.

"Keith,


I'm not sure if I met you or not, I'm Lucille's daughter, Linda. We were in Corpus Jan-April and had our Sunnybrook 5th wheel in one of the front spots for about 5weeks in March and April.

Anyway, Mom is doing fine at the present. She had a couple of weeks that she couldn't eat, but that has improved.

April 24th she was taken to Christus Spohn-South for a PICC line (a long-term IV line inserted under anesthesia). She had this because she will be on IV antibiotics until ALL surgeries are complete.

The therapist who does her daily wound care (3 open wounds - 1 on the right, 2 on the left) is trying VERY hard to get the wounds to heal so she won't need skin grafts. The areas on the left seem to be cooperating, the one on the right is still deep enough to see bone.

Right now Mom's goal is to walk out of the hospital by her birthday (Dec. 5); the doctors agree that this is a realistic goal. She has been in good spirits, and has been encouraged by all the cards and notes from folks at the park. Rick (my brother) and I have been so impressed and pleased by the people of Rockport 35. Your friendliness and encouragement has been wonderful for Mom and Daddy.

I'll try to keep you updated throughout the summer.

Linda"


Contact information:

Dick's cellphone number: 989-798-5779

Their address:

Lucille Carlson

Site 40
4851 N. Highway 35
Rockport, TX 78382

Amber Will Have A Little Friend

And three days after hearing from Ted, this newsy email came from our next-door neighbor, Janet Groth.

"Keith, we enjoyed viewing the news from Rock port and all the spring
flowers--ours just started to bloom last week.

We finally got ourselves home on April 17th--had three days of
very nice weather which brought out oodles of my daffodils,the reason it took us so long was we spent a very enjoyable week at Galveston Island where temperature was in the high 80's, we had a ocean view from the front window of our RV--then at Lake Charles La. we lost our parking brakes which couldn't get fixed so I had to run out and put the blocks
behind the wheel each time--so he called me the block lady.

Pat how are you doing? If you've had the steroid shot I sure hope
its helping you.

Alice and AmberWe now have a little puppy--maltese--she's so tiny, just six weeks old and weighs in at one pound and 7 ozs. In a year she should reach five pounds..We're having lots of fun with her.

We had heavy frost this am and its only in the 40's with a stiff breeze--COLD--we're not used to these temperatures; Gordon says we should of stayed another month.

Hope all is well with you--Pat remember Don't overdue!

Have a great summer---our gas price is 3.69 a gallon.


Janet and Gordon
"

The Luedkes Report All Is Well,
Plus An Invitation!

Here's a note I received from Ted abut a week ago. Enjoy! Keith

"Hello Keith ...

The old Marine here and wife Katy, in the Prairie Schooner on 5th street.

Just read your RV 35 blog for the first time and it is very nice, very nice indeed. Thought I would send an update for the Luedkes.

Had a trailer tire blow out on the way home but all went OK. Good Sam roadservice appeared within a half hour with no out of pocket expense for us. We got home (Ava is an hour SE of Springfield Missouri) in time to close on the sale of our ranch and close on a new place closer to Springfield. A new house on 4.5 acres and we moved in April 16th ... still don't know where anything is. Nice having the 5th wheel as we stashed all the clothes in it and moved it to the new place.

We are already building a barn for the RV and workshop, etc. Poles go up on Monday April 28th ... and yes we will have a 50 x 18 gravel spot for an RV with 50A, water and still haggling with authorities about the sewer (only gray or a holding tank or ....). So, we are 8 minutes off Hwy 65 which connects Springfield to Branson, and we invite any RV 35 camper to stop a day or two and visit and see the sights. Click our web site for the view from the back of our house ... the same view from the RV pad. www.boxlt.com

Have made 25 back ups of the book I talked to you about ... that was a big scare.

Our trees are mostly green now, tulips are out in style as are other early flowers and I have mowed the lawn three times already. Then again, all the rain and floods we have had in the area make for good growing when the sun appears and hits 85. The flooding has not affected us personally.

Even though Bret Favre retired, we still need to watch the Packers and I tired of the dish set up so had Camping World install the new Trav'ler by Wineguard, so just a flip of the switch sets up Direct TV for us. Now that is lazy indeed.

Last winter was our first foray into wintering elsewhere and we loved it. Already looking forward to this next season. Plan a trip back to hometown Wisconsin this summer and going some where in early fall.

Ted & Katy"

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hot Diggity Dog Pictures


Finally, pictures of our Hot Diggity Dog event are up!

You can see 'em all right here: http://35rv.us/35rvdogshow.html

If you want one or more, just right-click on the picture, select Copy Image, then Paste it wherever you want it.

Some Signs of Spring . . . . .

Our world is beginning to get a bit more beautiful these days!

The grass is a brilliant green and some lawns have already been mowed. Ours will enjoy its first mowing this week.

Here are a few tulip pictures from Pat's flower garden in front of the house. I just put them up to brighten your day a bit.

There are other signs of Spring, too. Purple finches have been here for some time. This week, there are a pair of rose breasted grosbeaks at the feeder. And the wrens have returned to favor us with their cheery songs all summer long.

It has, however, been very wet in most of Iowa. Usually, the corn is planting is well along by now. This year, no one has been in the field yet. The ground is saturated with moisture and will require some drying time before—well, before farmers can farm.


Our hope is that wherever you are, things are also bright and cheery—at least in your mind if not outdoors.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pill Prices

This is just a little story about buying pills.

Pat needed some "eye vitamins," recommended by her doctor but non-prescription. Normally, they're on the order of 25 bucks a bottle.

She had a coupon for $1 off, and had seen an ad that they were buy-one-get-one-at-50%-off at CVS. So off to CVS I went and bought the pills.

Then I needed to go to Wal*Mart for something else. Might as well check the price of eye vitamins, right? I could have passed up the "wonderful deal" at CVS and still got them for $2 less at Wal*Mart!!!

Moral of the story: A "great savings" isn't always the best value. If you know the prices at various places, you can save money!

And for every $4 we save on pills or anything else, that's one more gallon of gas or fuel we can buy for the rig!

Moral #2: Like 'em or hate 'em, it is tough—real tough—to beat Wal*Mart prices.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Your News Here . . . . .

One way to get more news on the Rockport 35 RV Park blog would be for you to send me some!

Julee did just that. Tom is getting along fine with his new knee, but hasn't been fishing yet. They're waiting for the ice to get off the lake!

You can also click on "Comments" below any article and leave your own comments. Please be aware that they will not be published until I have reviewed them. The reason for this? If I don't, there would likely appear posts which none of us would care to see.

My email: kaw@syntheticsaves.com

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Computer Class" Update

For about two-and-a-half months, I moderated a session on Tuesday afternoon called "Computer Help Session," more commonly referred to simply as "computer class."

Up to a dozen residents attended each session, with around half-a-dozen being pretty normal. The goal was to give each attendee something which they found useful, something they wanted to learn, or something which solved a problem they encountered.

With the help of DeVere, Jim, Chet, and others the goal was accomplished. Collectively, a lot of "computer good" was accomplished this winter.

Attendees will remember that I recommended two AVG products by Grisoft, both of them available in free versions. One was AVG Anti-Virus, the other AVG Anti-Spyware. I still recommend each of these.

Recently, I have found another product which I also recommend.

But first, a little background. Julee came racing over to our trailer one morning wondering what to do because she had this screen telling her that her computer was infected and all of these terrible things were about to happen—unless she protected herself by "clicking here."

An unethical piece of advertising had found Julee's computer. It put up what it claimed to be an analysis of her computer (which it wasn't) and urged her to buy their product to get rid of it.

AVG Anti-Spyware didn't get rid of it and neither did anything else in my admittedly limited bag of tricks. Google to the rescue—again! A found a site which told me which files needed to be manually removed to rid a computer of this pest. It worked, and Julee was once again a happy camper.

A week ago, I ran into a similar problem on my computer. I found an easier solution, which I'll share with you here.

There's a program called Spyware Doctor which comes in free and for-pay versions. Their free version will not get rid of this pesky problem; presumably the for-pay version will. But wait . . . . .

. . . . . .Google offers, for FREE, a version which will get rid of it!

If you're interested in using it, go to tools.google.com. This will take you to a "Google Pack" page. At the top, you'll see several programs from which to select. Select those in which you're interested, but make sure you select "Spyware Doctor." Download it and install it as directed.

In my case, it got rid of the nasty advertiser.

I've found that it will do a "quick scan" much more rapidly than AVG Anti-Spyware, so also from that standpoint it appears to be superior to AVG Anti-Spyware.

I am not ready to say that it is superior overall to the AVG product. I've run one and cleaned out all the "bad stuff," then ran the other—and it finds more!

So which is the better? Too early to tell—other than Spyware Doctor does seem to get rid of at least some of those persistent programs which advertise by putting phony reports of infections on your screen.

That's reason enough to use it!

Two Earthquakes Hit Iowa

Earthquakes are rare but not unheard of in Iowa. But this past week, we had two!

The first hit early in the morning and was felt only by early risers. (Those who know me will understand, then, that I totally missed the experience.)

The epicenter of this quake was in SE Illinois. Fortunately, little damage was caused anyplace by this mild earthquake.

The center must have been very close to the homes of Buddy and Patsy and Dean and Betty. I googled Buddy, but he must be incognito; anyway, Google doesn't know about him so I wasn't able to call him to check on their health and welfare.

The other "earthquake" affected all of us, even though it only struck at gas stations. The price of gas jumped instantly from $3.279 to $3.459 here in Cedar Rapids. This is a new record for the price of gasoline in Iowa. Diesel fuel is $4.089. I'm still running on some for which I paid $3.899 down in Missouri on the way home nearly a month ago.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Knee Report

Our friends at the park this year know that this was a bad winter for Pat's knees. First, she tripped on the way to Christmas Eve services at the Come-As-You-Are Worship Center. That required a dozen stitches, got a mild infection, and generally put her on the slow track for several weeks.

About the time that healed to the point that it no longer crimped her style, her left knee "collapsed" while leaving a restaurant in Port Aransas. It hurt greatly when she walked so she relied on a Wal*Mart cane and a pair of like-new crutches from—where else?—Castaways.

An MRI and visit to an orthopedic surgeon revealed that she had a tear in the meniscus. However, since it was getting better, his recommendation was to do nothing; just let it heal. That worked pretty well until.......

......the bus trip to Gruene with the ladies from Rockport 35 RV Park. The increased activity that day set her back to square one. But we did get home and it has been gradually improving.

Today we had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon here in Cedar Rapids. There were a couple of surprises:
  • The torn meniscus wasn't the real problem. Nearly total lack of cartilage due to arthritis and "wear and tear" was. Solution: knee replacement, sometime.

  • The doctors in Rockport ordered an MRI without taking an X-ray. The X-ray clearly showed the real problem, the MRI didn't. (This is too bad, as the cost ratio is about ten to one!)
Today's doctor said that a steroid shot might give relief for some months. "Fixing" the torn meniscus would, in her opinion, give only short, temporary, relief if any at all. She did not recommend it as an option.

Pat opted for the shot. Let's hope that it works marvelously.

New Life

Here's further proof that there is life after winter in Iowa! This little crocus had already closed up for the day when I got out to take its picture.

In addition to the crocus, the grass is getting green. You know what that means! Before I know it, I'll be out mowing the lawn.

Truthfully, I rather enjoy it. Maybe it makes me feel that I am an Iowa farmer again, but on a really small scale. I often remember how hard my dad and uncle worked as farmers. No wonder Dad only weighed 137 pounds for years.

Farming 50 years ago was hard work! But that's not the real reason I chose not to be a farmer. I was simply incompatible with animals. Machines, OK; animals, no way.

But it is a good life: fresh air, connection to Mother Earth, independence, plenty of exercise, etc.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Lucille Update #2

I just received this note from Rick:

"Yes we are back in MI, we got back last week and have been very busy. It is always hectic when we return from a long trip, seeing the kids and grand-kids, but this time we're dealing with mom & dads issues also. So sorry I have not replied sooner.

Mom was moved to a specialty hospital last week, they have been tending to her legs better. Her attitude is still great, there have been some days this whole mess does get to her. She is a strong lady and has been showing it. .........."

If you happen to be a newcomer to this blog, here's the first part of the story:
  • Lucille fell from the landing at the top of the steps to their trailer.
  • Both legs suffered a compound fracture just above the ankle.
  • She's been hospitalized in Corpus Christi since the accident.
  • Son Rick and his wife, Dianne, were spending the winter at Rockport 35 RV park but have now returned to Michigan.
  • Their daughter is working as a Visiting Nurse in Corpus Christi.
  • Husband Dick, he of back-rubbing fame, is still at the park and visits Lucille every day. (At least it was every day while we were there; it might have changed now.)
It will be a long summer for Dick and Lucille. They'd no doubt benefit from a friendly word now and then from each of us. If you'd care to be part of Lucille's Cheer Up Team, send your cards and letters here:

Lucille Carlson
Site 40
4851 N. Highway 35
Rockport, TX 78382

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Home Arrivals

Remember The Kenney Family, who gave a great musical presentation one Thursday evening and also one Sunday morning?

They reported this in an email today:

"We just arrived home yesterday afternoon. It was a great winter, we had many opportunities to share our music and our faith. We spent the month of March in Texas, that was nice. We had several opportunities to sing that were in addition to what was already scheduled, that's always nice."

And from Julee, this came several days ago:

"Dad [Tom] & I left San Antonio 11 am on Monday and arrived in the St. Paul about 2:30 PM Weds. We made good time, had no problems; good driving conditions except for the hail in Oklahoma and scary skies. Drove out of that unscathed. ..........

So now it is back to reality.....snow, cold, wind....yuk! Today seems a little better and they promise 50 for the next 3 days. We need to get the household up and running, get unloaded, state taxes done; Tom's pre op stuff all done before a week from tomorrow which is Friday, April 11, when he is scheduled for his left total knee replacement. I need to pack away Christmas stuff...tree, etc. and clean clean clean. Should keep us out of trouble for sure. So hope this finds everyone healthy and happy....love, Julee"

A Sure Sign of Spring!

First, some snow.

Then this little crocus in Pat's garden—one of the few the rabbits haven't eaten.

Surely there will be more beautiful flowers to follow; there always are.

But we can't enjoy them here in the Winter. Guess that's why we go to Rockport 35 RV Park and enjoy Chet's flowers.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Recycling Aluminum Cans

Some large percentage—maybe 50%?— of aluminum cans emptied at Rockport 35 RV Park are "wasted" by being thrown out with the garbage.

They can be recycled!

There's a wastebasket just to the right of the entry to the clubhouse pool room marked "Cans" or "Aluminum" or something like that. Just put your aluminum cans in there and they will be recycled!

Soda pop cans, beer cans, juice cans are all eligible, provided they're made of aluminum, of course.

The park recycles hundreds of dollars worth of aluminum cans each year, and it could be even more. This recycling helps the environment and provides much appreciated funds for those who collect the cans and do the work of recycling them.

I'd also like to think that it helps keep our winter stay at the park a bit more affordable.

Suggestion: The next time you have empty cans, get just a bit more exercise and take them to the receptacle by the club house!

Got Snow?


Here's what we woke up to this morning! Actually, it's beautiful if you're in the right frame of mind.

Cedar Rapids was on the very south edge of this batch of snow. Places further north, like Garner, for example, got much more.

Snowfall for Cedar Rapids this year is close to 60 inches. Just another couple of inches and it will be an all-time record. We don't need a new record in this department!

Those of you still at Rockport 35 RV park can be glad in the Iowa beauty—and be glad that there is/was no snow at the park this year.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Here's the Reason.........

........that we spend the season
with the friendly folks
at

Rockport 35 RV Park!

After a great send-off Monday morning by the Third Street residents, we arrived home about 2PM Wednesday afternoon. Two and a half days is a new record for us, made possible by spending a 12-hour day going from 35 RV to DeQueen, Arkansas, that first day.

The picture shows 100% of the snow remaining in our yard. I'm sure that it was intended to be a reminder to Pat that she did "miss out" on something! (That "something" turns out to be 58" of snow, only two inches short of being the all-time record for snowfall here in Cedar Rapids.)

Because this is my favorite place to stay, I thought I'd mention it in the article. This is at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campground at DeQueen Lake, Arkansas. If you look carefully, you'll see that this is a two-level site. The "sitting room" and grilling areas are located on the lower level to the rear of the trailer. You can just barely see the steps to the left of the trailer.

Not bad: a bi-level site, with water and electricity, for $7.50/night, courtesy of the Golden Age Passport. (If you don't know what I'm talking about or want more information, read this: 62 or Older? Enjoy the Best Bargain in the USA!)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What Happens Now?

Chances are good that by the time you read this, we will no longer be on Space 80 at Rockport 35 RV park. The plan is that we hit the road by 8 AM Monday morning.

Your news can be posted two ways:

* Send it to me in an email and I'll turn it into and article and post it. Include pictures if you wish. Click here to email me: kaw@syntheticsaves.com

* Immediately below each article there is the word "Comments." Click on that word and it will open a page which allows you to write comments. Your comments will not be immediately published, as I will review them before posting. (That is done to eliminate posts which none of us want to see.)

Your RV 35 friends would like to know what is going on in your life, so please do one of the above so your news can be posted!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Enjoying a Perfect Spring Morning

Reading a good book, watching and listening to the birds build a nest in the palm tree at the edge of their lot, and having a cup of coffee: life is good! That's Rick and Dianne, son of Dick and Lucille, enjoying the morning to the fullest


And just across the street, Tony has found another way to enjoy the morning: wax the end-cap of his trailer. We all have learned that it's much easier to keep a waxed cap clean.

Lucille Update #1

Lucille is getting along with no undue complications, which is to say no setbacks such as major infections or things like that. But she still has a long, long, way to come for full recovery.

This morning, Dick reported that in a few days she may move to a convalescent home for a short period, then back to the hospital for grafting of skin. Unlike some people, Lucille's skin is not thick and therefore does not suture well, probably necessitating skin grafts. When that is completed, she'll head back to a convalescent home for the grafts to heal, probably a few weeks.

Then it will be back to the hospital for Lucille for more surgery. This time, they will attach hardware supports ("pins" if you will) to the bones for structural stability.

Because of this back-and-forth movement, Dick suggests that your well-wishes be mailed to her here at Rockport 35 RV Park. I've changed the address in the original post and will give it again here:

Lucille Carlson
Site 40
4851 N. Highway 35
Rockport, TX 78382

Son Rick and Dianne will be leaving this coming week to head back to Michigan so Dick will be left alone. Please remember this family in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Friends Headed to Northern Nesting Grounds

Each day several rigs leave to begin the trip back North. A few come in, possibly on their way home from "the valley" or just out visiting enjoyable spots in Texas.

In fact, just yesterday I talked with a family from Clinton, Iowa, who were just cruising Rockport 35 RV Park looking for a place to spend a week or so on their journey back home. They termed it, "A beautiful park!"

Tony and his crew do their best to make sure it stays beautiful, and when we get perfect weather like the last several days it does indeed look great.

An the people are always great, rain or shine!

In the photo above, Mary and Norm are headed back to Coldwater, Kansas, after their sixth year at this park. Great folks just keep coming back again and again!

Machine Shed, Phase One, Completed



Construction Superintendent Gene is headed back to the new building, level in hand, to make sure all is plumb. After two and a half days, the structure was up!

Ends will be added, as will a storage area extending beyond the west end. These are Phases Two and Three, with the schedule determined by Tony.