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.


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.


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"