Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Smallest RV in the Park

This morning as Rick was strolling along Third Street, he spotted this fellow searching for his spot.

We helped him find Lot 81, but he seems determined to travel, even within the park.

But that's why we—and he/she—have self-contained homes with us at all times, right?


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ford Country

These tough hombres were manning the checkpoint at the entrance to Ford Country this afternoon. They had heard that a Chevrolet might try to enter the hallowed area so quickly took action to secure the perimeter.

Shortly, they added one more to their number and were preparing to draw lots to determine who worked each shift. They could not leave the post unmanned!

Bev happened to be on guard when the Chevy arrived. Here, she's seeking the credentials of the occupants seeking entrance.

Apparently the occupants were, somehow, able to convince Bev that they had the right to enter into Ford Country. Something about they were working undercover and had to disguise the true identity of their truck, I believe. Anyway, tough as she is, Bev allowed entry—possibly on a probationary basis.

NOTE: Please be advised that the Webmaster had nothing to do with this event except publish it.


Monday, December 27, 2010

An Interesting Presentation

This link below provides information on 200 countries over a span of 200 years—all in less than five minutes. It relates health of the country's population relative to the income of the population.

The data itself isn't terribly exciting (interesting, but not exciting). But the way it is presented is rather unique and makes it interesting.

If you don't care for it, I'll just remember that you can't please everyone!

Here's the link:


I Won!

I won a game of pool last night. Normally, one winning a single game would be not be newsworthy.

In this case it is!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Flavor of Rockport 35 RV Park

We'll have our turkey dinner today, but Tom and Dianne and their family will have the true flavor of Texas and the Park at their dinner!

One of the last things they did before leaving Rockport last Spring was to go to H.E.B. and purchase beef brisket. They cooked it a couple of days ago and Tom reported that it was absolutely delicious.

But they didn't "just cook it." They cooked it according to the detailed instructions Tony provided!

The whole gang (T & D, his parents, his two brothers and their families, and Tom and Dianne's sons and their families) will all gather to enjoy not only ham and all the other fixin's but the true flavor of Rockport 35 RV Park through Tony's brisket recipe!


Merry Christmas!

Pat and I wish each of our Rockport 35 RV Park friends a Merry Christmas!

This is our 6th year at the park and we have met many wonderful people whom we now consider our friends. Some are still here, a few have gone to their eternal reward, some have gone to different parks or different areas of the country, some are unable to travel due to family situations, and some will be down after the holidays. We always look forward to arriving to see our friends!

The first year we were here, we were met at the office door by Gene. He and Donna were great representatives for the park and for Iowa. This year, Terry met us in the parking lot and directed us to "go park" because choir practice was in session. In each case, we instantly felt at home.

For those not here, Christmas is in full swing at the park. Many units are decorated with lights. Christmas Eve we had the traditional finger food snacks and gift exchange. Hot item: bags of pecans!

At nine, about 35 folks returned for the Christmas Eve candlelight worship service—a touching service of music, reading of the Christmas story plus the prophecy of same from the old testament, and communion.

There was no Saturday breakfast. We'll make up for it at the one-o-clock Christmas Feast!

Clearly, we live pretty well here at the park: good friends, good food, good weather! What more could one ask for?

Merry Christmas, Friends!

If the 1 pm feast didn't do you in the 6 pm re-eat  should have done you in!!!

Joe & Carolyn

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Update from Tom

This message is from Tom, pictured below a few years ago, and is an update on his encounter with cancer.

"Hope everyone is having a spectacular Christmas season!!!!!  Remember the reason for the season!!!!

Just wanted to give everyone an update on the medical events in my life.  A week ago I had a bladder biopsy and the doc discovered another tumor.  Dianne and I met with the doc yesterday to go over the pathology report and discuss the situation.  The new tumor was considered "High Grade", non-aggressive, and had NOT invaded the bladder wall and linings.  He removed it successfully.  We all agree that is GOOD news.

I am going to undergo 6 more treatments with a little different "cocktail" over the next 2 months (Jan/Feb).  Then wait another 6-weeks and do another biopsy.  By the way, the 6 previous treatments (Oct/Nov) successfully dealt with the original tumor............good news!

Needless-to-say, we will be sticking around home this winter.  We are very disappointed about the annual Texas trip (we have been going to Rockport for the past seven years), but we will return next year and probably stay longer!!!

The good news is we have a plan and it will work!

For those of you that live in the McHenry area, if you need the piles of snow removed over the winter, give me a call.  I'll think about it ..............................yeah, right!!!

Keep you prayers works!!!!!!

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Tom and Dianne"

We'll miss you this winter!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Missed in Cedar Rapids

Yesterday (Sunday) at 3 in the afternoon, we missed a wonderful event in Cedar Rapids.

The event: a "flash mob" singing the Hallujaalh Chorus! (Flash mob = when people set up a time to gather in a public place (usually a mall, food court or airport) and sing something to the unsuspecting shoppers or travelers.)

I spotted one lady from my church choir and a flying buddy who is also a singer in the video.

How neat it would have been to have been sitting there in the food court sipping a Coke and then have this break out!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oscars Awarded

The play has been "played" and everyone was a winner at the performance of A Christmas Carole: the audience because they saw a performance to remember and the cast because each of them was awarded an "Oscar" for their performance! Plus, all shared wonderful cookies, punch, and a social time afterward.

The "Srooge" theme was continued into Allison's design of the "Oscar"—ably hand-crafted in secrecy by Tony.

The visual effects were stunning! Tony and his crew put lots of hours in recreating Scrooge and Marley's office and the Cratchit Family's home.  The costumes appeared early-1800-ish. And a theatrical spotlight, manned by Dean, made the set sparkle when it was supposed to sparkle and be drab when that was appropriate.

Here are a few photos which will refresh your memory if you were there or which will make you sorry you missed it if you were unable to attend.

Allison did a great job of utilizing the talents of first-year visitors to Rockport 35 RV Park. What a great way to get to know new friends!

Above, Don and Herschel are slaving away at Mr. Fezziwigs warehouse before being dismissed by the owner to leave work and party with their families.

Below, Connie and Gary did well in their first gig as actors at Rockport 35 RV.

The unpleasant and debilitating effects of medical treatment kept Al from his appointed rounds as Scrooge but did not deter he and Audrey from enjoying the performance and social time afterwards. 

He was replaced during the last week by a "mystery actor." Some thought Scrooge's voice sounded a lot like Allison's, and it was noted that Allison was nowhere around while the play was in progress. Is it possible that she brought this all together as director and played the title role?

Here are a couple of shots of the refreshment crowd:


Friday, December 17, 2010

Performance is Saturday Night!

Saturday night, Dec. 18, several of our friends and neighbors will present A Christmas Carole, the Christmas classic by Charles Dickens.

To help set the stage, we'll sing a few familiar Christmas songs. Then we'll sit back and enjoy the performance! The actors have been honing their skills to assure that you'll have an evening to remember!

After the presentation, there'll be refreshments and a time to socialize.

Come, and bring your neighbors! You and they will both have a great evening!

There is no admission; a free-will offering will be accepted.


Garden Decorated

Calhoun's Botanical Garden, 4th and Main, is all decked out in holiday lights—as are most other well-known gardens in the country.

Terry created this garden a couple of years ago, for all to enjoy. Each year, something new is added. This year, the lighted star and cross were added for our winter enjoyment.

Be sure to stroll past after dark so you can enjoy it, too!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cratchit Given Christmas Day Off!

Robert Cratchit, long-time employee of Ebeneezer Scrooge of Scrooge and Marley, applauds his boss after being granted the entire day off work on Christmas Day. After Robert's persuasive pleading, Scrooge grudgingly granted the request—provided that Robert would be at work early the day after Christmas!

This scene was taken at practice for the play "A Christmas Carole" which will be presented Saturday night at the club house. The cast of roughly a dozen of our friends and neighbors has been working hard to bring a great night of entertainment to us.

And the set! That is something else! It looks as if Tony and his crew went to England and gathered up an entire office and shipped it over.

Here's the bottom line:
     Don't miss it!   


Why We're Here!

Here's a picture of Rick demonstrating one reason we are glad to be here at Rockport 35 RV Park and why he and Dianne are eager to head this way!

According to rumor (I hate to state anything Dick says as fact), Rick and Dianne will head this way Sunday.

Head on down, folks! At seven this morning, it was 65* here!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Neat YouTube Video

Every once-in-a-while, someone sends a link to a YouTube video which I enjoy and feel is worth passing along. This one came from Pat's sister in MN, where she says there is 15" of snow!

But the music is warm and beautiful. (You may have noticed that most of the YouTube videos I post are of music. I can't help it; I just love good music! I also love polkas, but that's a whole 'nuther story!)


Here's a comment from Tom Carl:

"I just watched the YouTube posting on the Blog.  What great timing!  Tomorrow (Wednesday) I go into the hospital for the bladder biopsy that is a follow-up to the treatments.  I was overcome by the singing and the truly public display of the real meaning of Christmas.  "King of kings........................Lord of lords...............Forever, forever....."




It's Great to be Back!

We pulled in this morning about 11 and were greeted at the office steps by Terry. The we saw Dick and of course our great next-door neighbors: Gordon and Janet. With Gordon's expert help, I got the trailer parked better than ever!

It's great to see friends from previous years!

Walter and Ruth aren't here this year; they chose Florida for family reasons I heard. Don and Janet are back, after a one-year sabbatical.

Jeannie had a big smile and for me as I sure she will for you, too!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Open House At The Pickle Factory!

Old-timers at Rockport 35 RV Park might have already discovered the Pickle Factory in Taft. If you're a newcomer, listen up: there's a hidden treat for you to explore!

Saturday, December 11, from 10 to 5, Dave Smith (that would be the pickleSmith!) and his able crew are hosting an open house. There'll be samples, a tour, and shopping. Hopefully, Dave will give his "Texas Agriculture" presentation also. It's very interesting and informative, especially to those of us who come from afar and are not familiar with what grows where in Texas and how it can be used.

We enjoy visiting the Pickle Factory. You might, too!

It is at 300 Green Avenue in Taft, right across the street from the Taft Blackland Museum which is also worth an hour or two!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's White in Cedar Rapids

Friday, part of Iowa was blessed with an all-day snow. Not a storm; just a nice gentle snow. We got only 3/4", but areas of NE Iowa got as much as 8". Good for them, as we have little interest in that much snow!

And I suppose those of our friends who have already arrived at Rockport 35 RV Park or other area parks say, "Serves you right, you should be here!"

You'e probably right. Or at least on the way. We hope to leave sometime within the next week or so.

Although Pat is feeling really comfortable, sitting in her chair with the fireplace burning. She said she wouldn't mind staying here—as long as it was right there by the fireplace and she never had to go outside!

Speaking of the fireplace, after church today I took a few pictures for possible use in a potential Christmas letter. Might as well use them, so here goes:

Pat & Keith
Still where it's cold!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Wish You Were Here....

...and really wish I were there!" 

Pat Williams, November 27, 2010
Lakeville, Minnesota


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


It's Thanksgiving Eve—an appropriate time to consider things for which we are thankful. Of course we should do it continually, but sometimes daily activities seem to get in the way.

Some of the things for which I am thankful:

  • Pat and other family members. I'm especially thankful for the wee ones in our family and hope that they can grow up and live in a safe and understanding world.
  • Good friends. Many of these good friends were, will be, or are right there at Rockport 35 RV Park.
  • Good health. Although we have our aches and pains, we are relatively healthy. For this, we are very thankful.
  • Sufficient resources (I hope!). A good job and living within our means is now paying off. We do not need to be gainfully employed in order to eat or have a warm place in which to sleep. If you are reading this, you are in the same general category; millions of people are not. We can all be thankful.
  • Adequate challenges.  This website and others provide mental challenges which I like to think are good for my head. And because working on these challenges is so time consuming, it "keeps me out of the bars."
  • A job I really enjoy. All I ever really wanted to do was fly airplanes. I have a part-time job flight instructing which keeps me in touch with the industry and gets me off the ground frequently. I meet new and interesting people. It's the best "job" I ever had and I am thankful for it. (I have to call it a job because I do get paid!)
  • My parents and others who provided direction throughout my life. I now realize that my parents sacrificed a lot to provide my sister and me with "things" and experiences which would help us grow up in the way they intended. I am thankful for the guidance all my teachers, including my parents and those who still teach me today, provided.
This is a good time to make a list, even if it is only a mental list, of things for which we are thankful. The list is a long one, to be sure.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Another Small Mystery of the Universe

The chysalis shown here might already have released a beautiful Monarch butterfly!

It's quite amazing, isn't it, that a flying creature of beauty could be developed inside this. If you look closely, you can see the butterfly "folded up" on the inside.

Here's what Allison said when she sent this in:

"This is in our backyard...a jewel hanging on a dead bush.
We are waiting for the Monarch Butterfly to come forth before we cut down the plant. 
Really, "Awesome" is too finite for our Creator God!"

Thanks for sharing this marvel of nature with your residents!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

To Whom It May Concern

Please be advised that I did not vote for Bristol Palin.

Or anyone else.

I'm NOT part of this problem.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Facebook is the up-and-coming "thing" in the fast-moving on-line world. Over 26% of all Internet traffic is Facebook traffic. Can you believe that!

I'm not necessarily recommending that you rush off and join Facebook. It's somewhat complicated and not immediately obvious how it all works. But if you're already on the inside, here's something for you!

I've just added a "Like" button over on the right. It's just above the weather. (It might be moved later, but we'll try it there for now.)

If you happen to like this page, and we certainly hope that you do, just click the "Like" button. That will, hopefully, bring more readers to this page and let more people know about the park and the good times that we have with all the great people here.

Will you be the first to "Like?"


The Season Has Begun!

We are in full swing--had a wonderful Welcome Back--so it appeared to me!
Chef Tony's brisket...Allison made cakes.
The park is in full swing with new and old friends arriving.
Chef Terry and crew are creating breakfasts which get us out of bed on Saturday
Marv has ice cream going down smoothly.
Games are afoot every day of the world... 
John Martin is back and teaching woodcarving on Monday and Wednesdays.
Bev is doing stretching Mon-Wed-Fri followed by Connie and crew doing exercises. Water Aerobics begin the first week in January.
The gals are getting very crafty, Tuesday Coffee and Bible Study.  This Friday is the first Ladies Lunch: Parrot Island Grill.

The men are off to breakfast and Bible discussion on Thursday mornings.
Christmas deco comes to the hall the last Monday in November and we'll host the Good Samaritan's for breakfast the first Friday in December.

We're looking forward to Cookie bakes; Christmas Caroles, gifts exchanged and candlelight service--all the wonderful events of Christmas.

December 18 we will put on Dicken's "Christmas Carole" and the cast has been cast.
One of the most favorite events is the Sunday Hymn-sing prior to church. Tony & Allison are reviewing the "10 Commandments".  From comments, people are really enjoying the series.
Oh, yes! We have the most beautiful light green crystalis with gold specks on a bush in the back yard: soon to be a Monarch butterfly!
* * * * * *
Now doesn't that list of activities make you either glad to be at Rockport 35 RV Park or wish you were already there? It does me. Guess we better pick up the pace so we don't miss too many Saturday breakfasts! (Those guys simply do a wonderful job!!!)

I really appreciate the news above; Thank You! You, too, can send info. Just click the "Comment!" link below and your email will be opened, already addressed to me. It's that simple! You can do it; I know you can!


Medal of Honor

You might have seen all or part of yesterday's Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House.

The honoree, Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, is from Hiawatha, IA,—the little town that we drove through every time we went to or from Cedar Rapids before we moved. He went to the same high school that my daughter attended, which is now just two miles down the street from our new home.

By all reports, he is a super guy and is a great representative for not only Iowa but everyone in the military.

The really good news: he was alive and able to attend the presentation! He's the first recipient in that category for nearly forty years.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Journey to Rockport has Begun

Joe and Carolyn Egers sent these pictures, just to prove that they are on their way to Rockport! And possibly in response to my request for news from friends at Rockport 35 RV Park.

Here's their note:
Carolyn, Joe, and the two Dachshunds Gravy and Koda have departed for Rockport last Wednesday November 10th with a stop in Chicago to visit with the grandchildren and spend Thanksgiving with them and take them to the parade in downtown Chicago. See the attached photo from last years parade. T. After hen the Saturday after Thanksgiving we will resume the trip to Rockport, and our plans are to arrive Wednesday Dec 1st.  By the way, ask Joe what happens when the receiver hitch breaks on the second trailer!!!!!!!!

Oh Oh! That sounds toooo exciting!

Thanks for the update! We'll see you sometime before Christmas.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hey, Folks, What's Going On Down There?

Remember, I am over a thousand miles away from the park and don't have a clue as to what you're doing for fun or what's new or who's already arrived.

If this site is to be interesting to those already there, it must have some news of current conditions, happenings, people, etc.

And those friends who are not yet there would find that information useful, too.

Bottom line:
YOU send me some news, please! Just click on "Comment!" below and write an email. I'll make it happen from there one. Pictures are welcome, too, of course!

Who'll be first????

Political Spectrum: Where Do You Stand?

Julee sent a link to a neat (short, simple, easy) political quiz that you can take in a minute or two.

It will score the test and graphically show where you stand relative to liberal/conservative and libertarian/statist. Pretty neat, actually! (You engineers will love it!)

It gives a word description of your position. In my case, I felt the description fit me almost exactly. You mileage may vary, of course.

Now that the elections are over, you might as well enjoy politics a bit. Here's the test:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

$147M of OUR Money Going to Brazil Cotton Farmers

Would you believe that you and I, as U.S. Taxpayers, are subsidizing Brazilian cotton farmers to the tune of $147,000,000 each year?

Yep, it's true! And ridiculous, in my opinion.

Here's the short version:

The U.S Government (that's supposed to be you and me) subsidizes U.S. cotton growers. The Brazilians complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that this was unfair and illegal under the WTO rules. The Brazilians won. And over several years of U.S. appeals, the WTO stuck to their decision.

We (the U.S.) refused to cease paying our own cotton farmers, so that left only one recourse for the folks in Brazil: tax incoming U.S. products. They threatened to do just that. Ultimately, the two sides negotiated a payment of $147M/year to Brazil and they agreed to not tax imports from the U.S.

The result is that we are now paying subsidies to not only the U.S. cotton farmers, but also those in Brazil!!!

If you think this is just fine, please let your Senator and Representative know.

On the other hand, if you think it is not an appropriate way for your tax dollars to be spent, let them know that, too. Then let them know again and again.

The long version is on National Public Radio. You can listen to it or read it here:

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I just received this from our granddaughter.

"Greetings everyone!
As the Thanksgiving season approaches - this is a reminder to think about what you are truly thankful for! Our economy is in a world of hurt right now, but if you're able to check this e-mail, I guarantee you're not as bad off as some folks in this world.
Happy people don't have the best of eveything, they make the best of everything they have.
I am thankful for:
-The fact that I have two beautiful, healthy children
-A great husband who is a wonderful father
-My family
-A roof over my head
-Food on the table
-The job that is able to provide me with 2 of the above 
Don't forget what's important my friends! I don't really like Suze Orman - but she says "People first, then money..." and I think she has a point."

The picture below illustrates her first and third point.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hubble Telescope Discoveries

Julee sent a link to some discoveries made by the Hubble telescope. I thought the video very interesting and thought you might, too. That's why it's posted here!

Do you think you're a pretty significant part of the universe? Before you answer, watch the video!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sad News from the Park

Updated 6:30 PM Oct 13

Another icon on Rockport 35 RV Park has passed away. Allison provided this information a few minutes ago:

"I am so sad to tell you that Joe Altobelli died today.
He was having a relatively minor surgery on the prostate and near the end of surgery went into cardiac arrest.

Bonnie asked me to tell everyone, Keith.
Please post this.

Joe was one of Tony's right-hand-men all the years we've been at the park. He always had a big smile and a "Hi!" when you saw him. Sometimes, it was a quick "Hi!" as he whizzed past on his tall perch atop his small-wheeled bike. Joe was always very helpful.

Joe and Bonnie lived near Virginia, MN, when not in Texas.

Bonnie's address:
Bonnie Devescovi
5591 Carriage Dr.
Mt. Iron, MN  55768

This is from the Duluth News Tribune:

"Joseph Anthony Altobelli Jr., 68, passed away in the Virginia Regional Medical Center on Monday, Oct. 11, 2010.
VISITATION: 2 until the 3 p.m. funeral service Friday, Oct. 15, 2010, in Gethsemane Lutheran Church. A private burial will take place at Willow Valley Cemetery in Cook at a later date."

You can read part of the obituary here:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Al Recovering from Surgery

This note was received from Allison today:

Most of you know that Al, since December, has been undergoing Chemo therapy to arrest breast cancer.

Yesterday he had surgery to remove the lump.

It was discovered that the tumor was continuing to grow and invade the muscle of the chest wall & the lymph nodes.

Thus, Al had a radical mastectomy with removal of all of the lymphnodes in the axilla (under the arm on that side).

He will continue with chemotherapy and radiation.

Your prayers to the Lord Jesus for Al and Audrey are in order. Cards will also be appreciated.

Love to you all,


This illness and the treatments certainly must have crimped Al's style. Because he's always very active at the park, his church, the school, and community affairs, having to add "get well" to the very top of his to-do list no doubt frustrated him a bit. But, as Al himself might say, "You gotta do what you gotta do!"

Through this ordeal, Al has continued his positive attitude and determination to win this round.

Thanks to Allison for this information.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dancing With The Stars

This announcement is a little late, as regular watchers of the ABC TV show Dancing With The Stars are already well aware of this situation.

It will also be no surprise to those who know me even modestly well.

I was not chosen to be one of the contestants this year. Tasks associated with moving are not the reason.

Just thought you would want to know.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Update on Tom's Health

Here's a note I received from Tom yesterday:

"Greetings!!!! First of all, I would like to thank everyone that sent cards, e-mails, and MOST of all.........PRAYERS!!!! It has been an emotional 6 weeks which included medical tests, doctor consultations, surgery and today's follow-up with my Urologist. We knew going in that the bladder tumor was cancerous and it was removed on Sept. 8th. Today's follow-up was to review the lab tests and determine the next step.

The good news is that the cancer is "Low Grade" and "non-agressive". It did not spread to the large muscle surrounding the bladder. The doctor was happy with the removal (as were we!!!!!).

We talked about various treatment options dealing with the goal of getting this taken care of! Based on the doctors recommendation, I am going to have 6 "medication" treatments (1 per week for 6 weeks, starting in two weeks) directly into the bladder. This is not chemo, it's a medication that must remain in the bladder for at least two hours before exiting. At the end of that these treatments (in the doctors office) we will wait another 6 weeks and see how things worked. We are very optimistic!

Please keep Dee and I in your prayers..................that's the most powerful medicine!

I am out and around, so I hope to see all of you in the near future.


While I take this as generally good news, I must remember that cancer is still cancer.

I had a professor once who often referred to "the fondest-dream theory." Let's hope that it applies in this case.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

No Requirements

There are two "occupations" for which there are no educational, experience, or other prerequisites:
  • Politician
  • Parent
In each case, it is unfortunate for us that it is true, as it has degraded our country.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tom's Report

Here's a report, straight from Tom himself:

"I'll keep it short.......................I'm home from the hospital after Wednesday's surgery. The bladder tumor was large and cancerous. The doctor was pleased that he was able to remove it and now we wait for the test results. I have a post-surgery appointment with Dr. Keuer on Friday (tomorrow). I feel pretty good right now thanks to a generous supply of pharmaceuticals.

Nurse Dianne is taking good care of me. Thank you for the prayers and your expressed concern. It really, really means a great deal to me and the family.


I just spoke with Tom and can assure you that they didn't take any of the parts out which make Tom, Tom. He was chipper, hurting not too badly, and had his usual optimism and let's-get-this-job-done spirit.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Troubles for Tom

Photo of Dianne and Tom Carl.Tom's problem is best explained in this note from Dianne:

"Family and friends

Since Tom came home from EAA Oshkosh he has been seeing our family Doctor, Dr. Mowery and a urologist Dr. Keuer. After several urine tests, urine culture, blood tests, a C T scan and a cystoscopy we have found Tom has a size-able tumor in his bladder. Our first step begins Wed. Sept. 8th with the removal of the tumor. Then ???

God is in control and we know Tom is in His hands. We have great faith of a good positive outcome.

I ask for your encouraging words and prayers for him.


I'm no doctor, of course, but my suspicion is that the problem was caused by not having real wine in the glass during the play Tom and Dianne were in last Winter. With all he drank, if it were real wine surely his bladder would have been protected against such an intrusion.

That was a great night, wasn't it! —thanks in no small part to Tom.

In all seriousness (this is a serious matter) Tom's spirits are great. Of course, both Tom and Dianne are anxious concerning the findings of the surgery.

Pat and I are hoping for the best possible outcome for Tom.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Surgery For Mimi

Ione sent this note:

"Keith - just thought I would let you know that Mimi had open heart surgery on August 26th and is still in the Dartmouth Medical Center. I did talk with her just about an hour ago, and things did go as they had planned but it has been a rough week for her.
She still plans to return to Rockport 35 - probably about mid December.
Thought there might be a few people that would like to know about this in your blog.

You're right; I'm sure there are folks who would like to know. Thanks so much for sending it in, Ione!

Do you have news that your friends and neighbors at Rockport 35 RV Park might find interesting? Send it in! All you have to do is click "Comment!" below and that will address an email to me.

This Stroke Has Nothing To Do With Golf

Here's part of a message I received from Ted (Ted the Marine, that one) last week:

"Had a small stroke about 6 weeks ago ... nothing permanent they say. But they found my left curated blocked and did surgery next morning. They beat up the vocal cords when they dig in there. Getting along quite well now - not to worry. Will be back in Aransas Pass in November."

Follow-up notes suggested that he's the same old Ted—but even more so now!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Changes in Mind

Once we get solidly settled, I hope to do some serious computing. One thing I have in mind is updating this website.

Since I first started this site about 3 1/2 years ago, lots of things have changed in the blogging world. Even this site host ( offers themes and features which are not implemented on this blog.

There are other software packages which provide nearly unlimited possibilities as to appearance and features. WordPress impresses me greatly, so I'm thinking of trying it.

I'd like to have the site generate more readership (or course!) and more interactivity. If it were super easy to leave a comment, and have it show up quickly, more of you would comment, right?

Hopefully, we'll find out in the coming months.

By the way, if you have an idea of some feature you'd like to see on this Rockport 35 RV Park blog, please suggest it!

What Are You Doing, Keith?

Guess I better "show up" here on the blog or readers will think I've gone on permanent vacation. Believe me, we're not on vacation!

We've been in our new digs nearly two weeks now. We're slowly getting things found, organized, and arranged. For example, Friday we went to Lowe's and bought a couple of slide-out trays for Pat's pantry. Now she can reach the cans in the back without resorting to her trusty step stool. A lazy susan for the lower level of the pantry will arrive in a couple of weeks.

The big challenge is getting all the "stuff" still at "the farm" (previous house in the country) sorted and either brought here or put in the "for sale" pile. (It's a very big pile!)

The lawn has continued to grow at a great pace, until this week. We've now gone the longest without rain since April, as I recall. Eight days! And the lawn is showing it.

We invited our friends over to see our new place the other night, so we've had guests once. None overnight, though. Wanna be first?

The new place? Yes, we're going to like it! We're both eagerly awaiting the day when all the stuff is dealt with in one way or the other and the sale is closed. Both should be completed between the 15th and the 30th of September.

Then we think we deserve a little vacation! I'd like to take the trailer out for a week or so—possibly to some CoE parks along the Mississippi River.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A New Experience!

This morning, I did something I've never done before: I sat in the living room, reading the morning paper, while someone else mowed our lawn.

Condo living might not be so bad after all!

We moved in yesterday, so have been here over 24 hours now. We think it will be just fine!

And I hope to NEVER move again!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Size of Our Condo

How big is your condo, Pat?

Here's one answer:
Keith vacuumed the carpet on the entire first floor and the stairs to the lower level while the vacuum cleaner was plugged into a single outlet.

Now that's efficient! And small, some might say.

Pat's kitchen has much less cupboard space than our current home. She's cutting waaaay back on her kitchen "things." I tell her that she needs to look at it as a modest step above our trailer in size and storage capability. And we get along just fine in the trailer!

Of course we can always count on a great meal on Thursdays while at Rockport 35 RV Park. That's the night of the famous Friendship Dinner! We eat pretty well down there, don't we!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Chat With Bob

This morning, I called Bob Foslien just to let him know that we were thinking of him. I figured a familiar voice might be welcome.

We had a great chat. He said that yesterday he told Michelle, their eldest daughter and who lives in Denver, had a family and her own affairs to take care of and should go home to them. She had been there with Bob and Karen for the last month.

She's the one who kept us all so well informed via CaringBridge and I'm sure was a God-send to Bob during this most difficult of times. I told Bob how much we appreciated her keeping us up to date, and what a difficult job that must have been.

Bob also said that he would be headed back to Rockport 35 RV park, probably in October!

I see this as absolutely wonderful news, for Bob and also for all of us who knew Bob and Karen. He felt it would be much better for him to be among all the good friends they made at the Park than to mope around Sheridan all Winter.

He also said, "Not in a million years would I have envisioned that what happened to Karen would ever happen to us." We talked about how fragile life is.

That naturally lead to a discussion of the value of good friends—and why we and many others return to 35 RV year after year.

Bob's phone number is (307) 674-6749. He just might enjoy hearing from you. I know that I enjoyed talking with him!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Karen Remembered

These three days, the friends, relatives, and neighbors will be gathering in Billings, Montana, to celebrate the life of one of the great friends at Rockport 35 RV Park: Karen Foslien.

Just this past December, Karen "didn't feel good, probably the flu." It was a form of leukemia, she and Bob treated it the best way anyone (including MD Anderson) knew how, but now, less than eight months later, she has passed away.

Her family will miss her terribly. But a larger family, those at Rockport 35 RV Park, will also miss her to be sure. We've spent the last five winters at that park; that's where we met Bob and Karen. We know what a significant part of life at the park she was. And we will, both personally and collectively, miss her.

Of the several pictures of Karen, I chose this one to post here because I think it represents Karen in several ways:
  • It's noticeable, just like Karen. The brilliant red draws our attention just as Karen's smile always drew our attention.

  • It shows her "working" or, in other words, being active in Park events. Here, she's cleaning up after the Mexican Dinner in February, 2009. What isn't obvious is that she probably played a key role in planning the great event, too!

  • She's quietly going about her duties, as usual. Although involved, full of ideas, and a great team player, she never forced her ideas or her way on anyone. She was clever, competent, and confident in her own person.

We know that other park guests feel the same way, as many commented on CaringBridge during her illness.

We will remember her as one of the shinning stars of the park.

Best of all, we look forward to seeing her again when we are called to our reward. She'll be waiting, with a smile.

And don't be surprised if she has a party all planned, just waiting for friends who come to join her.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Karen's Obituary and Funeral Service Schedule

Services for Karen Foslien, who died Tuesday, have been finalized. They'll be at the end of this article.

Her obituary is posted here: Karen's Obituary.

Here are the details of her services, direct from CaringBridge: (Venues are in Billings, Montana)
  • Visitation (Michelotti-Sawyers Funeral Home):
    Sunday 8/1 from 3-8pm and Monday 8/2 from 9am-4pm

  • Vigil (St. Thomas Catholic Church):
    Monday 8/2 at 7:00pm

  • Funeral Mass (St. Thomas):
    Tuesday 8/3 at 10:00am

  • Burial (Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park):
    Immediately following mass.

  • Reception (St. Thomas):
    Immediately following burial.
Bob's home address is:
628 Kingfisher Ave.
Sheridan, WY 82801

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Karen Foslien 1949-2010

"Mom passed away beautifully with Dad and me by her side last night around 10:15."

This is today's report on CaringBridge from Michelle, Karen and Bob's daughter who has done such a great job of keeping us all informed.

Bob's address is:
628 Kingfisher Ave.
Sheridan, WY 82801

I'll post an appropriate remembrance later, as well as a link to the funeral arrangements and obituary, when I have them. For now, I just wanted you to have the facts.

Update Wednesday evening:
"Services for mom are tentatively planned for Tuesday, August 3rd around 10:00am at St. Thomas Parish in Billings, Montana. A vigil service will be held Monday evening at a location still to be determined."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Amazing Grace

Here's a YouTube video which you might find interesting, enjoyable, and educational.

There's a bit of music education, and certainly some American history in this video. And the performer is quite a likable guy, to be sure.


Comment from Dianne:
Keith, thanks so much for sharing. Rick and I enjoyed it very much. We usually sing Amazing Grace on karaoke night when we are in Rockport. Now whenever we sing it we'll think of that bit of musical education and those 5 great black keys.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tall Ships in Michigan

Dianne reported the following:

We had the Tall Ships docked on both side of the river in Bay City this past weekend, 10-12 of them. The Bounty (used in the Pirates of the Caribbean and other movies) had a continuous line (1 hour wait) to board. Took the 2 little grandsons (5 & 7)and had a great time but they weren't willing to stand in line that long. Maybe next time when they come back (in 4 years) they will be old enough to endure the wait.
Dianne and Rick

That's what Rick and Dianne are doing. What are you doing these days?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Karen's Summer

Long-time guests at Rockport 35 RV Park know that one of the spark plugs of the park was slowed down a bit this past winter, as in December Karen was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma with Plasma Cell Leukemia. She spent the winter and spring being treated in Corpus Christi and at MD Anderson in Houston.

Then they returned home to Sheridan, Wyoming.

I'll not go into detail because it is all available for you to read. But the bottom line is that Karen is in the hospital in Billings and has been subjected to one discouraging news after another.

There's a marvelous website called Caring Bridge. It is designed for situations such as Karen's and provides a convenient way for the patient, often with the help of family members, to update all of us as to the condition. Karen's daughters have been doing that.

In addition, Caring Bridge provides a means by which readers such as you and I can leave messages of encouragement for the patient and their family. (That's called "Guestbook" in the navigation links.)

Once you get to the link which will appear shortly, you'll have to register and log in. But then you can have emails with updates sent to you automatically. It really is a wonderful service. Here's the link:
If you get lost, do a search for "karenfoslien" and that should get you to her section.

You're probably wondering why such challenges are placed on such wonderful and active families. We all wonder. And none of us has the answer, other than, "It is not we who decides."

We hope that you'll join Pat and me in remembering Karen, Bob, and the girls and their families with thoughts and prayers during these difficult days.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pat and Her Tomato Tree

This Spring, Pat bought a tomato "kit" and planted two tomato plants in it.

They are now a foot taller than she is. They have well over a dozen tomatoes, ranging in size from that of a baseball to blossoms.

I'm really looking forward to some tomatoes which I can actually taste this year!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mini-Reunion: 2nd St. North

This picture is posted first, just to get Marv and his shenanigans out of the way.

Ever wonder why all the ladies are so attracted to Marv, whether he's in Texas or in Michigan? I have, so I asked him. He told me that it was a combination of his good looks and intelligence and, therefore, there was nothing he could do to prevent the attraction and he just lives with it the best he can.

Just when I was wondering what all our friends were doing this summer, Dianne Carlson emailed an answer with pictures! Here's her note:

"Just want to share some news and pics of our recent Rockport 35 Second street mini reunion. Recently, Rick and I went to Grand Rapids to pick up our RV (some minor warranty work and kitchen island installation) which is 3 hours from where we leave and Dick and Lucille went along for a ride. Since Bev and Marv live in that area we decided to meet up with them for a visit. We talked with Bob and Gelene earlier that week and they were in Indiana for vacation/warranty work on their RV. Since they were only 100 miles from Grand Rapids, they decided to surprise us and meet with us also. We all had lunch together and a great visit. We’re all doing fine and looking forward to our return trip to Rockport in just a few short months. Take care and we’ll see you in Rockport."

Thanks for the update, Dianne! Maybe this will prompt others to report. All you have to do is click on the "Comments!" link below; that will address an email to me!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Knee High by the Fourth

Today is the day for the annual corn-growth progress report. As you can see, the corn in our neighborhood has done quite well indeed!

In fact, I can never remember seeing it anywhere near this tall by the Fourth of July. I can remember many years when it was close to not making it to knee high on this date.

Earlier, we had plenty of rain, accompanied by hot weather. Corn likes that; I don't.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Toyota's Good Fortune

The best thing that ever happened to Toyota was the oil spill!

Since the spill in the gulf, have you heard even one word about the problems Toyota owners were having with their cars accelerating spontaneously?

Neither have I.

It's an ill wind that blows no man good.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Allison and the Bean Stalk ----whoops, Century Plant

Allison sent these pictures of the Century Plant at the park.

She suggests that it is about 40 feet tall. And it's only a few inches in diameter.

That makes the slenderness ratio huge! Did you ever wonder who engineered such a structure, how it was designed, ---or even why?

Stanley makes a big deal out of a tape measure which can be extended 10 feet without bending. This plant has that beat by a long shot! And this one withstands Texas winds!

As Allison related, most years the plant is just a "bush." But occasionally it grows a stalk, as it did this year, and blooms as shown here. Because of the infrequent blooming, it is often called a Century Plant—even though it does bloom more frequently than once every 100 years.