Monday, September 17, 2012

Making Progress

by Dianne

How's Dick doing? Much better now. He did experience a setback a couple weeks after surgery and ended up in the hospital with a mild case of pneumonia. Pain meds, a wee bit too strong for his needs, kept him bedridden and may have been the culprit for his deterioration in strength. A short stay in Covenant Rehab helped him build up his strength and stamina.

Dick mowing down those "darn ugly garden weeds"
He is working real hard with his daily exercise program and is exhibiting continued improvement. He recently retired his walker to the storage closet, but driving the car/truck is still not allowed. But, what about the John Deere tractor? Now that is a different story. He did feel strong enough to climb on and take it for a little spin around the yard. He even mowed down those "darn ugly garden weeds" which were buggin the heck out of him.

So how's Dick doing? Making progress and getting stronger every day as he continues to focus on, and work toward, his goal of returning to Texas this Fall. He and Lucille are looking forward to seeing ya'll real soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pray for Chloe

by Gayle, via Allison to Keith

Hello Allison and Tony,

I hope my e-mail finds both of you feeling much better and know that our prayers will always be with you.

Allison, our granddaughter, Chloe, will be 9 years old next month. When she was born it was discovered that she had Tetralogy of Fallot. She had open heart surgery at 2 months of age and the 3 defects were corrected. We were told that she would probably need a pulmonary valve replacement before she turned 13.  

Well, she had her routine cardio MRI a couple of months ago and it showed that she now needs that pulmonary valve replacement. We were all hoping she could wait a few more years but that was not to be. Her surgery is scheduled for December 12 and will be done in New York City at Columbia Children’s Hospital  by  Dr. Emile Bacha. He is one of 3 doctors in the US who does this surgery on children. We feel that God chose him to do this surgery! Of course I am writing to you to ask you and all of our friends at RV 35 to  please put Chloe in your prayers. Also I ask you to save us a site as we will stay here for Christmas but if everything goes well we will leave for Texas on December 26 making the trip in 4 days depending on weather.
Please give our love to everyone and may everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a blessed Christmas.
God Bless,
Gayle and Jim Clark


Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Week in the Black Hills

by Keith

We've spent a full week in the Black Hills now. Several days were spent parked in the best parking spot in Wyoming: the home of Fran and Sandy Bulawa. No muss, no fuss, just great views and great company!

Red butte is just a few miles from their home. The general landscape in the area is ridges covered with ponderosa pine trees, with irregularly shaped treeless valleys between the ridges. Pat and I find this landscape very beautiful!

Unfortunately, there is a pine bark beatle (or some name like that) which is infesting and killing the pine trees here in the Hills. One local said that in ten years there might be no pine trees in the Hills! What a shame that will be!

On a drive to Newcastle, we came upon a mini forest fire.We watched as a bulldozer carved a firebreak in the grass to contain the fire, as one pine tree burst into flames, and as a firefighter ran to his truck, grabbed the hose, and put the flames on that tree down in seconds.

You can see the fire break just on the near side of the burning tree and heading off to the right and up the hill.

We were glad this fire was contained before it covered more than perhaps an acre or two.

This fire was started when a power pole, rotten at the base, collapsed. Sparks from the wires touching started the fire. This is essentially the same thing which started the fire which threaten Fran and Sandy's homestead earlier this summer.

Another scenic drive through the countryside took us to Roughlock Falls, which is actually in South Dakota. This is near Cheyenne Crossing, where Pat and I went cross-country skiing years ago.

Fran might refer to the object below as "Sandy's old wagon." I guess I'd call it "lawn art" or possibly a "Wyoming Objet d'Art." Whatever one calls it, it is attractive, well placed, and has a wonderful texture for photos.

Sandy, Fran, Pat, Keith
at the end of a wonderful visit.

At the end of our visit, we lined up on the deck for the obligatory photo, looking out toward the ridge behind their house.

Did we enjoy the visit? YES!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Short but Sweet

by Dianne

That describes our visit with Judd and Greta DeYoung. We met this charming couple, who we now consider friends, in Texas at Rockport 35 RV Park. Interestingly, Judd and Greta are actually from Michigan. They stopped in Bay City while making their way home from their summer travels, and we are so pleased they were able to spend some time with us. Their visit taught us something about our local area too.

Did you ever have someone come to your town and show you or tell you about something really nice right under your nose? Something you were aware of but never explored until they came to town? For instance, we were always aware of a little campground in Essexville, seven miles NE of us, where we launch the boat occasionally but have never investigated it or its facilities. Judd and Greta did. What a nice little park! Full hook-ups, concrete pads, wide sites, modern bathhouse, nature trails, picnic pavilion, playground, boat launch with direct access to the Saginaw Bay, and all for just $17/night.  Now we know about this gem of a campground right in our own backyard thanks to Judd and Greta.

Here's the address in case anyone might be interested when traveling in our area. Finn Road Campground, 2300 Finn Rd, Essexville, MI 48732-9792. Phone (989)894-0055. Website:

Thanks Judd and Greta for the visit and the scoop on the campground. Be safe as you continue your travels and we'll see you later this year.

Dianne and Rick


Monday, September 3, 2012

Fran Laboring on Labor Day

by Keith

Today is Labor Day.

We are on vacation, so the mere thought of laboring today is offensive. However, our host, Fran, is laboring away! In fact, he was up and on the road at 5:30 this morning!

That labor, in the role of hunter/gatherer, was for naught. He didn't even see an elk.

But later he did see a Dish dish which needed removal. Pat and Sandy are above, solving the world's problems, I suppose.

Fran removing a Dish dish


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Memorial Service for Ron Hanson Set

by Allison, via Keith

Ron has been cremated and his family will be here with Carole and his remains in October.  There is currently to be a Christian Memorial Service held for Ron October 31.  

If you are able to be here at the park to participate it would be wonderful!  The card(s) and gifts of money will be given Carole at that time.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Icons of I-90

by Keith

Thursday we left home for a vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota, our favorite place.

The route was our usual route from home to visit our grandkids in MN, except at Albert Lea, we turned West and got on I-90. That road would be our "home" for about 160 miles in Minnesota, all 412 miles of the road in South Dakota, plus about 19 miles of I-90 in Wyoming.

At Sundance, we left I-90 and turned South, toward Newcastle and our destination for a few days: the home of Fran and Sandy! But that's a story for another time.

The message this time is to show you a little of the beauty of South Dakota as viewed from I-90. Here goes:

Those who have driven the route are familiar with Wall Drug and its signs. Those of you who are not familiar with this icon of the area—well, just come to South Dakota and have the experience for yourself!