Retired at the Lake

A little past, including the horse business, the furniture business, and maybe some monkey business. A lot about the present, retired at the Lake, and the fun our friends and neighbors and RV'ing friends are having in their dotage.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fall again - two years later

It's fall again - October 2008. Two years can be a long time. Some things change for the better and others not so good. The worst was losing our 13-1/2 year old Australian Shepherd. Bear was more than a companion, he was the most cherished member of the family. He was "silky" to my daughter and grandkids, "Bearpuppy" to Mike who played on the floor with him, and "that lovely Beardog" to all our friends. We lost him December 10, 2007 and it's taken this long to be able to put it in writing. At this time there are no thoughts of replacing him - it's too hard to lose them. He is irreplacable......

On the upside, we are all older, but we ARE still here! We've taken trips, gone on cruises, had a couple of RV outings, and have plans in the works. In April 2006 about 20 of us took an 11-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera. The neatest thing was a "Wine Tours" bus out of Napa coming up here to pick us and our luggage all up and taking us to the pier in San Francisco. No planes, no parking!! Fantastic!! It was a good cruise with good weather and lots of fun, but we did not like the ship as well as our Royal Caribbean Cruise in 2004. We also noticed huge increases in prices at the flea markets at the more touristy spots, ie: Cabo San Lucas, the worst. Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta slight increases, and Acapulco very high.

Three couples in our group are on their way back from Hawaii as we speak - a 15 day cruise to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary, a 35 year anniversary and a 70th birthday. I'm sure they'll have great stories to tell.

We have booked a RCCL cruise out of Seattle to Alaska in September 2009, but I'm looking more forward to maybe an RV caravan to San Felipe on the Baja in early spring..... Still just in the thinking stage, but several of us are talking about it.

In June of this year 4 couples of us went to the Delta to Isleton's Crawdad Festival. 3 pair of us in RV's, staying at Vieira's resort, and one couple at a bed and breakfast in town. We won't be going back........ From now on - it's "North" or nowhere, unless it's a real destination, like Baja.

Mike and I went to Grass Valley a couple of weeks ago to the "Draft Horse Classic" and "Harvest Fair" at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. The horses were awesome!! These are the 'big guns' - the Clydesdales, Percherons, Belgians and Shires, etc. There were pulling contests where they piled the sled with bags up to 7500 lbs. And log agility courses - many things I'd only heard of - we hope to make this an annual event. It's always the 3rd weekend of September. The fairgrounds is all treed and lawns, easy to navigate, and has lots of camp sites IF you make reservations very early. We met up with RVing friends Roger and Diane Flaherty and their daughter Nancy and had lots of laughs.

Speaking of laughs - I flew to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas last month, to meet up with five girlfriends that I met through an RV forum. First it was on RV-Talk or RV-Social, then the AARVing yahoo group. We've been communicating for over 10 years now and most of us have met in person one place or another. We had a Get Together before in April, 2006 in San Antonio and went on the River Walk etc and had a ball. There were about a dozen of us there. Some in RV's at a TTN park in Hondo, TX and the rest of us at a B&B a mile down the road. This time only 4 others could make it from out of town, (Jane from OK, Elita from NC, Peggy from NH, Ree from TX/CA and me, and we landed on Lynn and Tom Holberton's doorstep who have lived in HSV for 4 or 5 years now. It's a gated community with something like 12 lakes and 7 golf courses - all heavily forested except for the courses themselves and every once in awhile a gas station and/or restaurant/convenience store. Jane brought her motor home and picked some of us up at the airport in Little Rock, and Lynn picked up the rest. Lynn and Tom had parked their motor home at an RV park close to their home for Peggy and Elita, Jane had hers with her dog JoJo, and Ree and I stayed at the house.

There's a big marina where we rented a pontoon boat for an afternoon, ogled the lovely homes on the shoreline, then out to dinner. The next day we went into the town of Hot Springs to go to a hot springs spa after seeing part of a motorcycle show - yep - they were in town for the weekend - hundreds of them - every type and color you could imagine! And noisy!!! The sounds just reverberated off the quaint old downtown buildings. It's really an historic place (and boyhood home of Bill Clinton) - really cute downtown. The spa was lovely and relaxing - we did nothing but laugh. Then out to dinner of course. More laughing.

That night Hurricane Ike passed overhead. We had fair warning. Tom moved the motor home back into storage and Peggy and Elita moved into the house to the sleeper sofa. Jane moved hers to a paved parking lot and away from the trees in the campground. At 11:30 pm, in the midst of a conversation, we lost electricity. Soooooooo, Sunday, there we were, six women in one house, one man, no electricity, no hot water, no curling irons, no computers - nothing. (Ahhh, but we did have cell phones.) We played cards and then - out to dinner, of course. On the golf course. Only this time we're not beautiful. We're even less beautiful the next day when we're all trying to pack in the dark and leave for the airport. After goodbyes to Tom and Lynn, Jane drove us all to the airport, towing her Jeep behind her with all our luggage..... We must've been a sight pouring out of the motor home which was parked smack in the middle of the street, then struggling to get all that luggage out of the back of the jeep. Big hugs goodbye and already planning the next rendevous!!!