Whew, I can’t believe how fast the past four weeks have flown by! We’ve had something happening most every day and on the few days nothing was going on, we played catch up around the Suite Pea. Let’s see, we’ve had overnight guests on several occasions, hosted campfires and a Memorial Day pitch-in with the family. We watched our 3 year old granddaughter learn to swim at the local YMCA and listened to our 10 year old granddaughter sing during church service. We celebrated yet another May birthday, that of our oldest granddaughter Maddy. We had appointments scheduled with our doctors, dentist, and optometrist. We checked out the local farmers market and attended Ellettsville’s first food truck Wednesday. Don helped our youngest put in her first garden patch, and the biggest, most time consuming project was building a wheelchair ramp for my mother.
Bobbi took measurements of the existing front deck and distance to the driveway for me. With dimensions in hand and a little Internet research I was able to draw up plans for a ramp and walkway which I gave to mom so she could apply for a building permit. Once she received the approval, my father drove down from northern Michigan to assist Don in building the ramp. Don was grateful for dad’s help as it was a pretty big project. They removed the deck steps and a large lilac bush, then added a 15′ ramp with handrails. Wouldn’t you know it, the temperatures hovered in the 90’s the entire week and mom’s yard offers no shade, but they persevered. Even with taking several water and rest breaks, by the third day it was obvious the heat was taking a toll on pop and with him having undergone open heart surgery just last summer, we all felt it was best when he left early to return home. He reported it was 30 to 40 degrees cooler back in the north woods. Much more to his liking. Don was able to finish the project on his own. While he was at it he also replaced several boards on both the front and back decks. Next was the 17′ of walkway he laid from the ramp end to the driveway. He discussed a couple of different options with my mother before deciding on the most economical one. Fortunately Bobbi was able to help him with laying the pavers. I know Don’s pleased to have passed the city’s inspection and have this project behind him. And mom is thrilled to have easier access to the outside again.
With my mom’s “honey-do” list completed, Don moved on to redoing all of the seams on Suite Pea’s roof. Apparently this past winter in Florida had taken its toll upon it. Speaking of taking a toll, our pocketbook took another unexpected hit when we noticed one of the truck’s back wheels was flat. It was the same wheel that had gone flat in Memphis last Spring. We hadn’t planned on replacing the truck tires until next year but closer inspection made us decide to have it done while we are “home.” This way we know who we’re dealing with. While I’m on the subject of the truck, we had the old girl in the shop last week and she’ll be going back again tomorrow. We’ve had 3 incidences now where she’s lost power while navigating these hilly back roads. Don thinks it’s the turbo. Last week at the Ford service department a diagnostic test was run but nothing showed up. Tomorrow we’ll leave the truck with Ford for a few days to let the techs drive her around the countryside and run her hard on the Interstate. We’ll see if she acts up for them. This leads us (partly) to the reason we’re still in southern Indiana since we were supposed to pull out on May 31st.
Now for the other reason, Suite Pea went up against strong wind gusts last Thursday and lost her awning in the process. Yesiree, the fabric ripped free and the arms were completely mangled. It happened so suddenly the best we could do was hang on to the roller to keep it from blowing up onto the roof and possibly cutting it. Once the wind subsided Don removed most of the awning, it was blocking our door. We are currently waiting on an insurance rep to come out. While watching the news that evening we learned the wind gusts had been 60 to 70 mph and there had been 49 reports of wind damage. Spencer lost power and I later learned that my family over in Ellettsville had lost power also.
The extended stay will hopefully give a chance to get together with at least some of our Indiana friends. Thus far we’ve only managed to meet up with Don’s old boss Greg and his wife Ginger. We wanted to join in celebrating Greg’s retirement since we’re uncertain when we’ll see them again. They’ve already sold their cabin and are packing to move to Florida. We couldn’t be any happier for them! As so often happens when folks move, they also downsize. Greg and Ginger aren’t any different in that respect, so what was once Don’s, then became Ginger’s, is now Don’s again. What am I talking about? His Ovation guitar. So yep, we are now traveling with 3 guitars in our little home on wheels.
On a high note, Don’s song Paradise which was released earlier this month has been getting lots of air play nationwide on Internet Trop Rock stations and a handful of FM radio stations. It’s made the Trop Rock Top 40 three weeks in a row. It’s kind of surreal hearing his voice coming out over the air waves, but Don’s having the time of his life with this. What little free time he’s had he’s been busy with his music. Writing lyrics, practicing, communicating with DJ’s, and getting his songs copyrighted. There are times when this has been quite frustrating due to our poor Verizon reception. Oh yes, and having artwork done. We recently learned that when a song is released its required to have an accompanying cover. It’s Don’s good fortunate to have once worked with a very talented artist named Tim Havron. Don got in touch with Tim, gave him a general idea of what he was looking for, then let Tim’s imagination run wild. Don’s thrilled with the result. As am I. What do y’all think?
Lastly, and this hasn’t anything to do with our busy month, we discovered we have uninvited camper guests. Apparently the little fellow who hung around our doorstep all winter long decided to come along for the ride north. He’s been spotted on our steps a time or two this past week. Yesterday, much to our amazement, he introduced us to his wife and kids. I only hope they continue to hang with us until we get back south. Northern winters can be harsh on common house lizards.
Until next time, here’s lookin’ at you kid…..