Adjusting to Retirement

A man who has worked his whole life - even had his own business for 15 years - faces a major challenge when he retires. As does his wife.

As the 'non-working' wife (if you believe a stay-at-home woman is non-working, I know where there's a bridge for sale - LOL), I've been accustomed to lots of time to myself to run the household. Raised 3 children, did lots of sewing, cooking, cleaning, etc. Did it well, too. I was a very busy woman for years.

Whether Mike was working for someone else or for himself, he was gone a lot. At the very least normal work hours during the day; at the most he might be gone 3 or 4 days at a time traveling around the country making sales calls or doing jobs when he had his own business. We enjoyed our time together evenings and/or weekends when he wasn't working.

Now he's home 24/7. Doesn't know what to do with himself but seems to think we are now joined at the hip and should do EVERYTHING together. He tends to micro-manage the household and it's various tasks now, too. Any job I've been doing around the house for the last 42 years, he suddenly has to 'discuss' with me because he thinks there's a better way to do it. Oy!

While we were in Florida, I talked with the wives of several retired couples we know. All of them said, "He's just retired?"


"Oh, poor you. He wants to do everything with you and is trying to tell you how to do everything in the home now - right?"

"Sigh. Yes."

"We know you're going through a rough time right now. We've been there. Stick to your guns and give it a year. He will settle down and develop his own interests."

Yippee! There's hope! Has it been a year yet? LOL No, he just officially retired the end of January so we have a ways to go.

Couple all the above with the fact that we are both now adjusting to an itty-bitty living space and life can have 'interesting' moments.

I'm not trying to sound like a whiner. I DO love him and enjoy doing things with him. But every couple needs some apart time to keep their lives and conversations from getting monotonous.

While we were in Florida in March watching over his elderly parents, his mother surprised me with some of her comments when Mike & my father-in-law would leave for a while. The first time they went out the door together, she told them good-bye and when the door shut, she looked at me and said, "Yay!" They're gone! Hope they don't come back too soon." I had been thinking the same thing but felt a little guilty about it. Not Mom! She and Dad have been married 63 years in June. She saw the look on my face and laughed.

She said, "We've been married 63 years and I don't know what I would do without him. But I don't need him around all the time. We get along much better when we're apart for a while. I loved it that he was not around everyday (traveled a lot for work) and that he played golf every day for years when he retired. Kept me sane and let me do the things I wanted."

She has Alzheimers but you can still carry on conversations with her and get these little pearls of wisdom. I do NOT feel guilty any more and am learning to say 'No' occasionally when Mike wants to go somewhere. I send him on his way without me. I enjoy having some alone, *me* time here in our rolling condo.

I have hobbies....sewing, knitting, crocheting, spinning (have a spinning wheel and some wool waiting for me to get to them) and playing the piano - although I don't have anything to play at the moment. Had to sell my digital piano a couple of months ago cause it wouldn't fit in a 5th wheel so am looking around for a good portable keyboard I can store behind the couch.

Mike's hobby has been woodworking but there's no way we could carry all those big, heavy tools. So we're trying to find a good, used mini-lathe for him. That way he'll have something to keep him busy - and maybe even generate a little income with it.

Are we unique with this problem? Nope. I've read lots of articles, besides talking to people, and this adjustment period seems to be the norm. Sadly, some couples never adjust but I don't think we'll have that problem.

But let's hope we find that lathe sooner rather than later. LOL

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

Mysteries Solved & Frugal Purchase

We are exhausted! The past few weeks have been a marathon of travel, errands, going through the storage unit, helping people move, visiting family and friends, etc. Monday was the same. More errands and then went back to Sarah's for dinner and fun with the family.

Tuesday we finally connected with the repairman that had been recommended to us by the insurance adjuster to fix the damage on our slide. Happily, he wasn't nearly as far away as we'd thought - only 30 miles. He's pretty sure he can fix it but is having to research to see what he can do about 1 particular part. The manufacturer of our unit (2000 Fleetwood Prowler 5th wheel) is out of business. He'll call in a couple of days to tell us what he's found and set an appointment to fix it. He'll have to have it a week so we're debating on using the allowance for housing from the insurance company or just staying with Seth and Corinne.

We stopped at Hometown Buffet on Bald Hill Road in Warwick on our way home for lunch. In the same plaza is a Harbor Freight store so, of course, Mike had to go in and drool over the mini-lathes. He's really wanting one so he can turn things as we travel; needs to keep his hand in woodworking. I keep watching Craigslist for a good used one but so far no luck. Found just what he wanted on the Craigslist here but we've tried both calling and emailing with no response so assume it's been sold.

While we were in Harbor Freight, I checked to see what they had for space heaters. We have two 30 gal propane tanks in our rig; both were empty Tuesday morning. It was COLD in here! We've been getting up in the morning to temps in the 40's with clouds and drizzle. But running the propane furnace a lot is going to be expensive due to the lack of insulation in the walls. Electricity is cheaper. We found a rotating tower ceramic heater for $50 but decided to look around a bit more first.

On the way home Mike was complaining that he was soooo tired. He said, "There must be something wrong with me." I laughed and told him to think back to what we'd been doing the last few weeks that we hadn't recuperated from. So, yesterday was a 'do nothing' day. We read, did a little work on the computer, made French Onion Soup (recipe is on this site), napped, just generally took it easy. Hoping that today will be as easy - although we do have to do laundry somewhere.

Last night was Bible Class night. The hall is right down the street from a Wal-Mart so we went there first. Mike needed a new battery in his watch. While he was doing that, I decided to check on space heaters. Because of the season, they were nearly out but what they had left had been marked way down. Ended up buying one for $9! Good frugal buy! It will do the job nicely and be cheaper to run than the furnace. If we have another day like Tuesday, we'll close the door to the bedroom area and just heat the living space where we are.

Bible Class made me smile last night. It was on materialism and how we shouldn't make 'stuff' our focus (God and His Ways should be our focus). We need to ask ourselves before we buy something, "Do I really need this or do I just want it?" This world really works at convincing us we should have something because "you deserve it". We, ourselves, actively work at justifying things we want. We end up encumbered with things we really don't need. Stop and think about it...People's homes are bulging with 'stuff'. Self-storage unit facilities are booming because people can't store all their possessions in their homes anymore.

We got rid of all our credit cards about 7 years ago and don't miss them at all. Paying cash for everything really makes you put things in perspective when making a purchase. We have a debit card on our checking account that can be used as a credit card if need be but it still comes directly out of our checking account. (BTW, the checking account is free because of our age.)

We're not as prone to buying brand new if a good used item can be found instead. Craigslist has become a great resource. Have found lots and lots of good deals, as well as selling a lot on that list. Freecycle and it's sister Cafelist are great for both finding and getting rid of stuff. When I do have to buy something 'new', I do my research first and then check eBay and Amazon, etc. Even with shipping (lots of times it's free shipping), I do better than buying locally. I know, I know, it's good to help the local businessman. But anymore it's big box stores like Wal-Mart, Target, etc., that's carrying the item I'm looking for so if I can buy it online cheaper, I don't feel guilty. After all, it's *my* pennies we're talking about.

Mike and I have gotten rid of a lot of 'stuff' since the first of the year. I can't speak for Mike but for myself it has been liberating. Yes, there were a few things that made me sad watching them go out the door. But it was purely sentimental reasons in all cases and I quickly got over it. In the end a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Yes, we've still filled 2 small storage units with 'stuff'. The plan is to go back to Missouri in the Fall and have a joint yard sale with friends to get rid of more. Hopefully, all we'll be left with is some things that will come in handy down the road if the economy completely tanks and we end up in a stick home of some sort. Trying to be very practical when deciding what to keep.

Til next time,

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

kale salad

This is a recipe that a friend gave me that I've modified slightly. It is excellent! In fact, my onions are cooking right now for a big batch. Notice my serving instructions for a quick easy way without having to put the soup bowls under the broiler. Enjoy!

12 medium onions (I'm using Vidalia which are huge so am only using 5.)
1/4 Butter
16 cups beef boullion or broth (I buy the kind that comes in the box with a pour spout on top.)
1+ Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco Sauce
2+ Tbs. Kitchen Bouquet (More seems to be better.)
1-1/2 cups dry, white wine (I've also made this with a dry red wine and that's good too. I just didn't use as much.)
Salt & Pepper to taste.
1 loaf French bread, cubed into 1" cubes
Sliced Swiss Cheese

Slice onions very thin and saute`in the butter in a large pot for 1 hour or until golden. Add remaining ingredients; bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer 2 to 4 hours. Onions should be very tender.

When nearly done, put the French bread cubes on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for a few minutes.

Serving Camper Style: Put some bread cubes in the bottom of the soup bowl and top with 1 slice Swiss cheese. Ladle hot soup over all. No need to put under the broiler to melt the cheese.

Bumpity, Bump, Bump, Bang

We are in Rhode Island at a campground in Hope Valley. In front of our 5th wheel is a small, quiet pond. I have seen a mamma and poppa duck in the pond so assume there are eggs nearby - or soon will be. Behind us, down a bank but within view, is a babbling brook. The sun is streaming through the forest of trees around us and there's a gentle breeze blowing through our open windows. Finally, a peaceful afternoon to enjoy our calm and quiet surroundings and reflect on God's beauty away from the all the hustle and bustle we've experienced this week.

Lots of bumps and bangs!

Where to begin? I guess where I left off last Sunday evening. Mike had a couple of last minute details come up that he had to take care of Monday morning (one of which was to get a part for the leaking water heater. All fixed now.) We were on the road around 11 am, headed northeast to St. Louis. We stopped in St. Louis at a grocery store called Dierbergs and loved it! Similar to a Whole Foods but the prices were cheaper. Fantastic store! They only seem to be in the St. Louis/St. Charles, MO area but I did see a couple of stores located not too far away in IL on their store location map. Definitely will go back there when we're in the area. After 2 years of living in SW MO and not being able to find really good produce anywhere - or at good prices - this store was like a breath of fresh air. We were like 2 kids exploring the store and hated to leave. :)

Also, went next door to a Wild Bird Store and got a hummingbird feeder with suction cups. Little early to put it up yet here in the northeast but soon.

We spent the night about halfway across Illinois. Boondocked in a Walmart parking lot with about 10 other RVers and a dozen semi's. Much, much quieter than that rest area we stayed at in Florida on our way to Louisiana a couple of weeks earlier. This boondocking thing is a great deal if you're in a hurry to go somewhere and don't want to take the time to go to a campground. Saves money, too!

Tuesday was stupendous! It was my 62nd birthday. Yep, I can't tease Mike anymore that he's older than me. We go through this every year because his birthday is in January; it's become a running joke. Woke up that morning to cold enough temps that we had to turn on the furnace for a few minutes. Fantastic! So much better than 80 degree weather with high humidity!

Mid-morning we stopped at a rest area in Indiana and I practically skipped all over the parking lot. It was a beautiful, sunny day, still a bit of chill in the air and a light breeze; the grass was bright green; the dandelions were blooming everywhere; the trees were budding but hadn't popped yet with leaves. Just the kind of day I remember most of my birthdays being growing up on a farm in SW Iowa. Just made me so happy; I considered it a wonderful birthday present. Much better than 'things'. Mike took me to Cracker Barrel for my birthday dinner and I got phone calls from 2 of my children. All in all a lovely day! Boondocked again in another Walmart parking lot with about the same size group as the night before.

But, oh, the highways in Indiana. Very, very rough and bumpy for miles and miles and miles. (Bumpity, bump, bump.)

Wednesday morning we got a good, early-ish start and realized that if we timed things right, we could be here at the campground in Rhode Island late Wednesday evening. Yay! Our oldest son, Seth, and his wife, Corinne, were moving on Friday and we wanted to help but were looking forward to a day to rest up first. (The roads got blissfully smooth when we crossed the Ohio line.) 120 miles later all those plans flew out the window. We started hearing a funny 'tickata-tickata' sound and the steering starting having a lot of vibration. Mike pulled over and discovered that the right front tire on the truck - although still inflated - had blown its steel core. (Bumpity, bump, bump) The visible outside part of the tire and the tread looked terrific. What we couldn't see until it was off the axle was that the inside of the tire was very worn and cracked. Sigh. We weren't going anywhere on that tire. Thankfully, we have Good Sam's Emergency Roadside Service. They sent someone out to change the tire but we didn't want to travel far on the spare. Went to the next exit to a truck stop and started researching where to get a new tire. It needed to match the one on the left side that we had bought to match the one on the right side just before we went to Florida.

Confused? Well, when we bought the truck the end of January, one of the things we thought we had checked carefully was the condition of all 6 tires. We didn't want to have to replace all those big tires right off the bat. But, on the way back to MO from TX where we bought the truck, the left front tire went flat suddenly - got a nail or something in it. Because of where we were on the highway, Mike had to keep driving on the flat tire until he came to a place he could pull off. End of that tire! Drove the rest of the way home on the spare and bought the new tire to match the existing right tire back in Joplin.

So now we needed to match a brand new tire on the right side to the new tire on the left. Either no one had it or couldn't get it until late the next day and/or their price was going to be astronomical. Mike finally called the manufacturer who referred us to the area distributor who referred us to a dealer about 10 miles away. Bellino's True Tread Tires in Canfield, OH. They said that yes, they could get the tire by noon the next day. Oh, by the way, you're welcome to park your 5th wheel here for the night if you want in our back lot. Perfect! Off we went and they got the tire ordered.

The next morning we noticed a delivery truck of tires come in about 8:30. Around 9, one of the workers came and knocked on our door. Our tire was ready to put back on the truck. They had requested to the distributor that they be the first delivery so that we could get on our way. Plus they checked all the other tires to make sure they didn't have any issues we hadn't seen AND put air in all the trailer tires to bring them back up to the right pressure before we left. What a fantastic dealership! If you're ever in Canfield, OH, just outside Youngstown and need tires, we can't recommend Bellino's enough. They were wonderful!

Did I mention that their price was $30 to $50 less than any other dealer we called - for the exact same tire? Thank you!

We had a good laugh over this sign on one of their doors. Talk about an oxymoron! They explained that it was an entrance door but was to only be used by employees. Guess you're supposed to know that by reading between the lines. LOL

We were back on the road before 10:30. This time we WERE going to make it to Rhode Island - we hoped. Seth and Corinne needed all the help they could get to move since it was a week day. We had told them Wednesday evening we might not make it after all and they were so disappointed. We ended up calling them Thursday evening when we crossed over into Connecticut from New York to tell them that we were going to make it after all. We were all happy.

We called the campground to tell them we were going to be there that day after all but not until late evening. The owner said she wouldn't be there by then but not to worry. Our spot was P5 down by the pond. Just go ahead and park and we'd settle up later.

We should have just boondocked in another parking lot until daylight. It was after 10 when we got here and really dark. Once you're inside the park, the paved road ends and the roads become very rough and rocky, holes, with big trees on either side, stumps, posts, implements, etc. We finally found a map so we could figure out how to get down to the pond but the last turn was just nearly impossible to make so we gave up and left the rig in the road for the night and went to bed. There are a lot of trailers/campers here but most looked like they were left here year round and weren't occupied.

The next morning we went out to move some of those implements, picnic tables, etc., that were making it difficult to maneuver the turn. We were shocked to discover some major damage to our 5th wheel. We'd heard a popping sound the night before but honestly thought we'd just run over some sticks on the ground. The bottom front corner of the driver's side slide out had some major damage and the skin had been ripped away. It must have caught on either a stump or post. (There's the 'BANG'.) We are just sick over it!

We were afraid to open that slide, thinking it might just make the damage worse. So we just got it parked and leveled and took off for the moving day.

I was delegated to go sit at the new house and wait for utility people to come turn things on. I spent the time connecting with our insurance company, GMAC. So far, they have been so polite and helpful. Within half an hour of reporting the claim, our claim manager called. An hour after that the claim adjuster called and set an appointment to meet me back here at the campground to get the ball rolling. He wanted to know if we had a preference where the work is done. I mentioned that the only place we knew of was in East Greenwich. He said that yes, they were very good but it might be a problem getting the work done this time of year as the season was starting and everyone was really busy. But, because we were full-timers, they might put us at the head of the list.

He and I met out here around 3:30. He gave me an estimate, said it would definitely end up being higher than that (we only have to pay the deductible) and had already talked to another repair place that GMAC has worked with several times in the past that does excellent work. They could do the work right away but need to see it first to see what's needed. We're all concerned about this being truly fixable because this is an older trailer and might have some dry rot that we hadn't seen when we inspected it before buying it. Sigh. Wouldn't surprise me; Murphy S. Law is alive and well still.

We have to take the trailer there tomorrow - it's 50 miles away. So we have to leave our peaceful surroundings and drive through Providence tomorrow. UGH. Hopefully, this will all be fixable. Life and its hiccups!

Spent yesterday and this morning at a Bible Study Day and last night we finally saw our daughter, Sarah, DSIL, Art, and our 3 granddaughters! It was wonderful! We've missed them all very much; it was so great to get lots and lots of hugs from everyone.

So, here we are in limbo again wondering what's going to happen next. We have faith that whatever happens, God is watching over us and will see us through this. Stay tuned.

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

Stocking the 5th Wheel

A lot has happened in the last week.

We left our friends in Louisiana Tuesday morning and arrived at a campground in Joplin, MO about 5:30 that afternoon. It was a lovely drive but we've learned a huge lesson. We'd read of many RVers saying they never planned to drive more than 250 miles a day - or 4 to 5 hours. Now we know why. It's very tiring riding in a truck for long periods that's pulling a 5th wheel! We were exhausted when we got here! But we got settled, ate supper, and still managed to get to Bible Class at some friends' house. Lovely evening.

Wednesday we ran around Joplin doing errands and picking up our mail. Lots of little loose ends we needed to finish off that we hadn't had time to do before we left for Florida. Then Mike hitched up the 5th wheel and dropped me off at our friends while he went and got 4 new tires for the unit. When we checked out the tires at the dealership, they'd been shined with something so they looked like new tires (great tread). But as we drove, that shine disappeared and the dry rot cracking appeared. We were not pleased! Made it here safely but wasted no time getting those tires replaced.

Unfortunately, while replacing the tires, they discovered that the brake pads were worn and peeling. That really upset Mike because, although we bought the unit 'AS-IS', by state law the dealership was required to do a safety check and fix things like that before we drove away. (Plus we'd been assured when we were buying it, that the tires and brakes were in good condition.) We already knew our truck needed new brake pads so Mike made an appointment for Friday to get all those done.

Thursday we spent some time in the storage unit and started getting real discouraged because things hadn't been packed into it in logical order - i.e., things we knew we wouldn't take with us in the back and things we would take with us in the front. UGH! Got a few things but we were having a lot of trouble locating what we wanted.

Friday, Mike dropped me off at our friends at 7:30 while he took the unit to get those brakes fixed. I was able to do our laundry and have a good visit with Donna. But Mike didn't come and didn't come and didn't come so I finally called him after lunch. They had finished all the brake pads but had discovered that the brakes on the rear axle of the rig wouldn't engage even though they were getting electricity. Now explain to me how those brakes passed a safety test! It took some time but finally they had everything working. Mike is just amazed at the difference when he hits the brakes now. Never having towed something like this before, neither one of us knew how it was supposed to feel. I will be writing to the General Manager of the dealership and complain again. This is just ridiculous. We have learned a big lesson - WATCH them do the safety check and confirm to ourselves that everything really is alright. Afraid we couldn't recommend this dealership to anyone.

We had finally received the title to the unit on Thursday after the dealership over-nighted it to us. The registry was just a few blocks from where the brake work was being done so Mike planned on going over there when the work was finished and getting it registered. I called ahead and asked about getting the unit inspected but they said because it was a pull-behind, we didn't need an inspection. Yay!

Mike finally got over there about 4 and was told that yes, he did need to get it inspected; to go across the street to get it done. The man there said there was no way he could inspect something so large so Mike called me completely frustrated. I was shocked at what the woman in the registry had told him and suggested he go back and tell them what I was told. The woman apologized all over herself. She hadn't picked up that Mike was registering a tow-behind, not something with a motor in it. Sigh. Then he found out if he used his debit card to pay for for the registration (we had to pay more tax over what we paid in Florida), they would charge an extra 2.8%. So off he trudged with the 5th wheel in tow to find an ATM machine. It was 5 pm before he got back to pick me up. He was exhausted but everything was done. We are legal and safe!

Saturday we slept in and finally left the campground in time to have lunch. Then back to the storage unit. This time we had better luck finding lots of stuff which was a big relief. Now we're just wondering if we've gotten everything we need AND if we've gotten things we really don't need. Guess we'll find out through experience. We can always change things around when we're back here in the Fall. I have realized that I forgot to grab a small bin that contains all the fabric to make a specific quilt. I'd hoped to work on that while we're in New England. Kind of tough to do when you don't have it with you. Mike was 'thrilled' when I told him we have to go back to the storage unit before we leave.

While we were doing all the searching yesterday afternoon, the temp got up to 87. UGH! There was a good breeze that helped but if you were in the back of the unit, you weren't getting any breeze. We drank lots of water and took breaks but we were both miserable. By the time we got back here at a quarter to 6, it was all I could do to crawl in the door. Mike wasn't a whole lot better. Thank heavens for air conditioning! I was so hot, it was like I had a furnace inside me. I never do well in heat! I sat for a while then took a cool shower and started to feel 'human' again.

We needed to go grocery shopping but Mike decided to take me out for a really nice dinner first. A last splurge. We went to Jim Bob's Steak & Ribs on Range Line in Joplin. What a fabulous place! We lived here over 2 years and never went to that place before. Wish we had. They were running a special on a 12 oz prime rib with 2 sides. It was fabulous! Biggest 12 oz. prime ribs we had ever seen; they had to have been well over a pound and the smokey, BBQ flavor was wonderful!

The service was what really impressed us though. We placed our order and had all of our food and drinks in less than 10 minutes. Everything from iced tea to hot, fresh out of the oven rolls, their own whipped butter, a generous salad, huge baked potatoes, butter-sauteed mushrooms, and those huge prime ribs. The waitress made sure no empty dishes remained on our table but quietly whisked them away as we finished something. The place was very busy (it was Saturday night) but we noticed that all tables were experiencing the same, efficient service. It has a Texas/Western theme, is spacious inside, and just all-in-all a great place to eat. If you're ever in Joplin, give it a try!

Today we are working at finding a place for everything we brought back yesterday so that tomorrow morning we'll be ready to take off. It's going to be interesting today; we need to get our sea legs. The wind is blowing pretty hard; I'm told to expect gusts up to 40 mph. We are rocking and rolling. We're expecting thunderstorms this afternoon with all this wind. We might have to bring the slides in which will really make it tight putting things away. Here's hoping it doesn't get that bad.

Tomorrow is supposed to be calm and sunny; good day for traveling. We've checked the weather for our route across the country and it looks like we'll have good traveling all week.

Til next time,

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

Our Adventure has Begun!

Friday morning we got our rig back over to the Service Center by 8 am. It was 9 before they actually took it to do the work. They still didn't have electricity or computers and were running on generator power but were determined to get the people serviced that should have been done the previous afternoon. It took better than 3 hours to get the damaged seals off, old glues removed, and the new seals put in place but we now have seals everywhere they're needed on those slide outs. And the tanks were dumped and cleaned. Mike was able to watch them do that so he feels more comfortable about doing it himself when the time comes.

While they were working on the rig, we picked up a few things we knew we needed for our adventure. By 1 we were officially on the road. Yay!!! We didn't make it out of Florida that first night but stayed in a rest area about 200 miles east of Pensacola. THAT was an adventure in itself. Most of the Florida rest areas have night time security so we weren't too concerned about our safety but it was NOISY! At midnight the semi next to us (a huge monster) started up to leave. It was so extra big and loud, I think Mike and I hit the ceiling when it woke us up!

Note to ourselves - If we're going to boondock while traveling, find a Walmart or Bass Pro or some other off the road place that's quieter. If we have to stay in a rest area, don't pull in between a bunch of semi's if we can help it. It may make us feel safer, but the noise isn't worth it.

Mike had unhooked the power/brake connection cord between the truck and 5th wheel before we settled in for the night. He was concerned that the batteries in the 5th wheel might go dead and the unit would start pulling power from the truck batteries instead. (Remember, we're very new at this.) When we got ready to leave the next morning, he hooked the cord back up in the bed of the truck where the dealership had put in the new receptacle. It didn't work. No brakes lights, running lights, nothing. We were not happy! He went over it and over it and couldn't not find the problem. Finally he crawled under the truck to see if he could find a loose wire and discovered the original 7-prong receptacle that the dealership said we didn't have. It worked fine although the cord had to go over the outside back of the truck bed to plug in. I have contacted the dealership in Florida about this problem (a Camping World) as we assume this plug is under warranty. We're hoping another Camping World can do the repair.

Saturday - did you hear the cheers? We were both yelling "Good-Bye!" as we rolled over the Florida line into Alabama. Although we do like the panhandle of Florida better than the rest of it, we don't plan on ever going back to Florida. It's just not our 'cup of tea'.

In Mobile we turned north on highway 98 and in Haittesville picked up highway 49 to Jackson. Just outside Jackson the highway turned into a total washboard. We were getting violently bounced and jostled all over the place and we knew this couldn't be good on the hitch and 5th wheel. We figured it would quit when we got on I-20 but it lasted another 5 miles West after that! Horrendous! If we're ever down this way again, we know to avoid those roads.

We rolled into our friends' place in Forest, LA about 5:30. They have a truly beautiful home filled with Southern Hospitality. We've had wonderful Scriptural discussions and lots of just good 'talk'. Drove us around on a tour of the area yesterday. Mike and Daniel have been on a few walks around the property but I declined when Daniel went and got his handgun and some bullets in case they encountered snakes. WHAT??!! There's lots of brown-back rattlers and cotton mouths around here. In fact they were telling us about an area not far from here where a bunch of men/boys found 200 of the critters and removed them. When they went back the next day, they found another 200. Jenny and I stayed here and just relaxed. :)

They were hoping we'd stay a week but we need to get back to the Joplin area and get things sorted out in the 5th wheel. We did decide to stay an extra day though. There's a storm headed this way from the Joplin area that sounds like it's very similar to what we experienced last Thursday in Florida. We would have been driving through it all the way up to Joplin. So we're spending an extra day here. Nice being retired....we can adjust our schedule as needed without a lot of problems.

Next stop.....the storage unit. Really looking forward to getting the 5th wheel organized and stocked.

Gloria - The Internet GADabout