Slow Gypsy Life of Lynda and Bob travel blog

It is Sunday, July 24 as we conclude another week and begin the next. The heat is back (low to mid-90s) but nothing like what many others parts of the country are experiencing. At least we cool off nicely at night and don’t have the Heat Index problem.

We have had a busy week with a potpourri of activities. Perhaps the most significant was having our two mobile service providers both here on Wednesday completing the repairs on our rig: Performance RV did the body work on the three relatively minor spots – a beautiful job I might add; and West Wind installed the repaired broken window and added the new Moen faucet in the kitchen at last good water pressure there.

The next day West Wind returned because the window fell loose again but did not crash to the ground and the hot/cold water were reversed. The latter issue was not his fault since our pipes were color-coded wrong from the beginning. The window was not effectively attached but he got it hooked after several minutes of frustrating maneuvering. No harm, no foul! This experience emphasized that the installation in Florida in late March was most likely inadequate causing the “crash” when I opened it upon arriving at Jojoba. I will request a refund of the $200 charge to reseal the fogged window. We’ll see how that goes.

On Friday Lynda had her first of a series of doctor appointments for a physical exam and a look at her hurting foot. She hadn’t had a real physical for a few years and after her sister Betty’s recent health crisis decided it was past due. As far as we know now she is in good health according to the doctor but we await the radiologist’s report on her foot X-rays, mammogram results, blood work-up results, and a visit with a cardiologist.

Lynda was told in 1995 she has a mitral valve prolapse with mild mitral regurgitation, so the doctor felt she should have an EKG. With Betty’s mitral valve problem, Lynda has no hesitation. The main concerns Lynda has are the possibility of a stress fracture in her foot - although it was not apparent on the X-rays – and higher than ideal cholesterol, one of her continuing issues. With her attention to a “healthy lifestyle” I can’t imagine we will learn anything troubling. My turn for a series of check-ups will be in the fall.

Last Sunday afternoon two friends we met here in April, 2010 dropped by to see our site, so we shared a bottle of wine and the cool of the early evening watching the sunset. We enjoyed their company last year so it was nice to get to know them better. Before departing they invited us over on Tuesday for wine and hors d’oeuvres and more “getting acquainted time.” Both of them have roots in Oklahoma which is a source of bonding I suppose, at least with Lynda. This week we have tentatively planned to dine out together so it seems like a real friendship is in the works.

Whereas, with a few exceptions, the vast majority of our relationships while on the road were at best casual, thankfully, we already have several deeper relationships here at Jojoba. Lynda is certainly enjoying the sense of community and the uptick in our social life. I am too, really. Her “never met a stranger personality” requires more than what we experienced both on the road and, before that, in Chattanooga.

Our two remaining “settling-in” projects are some finishing touches on the new stairs and having a patio built for the outdoor furniture under our beloved shade tree. Yesterday we visited a masonry company to look at paving options. Not wanting to invest too much in the project we decided that there was really only one choice, 12”X12”flat concrete pavers, a little over a dollar each. We also decided to substantially scale down the size of the patio. So Ron, who built our stairs, will do the project in a couple of weeks. As for the stairs I will do some sanding and apply another coat of paint – when I get around to it – and then put some indoor-outdoor carpeting on the steps and landing. Lynda here – hmmm ‘when I get around to it???” Looks like a bit of gentle persuasion is at hand. One board has sap bleeding through so that’s the real reason in my mind we are waiting.

Among these and other happenings I did make some time to work on the chapter about my Winston ancestors. I hope to complete a draft next week, but that may be a bit ambitious. I believe I’ve arrived at a point where the organization of the chapter is clear; thus, it is merely a matter of culling through and retrieving the most salient information and completing the writing. My goal is to complete reasonably satisfying drafts of at least six chapters before our next extended travels, most likely next April.

As I mentioned last time Betty had the misfortune of falling and breaking her nose; a situation that was complicated by intense bleeding caused by the blood thinner medications for her heart condition. As of yesterday, her nose is vastly improved but she has had to refrain from any rehab for her heart. The plastic surgeon that repaired her nose has the final say on when she can return to rehab. Coincidentally, he is marrying one of the rehab staff in a couple of weeks, so it is kind of a closed loop for Betty.

Also last time I reported that Rick and Deb were just leaving on a week-long cruise of the Western Caribbean including stops in Cozumel, the Caymans, and Ocho Rios. Rick reported that they had a great trip except that his right elbow started swelling on Thursday – cause unknown. By the time they disembarked in Miami yesterday, it had grown to the size of a baseball. Arriving back in Atlanta he called Lynda from the ER. We were at Home Depot when I heard Lynda say ER. Not knowing with whom she was talking I asked, “Is that Betty?” Lynda said, “No, it’s Rick!” Betty had been to the ER so many times during the past couple of months that I had come to associate Betty and ER. We have not heard anything today regarding Rick’s elbow; presumably, it is nothing serious. However, since he has MS sometimes inexplicable symptoms can arise.

Yesterday we also received a telephonic report about David’s first formal cooking class. He is quite accomplished and creative in the kitchen but almost exclusively self-taught. As I have mentioned his dream is to open his own restaurant someday. Cris, Lynda, and I all believe that he needs formal training before making such a huge leap; he seems to agree, as his enrollment in this part-time course would indicate. Hopefully, it’s only his first step toward his dream.

We were anxious to hear about this first experience because we were fearful that it would bore him. On the contrary, he reported how great it was. For the upcoming classes he plans to go early to help the Chef Instructor set-up for the class; hopefully, getting some extra one-to-one time. Apparently, David is ahead of the others with actual kitchen experience while in college in California plus his own learning; thus, a little additional salve for his ego. I think it is truly great that both he and Cris are in a learning mode to achieve their respective career goals. Bravo!

Finally, last night Lynda and I pulled out our DVD package of the Ken Burns series on the National Parks. We bought it at Lassen National Park a couple of years ago and watched most of the six-part series. Since we had forgotten most of what we had viewed we decided to start again from the beginning and complete the whole series of two-hour segments within a couple of weeks. Part 1 featured a large portion about John Muir and Yosemite, the first wilderness area set aside for public ownership.

Since we most likely will make a “Bob pilgrimage” to my favorite U.S. city, San Francisco in September, this film prompted my travel juices further – as you may discern this is easy to do. It has been many years since either of us has been to Yosemite. Also Lynda has never been to Lake Tahoe and I have never been to Sequoia National Park. Consequently, our likely drive to the Bay Area will be extended to Lake Tahoe and the National Parks; hopefully, the summer throngs will have dissipated. Although this will be a relatively short trip (not to exceed two weeks), I will report on it.

I guess that’s all for now, so until next time, stay safe and keep cool.

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