August, 2011
Many of our fellow retired, full-time RVers will tell you that their plans are "made in Jello."  We never know what will come up to change those plans and send us in a different
direction.  We found ourselves "surrounded by jiggling Jello" at the beginning of August.  Our friends the Dews and the Wolfes had invited us to travel with them in our RVs east
to Connecticut, Massachusetts and whatever additional places looked interesting to us all.  They passed near us in Pennsylvania at the end of July and we met them for lunch and
said we would catch up with them after we ended our stay at the J&D Campground near the home of our daughter and her family on August 1st.   But, in mid- July our refrigerator
quit running.  It had done the same thing a year ago at the same campground.  It was covered under warranty and a new cooling unit had been shipped from Arizona, replaced with
the help of the campground's own tech guys and lasted a year.  The supplier in Arizona once again sent a new unit, but it was not going to arrive until after August 1st.  So, we
extended our stay at the campground and tried to wait patiently.  The good side of this was that we got to spend a few more days with the grandchildren and family.  Coffey was
attending band camp at the high school each day, so we picked her up at the end of her sessions.  Mary tagged along on another adventure at the bowling alley with all the kids
and had some great fun...her scores improved from the July sessions!  Coffey and Close are finishing up work on their "Silver Award" for Girl Scouts so Mary made sure that all
their badges were sewn on their vests and did some baking to contribute to their fund-raising bake sale.  The softball schedule slowed down and we had some free evenings to
enjoy some rousing family card games.  Close had purchased a new sewing machine with money she had saved and wanted to make a new dress, so Grandma Mary supervised the
project.   
According to the UPS tracking system, our refrigerator part would arrive at our campground in Pennsylvania on Friday, August 5.  We had to move the rig to an "overflow" area
because the park was full for the weekend, but installation was scheduled for Saturday.  The UPS truck came and went on Friday without dropping off the part!  After making a bunch
of phone calls we decided to drive 25 miles to the area service center to pick it up as it had been left there in the morning.  When we got there we were greeted by the UPS worker
with the comment "it smells like Clorox."  Those of you that are RVers know it wasn't Clorox she smelled, but it was ammonia.  The package had a big hole in it and was damp....all the
ammonia coolant had drained out.  We politely declined to accept the package and returned to the campground to contemplate "Plan B."  
We contacted our supplier in Tucson and he agreed to ship another cooling unit to us...this time to Ohio.  We enjoyed one last weekend with family in Pennsylvania.  On Friday night
we joined with a few of Coffey's friends to celebrate her 14th birthday with a backyard picnic - hot dogs and S'mores over the fire pit and then had Close and Merrick spend the
night with us at the RV.  On Sunday evening we shared another family evening to celebrate Coffey's and Tom's birthdays.  We gave those last big hugs and on Monday morning we
hit the road again.  
Our friends, the Dews and Wolfes were now heading back towards Ohio as well, so we arranged to meet them near Cleveland on Tuesday and we all checked in to the American
Wilderness Campground near Grafton, OH.  Coincidentally this park is near the home of our friends, Judy and Ed Lichtenberg, so we made a stop to visit with them on the way.  On
Wednesday six of us headed into downtown Cleveland to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  We had a fantastic day, spending over eight hours checking out all the exhibits,
displays, videos and films....and we didn't see it all.  We think some of the films of concerts were better than being at the concerts in person as we could see and hear better than
if we were in a crowd!   On Thursday we moved on --- back to the Toledo area and the Big Sandy Campground where we were fortunate to get a 50amp site at a place that takes no
reservations, but is relatively near our old neighborhood.  We checked once again with the part guy in Arizona only to find out our part was just being shipped (a week after he
had
said it would be shipped) and would hopefully arrive in Toledo on August 18.  We went to get more ice for the coolers!
The second week of August found us taking care of various "hometown chores."  There were trips to the bank, doctors, and various friends and family and maintenance chores
around the RV.  We also made the decision to purchase a new tow car, so there were lots of phone calls to make, things to arrange and a trip to a small town nearby to pick up the
car at a dealer.  Meanwhile we replenished ice and enjoyed a few extra meals "out" and Tom found time for a round of golf.  Hooray!  We had been tracking the UPS shipment and
the cooling unit arrived as scheduled on Thursday the 18th.  Installation was scheduled for Friday afternoon, with good friends Don Wolfe and Dennie Dew helping Tom with the
daunting task.  Mary and the wives, Bonnie and Kathy, helped by taking off for a 'girls day out' with lunch and shopping.  The 'all clear' was sounded around dinner time...the fridge
was cooling and the guys were hungry.  The ladies returned to the RV and we shared a picnic dinner.  Over the weekend we tested the fridge on electric and on propane and all
seemed to be working properly.  Slowly, we began to do a little shopping at a time to restock.
With the refrigerator repair behind us we turned to some other chores.  Tom helped our friend Dennie install a new slide room topper on their RV.  He worked on getting our new
car all set to tow behind the motor home.  The 'base plate' and some wiring for lights were installed by a local shop and Tom worked to install the wiring for the 'brake buddy."   We
also joined Tom's sister and her husband, Judy and Ron, to visit Tom's mom and celebrate her 89th birthday.  There was a little more time for Tom to enjoy some rounds of golf and
Mary to do some sewing and spend time shopping with friends.  At the end of the month, our son Reid drove up to the Toledo area from his home in West Virginia.  It was time for
the 20-year class reunion of the Springfield High Class of '91.  (In spite of the fact that we can't be old enough to be the parents!)  He had a good time attending the events and
seeing old friends.  We were pleased to get some of his time and attention, too, and even drove up to Michigan for a quick visit with Mary's mom.
The Southern Columbia Area School District Marching
Band practicing their new routines.
We had some wild and crazy card games with the family
in Elysburg, PA.
Close was a diligent worker with her sewing machine
and a new project.
The finished product...a perfect
sundress.
A backyard dinner and S'mores with Coffey's friends
marked her 14th birthday.
Coffey and her Grandpa celebrated their birthdays
(August 7th and 8th) with cake and ice cream at a
family dinner.
At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland
Johnny Cash's tour bus...not as nice as our Dutch Star!
We had a great visit with friends Ed and Judy
Lichtenberg in Medina, OH.
Our last several days in the Toledo area were a bit of whirlwind.  We enjoyed another visit with Tom's Mom at her care facility,  lunch with buddy Jacques Everhart, and dinner
evenings with Dick and Liz Lehto, Mary's brother Bill and his wife, Beth, and at our place with Kathy and Dennie Dew.  We stopped by to say hello to all of Tom's former colleagues
at Century Equipment.  Tom checked and rechecked all the new connections for towing the new car.  We ran last minute errands and even brought ourselves a little closer to
updated technology by getting new phones.   Somehow, no matter how long we're in the Toledo area, we never seem to have enough time to see and do all that we would like.
We shared a picnic dinner with Bonnie, Kathy, Dennie and Don to
celebrate the installation of our refrigerator's new cooling unit.
Tom added another item to his resume` by helping Dennie install
the slide topper on their RV.
It was time to retire the '02 Alero...we have some shiny new wheels
to tow behind the RV...a 2012 Ford Escape.
We enjoyed a great visit with Tom's sister, Judy and her
husband Ron and new puppy Lucy.
Our son, Reid, Mary's Mom, and Mary enjoying
a sunny Sunday afternoon.
We're looking forward to seeing Dick and Liz in
Arizona come winter.
Bill and Beth entertained us with another
evening meal.  Thanks, guys!
And there was one final game of dominoes with Kathy and
Dennie before we headed west.
As we ended August, our daughter called to tell us that she and her family are
moving to Abilene, Texas at the first of September.  So, our route back to Arizona
will wind through the Lone Star State to check out their new home town.  Life
always is full of adventures!
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