June, 2012
But, its a dry heat!   Believe us, it really is!  We were greeted with daily temperatures around 110* during the first week of June as we had returned to Palm Creek.  Our alarm
went off around 5am each day and we were at the #1 tee of the golf course around 5:30 for our 18-hole walk.  We couldn't have asked for more perfect golf conditions
(especially the price - Free as of the first of May)  By 8:30 we were back home and ready for showers and the rest of the day in air-conditioning.  There were several medical
appointments to take care of and we worked on our list of chores getting ready to hit the road for the summer.  We made the rounds to say good-by to a few of our friends
remaining in Casa Grande for the summer.  On our last evening at Palm Creek Mary joined nineteen of the 'summer people' for a Bingo night.  Along with the free popcorn,
Mary earned a few extra dollars by winning three of the 11 games, including the final blackout jackpot.  Why can't she be that lucky when there are 350 people in the Bingo
hall contributing to the big jackpots during the season?

As luck would have it, when we had returned to Palm Creek on Memorial Day weekend from a car trip to Texas, we discovered that our refrigerator was once again not
working properly.  After making several phone calls it was decided that we would stop in Tucson to have our 'cooling unit' replaced by the vendor who had supplied our last
three units.  He was willing to do this at no charge to us.  We left Palm Creek on June 5 at 5am and were at the vendor's door by 7am.  We put out the awning and turned on
the generator and air-conditioning so the guys could get to work.  It took them several hours and a little extra trouble-shooting when they couldn't get the fridge to work after
the cooling unit had been installed, but in the end we had a working refrigerator once again.   Our former Palm Creek neighbors, Art and June Nelson, now live south of
Tucson in Green Valley and had been alerted to our stop in Tucson.  After our service appointment we met them for a fun lunch and visit.  It was great to catch up on their
recent circle trip to the east and plans for the summer.  By early afternoon we were finally officially "on the road" for the summer.  
The next destination on our trip was the Newmar factory in Nappanee, Indiana where we had an appointment for service on the motorhome.  We took four days to drive there
with overnight stops at the Fire Lake Grand Casino in Shawnee, OK, Downstream Casino at the corner border of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri near Joplin,  and at a
Walmart in Collinsville, Illinois just east of St. Louis.  The two casinos provided us with free sites with water and electric hook-ups which we truly appreciated in the warm
weather.  We had originally planned only one day for service with Newmar, but when discussing our problems with the service technician, they agreed to do a few extra
things for us and needed to order some parts.  We didn't have any commitments following our stay there, so it was no problem to stay another day or two.  We were quite
pleased to have things taken care of by the people who had originally built our coach.
Jackson, Michigan was next on the itinerary, and a visit with Mary's mom.  We had a great visit with her, had some fun game evenings, ran some errands and helped with a
few chores.  The weather continued to be unseasonably hot for that part of the country and Mary resorted to a night in Mom's air-conditioned basement since we had no
hook-ups parked in the street in front of her condo.  Frustration arose on our second day in Jackson, however, when our refrigerator once again was quite warm.  More
phone calls were made and we had an appointment the following Monday in Elkhart, Indiana.  Hobson RV had been recommended to us by the Newmar factory and we drove
to their property on a Sunday evening and took advantage of an electrical hookup.  The Hobson father and son checked out quite a few different things just to eliminate
possible problems with the fridge. They have many years of experience with Dometic appliances and checked out things that nobody had ever suggested to us.   It was finally
decided that the original installation of the fridge when the coach had been built in 2003 had been somewhat faulty in that the roof vent for the fridge was blocked by the
fridge itself.  That caused overheating, especially in warm weather, and didn't allow air circulation.  The technicians removed the refrigerator from its box in the wall and
installed a temperature-controlled fan to the back of the appliance.  A different fan that we had installed last fall apparently was in a poor place and only contributed to the
air-flow problems.  They finished up their work late in the day, so we spent another night in Elkhart before heading out the next morning for Ohio.
Rather than take the Indiana Toll Road and the Ohio Turnpike, we opted for a very pleasant drive through the green countryside to the west side of Toledo.  We were
headed for the Big Sandy Campground near the Toledo airport where we had stayed last summer.  It's mostly a place for seasonal campers but they have four 50-amp sites
with sewer hookups.  The owner, Ed, doesn't take reservations so we were hoping that they two spaces he'd told us were empty the week before when we had planned to
arrive, were still vacant.  We were in luck and settled in to the same site that we'd had last August.  We even have the same neighbors who, like us, used to live in the area
and return in the summer to visit family and friends.   Big Sandy is definitely not a luxurious place, but we have a green and shaded site with a nice view.  (The shade is good
and bad....with temps around 100 its a little cooler, but the trees are a little "drippy" with sap.)
Back in the Toledo area, we jumped right into a busy schedule.  Mary's brother had driven to Jackson and brought Mom down to Toledo for a few days. We had originally
planned to bring her in the RV, but she decided to not go back to Elkhart with us.  We had some family time over several days with Mom and Mary's brother Bill and his wife,
Beth.  We visited Tom's Mom at her care facility.  Tom had an emergency dentist appointment.  We checked visits to the bank and Merrill Lynch off our list.  We found some
time to enjoy dinners with friends and watch some of the Wimbeldon tennis.    And since the fridge was still cold after several days, we finally made a trip to the grocery
store to restock.  The nasty storms on June 29 passed south of us but we have friends and family in various parts of Ohio and West Virginia that lost power for several days.
 Our son Reid was hoping for power to be restored around July 5 and says life in West Virginia was similar to the way he lived in Costa Rica.   We plan to be in the Toledo
area for several more weeks, allowing time for more visits with family and friends.
We had plenty of room to spread out our bingo
cards at Monday night Bingo.
We had a great visit with Art and June
during our stop in Tucson.
We passed quite several large "wind farms" on our way
through Texas.
Writer Robert E. Howard made many contributions to
the early "pulp fiction" magazines.
The boyhood home of author Robert E. Howard is in
Cross Plains, Texas.
We had a beautiful double rainbow one evening in
Abilene...but I couldn't get far enough away to get a
good photo.
There used to be a refrigerator in this hole.
Here it is with a shiny new cooling
unit on the back.
Tom supervised the work.
Our first "destination" was a repeat visit to Abilene, Texas.  Driving in the car in May, we had made the trip in a one day, 13-hour drive.  However, we don't do that sort of
thing in the motorhome.  So, our first stop was at the Escapee's Dreamcatcher RV Park in Deming, New Mexico.  The next night we stayed at the Escapee's "Tra-Park" in
Pecos, Texas.  We arrived in Abilene at the "Abilene RV Park" on the afternoon of our third day on the road.    We stayed for six nights and spent our days working on projects
at our daughter and son-in-law's new home.  Mary tackled eight pairs of curtains and evening meals while Tom tended mostly to yard work and landscaping.  We found the
family's swimming pool to be a pleasant way to cool off at the end of the day and enjoyed some evenings of games with the family.  We did take a side trip one afternoon to
the town of Cross Plains, Texas, the home of author Robert E. Howard.  The town was honoring Howard at their annual "Howard Festival" and having an open house at his
former home and seminars and displays of his work at the local library.  Tom is a fan of Howard's series of work about Conan, the Barbarian.   The author was a prolific writer
of western sagas, horror stories and even poetry.  He is considered the "father of sword and sorcery literature."  Howard wrote his many stories at a young age and had
passed away at his own hand in 1936 at age 30, before they were largely published.  Like Elvis, his fame and fortune was greater after his death.  
Water volleyball anyone?  
Who's the big winner tonight?
We had a fun day when the girls showed us
their bowling talents.
Our granddaughters are growing up too fast!  
Close, Merrick and Coffey
In Nappanee we met many of the common folk on the
roads and in the parking lots...here's a two-seater
convertible model.
The supermarket has a special parking area for
non-motorized vehicles.
We even met a family sedan at the gas pumps.
This one was towing a smart looking trailer.
The Newmar factory in Nappanee is always a good host
to its customers, providing full hookups for free.
Its always fun to find the Elkhart County Quilt Garden
spots as we drive around.  It was a little early in the
season but this one was doing great.  It is called
"Piecefully Amish."
The "Bars Garden" was a little plain and
had some growing to do.
"Grandmother's Fan" will be really pretty
in a couple weeks.
Our surroundings in Jackson were much greener but a
15-amp extension cord won't power the A/C.
Hobson RV Service in Elkhart at least had a 30-amp
hookup and seems to have fixed our fridge.
This is getting to be a far-too-familiar scene!
We're in our same spot as last year at Big Sandy
Campground...and have the same neighbors on each
side.
We had some fun times with Mary's Mom,
sister-in-law Beth and brother Bill.
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