10-08-2016 Writers Block

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say”

I saw this quote on Facebook today, buried in the news feed filled with political rants, silly cat videos, and friends checking in about their welfare as the hurricane slams Florida. 

I really don’t think much of bloggers who complain about their writer’s block, and now look at me.  If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t write.  Everyone has their own lives and no one is really paying much attention anyway.  I have rambled around in my own thoughts this past couple of months, thinking now and then that I need to write it to keep track of it, but finding no time and no motivation.  Everyday life has completely taken over my thoughts, and I wake at 3am thinking of really stupid things, and none of them are relevant to anyone, even me.

But then a couple of days ago, Mo asked, “Have you written any more about our Reunion Trip”.  No.  And this morning, she asked, “Have you written anything about our Transitions?”  No.  We talked a bit about this, and I acknowledged my writer’s block.  Where do I start, I have no gorgeous photos of beautiful places we have traveled, no interesting tidbits about campgrounds, trails hiked, rivers kayaked, all the things I love to read in other blogs.  Yet this is our life.  If I don’t write it, the memories will just slip quietly away into the jumble and we will forget.

The Rocky Point house is almost completely empty now

I whined to Mo a bit about “Where in the world to start when it has been so long?!”  Then as I drove to town for my flu shot, I found myself enjoying the gorgeous fall skies, the blessedly cool weather, and suddenly I noticed I was “blogging” in my mind.  When all else fails, those of you who have read long enough to remember, know that I fall back on the present moment to get started.  So bear with me.  I am going to ramble on about the present moment for the time being.  Eventually, if you hang in there, maybe a few tidbits about the past couple of months will slip in as well.

Fall has slipped in quietly this year, the colors just now starting to turn.  I wonder if the usual October 15th maximum is really going to happen, or if it will be a bit later.  Rains came early both here in Klamath Falls and in Grants Pass at the Cottage.  Blessed rains.  Last week the crispy, brown grasses of the non irrigated ground we have on most of our acre there turned soft, the ground turned quiet again, and the skies treated us to magnificent sunsets. 

Mo and I sat outside one evening in our chairs on the grass in the spot that has been marked for the new house to come.  We were on what will be our lovely covered back porch as we had a glass of wine and watched that sunset.  Everything is becoming more and more real.

The Rocky Point house is sold.  It sold in just under 5 months on September 1st.  Everything is going well and closing is supposed to happen at the end of this month.  We are encouraged because the buyers seem solvent, the financing is already arranged, down payment is large enough that the long awaited appraisal won’t be an issue when  it comes. 

Appraisals in this area are hard to come by and sometimes the wait is 3 or 4 months.  Sigh.  Too much selling and not enough appraisers!  Things are moving, even here in Klamath Falls, and much more so on the other side of the mountain with houses going for ridiculous prices and selling in a matter of days.  Not quite California yet, but well on its way.

Mo and I have spent the last few months since the house first went up for sale moving.  We were grateful for the time to do it slowly, a trailer load at a time, and now that the deadline is approaching, we are glad that it isn’t a race to the finish.  The required inspection showed a solid, well built, well maintained house, and our only required repairs were a GFCI outlet, a couple of wires in the breaker box, and a chimney cleaning.  Pretty good for a 15 year old house, I would say.

We managed to get everything from Mo’s big workshop moved to the RV shed in Grants Pass and there is still even room for the MoHo in there. 

We did have to put up a temporary shelter for the tractor.  Mo’s brother Dan, the ever ready helpful Dan, came south for a couple of days to help Mo put it up, and now the tractor AND the MoHo are under cover. 

In addition the the big shop, we had a small storage building, the garage, the boat house, and all that yard stuff.  We have always laughed about the “last load”.  You know, that one that looks like everything from the last minute is strapped on, with the rakes hanging from the bikes?  Well, we laughed again because a lot of our loads seemed to look like the “last load”.

This Saturday really WILL be the last load, however, and not a rake in sight.  We have 4 pieces of furniture that don’t fit in our current living space in Apartment A that will be moved from the house to Apartment B.  My quilting and crafting apartment, also serves as a nice space for storage, with a lovely guest bedroom and bathroom as well. 

Looking at our calendar, most of our time these last few weeks has been spent either at Rocky Point or at the Cottage.  Technically we live here in the Klamath Falls apartment, and at last things are slowing down enough that we actually get to be here more than 2 or 3 days at a time.  And you wonder why I have nothing to write about?  Back and forth on the same road, no matter how beautiful that road is, does not inspire eloquent thoughts.  Moments of beauty, yes, but not much that stays with me.

Here is the back elevation of the planned house with that great back porch where we were sitting in our imagination

Now that the house is almost sold, almost closed, we are moving forward on the building of the new one.  It is exciting.  I am a Pinterest addict, looking at ideas, saving color schemes, granite counters, “vignettes” (does anyone even know what a decorating vignette is?)  I didn’t until Pinterest. 

In the middle of house dreams, and driving back and forth, I managed to finish a baby quilt for sweet Georgia, another great niece for Mo, born in the middle of September.  I had fun making the quilt, but it took me much too long, since I started it back in June.

Last week our water guy started the upgrade of the water system, installing the second 1700 gallon cistern that will be clean and ready to store the magnificently pure and sparkling water that will emerge from the most complex water system you could imagine.  Well pumps into the first cistern, pumps back up to the first sediment filter, into the first 80 gallon pressure tank, then through the water softener to remove iron and calcium, then through the reverse osmosis membranes (3 gallons of good water for every 6 gallons used), then into the second 1700 gallon cistern, to the second 80 gallon pressure tank and into the house.  Pure, less than 10ppm of anything water.  A high price to pay, but better than digging a new well which is like gambling.  And neither of us cares to gamble to the tune of 15,000 bucks or so.  We knew the well was a low producer and that the water had a salt problem when Mo bought the property.  It is a common thing in that area, unlike Rocky Point, but I have to let go of Rocky Point water forever now.  Ah well.

Our builder started the new pump house so there is someplace to put all that stuff, and the pump house is being constructed with the same materials that will eventually grace the new house.  I got my first taste of decision making stress.  The pump house needs a roof, and we want the roof to match the someday new house, so without anything to go on, we had to pick the shingles for the new house so those same shingles would be on the pump house.  Quality, colors, prices, all going through my head at 3am.  If this one decision is this hard, I can only imagine how the rest will be. 

While the pump house was being built and the cistern was going in, the septic specialist showed up with his backhoe to dig our test pits.  It will be a couple of weeks before the Oregon DEQ can test the pits, but with this soil we shouldn’t have any problem with the new septic approval.  Loved looking at that soil.  I spent 35 years jumping down into pits like these, both dug with a backhoe, and ones I dug by hand, to look at all the morphological details in a soil in place in the ground.  I loved my job. 

We had initially planned just a single night at the cottage, but with the building going on we decided to stay another night.  Our plans to go home on Sunday were again changed when the chain pulley on the big RV door decided to jump the post and tangled up so we couldn’t close the door.  UhOh. 

We parked the MoHo in the shed, turned on a light or two, and hoped for the best.  Lots of “stuff” in that shed at the moment, and leaving the door open all night didn’t feel very good to either of us.  No problem, though, and nothing was missing when we got up the next morning.  The door repair guys showed up mid afternoon, fixed the door, warned us about opening it just a bit too high, and we were able to pack up and head back over the pass for our current home at the apartments.

Still, I enjoyed our extra days there, the coziness of the cottage is always fun.  Daughter Deborah stopped by after work on our first night there and we had a great dinner and good wine and lots of fun conversation.  She has very fond memories of her 18 months living in that little cottage and the time we got to spend together when Mo and I would be there.  We will miss the little cottage, but not enough to try to repair the nearly 100 year old plumbing and wiring.  A new house is a must. 

Our only camping trips this summer were the early trip to the coast in April, and the Reunion trip  in August.  We are both feeling really antsy to get somewhere!  I am pretty sure that “somewhere” will be a trip to the coast in November sometime after the closing has completed.  Ah, the ocean, fog, rain, none of it matters, being at the coast in November is always magical.  The crowds are gone, we can hole up in the MoHo, walk in the rain, hike down to the beach, eat fish and chips.  A trip to the coast is always healing for both of us. 

We only have one big exciting thing planned at the moment, and that is a trip south in late December, when we will travel with Adventure Caravans for 8 days immersed in the Pasadena Rose Parade festivities.  We have wanted to do that since forever, but never thought we could manage the traffic or the complexities.  Enter a “rally”, our first, and we can just let them handle the traffic and we get to participate in all the fun stuff like seeing the floats being built, seeing the advance horse show, and the advance band show, seeing the parade from the bleachers by the HGTV cameras.  I am beside myself excited about this one, and at the moment, I can smell the flowers.  I remember that smell from every single year of my growing up, when we went to the Rose Parade, and even some nights when I camped in a sleeping bag on Colorado Boulevard to get a good spot.

The best part is that a pair of our very most beloved friends are going to join us on the trip, but I’ll leave it up to them to tell you who.  And speaking of friends, how is it that I am so incredibly glad that Erin is back in the country after her long sojourn over the summer.  Always available by text or email, or now and then on Facebook, somehow it is just different when they are back in the states! 

More fun news is that daughter Melody has had a great run in her most recent play with the Linkville, “Jekyll and Hyde”, and loves her job at the Ross Ragland.

Grandson Xavier has the starring role in “Superman, the Musical”, which will be performed on the Ross Ragland stage in January.  Grandchild Axel bought a car and has worked for almost four years now.  No millennials living in our basements at the moment! A very responsible human being and I am proud.

Deanna and Keith at an Irish Pub on the Greek island of Santorini.

Daughter Deanna and her husband just returned from a great trip to Santorini, Greece, not just a cruise ship day, but a couple of weeks in a rather cute traditional home that looked a bit like an old cave. My son, John, in Missouri, seems to be doing better and is finally getting the medication that he needs to battle his own health issues. 

Great Grandson Orion, Matthew, Grandson Steven, Great Grandson Theron.

My grandson Steven now has his eldest son Matthew living with him in Northern Washington, a good thing.  And daughter Deborah’s son Matthew is now living close by near Grants Pass.  It was heartbreaking for Deborah that he was so far away in Colorado, and she is happy to have him close again.

Life does just keep bubbling along, doesn’t it.

Except when it doesn’t. My sweet mother-in-law decided that 93 years was enough for her and passed gently last week.  She lived a good and magnificent life, was loved fully by her son, her husband, both now gone, her grandchildren, her friends, and was a classy lady all the way.  I was so blessed to have known her and to have shared so many years with her.

 

“Grandma Gen” in her 90’s

June 10 Transitions

First, a warning.  This is another long, rather rambling catch-up conversation that I thought about posting only to my private Transitions blog.  It is very much a personal journal.  Like many RV bloggers, when we are basically stationary, I tend to avoid blogging.  The everyday stuff is just too mundane, and not related to the RV life and the MoHo Travels.  But there are others like me out there, and while readers come and go, I do have some that check in now and then and might wonder what we have been up to. I also know that when I haven’t heard from someone in a long time, and they do a catch-up post, I enjoy reading it, even if it isn’t travel related. The blogging world is changing, with many bloggers slipping into the ethers of cyberspace, never heard from again.  Some of us, though, have old connections that go way back more than a dozen years, and I do like hearing from these people, even if they have hung up their keys, or if they are in the non-snowbird portion of their lives.  So here you go.

I have been thinking about journaling for some time now, but the blog posts keep eluding me.  Part of the problem is that I often don’t have the computer with me and typing on the phone, no matter how nice it is to have that option, doesn’t lend itself to on-the-fly writing.  I type as fast as I think, so the typing doesn’t really interfere with my thought flow when I am using a full keyboard.  The last post I wrote, while we were traveling to the coast, was a mess.  I tried to use the voice feature on the phone.  That was an exercise in futility, and even my readers noticed that the “flow” wasn’t there as it usually is.

It doesn’t help that the days and weeks all seem to be running together, without a lot of markers along the way.  Too much of the same thing, whether it is work or play, makes Jane a dull whatever, as one of my friends said recently.  But, when nothing comes that seems to be of any import, I slip back into my old technique of starting right now, here in the moment.

At 5 in the late afternoon, the sun is still brilliant.  I am sitting at the table in the cottage, facing the big old double hung windows that face the east side of the property.  The huge old oaks are shifting about in the breeze.  Even when it is hot here in Grants Pass, the afternoon breezes are a welcome relief.  Today hasn’t been too terribly hot, though, with temps in the mid 70’s and moving clouds to block the sunlight now and then.  Wonderful.

This is the big old oak on the west side that will NOT have to be taken down for the new house.

For quite some time now we have been spending our weeks doing much the same thing.  Usually on Monday mornings we head for Rocky Point, with the mowers and trimmers and yard tools that are carried in the truck all the time.  We have the trailer in tow, mostly because we take it back to the apartments because the riding mower for Rocky Point and the walking mower for the apartments are at the repair shop.  So we haul the one walking mower back and forth, with the main riding mower residing in Grants Pass thank goodness, and return home each week, hoping for a call from the repair man.

Monday mornings are often a bit rough for me.  I get moody and irritable, with the constant job of packing and repacking in front of me.  I am trying to keep three sets of most things at each house, but that doesn’t work too well for fresh food.  Instead I have to pack up whatever we have that is fresh, plan whatever we need for Rocky Point where there are no stores nearby, and think about what I have to take to The Cottage that isn’t already there.  I have three notebooks that I try to keep current, and it works some of the time, but I still find myself knowing that I have two bottles of Hershey’s syrup and nope, there isn’t one here.  Here being whichever house I am in currently as I try to dish up ice cream.

Here is the “mound” we planted at the cottage two years ago and what it looks like now.  Stuff grows well in Grants Pass

The last couple of weeks, however, have been a bit easier.  I discovered the small, lightweight, plastic bin method of packing.  I can see everything, can keep the bins in the closet and add to them as needed, and I can lift them.  Dry food bin, Sue’s clothes bin, Mo’s clothes bin, the dog stuff bin, the computer, phone, iPad, Kindle, chargers, cords and all that stuff bin.  Yeah, that takes an entire bin.  Then fresh food into the ice chest, don’t forget the dog’s crate or the dog’s bed (we have forgotten both at one time or another), hook up the trailer to the truck and we are off.

The usual pattern is 2 or 3 days at Rocky Point, then a couple of days at Grants Pass.  Sometimes we manage more than a few days at a time at each home, and that is always nice.  Most of the time it depends on the mowing schedule.  Mowing and watering seem to be the drivers for wherever we need to go.

At Rocky Point we mow and pack stuff.  Most everything in the house is ready for the final move out, but the garage, shop, and shed are all in need of work.  We have hauled a trailer load to Grants Pass of miscellaneous tidbits every week since I don’t know when.  I think I might go to the calendar and try to count trailer loads.

At the Cottage, Mo has been working all day today on her wood/workshop, building more shelves for her nails and screws, her personal hardware store that keeps everything running smoothly.

We have stored “stuff” upstairs in the RV shed, to be unpacked eventually when the house is built.  We laughed a lot this morning about how much of that stuff is mine, but then I reminded her of how much of that other “stuff” is hers.  We definitely have different priorities.  I have a lot more keepsakes than she does, but then I had four kids and she had none.  I don’t have a lot of “stuff” per se, but I do have treasures, gifts, cards, photos, all the things of a lifetime.  All that “stuff” that so many full timers are so glad to let go of.  Not me.  I need a home base.

My life has been rather wild and chaotic, with losses over and over of my “stuff” back in the old days.  The few things I have managed to hold on to matter to me.  I do love, even once in awhile, taking out a box of cards, or a stash of journals or whatever, and remembering that yes, my life DOES have some continuity, it isn’t all just forgotten.

The other thing that makes writing hard is how my feelings flip flop.  When I am here, at the cottage in Grants Pass, I love it.  I love the open skies, the huge old oaks, the light.  I love being close to a sweet little town, with a traffic problem now and then, but nothing I can’t deal with by getting out early.  Last week I unpacked all my garden and cook books, and put them in the shelves in the RV shed that Mo set up for gardening.  I can’t quite explain how simply comforting it is to walk out there and see my books, lined up and ready to look at.  Treasure.  Sure, I can look anything up on the internet, to cook, or to grow, but still, the books feel like home to me.

I don’t have a lot of work to do here.  The Cottage is 720 square feet, not a lot to clean.  We really have decided that it is time to stop spending money on things to make it more comfortable, cleaner.  We will live with the patched floors, the old carpet in the kitchen, no need to put any more money and work into a place that will be seeing a bulldozer before next year.  Hopefully, at least.

My main job when we are here is moving hoses, watering, weeding, raking, trimming.  And cooking, although I don’t do that as extensively here as elsewhere because I don’t have an oven other than a small convection one, and the entire setup isn’t really conducive to trying to cook anything too fancy.

I actually have time to work on small quilt projects.  This time I brought my “All Gussied Up” rooster pattern and fabric to begin.  It is a complex applique project, with lots of tracing, cutting, choosing the right colors of fabric, and putting it all together.  It was pleasant to sit at the kitchen table and trace little numbered pieces.  I can see why some people enjoy the new coloring craze, mind numbing, and quieting.

I do love being here, a lot, and always seem to settle in to enjoy the feelings, the relaxation, and the dreams of what it will be like when the house is built.

Last week the builder came out with his partner and we decided on the location for the house.  The white marks on the grass mark porch pillars, and the edges of the walls.

See the shade of the oak tree?  That is where the west wall will be

I spend time outside just standing on the “porch”, looking at the view, enjoying how the west side oak will shade the west facing windows of the living room. We were so happy to find that the placement of the house will let us keep that west side oak.  It is big and old and leans nicely away from the house toward the west, so she stays.  Sometimes I walk around to where the bedroom windows will be, or my bay windowed soaking tub, to the beautiful breakfast room surrounded by windows. Light.  The one thing Rocky Point doesn’t have, even with our wonderful skylights.  We have light here and I love it.  Open sky, sunsets, morning light in the windows.

This will be the view from the back living porch. It is the sunniest spot for a future garden.

We moved the windmill from Rocky Point to the Cottage last month.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Pinterest, looking at granite, and paint colors, hardwood floors, and last week it was a great deal of time getting decisions made on window styles that will feel like Craftsman and yet not break our budget.  The plans had included some windows that I didn’t like at all, and Mo and I realized that we needed to get the window information to Dave before he gives her the final number.  I now know clearly the difference between a double-hung and a single-hung window, a casement window and cottage style.  Dave is the kind of builder that gives the number up front, an important part for us.  No surprises for the house unless we do changes or upgrades after the fact.  That final number is an important one.

Something that surprised us both was Dave’s choice of cement siding.  Cement?!?  It looks like cedar siding, but paints better and lasts longer.  He is a good builder, so we are trusting him on this.  He also recommended composite decking and metal railings, but we decided we still want real wood.  I want the house to feel like a “real” house and not a composite of crazy materials.  Yes, we will have vinyl windows, not wood, but that is a compromise that has to be made.  Wood windows would be way outside our budget.  But we will have the solid wood Craftsman door, no fiberglass for us!

Lots of time looking at windows on Pinterest.  I have no idea where this photo came from.  This isn’t a photo of how the house will look, just the windows.

Art Deco stained glass panels may be something for later, who knows, but probably not in the picture right away.  There are dreams, and then there is reality, and our Dream House will be somewhere between the two. The things that really matter to us we will have, and some things we will let go.  Hardwood floors for sure, no laminate, but we don’t have to have really fancy tilework in the bathrooms, just around the soaking tub.  It is all about balancing that ever present number, the budget.

The number that isn’t written in stone however, is the lot prep.  Dave says that there is no telling what we will be looking at with the power company and upgrading the current electric service.  We will need a new septic and drain field, which we knew, but the water system will be the killer.  We have a large 1750 gallon cistern that was installed last fall to store water from the 2.5 GPM well, so I have no trouble irrigating.  But the water is full of iron and worst of all, salts.  We can filter the iron, but not the salt, so it seems that we may be installing a “whole house” Reverse Osmosis unit, with another cistern to capture THAT water. We will know more about that plan when we get the water test numbers back this coming week.  The “Great 30” test covers everything and cost a whopping $230 bucks. With those numbers in hand, John Jacob, the water man, will have a better handle on just what extent of filtration we will need for the new house.

We knew about the low producing well when we bought the place, but the RO unit is a surprise, and will be a big chunk of change.  Still, it will be worth it to have ppm less then 1 of anything in our water, to protect the fixtures and the house, and not have to drill another well.  Water issues in the Rogue Valley are notorious, and getting to be more of a problem all the time with continued growth.  It may be Oregon, but it is Southern Oregon, and it is dry.

The other unknown is the demolition of the cottage.  There have to be tests for asbestos and lead, since the house was built in 1926, and we won’t know how much it will cost to take it down until those tests are completed.  Dave is working on all that right now, with plans to get back to us.  It seems as though getting septic approval can take at least two months, and electric even longer, so it is a good thing that we have no plans to actually start building until next season.  In the mean time, we can do a lot of the site prep work except for the demo.  We won’t start that until the Rocky Point sale is a sure thing.

The lawns at Rocky Point are looking great.  The house is very nearly completely hidden now by big trees.

Rocky Point went up for sale in early May.  Most houses in Rocky Point sell in 1 and sometimes 2 years.  Worst case scenario, we keep on as we have been and don’t start building until 2018.  Initially the goal was to be settled into snow free Grants Pass by 2020, so there is really no reason to get stressed, other than the fact that I am getting really tired of living in three houses!! And not having much play time!!

We will be leaving the little greenhouse behind.  Mo built it well.

The other thing we seem to be spending a lot of time on here is rig maintenance.  I think we are wearing out the pavement between our house and Bridge Street Auto.  We love the place, the people are great, do a good job, and are pretty good at communicating with us and diagnosing our needs. I highly recommend them if you are ever in need of RV or car work in Grants Pass. Of course, they also seem to be good at finding things we need to have done.

Mo got new brakes on the Tracker, I got new brakes and a fan clutch on the Dakota, and the MoHo had to go in a few times to try to fix a problem with the levelers.  That was the biggest problem, with all new solenoids, a rebuilt hydraulic pump, and finally after three trips down, new coach batteries and cables.  All is working well now. 

Of course, with all the heavy hauling we have been doing with the pickup, it seems that the transmission is on its way out.  Sigh.  140,000 miles of being a perfect truck does come with a price.  And Mo also has the timing belt to replace in the Lexus.  Sigh again.  I guess cars get old.  We have “used” our motorhome, and she has a good 90,000 miles under her belt without any real problems.  I guess it is just that time.  Needless to say, it feels like money is just rolling out the door much too quickly.

The flowers we leave behind at Rocky Point when all is said and done

And then there is Rocky Point.  After some initial activity, things seem to have slowed down on the showings and there isn’t much happening.  In the Rogue Valley, houses are going as fast as they are put on the market, as is the case in some parts of Klamath Falls.  But not at Rocky Point.  It is a special place, a lovely house, but unique, and in a unique area.  It will take some time.  But it is stressful, very stressful waiting.

We won’t start building the new house till Rocky Point is sold, and there isn’t a mortgage, but there are the utilities, the upkeep, the work keeping it looking nice to contend with.  We are getting a little bit tired, to say the least.  Hopefully something will happen before the summer is over.  I know so many people who have been through this waiting game, and then something does eventually happen.  Sooner or later the house will sell, as another blogger reminded us when writing up the ten things she wish she had known when going full time.

Yet when we head back home to the apartments, it is wonderful to walk in the door and again have all that other “stuff” that is there waiting.  Our comfy furniture, my luscious StressLess recliner, the 55 inch TV with all sorts of streaming stuff available, and not least of course, full unrestricted internet access!  Ahh….and my bed, my luscious bed and my quilts and art.  I am not sure if this really matters to Mo.  She is much better at just being wherever she is at the moment and being fine with it.  I’m the one whose mind rolls around in all these crazy places.

Love the yellow china rose and the old fashioned poppies at the apartments on Old Fort Road

Just to make matters even more confusing, in spite of the grumpy mornings on the way to Rocky Point, once I am there I appreciate how beautiful it is.  I love all the trees that Mo planted, love seeing them mature, love the gardens when they bloom, the forest, the gorgeous green grass, the fabulous water.  I love hearing the geese down on the lake, and when we lived there full time, I loved knowing we could pop the kayaks in the truck and be at the water in five minutes.  I miss that a lot, kayak time.

June and October are the most gorgeous months at Rocky Point.  When I was walking behind the mower the other day, I wondered why in the world we thought we ever had to leave.  Mo reminded me, “We want to no longer have to deal with the heavy snows”.  “It is really nice to have a town close by”. “ It is nice not to have all this work”.  It is time.  I don’t think once Mo has decided something that she ever has second thoughts.  She thinks it all the way through, makes the decision, and then follows through.  One step after the other, no regrets.  I try to be like that, but it seems that I have too many “feelings” all the time.  Memories of happy times, beautiful starry nights in the hot tub, long days on the water, snuggly fires at Christmas, my huge cookie baking counter!  Family space for holiday dinners and celebrations. 

In spite of all the back and forth, we have managed to have a few days of playtime.  We had a great Mother’s Day brunch with Family out at the newly refurbished Rocky Point Resort, just a stone’s throw from our home there.

We enjoyed the annual Taste of Klamath evening at the Ross Ragland in mid May, a long time tradition for us, and made even more fun now that my daughter Melody is employed there. 

We took an entire day while at Grants Pass and went kayaking on Lake Selmac, about 25 miles west of town and one of the few lakes to kayak at that elevation. 

With many miles of dirt road exploring, we finally found Spalding Mill Pond, with logging history dating back to the 30’s.  The original owners who moved here in the early 20th century are still in business in Grants Pass

We topped off the day with a wild exploration ride high into the mountains between Grants Pass and the coast, amazed at the incredible wild and rugged landscape of the Coast Range.

For the last few years, Mo and I have had wonderful play time, lots of great travels, both in the MoHo and otherwise, and have enjoyed that freedom.  Those days will come again.  We still have 8 states to add to the well used state map on the back of the MoHo.  We have a long trip planned for some future date taking in the far northeastern part of the country, and on to the Maritime Provinces.  I have a dream to spend another winter kayaking the spring runs in Florida.  We have a little plan to drive all the Scenic Highways and Byways in our own state, some of which we have traveled, but not all. 

It is all about the transition from living in snow country in Rocky Point, to living in a place where the maintenance is less and the freedom to travel is greater.  The day will come, it is just a process.  Living in the moment, appreciating the process and the transition, is the bigger challenge.  I’m working on it.

October and November

Current Location: Old Fort Road, Klamath Falls, Oregon, at 9 degrees F and cloudy.

1-11-03-2015 Hiking to the TowerOur new digs: closeup on the upper right is a view of the apartments from the tower trail.

I am sitting at the same desk as usual, but the view outside my window has changed.  Instead of the dark forest I am looking at open sky and the back side of Plum Hill in Klamath Falls. Life has finally shifted a bit, and Mo and I are now spending most of our time at our cozy apartment only 3 miles from town.  Yes, we still have the house at Rocky Point, decorated for Christmas, on the outside at least, and still comfortable for Rocky Point stays now and then.

Putting up the decorations (2 of 10) We also have our little cottage in Grants Pass, where we also spend time, working on the property, enjoying the little cottage and the green grass that pops up when the first fall rains come to the Rogue Valley.

Cottage before dirt leveling (34 of 40) It is all part of the transition from living in the woods, plowing snow, driving 45 minutes each way to the grocery store, and our plans for the future, living in mostly snow free Grants Pass.  We chose Grants Pass because of the lack of snow plowing and shoveling days, the proximity to the ocean, and the ability to travel north or south on I-5 when we want to soothe the hitch-itch that strikes often.  We are gypsies.  That travel bug is ingrained, and not likely to dissipate any time soon. 

Hiking to the tower with Melody and Mattie (1 of 1)-5View of Klamath Falls from the tower trail near the apartment

The apartment in Klamath Falls is an interim stop, at least that was the original plan.  At the moment, I feel so comfortable and cozy here, enjoying it so much that I don’t think I will ever want to leave it.  I love the Klamath Basin.  Here on Old Fort Road, we are at the edge of the high desert, with tall ponderosas and a few Doug firs around, but the hills are also covered with sage.  Love that smell, love that air, you all know I love the desert. 

Each of our places has its own special feeling.  Rocky Point for the huge cool forest in the summer, the beautiful refuge just a short walk from the house, the birds, the deer.  It is a wonderful place to live in many ways.  Grants Pass is wonderful in spring and fall, ten to twenty degrees warmer than either Rocky Point or Klamath Falls, with good shopping just minutes away, and yet a lovely rural feeling on our little piece of land that was once part of a walnut grove more than 100 years old. 

Old Fort Road is part of the magical basin, with views of Mt Shasta, the Klamath River, the dry winter air, and as stated before 10 to 20 degrees cooler than Grants Pass in the summer.  I am glad that at the moment I don’t have to choose any one of these places over the other.  Of course, the MoHo always waits as well, with the road to the desert, to the ocean, to other mountains always waiting for us.  It may be a bit complex at the moment, but it is so good and I feel incredibly lucky.  And thankful.

I keep waiting for life to settle in a bit, for things to slow down.  I have waited since mid October when we returned from Ireland, all through the month of November, and here, finally, on the last day of November, I have some time that isn’t allocated to anything else.  I can write.

I began this post as usual, with a visual cruise through my photos.  I have to admit I was a bit shocked to realize that I haven’t written a thing since we got back from Ireland, six weeks ago!  Geez. I do have some good reasons.   IMG_5337Just a couple of days after our return from Ireland, best friends Maryruth and Gerald drove up from California to spend a long weekend with us at Rocky Point.  Daughter Melody was starring in the musical Chicago, playing Velma Kelly, and they wanted to see the show.

Chicago the Musical (36 of 300)Chicago the Musical (226 of 300)The final performance of the show was amazing, and the reviews reflected what a wonderful job the Linkville Theater did with the staging, the casting, the dancing, and of course the music.  It was wonderful.  I was amazed at how a small community theater could put on a production as lavish and complex as Chicago.  Fabulous.  And not just because my daughter had a major role. Lower Klamath and Tulelake NWR (20 of 27) Lower Klamath and Tulelake NWR (22 of 27)We had a fabulous weekend, visiting the Lower Klamath Refuge where Judy volunteered this summer, enjoying the gorgeous skies and the birds. We shared good meals and lots of talking and laughing and fun.  It is so wonderful when friends can visit.  Next month we will go south to visit them and share in Maryruth’s mother’s 90th birthday celebration.  Elsie has been in my life since I was 18, and is like family to me.  Looking forward to seeing everyone at the big gathering.

Kayaking Pelican Bay (3 of 46) A few days later, Mo and I managed to get out on Pelican Bay for another gorgeous paddle.  With the fall migration in full force, there were so many birds out there.  Gorgeous skies and perfect weather are part of the Klamath Basin wonder in October.  Late September and October are the very best months to be here, in my opinion.  Nearly perfect, and no mosquitoes.

installing the cistern (13 of 17) We spent a few days in Grants Pass, for an exciting project on the property.  With a low GPM well, Mo decided that our solution would be to add a cistern, rather than taking the chance on a new well.  The cistern holds 1750 gallons, is filled automatically by the well pump, then the water is pumped from the cistern through the pressure tank to the cottage.  Now we can water the trees and small lawn during the summer without fear of drawing down the well too much.  Cottage before dirt leveling (15 of 40)

There are 27 trees on the .89 acre, several of them are gorgeous old oaks and a couple of pines and firs that are more than 100 years old.  Tree work was in order, and it turns out that the guy who ran the backhoe for the cistern installation was also an excellent arborist.  He did a great job on our trees, removing dead branches and making it much safer. He also removed 5 huge stumps that were still in place from tree removals prior to our purchase of the property.

moving with Don and Dan (17 of 19) Then it was time for the “big move”.  Late in the month, Mo’s brothers drove down to Rocky Point to help us with the heavy lifting.  Dan and Chere came from Beavercreek near Portland, and Don came all the way from Spokane.  I have no idea how we would have managed without them, short of hiring some expensive movers, which we promised both brothers that we would do when it comes time for the next move.

don dan and dogs We had fun in the midst of the moving stuff, and I did my best to cook good meals and make sure that both homes had food and beds for everyone, even though said beds were in transit.  Dan and Chere’s two dogs were especially helpful, making sure that everything done just right.  They also provided a bit of entertainment and company for Mattie, who has developed a great love for big dogs.  Most of the time, they know how to play with her and like Judy’s Emma, will lower themselves down to her level for playtime.  It is fun to watch.

Apartment A as we settle in (2 of 16) By November 1, our target date, almost everything we needed to be comfortable in the apartment was moved and we settled in. We spent five beautiful days doing the “nesting” thing, enjoying the sunshine, the smaller space, all the little things that can make moving to a new place fun and exciting.

Apartment A as we settle in (7 of 16) As the main cook, I was a bit concerned about my new kitchen.  Compared to Rocky Point, my current apartment kitchen is about the size of my big counter in RP!  I discovered that a small kitchen has some advantages:  I can reach all the drawers from one standing position, the floor is a quick wipe up rather than a major mopping event, and without a dishwasher, running a sink of soapy water as I cook keeps things in line.  I am actually enjoying it, although I still sometimes open four cupboards before I remember exactly where I have stored a particular item.

Another fun thing about the apartment is that we actually have two.  One for living, and the one next door for an extra guest bedroom, storage of “stuff” and best of all, an entire dining room and living room for my sewing, craft, and quilt room!  I can make a mess and don’t have to keep cleaning it all up mid project.  I do love that part.  In RP I did my sewing on the dining table which required lots of bringing out and putting away of stuff when meal times approached.

Hiking to the tower with Melody and Mattie (1 of 1)-3 With the early November sunny weather, I took some time to explore places to walk nearby.  Daughter Melody  and grandson Xavier live in another apartment in the complex and it is fun to walk down the path to her door and go for a spontaneous walk together. 

IMG_5359 Granddaughter Axel and her room mates also have an apartment here, and just last night Mo and I were invited to dinner at her place.  This family compound thing can be pretty nice at times.

Mo has had these apartments for years, and decided last year that property management companies and weird renters were no fun at all. Now it is an inside deal, everyone pays their rent on time and pitches in to keep the place looking nice.  It is a good place for us to be while we transition, and I get the benefit of being closer to my daughter and grandkids.  Mattie at Mills Beach (8 of 41) Mattie at Mills Beach (12 of 41)Mattie LOVES the beach!

At last, with the major chores of moving behind us, it was time for a quick trip to Brookings.  The MoHo was waiting patiently in Grants Pass and we needed a break.  Seems as though the only way to get a break from chores is to leave home where there are no chores! 

IMG_5373 We had a great three days, enjoying the clearest skies I have seen in a long time at the ocean.  Judy had mentioned that Harris Beach SP would be closed to camping this season, so we didn’t even bother checking.  We decided to stay at Beachfront RV Park, on the Harbor.sunset and sunrise at Beachcomber campground (11 of 12)

It was so much fun to listen to the surf all night, and to watch the waves right outside our front window.  One morning we drove up to check out Harris Beach, and were surprised to discover that the campground is still partially open, albeit without reservations.  As usual, the front view row was full.  We were glad that we did something different this time.

morning beach walk (2 of 16) I loved taking Mattie for walks right out the door to the beach.  It did rain on one day, but that was the day that we had scheduled some maintenance for the MoHo generator.  Seems as though the fuel pump gave out.  Brookings Harbor RV Repair had good reviews, and Mo decided that a trip to Brookings was worth it to get someone we could trust for the repair.  They did a great job and I would highly recommend them for this kind of work.

sunset at Harbor (17 of 23) With a few days of gorgeous beach time and quiet afternoons in the MoHo reading and napping, we were rejuvenated and ready to return to Grants Pass.  We hauled the tractor from Rocky Point to the cottage on our way to the beach, and Mo was ready to make an attempt to level the huge pile of dirt left behind from the cistern installation.

Cottage after dirt leveling (3 of 5) She made quick work of that pile and got most of it leveled and moved in just one day!  We raked  and moved a LOT of rocks, and then seeded the sticky red soil with a good fall mix, hoping that it will take before spring. 

Back to the apartments with a load of firewood from our stash in Rocky Point, and we settled in for the rest of the month.  I enjoyed cooking and sewing a bit, going for walks with Mattie, visiting with kids, and doing a little bit of shopping in town (takes 8 minutes to get to the main intersection of Klamath Falls!).  First snow at the Apartments (3 of 17)

The day before Thanksgiving, we got hit with the first snow and some really cold temperatures.  It is still white out here, and Mo was really smart to haul the tractor back from Grants Pass so that she could plow the apartment parking lot.  With just a tiny walk to shovel, we got the snow removal job done in record time.  One BIG benefit of not living in Rocky Point.

First snow at the Apartments (7 of 17) By Thanksgiving day, the skies were clear, and the temperatures were in the single digits.  It was a great day to travel over High Lakes Pass on Highway 140 to Shady Cove, where daughter Deborah  and her sweetie Bob hosted a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner for us, and for Melody’s family, and Bob’s parents, who live in Rocky Point. 

Mo, Melody and Robert, Deborah, and Bob carving the turkey All I had to do was bring the candied yams!  Such fun having daughters who take on the big family celebrations sometimes and being only a guest.  We had a lovely day, with sunny skies and a warm cozy home to enjoy. 

Front row: Sharon (Mo), Sue, Axel, Melody, Xavier Back row: Jack, Bob, Jean, Deborah, Robert and Mattie watching it all Instead of driving all the way back to Klamath Falls, Mo and I opted to take the short drive to the cottage and spent the night there before returning home to the apartment the next afternoon.  thanksgiving travels With a shortage of groceries in the Grants Pass fridge, we decided to go out for breakfast.  Sitting at the warm and cozy dining room at Elmer’s, with the sun pouring in through the windows, the fire crackling in the fireplace, and a fabulous breakfast, I felt that crazy happy feeling that comes without warning.  I do love that feeling so much, can’t make it happen, can’t really explain it, and it comes quite often ever since I first noticed it while hiking in Joshua Tree last winter. Later we actually managed a little bit of shopping on Black Friday, something I usually avoid like the plague.  However, most of the stores we visited mid morning in Grants Pass were not busy at all. First snow at the Apartments (2 of 17)

Home now, settled in and cozy with a nice fire going, office space all set up and comfortable, quilting and card making projects waiting in the apartment next door.  Life really IS good.

 

 

September Transitions, and some Fabulous Visits from Fabulous Folks

Current Location: Rocky Point, Oregon with blue bird skies and  41 Degrees F at 10AM

Deer in the yardDeer in the back yard here in Rocky Point.  Good thing I have a deer repellent that works.

It has been an interesting year for me.  A time of decisions, transitions, changes, and progress.  When my birthday rolls around, I like to take a few moments to re-evaluate.  Turning 70 is a milestone, one that seemed an anti-climax after thinking I was “almost” 70 for so long that when it happened, it didn’t seem all that different.

IMG_5100I had a great birthday, made more so my social media, Facebook of all things.  I love getting birthday cards, but the plethora of greetings that come my way from all over the country and even far parts of the world really add a celebratory air to the day, even one spent doing errands.  Of course, the errands in town were topped by a celebratory cocktail at the luxe Basin Martini Bar right in Klamath Falls, and tasty tapas for supper.  Lots of cards, fabulous presents, phone calls, a wonderful day.  Lucky me.IMG_5090

More is on the agenda in the coming two weeks, but that story will come later.  For now, my big job is to try to track what has happened and where we have been during the last few weeks since I last had time to write. Thank goodness for calendars and photos, or I wouldn’t have a clue where to start.

After our visit with Judy early in August, we spent much of the month working in earnest at the apartments and in Grants Pass.  It seemed as though every day we were driving one place or the other with tight schedules, deadlines, meeting contractors and realtors. 

The realtor part was a bit tiresome, because in spite of the fact that I sold my house on Painter in 11 days, the closing hasn’t been so timely.  Once again we were delayed by the big California lender, with more requests showing up even after I had signed my part of the closing.  After the last snafu, where we all decided to start over with a new lender and a closing date in December, some details shifted, and once again closing is imminent.  We will see.Getting close to being done (16 of 35)

Getting close to being done (23 of 35) The rest of the projects were incredibly successful.  The apartment painting project is at last completed, and looks great.  Did the final walk around this week with our contractor, who does great work if always a bit behind schedule.  The flooring project was completed through Home Depot, a process that entailed repeated trips to the store in town, myriad phone calls between shippers, installers, coordinator, schedulers and such.  What a process!  Still, the contractor also did a great job and we love the results. 

IMG_5060 The apartment is at last completed and ready for us to begin moving in some of our furniture.  We have tentatively planned to have it habitable by November. 

flooring carpet and divider in apt a (1)love love love the weather maple laminate flooring The Grants Pass cottage was also part of our projects.  With the high heat and low water well numbers, we make it a point to return at least every week or ten days to spend 2 or 3 nights there.  My biggest job is moving the single water hose, attempting to keep the few plants alive and healthy.  The grass is doing fine with the daily watering at 2GPM that I have set up on a timer.

walnuts, plums, and pears (31 of 36)  Exciting forthcoming project for the cottage is the installation of a new water holding cistern, scheduled in mid October.  Once that is completed, we will be able to set up timers and sprinklers for more areas on the property without worrying about running the well dry.  Grants Pass water is notorious for salts and iron, but we won’t bother setting up filtration systems until we have a new house to protect once we move there for good.

1-cottage acre  (7 of 12)-001 In the mean time, Mo is working on all sorts of projects, including clearing out the main part of the old building she plans to use as a workshop.   She tore out the old windows to make more storage space, re-worked and removed a bunch of old cabinets to build a workbench, and managed to install a nice window air conditioner that Melody gave to us when she moved out of the Painter Street house.  Yay!   

walnuts, plums, and pears (1 of 36)walnuts, plums, and pears (10 of 36)walnuts, plums, and pears (33 of 36) On an earlier visit we cleared out all the old stacked carpets in the mud room, cleaned up and painted it, and Mo fashioned new frames for the door and window from some old wood she had on hand.  Looks great.  Every project we do at the cottage must be tested against our willingness to see it come crashing down when it is time to raze the cottage and build the new house.

Mo redid the window trim in the mud room Lots of wood working stuff over there to keep Mo happy for years to come!

I haven’t quilted a thing.  The sewing machine managed to come out for a few days while I worked on my first quilted clothing project, a jacket I plan to use for traveling.  It was so much fun, but oh my, don’t let anyone look at it too closely.  So many mistakes, and I learned so very much about what NOT to do when making a quilted jacket.  Photos of this little project will probably show up in the next posts which will be sometime after early October. 

MoHo traveling has been on hold as well, with our last trip to Waldo Lake the last time we tucked away in our cozy rolling home.  Both of us are getting serious hitch-itch, day dreaming about the time when we will get that baby rolling again for something longer than the trip back and forth to Grants Pass now and then.

Family Sunday (41 of 99) With all the work we were doing, Mo and I still managed some fun times during August.  Melody and her clan, along with the new guy in her life came out for a great family day/BBQ with us and we laughed ourselves silly playing Bocci ball on the very sloping lawn.Family Sunday (97 of 99)Family Sunday (85 of 99) Mo and I took a break to chase down the SuperMoon rising over the boat launch in Rocky Point, a quiet and lovely moment in the midst of all the busy days.Waiting for the Supermoon at Rocky PointSupermoon over Pelican Bay at Rocky Point

I spent a lot of time walking Mattie, who seems to think that our long walks are the perfect time to find the biggest thing possible to carry home.  She carried this bone for more than 3 miles, and it was worth it, because I think two weeks later there are still remnants of it lying around the house.

IMG_5079 Daughter Melody is one of the lead stars in the play Chicago, put on by our Klamath Falls Linkville Theater.  I have tickets for the closing show in October, but decided that I had to see it before then, so I’ll be in the audience tonight, in the front row.  I have heard my daughter sing “All That Jazz” for years, but never starring as Velma on the stage.  I am thrilled!

Chicago 2 As the month of September continued, however, all work stopped.  For some reason, all our friends who had promised visits seemed to converge at once on Rocky Point in the first week of September.  We knew Phil and Joanne were coming, and I had scheduled Jeanne’s visit for months.  But suddenly Jimmy and Nickie were heading our way and I was not about to miss time with them.  To add to the fun, an old friend from my working days in the 80’s in Idaho retired, and called to say she would like to stop in and say Hi.  I hadn’t seen Marti in 40 years maybe? so of course I wasn’t going to say no. 

Scheduling all worked out perfectly, in the long run, with one set of folks replaced by another set within hours, and sometimes overlapping. 

Badger Lake Hike with the Hartwigs (17 of 36) First to join us were Phil and Joanne from Eugene.  Our history goes way way back, to 1977, with some gaps in between, but you know how that can be with old friends.  They came down on Labor Day weekend, and settled into the cabin before we had a make it yourself lunch of vegetarian wraps and fruit. 

Badger Lake Hike with the Hartwigs (6 of 36) Our destination that first afternoon was a six mile round trip hike on the southeast side of Fourmile Lake, just west of Rocky Point near the Cascade crest and into the Sky Lakes Wilderness. We had a wonderful time on a lovely hike that meandered around Fourmile Lake with views of Mt McLoughlin, and a final destination of Badger Lake. 

Badger Lake Hike with the Hartwigs (35 of 36) We earned our supper, and enjoyed the planked salmon, zuchinni rice ( a new recipe I love with shredded uncooked zukes added to hot rice, corn, black beans, and peppers), cole slaw from an ancient recipe Joanne remembers from the 80s, and my favorite dessert to make, a French Apple Gallette.   

The next day was supposed to be hot, so we planned to get out on the water early.  Phillip is a great cook, and I remember the days when we shared working weeks at the Forest Service work center and Phil would make huge breakfasts, eating three times what I ate and staying skinny forever.  He is still pretty darn slim, but maybe the marathons have something to do with it.Hartwig making eggs before we left (1 of 1)

I made the potatoes but Phil scrambled the eggs with leftover salmon, cilantro and who knows what else.  They were so good and I don’t even like eggs.

Phil and Joanne on Pelican Bay (1 of 1) We decided to kayak from the main dock in Rocky Point, traveling southward toward Harriman Springs so that they could get used to paddling on flat water and not be out too terribly long. 

We were treated to lots of pelicans and smooth silky water and Joanne, unused to all that shoulder work, did just fine.  As often happens when we introduce folks to paddling, by the time we were done they were asking about kayaks.  Of course, Joanne is hoping for a tandem kayak so she can ride in the back and Phil won’t know when she isn’t paddling.

Melody and Robert drove out from Klamath Falls just in time to see Phil and Joanne and take a little paddle of their own on the bay.  Joanne and Melody figured out that they hadn’t seen each other since Melody was just 16!

Robert and Melody kayaking Pelican Bay (1 of 1)

That evening we decided to try out the Harriman Resort for dinner.  The resort is still trying to get it’s sea legs and still doesn’t have a liquor license.  Instead we shared a great bottle of wine before we left, and trundled down the few hundred yards to the restaurant.Pelicans on Pelican Bay (1 of 1) Pelicans on Pelican Bay (1 of 1)-6

It was an interesting experience.  The restaurant is beautiful, and we all ordered halibut, which was quite tasty.  However, Phil and Joanne are fish only people and the garlic mashed potatoes came smothered in a rich, dark beef gravy!!  Now what chef puts beef gravy on a fish plate!  The waitress was quick and accommodating and the offending gravy was gone when the fresh plates were quickly replaced.

We rounded out the evening with our favorite Racehorse dominoes before everyone crashed happy, tired and satiated from too much food and laughter.

I think I’ll continue the rest of the story in the next blog since this just keeps on going and I want to share all the photos. 

Next: Jeanne arrives from Vermont and Nickie and Jimmy arrive from points north

 

December Days

Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon 45 degrees F at 5pm

We have no snow, not a bit to be found unless we drive to 7,000 feet elevation or more into the Cascades above us.  Through the clouds, sometimes there is a break, and I can see a dusting on the trees on Pelican Butte and Mt Harriman in the Mountain Lakes Wilderness.

Putting up the decorations (8 of 10)This year not a speck of snow

Makes it easy to put up Christmas lights, I must say.  No slipping on the ice, crawling through big snow berms and such.  Last year at this time Mo and I were shoveling and plowing in an unsuccessful attempt to stay ahead of the dumping white stuff.  This year the lawns are still green.

testing different methods for shooting the Christmas lightsLast year on the same date, and yes…there is Abby

In the past few years, however, it seems that winter comes later and later, with not much to speak of until after Christmas.  Still, it is obvious that winter is upon us.  The days are short and dark, and when the sun does appear it is very low in the sky. 

Christmas quilts and decorations (25 of 25) Christmas quilts and decorations (21 of 25) Christmas quilts and decorations (23 of 25)

After a week at home, while I finished up the three kid Christmas quilts, we took off again for Grants Pass and the Cottage.  Mo’s brother Dan came down to spend a couple of days with us to help Mo with some more of the electrical work.  Mo also managed to get the newly moved bathtub to finally drain properly.  Long story and boring, but enough to say that the tub now drains and the breakers no longer flip off at the slightest provocation.  They even got a new box to the old tool shed ready for plenty of amps to eventually make it out to the RV shed.Dan helping Mo with the electricity (2 of 16)

It was a simple time for me, and I worked inside on Christmas projects while Mo and Dan rumbled around in the rain and mud.  Got some nice visiting in with daughter Deborah in the evenings when she got home from work, and managed to keep everyone well fed. 

Dan helping Mo with the electricity (7 of 16)On our way home back to Rocky Point, we decided to take the old road through Gold Hill toward Sams Valley instead of our usual interstate trek back to Highway 140. We ambled through Gold Hill and had a spontaneous hot dog lunch at a little stand along the main street.  Then as we continued east, we saw signs for Ti’lomihk Falls on the Rogue River.

Rogue River at Gold HIll (1 of 13) We parked just in time to watch a rafter and a paddleboarder go down the rapids.  The interpretive signs at the park were wonderful, but I neglected to get a photo of them.  This website explains what we learned about the “stone chair” that was central to the ceremony to honor the first salmon of the season for the Talkelma tribe.   ON the website is the story of the planned whitewater park, and a video of Grandmother Agness Baker Pilgrim, one of the oldest surviving members of the tribe, speaking of the salmon ceremony and the stone chair.Rogue River at Gold HIll (5 of 13)

Yesterday was the annual Rocky Point Ladies Luncheon.  The luncheon is a tradition that has been going on for several years, and in the past was held at the local social club building, with some women decorating tables and the men cooking and serving.  Stuff happens, things change, but a sweet lady here in Rocky Point, Gina, didn’t want to let it slip away so she set up our luncheon in a brand new venue.

I was a bit recalcitrant about it…at first, i didn’t even want to go if it was just going to be lunch in a restaurant.  Glad I changed my mind. 

We have a new place to go in “town”.  Our community does not have a post office or a school and only one tiny store a few miles east on 140, but we do have a fire station.  That volunteer fire department generates a lot of community support.  But as far as a real town goes, we don’t have one here.  But now we do have a “resort”. Ladies Luncheon at Harriman Resort (56 of 60)

Like Rocky Point Resort, and Point Comfort, Harriman Springs has been a presence here for many years.  When Mo first started coming to Rocky Point in the late 80’s she would have lunch at the little marina store and cafe that was on the edge of the spring.  Things changed, the little marina closed.  Recently, the owner of the land adjacent to the spring decided to upgrade the property and build what he hopes will be a world class resort.Ladies Luncheon at Harriman Resort (53 of 60)

If the quality of the restaurant is any indication, he is going to succeed.  We have all been waiting impatiently for the restaurant to open, watching along on Facebook on their page, and checking in now and then to see how things are progressing. 

1-12-06-2014 Rocky Point Ladies LuncheonYesterday, we got to see the new restaurant in action, with a truly delightful luncheon put on for our community ladies.  Lyman, the executive chef is duly proud of what he is doing with the menu, and we were the lucky recipients of his creations, with a special party before the place is actually open. It was as much fun as the previous years, and a lot less work.  I missed decorating the tables, and the men cooking, but oh my…the food was delectable the conversations were great and the views were beautiful.  I even wore those six inch high heels I bought for Jeanne’s wedding!  Love having any excuse to dress up, especially when I don’t have to walk too far.

 Putting up the decorations (1 of 10)Oh my…the mess of it!

I am putting up the rest of the house decorations, and retreating to my computer for the next couple of weeks in an attempt to complete the gargantuan scanning project that I started last Spring.  Sheesh!  It is taking forever…and not a small amount of time is spent scratching my head trying to figure out which year that was.  Photos for the kids, scanned and put on an external drive.  I decided it was way better than trying to get them all printed and given to each of them.  That would have been impossible.  It has been fun, though, and I have enjoyed perusing the past and writing small summaries of the years so the kids know where they were when.  1973 Christmas at Schumanns-001

A scanned photo of my 4 kids and me at Christmas 1973 

Deborah behind me, Deanna left, Melody middle, and John right.

I think when that job is done, I can simply sit and enjoy Christmas.