This was a very busy week preparing to be back on the road again. We spent Monday cleaning gutters, cutting grass, and closing up our house. Tuesday was errand day to Oneonta and to see Aunt Helen and Aunt Jean one last time before going to our winter NOMADS project. We had also picked up a few additional shirts for them to go with the things we had taken previously. Hopefully they will be set until we return. Wednesday was errand day in Trussville. There were the final supplies/groceries, one last stop at Lowes and then buttoning up Aunt Helen’s house.
Thursday, we were on the road again. We headed to Atlanta where we stopped in Austell to get a steering stabilizer installed on FRED at Safe-T-Plus. We overnighted in their parking lot with another RVing couple there for the same thing (They also have a Phaeton). Friday after a test drive, we headed on east. We decided to make a stop at National Indoor RV Center to look around. It was time for a break. After stretching our legs for a while we headed on east.
We had planned to overnight just inside South Carolina but after a late lunch at the rest area we decided to drive on to the Freightliner Service Center in Gaffney, SC. That was one of the best decisions we have made in a while. We arrived about 5:00, plenty of time to set up before dark. Saturday would have been a horrible driving/set up day. It rained all day. Lots of rain! Thank you, God, for giving us that little nudge to move on down the road Friday. Even though it was nasty weather, we still made our required trip to Sunny’s Donuts to stock up for the weekend.
So we are in Gaffney and tomorrow FRED will have his annual checkup with all the fluid changes that go along with that. He also has one recall to be handled. Hopefully he will get a clean bill of health and we will be ready to travel for another year. It’s funny. It’s almost like going to the doctor. You hold your breath until they come tell you all the tests are normal. Hope everyone had a great weekend. We enjoyed streaming Lester Memorial’s service this morning on YouTube. Miss everyone already.
Wednesday morning we awoke to a cloudy and cold day in Gunter Hill COE campground but thankfully we were just far enough south that we had no freezing. By mid-day we were able to get out and walk through the park and do a little hiking on a trail. We would recommend Gunter Hill to anyone traveling in the Montgomery, AL area. Great level, concrete sites with nice spacing between sites and the Catoma Loop we were on had full hookups. Nice. We really enjoyed our mini vacation and escaped the 19 degree weather at home.
We returned home on Thursday to resume our work around the house and FRED. Saturday morning we went with some friends out to “the Star” and worked to get it ready to lite. The Star is a huge star on the side of our mountain that we light from Thanksgiving until the new year. It’s so large that pilots of airplanes on the flight path to land at the Birmingham airport will sometimes point it out to passengers. The star was originally the project of Max’s parents Sunday School class, many years ago. We have sort of inherited it so we still have friends that go with us each year to cut debris and replace bulbs. There is some climbing and repelling involved so we are really trying to recruit some younger help. Saturday was a gorgeous day for a hike and we all had a fun morning hiking to the star and working a while. Donna is going to order us more bulbs and once the power is turned on this week hopefully everything will be ready.
We also did another small modification to FRED Saturday afternoon. We needed another electrical outlet for the vanity and Max got that done. And we got some over-the-door hooks that we hooked on the bed frame to keep shoes out of the closet. Nice!
Today was another great day of worship at Lester Memorial. It was our last Sunday until March so we will really miss the Thanksgiving and Christmas services and festivities, but it is time for us to prepare to travel and get back to work helping restore lives and homes damaged by hurricane Irma.
Yesterday was a day of completing a bunch of smaller projects and getting Fred ready to roll as we watched the weather. There was NOMADS items to complete, tire pressure to check, and the aunts business to handle. It was a beautiful fall day. People were wearing shorts and t-shirts. The trees were displaying their beautiful fall colors. Then starting about 5:00 and lasting most of the night, we had rain, wind, sleet, and a thirty degree drop in the temperature. This morning it was 27 degrees. We had 8:00 dental appointments and then headed back home to get Fred and head south. Unfortunately, the weather did not follow the forecast. It was still below 27 degrees at 10:00am and the projected sunshine was nowhere to be found.
We did not expect the 4:00am sleet/ice to still be around. We thought it would be above freezing by 10am. NOT. The slide toppers were covered by a layer of ice. They did not want to roll up as the slides came in. Yep – we are from Alabama. We don’t do cold. We don’t do ice – especially this time of the year. Lesson learned. If there is ANY chance of frozen stuff, slides should be brought in the night before departure. Instead, our toppers got a little work with the hair dryer to melt the ice in the springs to allow the toppers to re-coil. We got really cold making it happen but everything worked. No damage done, and then we drove three hours to Gunter Hill COE campground in Montgomery, AL. It’s a campground we have been wanting to visit and IF the forecast is accurate we will be avoiding the 19-20 degree temperatures overnight tonight. It should be at or just slightly below freezing here at Gunter Hill. Fred should be happy, and tomorrow with sun and highs in the 50’s we should be able to do some hiking, so we will be happy. We had time for a quick walk through one loop of the campground after we arrived. It’s a beautiful place and we look forward to time to explore tomorrow. A mini-vacation! All is good.
First, please accept our apology for the delay in posting last week’s blog. It was there, but never published. Oops. We will try to do better.
As we review this past week, there was really not much excitement. We worked hard and accomplished a lot but….not nearly as much fun or nearly as interesting as travel mode. Glad we will be back in that mode soon. We have really enjoyed being in our home church for three weeks in a row. Such a great group of loving Christians who live their love of Jesus every day!
Last Monday we played catch-up after having the family here. There was laundry, cleaning, and book work to do. Tuesday was dedicated to the bush hog and all that work was completed in one day, a real accomplishment. Now the pastures should be fine until spring. Anne did some more sorting and packing in the house while Max spent the day on the tractor. Wednesday the dumpster was picked up. We were glad to see it leaving. So glad we no longer have to worry about Jean’s storage unit or dividing up Juno’s things. So thankful for the wonderful help from our family. Thursday was errand day, and it took most of the day. There is always shopping to do when we are back in Alabama because we really don’t shop except for groceries when we are traveling. It’s expensive when we get back to Alabama and stay in one place long enough for packages to arrive. Fed Ex came four days in a row. And certain vendors are glad to learn we are still alive. Our favorite Publix grocery store is also glad we have returned. So we continue to work at Aunt Helen’s and our house and on FRED.
Today we are watching the weather very closely. We really don’t want to winterize FRED for one night so we may make a quick trip south to avoid 19-22 degree weather Tuesday. We keep thinking the forecast will moderate but don’t want to take chances either. Oh well, we have no particular schedule right now so a little road trip could break up our work schedule. Not the worst think that could happen. We may be blogging from points south by mid week. Hope you have a great week. Stay safe!
(Monday, November 6, 2019 – Just noticed we forgot to publish this on Saturday.)
Saturday, November 2, 2019
Today was a beautiful Alabama fall day. It has been just plain cold this week. The past two days the lows have been 28 and 30. Tonight the low is predicted to be 35 and we will warm up the rest of the coming week. We had lots of rain early in the week and our drought is officially broken. That’s a good thing, but it was a little too much rain too fast and then it was abnormally cold. The coming week should return to a more normal Alabama fall.
Last Sunday afternoon, Max’s sister Marsha arrived as we prepared to spend a week working on LOL stuff. Later in the day Max’s brother Randy and sister-in-law Debra arrived. It was great to visit with family again. Monday morning we began our week’s work. The first task was to empty Aunt Jean’s storage unit. There was just no reason to continue to pay rent since she is not going to ever return to assisted living. Jean’s only other relative, a niece, Lois, meet us in Trussville to start the monumental task. There were lots of memories, laughing, and a few tears shed throughout the day as we decided what each person wanted to have as a remembrance. Doing this task before her death in some ways was a little easier. We shared fun stories of our times with Jean as we decided what we wanted to donate to our local charity and what items we just couldn’t part with. By mid afternoon we were on the way to Hope House with donations and Lois was on the way home with her items. Max and Randy had to return Tuesday morning to pick up the final few items and officially close our account with the storage facility.
The reminder of the week was spent on the mountain emptying Aunt Helen’s and our basement of Max’s mom’s items. Thursday, Anne went to Tuscaloosa to close on the sale of her mom’s house. Another bitter sweet day. Otherwise, the five of us spent an exhausting but good week visiting and sharing more memories while emptying the two basements. There were several more trips to Hope House with goodies we hope their clients can use and when they headed home today, Randy and Marsha had their vehicles loaded with precious treasures.
We are so very thankful for our family. We are all ready for some rest but it was good week.