Life Goes On, and We Go With It
Nov 6, 2005
|The past few weeks have been busy and eventful, if not terribly scenic. We left Angels Camp and Mary Field and drove to Oakhurst to visit our friends John and Anne Corrigan. They have just completed renovating a home they purchased; we had seen it just after they bought it, and were amazed at the differences. There are still some finishing touches, mostly outside the house itself, but the place is a showpiece. We parked our rig near the front of the house (John is in the process of adding an RV site with hookups, but it wasn't finished yet) and slept there for three nights while catching up on our friendship.
We had also wanted to see our friends Roy and Mary Oldham whose home is just down the road. We had learned that Roy had developed a serious form of cancer that was approaching terminal stage. The day we arrived in Oakhurst, Roy and Mary had left for Washington State to visit Roy's dad, so we had to forgo the visit.
From Oakhurst we moved south to Tehachapi to an RV park we had learned was bordering an airport that catered to gliders and their flights. The weather had been perfect, and we looked forward to getting pictures of these marvelous silent fliers. Wouldn't you know, the weather turned windy and nasty the first night, and stayed that way all the time we were there. That was the storm that unleashed such huge mudslides in the southern California region. At least we met Mike, a 17-year-old employee of the RV park who is also an avid photographer. While he primarily works in video, he had also just gotten a new digital SLR, and was pleased to talk with us for about 45 minutes about his work. He is taking a photography class at school, and spoke with great authority about lighting, aperture settings, ISO, etc. It may have been more bravado than authority, but he was enjoying impressing us, and we enjoyed him as well. It all works out, doesn't it?
Our next stop was a favorite Thousand Trails park at Acton, CA, called Soledad Canyon. They had suffered from the same stormy weather we had just been through, and cautioned us not to try to get into an area we have often stayed in. We took a site that looked good, but found that we weren't able to use our TV satellite system because of surrounding trees. We were able to get regular TV from our antenna, however, and we don't watch a lot of TV anyway, so no big deal. We did look with envy, though, at another site that was occupied. It was a prime site with a large grassy area, two picnic tables, and a barbecue grill. That site became available after about a week, and we hurried to grab it. Now we not only don't have satellite TV, but also no signal through the antenna!
Halloween was celebrated at Soledad Canyon on Saturday. The park did a splendid job providing activities and atmosphere for the kids. Thousand Trails is, after all, a family camping organization, and this park especially caters to young families. There were special foods available, a costume contest, and a well organized and looked-after trick-or-treat event. Those of us who wished to invite the kids to come to our sites for treats were issued special jack-o-lantern signs to place in our windows, and the kids were well instructed to approach only rigs with signs. A few of the kids came singly or in small groups shepherded by parents, but most came in groups of five to seven. Nearby were Thousand Trails staff and volunteers. There were at least two flatbed trucks slowly circling the park with kids in back, being transported to and from various areas of the park. The kids all seemed to have fun and we campers didn't feel threatened or anxious about "tricks."
We had gone out and purchased a couple of bags of candies that we would be comfortable with if they were left over (love those Reese's products!). We were sure that, where we were located, there wouldn't be a lot of kids, so much so that we started giving each kid two items. After ten minutes we had had fifteen visitors and stopped that two-fer nonsense immediately! After an hour and a half we realized that soon there would be nothing left for us to munch on. During a lull in the onslaught, we dragged down our sign, put away our lawn chairs and beat a hasty retreat behind the closed door of the rig. We had treated 83 kids, and saw more coming around, more than the few candies we had left would accommodate.
Another part of our visit here was to take Grandma Mary's remains to be buried in Los Angeles. She had left instructions to be interred with her sister who had died years before. Without an opportunity to take care of this duty, we had carried Mary's ashes with us for over a year, including through Alaska and the Yukon Territory, a trip she would have been delighted to take.
In our daily life we are still cleaning up after Alaska! Our many memberships each provide us with a monthly magazine. The usual practice is that I read them quickly first, then go back and mark items that I want Suzy to see or that I think we should scan and keep for future reference. Then Suzy reads each magazine and marks items that she wants me to see or that she feels should be kept or scanned. Next we go back and scan those items, saving them to an organized bunch of CDs. Well, for the four months we were on our journey, not much of that happened and we are carrying a bunch of magazines with us. Now we are reaping the whirlwind and trying to handle that load plus design our annual calendar plus do the other things of life. I used to laugh at my Dad when he told me he was busier in retirement than when he was working. Not any more.
LAST ITEM: We have just learned that Roy Oldham passed away, and have driven to San Lorenzo, where we came to know Roy and Mary through church-related activities. There will a rosary and memorial here, and another rosary and funeral in Oakhurst. Roy will be buried in the military cemetery at Gustine.
Thanks for staying with us on ... Our Life on Wheels.