Making hard decisions….


Our reward at the end of the day at check in.

After our two posts on “living the dream” (here and here if you missed them) we came to a crossroads! We want to share not only all the mountain tops, but the valleys we experience.  As we mentioned in our last post, we were heading to Wilmington, NC, the elusive Wilmington we should say.

One reason we want to visit, is to see if this could be our future home when we get off the road. But the elusive part is because we haven’t been able to find a place to stay in our motor home. We’ve actually been looking for at least three years – and it has just never been in our travel path. Granted, there is a KOA there, but Bill has a thing against KOA. It’s sad, one manager could spoil it for all others.  We never could strike a deal with the one near our daughter ($1,200/month is a bit too much to just “park”) when we said we will be here four to five months a year. The one in Wilmington wanted to charge us $800/month whereas the other RV parks, which are near or on the beach, only wanted to charge us $500/month. We do prefer the lower prices! Continue Reading

Week 2 off to a great start!

Once, after proofreading one of our posts, Bill commented, “This is really good!” ONCE. Then I began to take Blogging 101 courses to improve my blogging. I’m now proof you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

Our last post reflected our mood, so to speak. We were still reeling from our blowout, the weather was either dreary, raining or cold. And every day was “work” except for the day we took off to attend the Florida RV Super Show. And that was a real treat! And perhaps when things began to look sunnier!

I am enjoying time with my sister. Especially when we get to walk together. But we are so glad we have each other to help mom clean out her house and prepare for a new adventure in life (a drastic lifestyle change).

Day one of week 2 started off with a tremendous rainstorm. And we had a 9 am appointment with our GEICO Insurance Adjustor. We were really nervous about them as an insurance agency for our motorhome. You never know how good it is until you need it and then you pray you never need it! All I can say is so far so good! From the initial phone call (Is everyone OK?) to our adjustor’s arrival….and departure.

Here is our disclosure, though. Our daughter works for GEICO as an insurance claims adjustor. And she’s good! No brag, just fact, based upon her performance appraisals, etc. Whenever we need to look at our insurance policies (we normally use USAA since we can), I always get quotes from GEICO and she gets a credit for it. Whether we insure or not. And the few times we have switched, we have saved a ton of money. And these have been for hard to insure things – like in Florida, rental properties are very hard to insure if you have seven properties in the same county! They say it increases their exposure….if you understand such things. And then our motorhome. Both times, we were most surprised and have been very pleased.

OK, this is getting boring but I do want to give GEICO some kudos! And if you’d like a quote just to compare your coverage, let me know so I can give you our daughter’s associate number so she can get credit for it.

Bill had two plans to fix our motorhome. The first plan was to do most of it himself. After all, his background and training meant he could do it. Back up plan was just to take it back to the factory at Red Bay, Alabama. We did love our time there after we first bought it. But the timing would be an issue in the middle of winter. Maybe we would have to wait until May?

For nearly a week, Bill tried to get the part in to repair our steps. That is really the biggest concern. After my glorious three mile walk around our campground, we decided to take some pictures of this issue.

Our adjuster gave us another option after Bill’s attempts to get the part needed failed. Oh the RV industry is not an easy one to deal with. I guess I should mention that Bill used to also be an insurance claims adjuster, was an auto body man and ran an auto body shop among a few of his past jobs. He KNOWS how to get parts. But not RV parts….

We learned there is a GEICO “preferred” repair shop not too far away! That spoke volumes to Bill. I went on over to mom’s to work while Bill went to check out the shop. He was so impressed and excited. First the bad news, they are swamped this month. Then the good news, they can fit us in on February 8, the day we hit the road from here. And it’s only about 45 minutes from mom’s home! So hopefully, I can still have time with her and my sister.

And more good news! They can sell us all the tires we now need, fix the steps AND do the body work. We will then have peace of mind as we really don’t know if our wheel is really safe. On our way back from the RV show, we clocked how far we drove on it after the blowout. At least 1/2 mile (.08 kilometers). We planned to take pictures of that drive, but it was dark when we returned home.

So below is a photo gallery of my three-mile walk around the park on Saturday.

IMG_0837 (1)


Love the palms, the blue sky, and the pleasant environment, between an orange grove and a freshwater lake! These photos are not in the best order, took them as I walked from our site and back.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Week two continues….and we can’t wait to attend church in the morning!

Week 1 at our Southern Home Base (a diary)

As most everyone knows, we limped into our current “home” for the month. We are now in our official home residence county, but we are trying out a new campground – for us. Normally, when we arrive in a new place, we are excited and I start taking pictures of the entrance and all the cool things in our new “home.” But not this time. We arrived exhausted and right before dusk. We had a glitch in our GPS, which took us into a golf course. Initially, I’m imagining a gorgeous campground…and then we realize the address was wrong. We have to unhook the car in order to turn around. Most of the people were kind to us. I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture as it was a beautiful setting…..And it would have been funny with the golfers pointing at us and laughing!  😁But we were anxious to set up camp which was close to the golf course. And it was getting late….

As we settled into for the night, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful sunset on the lake. But I was just unable to capture its beauty. Here is where the previous post left off:

Imagine the blow out also took out the electric outside stair mechanism.

Imagine the blowout also took out the electric outside stair mechanism.

As you can see from these dreary pictures above, we are not on a flat site, compounded by the fact that our steps aren’t working. The tire blowout damaged the mechanism for them to extend. A neighbor has lent us auxiliary steps. We were not happy with the site and are trying to get moved, but that has additional issues – there just isn’t a site big enough for us. They have offered us two sites to pull into, but it will be an ordeal to maneuver into them….

But there is good news! This is the friendliest and most helpful group of campers we have experienced in our two and 1/2 years of camping! And this quaint “village” is nestled between a lake and an orange grove. We can’t wait to enjoy the beauty….hopefully, soon.

Friday, January 8  First thing we discovered when we got in the car to go to my mom’s home was a cracked windshield,  across the driver’s line of vision! Is this a sign of things to come????

Bill took me to mom’s and had a nice visit. Then he had to to start working on tire replacements (we’ve decided to replace them all), he needs to figure out how to repair the exterior steps, and he decided to level the motor home better since the jacks had to be fully extended, which isn’t good. And of course, we also had to call in a claim for our windshield.

One of my dear friends dropped in to meet mom and pray with us. Then I started helping mom with the millions of things one must do after the death of a spouse, as well as begin preparing her to relocate. We ran some errands and then I brought her by our motor home. She has wanted to see it since it is finally here in the county. We had been offered a different lot, so I had hoped Bill moved it there so mom could see inside. But no, he didn’t feel it would fit. So mom was only able to see the outside since the entrance was a bit high for her to try to climb! She’s a former full-timer herself, also in a motorhome.

Saturday, January 9 I had the energy to start my day with a walk. I wanted to explore the campground so I went for a little over a two-mile walk. It was still overcast, so no pictures yet!

My sister and I met at mom’s house and we rolled up our sleeves. So much to clean out and to prepare her for an upcoming move. It’s hard selling a home as anyone who has been through it knows. But for mom being legally blind, it is even harder. Thankfully, mom has three daughters who are willing to do all we can to help. 💖

Sunday, January 10 It was wonderful to return to our home church! Mom came with us so that was a bonus. Neighbors of hers attend our church, so they enjoyed seeing her and giving her a hug. One husband helped take down the Christmas decorations outside. The community mom lives is known as a “Christmas Village” so there is a lot of peer pressure for everyone to fully decorate – and they help each other.

The sermon was just what we all needed as well. As usual! I really like the life of Joshua. He was mentored by Moses and became a great leader. But he was very insecure. So we hear several times, the Lord assuring him:  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) And we, too, need not be afraid for the Lord our God is with us wherever we go!

We went out to eat after church. We are so unoriginal, we went to Bob Evans. We are now in “peak” season here in Sebring. The population really grows January through March and you notice it most in the long waits at the restaurants.

My step-sister and her husband came over to mom’s house after they got off work. They are semi-retired, so trying to match our schedules wasn’t the easiest. We were looking forward to playing Trivial Pursuit with them, my sister and her husband, as well as other friends, enjoyed playing last year.

Monday, January 11 Marsha and I started our day walking together. It was so refreshing and a great way for us to strategize as we see we have a lot of hard work still ahead. But at the same time, we want to take some time for exercise and for quality time together. We took mom out to eat at Panera Bread before we started working. We are trying to not work her too much, nor ourselves.

My sister and I ready to take a long walk.

My sister and I ready to take a long walk.

We had Safelite come to the campground to fix our windshield. What a great service! Bill also continued to try to figure out what parts he needed to fix our steps and trying to decide what tires we should go with. We’ve decided all the tires must be at risk, so we are replacing all of them.

Tuesday, January 12 Marsha and I again started our day walking together. We’ve made some progress on the house. We are in a very boring routine, but it is still a great time of bonding as we work together. We are trying to keep it light and laugh as much as we can. And for us, there is a lot to laugh about as we see how forgetful and clumsy we are!

There is one fun thing we enjoy when we are here in the winter. My sister and our step-sister live in a golf course community. Every Tuesday evening for 6 or 8 weeks, they play Trivial Pursuit. We were looking forward to it….but sadly, we had to miss it due to unforeseen circumstances. Hopefully, next week.

Mom at the Jacaranda

My beautiful young mom at 92, enjoying Christmas decorations still out at the Jacaranda Hotel.

Wednesday, January 13 Marsha and her husband took mom out for the day, so the above picture was from that outing. Mom had a blast and was happy to not think about moving. We have been pushing her a bit and didn’t realize it. Mom can only go but so fast with this major life transition.

We had planned to attend the 2016 Florida Super RV Show in Tampa. We’ve attended it the past three years. And since we need a few parts and need some ideas, we took the day off to attend the first day of the event. Mom had wanted to come with us as she also loves the RV life. But she had an appointment that she couldn’t change so Marsha took her to the Jacaranda after her appointment. And as it turned out, it would have been too cool for her to be outside all day. And we pushed ourselves, walking about five miles. We did learn from the past visits to bring our own lunch and some snacks.


The last thing we thought we needed was a Tire Monitoring System. But we stumbled upon a presentation and realized, had we had one, we may have been able to head off the blowout. So we invested in it. But we couldn’t decide if we should add it to the car as it is towed. Anyone other RVers have any suggestions?


My iPhone is nearly three years old and has been giving me some problems. For some reason, they just don’t make them to last. It’s been sluggish and the battery only lasts a short time. I had to keep an external battery attached on a day like this. Wouldn’t you know Verizon had a booth and were offering GREAT deals! So early in the day, I spend some time getting educated on the specials. I then thought about it most of the day and ran it by my daughter. She recently upgraded, too, so she was very encouraging. So we stopped there at 4:30 on the way out….

But since we were there until 6 pm, we were desperate to find a place to eat, knowing we still had a two-hour drive home. We also don’t like eating that late and had hoped to eat somewhere special. But knowing the crowds, we ended up in a food court in a nearby mall. How pathetic. But the good news was that there was a Verizon store in the court! And I needed a few more pointers with my phone….and I forgot to mention, Bill also upgraded his nearly 10-year-old flip phone.  To a modern flip phone. It turned out the battery in it was borderline dangerous….it was “swollen.”  And we couldn’t figure out a few things with it.

So off we headed for home. We were surprised there wasn’t much traffic. We were pleased we were making such good time.  It was pitch dark as we got close to our park. Suddenly, we realize we’ve made one wrong turn. We added about 20 minutes to our ride…and are we ever tired. We realized we really hadn’t recovered from our journey here!

Thursday, January 14  We can’t believe we’ve been here a week and haven’t even checked out the campground. I needed to use wifi to transfer all my data and apps to my new phone. So I headed off to the community center to use it and hoping I can get a good walk in. But the wifi was slow so it took me an hour just to back up my old phone to my computer (using iTunes). My new phone needed updating so I decided to take it to mom’s and use her better wifi. Marsha and I meet over there and continued to clean out while I updated my phone and transferred my data. We also had an appointment with a realtor to talk about listing the house. All in all, a productive day.

And Bill had been waiting all week for the needed part to be in to repair the external steps. And sure enough, it arrived in the late afternoon. I picked the part up on my way home – only for Bill to say it isn’t the right part after all! He’s waited nearly a week for it.  It is not easy “hoisting” ourselves into our home….But finally after dinner, we take a walk and begin to see the serene beauty which surrounds us!

Next up, how GEICO responded to our incident. You never know how good an insurance company is until you use them….