Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It's been a very, very long time!

Wow! It is January 18, 2016 and today is our 30th wedding anniversary! Today is a day of reflection on our life together and it spurred me to read our last blog update. So much has happened.....

We had a good summer at Camp Hatteras. Sean and I think about our time there and wonder if or memories would be much more positive if he had been healthy. So much of our time was such a struggle with his physical pain and that has left a dark spot on our memory. Luckily our friend Sharon Spivey came to help and we also were blessed to work with an old Hatteras Recreation director, Suzanne. Between the four of us, I think we did a bang up job! We provided some of the Hatteras usuals...., bingo, hotdogs, tye die and ice cream socials. We added many new programs, that included pool games, creative crafts, carnival games that glowed, pool party's, pirate treasure hunts and many more. I'm proud to say that we gave it our best and I think we did a great job. The feedback from the resort participants was also positive so I can make the the above accolades with my head up! However, it was a tough summer in some ways. Sean's pain continued throughout the summer. We spent many hours of our time away from work going to doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and even acupuncture. Sean joked and said if someone told him to dance around with a necklace of chicken heads he would have done it. Nothing made much difference....

I have to say, however, our bosses made our time there as easy as they possibly could. The gave us a golf cart so Sean did not have to walk anywhere. They had support staff help us set up for activities whenever was needed. They gave us almost complete control over our activities and budget. You really could not have asked for better staff, co workers or support. If only the pain part had not been overshadowing almost everything else....

We ended our summer there and got our rig fixed in Raleigh. Meg flew out from Canada and visited with us for a few days too. We then spent some time visiting friends in North Carolina and then started our trek back to Texas to work at Amazon. We visited Nashville and attended the Grande Ol Oprey, went to Memphis and toured Elvis's home and then spent some time in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was a great trip back to Texas.


We weren't going to work at Amazon again but working at Amazon is a lot like child birth. When your in the midst of the painful work, you SWEAR you will never do this again. But, just like child birth the pain of the event fades and you think, hey, that wasn't so bad! So you sign up again and then your mind goes right back to why am I doing this?! And thus, that is where we were. Fortunately, Sean got a little better every day on our trip back to Texas. When we got there he got some adjustments and some massages from a chiro center that we are familiar with and have had good luck. This seemed to heal him enough that he could just get by at Amazon. But as time progressed he was becoming more and more in pain so we called it quits about six weeks into our holiday commitment. Plus, we called Sedona Pines where we own a timeshare and can park our Rv for free, and they could get us in for a month! That was just enough push for us to say adios to Amazon!


    It's not all ugly in Texas

Back in Sedona

Our return to Arizona and particularly to Sedona is very comforting. I have a brother near by who I love hanging out with and he was hosting our annual family get together. So we got to partake in that event and I spent some time getting caught up with most of my 8 siblings and some of their kids too. We don't see each other very often but it is always a warm welcome when we do. I feel really blessed to have such a large family who, mostly, all get along! But more importantly, no matter what, we always have each other's backs. This is a rare trait. My parents would be proud... Are proud, I'm sure. It is not so for Sean. He has one brother who he use to be close to and for some unknown reason, he no longer speaks to us. Coming from my large family where we ALWAYS back each other up, I can't even fathom that attitude. What is more important then family?

    It was cold in Sedona!

    Holiday lights

    Sedona petroglyphs

    My handsome hubby

 From Sedona we went to the San Diego area and spent the holidays with our three children and their spouses and of course our two wonderful grandchildren. We had a great time. From there we went to Las Vegas for two weeks. It has been a cold winter in the west and LasVegas was a little chilly. We had fun hiking and doing a little traditional Vegas nightlife but really, Vegas is a little skanky and we weren't sorry to see it in our rear view mirror as we made our way back to Sedona. We are here now and will be for 5 weeks or until we find work. Whichever one happens first.....

    Fremont street

Sean has been applying for various jobs in the corrections field and he has gotten close to getting a position  it hasn't happened yet. I have meanwhile recertified in Arizona as a guidance counselor. If Sean doesn't get a corrections job soon, schools will be hiring for the next school year and I shouldn't have too much trouble finding a job. I feel pretty confident that I can find a job in Arizona. Unfortunately school counseling doesn't pay much, is a difficult job with little gratification and you have to have a masters degree to do it! Ha! So there you have it. And if he doesn't get a job here but in another state, many states will allow you to certify in their state if you have a current certification from another state.

We will bide our time in beautiful Sedona as we look for work. If I had my way we would win the lottery and stay on this traveling path forever....but unfortunately that hasn't happened. 



Friday, May 8, 2015

Shit Happens

Sean and I are tucked away at Camp Hatteras on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We had a good trip here from Alabama. Nothing spectacular but we did spend two nice days in Savannah Geoorgia. It is beautiful and I could totally spend more time there, but we were wanting to get to the OBX so we only spent a short time. We will go back someday and spend a few more days.

When I write our blog I try to record our journeys as they are really happening. With a mostly a positive twist of course! The good, the bad and the ugly, so to speak. Oh, usually there are quite a few days between blogs so things that might have been really negative get mellowed out with time, but generally I tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But that is life, isn't it? I spent many years as a counselor and I found no one who lived a perfect life. But then, my job was to help those whose lives were not so perfect. Most lives, like mine, were fraught with tragedy and heartache mixed with times of joy and beauty. My experience with full time Rv'ing has been the same.... Kudos to those who live this life and all is perfect. Our life isn't, just like our life before Rv'ing wasn't either. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining but I just can't really imagine all these other folks have no bumps in the road!

Anyway, I digress. Probably because as of late our life has had its bumps. When we were in Alabama, Sean did something in his leg and glute that has caused a great deal of nerve pain. He has done it before but usually it lasts a few days and then it is gone. He thinks he did it walking on the uneven beach for many miles on Orange Beach. Beach walking has kicked this problem up before but it usually lasted a few days at most. This has gone on for weeks now. After the first week, Sean went to urgent care and other then a steroid shot that did nothing and some meds that did even less, he found no relief. Each day, things went from bad to worse. By the time we got to Camp Hatteras, Sean could barely walk without pain. We pulled in and started to get our rig set up. All went well until our largest slide in the bedroom did not open. Eventually with some finagling, we got it open. Needless to say, we knew we had another slide issue. Ugh! However, we were happy to get the slide out and the rig set up

We then began our job here at Hatteras. The people are friendly, kind and helpful. Many people have come here every summer for 10 years and more! We are very happy to be here but this is no little recreation job. It will keep us very busy and getting a grasp on it all has been a bit overwhelming. Though Sean and I have a recreation background, it has been 18 years for me and 20 or more years for Sean since we have worked in the field. Recreation is a huge part of the program here and it is expansive. Another couple was hired to work with us but cancelled their commitment the day we arrived. So, we are trying to get a handle on it and it is happening but Sean is still unable to move much and there is much work to do. He has met with orthopedic doctors, massage therapists, acupuncture and now physical therapy. He is still in a great deal of pain, but I think he has seen slight improvement in the last 24 hours

A few days ago, with two doctor apointments on the to do list, along with extensive shopping for our recreation job, Sean pulled the black tank valve to empty our "poopy" water, to have the valve break. The tank emptied but the valve is no longer able to close. Having a slide not be able to close is one thing, but not being able to use your toilet is another. Yes, we have toilets available to us at the park, but Sean can hardly walk and a large storm is moving in. We called a repair man who informed us it would be a week for the part. Sean went to his apointments still to find no relief but he did get an X-ray that showed no visible damage. His next appointment is to physical therapy. Meanwhile he drives the truck the block or two to the park restrooms. I am trying to handle all the other aspects of our life that involve movement so Sean does not have to.

A storm hit and it is very cold, windy and raining. We have a bathroom where we work and as long as Sean doesn't have to move much besides using the bathroom, he is ok. However, recreation is very physical and if he isn't better soon, this job could become problematic quickly. Hopefully he will be healed before Memorial Day weekend which kicks off the summer here. They expect hundreds of campers who all want to enjoy the recreation programs. Happily, they have hired our friend Sharon Spivey, to come mid June and help us out. We will be very happy to see her!

The other little glitch we weren't really expecting is hurricanes. We had a friend mention on Facebook that we were coming to Hatteras during the hurricane season. I mentioned it to Sean and he said they are usually in September. Well, we got here and all of the work campers have stories to tell you of the hurricanes they have experienced here every summer. The good news is that you know when a hurricane is going to hit and since our houses are on wheels, you just fold them up and head inland and wait out the storm. Oops, wait, our slide is broken and won't move in! Now that could be problematic as well since we can't move our house with a slide sticking out! I guess we pray for a hurricane free summer and keep our insurance premiums paid!

We leave soon to fly to Texas for Megs college graduation. She has done wonderfully and will be receiving many honors. Sean jr. and his family, Cory and April and Lou and Ken will be attending. I hope other family and friends will make it but I know Texas is far from Arizona. Cory has also just completed his second Bachelor degree. He has gotten both of his degrees through online programs and chooses not to go through graduation ceremonies. However, that doesn't make us any less proud of him! Sean jr. Is doing amazing things with his new house and his family is thriving. As you can see, life has its bumps and its beauty. Full time Rv'ing is no different.

Just a few photos of the area. We have been working a lot of hours and we haven't had much time to do a lot. Plus with Sean's injury, he hasn't been up for much.
I wrote this a few days ago. I wish I could say Sean was much better but he isn't. Our black tank has been rigged to work for now, but the local guy says he can't do the repair and we need to take it to a repair shop. We haven't moved the slide so not sure of its status. We are making huge progress on the recreation position and have much planned. And another storm is on its way..... Did I say shit happens??


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Coastal Alabama

Our 20 days in Alabama and the Rainbow Plantation has come to an end. We had a good, if not somewhat soggy time here. Our first week was sunny and warm. We spent our days seeing local attractions and enjoying Orange Beach. If we had known the sun was going to disappear we would have probably spent more time at the beach. But alas, we did not. A series of storms hit the south and we soon became drenched in rain. Buckets of rain at times. We endured and mostly were lucky at watching the weather predictions and planning our outings to coincide with the weather. We did pretty well but some days were better then others! This is beautiful country. Green and blooming with all types of wonderful plants. But all of this green is because of the rain. The area gets upwards of 50+ inches of rain a year. Green and rivers come with a high price. Rain, humidity and bugs! If I could just live on the beach, I think it would all be doable. But not all of life is on a beautiful, sandy beach. I'm not sure I am cut out for the other side of tropical life. The desert has its benefits.

Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, AL
Tree frog
Good idea!
Swinging in a park in Fairhope

Fort Morgan
Orange Beach
You can never have enough truck
Local museum on a doctor who started the first hospital
Railroad museum
Dolphin boat tour
FloraBama - bar half in Florida and half in Alabama
One of many lazy rainy days
Naval Museum - Blue Angels
Poster in Naval Museum - reminded me of Cory
Pensacola Lighthouse Museum
That's the truck way at the bottom of the lighthouse
Fort Barrancas
Ferry ride back from Dauphin Island
USS Alabama