Sunday, May 22, 2011

Said goodbye to a wonderful woman today

My Mom got to see the face of God today.

After many years of a failing mind and a suffering body my Mom is now clear headed and without pain. Tonight she stepped up to the gates of Heaven and God said, "Enter, my good and faithful servant". Though she will be missed hear on earth she has earned her reward of eternal life.

Following the auto accident last August she has been bed fast in a nursing home with multiple injuries. She had suffered with dementia for several years and often could not remember which of us were with her at any given time. Mom spent her life caring for her family. During those many years our Dad traveled heavily due to his work. That left Mom at home to raise their four sons. I always felt especially close to her as I was the youngest. As the older boys married and moved on I had several years of one-on-one time with her. I also had the luxury of the folks being a bit more affluent than in their earlier years so Mom and I were able to do things together that the older boys did not. My folks had many great years together. On May 15, 2011, they had been married 74 years.

Here are some pictures of my wonderful Mom. The first was at their 71st wedding anniversary, the second was when she was 16 years old, and the last was her as a small child.

Maskell L. (Weed)Stone 3/4/1919-5/22/2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kerrville--2011--Day 10

A day of relaxing, a western town and a good meal.

Now that the rally is wrapped up we can rest and relax. Many of the coaches pulled out this morning but several are still in the park. Most will all be gone before the weekend is over. We plan to stay through Sunday and head back to Oklahoma on Monday morning. As a final event we had coffee and donuts early this morning so those who were leaving could have one last chance at hugs and goodbyes. After that we pretty much just relaxed in the coach for the rest of the morning. Around noon we decided to drive down to Bandera, Texas. This is an old town with many of the original building still in use. We walked around their downtown, checking out some of the stores and had lunch in what is considered one of the oldest restaurants in continous operation in Texas. It has been operating without break since 1924. We took the truck route on the way down but decided to take the scenic route on our return. This took us up over the hills here in the Texas Hill Country. It was really a great drive.

After returning to Kerrville we decided to go out to dinner with my brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Nancy. We went to The Lakehouse because they were in the mood for catfish. We had a great meal and a good visit about the wrap of the rally.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kerrville--2011--Day 9

And it's over. We wrapped up the Monaco America 2011 Spring Rally.

Today was the final day for the rally. We led off with our general business meeting and election of officer's. All the current officer's were re-elected except for the office of 1st Vice President, which was an open office this time. In the picture are (l to r) 2nd VP Neil Morris, 1st VP Sid Lenoir, President Gary Granat, Secretary Peggy Morris, 3rd VP Carrol Henestofel, Treasurer Rick Stone and Alternate FMCA Director Ernie Robertson. Only one missing was the FMCA Director. This meeting took most of the morning and the early afternoon was taken up with a couple of seminars. Later in the afternoon was the "Dog Showoff". That's is where all us dog owners take our dogs over to show them off and parade them around. Back when we had Brandi Jane we did not attend this because she was so anti-social around other people. After her passing we started taking Buddy Joe and he seemed to enjoy himself. This time we took both Buddy and Bridgit Jeane, not really knowing how she would act, considering her desire to bark at everyone and everything. She did very good and did not bark but a couple of times. Of course I held her the whole time we were there and did not let her run around on the ground.

This evening was a German theme. The caterer served traditional German food and the entertainment was The Sauerkraut's, one of the most entertaining Oom-Pah bands we've ever heard. The band consist of five members and they play multiple insturments along with doing plenty of comedy. The band was enjoyed by our whole crowd and, I don' think, anyone left early. Also, as our special guest, we had Jerry and Marilyn Jenkins. Jerry is the President of Monaco International, our sister international Monaco owners club.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kerrville--2011--Day 7

And the rally begins.

Started off the rally on the wrong foot with the caterer showing up late. By the time they got all the food set out we had a large crowd waiting. After breakfast we were scheduled to hear from two executives from the Monaco RV LLC company. This is the company that now manufactures these Monaco coaches. To be in sinc with the caterer they were also late arriving, but once they got there we heard a good presentation of where the company is now and what lies ahead for the future. This took most of the morning and another seminar had to be postponed until tomorrow. In the afternoon I spent time catching on paperwork in my job as club Treasurer. Joanne help prepare for and then attended the Ladies Tea.

This evening, following a good meal served by the caterer, we were entertained by Ray Gutierrez, a local musician. Ray was born and raised here in the Texas Hill Country and returned here after traveling during a successful music career. He does a wide variety of music. He bills himself as just a Redneck Mexican Boy. He told us that at one time in his career he was hired to play with a Mexican band and had to have his grandmother teach him Spanish. Prior to dinner we had an open bar for social hour. Our bar this time is being sponsored by Alliance Coach, a RV sales and repair facility in Wildwood, Florida. Our regular head bar tender was injured in a fall prior to the rally and was unable to attend. Two of our members, who normally help with the bar anyway, stepped up to be in charge, Bert Garcia and Ernie Robertson. For this rally we have dubbed it The Bert & Ernie Bar with an appropriate picture of the Sesame Street characters of the same names.

After the evening entertainment we returned to the coach for the evening and were welcomed by not only our dogs but a beautiful full moon.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kerrville--2011--Day 6

The rest of the coaches arrived, kicked off the rally and then sat around and visited.

We now have all the coaches that were scheduled to attend the rally but one. We have not heard from those folks but have reports that a Monaco coach was seen being hooked to the back of a very larger tow truck up the road a few miles. We have everything in place and are ready to get things rolling. The Vendors have set up their wares in the area set aside for them and are ready to sell us all the extra stuff we need for our coaches. This afternoon we had RV Mobile Lube come to our coach and change the oil and filters and the other annual services. We were a couple of months overdue for these services but was waiting until we were at the rally to use this company. (I had a $50 off coupon from them that I won as a door prize at another rally last year.)

This evening we met with our "first timers" to introduce them to the officers and give them some info about the club. Afterward we had our rally welcome meeting with some light snacks and open bar. This gave us all a chance to visit with old friends and make new ones. Later, as folks returned to their coaches, many pulled up the lawn chairs and continued to visit. Here are some pictures of our group including Tony Honeycutt and his "lap dog".

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kerrville--2011--Day 5

Down time, a board meeting and pot luck dinner.

The last couple of days have been mostly relaxing and welcoming the new arrivals for the rally. The majority of our attendees are here with a few to show up tomorrow. Most of the pre-rally activity is done and we are just ready to get it underway tomorrow evening. The Board of Directors met this morning to plan for the business meeting and election of new officers. (The Board is made up of the current club officers.) Here in the picture to the left our President, Gary Granat, leads the board in the discussions.

After the board meeting we opened up the information center for the folks to be able to come in an pick up their rally packages, sign up for volunteer assignments, sign up for coach maintenance items and a chance to purchase some of our club logo gear. Joanne spent the afternoon helping to man the information desk. I went back to the coach area and watched some of the guys play their "washer toss" game.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Kerrville--2011--Day 3

Relaxing around the coach and then a good dinner.

We spent most of today just relaxing and visiting with friends. Several more of the coaches came in today, adding to our gathering. This evening a bunch of us went to a local restaurant, The Lakehouse, for dinner. Afterward we sat out in our lawn chairs visiting.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kerrville--2011--Day 2

More rain to start the day.

After we got in yesterday evening we got the coach hooked up to the utilities but decided to wait until today to finish setting up. About 7:00am a front rolled through and we had buckets of rain coming down. We were on the west edge of the front and it was moving east. The San Antonio area got the bulk of the wet weather. This area really needs the rain so we could not complain much. It started clearing off by mid-morning so was able to get out and complete setting up our stuff. At the last rally we attended, the past March in Georgia, Joanne ordered a new shade/cover to go over the windshield when we were parked. This is our first opportunity to use it. It is held in place by magnets so it is easy to put up. The shade has magnets sewn into the fabric. Other, corresponding magnets are permanently attached to the inside of the windshield. The previous shade we had was held on with a suction cup on one end and a strap attached to the side window on the other. It was pretty weather beaten and the suction cup was worn out. This is a nice upgrade to the coach.

After lunch and a trip to Wal-Mart I decided to upgrade the security on my Sprint Hot Spot Internet connection. As it turned out, I wound up disconnecting myself and screwing it up to the point I could not get back on the Internet. Wound up having to take the computer and the Hot Spot to the local Spring store to get some help in getting it to work. After getting the unit reset and the settings in my computer back to where they were we were back in business. Spent the rest of the afternoon visiting with old friends and met one of the new club members who are marking their first time out one of our rallies. In the evening several of us went to a local Mexican Restaurant for dinner. Then it was back to the coach for a little down time and television. The Rally Master's for this rally are Dale and Ann Lemons. Since this was Dale's birthday the restaurant recognized him with special treatment.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kerrville--2011--Day 1

Rain and wind but we made it down south.

We rolled out a little before 8:00am this morning heading south to Kerrville, Texas. We have our Monaco America Spring Rally starting next Monday. We like to go to these rallies early to help set up and get organized. Most of the club officer's arrive early.

While driving we were going into a pretty good headwind. Just south of Wichita Falls, Texas, it started to rain. This is the front that the Oklahoma City television weather guessers have been predicting that was coming up from Texas. The farther south we drove the harder it rained. Just south of Mineral Wells we decided to pull off until the storm lessened up. With the heavy rain and the head on wind it was getting hard to see the roadway. After about 15 minutes the worst was passed us and we continued on. About another 100 miles and the rain quit. We arrived at the RV park in Kerrville about 5:30pm. There were about a half dozen coaches already here but those folks had all gone out to eat. After getting the coach hooked up we went down the street to Wendy's for something to eat and then just crashed for the evening.

This is shaping up to be a good rally. We are expecting a total of 53 coaches. We have several vendors scheduled to join us. These are the folks who bring all those things that all RVer's need to personalize their coaches. One group, from Florida, washes and waxes coaches for a fee. Another, which I definitely plan to use, does the oil & filter change and lube job on our diesel coaches. We need to have that done every year or 15,000 miles. I usually have mine done once a year and it is a little past due.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A day to honor our Mothers

On this day I wish all Mother's a Happy Mother's Day.

I would love to be able to tell my Mother how much she has meant to me over the years and to get a big hug from her. She turned 92 this past March and currently resides in a nursing home in Purcell, Oklahoma. Due to the injuries she suffered in an automobile accident last year she is bedfast and kept on some pretty strong pain medications. That coupled with her progressed dementia she is pretty unresponsive and asleep most of the time. When she is awake she does not seem to have any recognition of anyone, including her family. Next Sunday will be my parents 74th wedding anniversary. Below are some pictures of my wonderful Mom.

Left: Mom at age 16.

Right: Mom in 1957.

Left: Mom in Hawaii in 1965.

Right: My parents at their 71st anniversary party.