Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day Revisited

Another prospective on the day.

After re-reading the post I did on Valentine's Day I realize how much of a downer it was. I had to look back on previous times to remember some fun we had with it.

In the first few years after we got married we both made a big deal of it, each trying to outdo ourselves from the previous year. My favorite present from her was when she had a dozen "long stemmed chocolate chip cookies" delivered to my office. (Very large cookies on long artificial stems brought is a long, white box like roses would be delivered.) My last really big deal was the time I hired a barbershop quartet to go to her office and sing to her. They were all dressed in Tuxedos with matching bow ties and tennis shoes. After presenting her with one red rose they proceeded to sing a few songs for her. The funniest part was when they crowded into her small office she was on a long distance call to one of the outlying county office's. This made for an extended call as she laid down the phone and let the folks on the other end listen to the music.

It was very hard to top the quartet so after a few years of marriage Valentine's Day got to be routine. I would buy Joanne roses and chocolates (she did love chocolate) and she would get me a card and a big bag of peanut M&M's. We would go out to eat that evening. That worked well for us.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Not the best Valentine's Day I've ever had.

Took some new flowers for my Sweetheart today in honor of Valentine's Day. Have mixed emotions whenever I go down to Byars to the cemetery. I'm always glad to go, seems that I'm closer to her down there, but it is always a very emotional time. Fortunately no one else was there this afternoon so I did not have to try to talk to anyone.

The red roses are the new ones I took today. Jo always enjoyed getting roses from me. (The blue and purple flowers are artificial. I put them there the last week of December, just before I left for Florida. With the way the winds whips across this cemetery it is surprising they are still in such good condition.) I also put some of these red roses on my Mom's grave, which is two spaces to the left of Joanne's. It was really hard to have lost two of the most important women in my life in the same year. Also found myself having a little trouble with the 60 mile drive back home. It's really hard to drive when your eyes are filled with liquid.

Anyway, this was the way I spent my Valentine's Day. I hope all who read this had a much better and enjoyable day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Florida Bound 2012--Day 28

Still plodding along toward home.

Am still out here on the road, making my way northwest back toward Oklahoma. Left the Mobile area yesterday morning around 9:00 and headed east. After a quick stop in Gulfport, Mississippi, at the Flying J for fuel and breakfast we headed toward Louisiana and the worst Interstate road in the nation. From the Louisiana state line forward we had to slow down our pace due to the rough roadway. Followed Interstates 10 and 12 past Baton Rouge to Lafayette and then headed north on I-49. Wound up stopping in the "big" city of Ajax for the night. Drove 395 miles which is a long day for this RVer. If a person ever wanted to be in the middle of nowhere Ajax would be a good place to go. Although we were about 50 miles south of Shreveport we could get no TV reception or a Sprint cellphone signal. It did make for a long evening.

One of the things during this trip was getting used to dealing with my two dogs all by myself. Ole Buddy Joe is no problem to take care of. He is the most laid back dog I've ever known and at almost 11 years old is not as active as he once was. Little Bridgit Jeane, on the other hand, is a whole different story. She has way more energy than I'm used to, likes to bark at anything and everything (and sometimes at nothing), doesn't always wait until I can take her outside before "doing her business" and likes to chew on things that are not hers. Last night she went back and jumped on the bed and found my hearing aids that were on the night stand. She proceeded to chew the earpieces off of them. Fortunately, it does not appear that she damaged the receiver or battery compartment. (This now makes four hearing aids she has chewed up. She got one of Joanne's the weekend before Jo passed away. Later that week she got one of mine. Both of those were completely destroyed. Fortunately Economy Hearing Aid Company replaced them under warranty, which has now expired, so I do have a spare set back home. This time the repair will have to come from my pocket.)

Left Ajax this morning in heavy fog. Visibility was down to less than a quarter mile. Most of the fog had burned off by the time we reached Shreveport and turned west again on I-20. After another Flying J stop in Greenwood we soon exited Louisiana and were in Texas. Our destination for today was McKinney, Texas, only about 250 miles. We are now parked at the headquarters of MCD Innovations. Our good friends, Jim and Peggy Grich, work for MCD and live here in their Monaco motor home. They do both work here at the plant and also serve as the sales staff at RV rallies and shows throughout the country. We have known Jim and Peggy for several years and always enjoy getting together with them whenever we cross paths. The three of us went out to dinner at a great little Italian restaurant not too far away. This was the first time I've seen them since Joanne's death so we had some catching up to do.

Tomorrow will be the last leg of this adventure. I'm about five or six hours from home so should be in there sometime tomorrow afternoon. This has been a good trip but very different than any I've made before. Even though I've spent most of my time visiting people I truly care about it still gets very lonely out here by oneself. I needed to get this first trip in to help me decide if doing this RV thing as a single is really something I want to pursue.