Sunday, March 24, 2019

Snowbirds + Spring Break + Golf Tournament = Stay Off The Roads!

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

Florida Snow Birds

Down here in Florida it is a well known fact that from Christmas through Easter one has to be very careful when you drive because so many people come down from the north, many not familiar with the roads, and it really ‘can’ cause problems.  For instance, today when we took Marcia’s brother Mike home from church…

Left Hand Turn Lane

The left hand turn lane at this intersection looked something like this today…the person at the front of the left turn lane, from New York according to their license plate, was stopped well behind the left turn arrow…so far back that the left turn green signal arrow would not activate.  We were about four cars behind them, but the vehicle just in front of us was a large pickup truck, so we could not tell just why the left turn arrow was not activating.  After two cycles, I quickly make it over to the parking lot of the 7-11 *building in bottom left of picture”, and seeing the situation, I stopped safely in the parking lot and honk my horn a few times…the person did not acknowledge.  So I get out, move toward the street and yelled, “You have to get up to the line” and I motioned them forward.  They roll down their window and I repeat it…they move to just over the arrow.  I tell them they must get all the way up to the line, and finally they inch forward to the line, and I start walking back to the car.  HOWEVER, a fellow Floridian just had to put their 2 cents in…they yell at the New Yorker something to the effect, “Why are you so stupid?  Don’t you F-ing know the rules of the road??  Why don’t you go back to where you came from??? etc, etc.”  Well, the New Yorker turns to me and starts giving me a piece of their mind.  I say, “HEY, IT IS NOT ME USING THAT PROFANITY” and point to the culprit who is still giving them a piece of his mind.  Yep, THAT is what I mean about how thousands of folks from many different states and provinces come down to Florida, and as far as I am concerned, I am glad they do…but one has to be patient with them since they are just not familiar with the area.  YELLING PROFANITIES does nothing but give us bad names, and frustrates the situation that much more.

Spring Break, Florida Beach Wind Gust

It is also Spring Break time…and things can get a bit wild at times….

Dangerous Driving

Yesterday a Pennsylvania young man driving his Audi with a few spring breakers aboard pulled a move like the one above for about a half mile yesterday on Highway 19…that is just plain scary.  Where it happened Highway 19 has four lanes each way, with red lights about a mile apart.  He started out in the far right lane, passing about four cars, moved into the next two lanes to the left, then one to the right, then two more to the left, then one more to the right before he came up to a red light with a string of cars stopped.  I moved over to the far right lane as I typically do after he passed me (where he passed the far right lane had just changed from a right turn only lane to a full normal lane), and as I came up to the light, my lane had fewer cars in it, and I gave him a little wave (not the one finger type, more like a flock) as I passed him coming up the light.

Dangerous Driving

I just don’t get what they folks get off on weaving back and forth…eventually it ends in an accident, and the person who pays the ultimate cost is usually not the weaver.  (Note:  found both of these weaving vids on the Internet…not filmed by me!)

Valspar Golf Tournament

Today was the final day of the Valspar Golf Tournament at Innisbrook Golf Resort.  The blue line is the distance the Golf Tournament is located (far right of line) and where the motorhome is parked (far left of the line).  The intersection where the New Yorker had problems today is in the upper left of the map.  Since we are in countdown mode (Four Days and Counting), I have had to go over to the motorhome on Friday, Saturday and today.  Everything seems to be working after I tested the Hot Water Heater, the furnace, the slide, all of our tire sensors (replaced a couple for the car) and I turned on the refrigerator to start to cooldown process.  Tuesday I move it over to the RV park next door to the Condo, plug it into electricity and I will test the A/C and TVs, give it a complete vacuum job, clean the shower, lube the slide.  Wednesday will be major packing day, and Thursday I will bring it over to the condo, load up remaining clothing and stuff, park it at the Grocery Store for an hour or so while I take a shower, close down the condo, and then we will drive the car to the motorhome, hook it up and leave.  The GREAT thing about all this, the temps will be in the 70’s, much easier to do this type of work in cooler weather…loaded up one time when it was in the high 80’s and I thought I was going to die!

Bottom Line:  Sometimes it is best just to stay off the roads.  Unfortunately, we just did not have that type of luxury this past weekend.

Note:  Thanks to those who offered condolences pertaining to the passing of Aunt Vera.  Hated the phone call that followed the next day.  One of my many cousins (I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-65 first cousins) passed away the same day as Vera.  She had a blood clot from deep vein thrombosis, they were treating it, but she still passed.  Beth lived in Minneapolis, and was a cancer survivor of 45+ years.  The most memorable moment I remember the about Beth was when they lived down in Modesto while we lived in South Sacramento.  They came up for a visit, and we were all swimming in our 31 by 19 foot above ground swimming pool, which had a slide.  Beth decided to go down the slide standing up, like surfing…fell and broke her arm (or leg…just can’t remember).  Well, a day or two later mom wants to take all us kids down to the capitol to meet Governor Ronald Regan.  Found out he was flying out of the airport, which was only a mile or two away, so that made it easier.  We waited near his Learjet, and when he pulled up, we were there waiting to meet him.  He came over and talked, asked Beth why she had a cast, and she told him.  He said that his son “Scooter” (now known as Ronny) had broke his arm/leg doing something similar.  He signed her cast…which I think she covered up because she was a tried and true liberal way back in then in the early 70’s.  I think when they took the cast off, she said, “Just cut right through this signature…”  It has been decades since I have seen Beth, but memories will always be there, even if the facts of the memories are a bit spotty here and there.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Passing of an Aunt, Bubba at Vet, 2019 Trip

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

Aunt Vera, October 1, 2016

Today my Aunt Vera, who lived in Blue Springs Missouri for the past few decades, passed away.  About a month ago we heard that there were concerns for her health.  In the photo above, taken on October 1, 2016, she was still living alone in a large 4 bedroom, 2,400 sq. ft. home in what was her ninetieth year back then.  I remember that as Marcia and I were leaving, I started driving away and was watching to be sure her garage door went down.  As I turned right, I pulled over and watched…and see her walking down the driveway headed for the mailbox.  Here I was worried that she would be able to get up the stairs and close the automatic garage door…not thinking that every Monday through Saturday she went down those stairs and over to the mailbox.  I laughed and drove away.  I was thankful when I heard that her daughter Cassie and son-in-law Rick sold their home and moved in with her.

Bubba

Bubba, who is now 15 years old, had his visit to the vet on Monday.  For his age, he is doing pretty good.  He does have a heart murmur, but the vet said there was little change (how she knows this since it was the first time she heard his heart I don’t know, but they grade them and it did not change).  He does have a occasional, sometimes more frequent, cough when he is laying down like this…which is his most favorite daily position outside of eating.  Wish it wasn’t on a black blanket, and I did it with my phone which does not take a very good picture.  Anyway, got his 3 year rabies shot, and 3 year license…honestly, I doubt he will get another of either…typically, a healthy cocker spaniel lives about 12 to 15 years. 

RV Trip, Part one, 2019

On Thursday, the 28th, we start out on our eighth “GoingRvWay” trip…this one will last around nine months if everything goes as planned.  First, we will take three days visiting friends and family here in Florida.  By Tuesday, April 2nd, we should be in Arkansas to visit with friends, family and former colleagues, along with having what I hope is my last Arkansas Doctor’s Appointment…by the end of 2020 I will finally be on Medicare.  Since I retired in 2012, I have had my insurance through the Pine Bluff Retirement System with the Library paying half of my insurance costs as part of my retirement.  However, if I see a doctor outside of the approved list (which is mainly Arkansas based doctors), then I have to pay out the nose for the services provided.  This appointment, which is at UAMS (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences) will cost around $20, and will include blood and other tests as the doctor orders.  By April 22nd we will be up in the Kansas City area for my youngest son’s graduation from the Chiropractic School he has been attending the past four or five years.  After that, we will wander over to the Phoenix area, and eventually to California to see mom, dad and other family members…that part will be planned out probably while we are up in the Kansas City area..  Not sure where we will go during the hot Sacramento summer months, probably up to the Southern Oregon Coast again…but eventually we will make our way back to the Sacramento area to spend the fall, and perhaps even Christmas, with family before speeding back to Florida again.  Now the fun begins…loading up the motorhome again….