And the road goes on forever...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sick (Forgive this rant)

Winter’s hush has stolen across this land. For two days we’ve been in the slick deep-freeze of frozen fog at 17 degrees. After my feet just about went out from under me this morning with an ever-increasing layer of ice, I used my last bag of cat litter (sorry Tucker), scattering it across my RV steps and the entire porch, ramp and steps leading to my parent’s house.

Although beautiful in its way, this stuff is no joke. The entire RV has frozen again; as last night we ran out of propane at 3 a.m. Despite running some electric space heaters to try and evaporate the condensation literally dripping behind the bed which has left the mattress a sopping mess of mold at the head leaning against the slide sidewall, all our water pipes remain stubbornly frozen. Do you know what’s it like to try and live in a place with every cupboard, door and drawer wide open?

I’m feeling like the Scrooge who stole Christmas; in such a foul mood I don’t recognize myself. I am sick of this cold, sick of being in a town I don’t want to be in, sick of the damage we are encountering in our RV on a daily basis, sick of sliding around corners when I try and drive my non-4 wheel drive car with bald tires. And sick that my father is still in the hospital and not making a whole lot of progress. Ah…is this what is meant by “the winter of our discontent?”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Season's Greetings From the Pacific Northwest

Bend isn’t due to get a white Christmas this year but it sure is cold enough for one! On Christmas we will gather in mom’s kitchen with our kids here and hopefully, maybe Dad will be released from the hospital in time to join us. He is working hard in rehab but still having difficulty with much movement.

We’re settled into our RV spot (battling daily to maintain our water supply without it freezing) for an indefinite duration. Marc is working on repairing the Freightliner, the generator, the frozen broken parts in the RV, and even some things on the Dodge.

Wherever you are in your travels in life, Marc and I wish you a joyous holiday and time with your friends and families.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Even our cat was figuring some of the fresh crab should be his after cooking it today. Marc decided he wants to make a New Year’s Crab Cioppino so we hit the Crab Shack in Charleston and purchased three live crabs to cook and freeze to take with us. It kills us to have to pay for crab but with the boat under wraps and no ’09 crabbing licenses we decided to wait until after the New Years to do our own crabbing.

It’s been a seafood kinda week, with our friends Paul and Virginia having taken us to the Bandon waterfront one day for lunch at the Bandon Fish Market where the feature is fresh cod fish and chips served with clam chowder. You'll note we were the only ones in the parking lot the weather was so nasty. Leaving, I just had to grab some smoked salmon dip for crackers which I later found was to die for. We'll definitely be going back for more of that stuff! It was a day of pouring rain and blustery winds, causing the sea to become a murderous caldron but it was great to see friends and get caught up.

Being here has been a relaxing experience after the trauma of the past few weeks but we take off tomorrow for Bend to see what will become of my father and to enjoy a family Christmas. Hopefully by now, the RV is defrosted so we can live in it and Marc can start to get everything fixed on all the rolling stock.

Mission accomplished here: the park model is officially on the market with a Broker on locbox so it can be shown any time, so we’ll hope we see some play on that before March.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Why is it I always want to be where I’m not? Our recent cold temps have me pining for our lot in Yuma where I note it is going to be 68 degrees late this week. To add insult to injury, the low there will be the high here in Coos Bay. The guest on our lot tells me she is loving our place; a “wish you were here” from afar. I had another “wish you were here” moment this morning, transported by a loving husband to the times we spent in the islands—soft wind whistling through palms, large rum drinks, intense sun, and donning fins and snorkels to immerse ourselves for hours in bathtub water while we watched strange and colorful fish. Now how did I come up with those thoughts when it’s been months or years since I’ve thought of those vacations?

My mind lingering in the islands, we next pulled anchor on our sailboat and sailed off for another palm-tree laden idyllic bay to explore. God, I long to be there again. At least I was able to walk on a beach this afternoon as I listened to the Charleston waves gently roll up right at my feet under a chill winter sun. It was a calm day in the bay with few crabbers out and no raucous gulls calling. I felt I did the walk for my father, the Navy vet who will never see his beloved ocean again. He has told me many times recently he would just like to get to the coast “one more time”, that being here is almost bittersweet for me. I am left wondering if that’s the way it is as we face dying. Do we think of those favorite things we will miss forever, like a loving husband and a gently rocking sailboat beneath us, sipping rum drinks?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Deep Freeze--in Bend

I think we’re finally moving beyond our arctic temperatures; we started out with 11 degrees this morning instead of -10 of the past few days. The routine here in Bend remains much the same, revolving around the timing of the daily trips to the hospital. The latest prognosis on my father is that he could be in the hospital rehab unit for another three weeks and beyond that is still a mystery.

Our RV remains totally frozen inside so Marc hasn’t deployed the slides or even parked it in its spot. Despite running the two Olympic catalytic heaters non-stop, none of the water or drain lines have yet unthawed enough to really live in the thing. We’re hoping it unthaws this coming week with rising temps since we leave tomorrow for Coos Bay. It’s imperative we attend to some things there; plus even the coast got down as low as 20 degrees and we want to make sure there was no damage to the park model. This trip we only intend to be in Coos Bay for about a week since my mother continues to depend upon us to help out. Once back here, Marc needs to work on fixing the generator and the Freightliner yet again. It blew a gasket just before his trip back from Washington so he limped it in covered in spewn oil. What a messy sight.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Have Been Remiss...

in updating all my readers on my father’s condition. It has been a very trying week for all involved as he was finally moved from three days in intensive care to a regular room. He is making slow improvements but because of his broken shoulder, his ability to use a walker and try and get his hip moving has not been successful. He is being evaluated for the possibility of entering the hospital rehab unit on Monday but after another unsuccessful attempt to move his leg and take a step today, even he is wondering how he will do in a program which may prove way too vigorous for him.

Dealing with everyone’s emotions and the physical task of driving my mother to the hospital every day, and then many times sitting there for hours and hours with them both, has taken its toll on me. I am awash with uncertainty over what may come next and how this will impact the entire family. My mother seems to outwardly maintain but seems moments from the ragged edge of a complete breakdown. I probably appear that way myself, trying to juggle thoughts of a winter in Bend and helping them and the absolutely crushing burden of the fact that we soon must get jobs or go under financially. How can one be forced to make such a decision?