Merry Christmas Happy New Year To all !

December 2016

It has been a banner year for us, this year marks several milestones.  Shirl will be 82 the day after Christmas, and on Dec. 30th we will be married 55 years.  I keep checking the calendar to make sure that that is right.  One might say “we are still crazy after all these years.”

I finally did something that I have wanted to have the time to do for many years.  I finally wrote my first book “Murder on Lake Haverly” and self-published it on Kindle.  It is now available in paperback too! And soon will be available digitally narrated.  Since I was a Realtor for several hundred years, it is a story about a Real Estate woman Maye West that sells the deal of a lifetime and becomes embroiled in murder, robbery, jailbreak, sexy boyfriend, reuniting of Father and Son, and more.

That was so much fun that I wrote and self-published another book, “The End Of the Road,” which is also available in paperback. This one is about a woman that wakes up in a bathroom on 1-5 somewhere in Oregon, with no memory of who she is or where she belongs.

Since I got the bug, I decided to self-publish the 3 Children’s books on Kindle that I wrote as Christmas gifts for some friends in Seattle.  They are called “Ruby and Nolan’s Great Adventures in Space Book 1,2, and 3.  They are on Kindle and also available in paperback. Soon to be narrated.

Thank-you in advance if you decide to read them.

Well, this year was another exciting year on the road (Workamping).  This will come as a shock to some of you, but, we have decided to “get off the road” and settle down.  We have chosen to settle temporarily in Arizona.  When the temperature hits 120° we may re-think our decision and head for the hills.

It has been fun, being nomads, but now we are longing for a garden, room to stretch out a bit.

For the time being we will be staying in an RV Park, but later on, we may decide to either rent or buy a home, in the Phoenix area or somewhere else.  We still are available by phone and email. Hope your year was as fun as ours.

 

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Dear Son

This letter has been a long time coming, but I think that it is at the right time.  Since I wrote the “Dear Daughter” letter so long ago, this one has been forming in the back of my mind and in my heart.

I see posts on Facebook that you are sometimes depressed and unhappy, and it breaks my heart.  You deserve to be happy!  You were a good child and you are a good man.   What you have become and done with your life makes us so very proud.

You were the happiest baby, and such an easy child to have around.  You were so content playing in your playpen with your toys and the only time you cried was when you were hungry.  You weren’t real happy when kids buried your cars.  You didn’t need to have a great abundance of toys or attention.  You were always able to entertain yourself.

I really tried to help you understand the genes that unfortunately that you got from me.   I know that you struggled with some of them, like anger management.  You did as good handling it, probably more than me most of the time.

We know now that there were a lot of things that you needed and wanted from us and probably we should have known what they were or tried harder to discover them.  The problem with being a parent, as you now know is that there is no manual to help you do the right thing at the right time.  Hindsight has shown us that we missed the mark, sometimes a little and sometimes by a country mile.  For that we are sorry, but as you know “you can’t go back” and there “aren’t any do-overs”, in life.

There are several things that you need to know.

We are so proud of the man you have become!   You have succeeded in the parenting game so much better than we ever did and we are awed with how wonderfully your daughter managed to grow into a wonderful kind, well rounded woman amidst the heartache of divorce at an age that sets the stage for adulthood.   You put everything that you wanted and needed aside to make sure that your daughter had everything that she needed to have the very best start in life.

She loves you so very much and wants you to be happy.  We also love you so very much and also want you to be happy.  You deserve it!  You have made so many people so happy, now it is your turn.

We know that you have overcome many things and your latest hardship was a big one.  You faced it with honor, humility, dignity, and did everything that was asked of you, no matter the cost to you personally.  At the same time you made your daughter your first priority.

We know that you know that we are here for you, and will always be, you just need to ask.

We Love You More

Bigger, Stronger and Smarter, but not necessarily in that order!

Recipe for raising children!  At least that was ours.

I’ll give you an example of someone that did not get or understand that concept.

We invited a couple over to our apartment to play cards.

The mother said “We would love to, but our daughter just will not go to bed, she will stand right at our shoulder and annoy all of us”.

“Don’t worry, just have her in her pajamas and I guarantee that she will not fight going to bed for me”.

So the evening arrived and before they got there I went into our bedroom and turned down the bed and sprinkled some “Magic Powder” on our bed and made it up again.

When they arrived, and introduced us to their daughter, I took her aside and asked her to come with me to see the bed that she would go to sleep in. When we got the bedroom I turned down the bed a little and said to her, “I just wanted to show you where you will sleep, but not now, as a matter of fact be careful, because I put some “Magic Powder” in your bed and if you smell it now you will fall instantly asleep.  When you are ready to go to sleep, just tell me that you want to smell the “Magic Powder” and we will come in and you can get into bed.

She was dying of curiosity, and wanted to smell the magic powder, because of course, I wouldn’t let her near the bed.  I played it up real big and told her not even to get too close to the bed.  I told her to come back out in the kitchen with me and only tell me when she really wants to smell the Magic Powder.

She watched us play cards for a while and finally her curiosity got the better of her and she asked me to let her go in the bedroom and smell the Magic Powder.

I did it up big again, and led her into the bedroom and asked again if she was ready to go to sleep, because she would fall asleep in just a few minutes.

She got into the bed and smelled the “Magic Powder” and we talked for a few minutes and sure enough her eyes got heavy and she dropped off.

We had a nice time playing cards and her parents had to carry her out to the car.

I still can’t believe this, but the next day her mother called me and asked “Where can I get some of that “Magic Powder” so I can get her to go to sleep”!

I told her “you dope, it was Baby Powder”!

Sir Fit the White Knight

Hi, Sir Fit, the White Knight here!

Hoping that your year has been good and you are traveling safe and happy! I am taking over for Red Rover as spokesperson for the Colbath’s. Another family fell in love with Red Rover and she has gone off on a new adventure.   No Worries!  It’s all good!  We wish her well! And I am fast becoming a member of the Colbath family.

Once Dolly–part-on and I met and hooked up we became fast friends and since the real difference between Red and I are mostly color, both Dolly-part-on, Miranda and have I got to be real close friends.

We all spent most of the Winter in North Phoenix, with our great friends Ed and Alissa, and left in February to take our new job in Waller Texas as Activity Directors at a Theme Park.  Before we left, our friend Hank helped us hook up a special hitch for our storage box on the back of Miranda to hold chairs.

For the first two months it was a kick in the pants interacting with the kids and enjoyed working with Paula, Fran, Jim, and Gayle, however, as you know sometimes “things” happen. The management was in disarray, as well as the lack of equipment to do our job effectively.  We did the best we could to organize the “office” (and I use the term office loosely), do a much needed inventory of supplies on spread sheets, leave the Activity Department well stocked for the next people to take over after we realized that the “new managers” wanted to micro-manage, and had no intention of letting us be creative with the activities.

If you know us, you know that we are very creative!

The final straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was when we were told that we were responsible for mowing our sites, wearing uniforms which we had to purchase, and all of this would not have been so bad if we were not working 12 hour days, and only had 2 days of, when we quit the first-time. The new managers thought that we could now work part-time in other areas of the park and only spend a “little” time in the department that we had been working full-time.

Managers/owners really should try to remember that workampers are on wheels!

Our next stop was at a very nice RV Park called Serendipity Bay, which had just got new managers, Tom and Lisa, and we really loved them. The owner of the park was an IT wannabe and he wrote the campground program.  I could have got used to not using the computer for most of the work, and doing almost everything via files and more files, however, the Caliche dust, which is everywhere in Texas was a small problem, but when the Ship Refinishing business next door started sandblasting a boat to prep it for repainting, it did me in.  Even then, with albuterol and allergy pills, I planned to stick it out until they could get someone to take our places, fortunately that was not necessary as a couple that lived in the area, was just waiting for fall to start work, so were happy to start early.   We left on good terms, we hope, with the management, as soon as we could pack and head north to Texas Hill Country to hopefully get out of the humidity.

We spent the summer being tourists, in Comfort, TX and then in Ft. Stockton and in Ft. Davis. (See my blogs)

We also spent two months visiting our Son in Bentonville, AR.  As you probably have guessed, he works for Wal-Mart.  We also took a fast trip to Batesville, AR to pick up our Granddaughter at Lyons College  to come home for the summer.

We arrived at Meridian RV Resort (1901 S. Meridian Rd. Apache Junction) (www.mericianrvresort.com) on Sept, 17th and since we were considered “on the clock” so we couldn’t just set here and play.  So we started Friday night “Happy Hours” and introduced “Nickel Bingo” to the “Early Birds” and now it has become “Quarter Bingo”.  These 55+ kids are a “very young group of 55+”.  They have welcomed us with open arms and we feel like we are “home”!  If you haven’t picked a site for the winter, you should check us out.  Don’t wait, as we will fill up early.  Our next thing that we will do is Halloween.  And we are starting out with decorating tomorrow morning and will have a Pot Luck Party with prizes and a dance with Saguaro Sunset Band playing.

We get to book bands and other acts to perform at our Dinners and Friday Night Happy Hours! Whoo Hoo! This is a Kick in the pants!!! Every Monday Morning we have a meeting with Coffee and Donuts and tell everyone about the activities for the week.

Most of you have our cell #, would love to hear from you.

BTW if you are trying to reach us, our email address at work is activities@meridianrvers.com, you know our personal email and cell numbers! We are looking for acts for our Happy Hours, and would love to hear from you.

Happy Travels!!!

 

 

 

 

Well, another year in the wilds camping out with Mother Nature

This is one of my old Newsletters sent out in December of 2011

 

Well, another year in the wilds camping out with Mother Nature.  NOT!  We have been in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, and now Benson, AZ at Butterfield RV Resort.  All in one year!

How did this happen?? Well, Miranda wanted a work out so we just went along for the ride.  She isn’t happy about sitting for the whole winter, but we start her up once in a while just so she can purr a little.  Of course, she thinks that we are taking off and seems a little disappointed that she is just going to sit, however she doesn’t sulk.

This year she had to go through emissions in addition to her 3000 mile checkup and she passed with flying colors.  She is so proud!  She needs a wash and wax before she hits the road again, and is so looking forward to it. She has been longing to have some interior decorating done, but we have been so busy that getting started is hard.  She sits proudly just under the Observatory in Butterfield RV Resort and says good bye to everyone that leaves for parts unknown.  She consented to let us put our name plate on the front as long as we didn’t cover up her name.

We workamped at Frog City RV for a couple months then moved on to visit our Sun and Granddaughter in Bentonville, AR.  We stayed at The Creeks RV Resort in Cave Springs.  Its claim to fame is a Golf Course and club house.  That was fun being with them, but alas our time to move on came and we hitched up again and traveled to Amarillo, TX and workamped at Amarillo RV Park.  We visited The Big Texan Restaurant in Amarillo several times.  We watched a guy from England eat the 72 oz. steak in 49 minutes.  We met him outside and took pictures of him and his certificate.  He was on his honeymoon.  We were happy there, until they told us how much snow they get in the winter.  So we when our time was up we decided to move on and our last stop is at Butterfield RV Resort in Benson, AZ and will be here until April.  They have many fun activities and we try to partake of as many as we can.

Shirl and I entered a Wii Bowling Tournament and I got 7th place and Shirl took last place.  We tried Wii Tennis and it is a workout.  Can’t wait to try it again! There is another Bowling Tournament next month and we will enter again.

This month is the Christmas Dinner, Gift Exchange, and News Year’s Eve Dinner and dance.  In addition we celebrate Shirl’s Birthday and our 50th Wedding Anniversary.  The weather is not being as friendly as Arizona weather usually is and the nights have been COLD but it warms up by mid-morning.  It’s all good!

We met some really Kool people this year; Buck and Samme in Frog City RV.  Started learning about inexpensive wines and was fun. We haven’t been able to meet up with them again this year, but hope to in the future.

Some friends Marianne & Butch Krauth showed up at Butterfield and we had dinner together twice. We met them when we stayed at Downstream Casino and we listened to a Heart concert with them.  Played a new game called “Toss the Pig” that they had and we brought, “Oh Hell”.  Had a great time! Hope to hook up with them again.

We have met a lot of fun people here at Butterfields and will keep in touch with them through email.  Clara Fox is from New Hampshire and is a kick. Enjoyed bowling with Karma, Dick, Doug, J.J. Arlene, and Deb.  We also started playing Cribbage every Saturday morning.  We will miss our new friends Miss Scarlet and Rhett (aka Cathy & Larry) Joe & Karol, Gunny & Cherie, Jack & Janet, and of course Carla & Tom, and so many more don’t have room to list them all.

When our gig is up here we are going to start looking for a car so that we can go sightseeing.  Shh! Mirada doesn’t know it yet, but she will have to pull it.  She is very strong, but it remains to be seen how happy she will be. When the initial shock wears off, she will be proud to show off her new addition.

Miranda wants to go back to the Pacific North West; she misses our Daughter Dawn and a couple of adorable kids, Ruby & Nolan that used to come visit her every day.  She has also told us she wants to go to Wild Cat Drive in McCleary, WA.  Won’t tell us why, but she is the boss. Of course, she knows how much we want to see Hank and Jan and family, so we are looking for a workamper job near enough that we can visit them.

Hope your year has been as much fun as ours has and hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Keep a look out because Miranda may turn up on your door step any time.  She is sure everybody loves her and wants her to visit.

Take care, and see you next year.

 

Shirl & Brenda Colbath July /2012

Hi There! Mirada Here to let you in on the latest news!

Can’t believe that half a year has gone by. We camped in Benson, AZ at Butterfield RV Resort for the winter while Shirl & Brenda worked for our keep.   Once we park I get to rest up for the next trip.  It is when we move that I have to go to work. 

This time I got a nice long rest as we were parked next to a Grocery store and a Walmart was within walking distance.

We have had some minor health problems this year, but are on the mend now.

 Oh! Don’t worry about me, I am in perfect health!!

It started out with Shirl suddenly having vision problems-blurred vision and double vision.  He went to several Doctors to try to discover what was happening.  Good thing that Brenda knows how to drive me.  She even learned to back into our parking space in the dark!!! Of course Shirl and I helped a lot.

A Doctor in Sierra Vista, AZ sent Shirl across the street to the Hospital to get a blood test, and on the way over he tripped on a stump sticking out over the sidewalk and fell.  He broke his partial plate and loosened some teeth. He looked like someone beat him up. Can you imagine, some people actually thought Brenda did it!!

When he went for his appointment with his Heart Doctor he was told that he had to have a valve job/by-pass and it needed to be done sooner rather than later.  Because his teeth were so bad he had to have the rest of the top teeth pulled.  After he had Oral Surgery and was healed, the time it took to try to get scheduled for the heart surgery (you know how much fun working with Insurance Companies can be), they had to take him to the ER and he was admitted.  He was so sad when they cut his wedding ring off as he had it on his finger since they got married over 50 years ago.  It was so cute Brenda said “we’ll get it fixed, and then we can start 50 more years”.

At the beginning of the year we couldn’t even see the tunnel to see if there was a light at the end of it.  Now we all can at least see the tunnel and the light. 

Today they informed me that there is a new member being added to our family.  They brought home a 2008 Honda Fit.  It is kinda cute! The back seats fold down to make cargo room and it is RED.  I was really thrilled to have it parked next to me, until they told me that I would be pulling it behind me.  Wait a minute!  Shouldn’t they have asked me first? They have been looking for a Car Tow Dolly for it to ride on.  They found a new hitch so that they can put the bikes on too!  Wow! Good thing I am strong.

Shirl went to the Dentist and now he has new teeth!  Wow.  It was a chore finding something to eat, got tired of mashed potato and Oatmeal. 

Hooray! The Heart Doctor appointment went well and he was released with no limitations. We got a job near Redding California so we leave this heat Tuesday morning!!!!!

They are taking me to the Dr. before we hit the road for my checkup.  They promised to wash me so I will look good as the new car.

Well, that’s all for now, take care, see you on the road again.

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Colbath’s

The Colbath’s have been wintering in North Phoenix RV Park in Phoenix, AZ and volunteering as Activity Directors but will be heading for Waller, Texas in January to work as Activity Directors at Lone Star Jellystone RV Resort. 

This year I am tagging along with them.  In case they didn’t introduce me, I am Dolly Part-on.  So far Miranda, Red Rover and I are getting along very well.  Red was a little nervous about driving up on me at first, however, after the first time she was happy with the easy ride.  Miranda is such a trooper and Red and I have become very attached to her. As a matter of fact she doesn’t even show any increase in gas consumption.  

We first got together the summer when we were all planning on going Northern California to work, and were disappointed that the wildfires made us go home early.  Last summer we went to Mt. Rushmore in Keystone, SD and they worked at Mt. Rushmore at the Book Stores, and met lots of nice people from all over the world.  We all had a good time and the Colbath’s did a lot of sightseeing courtesy of Red Rover while Miranda and I stayed home. They are trying to get all the pictures in albums to put on Facebook.

They have several projects scheduled to accomplish before we all hit the road. They have the new TV installed and are setting up the Wii game from Santa.

They plan on removing the mini-blinds in the bedroom and replacing them with black out roller shades and drapes.  In the living room they are replacing the cornices with new ones covered in the same material of the new curtains. Brenda has never made curtains, but since she got her new sewing machine and Shirl made her the two legged table she is going to tackle it.  She didn’t even ask me for my help.

While in SD they had good friends Samme and Richard stopped by to laugh and share some local wine together.  They also went to Belle Fouche; SD to spend a couple days with the Reilly’s and have a Fourth of July cook-out. Darn, they left Miranda and me at the park. They took a short side trip from Keystone, SD to Seattle, WA for a week-end visit with their Daughter and friends, the Waller’s.  Was fun to see everyone and had a fabulous Pizza night at the Waller’s.

They did a bit of cave trekking in Black Hills Cave (took the self-tour, which was a little scary with no guide, but the routes were clearly marked. They also toured Thunder Falls which was another self-tour, but a straight walk to the fall.  Wind Cave was built up to be the most wonderful thing and a must-see, however what they didn’t say was that  there were over 200 steps down! They were very happy to see the elevators that took them 200 ft. up!  They visited Flintstone Village, climbed a mountain (small) to see the Dinosaurs. They visited the Hill City Museum and got lots of pictures of Dinosaur bones and fossils, they also had some great earrings. 

 Four Mile Western Town was fun; however, they were dismayed that they could name most of the tools that were used in that era.   Storybook Island was fun even if it really was for children.  Aren’t we all just grown up children? They visited Ellsworth AFB and took the tour of the Missile Silo, and many planes of that era.  Red drove them through Bear Country (she did allow them to roll down window cautiously to take a few pictures). The 1880 train from Keystone to Hill City and back was fun, Red complained that she had to stay at the station, but the train insisted.

The Rangers get tons of calls every time it roars though by people thinking the forest is on fire, and that is a very big concern in the Black Hills.

They toured the Black Hills Gold Factory in Rapid City!!! It was fascinating to see how they make the jewelry and was invited to purchase a piece of Black Hills Gold.  You just can’t go the Black Hills without a small sample of the Gold.  Brenda’s earrings have opals too!

They toured the Big Thunder Gold mine right in Keystone that didn’t actually produce any gold, but spent some time panning for gold. 

They went to Custer State Park and got to see tons of Buffalos just roaming.  Red wouldn’t let them out to take pictures; however she let then roll down the window again.  From Custer they went to Hot Springs to see the Mammoth Site.  That was great!  A Mammoth skeleton was discovered by accident, the site was preserved by a building around the site to protect the bones for studying. Actually the bones of more than 80 different animals were uncovered.  They think that there was a sink hole where the Mammoths fell in trying to get a drink of water and could not get out so were preserved. Brenda thought that they were all male Mammoths as the females would be too smart, but alas not true.  

Oh, well we will all hook up soon for our journey to Texas with several stops in Southern AZ to visit friends in Casa Grande (Bocce anyone?) and Benson (yes, Clara we are visiting).  We are anxious to get “On the road again”.  Miranda has to go for her check-up and we have to get all packed and then it is a GO! Now that Miranda and I are getting along so well, I suppose that we will be content to let Red take them out sightseeing in Texas. 

Well, take care and will talk again next year.

 

 

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