Monday, February 4, 2008

Annual CheckUps

It never fails! If I stop and take a break from writing the blog, the calls and e mails start up in short order: "Hey, we don't see anything new on the blog. Where are you? Are you OK? What's wrong? How come?"

Well, in truth we are still in Florida and were camped out within easy commute of the old stomping ground of Cape Coral. Why? Annual check ups of all kinds. Each by itself is not noteworthy and certainly not great reading for the masses, and I'm not real sure that collectively it is much better, but I'll try to bring you up to date with the personal stuff, at least as much as I think will quench your thirst for knowing what's up.

Life on the road is a real blast. We all love it! But there are certain elements of necessity in life that are made more challenging by the life style. Getting the annual blood tests and physical is not so easy when you are in Alaska and the doctor is in Florida. You get the idea. And dentists? That's a story in and of itself. Of all the services that are possible on the road, getting you teeth cleaned is the least easy to accomplish. Actually, it is nigh on impossible, and although we tried our level best to do that, even going so far as to carry recent x-rays, letter of recommendation and referral from our hometown dentist office, we were not able to "git 'er done" as the cable guy would say. So the nature of this visit "home" was to fit in all the business of appointments, services, check ups, repairs, etc. Here's the partial list:

The car needed two new tires from Sears under warranty. Go Sears! Oh, and an alignment- we were pretty rough on the old Honda Odyssey, which came back from it's first 24,000+ mile trip thinking it had become a Hummer! It took three visits to get all this accomplished, and we fit appointments in where ever we could so as to multi-task.

The coach needed to have the outside basement TV replaced- also warranty. Go Newmar! Go North Trail (And if you're shopping for an RV and want a really good and honest guy, ask for Ray when you call)! Both the coach manufacturer and the dealer have been great with us! There is no shortage of horror stories out there in the wonderful world of RV-ing. The coach keeps breaking. The manufacturer won't make good. The dealer won't fit me in. None of those things have posed a problem to us...and whether we are just lucky or in some way finding things favorable because we like to treat people right and always (well, usually) get the same in return- I don't know! But I'll take it the way I have it-and gladly pass the credit on to those who have taken such good care of us. Getting the necessary service took two visits to the dealer, one upon arrival and one to fine tune at time of departure. So we not only "got in" for service, we got in when it was necessary as well as when it was convenient. And this is the much dreaded high season in Florida! The service department at the dealer (North Trail) and the guys from the manufacturer (Newmar) on the other end of the phone or the e mail treat us like valued friends. They, in turn, are valued friends of ours!

My doctor's appointments produced a clean bill of health, as did all of Marilyn's. It took something like five different visits to the labs and the offices to dispense this annual task with all the necessary health care providers.

The eye doctor found everything "looking good" deep in the eyes of each of us. We first had our check ups and then returned a few days later for lens swapping (glasses, not eye balls). Two visits each in this regard as well.

Below, Marilyn takes a moment from kitchen duty to peek out onto the patio to see what's up with those of us hanging outside the coach. See, there's all kinds of "checking up" getting done on this stop...
Look at that cute little face!

Abby had her check up too. She had a preliminary visit to the vet to check her thyroid meds and a lump on her back right leg. And after we got some test results that showed some cancer in the area it was back to the doggie doc for surgery. Whether it's people family or the four legged family, medical woes produce more than their share of anguish and this was no exception. And while there is always the chance that the surgery didn't get everything that needed getting, the results were promising and I am happy to report that now several days later, Abby is happy and seemingly quite comfortable and back to her old self and her old routine. Oh she clearly saw the worry in our eyes and milked it for all it was worth for a few days....but all seems normal now and life goes on.
It is the fact that someday life must end that, if we appreciate the concept correctly, helps us to make the most of the time we have, whatever the circumstances under which we have it. Life is always what you make it and always a gift.
Oh, and did I mention Marilyn sewed two new covers for Abby's newly improved bed using her mothers old sewing machine which is now traveling with us???

Abby hangs with the big guy and runs with the big dogs on a foggy day at the doggie beach near Lover's Key, Bonita Beach, Florida. For those of you who might be thinking it is ridiculous to spend time writing in a blog about the life and times of a dog---think again. Abby has made as many long term friends on the road as we have. Because we often see camping friends again and again in our travels, the dogs get to revisit old friends as well. And she gets darn near as much e mail as I do!
And speaking of old friends (but not old dogs), here sit Bouncing Bob and Precious Polly. We met these two happy campers in Florida over a year ago...and here they are again! We spent some time with them in Texas and just missed them in Wyoming some time later. Life has thrown us each a couple of curves in this last year that kept us from spending more time with each other, but even a short visit with them is unbelievably uplifting and seeing them again is always on the list of things we look forward to.
I'm really sorry I forgot my camera the evening we stopped in for a visit and a bite to eat with former neighbors Bruce and Michelle and family. I really should have a picture of them! It was a wonderful visit and we were so happy to see them and have at least a quick visit. Like our other friends on the Cape they are people of great character- honest, hard working, caring, loving, generous and just plain fun to be around. So with that- apologies to all of those other good friends that time made it impossible to visit on this go-round. But then it is Gundyville on Wheels and it will be coming around again for a "check up."

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