Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wind To Wind Up 2010

Normally we would be talking about beginning the month of March like a Lion or a Lamb, but it seems that that will be the appropriate terminology for writing up the end of the year here in New Mexico. Frigid temperatures are being ushered in by 50 mph winds accompanied by all of the dust and sand that they can possibly pick up and carry with them. It is a sandstorm! On yes it is! The tumbleweeds are blowing by the front window of the coach faster than we can count them. The Christmas tree, still atop the wheel conversion table that fits over the steering wheel when we are set up is rocking back and forth like it were outside in the wind itself. It’s not that the wind is blowing on through the coach- it’s just that the wind is hitting us on the drivers side and making the whole coach rock back and forth. We’ve already been outside to batten down the hatches, now we wait to see when…or IF, it will let up. The storm is scheduled to last through the end of the year. Yuk! I’m supposed to smoke the turkey thighs tomorrow; we’ll have to see about that. If I did that right now, the legs would not only be smoked, they would be sand blasted, which, I’m pretty sure is not a satisfactory system of meat tenderizing.

January started with cold temperatures making it “rain iguanas” in the Florida Keys. Now that I think about it, that pretty much set the tone for the year. And oddly enough, it was Stonewall Gene who wanted to taste iguanas back then and now here we are together in the desert tasting the sand. Back in January and the rest of the winter months, the cold killed fish and manatees and turtles and made a real mess of both the beaches in the Keys AND our winter stay there. Not special, but memorable I suppose.

We had the same crappola in the Everglades where we thought perhaps we could escape the wind and the cold. But nothing doing, and the normally lush green of the Glades was a drab olive and brown instead from the low temps. By April 1, the temps had moderated and we headed off to Orlando where we were “attacked” by the abundance of sand hill cranes who were nesting in the area and cranking out “little peckers.” That’s not a slur, they simply grow up to be tall skinny birds that peck the daylights out of anything that reflects their image- like the side of a motor coach or the bumpers of your car. And for some reason they feel the need to do this at 4 in the morning. We departed Florida and headed off to Georgia, once again to meet up with Stonewall and Jules and look for some gold in Cleveland at the LDMA Loud Mine Camp.

But that excursion was short lived and my dad took ill after we were there only a few days and passed away only a week after we made it home. You can expect such events in the course of a natural lifetime but no matter how well prepared for them you think you are- you are not! It was a tough time for all and the blog took a breather while we all tried to catch our collective breath.

It took us until the beginning of July to be ready to feel things were OK on the home front and get ready to get back on the road. That was about the time when the tornado ripped through Thousand Trails, Hershey and did a number on the camp, the rigs parked there, and the surrounding infrastructure of the area. Evacuation was ordered and we left the camp as soon as we had made other arrangements.

We set our sights on Maine to visit Dick and Sarah. We started a nice visit there, but then the wind was taken out of those sails when we realized that Abby The Wonder Dog still had heart but no legs on which to carry it and so she too slipped away from us. A double dose of downbeat makes for a depression that’s hard to climb out of.

Back to Pennsylvania to finish some financial arrangements that were in the works to adjust to our new reality- but it wasn’t long before Cosmic Uncle Vinny passed away on the Cape and we headed off once again in October in support of those who have always given us the same.

Once on the road again, we stopped by Vein Mountain in NC in November and were rewarded with a “smiley face" in our gold pan for the effort. By month’s end we had completed the east Coast cycle and were back in Florida for doctors, dentists, and friends for Thanksgiving On The Beach II. It was a special and comforting way to bring it all back home. But Florida got a bit old by the time we spent two weeks trying to get parts for the coach so as to allow us to strike out once again, and as soon as we could, we made the decision to head west…and so here we are in New Mexico at year’s end. Stonewall and Jules are here. Sand Hill Cranes are here (by the millions)- didn’t see that one coming! Cold is here. Winds are here. Even some rain at the moment as this is written. A storm made of sand- but better than a tornado. It was almost like this year had a theme that just had to play out. So be it!

It was a tough year by some standards. But it was a good year as well. Filled with good friends and family and new experiences. With ideas that can be developed for the future. With reflections on the past. With a new strength that comes from times of weakness that are overcome. With love that strengthened through adversity and tribulations. With renewed faith. Not the best of times; not the worst of times. But times none-the-less that make us who we are and show us the paths from which to choose our future….

We head into the new year, remembering those who will not see it arrive with us:

Samuel Charles Gundy
March 28, 1918 - April 23, 2010
Child Of God; Man Of Science

Abby, The Wonder Dog
"Be Gentle, But Fear Nothing; Live Large"


bob said...

Nice remembrance. Having lost a great dog and other important people in my life in a few short months I know your grief. A son losing a father is hard to explain but we feel a part of our own self is lost. Glad you are back on the road and writing. For us we have added two puppies after two years without a dog. They are fun and work but worth the effort. We will be spending more time next winter in the moho but for now it is winter in Alabama at our condo and yes it is windy and quite cool at the beach. I do enjoy reading about your experiences.

MichelleWaddell said...

As always, your end of the posts bring a tear to my eye and a smile in my you guys,