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Our names are John and Cathryn and we live in  Kalispell, Montana with our beautiful Golden Retriever, Annie.  After we both experienced some rough patches late in life, we met each other through a mutual friend in October of 2014. Last summer (2016) we returned to Cathryn's home in Montana after a year long RV trip together around this beautiful country.  We traveled over 31,000 miles and drove through over 35 states.  It was an adventure to remember and one that sealed a friendship between us that we hope will last the rest of our lives.  We have decided to continue living here in Northwest Montana and have started building our "together" home in the country outside of Kalispell.  As our new home on two country acres becomes our special place to live out our golden years, we hope you will share the adventures with us through this blog. We are happy, content and enjoying life "one day at a time" to the fullest! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

THE MONTANA SUMMER CONTINUES

RAMBLING THOUGHTS

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It’s Sunday now.  Overcast and starting to cool off after a warm afternoon.  I have been sitting outside reading my C.J. Box novel for about three hours now.  My problem is I could not concentrate on the book and found myself drifting off and thinking of things I didn’t want to think about.

I think I drifted into a state of depression as I kept thinking about how unhappy I am having to live alone, without Pati. I know you've heard this before but this is one of the issues folks like me who have lost someone very close and special have to deal with on a daily basis, like an alcoholic or drug addict I suppose.  The urge to have some type of relief from the explosive feelings one is having of heartbreak or need for something one can’t have is overpowering and continuous. 

I am dealing with the issues I am facing as best I can but I may have to accept the need for professional help eventually since my feelings do not seem to be lessening…..in other words, therapy.  I remember when I quit smoking in the eighties I did it with self hypnosis.  The idea was to create a “short circuit” in the brain to make me not want to a cigarette and after a short time, it actually worked and I have not smoked in 28 years. 

I am not beyond doing whatever is necessary to get through this issue without having weird thoughts and try to have a life beyond what I know I will never have since that day in June of 2012.  I thought working each day would help, and it has to a degree, but there is still a lot of alone time to sit and think about things.  Sometimes this is good and sometimes bad.  When the weather turns cold and I can’t get outside, it will be worse.  Right now I can’t take walks here due to the neighborhood and dogs so I don’t have that relief. 

I have a feeling, as much as I like this place, that it may be too remote and “unfriendly”, with the exception of the folks I work with and the other few friends I have made here.  I have to remember this is a one time thing so what’s next?  At least in Portland I can visit the kids and friends or go to the mall or theater or park and be around people just to feel like “they are there’, even if they don’t even know me.  I miss going to the local pub, McMinnimen’s, for a beer and a burger with my friends  and family. 

Pati and I used to, when we were bored or tired of sitting in the house on cold and rainy days, go to the mall and sit on a bench with an Orange Julius and watch people.  Gosh I loved those times.  I know it was the two of us together doing this but I still think it would work with just me.  We saw a lot of single people just sitting and being part of whatever was going on around them.  It probably helped them to feel “included” just by being part of the crowd.

Later, in Texas, there was only the two of us most of the time but we sure enjoyed each other’s company, especially when we could just sit on our back porch, our veranda, and watch the birds and deer and squirrels and butterflies.  It was very peaceful and I am really glad we had those “alone” times “together”.  It always amazed me how we never had to fill the quiet with frivolous talk….we just loved being together. 


This feeling may have been sparked today when I called my little granddaughter, Kaitlen, to wish her happy birthday.  She is only five years old and asked me if she could come visit me.  It made me sad to tell her I was far away and it couldn’t happen now.  I will see her in Portland in about two months but I wish I could just crank up the truck and take off tomorrow and go see her and my sons and family.

These feelings bring me to some thoughts about where I spent last winter.  I was lucky enough to be in an RV park in Rockport, Texas where everyone, and I mean everyone, was so friendly and talkative that I had a hard time just trying to get in a daily walk around the park!  That tells me they were also looking for some type of human interaction from the folks around them too.   I also spent a lot of time with my sister, Hazel and Cousin Edna in Dallas helping them with issues since they have two homes and very busy life’s.  It kept me busy and I enjoyed it and being with them.







I really enjoyed that time and am trying to figure out how to make that happen again.  Maybe I will have to go to Rockport again this winter to make it happen.  Or maybe I will try staying in Portland around the boys, weather permitting.   Or maybe I will find another RV park where I feel a part of the group, like what happened in Rockport.  The boys both have their own life’s and jobs and families so I am probably the last person they want hanging around.  What to do?  Where to go?  Decisions.  Decisions.

REFRIGERATOR PROBLEMS

Monday, August 12, 2013

OK……I got through that crisis only because another “crisis” happened that diverted my attention.  This crisis left me a little poorer as a result.   My little fan that goes in my refrigerator and keeps the coil fins free of icing up stopped so I ordered another one.  I picked it up at the Post Office and Marcie, the Postmistress, decided to talk to me for the first time.  I thought it was nice that she remembered my name whenever I would come in and ask for my general delivery mail.  Today she asked me where I live and what I am doing.

She is a very nice lady and we had a good discussion, mainly about me.  I suppose I will be well known around this little town pretty soon now.   She is married and I am not interested so that is not the issue.  After our discussion, and carrying the little package I went to the Post Office to retrieve, I headed back to my LTR.  I had ordered that replacement fan and I intended to put it in.



All was well and I was feeling pretty good and busy and not down on myself like I was a few days earlier.  I tried installing the little fan just as the instructions said and nothing happened….it didn’t work.  All of a sudden the refrigerator light went off and I could not get the refrigerator to start back up again, either by gas or ac.  This is a major problem since I am a food hog and my refrigerator is always bulging at the seams.

I went outside and tested everything I knew about and then I called Mac, my brother in Hurricane, Utah.  Mac knows everything and I am so lucky to have him first on my speed dial.  I was sure he could walk me through my issue and resolve this problem.  Well, with me doing the testing with a meter, we tested it all and came to the conclusion that the circuit board was fried somehow and had to be replaced.  We are talking about a circuit board that costs about $150.00 and not available locally or maybe within this state!  Replacing it is not a major issue but finding one is.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It was late so I did some Internet research and found that they are carried by an RV dealer in Kallispel, the nearest big town.  This morning  I called the parts department as soon as they opened at 8am.  Sure enough they had one in stock so I told them I would come in this afternoon and get it and I paid for it etc. so I could be sure it was there.  Then I asked the parts man how to get to their business and he told me and I was confused and said I am coming from East Glacier Park on Hwy. 2.  He said he is in Billings, Montana!

I had called an 800 number thinking I was talking to a guy in Kallispel and he’s in Billings, about 500 miles away. Anyway, it was the same RV dealer network, just a different location so he checked the Kallispel store and they did not have a circuit board in stock.  What to do?!  I could keep looking but chances are if the biggest RV dealer in the state doesn’t have one it is unlikely a smaller dealer would.  So we discussed UPS and he said he could have it to me tomorrow if all went right.  If all went right?  What choice do I have?

This story is not over yet…..surprised?  I went ahead and ordered it and then I went to work.  I told Bob and Diane about my plight and I decided I needed to empty my refrigerator when I finished work and transfer my food to containers with ice until tomorrow.  This was not a bad plan since the refrigerator needed to be defrosted anyway.  So, I borrowed an ice chest from Bob and I had two throw away Styrofoam small ice chests that were left at a cabin so I was going to try to get it all iced down.  I actually did get everything in four containers with ice for now and I cleaned out and defrosted the refrigerator.
 
After all of that, I went back outside and looked at the circuit board again and noticed that the little, very little, 3amp fuse looked like it had been cooked.  I took the board out of the very difficult position in the side compartment and looked again at the fuse but it was difficult to tell so I called Bob and he said to bring it to the shop and we would check it out.  Diane does engraving as a side trade and has a high power scope she uses for delicate work so Bob checked it under the scope and agreed the fuse was broken.

This made me think this may have been my problem in the first place so Bob and I drive to the Napa Store in Browning and I buy some 3 and 5amp fuses to try to make this thing work. 

Long story short…it didn’t work.  My refrigerator is still totally dead and I cannot get it to spark at all.  So…..as much as I wanted to save some bucks, I am still on the same track and hope like hell that circuit board gets here tomorrow and I can put it in and fire it up and it works. That would be the right thing to happen but will it with my kind of luck?  I will let you know tomorrow, if it even gets here.  I need a break!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Actually, if all goes well and as planned, I have Thursday and Friday off and I plan to go to the county fair in Kallispel.  That may be fun and I would be around a bunch of people and animals.  I always like the livestock areas.  I also want to drive over to a town called Big Fork for lunch and see what the area is like.  It’s on the north end of  Flathead Lake.   I probably should be hiking and looking for bears but with my luck lately I would probably get eaten by one!

It is going to start getting colder in the next two or three weeks.  Summer in this part of the country is short and Fall starts early.  I still plan to leave here no later than the end of September but I will leave earlier if the weather takes a turn for the worse.  I plan to have everything in order and ready to roll the second week of September just in case. I really need to consider making reservations at an RV park in the Portland area pretty soon too.  After working for my rent plus making some wages for six months it is going to be hard to pay rent, especially in a big city where it is pretty steep.  I will keep my eye open for a campground host position someplace I want to be after Thanksgiving.  I’m not big on Christmas and New Years so it doesn’t matter where I am as long as it is not freezing.

OK….I just went to the corner store and bought more ice for my food chests today and it is all doing well.  Dexter is sitting in front of me on his blanket looking out the window and waiting for his treats he gets each morning when I leave and come home.  Now I have to go to work.  Unlike yesterday, it is a beautiful day outside, sun shining brightly and the birds singing and I’m wearing shorts.  Looks like it’s gonna be a warm one.  Let’s hope that circuit board comes in today…..and it works.

It did arrive today!  I put it in and all is back to normal, even the new little fan is  working.   Now I have to let the refrigerator cool down to normal.  That will take all night so I should be able to put it all back together tomorrow morning.  What a tough last few days! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I feel like I am writing a daily journal instead of a blog but things are starting to get back to normal now.  I put all my stuff back in the refrigerator although some of the meat was getting thawed out I think it will be fine.  I was able to defrost it and clean it up so that job is done for about six months.  It amazes me how dirty the shelves can get inside.  I should wipe everything down before I put it in I guess but I don’t think of it.

After that chore I decided to clean this trailer top to bottom and wash my linens and few clothes so I did and all is in good shape for now.  I read a bit this afternoon and saved back one of the thawed steaks for dinner tonight.  Tomorrow I am going to the County Fair early before it gets to warm.  I can’t wait to check out the livestock barns and have a greasy burger or maybe a corn dog! 

I only have six more weeks here so my next days off I need to go back into the park and go on some more hikes or go fishing and look for a real story….like a bear or fish story!  I do want to take the boat rides on the other lakes too.  So much to do, so little time.  I am so lucky Dexter is a patient little dog that is willing to sit in the window and wait for my return each day and still give me my hug as I give him his hug and treats. 

Benjamin Patrick Murray

Monday, August 19, 2013

I am really saddened today by an email from my son Josh letting me know my precious little one year old grandson, Ben, has been admitted to Dornbecker’s Children’s Hospital in Portland.  At this time Josh is not too sure what happened but the doctor’s are concerned about Ben’s heart.  Josh will keep me informed but I wanted to put Ben’s picture out there for anyone who is reading this blog and ask that you keep him in your prayers and good thoughts. 

Ben was born prematurely last August 16th and has been struggling since to try and catch up with himself.  He is a very brave little boy and Josh and Kathleen’s first child.  I know I will be praying for Ben by name and hope he makes it through this issue without any complications.

I sent Ben a little Grizzly bear for his birthday and Josh said he was clutching it when he got sick and he continues to hold onto it in the hospital.  Maybe that little bear will bring Ben the extra strength he needs to get through this thing.  I sure hope so.  I have some fishing plans in about five or six years that include Ben.

Say hello to Ben and his Dad.  I wish I had his hair!  Hang in there my Little Man.  I love you.