Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Travels After My Montana Summer

I haven't written anything in my blog since last October.  Once I got back to Oregon after my summer in Montana to visit the family I sorta got writer's block.  

I think too many things happened in too short a time and my brain just seized up on me.  I lost my little fourteen month old grandson Ben, Josh and Kathleen's son, to a tragic birth disorder called Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome or AGS.  Ben was born with this very, very rare disorder that is always fatal within the first three years of life.  I was fortunate to be with him and his parents during his last days and hold him and them closely.

Ben was a very handsome and brave little warrior, just like his Grandma Pati, my wife, who died from an inoperable brain tumor in June of 2012.  Pati died two months before Ben was born.   I really miss them both very much.

Pati and Dexter having breakfast on our back porch in Texas about five years ago.

Little Ben discovering his tongue.

As difficult as those two loses were, I have been blessed with the birth of a new grandson.  Shawn Bradley is a handsome little boy born to my younger son, Jason and his wife Anna.  I think he looks a bit like his Grandpa.

Shawn and Grandpa.

Moving On

Since that difficult time, I have moved south in hopes of finding peace and some warm weather, since I live in an RV.  I purchased a Shasta Phoenix 5th wheel on line from a dealer down here in Texas because he gave me the best deal.  I made arrangements to pick it up on November 30th so I had to hustle down here from Oregon.  

I stopped in Hurricane, Utah and visit with my brother, Mac and Susan, for a few days.  I did make it to Texas on time and swapped out my beloved little Everlite trailer, for this bigger 5th wheel.  That was a day I will not soon forget.  It is amazing how much stuff one has, even in a small travel trailer and it was an exhausting day.  Here is a picture of my new home.

My new home!  Lots more space....very nice.

After getting the trailer, I rented an rv spot in Arlington for a month, near my sister's home, so I could be sure everything was working alright.  Well, there was a bunch of issues that needed warranty service so I took it back to the dealer for work.  They could not complete all the issues and had to order some flooring and a chair from the factory.  That was supposed to be in by my next appointment on Jan 2nd but didn't happen.

So, now I am hanging around East Texas until the parts arrive to correct the issues with my trailer.  I don't mine but it has been really cold and icy up here in North Texas since I have been here.  I want to resolve the issues and move further south for warmer weather.  Hopefully in a few weeks that will happen.

Those are ice cycles hanging down!

In the meantime, I was able to visit and enjoy the company of my sister and cousin in Arlington and I even had lunch with my other two sisters in Rockwall so it has been a very good family month, including Christmas with my sister Hazel and Cousin Edna.

At this time, I am staying in Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas.  It is real quiet and dark after being in the city.  I am here until Monday after which I am moving further south and east to below Tyler, Texas to a place called Bullard.  From there I will visit my Aunt Sally and my old friends, Linda and Gary.  I will also take the time to look around for places that fit my needs for a winter home.  I will say that the weather this winter in Texas is giving me cause to reconsider this location.  

Sidebar: American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA)

As most of you know, my wife, Pati, passed away on June 16, 2012 from complications caused by a non-operable brain tumor.  She actually had six brain surgeries over her lifetime to remove nine brain tumors but one turned malignant and took her from me.  

Watching that Shirley Temple passed away recently made me think of my Pati.  She looked a lot like Shirley Temple when she was a little girl. 

Pati and her Dad about 1948, a few years before she had her first brain tumor surgery.
I have always donated to the ABTA to assist them in their research to find a cure.  Recently I received some information from them that they are partnered with Amazon.com and any purchases made through them will result in Amazon donating a portion of the profit from the sale to the ABTA.  

I know a lot of blogs are partnered with Amazon and the writer gets a small portion of what is purchased through the writer's blog.  This is not the case with me.  I do not get a cent from this.  I could certainly use the money but this wonderful organization needs it more to help find ways to save the people we love.

If you have an interest in helping someone who is struggling to survive with a brain tumor, please check out this link and site.  Thanks in advance for any help you can give.....I know for sure this is a matter of life and death.

Amazon Smile - Shop via Amazon Smile to support the ABTA! Go to http://smile.amazon.com/ and choose the American Brain Tumor Association as your charitable organization, then just start shopping!

Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase amount to support the ABTA.

February 11, 2014

I have been parked on a mountain top in Jonestown, Texas the past couple of weeks.  I have a great view of a very low, almost empty, Lake Travis.  I came here to visit my RV friends I met last year in Rockport, Fred and Judy.  They live in Laga Vista, a small bedroom community a few mile away.  We have had some nice visits and it has been relaxing to stay put awhile but I am ready to move on.

This winter in Texas has not produced anything else unusual to blog about so I think I will share some pictures of last year's travels with you that I didn't post before.  

Oh yes.....I did get my new RV floor and it looked great for a bit but has since developed a fair sized bubble in it from the slide going in and out.  I will get this taken care of in Oregon before my year warranty is up.

I hope you enjoy these pictures.  I have been very fortunate to be able to travel in these beautiful areas the past year.  

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Almost looks like a statute.  This is in Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park