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It has been a year

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-Gramps-

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It has been a year, this week, since I started blogging here at FMCA.com. Boy, time sure flies when you are having stress. I have had a boat load of just that over the last year, I am talking about stress.

It started building up more than usual around Christmas 2008 after I realized something was physically very wrong with Mike, my friend and business partner. By late March he was gone. Many of you know the story. He "passed over," to use that innocuous phrase, just after our trip to the FMCA convention in Perry, Georgia.

After the rally we traveled on down to Florida to visit my daughter, her husband and new son.

It was a good thing that I was away with family when Mike died. I don't think I could have handled witnessing Mike's last few moments alive in the hospital. During some of our last phone conversations, it was usually me who broke down and cried. Mike didn't care for that at all. He was always joking and kept telling me that he would be okay. I couldn't figure out if he was trying to reassure me or if he was just in denial. I guess it was a bit of both. I didn't want to loose him. We had been friends for twenty years. I didn't like looking at what my future would be without him. It didn't look good to me all.

I was partially right. It hasn't been all good so far, but it could have been a whole lot worse if not for this site.

On March first of last year I stumbled upon the FMCA forums. I joined and wrote some kind of blurb introducing Diane and myself. The next thing I knew I had an e-mail asking if we would take a profile survey, which we did. Not long after that, we were on the home page in the Meet the Member feature. I didn't realize at the time that this was a rather new Web site and it, just like my motorhome, was about to improve my life in many ways.

That brings me to the purpose of this one-year blog entry.

To say thanks. I want to thank Todd of the FMCA.com staff for making this blog and the good things it has done possible.

I want to thank Gary and Janis, who googled "38PLT UFO," found our FMCA profile, made a phone call, and soon became great close friends. They have helped me make it through this last year. Diane and I wouldn' know what to do without you.

I would also like to take this time to remind all my friends here of my Five Rules for Owning a Motor Coach.

It never hurts to have a review.

1. Owning a motor coach improves one's life ... if you let it.

2. Keep your temper on a very short leash, because when you own a motor coach patience is not only a virtue but a necessity.

3. Enjoy the view! Don't be in a hurry to get there, wherever there is. It isn't just the destination that matters; the journey is good for you, too.

4. Owning a motor coach is a never-ending learning experience.

5. Always remember rule number one.

These rules are important. Forgetting them has consequences, and they are not pleasant ones. All of the rules have a flip side. A motorhome can make you miserable ... if you let it.

If you don't keep your temper on a short leash, what do you think will happen? I threw a walkie-talkie against my garage door once. Don't ask why. I will tell you that I remember that display of behavior every time I use that scratched-up radio. I was able to put it back together after it flew apart. I learned from that experience. If I quit learning, I will just make more mistakes.

If you have not read my archived entries about these rules why not take the time to do so?

You might just learn something about yourself in the process.

In closing, I have enjoyed my year here. I hope that all my readers, however many, have gotten something positive from my little blog.

Thanks for viewing.

There will be more.

Derrick

AKA "Gramps"

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