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Fakes right, goes left!

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TBUTLER

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Ok! So I had this great excursion of air and space planned for this spring in Florida. It was so simple, depart south Texas, drive north, keep making right turns until we got to Lakeland, Florida. Then we got a phone call from Louise's sister. Her mother had a heart attack on Friday, April 10. Our plans immediately took a tailspin into the trash can and we shifted gears. After some discussion I canceled my tennis match for Saturday morning. Louise arranged to get us out of the couples water volleyball tournament on Saturday afternoon. Then I made a first pass at getting ready for travel by taking down the external sun screens and wheel covers. They were all rolled and stowed in the dark and quietly too, it was after quiet hours. The fresh water tank is flushed and filled and I start organizing my desk (some call it a nest) area. The GPS is loaded with the maps and waypoints for the route. Louise began packing up all the little decorations that make the RV a home during our winter stay.

Saturday morning I'm up early taking care of communication details with family and friends. I check the weather forecast for the next few days along our route of travel. The computer, disk drives and printers are stowed. Then I began the serious work of washing off the worst of the south Texas dust that had accumulated over the last few months. Everything comes out of our small shed and it is carefully packed away in the Trailblazer and Windsor. Then our tables, chairs, porch and other gear that will be left behind are stowed in the shed. Meanwhile Louise has systematically organized and secured the interior of the motor home. Nothing is going to rattle or crash when we pull out. A quick shower and we are out the gate at 6:20 p.m.

Our route now takes us north to San Antonio, then northwest toward Denver. The GPS has plotted a course that I would never have worked out on my own. Leaving I-10 west of San Antonio, we head toward Lubbock, Amarillo, Lamar and Limon on our way to Denver. From I-10 to Limon is completely new territory for both of us and we enjoy the sights as we keep pushing on to the north and left.

Our first overnight was a parking area north of Alice, Texas. The next day starts with rain, wet roads and light showers give way to cloudy skies, perfect for driving. Traffic is light, this is Easter and most people are with family. The smaller highways have little traffic. As we near Amarillo we encounter more showers including a quick hail storm as we pass through Hale, Texas. The hail is soft and the rain is hard for about three minutes. Then it is all over. After fueling at Flying J, we locate a Sam's Club parking lot. The GPS said it would be a Wal-Mart but the data must be old. The Sam's Club is new! We park at a back fence. A sign on the fence says "no idling, shut off engine" so we comply. We covered over 600 miles on Sunday. It is a nice quiet place for the night.

Next morning up early again. The temperature is 30 degrees cooler than the previous day and the tires are all low on pressure. I air tires while Louise makes breakfast and tidies the interior. Continuing northward through the Texas Panhandle and through the Oklahoma Panhandle we encounter some of our roughest roads. I watch the LCD TV that I installed to replace the old CRT. I am pleased to see that it is handling the rough roads with no problem. We talk history, here and there we see an old soddy. Contrast that with the immense wind farms we see throughout northern Texas. In places we see new wind generators right next to old windmills pumping water for livestock. Louise catches an occasional nap, I drive. She can drive and does frequently but I am intent on keeping us moving.

At 4:05 p.m. we pull into Prospect RV in Wheat Ridge, CO. Nancy has arranged for us to park on a space temporarily until she can put us in a better spot. We won't have a sewer connection until we move. They have turned on the water in this part of the park today or we wouldn't have had water either. We are glad to be parked. Hooked up and showered we are off to see Louise's mother. Seventy two hours ago we were going to Florida. Forty eight hours ago we departed Sandpipers. Now we are living in Denver! What great flexibility the motor home gives us.

Louise's mother had a stent inserted into the offending artery and is doing well. I hope I'll be able to stand such surgery when I am 88 years old. We'll be here for as long as needed to assist with her care. When Louise's sister and family are able resume caring of her with their full work schedules, we'll salvage what we can of our summer plans.

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Tom and Louise,

So sorry to hear about Louise's Mother. Our prayers are with her and the family for a health and speedy recovery.

GBY

Wayne

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Plans always seem to change. Last year Linda and I travelled to Edmonton by motorhome to visit our son and his wife-once we arrived Linda's brother called saying that their mother in Wales had taken a turn for the worse. Now we knew she was poorly as Linda had just returned from Britain from visiting her,but we had to make this trip west to see our son,of course. So Linda booked a flight from Edmonton to Cardiff,Wales immediately($10,000) and flew off. She got there in time to bid goodbye to her mother. Well worth the trip. I returned home to Ontario by myself.

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The good news is that Louise's mother is now home with her youngest daughter and family. Of course the reason she could come home instead of a nursing home is that Louise and I are here to take care of her during the day while everyone else is away at work. She needs constant supervision. We'll be taking her to doctors visits and doing errands for her. We feel fortunate to be able to do this since we are retired. Having the motor home means that home is just a short distance away most all of the time. It is about as convenient as this duty could be.

Thanks for the concern and yes, whatever time we have left with our parents is well worth whatever sacrifices we make to be there for them.

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