Friday, February 25, 2011

Guess what? It is Snowing!

I am so ready for spring.  I am sure it is coming soon and it will be much too short.

Yesterday I mentioned how my circle of old friends is shrinking every year, but there are other circles, some interlocking, that are expanding and bring me joy.  My USBC family circle of friends grows with every new city where we work.  My church family circle of friends that I am still getting to know back in West Virginia (West Virginians take a little more work to get to know.  If you weren't born there, you are an outsider.)  New friends that I am meeting through our business are another circle.  I hope there will be a circle of blogging friends as well.

Life is good and there is still so much to look forward to in the days ahead!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

For Bob & Marge....You Will Be Remembered!

There is a part of surviving the golden years that I usually don't like to dwell on too much.  We lived for many years in Reno and have friends that we have known for a lot of years.  Every time we return to Reno, we try to look up those old friends for a visit and every time there are fewer of them to visit.  Last year when we were here in Reno, we had dinner with our friends Bob & Marge, and spent several hours reminiscing about the good old days when the guys were trucking together.  A group of the local truckers  had gotten together to form a club, it started out as a CB club.  We had camp outs and BBQs  and had a lot of good times.  Now there are only 4 or 5 couples left.  It is an ever shrinking circle of friends.  Bob & Marge, for all the good times spent together, you will be remembered.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

H Started Work Today!

Homer started back to work today.  I don’t start until the 28th.  The house seems really quiet without him here, but it is also kind of nice.  I love him dearly, but sometimes 24/7 is too many hours to be together.  It happens to a lot of us when we reach retirement age.   We are used to having separate time and suddenly we are always together.  He is always finding things for me to do on the computer and all I really want is to escape somewhere with a good book.  But we make some compromises and work things out because, bottom line, I would rather be with him than without him under any circumstances.

We both had full work schedules up until we retired.  I worked for a CPA, stuck in a back office entering data and running reports and rarely seeing anyone.  I did this for 33 years.  Homer had been a long haul truck driver and for awhile we had our own trucking business.  After that he worked as a heavy equipment mechanic, a hard knuckle-busting job. 

Our dream was to sell our house, buy a fifth-wheel trailer, and just travel around the country.  Well, we sold our house and bought a 30ft fifth-wheel trailer before we handed in our resignations.  This entailed getting rid of almost everything we had accumulated over the previous 35 years.  I had all sorts of junk that I thought I just couldn’t live without, and I shed a few tears over some of it.  But you know what I found out?  They were just things and I didn’t really miss any of them.

Unfortunately, our dream fabric had a big hole in it.  Due to some unforeseen circumstances, which I will not get into, our savings had dwindled.  So when a friend approached us and asked us if we would like to combine work and travel, it was like a godsend.  We immediately turned in our resignations and signed up to work at what was then ABC (American Bowling Congress) at the Open Championships Tournament.  That meant we would be working for 6 months and free to do whatever we wanted for the remaining 6 months.  A perfect solution for us!

 Normally the tournament is held in Reno, Nv at the National Bowling Stadium every third year and the two intervening years are bid out to other cities.  The year we started, 1999, the tournament was held in Syracuse, New York.  We got a phone call asking us to get there ASAP.  They needed someone as an assistant in administration and human resources (me) and Homer could work on construction until the tournament started.  It was December and cold when we hooked up our trailer to Homer’s GMC Top Kick tool truck and headed for Syracuse.

Now you have to understand that people do not normally show up with a travel trailer in Syracuse, New York in December.  They get a lot of snow there!  There are no RV parks open!  We finally found a RV park in Cortland, NY that stayed open all year.  They had a few full-timers there.  It was a very nice park, just had a lot of snow.  We soon learned more than we ever wanted to know about winter RVing.  That is another whole blog.  Just wrapping your pipes and adding heat tapes does not get the job done in that kind of cold.  Cortland is 32 miles from Syracuse and we drove back and forth for the entire month of December, in the cold, in the snow.  Fortunately, one of our fellow tournament travelers found a restaurant in Syracuse that had two RV hook-ups behind it so he took one and we took the other and that is where we stayed for the balance of the tournament.

Once the construction was finished and the tournament started, Homer went to work in the scale room, weighing bowling balls.

We had a great time in Syracuse.    We met a lot of wonderful people.  It was a new experience for me.  I had never been to that part of the country before.  We spent our days off exploring the finger lakes area, visiting Niagara Falls (I loved the Maid of the Mist boat ride) and visiting Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Unfortunately,  when my old computer crashed, I lost all of my pictures from that year.  I am still hoping to recover some of them.