Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hi all -- Dianne here; Roger will add his two cents' worth below.

Well, we're finally on the road! We scurried to get the house "show ready" and finally left Pendleton around 1:00 p.m., after the snow melted from Main Street. Monday and Tuesday morning I said a few choice words as I lugged the final items across our slick, icy driveway and up the snowy-and-also-slick motorhome steps. Hard to believe we actually drove NORTH from there! It's still Autumn, for crying out loud, and still 18 days until winter. Sure feels like February to me.

Andy Leichty, our new realtor, will re-list our house January 5. He suggested we wait until after the holidays. Roger told me he'd be great, and I must say I have been very impressed so far. I think we're in good hands.

Our trip to Elkhart was uneventful (that's a GOOD thing!), with clear roads and little traffic up U.S. 31. We slept last night in the motorhome at Bradd & Hall's facility, plugged into their electricity. This morning, we pulled the motorhome into the service bay, took the dogs and cat to a boarding kennel, and left to see the sites in Elkhart. The purpose of our trip up here is to switch out our heavy, analog TVs to new, lightweight digital-ready flat screen TVs. We wanted to get this done prior to our satellite installation in Florida next month. We will still need to use our batwing antenna to get local TV stations, so we either needed to switch the TVs or get a converter box before February. We decided to "go for it" now, since this will be our home! For those of you wondering "How the heck can they afford that??", you missed my two mega garage sales last summer.

I was impressed with the pet boarding facility, North Star, in Elkhart. The owner trains service dogs, and has a very attractive building with "luxury suites" available for the dogs, complete with TVs and toddler beds to sleep on. There are also basic indoor/outdoor pens available for a lower cost, but my boys are used to their creature comforts. Jasper and Chaplin should feel right at home, except that they are used to CNBC in the background, not Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer, which was the TV viewing choice at North Star. We hope to pick them up mid-day tomorrow and finally head south. That is, unless the predicted lake-effect snow tonight makes us stick around Elkhart for a while. Roger and I are at the Hampton Inn tonight (no pets allowed).

North Star is very near the RV Museum, which Roger will elaborate on when it's his turn to write. We both plan to contribute our thoughts to the blog. I promise it will get better with time. We're just learning this blog-thing. I can't get to my camera yet to add photos, but that will come soon. I'll include before-and-after shots of our TV installations, sites we
visit, and of course, lots and lots of animal shots, both domestic and hopefully wildlife. We might have some breaks here and there from writing the blog, especially until we're up and running with our satellite system next month, but we'll try to keep it up-to-date. Thanks for stopping by!

Hi everyone. This is Roger. The goodbyes...... The hardest thing so far has been saying goodbye, for a few months, to our daughter, Amanda, and our granddaughter, Kaia. We did have a great time with them on Thanksgiving as they accompanied us to Chicago (along with Amanda's boyfriend, Eric) to see our other daughter, Robyn. Robyn has now flown from Chicago to Barcelona where she will be in the Second City show on the Norwegian Jade. On the trip back from Chicago we were able to see Dianne's cousins Charles, Becky and John and their families in Mulberry, IN. We had a great dinner at Peterson's Monday night, thanks to a gift card from my dentist and former student/swim team member, with our dear friends Jay and Nancy Ricker. The goodbye to Amanda and Kaia took place before school Tuesday morning. I can't wait to see them in March when we will meet them at Disney World during Kaia's Spring Break. (Dianne has talked with Amanda via cell phone three times already, today.)

For those of you who know me well, especially from HSE, you know about my type A personality. I must always have something to obsess about. I must say that I am much more relaxed than usual; however, the cold weather has me fretting about keeping the water system in a liquid state. I rigged up an electric heater in the water bay for the times that we can plug in to shore power. We have a remote temperature sensor in that bay that tells us if the temperature ever falls below 32 degrees. I call the sensor Angela, in honor of another former student - who is now a TV meteorologist. After we finally get out of this early Indiana winter I am sure that I will find other things to worry about, but I have to tell you that the stress level is already much lower. It hit me today that I am actually retired when I wasn't sure what day of the week it was.

Dianne promised that I would talk about the RV Hall of Fame that we visited today in Elkhart. It was awesome. For anyone who has an interest in RVing, it is a place that you should visit. It is a new and impressive facility, just off I-80, that has huge rooms filled with "vintage" RVs. We had the place all to ourselves. The nice lady who greeted us had a lot of time on her hands, since we were the only visitors (100-200 in the summer). She personally gave us a great introduction. Our friends, Chuck and Cindy, would love it.

Hopefully, the next time you hear from us we will have escaped the Indiana winter and be in a warmer place. It is our goal to get away from this cold, snowy weather (with our new flat screen TVs) as quickly as possible. Roger

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