Monday, December 26, 2016

Diving in a Parking Lot

Casa Grande, AZ
Sundance RV Resort

By the time we returned home Thursday, we were both exhausted.  There were many calls asking how my surgery went.  I want to thank you again for all your kind caring words.  Calls and cards of condolences for the loss of my father continued.  I forgot how many of our friends had meet Dad at one time or other.

Friday morning I was amazed at the difference in my vision.  My dominant eye is the left one which had the RK surgery on it.  The doctor asked me if I wanted to go back to mono vision--one eye for distance and one eye for reading.  He said I'd be a good candidate for it.  I don't have to make a decision until the second surgery.  I was concerned that maybe my age and old brain might not be able to manage it.  They gave me a contact lens for the eye that wasn't operated on.  I was suppose to start wearing the contact on Friday.  

I was excited to see how my vision would be with the contact.  It didn't take long for my brain to manage it.  Around 7, I decided I'd take the contact out as I wasn't reading.  I worked and worked at getting it out of my eye.  Bill who had worn the soft lens before tried to remove it.  While I never wore the soft lens I had the hard bifocal lens about 25 years ago.  There is no reason it won't come out.  I checked the internet for ways to get it out.  Finally, after 3 hours and a very red sore eye I called the eye doctor.  I was told to sleep with it in, don't touch it, and he'd meet me at the office the next day.  

The next day is Christmas Eve!  That means another trip to Phoenix on Christmas Eve.  I think everyone had their Christmas cheer before getting in their cars.  

The doctor checked my reading vision and I could read down to the last line without any difficulty.  In less than a second he had that contact out and threw it in the trash.  He said, "you don't want to try another contact, do you?"  No way!  Luckily, I didn't irritate or damage the other eye.  

He wanted to check the operated eye since we were there.  That's when he found the pressure very high and gave me some more drops to use until my follow up appointment this week.

I really felt stupid but I guess it happens more times than you think.  The drive back to Casa Grande was very, very windy and dust was flying but we didn't get into any full fledged dust storm.  I guess the rain kept the dust down.

I have to tell you about something we experienced while we were driving in Phoenix.  Bill got a phone call from a friend and pulled over into a shopping center to talk.

There was one of those huge metal containers around 6 foot tall for donating food and housewares nearby in the parking lot.  This one had an opening like a mail box.  All of a sudden a girl comes running up to it and jumps up on the pivoting door.  The door falls back and she's out of sight.  We sat there for awhile and couldn't figure out what to do.  Bill started getting worried that she'd die of heat stroke (remember this is Arizona.)  We're looking around to try and find out exactly where we are so we can call the police.  Finally the door pulls back and a black trash bag full of something lands on the ground.  Another black bag lands on the ground a few minutes later.  All of a sudden the girl pops back up and jumps down.  We're watching all this with bewilderment.  The girl jumps on a bicycle with her bag and hands the other bag to someone else on a bicycle.  They smile at us and wave and say "Merry Christmas" as they pedal away on their bikes. She was a true dumpster diver. Life in the big city is definitely interesting.

Today we had lunch with our friends, Toni and Doug Laird.    Look what she brought us--Betty's RV Park t-shirts.  We had such a great time there and never even thought about t-shirts until we left.  Toni and Doug's experience was just as great as ours.  They planned on staying a week and ended up staying a month.  We will be back there but until then we'll be sporting the t-shirts.  
Toni and Doug have both lost a lot of weight since we had dinner with them in Yuma.  They look great.  Wish we could have stayed longer, but we were both short on time.  Two hours for lunch just isn't enough time.

We never even had much time to talk about British Columbia, but hopefully, we'll stop and see them when we are on the Alaska adventure.  

Turtle Safely..........

Friday, December 23, 2016

I See........

Casa Grande, Arizona
Sundance RV Resort

It's been very busy since I last blogged.  I guess it's that time of the year, when you feel rushed.

I forgot to mention in my blog about the Chapter 45 20th Anniversary Rally that we had a nice surprise the last morning of the rally.  

As we stepped outside the coach to begin hitching up, I heard someone call out to me.  It was Marilyn Wix, who is a member of Chapter 21.  We hadn't seen her in a very long time.  I was trying to remember how long it's been.  Maybe it was one of the Polar Bear Party's that Chapter 21 has at the Saguaro Escapees Park in Benson, or maybe at the rally in Columbus, NM or maybe the one in Deming or maybe the first one in Amado or matter, it's been a very long time.  Needless to say we chatted for awhile.  By the time we parted, it was too late to walk over and say good bye to anyone that might have been left.

Bill's treatments seem to be slowly helping him.  It's difficult scheduling since the doctor only works four days a week and sometimes he wants to see him three times.

We didn't have a Christmas party these past two years while Dad was under Hospice care.  When we have them, John and Karen drive all the way up to Casa Grande and back from Green Valley.  So when they suggested we get together on Tuesday it was a given, we were going to be there.  

Some of your best friends you don't have to see often, but you just pick up where you left off the last time you saw them.  The other neat thing about friends is they make the best of a bad situation.  This was no exception.  

We needed to visit another friend who was in the hospital so the plans changed to meeting at a restaurant near the hospital.  I found three that weren't fast food and John and Karen selected one of those that had good reviews.  As we were ready to pull into the driveway, I realized it was a drive thru restaurant only.  That wouldn't work, we want to visit for awhile.  I called John and he was right in front of us so we agreed on a Mexican restaurant across the street.  It had a big sign in the window, "under new management". 

 This place we will never forget.  When we walked in it had a counter where you ordered with seating.  In one week's time we went from the best fajita we ever tasted in Mesa, to the worst we've ever had.  The only thing good I could say for the $25.00 lunch was that the Dr. Pepper was good.  How can you screw up rice and beans?  The fajita didn't even resemble one.  It was suppose to be steak, but looked like they ground it up.  I can't remember what Karen ordered but she only had one bite.  

I wish I would have taken a picture of the sign behind the counter but it said everything.  "No refund for eaten food".
But like I said, good friends, make the best of it.  At least we weren't annoyed by screaming kids or anyone else in the place.  We were free to sit there and visit as long as we wanted.  We left the restaurant, laughing about our experience but still stood out in the parking lot, reluctant to say our "see ya's".  

We stopped at the hospital to visit another friend.  It really makes you feel good, when you know someone is not feeling well, but smiles and looks happy to see you.  You always get condition reports, but it's nothing like seeing for yourself.  It's a hopeless feeling that you can't do something to help.

It was getting late, when we started back and I knew it was going to be getting dark, but we both needed to get something to get the bad taste of the little bit we ate out of mouth.  I suggested a milk shake.  While it tasted good, I could still remember that terrible food.

Wednesday was Dad's service at the National Military Cemetery.  We were very blessed to have our nephew, Cody Tupps, conduct the short ceremony.  Dad had military honors and the bugler was excellent.  They were reservist's who volunteer for this duty.  It was a difficult decision regarding the flag.  I had previously decided since there were three sisters and one flag that I would donate it to the VA to be displayed for holidays.  Did I mention that I am the oldest?  At the last moment, when they asked about the flag, I decided to keep the flag.  

We hurried home in time to get Bill to his doctor appointment.  This was his only opportunity as we'd be in Phoenix all day Thursday.  Of course then the doctor isn't in on Friday's and with the Christmas break it complicated things even worse.  

Yesterday we woke up at 4:30 am. We never have to use an alarm clock, our bodies must have a built in one.  I thought 5:15 am would be fine, but we were both awake so decided to get up. When we turned on the TV the news was showing flooded streets and traffic problems everywhere.  I was suppose to report to the surgical department at 7:45 at their office in the Biltmore (central Phoenix) area.  Finally at 5:30 Bill said, we might as well just head out, we can wait up there, or wait here.  

The weather gods were with us.  Of course night driving is something we just don't do, but you do what you have to do.  John Beckman offered to drive us up, but the conditions weren't bad the day before, and it was too late to call them now.  The first couple of blocks there was water everywhere but after the first mile the roads were dry and it wasn't raining.  We made record time getting to Phoenix, of course I think we were ahead of the rush hour traffic.  We arrived at the office at 6:30 but after about a 10 minute wait they took me back.  

I can't say enough about how great you are treated.  Every step of the way, they explain everything.  We left the office around 9.  Now what do we do?  Normally you have a follow up the following day but they will be closed for the holiday.  We had an appointment at 3:15.  That's a long time to wait around town.  

We decided to go for breakfast and one of the nurses recommended a restaurant next to Nordstrom's.  I wasn't real hungry but a cup of coffee sounded real good.  We were told that it would be a 20 minute wait for a table.  No problem we weren't in a hurry.  The only problem is you had to scream to talk.  It seemed like the longer we waited the louder it got.  Finally, the girl had a table for us, and I said, I was sorry, it was just too noisy for us. 

We found a Denny's but there was no parking.  We cruised up and down Camelback but couldn't find a place with an empty parking space.  

Finally I suggested we just go to the movies.  I used to work up in this area, and years ago we had an apartment that we used through the week until I realized we couldn't be that far away from elderly parents.  I knew where all the theaters were.  Did you notice that word "were"? We tried three different places.  Now there are huge buildings on those corners.  

Finally, around noon, we decided to stop for lunch.  The lines were terrible and we had to park in another business just to get a parking place.  I think we spent more time circling the parking lots than anything else we did.  

I finally said, "enough".  Let's just go back to the doctor's office and wait there.  We arrived around 2 pm and I was surprised when they called me back about 2:15.  

It was a great feeling on the way home to know we beat the rush hour traffic and we were driving home in sunshine.  

I am amazed at the difference already in my vision and was told it will take up to 4 weeks for it to improve due to my previous RK surgery.

Turtle Safely.........

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Anniversary/Christmas Party is Over

Casa Grande, AZ
Sundance RV Resort

The morning started off with a breakfast put on by Vern and Polly.  We walked over about 8:15 and everyone was standing around asking if it had been cancelled.  Sherry had been helping Polly and she wasn't up yet.  I walked back over to the electric sites and Vern came outside.  They were running a little late.  No problem, just need someone to say something.  Have you ever been around hungry Escapees?  Something else about them, if you say breakfast starts at 8, they'll be there at least 15 minutes early.  

Breakfast was worth the wait.  Vern fixed pancakes and sausage.  There were fruit cups and juice to go along with the meal.

Bill is enjoying a cup of coffee and conversation with Jeanne.

Yesterday was a very busy day.  My appointment with the surgeon was yesterday at his Biltmore area office.  This is the office I went to over 20 years ago for my RK surgery.  

Unlike when Bill had his cataracts removed he didn't have a lot of choices.  Now I have to make up my mind before the second eye is done on whether to go back to mono vision.  

By the time we got back to Usery Regional Park, the Chapter members had returned from their cruise on Lake Saguaro.  By the comments I heard, everyone enjoyed their cruise.  

The Golden Corral was where the dinner reservations were for the evening meal.  Once again there was a great selection of food.  Our tables were reserved by the dessert section.  Do you think Ed Allard had anything to do with that?  

While a lot of people enjoy campfires, we don't usually do them.  The smoke bothers Bill's lungs, and I hate to have to go back and wash my hair to get the smoke smell out of it and the smoke smell on my clothes.  It sure made sense when they came out with the propane fires and also made the environmentalists happy no trees were cut down for the fire.  

It rained through the night and looked like rain this morning.  We just headed back to Casa Grande after a quick stop at the dump station.  I figured there would be a big line up to use it.   

The gravel really bothered my foot and I just didn't want to make another trip over to the pavilion this morning.  We said our good byes and Merry Christmas to everyone at the dinner.  

Turtle Safely......

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Escapees Anniversary Party

Usery Regional Park
Mesa, Arizona

Today we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Valley of the Sun Chapter 45 Escapees.  Ed Allard, president, introduced our founders, Jerry Anderson and Barbara Henderson.
Jerry Anderson

It was unique in the fact that they celebrated the 10th anniversary at this same park.

Gina and Jay Hurt

This is during morning coffee and there was a breeze that made us all grab our jackets.

This sign was used to guide airplanes to Sky Harbor Airport.

The sweatshirt didn't last long.

Vickie adding some music to the event.

Everyone listening to Ed speak.

All Escapee functions start with the Pledge of Allegiance.  

Don't you love all the cactus in the background?

There is a huge concrete patio attached to the pavilion. 

 And then there was food.......

We had members who didn't want to stay here and just came up for the day for the catered meal.

There was a full moon hike that was lead by the park ranger.  I had planned to try it, but after walking over to to the pavilion which has loose rocks, I knew I couldn't do it with my foot.  

It was a great day but I saved the best picture for last.  

Isn't that a handsome guy?

Turtle Safely........

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Good to go and good times

Usery Regional Park
Mesa, Arizona

Good news, I was given the go ahead for my eye surgery. Besides the eye measurement and the physical I had to see a consultant to tell me my choices for a lens implant.  Of course, she also could come up with some easy payment plans.  

We stopped at the store to see if they had anymore of those waterproof shoes.  Bill and I decided to stop for lunch somewhere.  We passed a restaurant that looked interesting.  I think the name was Dirt Water or something like that.  We both looked at the menu and didn't see anything that sounded good to us.  The place smelled like a very old bar.  I looked at Bill and he looked at me and we got up and walked out.  I've learned over the years, if you don't have a good feeling about a place, get up and walk out.  Believe it or not we walked next door and had a whopper.  I know we never, ever, do fast food chains, but once in awhile we make an exception.

Here's the view from our steps when we returned.  We just love the desert and how far you can see.  It's hard to believe we are this close to Phoenix.

We walked over to the pavilion to see how many Chapter members had arrived for the camp out.  The area which is next to the hook up sites is dry camping.  No, not without alcohol, it means no electric, water or sewer hookups for those who don't RV.  

Carlena and Harry Schoolcraft have decided to go to Alaska too.  Bill and I are giving them a head ups on the Loosey Goosey gang and some of the important information and stuff we learned from Dennis Hill.

Nothing like having a 75 degree day in December.  Ed Allard, president, of Chapter 45 did an excellent job of booking the park for this date.  The weather forecast said maybe 80 tomorrow.
 There were folks we haven't seen in a long time and some brand new Escapees who haven't attended anything before today.

Isn't it a shame, that we were all looking for shade in December?

Don and John are up to something, look at that grin on Don's face.

Pam is telling Carlena and I of don't miss places in Alaska.

It was a little warm for a campfire, but once the sun goes down, it will be welcomed.  

Some people were playing horseshoes and bean bag toss until it got too dark to see.

It was a great day.

Turtle Safely............