I’m sitting here at my desk looking at the screen of my phone which has a picture of my two grandsons. Sometimes I cannot believe how much I love theses two boys. They both were two months old, the first time I met them and I can say my affection was instantaneous for both.
The circumstances of their appearance in our family is as follows.
Charlie is seven and was a foster to adopt situation for my daughter. In our family there is a culture of adoption. Truly when someone was adopted they were immediately merged into us. By the time Charlie was adopted he was so ingrained into the family there was no question he was one of us. My sister Mary said “He’s the Charlie that got the golden ticket!” I thought that was perfect. When we were in the California court for the adoption I was recording it for my son and daughter-in-law who were in Florida. You can hear me crying in the video. I was so overjoyed that Charlie now belonged to me 💖
Now Jackson was a different situation. My son and his wife had been trying for a while with no success, had even talked about adoption which was cool. During this process her OB found some issues which were corrected but still no success. The OB suggested trying IUI and it took! He came in late 2021. Now we have the gorgeous little man who has filled us with such love. It’s hard since he is in Florida but we plan to make trips every few months out there. Jackson has made my daughter an aunt and Charlie has his very own cousin.
Back in January my daughter told me that her and her son’s spring breaks were the same week, not like last year. This was great because hubby had been informed he needed to use up some vacation hours before he lost them.
The coincidence: Her break was in March and he had to use the hours by the end of March-perfect symmetry. So the plans were on for the four of us to travel to Florida to see my son and his wife, go to DisneyWorld, visit Kennedy Space Center and if enough time to go to the ocean. We had two weeks, but Melissa and Charlie only had one. Another fun thing we planned was to visit my cousin and her family in Jacksonville, NC on our way to Orlando. It was going to be awesome!
As we were down to the last week before we left my son said the park was still open, Kennedy was still open and everything was a go. Yay!
Hubby and son had some work to do on the 5th wheel they live in, new flooring and new hot water heater, so we began to get Daisy (the travel trailer) loaded with food and such, and the F250 truck loaded with tools-lots of stuff like saw horses, a ladder and three tool boxes.
Then, we got word from my cousin in NC that the base ( Camp Lejeune) where her husband works had some cases diagnosed and he felt it wouldn’t be wise for us to come to stay since he had been exposed. Okay.
Then our daughter called and said one of the workers where our grandson goes to school had been exposed, however the test results weren’t back yet so no idea if she was infected. So after much debating and deliberation she felt they shouldn’t go. Okay.
So we pulled the stuff we had for them out of Daisy and left a day later March 15th to head east. BTW Head East was a really good band. On the morning after our first stop in Fort Stanton TX our son called to say the park was closing, Kennedy was closing, and the beaches were closing. Okay.
We headed on, Winter Garden FL on the GPS.
Then Covid-19 arrived big time in the good ole USA.
By the time we reached Winter Garden things were updating daily and hourly with each news report. Because my daughter-in-law, Chelsea, works in an essential field (vehicle titles) she was working from home, then going in to do copying, bringing a huge box of files back and forth every day.
My son, Aaron, was on paid furlough at that time and so momma got to spend lots of time hugging, kissing and cuddling her baby boy so it totally worked for me.
When Chelsea was done each day the men would get busy doing stuff. Often Chelsea and I would run errands 😉😉 (getting away from the house) to get take out, shop for groceries, just drive around, and make the requisite Walmart stop. We were seeing more and more humans wearing masks.
Once the work was finished on the floor it looked fabulous, and the hot water was very hot. Each day hubby and I would head back to wee Daisy. She is a tiny vintage trailer but with a toilet/shower combo, a fridge, stove top and a very comfy bed she worked perfectly.
So we headed home. It was and is always hard for me to leave my babies. I was sad to leave, but the dog/cat/house sitter was paid through Saturday the 28th, and hubby had to be back for work.
One day out from Catalina he heard from work that since he was coming back from being out of state he had to quarantine for 14 days before coming back. Okay.
So that is how things went down for our travels across country and back during the Covid-19 crisis. I know you are all happy to read this exciting narrative. Masks are still on, Aaron is still furloughed, Chelsea is still working, Melissa and Charlie didn’t get exposed because the worker did not test positive, and hubby finally went back to work.
Greetings all you fellow Covid-19 social distancers!!
I’ve been busy making masks for healthcare workers and my family, hubby has had a 14 day quarantine by his work because we took a trip to Florida to do some work on the 5th wheel my son and his wife are living in. We left on March 14th and at that time Disneyworld, Kennedy Space Center and the beaches were still open. On the 15th my son messaged me that the park was closing, so I checked and Kennedy was closed, and thanks to the lusty, drunken spring breakers the beaches were closed. So…we spent the time in Winter Garden, Florida being with our kids, eating too many sweets and working on the trailer. Chuck and Aaron installed a new hot water heater, a valve on the furnace, and ripped up the ugly carpet and installed a beautiful rich wood laminate flooring-much to my daughter-in-laws happiness.
It was quite the trip home in a world very different from when we left Arizona. More people were wearing masks, and keeping their distance. No easy stops at local restaurants, and the highways were mostly populated by big rigs. It’s a big change that will hang on after the virus has been controlled. My hubby has always said that one day the Earth will sneeze and reset itself. Maybe it just did.
So now to give you something wonderful and happy to view, I want to introduce you to some remarkable folks. I have started following two families on YouTube who have adopted children of a different race. They are on YouTube and Instagram and I LOVE them!!
I come from a adoption heritage – my father was adopted, my daughter was adopted by my hubby, my daughter adopted her son who is a different race and is on the autism spectrum, and I know several people who are adopters and/or are adopted. It is a heritage of which I am extremely proud.
The first one is Sadie and Jarvis Sampson who adopted Ezra. These are so fun to watch and the love in this wee family is beautiful and precious. It filled my heart the first time I watched this and saw the love they share.
The next one is this beautiful single woman, Kimberly Holden and her two beautiful children. I found them when I saw this video title and had to watch it. This family is a blessing to me and I encourage everyone to watch them.
There you go and I hope you will love and enjoy watching them like I am. Upcoming is a blog about the Florida trip with lots of photos. Check back soon!!
I live in the arid country of southern Arizona. We have bridges, but the go over washes, which are dry river beds that only have water during monsoon season. They are boring flat bridges, grey-brown in color to match the desert.
But…then…in Florida… Yeah we were crossing a bridge through an amazing preserve and low and behold there was water under that bridge. Lots of water, for miles and miles.
I got a view of this bridge as we were coming up to it.
Seriously,how cool is this!?!? Ok, there are no cool bridges like this anywhere in Arizona.
Official bridge geek here.
I believe bridges are forms of art.
So amazing, and thrilling to drive over and through.
The geek in me wonders how engineers design these so they will continue to stand during hurricane winds. It’s math – physics, yes but it is fascinating.
Some are so elegant and graceful you feel grateful to have the opportunity to use them.
Some we drove on really looked as if they might need a bit of reinforcement or elevating.
When we were crossing the Mississippi River into Memphis on a rainy night it was pretty spectacular and bumpy.
You can see the rain drops on the windshield and the Tennessee sign on the cool bridge spanning the river, and the lights of the city in the distance.
Big river, pretty lights.
And then, in Mississippi (the state) we ran into this awesomeness.
A freaking tunnel that took us through the bay and under downtown Biloxi!!
Saturday, after we got the RV all set, hooked up and running, we took Chuck to the airport.He had to be at work the next day so he had to escape back home. My sister, Lisa, picked him up at the Tucson airport, and Aaron and I settled into getting his house in order.
A big thing we discovered was a seal at the base of the toilet had somehow got twisted and was across the opening!
Nasty. The toilet paper was getting caught on it keeping it from draining-ok TMI.
When we bought the RV we purchased extended warranty insurance which covers a lot. It does cover the bathroom thing, but only the connections. Really?! Seals wear out and are not covered! Suffice it to say we were majorly bummed. The repair guy I talked to who does warranty covered repairs suspected this and instead of us paying out of pocket for him to come repair it he said, “If your son is good with tools he can do this himself and will save you some money.” Needless to say Aaron is just like his dad about fixing things. So Aaron took off the bolts, tilted the toilet on its side, (I cleaned it up-no need to have my repair man gagging) and we found the seal was fine just twisted. He replaced it and taa daa! It worked perfectly.
Across the street from the RV park is a huge RV sales, service, and supply store. We headed over to get a look at it. He can get his propane there, discounted because of where he is staying, we got some black water tank deodorizer, a new sliding piece for the front door, and a new sprayer for the toilet (it was leaking.) Aaron met the lady who works in the store, and when we got back he got to work doing more stuff.
Another problem we found was the nut that connected the gas to the pilot lite on the stove was loose. So he took it apart, tightened the nut and the pilot lite worked perfect
After all that it was time to set up his PO Box, and have a bit of fun. I will say this, Winter Garden, Florida is beautiful. The streets are clean and the trees and shrubs groomed, the buildings well tended and Jill at the Post Office is a very cool woman.
Aaron and I decided to head to the Atlantic on my last day in Florida. We planned to stop in at Kennedy Space Visitor Center and then head down to Cocoa Beach for some ocean time. The Space Center was very interesting, very interactive and a bit pricey. Still as space geeks we dug it. My late uncle Jimmie Forehand was truly a rocket scientist!
It was a great time and I would love to go back and spend the whole day exploring.
Cocoa Beach was special because it was clean, beautiful, not too crowded, and it was my son’s first visit to the Atlantic Ocean. The waves were great, at least 3-4 feet, and a nice breeze was blowing in.
I’m pretty sure I’ve been there to introduce Aaron to every ocean he has seen. As an ocean lover it is my pleasure. This day finished with a drive back through Orlando at rush hour but we had enjoyed such a relaxing, cool day we handled it with the help of Sirius radio comedy shows and classic vinyl rock music!
Part three is my drive back to Arizona, by myself, all the way from Florida with a special side trip in Mississippi.
I have been out of communication for two weeks while I help my son make a move from Texas to Florida. It was a huge thing for him and hubby and I had the honor of helping him accomplish it. He was hired as a stage technician at DisneyWorld.
You see, Aaron and Chelsea will be living in it until they find a place to move into, probably an apartment or rental house.
First step was in Catalina and getting our 5th wheel ready for the move. Got it cleaned up, stocked up, and made sure everything was set. Then we took the truck in for service. It’s a 2004 F250 diesel, a real workhorse, and it was time for the checkup. We were told it needed a new serpentine belt and rear pinion seal!! Only about $600-700. Color me dumbfounded. The service guy said these had to be done before we pulled the RV all the way to Florida. Chuck decided to look on you tube for videos – maybe he could do it himself since the seal only costs $15! After his research he figured he could do it, he needed two new tools. The belt actually cost more, but didn’t require taking apart the drive train. The plan was to leave at 1am on Wednesday morning after Chuck got off work Tuesday at 11pm. But…the truck needed these two things done before we left. So the rush was on!
Monday morning we bought parts and Chuck started working. The pinion seal was the worry since it required disconnecting the rear drive train, pulling the seal, filling the diferential fluid, and putting it all back together. He got it half done, stopped to go to work then picked it up Tuesday morning. It was a relatively easy job and he felt confident. It worked like a charm. But then the belt came next and it was a freakin’ nightmare. We finally got on the road Wednesday morning at 4:30am! We had both be up since 7am Tuesday morning but we headed out for Lewisville, Texas. After eighteen hours of driving we arrived at the parking lot of the First Baptist Church in Lewisville. The facilities manager, Jeff Hobson, gave us permission to park for the night. He was amazing!!
We slept for about four hours, solid hard sleeping, and got up to meet up with Aaron so he could store his stuff in the trailer. He was driving one of their cars out with us, so we filled up and headed out I-20 toward Shreveport. About an hour out of Lafayette it starting raining. An annoying hard rain, especially in the evening, at rush hour, on the highway, towing a 5th wheel. We made it to an amazing rest area just inside Mississippi and spent the night. We started out and managed to arrive in the Orlando area Friday night around 8pm Florida EST. We bunked again at a rest stop and the next morning we cut out at 7:30 am, grabbed some coffee and donuts at the Dunkin Donuts and were at Winter Garden RV park by 9am.
The rush was on again to get the trailer set up, plugged in, and turned on before we had to get Chuck to the Orlando Airport by 1:30pm for a 3:00pm flight. I was staying for a few days to drive the truck back to Tucson.
But we did it!!
Chuck did go coast to coast thanks to Southwest. He flew from Orlando to San Diego to Tucson!