Oct 11 - Dec 31 - The plans that got upsot
Sometimes things go according to plan. Sometimes they don't.
On Oct 11, we pulled up stakes, so to speak, and drove from Jan & Denny's (17) to the 1000 Trails Resort at Seaside OR (18). And after a summer of really nice weather, it started to rain on Oct 12. Pretty much didn't stop until after Christmas.
We hung around Seaside for a couple of weeks, venturing out whenever it wasn't raining, visiting friends and family. Pretty basic stuff. Managed to combine a drive into Portland to pick up our annual supply of Amsoil motor oil with an enjoyable dinner with Ira & Anna and were introduced to the Claim Jumpers restaurant chain. Now we've got another nice place to eat on our radar.
On Oct 24, we drove to the Premiere RV Resort (19) north of Eugene OR for two days. Last spring, Judy had received a preliminary diagnosis of very early Parkinson's Disease, and we had an appointment with a Neurologist to follow up on that. Diagnosis confirmed. Certainly adds a new element to our adventure. We also touched base with Judy's sister Joanna and did some serious shopping. Our microwave oven died spectacularly while in Seaside, and we had a replacement waiting in Eugene. We installed that, reinforcing the microwave mounts at the same time. And on the way out of town, we stopped at Countryside Interiors in Junction City to see about getting one of our recliners fixed. Turns out to be a factory warranty job, so we'll have to live with it until we get somewhere near Riverside CA next year.
On the 26th, we moved to the 1000 Trails South Jetty Resort (20) near Florence OR, and took the rig into Florence RV Center for her annual oil change. While the rig was in the shop, we had the air conditioner covers replaced, and found we needed to have the RV roof resealed "before long". We had a pleasant visit with Judy's cousin Sara and Jerry, who had just completed moving into their motorhome and becoming fulltimers like us. Judy had some followup evaluations at the Neurology Center, and (of course) it rained. And on Nov 9, we drove north to the Neskowin Creek RV Resort (21) just north of Lincoln City.
It's been several years since we'd been to the Evergreen Air Museum in McMinnville, which was built around Howard Hughes' enormous "Spruce Goose". Wow! The museum has certainly grown up. The new Aerospace building is one of the nicest displays of space hardware we've seen in any air museum, and we've seen a bunch. If you're ever in the neighborhood, you've got to go. Check out our slideshow for some pictures.
The other big deal about our week at Neskowin was a return to the Otis Cafe, a little restaurant outside Lincoln City. There are only about a dozen seats inside, but the food is outstanding. Judy declared an addiction to their Black Molasses Bread, so we took a couple loaves home.
From Neskowin Creek, we drove back north to Seaside (18), expecting to spend a few days before heading to Jan & Denny's for Thanksgiving. But as we were setting up on Friday afternoon, the weather radio sounded off with high wind warnings for the weekend, with predicted hurricane-force winds. As we'd have to be crossing the high-rise bridge at Astoria, we elected to beat the winds and avoid being toppled into the river. So on Saturday morning, we made our escape and arrived at Jan and Denny's (17) early. Good thing, too. We found out later that a tractor-trailer had indeed blown over while crossing the bridge during the storm. Didn't go into river, but it probably pretty much ruined the driver's day.
On Nov 17 we set up camp again in Jan & Denny's driveway and settled in for a spectacular Thanksgiving. Judy enjoyed being part of the preparation activities; Denny and Al were kind of along for the ride. There were 13 for turkey day dinner, with Judy's youngest sister Joanna joining us as well as Ira & Anna, who brought us up to date on the repairs following their kitchen fire in September. A good time was certainly had by all.
On the Monday after Turkey Day, we headed south again, stopping for a night in Seaside (18) and then pressing on to South Jetty (20) at Florence. The next morning, we took the rig into Florence RV Center to get the roof relined, a two-day job. Being evicted from our rolling home, we took a room at the Red Lion Inn in Coos Bay, worked in a little shopping, went to the movies (Life of Pi, most enjoyable) and made our first visit in a few years to the spectacular holiday lights display at Shore Acres State Park. And on 11/29, went back to Florence, picked up our motorhome and settled in at South Jetty. And that's when things started going south.
While setting up, Al started having some rather pronounced abdominal pains, which in retrospect were pretty much classic gallbladder attack symptoms. After a few days of discomfort, Judy made an appointment with our family doctor, tests were run, and we found an EKG irregularity. Subsequent tests ruled out any heart attack or heart damage. Feeling much relieved, we celebrated with a couple of really good meals, both of which triggered abdominal pains. Back to the doctor, to whom we suggested that gallbladder might be worth investigating. He agreed, and after more tests surgery was scheduled. On Dec 17 we moved the rig to the Winchester Bay RV Resort (22) near Reedsport to be closer to the hospital, and on the Friday before Christmas, Al's "very inflamed" gallbladder was removed in a complicated 3-hour laparoscopic surgery (it normally takes about an hour). And after two days of hospital coddling, Al went home again. Now that it's all over, Judy's feeling a lot better about the whole thing, and Al's doing very well, thank you. The rest of the year has been taken up with recovery, anxiously awaiting a full release by the surgeon expected about 3 weeks into the new year. We're making continuous modifications to our snowbirding plans, and will move south toward warmth as soon as we can.
Our Christmas was nothing like we expected, but we managed to join in the family celebration in Portland via Skype - next best thing to being there - and by telephone with family and friends from around the country. We didn't feel alone. We are truly blessed.
Post Christmas, the recovery from surgery continued at what seemed like a really rapid pace. We managed another trip to the Shore Acres Holiday Lights with friend Barb Rondeau; daughter-in-law Anna dropped by; and we enjoyed a post-church lunch outing with Wes & Vendy Lockard, with Katie home on break from her studies at Oxford (yes, THAT Oxford).
So we ended the year pretty much where we started our fulltiming life back in 2007 - at the Winchester Bay RV Resort, with a beautiful view of the Salmon Harbor Marina, booming surf behind us, and within walking distance of some of our favorite eating places.
It's been quite an interesting few weeks to end our year. We expect things to be more normal in the future. In the meantime, we've posted about 40 pictures in our slide show, focusing on the healthier times (no body parts). You can check them out here.
For those who care, during 2012 we drove the RV a total of just 3,425 miles. We bought a total of 511 gallons of 87-octane gasoline, paying between $3.27 and $4.19 a gallon (and still have some left). And, because we stay primarily in membership parks where we have reciprocal low-cost access, paid an average of just $3.71 a night to park for a full year in some very nice places. Life is certainly good.