On Monday, May 17th, Ken, along with his oldest brother Michael, left in the motorhome to travel 200+ miles to Springfield, MO, home of their youngest brother, Alan, and his wife, Nancy. Alan was in the middle of a bathroom ceramic tile job at his house that had turned out more complicated than he’d expected. So, big brothers to the rescue!!
They parked in Alan’s driveway to be close to the work site.
Ken turned over the motorhome bedroom to brother, Michael, since Ken actually finds the RV couch very comfortable to wedge in to in order to baby his back problems. This way they had their own sleeping area with their own TV.
Michael joked with me that he’s planning to take my place since little brother, Kenny, brought him coffee in bed while he was watching the morning news, and he liked that kind of service. Interesting…I can’t remember ever getting my coffee served to me in bed!! Big brothers get big respect in the Frericks family !! (Trevor, Kyle would like you to take particular note of that!!)
Here’s the Frericks’ boys working together in small spaces.
Here’s a view of the finished product. Lots of small pieces and pattern detail with inset soap holder --- good job guys!!
And, thanks, Nancy for feeding and putting up with 3 Frericks boys under foot all week!!
It’s been over a year since Ken and I have been apart for more than a few hours and I really missed him!! I used to be gone 3 weeks at a time with work and it wasn’t a big deal to us. Amazing how being together 24/7 has tightened our bond. Of course, I reminded Ken that I had no lack of company in my bed while he was gone since Ditka and Sox both immediately considered his side of the bed fair game!
I thoroughly enjoyed slipping back in to ‘stick n bricks’ life and, as usual, had plenty of company in our backyard as well where there’s plenty of wildlife.
Like these geese who didn’t seem to be able to decide who was to tee off first!!
While we were on our adventure, nephew John had sealed our concrete patio, painted our upper deck base, our back shutters and our red metal outdoor chairs.
To help bring back the homey feel I filled a few pots with annuals and put up the hummingbird feeder. I was afraid we might have missed the scouts this late in to spring but soon saw several little hummers fighting over the feeder – of course, never when I had the camera nearby.
It was wonderful to have Ken come back home Friday night. I had a little gift waiting for him when he got home. I used the knowledge gained from my Picassa class at the RV-Dreams Rally to create a ‘collage’ style ‘business’ card. We were out of our old cards so I decided it was time for an update. Here’s what the new version looks like.
One hint to anyone doing this… you need to create an aspect ratio of 3.75 x 2.25 which is slightly larger than standard business card but allows for the bleed/cut portion of the card.
I used Staples online service to print the cards since they currently have a $5 off coupon. That meant I got 200 cards for $30 which is cheaper than buying the stock and ink needed for our photo printer. I also wanted to ‘test’ their 4 hour turnaround time service for printing since this is something that anyone on the road could use at whatever Staples was closest at the moment. My only regret is that the card came out slightly darker when printed than they show online. When I reorder I’ll simply lighten the who collage before sending – thank you, Geeks on Tour for teaching me geekie stuff that I can put to practical use!
With Ken home, we kicked off the weekend with more household chores. There are certain ‘sticks n bricks’ upkeep requirements that we’d be happy to give up, considering they just seem to have to be done again, and again, and again. For one, it seems I have to devote about 2 hours a day to cleaning activities just to keep up and I HATE cleaning since at a few hours a day, I no more than finish my rounds than its time to start all over. However, that’s how I spent most of my time while Ken was gone, trying to get caught up on the indoor cleaning. Besides that I’d already cut the grass earlier in the week but it needed it again. I use that as exercise, using the push mower for a 50 minute workout. Once I finished the mowing Saturday morning, Ken was ready to dig in to our ‘hanging gardens’ as he called them. We have lots of trees on the property and being gone for 8 weeks of spring allowed them to fill our gutters to overflowing with lots of spring plantings. We had lots of little maple trees starting to sprout at the roofline!! I was the bucket brigade moving a bucket up and down on a rope for Ken to fill and them for me to dump. Pretty gunky job that I’m glad is behind us for a little while.
The highlight of the weekend was the barbeque we hosted on Saturday evening. Ed and Marilyn Dray’s blog has been one I’ve been following for some time now. They are also on Facebook and so we’ve ‘friended’ each other there. Marilyn and I decided we wanted to make time to meet in person once we were back from our 8 week trip but before they left their two month stay in Hannibal, MO, across the river from us.
Their daughter and her family live in Hannibal so this is their time to spend with their small grandchildren. They park these two months every year at the Mark Twain Cave Complex where Ed also assists as one of the cave tour guides, yet one more of the really workkamping jobs we’ve learned about that sounds like something we’d enjoy doing.
It amazes me when you meet other RVers, how everyone seems to just automatically get along so comfortably and enjoyably together. Like Marilyn commented, when full-time RVers sit around and talk it always seems to be a really positive environment with a lot of laughter. I’m beginning to be able to pick out the general personality type that fits the successful fulltime RVers --- they have a sincere, deep appreciation of life and want to make the most of every minute of it and of every beautiful part of this world they have to explore. Ed and Marilyn are wonderful examples, which is even evident in the way the end each of their daily blog posts with ‘Life is Good’! This is the number one attraction drawing Ken and I to this lifestyle – the kind of people that become your extended RV family.
In the category of “It’s a Small World”, besides knowing dozens of the the same RVers, I realized from Facebook that one of Marilyn’s good friends, Maggie, was married to one of my buds who had retired some time back from Gardner-Denver, Norb Dixon. When I put this all together, I made sure to invite Maggie and Norb as well.
The coincidences didn’t end there though, because I found out that Maggie and my sister, Kathleen, worked together many years ago and knew each other quite well back then. Maggie even remembered some stories of me as a toddler, like when asked where I thought I came from and I said “Santa Claus”!! And Norbie, well, he went to high school with my brothers and sisters and was in the same graduating class with my brother-in-laws, Walt and Wayne.
We’re glad we had the cookout on Saturday night, because sitting here Sunday afternoon, its clear we are going to be in for a very hot, very humid week to come. It will probably be some of the last days Ken and I have, just the two of us, since we will be moving Trev home next Thursday, where he will stay until he starts his job in October.