Thursday, September 24, 2009

How We Spent Our Summer

I've really gotten bad about posting. It's just that being retired means never having a spare moment! To those of you who are retired, you know what I mean. OK, that excuse is now used, and I'll have to dream up something else next time.

We arrived at our summer place in Blanchard, ID on May 28, a few days before Donna's birthday. The weather was nice, then cold, then nice, then rainy, etc. for a few weeks. We got our golf cart out of storage, and then it was golf time for me. I had a goal in mind...break 100, then break 90. Last season, on my last golf round at Stoneridge, I managed to hit 100. This year, I was determined. I decided that I needed help, as it's hard to see your own bad practices. I took several lessons, and gradually the scores dropped. I'm happy to say that "most" of the time, I'm now under 100. I managed to get to 95 this year. Without a couple of blowup holes each round, I'm confident I could be in the 80's. So I'll keep working on it! I now have an established handicap of 28.

We and several other couples formed a 4-wheeling club this year. We took several trips of varying durations in the surrounding countryside. On our first trip, we wanted the fresh air blowing on us, so I took the moon-roof panels off. BIG mistake. By the end of the run, we had about 1" of dust on everything inside the Jeep. Donna and I also took a couple of off-road trips by ourselves. We managed to rediscover a spot by a lake north of Usk, Washington, that we visited last summer. I lost the coordinates when our Garmin crashed, so we just kind of winged it. Just when we were about to give up looking for the spot, we happened upon it quite by chance.

Secret spot (N 48 28.582' W 117 21.619')

Secret Spot

Secret Spot

Hoodoo Mountain view of Stoneridge

A backroad somewhere in Washington/Idaho

Bob, Elyse, Donna, Terry, and Artie

We found our way down to Lake Ponderay

Lake Ponderay

On the 4th of July, we had a golf cart parade. It was great seeing all of the carts decorated up in patriotic colors. Next year the community will publicize it better, and the parade should make the local newspaper.

Emma is geared up for fun!

The cart lineup after the parade

The yellow-jackets were bad this year. They were around last year, but a simple swipe of your hand would send them packing. This year, they were aggressive. I got stung 3 times: twice on the golf course, and once while I was attaching the water hose to the coach. Donna got stung once while sitting outside in the shade. No warning, the sucker just dive-bombed and zapped her on the finger. We kind of got even though - I bought 2 yellow jacket traps. They work good, and I think by the end of summer the score was Yellow-Jackets 4, R&D 10,238. Towards the end of summer, our friend Ben discovered where they built nests: in the fenceposts marking our property corners. Had we only known earlier!
In August, we headed over to Oregon. Last February, my sister and her husband sold their home in Huntington Beach, CA, and moved to Oregon. They own property in Waldport, and are having a new home built there. We stayed in Florence for a few days, and got to see their home site. It's a great site, and it had been graded and prepped for foundations. We shared in their excitement, and are following the building as it progresses.
Jim & Yvonne's property

Oregon Beach near Jim & Yvonne's property
After our visit, we took the motorhome over to Coburg for it's annual service, and then headed up to Albany for a Country Coach rally. Things have changed significantly from last year. There were 350 coaches in attendance then; this year there were 147. We met up with several CC owners that we knew from previous rallies and service, including Norbert and Helena, friends from Germany! They travel in the US during the summer, then put their coach into storage, and fly back to Germany for the winter months.
I took up pickleball this summer. This is a relatively new sport, which is played on a modified tennis court. Instead of rackets, you use paddles, and instead of a tennis ball, you use a giant whiffle ball. It's a fun game, and you can really get a good cardio workout a lot of running. This sport is really big in Arizona with the snowbirds. We plan on playing this winter when we're down in Casa Grande.


For several years now I've been trying to get back to playing my guitar. You may recall that I did some restoring to it and bought a new case while in Nashville. This summer I actually took it out and did some playing. There are several people at Stoneridge who play, and I sat in on a couple of impromptu jam sessions. I can't remember some chords, but it slowly is coming back to me. While we were in Oregon, the "Stoneridge Boys" had a festival for the residents. I heard it was a lot of fun! I'll continue to practice, and hopefully will improve. Donna misses my strumming and humming...

We left Stoneridge the day after Labor Day, and headed for Colorado, where a new grandbaby was waiting!!